Walk in the Law of the Lord

May 10, 2022    Cole Cleveland
1 Blessed are those whose way is blameless, who walk in the law of the LORD!
2 Blessed are those who keep his testimonies, who seek him with their whole heart,
3 who also do no wrong, but walk in his ways!
4 You have commanded your precepts to be kept diligently.
5 Oh that my ways may be steadfast in keeping your statutes!
6 Then I shall not be put to shame, having my eyes fixed on all your commandments.
7 I will praise you with an upright heart, when I learn your righteous rules.
8 I will keep your statutes; do not utterly forsake me!
Psalms 119:1-8

Psalm 119 is the longest chapter of the Bible (176 verses) and the entire poem is about the Word of God. In this chapter, there are many instructions to the believer, but none more emphatic than for the follower of Christ to “walk in the ways of the Lord.” And to do this, the believer must walk in accordance to the instructions of the Word of God.

The most often asked question from a church member to his pastor is this: “How do I know what the will of the Lord is for my life?” And the answer is very easy. The will of the Lord for every believer is to “walk in the Law of the Lord” (vs 1). We get so caught up with this world and its expectations of us that we forget the simplicity of reading the Bible and obeying its content. This is what God has commanded us to do. Paul says, “walk in a manner that is worthy of the calling to which you have been called” (Ephesians 4:1). We see from the very first chapter of Ephesians that this “calling” is to “be holy for God is holy” (1Peter 1:16). And according to Psalm 119, the way that the believer pursues Holiness is through the Word of God.

1 Blessed are those whose way is blameless, who walk in the law of the LORD!
Psalm 119 begins the same way that Psalm 1 begins, and that is by defining how one is “blessed” by God. To be “blessed” is to find eternal joy in Christ as opposed to temporal happiness on this earth. And those who walk in accordance to the Word of God will find much blessing on this earth. According to Ephesians 1:3-4, the believers have been purpose to be “holy and blameless before God.” And the way that we do this is through the consistent “washing of the Word” (Ephesians 5:25-27).

2 Blessed are those who keep his testimonies, who seek him with their whole heart,
The psalmist goes further to explain here that “blessing” does not follow one who follows rules. Keeping the Word of God and abiding in His Word is not about following rules. “Walking in a manner that is worthy of the calling to which you have been called” is the natural byproduct of “seeking God with your whole heart.” This is what is described in Psalm 1:1-3 as “Delighting in the Law of the Lord and meditating on it day and night.”

3 who also do no wrong, but walk in his ways!
Continuing with the idea of how to be “blessed,” the psalmist says that “blessing” follows him who does “no wrong, but walks in his (God’s) ways.” This does not mean that we are going to be sinless on this earth. The psalmist is not describing a scenario where someone can be perfect on this earth. We are born sinners (Ephesians 2:1-3). And we are only made alive by the Grace of God through Faith in Jesus Christ (Ephesians 2:4-9). But the idea here is that the “blessed man” is the one who “keeps the testimonies” of God, loves God with “his whole heart” and pursues the Holiness of God. The compare/contrast statement made here is “walking in his ways” versus doing “wrong.” This should make it clear for us to understand that pursuing righteousness is being in the Word of God.

4 You have commanded your precepts to be kept diligently.
The psalmist recognizes that God has commanded that the believers keep His Word “diligently.” The only way that we can do this is by “delighting” and “meditating” on the very words of God. As we can see here in verse 4, this is not optional. It is “commanded” by God to His people.

5 Oh that my ways may be steadfast in keeping your statutes!
The psalmist shifts gears to making a personal application. He is saying, “Because I am a believer, and because this is what you have commanded and because I want to seek you with my whole heart, then please let my ways be steadfast in keeping your Word.” This should be our desire daily. When we understand the imperative form of God’s expectation of us, we must say, “Oh that my ways would be pleasing to You, O God!”

6 Then I shall not be put to shame, having my eyes fixed on all your commandments.
In 1 John 2:28, we can better understand the “shame” referred to here is in regards to the second coming of Christ. When Christ returns to receive those whom are His, those that have not trusted Him as Lord and Savior will “be put to shame” for all of eternity. But the psalmist makes it clear that those who trust in the Lord will not be “put to shame” because their eyes have been fixed on the eternal joy that has been set before them.

7 I will praise you with an upright heart, when I learn your righteous rules.
Notice that after the commitment made from the psalmist in verse 5, there comes a resolved heart. Three times the psalmist says, “I shall… I will… I will.” And now we can see here in verse 7 that the psalmist can follow through with his commitments when he “learns” and understands the Word of God. A lot of times we have great intentions to follow God, but we do not pursue Him according to His Word. And when this happens, we stray. But the “blessed man” is one who follows God in His Word, keeps His law, delights in His Word and meditates on it day and night.

8 I will keep your statutes; do not utterly forsake me!
This stanza ends with a commitment to “keep” the Word of God. And this should be our natural response in understanding that the King has given to us His commands, we are to “walk” in His ways!