I have been reading through Psalm 119 again in an effort to rekindle a hunger and desire for the Scriptures in a life giving manner. I tend toward an academic kind of reading of the Word, which has its place–though I would provide numerous cautions in that endeavor. But the kind of reading I was taught doesn’t line up with the message of Psalm 119.
The psalmist speaks of the unsurpassed joy of keeping the laws of the Lord, of walking in his commandments, of meditating on his precepts. The more we read his words, the more faithful to them we should be. And the more faithful we are to him in that way, the more our appetite for the Scriptures increases. Our spiritual metabolism, so to speak, ramps up as we apply what we read and are faithful in the things we know for certain (rather than getting bogged down in the uknown).
In Psalm 119 I read Spirit-inspired words like:
- I will fix my eyes on all your commandments (6)
- I will delight in your statutes (16)
- My soul is consumed with longing for your rules at all times (20)
- Your testimonies are my delight; they are my counselors (24)
- I will run in the way of your commandments (32)
- Incline my heart to your testimonies, and not to selfish gain (36)
- My hope is in your rules (43)
- At midnight I rise to praise you, because of your righteous rules (62)
- It is good for me that I was afflicted, that I might learn your statutes (71)
- The law of your mouth is better to me than thousands of gold and silver pieces (72)
Okay, that last one…seriously? What would that be in dollars? The last I saw, a $20 gold piece was worth roughly $1400. So, carry the 1, divide the remainder into the square root…3,000 of those coins would be $4.2 million. Is the law of God’s mouth, in practice and lived out, better to me than $4,200,000? “Oh yes, absolutely! No doubt!” he exclaimed without flinching.
Then why do I not hesitate to push that law aside in order to justify my lack of action to care for the least of these? It takes me about $40 to sell out…let alone $4.2 million.
I’m pleading with the Lord to let me read his Word anew, with fresh eyes and an undivided mind. “Incline my heart to your testimonies, Lord.”
I want to desire the Word and long for it, more than a latte or new shoes. The video below is a reminder that what has become passe for us in America is still priceless to some: