I reflect at night on who you are, O Lord;
therefore, I obey your instructions.
Psalm 119:55, NLT*
You can’t read Psalm 119 without sensing the devotion the psalmist has for God’s instructions. It’s not a dry list of rules that he loves, but the precepts and teaching of how God says he – and we – should live.
Why are these regulations so important? Because they teach us the way of true, abundant life. They keep us from straying away from God or allowing sin or self to distance us from Him.
The Pharisees claimed to love God’s laws too, and the negative examples of their behaviour toward Jesus and the common people may taint our view of this beautiful psalm.
The difference is, they were following their own understanding of the laws, while missing the heart of God. They saw the rules as the goal, not as the way to live with Him.
Today’s verse gives us the key: it’s knowing God’s character and His ways, responding to His love and mercy, that motivates us to obey Him (click to tweet). The more we discover of who He is and of how much we need Him, the more we’ll value the instructions and principles by which He calls us to live.
Whole-hearted obedience is a love response. Not an attempt to earn points or avoid punishment.
Holy and loving God, in wisdom You have set boundaries for us, and in great mercy You have sent Your Son to ransom us from the power of sin and death. You are faithful to forgive when we ask, and to teach us Your ways. The instructions You give are for our good and for Your glory. You alone are worthy of worship and adoration. Please draw us to know You better, and teach us to rely on Your Spirit’s power at work within us.
Loving God will draw us into obedience to Him. Let Kathryn Scott’s song, “Presence,” bless us today.
*New Living Translation (NLT) Holy Bible, New Living Translation, copyright © 1996, 2004, 2015 by Tyndale House Foundation. Used by permission of Tyndale House Publishers Inc., Carol Stream, Illinois 60188. All rights reserved.