The opening verses have three movements for yours truly: blessedness, lament, and praise/process.
An integral part of the blessed life is the incorporation the word of God into every fiber of our being. As I eat, breathe, and live the word, my walk and lifestyle reflects the glory of God. How the blessed life has come to be centered around having possessions is beyond me.
As promising as a blessed life is, the writer admits that he’s not as consistent at keeping the perfect word of God. We all struggle with consistency. Somehow, the ebb and flow of faith at times finds us ashore to confront our own unfaithfulness and fickleness.
Praise & Process
Keeping God’s word for the sake of scratching notches on our spiritual belts is legalism with a smirk. The writer, however, understands that you cannot divorce obeying the Word of God from seeking the God of the Word. Keeping the word without having a passionate relationship with God is lifeless, dead “faith.” Spurgeon comments that “an outward walk does not content the gracious soul, nor even the treasured testimonies; it reaches out in due time after God himself, and when it in a measure finds him, still yearns for more of him, and seeks him still” (Charles Spurgeon, The Treasury of David). Praise springs only from the hearts of those who’ve not divorce the word-keeping from the relationship.
I also thank God for a little grace-filled phrase that I desperately need that is found in verse 7: “as I learn.” I highly doubt I’ll ever have it “all together.” I need to know that God is with me in the process, through all my stumbling, grumbling, complaining, and crying out. It is no wonder that the writer cries out in verse 8 “do not utterly forsake me.”
We don’t obey perfectly but God perfectly and miraculously forms and transforms us through the word we bungle up. He doesn’t give up on us and we, like the apostle Paul, can rest assured “that he who began a good work in you will carry it on to completion until the day of Christ” (Phil. 1:6 TNIV).
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