Riches for a pure man (Ps 119:9-16)

A pure way comes from a guarded heart.

A heart that seeks God in everything (10)
This is the antidote to wandering away from God.

A heart filled with the Word of God (11)
Here is a storehouse, which can produce treasures old and new.

A heart that declares the Word of God (13)
This is not as some external standard, repeated by mere rote, but as an internalised standard. In the New Covenant we have the law written on our hearts and minds (Jr 31; Heb 8). It is by constant meditation that I make God’s standards my own.

A heart that meditates on the Word of God (15)
If I would keep myself from sin I must view sin as God views it. Learning his law will help me remember it, meditating on it will help me delight in it (15,16).

Constant contemplation of sin will foster in me a delight in it, and a longing for it. A child of God will want to contemplate God’s word through which the God who is “of purer eyes than to see evil” (Hab 2:13) communicates his purity to us. “The commandment of the LORD is pure” (Ps 19:8).

The Key to Godly Living
Here is the key to godly living – what is in my heart. With the Word in my heart my feet will be directed in the right direction (10), my lips will speak the right things (13) and my eyes will be focused on the right way (15). But this will not be achieved by superior will power and rigorous discipline alone. That will certainly be required if I am to seek God with my whole heart (10). It will be achieved by humble dependence on God, as I let him teach me (13).

And it will result in sheer delight (14,16). Delight for me, and for God himself! This delight may be compared to the delight of pleasing a close friend, a wife or husband, or a family member, by doing something that specially pleases them. But the wonder of this delight is that when we come to the place of delight in God’s law and his will, it delights the very heart of God.

Christ did always and only those things which pleased his Father. So when the Father could contain himself no longer, he declared from heaven itself, “This is my beloved Son, with whom I am well pleased” (Mt 3:17). Why was God so specially pleased with his Son at this moment? Was it not something to do with Jesus’ reply to John – “thus it is fitting for us to fulfil all righteousness” (Mt 3:15). Here was the Messiah doing everything the law demanded, right from the start of his earthly ministry to the very end, when he declared, “[I have] accomplished the work that you gave me to do” (Jn 17:4).

What is the response of God to those who keep his commandments, who walk in his ways and delight in his statutes? Is it not the same? See righteous Abel receiving the commendation of God as he depended on a sacrifice (Heb 11:4). See Enoch whose 300-year walk with God received the commendation “as having pleased God” (Heb 11:5). Hear the condemnation against the one who shrinks back – “my soul has no pleasure in him” (Heb 10:38). The way to live is in righteousness, not a righteousness that comes from me or the law, but that comes by faith (Heb 10:38; Rom 3:21; etc).

The man or woman who pleases God keeps God’s rules, not out of mere duty, but out of sheer delight. That delight springs from being taught by God (12), and is developed through constant meditation on God’s Word (15).

Would I know the riches of God’s blessing (1-2)? Then I must value God’s Word, just as I value the earthly wealth I possess (14).

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