Mar 09

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Psalms 119:104-112

I gain understanding from your precepts; therefore I hate every wrong path. Your word is a lamp for my feet, a light on my path. I have taken an oath and confirmed it, that I will follow your righteous laws. I have suffered much; preserve my life, Lord, according to your word. Accept, Lord, the willing praise of my mouth, and teach me your laws. Though I constantly take my life in my hands, I will not forget your law. The wicked have set a snare for me, but I have not strayed from your precepts. Your statutes are my heritage forever; they are the joy of my heart. My heart is set on keeping your decrees to the very end.

Within this passage of scripture from the longest chapter in the Bible, lies one of the most repeated verses: Psalm 119:105.  As a young boy, this verse was always included in the list of memory verses required of me at school and church.  But like many things that we see over and over again, it was put to memory but slowly lost its power over time.  That is, until a really challenging season of my life in 2008.  

As my wife, Erin, and I neared the ten-year mark in our marriage, things between us started to crumble.  The recession had taken a hit on our business, but worst of all, our marriage fell into disrepair.  We were two believers, living in the same house, saved by the grace of God, but without enough personal grace to even share a simple “hello” as we passed one another in the hallway.  Over a decade later, it brings tears to my eyes to even type that sentence.  The cause of our slow, downward spiral was not infidelity or abuse; it was simply a husband and wife in a stand-off fueled by pride.  

Early on, we both sought out advice from people and books that, we hoped, would defend our individual sides.  These “guides” were great in pointing out the faults of our spouse but utterly useless in bringing healing to our relationship.  It was not until our friends and family pointed us to God’s Word alone, that we gained true understanding (v.104), statutes that brought us joy (v.111), and ultimately, secured the preservation of our marriage (v.107).  Today, Erin and I are so grateful to live life together as best friends.  

When the Psalmist wrote, “Your word is a lamp for my feet, a light on my path,” I believe He understood that without God’s Word:

  1. We’re living in darkness, unable to see the true condition of our lives.  
  2. We’re incapable of making Godly decisions to direct our next steps (“path”) as we look to the future.

His Word is all that we need to light our present and future way, so that we no longer have to depend on our own wisdom or selfish desires. As we lean into God’s Word, we will begin to avoid the “wrong path” (v.104) and instead will build a legacy or “heritage” (v.111) for ourselves and our families to follow.  Paths that are lit up by God’s Word will always be safer than continuing to stumble in the dark.

Prayer Prompts:

Ask the Lord to show you an area in your life where you need to actively seek out His Word for your future direction.  

What is that area?  How has His Word already spoken to you about it?  What questions do you still have where you need His guidance?     

Ask God to help you identify and push aside any other sources of “guidance” that are not in line with His Word.  

What daily habits with God’s Word do you need to practice in order to continue seeking His wisdom so that you can build a legacy or “heritage” for you, your family and friends?

Take time to thank God for providing life-giving counsel, encouragement and hope as you interact with Him daily through His Word.   

Mark Gonzalez

Friends Church Elder