Daily Readings and Thought for March 9th. “OH THAT MY WAYS”


Psalm 119 is very special. When we were young we used to just think of it as an extra-long chapter, the longest in the Bible, 176 verses, impossible to read at one go. And nor should we try to read it like that! God’s word is food for the mind; we should savour it and “eat” it slowly. This Psalm is like tender tasty ‘meat’ causing much reflection on our ways before God. It is surprising how often the word ‘way’ or ‘ways’ occurs in it.

    David, like all of us, was on a journey through life.  We all have to decide the best WAY to take, what career path to aim to follow. We must recognise there is a spiritual career path too! Well our decisions are based on our aims, and an important part of our decisions is how far into the future we are looking.

    Now look at the words of this Psalm. “Blessed are they whose way is blameless, who walk in the law of the LORD! Blessed are those who keep his testimonies, who seek him with their whole heart, who also do no wrong, but walk in his ways! You have commanded your precepts to be kept diligently. Oh that my ways may be steadfast …” [Psalm 119:1-5]  In some modern versions, such as the New English Bible, they use the word “Happy” instead of “Blessed”, interesting, what is the way to true happiness. What is it to be happy?

    “How can a young man (or woman) keep his way pure?” David asks!    Notice his answer! “By guarding it according to your word. With my whole heart I seek you; let me not wander from your commandments! I have stored up your word in my heart that I might not sin against you.” [Psalm 119:9-11] Think about that! How much of God’s word do we have in storage? We prove how much, by how much we can bring out when it is needed.

     David later writes, “Put false ways far from me and graciously teach me your law! I have chosen the way of faithfulness … Turn my eyes away from looking at worthless things; and give me life in your ways.” [Psalm 119:29,30, 37] In many ways this Psalm contains the essence of the prayers of David; examples on which to model our prayers.

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