What is it about God’s Word that the psalmist is so enamored with? Answer: he has a personal relationship with God. If we were to characterize this relationship as a two-way street, one side is the psalmist’s side of the street lined with worldly buildings and distractions, and the other, God’s side of the street. So what is it about God’s side of the street that makes the psalmist want to cross over and devote himself completely? (Hint: did you have a best friend in your youth? Was being able to stay at their house the best and most exciting thing ever?)
These three stanzas of Psalm 119 highlight the importance of finding time alone with God in prayer and Bible study.
(97) Your law – The God given Law is found in the Old Testament. God gave us his son, Jesus, in the New Testament. The Word became flesh and lived among us (John 1:14). (98) Makes me wiser – the fear of the Lord is the beginning of wisdom (Psalm 111:10). (99) I have more insight – those who sit at the feet of Christ often have more insight than Doctors of Divinity (Charles Spurgeon). (100) I have more understanding – Trust in God with your heart and don’t rely on your own understanding (Proverbs 3:5). A regular time of private devotion also yields guidance (101), learning (102), and a hunger for more (103); an example being to your favorite food that tastes so good you can’t get enough of it.
Your word is a lamp to my feet and a light for my path. Psalm 119:105
In the next stanza God’s word lights my path (105), preserves my life (107), is my heritage (111), and gives me hope (112). If so much joy and happiness can be found spending time alone with God, why would we ever want to return to our worldly side of the street? Spurgeon reminds us that, “We are walkers through the city of this world, and we are often called to go out into the darkness; let us never venture there without the light-giving word.”
The third stanza uses language one would find of a war being carried out in enemy territory. (113) I hate double-minded people (frivolous, indulgent, worldly thinkers). (114) God is our refuge and shield. We must remember to wear the whole armor of God against the enemy (Ephesians 6). (116) God’s word sustains and upholds us and is proven. (120) He alone is the right (true) one to worship.
Matt Chandler offers three points for those who have a relationship with God, addressing our need to find alone time with him. (1) Staying connected carries us through life’s ups and downs. (2) When we remain near to God, it leads to a sustaining love. (3) We produce fruit when we stay connected. Staying connected allows us to be transformed by him (Romans 12:1,2) and enables us to make a difference in the world in which we live (our side of the street).
“We are walkers through the city of this world, and we are often called to go out into the darkness; let us never venture there without the light-giving word.” C. Spurgeon