This morning I turn to Psalm 119 and discover something I hadn’t noticed before. The psalmist asks God to do four things :
Teach me, Lord, the way of your decrees,
that I may follow it to the end.
Give me understanding, so that I may keep your law and obey it with all my heart.
Direct me in the path of your commands,
for there I find delight.
Turn my heart toward your statutes
and not toward selfish gain.
Turn my eyes away from worthless things;
preserve my life according to your word.
What a powerful prayer! What better things might we ask for today?
I notice that, of all the things someone might ask of God, this writer wants the four best: that God would teach him, give understanding, direct him, and turn his heart towards the right things. And I notice the little phrase “for there I find delight.” I love how when we walk in the path of God’s commands, we find delight. It’s not new places, new people, or new passions to take up space in our bored, frustrated, disappointed lives. Instead, it’s following God that brings delight.
I think of the wisdom seeker. I think of the peace seeker. I think of the joy seeker. I think of the abundant life seeker. What path leads to these goals? The psalmist knows. We ask God to teach, to give understanding, to direct us, and to turn our hearts towards His word and away from worthless things that do not give what the heart wants and needs.