Obeying the Word of God
Psalm 119 is a passionate love song in praise of Scripture. It is also a work of literary beauty. The first eight lines all begin with the first letter of the Hebrew alphabet, the next eight lines begin with the second letter, and so on throughout the psalm. The 22 stanzas take us through the entire Hebrew alphabet, eight lines at a time. Furthermore, Psalm 119 is the longest chapter in the Bible. This is one striking psalm.
Psalm 119 begins with a call to obey God’s Word. God will bless us, the Bible says, not if we have God’s Word, read God’s Word, or study God’s Word. No, God will bless us if we obey God’s Word, if we walk according to it. “Blessed are those whose way is blameless, who walk in the law of the Lord!” Obedience is a major theme of Psalm 119. Just a few of the examples: “You have commanded your precepts to be kept diligently.” “Oh that my ways may be steadfast in keeping your statutes!” “I will keep your statutes; do not utterly forsake me! “
If you want the blessing, favor, and protection of God in your life, there’s no other way than to obey God’s Word. Obey Scripture whether you like the command or not. Obey whether you agree with the command or not. Obey immediately and completely. Obey no matter what. Obey because God is God and you are not. Understanding can wait, but obedience cannot. To read a passage and not obey is to defy God. This includes commands on lying, gossip, charity, divorce, sexual purity, giving thanks, loving your wife, and respecting your husband.
The writer Flannery O’Connor observed, “The truth does not change according to our ability to stomach it.” Obey it! Obey God’s holy Word and God will bless you.