How can a young man keep his way pure?
By living according to Your word.
I seek You with all my heart;
do not let me stray from Your commands.
I have hidden Your word in my heart
that I might not sin against You.
Praise be to You, O Lord;
teach me Your decrees.
With my lips I recount
all the laws that come from Your mouth.
I rejoice in following Your statutes
as one rejoices in great riches.
I meditate on Your precepts
and consider Your ways.
I delight in Your decrees;
I will not neglect Your word.
- Psalm 119:9-16
I had a dream a couple of weeks ago that I can't stop thinking about. Some friends and I were walking down this country lane, just talking and enjoying the day together, and suddenly I noticed an object laying in the road as we walked past. "Hold up a sec, you guys," I called, as I turned around to go back and pick it up. To my surprise, it was my old study Bible, tho the cover was missing now, and it looked rather beat up. As I stood again and turned around, suddenly scattered all over the road there were Bibles, covered in the dust of the road, and my friends were going around, picking them up, and together we collected as many as we could, with the intent of returning them to their owners as quickly as we could, so they could be used again.
As I've prayed about it, it seems to me that one of the things God was speaking to me through that dream is part of the answer to my prayer for understanding of my purpose and my calling. It's about restoring God's Word to people - returning it to its rightful place in our lives, in a sense. My Bible in that dream had been neglected, abused, forgotten, left to collect dust, and trampled a bit on a road - which in both dreams and metaphor generally seems to represent the idea of "journey," or life. In the dream, as soon as my Bible had been restored to me, I was able to see the other Bibles on the road. And in real life I know every one of those people I was with in the dream to be men and women who esteem God's Word highly, and it was sweet to know that this call, this task I've been given, was a shared task.
I love the imagery in these verses - the simplicity of the questions, and the answer. How do I live a good life? How do I keep my way pure? How do I not sin? By doing it God's way, and not mine.
"I rejoice in following Your statutes as one rejoices in great riches."
What if we really believed that? What if we really felt that way? What if, instead of just saying that God's Word is a treasure, we lived out that truth? What if we truly were that glad to have God's Word with us - to read it, to memorize it, to talk about it everywhere we go and all the time (Deuteronomy 6:4-9), to think about it, and to do what it says (James 1:22-25)?
"The kingdom of heaven is like treasure hidden in a field. When a man found it, he hid it again, and then in his joy went and sold all that he had and bought that field." - Matthew 13:44
I want to treasure God's Word that much. "I delight in Your decrees; I will not neglect Your word."
Teach me to delight in Your word. Amen.