As I stated before, David’s name means “beloved,” and as the Beloved of God, David was known for his obedience. In verse eleven, David introduced us to an all-important safeguard against sin. “I’ve treasured your word in my heart, SO THAT I may not sin against you.”
Obedience to God
Your word I have treasured in my heart, That I may not sin against You. Blessed are You, O LORD; Teach me Your statutes. With my lips I have told of All the ordinances of Your mouth. – Psalms 119:11-13 NASB
David is not giving us a guarantee that if we treasure God’s word then we will never sin. It’s clear that even as a new creation we can will to sin, but it is not likely when God’s word has been treasured in our hearts. (Side note: This is yet another reason why you should meditate on God’s word!)
Obedience for David was far more than a list of moral checkboxes. It also included carrying on the teaching tradition of his fathers by establishing God’s word in the Psalms and influencing the wisdom we clearly see in Solomon’s Proverbs.
Train up a child in the way he should go, Even when he is old, he will not depart from it. – Proverbs 22:6 NASB
The fear of the Lord is the beginning of knowledge; Fools despise wisdom and instruction. – Proverbs 1:7 NASB
Admittedly a strange line (Psalm 119:13), it doesn’t have to be as awkward as we might imagine it to be. It’s unlikely that David is saying that he went out and shouted Scripture in the streets. It’s more likely that he looked like Paul in Athens (reasoning in the public square), or a preacher in a church (teaching the faithful), or in a very practical way, like a father speaking to his children.Obedience for David was carrying on the teaching tradition of his fathers by establishing God's word in the Psalms and influencing the wisdom we clearly see in Solomon's Proverbs. Click To Tweet
Again as I said before, the call of a godly mother and father is to tell your children of “all the ordinances of God’s mouth.”
My wife and I do this every morning at the breakfast table. Something cool to note about our routine is that this was modeled for us, and our prayer is that our children will imitate it after us.
As a family, we’re working through the book of Proverbs, and we simply talk through a few verses each day. I would encourage you to try this out.
Rejoicing in the Word
I have rejoiced in the way of Your testimonies, As much as in all riches. – Psalms 119:14 NASB
Charles Spurgeon once said, “Delight in the word of God is a sure proof that it has taken effect on the heart, and so is cleansing the life.” David not only knew that the word of God would keep our ways pure, but he also knew that in continual obedience, we prove God’s word to be good and true. The natural result of this is to rejoice in it. Notice David said, “I have rejoiced…” again, this is a man who knew the answer to his initial question. Why? Because he HAD lived it.
Also, take note of the level of Davids rejoicing, “as much as in all riches.” Jesus told us in the Scripture that we are to seek first the Kingdom, and then all the other stuff will be added. We are to abandon all for the pearl of great price (which is God’s Kingdom). Paul told us that we are to count everything as loss compared to knowing Christ.
Today, we appear to have this backward. We rejoice in all riches and hide from God’s statutes AND hide them away from the world. We don’t want to talk about it. We don’t want to be labeled. This is not a heart like David! I’ve said this before (along with many other pastors throughout the years), but we seem to proclaim the wonders of our new gadget well before if ever proclaiming the wonders of God’s word.Today, we appear to have this backward. We rejoice in all riches and hide from God’s statutes AND hide them away from the world. We don’t want to talk about it. We don’t want to be labeled. Click To Tweet
David’s forebears proclaimed God’s word, David did too. Is it any wonder why Solomon understood what he did? Church, you can do the same thing for your children or anyone that is influenced by you. Proclaim God’s ways. Do so with the same enthusiasm you use when singing the praises of your newest toy. But if we don’t, why would we expect anything different than what we see in the culture all around us?
Meditation on God’s Word
I will meditate on Your precepts And regard Your ways. I shall delight in Your statutes; I shall not forget Your word. – Psalms 119:15-16 NASB
Have you ever had something you just can’t stop thinking about? (This is meditation.) Ever asked yourself why you can’t stop thinking about it? Whether we know it or not, the answer is always the same. Whatever that thing is, it has taken over first place in our minds. It’s an order issue, which will turn into a worship issue.
But we shouldn’t think for a second that placing something first doesn’t require effort. It often does. Also, we shouldn’t presume that this effort makes our devotion fake. Instead, what’s happening is training, self-control, discipline. These are all good things. All a part of sanctification. All crucial to teaching and training our children to follow God. This call to change what we pursue first was issued by King Jesus Himself. “Seek first…”
A Closing Parallel
I shall keep Your statutes; Do not forsake me utterly! – Psalms 119:8
I shall delight in Your statutes; I shall not forget Your word. – Psalms 119:16
There is no other language like this in the rest of this Psalm. Thus the parallel and the nuance seem too unique to overlook. Both of these verses begin with keeping and delighting in God’s statutes. They both end with God not forsaking David and David not forsaking God’s word.
David has said, “Lord I will keep your statutes, sustain me in my effectiveness. And Lord I will Delight in your statutes.” Why? Because no one forgets what they delight in. Let’s teach our children the same. David learned to keep and delight in the law of God from his father, grandfather, and great grandfather. He taught them to his son, Solomon, and influenced the world through Proverbs.
Let us do the same as as we teach the next generation well.
Does your family have any traditions that teach the way and word of the Lord? I’d love to hear about it. Comment below or email me at firstname.lastname@example.org.