Contemplation - looking out at the creation and contemplating God's creation. Nature brings revelation, glimpses into the magnitude of who God is. Look for Him. God speaks through nature, yet nature alone is limiting. Think for a moment. What are things about God we could not know about Him through nature alone?
God speaks through the law, through His statutes and precepts. Why? Because the law of the Lord is perfect, refreshing the soul. The statutes of the Lord are trustworthy, making wise the simple. The precepts of the Lord are giving joy to the heart. The commands of the Lord are radiant, giving light to the eyes. Have you thought about the Lord's law, precepts and statutes as the things that refresh and cleanse our souls, simplifying what could be quite complex by believing that God is good and trustworthy?
God provides great wisdom simply by telling us that we need to trust His statutes, for He is trustworthy. Believe what He says, Believe the Bible. In other words, don't quesion God. Just do what He says. We must trust God's heart. Following God's rules, or precepts, gives joy to the heart.
A friend of mine wisely says that joy is not the absence of sorrow, but instead, the presence of God. Do you feel blessed by God when you do what He asks you to do? David doesn't stop there in verse 9:
"The fear of the Lord isi pure, enduring forever. The ordinances of the Lord are sure and altogether righteous."
How encouraging are these words! God is holy, and God desires us to be holy. Why? Because God's ways are always the best and the purest. David further describes Him as more precious than gold and sweeter than honey. It makes me wonder what it is about this world that is so attractive that I turn to my own ways rather than focus on the ways of the Lord. Sweeter than honey, great reward, great blessing in the here and now for keeping the Lord's ways.
Ask yourself the question. How could God's wisdom imparted through God's Word to us be more valuable than our most precious possessions, and sweeter than our greatest treasures? The answer is simple. There is no earthly treasure or possession that can begin to compare to God's eternal dwelling place. Through the scripture we are warned against anything that is not of God, whether it be wealth, luxuries, sports, the way you talk to your family, your neighbors. There are warnings in God's Word about everything that is sin. Sin is easily defined as those things that are not of God, or take the place of God in our lives.
We see here in our passage some very good news. Keeping God's precepts front and center to all of our actions brings great reward, eternal reward. So, why not go after what is more precious than lots of gold (vVerse 12):
"Who can discern his errors? Forgive my hidden faults. Keep your servant also from willful sins; may they not rule over me. Then I will be blameless, innocent of great transgression."
Look at David's prayer. He is saying that, sometimes our faults, dare I say, sins, are hidden, even from ourselves. Yet God knows. If we so allow it, God will show us the error of our ways. We only need to pray that God show us, and once we know, we can repent, we can turn toward God and, we can be forgiven.
God will also keep us from willful sin. Prayer works in this regard. The armor of God works. We can guard ourselves by not frequenting the places or people that cause us to stumble. We also have the unimaginable blessing of our Lord Jesus. And we have the community of believers to help us. No matter what it is, our Lord Jesus will walk alongside, holding our hand, keeping us from stumbling. For you see, Jesus did not come to abolish the law, but to fulfill it. Jesus did not come to judge against the law, but to save us from our inability to keep the law without Him. Jesus came so that, through Him, we can be forgiven and set free from the enslavement of sin. Blameless, innocent of great transgression, Jesus came so that we could be returned to a right relationship with our holy God.
What is the role of the law for those of us who know Jesus? The apostle Paul gives us some insight in Romans 3:20:
"Therefore no one will be declared righteous in His sight by observing the law; rather, through the law we become conscious of sin."
We are not saved by our works, or our ability to follow the law. If that becomes our focus, we miss the whole point. We are saved by God through our faith. We love the Lord because He loved us first. Our desire is to become more like our Lord Jesus. So through the law we become conscious of our sin. Then what should happen? Fear of the Lord, love of the Lord, desire to be like Jesus, all should quickly bring us to a desire for Jesus' forgiveness and we should turn away from those things that plague us and keep us from the joy of the Lord. Jesus loves us and desires our love in return. What a humbling thought that is!
Jesus wants me to love Him, just because He loves me. Sin gets in the way of our relationship with Him, but it does not need to. It is only our creator, our Lord, who knows what is best for us, and He tells us through this book. Psalm 37:4 tells us:
"Delight yourself in the Lord and He will give you the desires of your heart."
The more we live in and delight in the ways of our Lord Jesus, the more the desires of our hearts will mirror God's desire for our lives. The more our lives move away from me, myself,and I, the more like the Lord we become.
We have seen how God speaks to our lives through scripture. We can be under the shadow of protection of the most high God. We have learned that following the ways of the Lord will be sweet, pure, and rewarded. And yes, it it sin that separates us from our Lord who loves us so.
Now we come to a most beautiful prayer in verse 14:
"May the words of my mouth and the meditation of my heart be pleasing in your sight, O Lord, my Rock and my Redeemer."
Ponder the meaning of those words in your life.