The idea here is that the psalmist was afflicted by his opponents – his persecutors. And actually becomes thankful for this affliction in the long run. That’s not a typical response for us, is it? Thankful for persecution? It turns out that this is where we learn life lessons.
65 Do good to your servant
according to your word, Lord.
66 Teach me knowledge and good judgment,
for I trust your commands.
67 Before I was afflicted I went astray,
but now I obey your word.
68 You are good, and what you do is good;
teach me your decrees.
69 Though the arrogant have smeared me with lies,
I keep your precepts with all my heart.
70 Their hearts are callous and unfeeling,
but I delight in your law.
71 It was good for me to be afflicted
so that I might learn your decrees.
72 The law from your mouth is more precious to me
than thousands of pieces of silver and gold.
It was good for me to be afflicted so that I might learn your decrees…
When we are under affliction, we often learn the precepts of God, don’t we? We are reminded of his commands and his instruction. These are the ‘life lessons’ which suddenly become clear when we have gone our own way for a while and we return to where God is.
He didn’t move, did he? He is still in the same place and he still has the right way for us to walk in his light. We finally realize that we might have been too focused on our own way or the idols of the world. And God is teaching us the right way when we let him…
It is in these moments of clarity that we say with the psalmist, “The law from your mouth is more precious to me than thousands of pieces of silver and gold.” It’s gold when we have the clarity. It’s chasing the wind when we are down our own paths.
Where are you? In affliction and you haven’t figured out why or what you’re learning? Press in and ask God to reveal the principles you are supposed to be learning. Our teacher is there – ask him to teach.