Psalm 119 – Lawbreaking and the Right Path


The psalmist sees God’s law is being broken… that ticks him off and us too.  Remember, though, we are all law breakers.  There is too much looking down the law breaking nose at those who would break more laws than us.  Show me the way, Lord, to the right path…

121 I have done what is righteous and just;
do not leave me to my oppressors.
122 Ensure your servant’s well-being;
do not let the arrogant oppress me.
123 My eyes fail, looking for your salvation,
looking for your righteous promise.
124 Deal with your servant according to your love
and teach me your decrees.
125 I am your servant; give me discernment
that I may understand your statutes.
126 It is time for you to act, Lord;
your law is being broken.
127 Because I love your commands
more than gold, more than pure gold,
128 and because I consider all your precepts right,
I hate every wrong path.
Psalm 119:121-128

This part of Psalm 119 is a prayer of protection for the one who has been on the right path.  Our psalmist ‘hates’ every wrong path.  Ya, me too.  Except I continually choose to go down wrong paths. 

Paul would echo the idea in Romans 7 that we do what we don’t want to do and what we want to do we don’t do.

We can hate the wrong path, yet we are still inherently sneaking a few steps down it here and there.  It’s almost like the wrong path overlaps the right path.  As if they intertwine as they traverse the land of life.  And when they intersect, we choose.

In some ways I hope the psalmist’s prayer does not come true – if I am acting as a law breaker when the Lord ‘acts’ as the psalmist prays that he will, will I be caught up in the clean up?

He notices that God’s law is being broken… that ticks him off.  It ticks us off too.  Just remember that we are all law breakers.  There is too much looking down the law breaking nose at those who would break more laws than us.

Rather, grab ahold of his plea for teaching and discernment to understand the ways of God.  Understand and follow God’s way – hate every wrong path you can hate – yet don’t think that you are immune or above.  We all fall short of the glory of God (Romans 3:23)

Lord, show me where I have stepped onto the wrong path.
Me, not my neighbour.
Lord, teach me the discernment I need to stay close to you.
I long to walk with you.

Amen.

Marc Kinna

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