Friday, 25 September 2020
Title: The ways and the Word of God
By: Ps Cheng Cheung
Do you have a devout, fervent love for the Word of God? How precious is it to you?
33 Teach me, O LORD, the way of Your statutes,
And I shall keep it to the end.
34 Give me understanding, and I shall keep Your law;
Indeed, I shall observe it with my whole heart.
A desire is expressed here – to keep the ways of God and the Word of God. The writer is willing to keep God’s way to the end. But he also appeals for the clear manifestation of the meaning of the will of God. This is a request from one who truly wants to understand God’s heart and His ways. I would think only a God-changed heart can pray such a prayer. Left to himself, man is unable to keep the way and word of God. But here is God’s promise:
“And you will seek Me and find Me, when you search for Me with all your heart.” Jeremiah 29:13
The lyrics of this song express the sentiment well:
Change my heart oh God
Make it ever true
Change my heart oh God
May I be like You.
The thought then turns to matters of the heart again in verses 34 and 36, with a reference to covetousness in the latter verse. There must be a strong inclination in our human nature to covet, since ”you shall not covet” is one of the ten commandments. Inherent in the idea of covetousness is the irrepressible yearning for something which belongs to another.
The psalmist asks God to turn his heart toward God’s Word rather than allowing him to pursue selfish gain. Is he confessing a potentially divided pull in the wrong direction? Beware, brothers and sisters, the subtle urge to acquire your neighbour’s possession is subtle indeed. Covetousness has ruined many people:
• David committed adultery and murder because he coveted.
• Achan stole and brought Israel to defeat because he coveted.
• Judas stole from his fellow disciples and betrayed Jesus because he coveted.
• Ananias lied to the Holy Spirit because he coveted.
What does the Word say is the way of escape from covetousness? ”Turn away my eyes from looking at worthless things.”
These things are worthless because:
They are vanity objects.
They only give temporary satisfaction.
They help no one else.
They do not grow one’s faith, hope, or love.
They distract from things that are truly worthy.
They have no Kingdom value.
The more positive steps to defeat an inclination to covet would be to ask God to
37 ”revive me in Your way.
38 Establish Your word to Your servant,
Who is devoted to fearing You.”
And at the end of the section, the psalmist reaffirms his love for God’s Word again ”Behold, I long for Your precepts;”
May we ask God for contentment and not look enviously at others’ possessions. On the positive side, let us revive our hearts toward God’s ways and righteousness and reckon as dead those worthless things which used to pull at our heartstrings.
At the end of this section in verse 39, the psalmist is brutally honest and asks God to
”Turn away my reproach which I dread,”
”For Your judgments are good.”
In the place of “reproach”, other versions use the words, “disgrace and shame”.
The psalmist knows God is fair and merciful in His judgments, but on his part, he knows that despite being forgiven, he will experience dreaded disgrace and shame for his failings. He appeals to God to remove that because it is hard to bear. So it is with us. Our conscience may haunt us after we let God and ourselves down. It is only God who can heal us completely from such feelings of shame. And He will.
Prayer for Today
Thank You O God for Your Word. Thank You for the many saints through the centuries who worked hard to preserve Your Word and even gave their lives for it. Help me appreciate that it has been kept so that its timeless truth may be passed on.
Heavenly Father, give me a desire that I may be dull and dead in affections to worldly vanities. Give me a total love for Your Word so that I know it, and in doing so, understand You better. In Jesus’ Name, Amen.
这里表达了一个愿望— 遵守上帝的道路和上帝的话语。 作者愿意全然遵守上帝的道路。 但是他也恳请上帝的旨意能清楚地体现。 这是一个真正想了解上帝的心和他的道路的人的请求。 我认为只有被上帝改变的心才能这样地祈祷。 若靠自己，人无法遵守上帝的道路和他的话语。然而，这是神的应许：
诗人要求上帝将自己的心转向上帝的话语，而不是让他追求自私的利益。 他是否承认了一个朝错误方向并很可能分裂的拉力？弟兄姐妹们要当心，想获取邻居所拥有的欲望是不易被察觉的。 贪恋毁了许多人：
在这段的末尾， 诗人再次重申他爱上帝的话语：”看哪，我切慕你的训词，” 愿我们求上帝赐满足的心，不会嫉妒别人的财产。 让我们活在上帝的道路和公义中，并认定那些曾经束缚我们心肠的虚假之物是死的。
在本段末尾的第 39 节， 诗人也非常诚实地要求上帝“使我所怕的辱骂远离我， 因你的典章本为美。”（现代中文版）在其他版本中，“羞辱”代替了“辱骂”。诗人知道上帝的判断是公平和仁慈的，但就他而言，他知道，尽管已被原谅，他也会因为自己的失败而经历可怕的羞辱。他呼吁上帝除掉它，因为他很难忍受。我们也是这样。当我们让上帝和自己失望之后，我们的良知可能会困扰着我们。只有上帝才能治愈我们，使我们脱离这种羞耻感。他肯定会的。
上帝啊，谢谢你的话语。 谢谢你，许多圣徒在几个世纪以来努力持守你的话语，甚至为之而付出生命。 帮助我珍惜这一点，使永恒的真理能继续传承下去。天父，求你让我对世俗的虚荣漠不关心，置之不理。 让我全心全意爱你的话语，使我认识它，从而更认识你。 奉耶稣的名祷告，阿们。