I shall keep Your statutes; do not forsake me utterly!
The psalmist is making a very bold commitment. The word keep means literally to guard and to conform one’s life to. The psalmist consistently makes it clear that he is not satisfied with knowing the truth. His desire is to live his life exactly as God intends.
The second part of this verse is an acknowledgement that the psalmist is desperate for God to make this possible. He recognizes that if God was to abandon him, he would have no hope of keeping the statutes. His obedience is completely dependent on God’s continued work in his life.
“This verse is a strong resolution, a sincere confession, and an urgent plea. The resolution: “I am resolved to obey God’s decrees.” The confession: “I cannot obey God’s decrees unless God enables me do it.” The plea: “Therefore, do not forsake me, O my God.” The psalmist does not think God might somehow abandon him in the matter of his salvation. He was as aware as we should be that God’s calling is unalterable. God has said, “Never will I leave you; never will I forsake you” (Heb. 13:5; cf. Deut. 31:6). What he is asking is for God to stick by him in his determination to live according to God’s Law.”1 Boice, J. M. (2005). Psalms 107–150: An Expositional Commentary (p. 975). Grand Rapids, MI: Baker Books.
This same principle is also emphasized by the apostle Paul.
So then, my beloved, just as you have always obeyed, not as in my presence only, but now much more in my absence, work out your salvation with fear and trembling; for it is God who is at work in you, both to will and to work for His good pleasure.
As believers, it should be our commitment to live out our faith with all diligence. The Christian life is one of great discipline and determination. Keep in mind that our obedience is not an effort to earn our salvation. It is to live in light of our salvation with a desire to please our Savior. We also understand that our only hope to please God is made possible by God’s ongoing work in our lives. There is never a time to pat ourselves on the back. A true understanding of God’s work in the believer’s life should result in the perpetual worship of God.