You have ordained Your precepts, that we should keep them diligently.
Contemplate the fact that the God of the universe, your Creator, has provided you with written instructions. He has carefully preserved these instructions for your benefit. They deal with all aspects of life on this earth, and even explain what is yet to come. Incorporated in these documents are very clear instructions on how you are to live. They are not given in the form of recommendations; they are commands. But they are not commands given by an angry despot. These are commands, or precepts, that come from a loving God who has our best interests in mind.
The psalmist understood the value of these precepts. They are words from the living God that provide the necessary guidance so that we know how to live our lives. God has graciously given them to us so that we will “keep them diligently.” The idea is that we will guard them, watch over them, and invest the greatest effort in obeying them.
“God’s precepts require careful obedience: there is no keeping them by accident. Some give to God a careless service, a sort of hit or miss obedience, but the Lord has not commanded such service, nor will he accept it. His law demands the love of all our heart, soul, mind, and strength; and a careless religion has none of these.”[mfn] Spurgeon, C. H. (n.d.). The Treasury of David: Psalm 111-119 (Vol. 5, p. 143). London; Edinburgh; New York: Marshall Brothers.[/mfn]
“God will not be put off with anything, but served with the greatest diligence and exactness, ‘to keep thy precepts diligently.’ The Septuagint renders it, ‘That thy commands should be kept exceeding much.’”[mfn] Manton, Thomas, An Exposition of Psalm 119 (Sermon V). West Linn, OR: Monergism Books[/mfn]
“It is a course enjoined and imposed upon us by our sovereign law giver. It is not our choice, as if it were an indifferent thing whether we will walk in the laws of God or not, but of absolute necessity, unless we renounce the authority of God.”[mfn] Thomas Manton[/mfn]
“To command is God’s part, and to obey that is ours, whatever shall be declared to be His will and pleasure.”[mfn] Thomas Manton[/mfn]
Friends, keep in mind that there is a casual Christianity that is not Christianity at all. It is a superficial, pseudo-relationship with the Lord that expects God to accommodate our schedules and preferences. It is God on my terms and does not seriously consider what it means to be a biblical Christian.
The psalmist reminds us that a true Christian is very serious about God’s Word. God is the highest priority in their life, therefore the Word of God is the highest priority in their life. The evidence of such priorities is demonstrated in their desire to both know the precepts of God and to keep them with all diligence. This is a 24 hour a day, 7 day a week commitment. It is the passion and delight of the Christian life.
Consider your relationship to God and to His Word.
- When considering your life, what is the priority of God’s Word?
- When you spend time in God’s Word, is it with the determination to diligently obey all that you learn?