You are my portion, O Lord; I have said that I would keep Your words. I entreated Your favor with my whole heart; be merciful to me according to Your word. I thought about my ways, and turned my feet to Your testimonies. I made haste, and did not delay to keep Your commandments. The cords of the wicked have bound me, but I have not forgotten Your law. At midnight I will rise to give thanks to You because of Your righteous judgments. I am a companion of all who fear You and of those who keep Your precepts. The earth, O Lord, is full of Your mercy; teach me Your statutes. (Psalm 119:57-64)
I Will Keep Your Words
The affirmation of the psalmist to God is clear: You are mine. There is no hesitation and no wavering of thought. The spirit of the child of God is devoted to the affirmation and confirmation of the word of the Lord in his soul. Reading the psalms, one finds a wealth of devotion unparalleled in scripture. These are not timid hearts trying to decide whether they are committed to the Lord God or not but people that have fully put their trust in the word of God. They have made a promise they will keep the word of the Lord with their whole heart. Every fiber of their being longs to know the statutes, commandments, and instructions of the Divine. When the author begins this section of his lengthy declaration of God’s word, he confesses to God that He is his portion and inheritance.
Dedicated people are committed people. It is not easy to dissuade hearts wholly committed to the Lord because they have the word embedded deep in their souls. Life has many turns and ups and downs with challenges abounding. What makes the heart of the child of God secure is the knowledge they have of the word. This is not a good-feeling-religion of mediocrity. Pondering life brought the heart to follow the laws of God, His will, commandments, precepts, and testimonies. There is an urgency to keep the word of the Lord as he seeks the mercy of God. Sin is not something to be trifled with, and the immediacy of knowing the word protects the heart from temptation. The wiles of the devil are ever-present, but the man secured in the word of God is like an anchor fastened to a rock.
The psalmist declares to the Lord that he promises to keep His words. This commitment must come through tedious hours of study and examination of the word. The significant part of his declaring allegiance to the Lord is his willingness to know the word. It is impossible to keep the word of God if a man does not know the word. Keeping the commandments of God necessitates the knowledge of those commandments. He promises not to forget the law of God rising at midnight to thank the Lord for His word. Imagine waking in the middle of the night to tell the Lord, “Thank you.” That is how much the word meant to this man.
Because of the righteous judgments of the Lord found in the word and discovered in the life of the man, there is much to be thankful for and give praise to God. Evil abounds in the world, but the heart of the child of God safely trusts in the word of God. The association of fellow believers is fortified by their desire to obey the commands of God. Finding people of like precious faith enjoins the hearts of the faithful to one another. The loyal heart has committed itself to the word of the Lord and to be a companion to all those who fear the Lord God. His final desire is to know the statutes of the Lord and to understand the decrees of God.
The need of every Christian is to have the heart of the psalmist. There must be a dedicated spirit to know the word of God. It must be the most important part of life to understand God’s will for a man’s life. Life is filled with evil and the temptation of the devil. Without a firm knowledge of the word of God, the soul will lose the battle, and Satan will gain the victory. Knowledge is power because it gives the heart the ability to fight off the wiles of the devil. There must be a firm resolve to know all that can be known in a lifetime of the word of God. A thousand years will not exhaust the knowledge of God, but a life filled with the precepts of the Lord will find peace, safety, hope, and promise of eternal life. Keep the word of God.