Bible Studies for Life
Gordon Cloud, senior pastor
First Baptist Church, Camilla
Imagine that you are about to take a trip in your car. You know what destination you want to reach, but you do not know how to get there. Instead of relying on GPS, a map, or even asking someone for directions, you try to “wing it.”
The chances of you getting to where you want to go are pretty slim with this approach. Some would even call this approach irresponsible.
If we think that this approach to travelling is irresponsible, why would we use the same philosophy when it comes to life? Most of us are aware that we need to have a goal of seeking after God, living by His commands, and avoiding sin. By giving us the Bible, God has presented us with the perfect guide through life.
Yet, so many times we ignore what it has to say. We choose, instead, to live by our own wisdom, or the wisdom of the world. Then we wonder why it is that we always seem to find ourselves on the wrong road in life.
The writer of Psalm 119 understood the value of God’s Word as a guideline for living. The longest chapter in the Bible, nearly every one of its verses contains a reference to the Word of God. There are numerous benefits of obedience to God’s commandments given. As we study these benefits, it should inspire us to whole-hearted commitment to God’s holy Word.
God’s Word guides our daily walk
In the first four verses of this psalm, we see two qualities that are derived from Scripture. One of these, in the first verse, is described as being “undefiled” in his ways. This is describing one who walks with integrity, something that is becoming very rare in our society. The other quality is found in verse three and states that the person who obeys the Bible will not do any iniquity. Living in obedience to God helps us overcome sin.
There are also two qualifications in these verses. These verses encourage us to seek God with our whole heart. I once heard Dr. Adrian Rogers preaching on the topic of seeking God. He made the statement that, “Some people can’t find God for the same reason a burglar can’t find a policeman.” Hebrews 11:6 tells us that we must seek God in a wholehearted manner in order to find Him.
God’s Word leads us to live unashamed
The writer of this psalm had come to the place where he craved the influence of God’s Word in his life. He understood the value of hungering and thirsting after the righteousness that it produced.
We can feel the desire the writer had to be unashamed before God. He understood that this standing came through being obedient to what God says. This principle was surely in the heart of the Apostle Paul when he wrote to Timothy and explained to him that those who were dedicated to understanding and obeying the scriptures would be unashamed before God.
The truth is no one wants to be ashamed for Christ to see them upon His return. To achieve this, we must live every day in the anticipation that He will come back that day. We must daily commit ourselves to the pursuit of God through obedience to Him.
God’s Word keeps us from sin
These three verses contain principles that we must understand. The first is that we are in need of cleansing. This is part of an attitude of repentance that leads us to seek the blessing of purity that comes from obedience to the Word.
The second is that we are prone to wander from God if we don’t have something to tether us to His ways. The Bible provides this leash that keeps us from wandering from Him.
The third principle is that we must hide God’s Word in our heart to provide a safeguard against sin. The truth is, we are rarely tempted to sin when reading scripture. But we often do not have the scriptures in hand when temptation arises. We combat these temptations by applying the Word that has been committed to our heart.
How does this apply to our lives? We must commit ourselves to the pursuit of God through His Word. As God reveals His truth to us, we must then submit ourselves in obedience to what God has shown us. As we continue to do this, we will grow in both knowledge and obedience to our Lord.