Walking Upon God’s Well-Trodden Path (Meditation on Psalm 119:15-16)

Psalm 119:9-16 The Message

9-16 How can a young person live a clean life?
    By carefully reading the map of your Word.
I’m single-minded in pursuit of you;
    don’t let me miss the road signs you’ve posted.
I’ve banked your promises in the vault of my heart
    so I won’t sin myself bankrupt.
Be blessed, God;
    train me in your ways of wise living.
I’ll transfer to my lips
    all the counsel that comes from your mouth;
I delight far more in what you tell me about living
    than in gathering a pile of riches.
I ponder every morsel of wisdom from you,
    I attentively watch how you’ve done it.
I relish everything you’ve told me of life,
    I won’t forget a word of it.

The Word of God for the Children of God. Gloria! In Excelsis Deo! Alleluia! Amen.

Have you ever had to walk a distance in the deep cold of winter or in the hottest hot of the summer months? It is a discipline to keep doing either one or even both depending upon the seasons where-ever you choose to call your home. I knew that if I had to discipline on learning how to do that – day in and day out – for the sake of I familiarity, I always tried to remember to take the same path.

It is easiest to walk a path that has been heavily tread, one in which the snow has already been compacted or the dried hard ground is hard, tamped down.

The Psalmist writes that he will fix his eyes on God’s ways. The word “ways” is translated from orach, referring to a well-trodden path. This is a path walked by many and clearly visible; having been taken many times before, the outcome is predictable. Author God makes His ways clearly known to us through scripture, including the quality of outcome for those who choose His well-trodden path.

Think about the flattened snow path: you don’t have to lift your legs as high to walk, and you don’t sink down into the powder with every step. Walking upon dry and compressed, well-trodden paths worn down over time, will take you to your destination, using less energy. Such is the discipline of “meditating” upon the Word of God for the Children of God. God has already done the hard work for you – He gave us His Word, fulfilled the law. His is the path you want to be on.

The phrase “fix my eyes” comes from the root word nabatmeaning to look intently at something, regarding it with pleasure, favor, or care. The Psalmist is determined to fix his eyes on the well-trodden path that God has provided for him. Just as a horse might wear blinders to keep it focused on the path ahead with no peripheral distraction, we should be looking so intently at God’s way, regarding it with so much favor and pleasure, that the cares of the world would disappear from our peripheral. Let our hearts and our souls, let our eyes be so utterly GOD fixed that no distraction could pull us off of the well-trodden path.

How can we keep our gaze affixed on God’s ways? First, the Psalmist states that he will mediate on God’s precepts. Meditate is translated from the word siyach and means to ponder or converse with oneself. Scripture calls us to meditate on the word day and night (Joshua 1:8, Psalm 1:2). The Psalmist’s daily goal (as ours ought, should be) is to fill his thoughts with scripture, with things above (Colossians 3:2), and with all that is good (Philippians 4:8).

Second, the Psalmist determines to 100% delight in God’s statutes. Delight is translated from sha’a’, which means to be fond of, or pleased with. We must renew our minds (Romans 12:2) and not to think of scripture as only a list of rules that we must strictly adhere to and follow. Instead, we can delight in the freedom of God’s way – the freedom to sin no more and the freedom to do what is right. His commandments are not burdensome (John 8:1-11, 1 John 5:3).

Lastly, the Psalmist declares that he will not forget God’s word. Forget can also be translated as “mislay” (as in misplacing your car keys) or “obliviousness due to lack of attention.”

When it is time to act, when there is a decision to be made, and even as day to day routines are being lived out, we do not want to be blatantly oblivious to God’s ways because we have each neglected (given no attention to) His word.

We want the sword of the Spirit, which is the word of God (Ephesians 6:17), ready at our side at all times. When it’s go-time we do not want to be searching for God’s word like misplaced car keys. We want it at the forefront of our mind and on the tip of our tongue. How can we obey the word if we do not know it?

How can we know God’s plan, intentions and purpose if we know not His Word?

“Do all the good you can,
By all the means you can,
In all the ways you can,
In all the places you can,
At all the times you can,
To all the people you can,
As long as ever you can.”

― John Wesley

Let us be equipped for every good work (2 Timothy 3:17).

Today I encourage you start disciplining yourself into beginning a new daily habit. That to daily examine whether you are on God’s well-trodden path or if you are trying to forge your own path through the snow or over the sunbaked ground, whether you are expending needless energy or learning stewardship of the Word of God. Either way, you can choose to follow the Psalmist’s example:

Day and night, fix your eyes on God’s way, study, mediate and pray on and over and above, through His word, delight in His word, and do not forget His word.

Why is quality meditation so important?  Joshua 1:8 tells us why: This book of the law shall not depart from your mouth, but you shall meditate on it day and night, so that you may be careful to do according to all that is written in it; for then you will make your way prosperous, and then you will have success. (NASB)

Our Christian responsibility and duty to each other? To ponder and meditate on God’s word for by it we become obedient to Him. We cannot hope to succeed without carefully doing all that is written in the Bible.  Now this does not mean that if we do not meditate on God’s word like this that we are somehow not saved, but I cannot stress enough how much fuller our lives will be if we give ourselves quality time to ponder what God is saying to us through His word.

Psalm 119:9-16 New American Standard Bible

Beth

How can a young man keep his way pure?
By keeping it according to Your word.
10 With all my heart I have sought You;
Do not let me wander from Your commandments.
11 I have treasured Your word in my heart,
So that I may not sin against You.
12 Blessed are You, Lord;
Teach me Your statutes.
13 With my lips I have told of
All the ordinances of Your mouth.
14 I have rejoiced in the way of Your testimonies,
[a]As much as in all riches.
15 I will meditate on Your precepts
And [b]regard Your ways.
16 I shall [c]delight in Your statutes;
I will not forget Your word.

The Word of God for the Children of God. Gloria! In Excelsis Deo! Alleluia! Amen.

In the name of God, the Father and God the Son and God the Holy Spirit,

Let us pray,

Jesus, Giver of peace, I so easily get distracted when I’m trying to focus and hear your Holy Spirit. Help me quiet my mind in the middle of my busy life. Help me to pause and to make space to listen to the most important voice of all. God, empower me to be a more disciplined listener to the gentle whispers of your Spirit. Help me follow the example of Jesus, who would slip away in the evening or the early morning to be alone with you. Teach me to abide in you. Amen.

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Author: Thomas E Meyer Jr

Formerly Homeless Sinner Now, Child of God, Saved by Grace.

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