“I have restrained my feet from every evil way, that I may keep Your word” [Psalm 119.101 NASB]
Previously, David had drawn a line of theological distinction between himself and the elders who were continually in his presence when he proclaimed, "I understand more than the aged, because I have observed Your precepts." [Psalm 119.100].
In three of the previous four verses, David mentioned what he had received from God's word - that is, wisdom, understanding and insight - and how they had made a dramatic and permanent difference to his life.
I personally find David's statements in these verses startling, to say the least. Today, when we meet for food and fellowship with other believers, we often discuss what God is doing in our midst as well as the problems we are facing.
However, have you ever heard any Christian make a similar statement to David's in your company? In our day we seem to have appropriated and adapted a different vocabulary, which sometimes can have more than one meaning depending on who is listening.
What are the basic differences, if any, between David's spiritual behaviour and the church of the present day? There seems to me to be three decisions which David made, and which marked him out as radically different from his contemporaries, elders and teachers.
What are they and can we imitate them? David had an incredible desire for God, which wasn't restricted or tempered by what time of the day or night it was or what was currently happening. As king, David could have had satisfaction and any pleasure he wanted. However, his constant delight was in God's word; and to bring this longing and craving to a satisfactory fulfilment he had chosen to depart from every evil path.
God's wisdom, understanding and insight are the inheritance of the committed and the sanctified. The remainder of the people are left with the words and thoughts of men.
When the Lord started His earthly ministry, the people recognized and commented upon the considerable difference His words made, when compared with the other teachers.
Are you with the committed or the conformists? [David McArdle]