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By , on September 6th, 2013

A Word-Ordered Life

The title of Psalm 119 could very well be called “The Word-Ordered Life of the Christian.” In verses 1-3 we see the blessedness of a Word-centered life. The Psalmist repeats for emphasis, “Blessed are the undefiled…Blessed are they that keep…[Blessed are they] that seek him.” Literally, that man is happy who walks according to the Word of God.  He is not happy according to the world’s standards, but finds his greatest happiness or blessedness in God, the highest Good. Where do you find your happiness?

Those who walk in such happiness are described as those who are perfect walkers in the law of the LORD, “Blessed are the undefiled.” They are also described as keepers of his testimonies. This implies that such a person’s life is so well-ordered by the Word of God that it is kept in his heart and mind and regulates his life constantly, restraining disobedience and promoting obedience. The final description of the truly happy man is that he is an undivided seeker, seeking the LORD with his whole heart. Perhaps you look at this portrait of the truly happy man and conclude that you are most miserable, falling far short of this perfection. Much like the blessed man in Psalm 1, this description seems so far out of reach, but do not fear, for this is a perfect Man in whom you can find each of these perfections. He is both perfect Man and righteous God in the Person of Jesus Christ. He is the One who has fulfilled all these things. In His active obedience, He presents us with Himself as the perfect One in whom we can be truly blessed through vital faith in Him.

There is great difficulty in living a Word-ordered life. In verse 4 of this Psalm we see the command of God to keep His precepts diligently, with great care, seeing that we don’t miss anything. That is difficult and contrary to our sinful human nature. Do you join the Psalmist sighing and crying out to God, “O that my ways were directed to keep thy statutes?” Here is the cry of one who recognizes his incapacity to keep the law diligently and yet sees his great need of Christ the perfect Man. The great goal of every person who cries this is to be free from shame when they have kept the commandments (vs. 6).  True perfection brings shamelessness, but who can attain this? In the midst of the difficulty of living a genuinely Word-ordered life we are brought again to Christ. He alone is the One who bore our shame so that we can stand shameless before the tribunal of God, justified and one day glorified, and now we are being sanctified, transformed from one level of glory to another! Though difficult on our part, nothing is too hard for the Lord and we can say, “I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me” (Phil. 4:13).

Despite the difficulty of living a Word-ordered life, the Psalmist ends with a godly resolve to praise the LORD for His salvation and the perfection imputed to him through Christ. In verse 7, he is determined to praise the LORD with uprightness of heart, when I shall have learned thy righteous judgments.” That praise begins now in this life, broken and interrupted by sin, but perfected in eternity, when our knowledge will be complete. The Psalmist is determined to keep the statutes of God and in order to do this he needs the presence of the LORD, “O forsake me not utterly.” Do you have this resolve to live a Word-ordered life in dependence upon Christ?

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