Midweek Message 14 February 2024

Thank you to Richard B for this message.

Psalm 119

The Way of The Wise 3

Good morning!

Our final part of the of The Way of the Wise finds us in Psalm 119. Let’s read some of the first few verses together….

Blessed are those whose ways are blameless, who walk according to the law of the Lord.
Blessed are those who keep his statutes and seek him with all their heart—
they do no wrong but follow his ways.
You have laid down precepts that are to be fully obeyed.
Oh, that my ways were steadfast in obeying your decrees!
Then I would not be put to shame when I consider all your commands.
I will praise you with an upright heart as I learn your righteous laws.
I will obey your decrees; do not utterly forsake me.

The Psalmist is thinking about a way of life that we are calling “the Way of the Wise”. He has noted the following about this blessed way of living:

Their ways are blameless – they walk according to the law of the Lord. They keep his laws. They seek the Lord. They do no wrong. They follow the Lord’s ways. He also concludes that these ways are to be obeyed.

What our writer then does is to compare The Way of the Wise with himself. In verse 5, he looks at himself and as he considers the Way of the Wise he realises the gap. Read verse 5 again and say it for yourself. It’s a cry from the heart, isn’t it. In the film about the US President, Richard Nixon, he wistfully looks at a painting of the photogenic, suave John F Kennedy and said quietly: “people look at him and look at what they could be; they look at me and realise what they are,”

Well, the wise look at themselves and realise what they are. But they don’t leave it there. That would be utter misery. In a pit from which it is impossible to climb out of. The wise realise that the one whose precepts are to be obeyed is the very one who will save us from ourselves.

What is the result of the saviour saving us? Verse 7 says praise. And that as we continue to praise and worship the Lord in our life we continue to learn the way of the wise. And as we continue to obey we find ourselves more in need of God himself – as the Psalmist’s heart yearns: do not utterly forsake me (verse 8).

A few years ago we were down in Polzeath with my Uncle Martin and Auntie Libby and as Uncle Martin prayed he said: “Lord, without you we would be utterly bereft.” Uncle Martin realised how awful life would be without the Lord.

The proud go their own way but the way of the wise is to know their need – their need of God himself.

I am struck by the words in verse 8: “I will obey your decrees; do not utterly forsake me.” So today maybe commit those words to memory and let the Lord speak to you about them.