NUN - Lifelong Faithfulness
(105) Your word is a lamp to my feet, and a light for my path. (106) I have sworn an oath and confirmed it to keep your righteous judgments. (107) I am exceedingly afflicted. Revive me, Yahweh, according to your word. (108) Accept, Yahweh, the freewill praise offerings of my mouth, and teach me you judgments. (109) life is continually in my hands. I will not forsake your law (Torah). (110) The wicked have set a trap for me, but I have not strayed from your precepts. (111) I possess your statutes as an inheritance forever, for they are the joy of my heart. (112) I incline my heart to keeping your decrees forevermore.
The first verse of this stanza may be the best known verse of the entire psalm. In view of the two uses of “evil paths” in the previous stanza (vss. 101 & 104), the psalmist characterizes God’s Word as that which illumines the path which the godly are to follow just as the Lord led the Israelites in the wilderness by a pillar of cloud by day and a pillar of fire by night (vs. 105). How appropriate that the psalmist responds to such guidance by vowing to follow Yahweh’s leading (vs. 106)!
In the remaining six verses, the psalmist explores how such a commitment sustains and enhances his life. Two words are repeated in the last two verses: “my heart” and “forever.” In each verse the psalmist uses these words together, the first speaking of his inner wellbeing (vs. 111) and the other of his faithfulness (vs. 112).
I. A commitment to follow the light of God’s Word... (105 & 106)
II. ...provides the basis for lifelong faithfulness:
- looking to Yahweh for spiritual revival. (107)
- overflowing with praise and having a teachable spirit. (108)
- never forgetting God’s Word in life’s difficult moments. (109)
- staying true to God’s Word despite opposition. (110)
- valuing God’s Word above all other possessions. (111)
- maintaining a lifelong discipline of obedience. (112)
A commitment to God’s Word provides the basis for lifelong faithfulness.
In wedding ceremonies, husbands and wives pledge themselves to each other with vows that in their traditional form are phrased something like this: “I, (name), take you, (name), to be my lawfully wedded husband/wife, and I do promise and covenant before God and these witnesses to be your loving and faithful husband/wife…so long as we both shall live.” Should believers ever consider making a similar commitment to God? The author of Psalm 119 swore an oath to obey God’s Word throughout his life (vs. 106). While some Christians do not sense the need to take such vows, others find great solace and benefit in doing so.
The Scriptures warn that we should never engage in making vows quickly or lightly. We should never enter into such a commitment unless we are prepared to keep it no matter what happens. Vows are not for the faint of heart, but then again, neither is life. Making a vow can become a great source of strength and stability in the midst of turmoil, much like a ship putting out an anchor to hold it fast during severe weather. It can be very helpful when a husband and a wife during the difficulties they inevitably face remember that they took vows to be faithful to one another no matter what the circumstances.
If we choose to pledge our love for the Lord with a vow, we might consider adding the following prayer: “God, you know that I am incapable of keeping this oath in my own strength. By the power of your Holy Spirit I know that you are able to help me fulfill my promise. In spite of my personal frailty, keep me true to my commitment.”