1 Those whose way is blameless who walk in the LORD’s Instruction—are truly happy! 2 Those who guard God’s laws are truly happy! They seek God with all their hearts. 3 They don’t even do anything wrong! They walk in God’s ways. 4 God, you have ordered that your decrees should be kept most carefully. 5 How I wish my ways were strong when it comes to keeping your statutes! 6 Then I wouldn’t be ashamed when I examine all your commandments. 7 I will give thanks to you with a heart that does right as I learn your righteous rules. 8 I will keep your statutes. Please don’t leave me all alone! 9 How can young people keep their paths pure? By guarding them according to what you’ve said. 10 I have sought you with all my heart. Don’t let me stray from any of your commandments! 11 I keep your word close, in my heart, so that I won’t sin against you. 12 You, LORD, are to be blessed! Teach me your statutes. 13 I will declare out loud all the rules you have spoken. 14 I rejoice in the content of your laws as if I were rejoicing over great wealth. 15 I will think about your precepts and examine all your paths. 16 I will delight in your statutes; I will not forget what you have said. 17 Be good to your servant so I can go on living and keeping your word. 18 Open my eyes so I can examine the wonders of your Instruction! 19 I’m an immigrant in the land. Don’t hide your commandments from me! 20 I’m worn out by longing every minute for your rules! 21 You rebuke the arrogant, accursed people who stray from your commandments. 22 Take all their insults and contempt away from me because I’ve kept your laws! 23 Even if rulers gather and scheme against me, your servant will contemplate your statutes! 24 Yes, your laws are my joy they are my most trusted advisors! 25 My life is stuck in the dirt. Now make me live again according to your promise! 26 I confessed my ways and you answered me. Now teach me your statutes! 27 Help me understand what your precepts are about so I can contemplate your wondrous works! 28 My spirit sags because of grief. Now raise me up according to your promise! 29 Remove all false ways from me; show mercy to me by means of your Instruction. 30 I’ve chosen the way of faithfulness; I’m set on your rules. 31 I’m holding tight to your laws, LORD. Please don’t let me be put to shame. 32 I run the same path as your commandments because you give my heart insight. 33 LORD, teach me what your statutes are about, and I will guard every part of them. 34 Help me understand so I can guard your Instruction and keep it with all my heart. 35 Lead me on the trail of your commandments because that is what I want. 36 Turn my heart to your laws, not to greedy gain. 37 Turn my eyes away from looking at worthless things. Make me live by your way. 38 Confirm your promise to your servant the promise that is for all those who honor you. 39 Remove the insults that I dread because your rules are good. 40 Look how I desire your precepts! Make me live by your righteousness. 41 LORD, let your faithful love come to me let your salvation come to me according to your promise 42 so I can have a response for those who mock me because I have trusted in your word! 43 Please don’t take your true word out of my mouth, because I have waited for your rules. 44 I will always keep your Instruction, always and forever! 45 I will walk around in wide-open spaces, because I have pursued your precepts. 46 I will talk about your laws before rulers with no shame whatsoever. 47 I will rejoice in your commandments because I love them. 48 I will lift up my hands to your commandments because I love them, and I will contemplate all your statutes. 49 Remember your promise to your servant, for which you made me wait. 50 My comfort during my suffering is this: your word gives me new life. 51 The arrogant make fun of me to no end, but I haven’t deviated from your Instruction. 52 When I remember your ancient rules, I’m comforted, LORD. 53 But I’m seized with anger because of the wicked because of those who abandon your Instruction. 54 Your statutes have been my songs of praise wherever I lived as an immigrant. 55 LORD, I remember your name at nighttime, and I keep your Instruction. 56 This has been my practice because I guard your precepts. 57 The LORD is my possession. I promise to do what you have said. 58 I’ve sought your favor with all my heart; have mercy on me according to your word. 59 I’ve considered my ways and turned my feet back to your laws. 60 I hurry to keep your commandments I never put it off! 61 Though the wicked have surrounded me with their ropes, I haven’t forgotten your Instruction. 62 I get up in the middle of the night to give thanks to you because of your righteous rules. 63 I’m a friend to everyone who honors you and to all who keep your precepts. 64 LORD, the world is full of your faithful love! Teach me your statutes! 65 You have treated your servant well, LORD, according to your promise. 66 Teach me knowledge and good judgment because I’ve put my trust in your commandments. 67 Before I suffered, I took the wrong way, but now I do what you say. 68 You are good and you do good. Teach me your statutes! 69 The arrogant cover me with their lies, but I guard your precepts with all my heart. 70 Their hearts are unfeeling, like blubber, but I rejoice in your Instruction. 71 My suffering was good for me, because through it I learned your statutes. 72 The Instruction you’ve given to me is better than thousands of pieces of gold and silver! 73 Your hands have made me and set me in place. Help me understand so I can learn your commandments. 74 Then those who honor you will see me and be glad because I have waited for your promise. 75 LORD, I know that your rules are right and that you rightly made me suffer. 76 Please let your faithful love comfort me, according to what you’ve said to your servant. 77 Let your compassion come to me so I can live again, because your Instruction is my joy! 78 But let the arrogant be ashamed because they oppressed me with lies meanwhile, I will be contemplating your precepts! 79 Let the people who honor you come back to me; let those who know your precepts return to me. 80 Let my heart be blameless in your statutes so that I am not put to shame. 81 My whole being yearns for your saving help! I wait for your promise. 82 My eyes are worn out looking for your word. “When will you comfort me?” I ask, 83 because I’ve become like a bottle dried up by smoke, though I haven’t forgotten your statutes. 84 How much more time does your servant have? When will you bring my oppressors to justice? 85 The arrogant have dug pits for me those people who act against your Instruction. 86 All your commandments are true, but people harass me for no reason. Help me! 87 They’ve almost wiped me off the face of the earth! Meanwhile, I haven’t abandoned your precepts! 88 Make me live again according to your faithful love so I can keep the law you’ve given! 89 Your word, LORD, stands firm in heaven forever! 90 Your faithfulness extends from one generation to the next! You set the earth firmly in place, and it is still there. 91 Your rules endure to this day because everything serves you. 92 If your Instruction hadn’t been my delight, I would have died because of my suffering. 93 I will never forget your precepts because through them you gave me life again. 94 I’m yours—save me because I’ve pursued your precepts! 95 The wicked wait for me, wanting to kill me, but I’m studying your laws. 96 I’ve seen that everything, no matter how perfect, has a limit, but your commandment is boundless. 97 I love your Instruction! I think about it constantly. 98 Your commandment makes me wiser than my enemies because it is always with me. 99 I have greater insight than all my teachers because I contemplate your laws. 100 I have more understanding than the elders because I guard your precepts. 101 I haven’t set my feet on any evil path so I can make sure to keep your word. 102 I haven’t deviated from any of your rules because you are the one who has taught me. 103 Your word is so pleasing to my taste buds it’s sweeter than honey in my mouth! 104 I’m studying your precepts that’s why I hate every false path. 105 Your word is a lamp before my feet and a light for my journey. 106 I have sworn, and I fully mean it: I will keep your righteous rules. 107 I have been suffering so much LORD, make me live again according to your promise. 108 Please, LORD, accept my spontaneous gifts of praise. Teach me your rules! 109 Though my life is constantly in danger, I won’t forget your Instruction. 110 Though the wicked have set a trap for me, I won’t stray from your precepts. 111 Your laws are my possession forever because they are my heart’s joy. 112 I have decided to keep your statutes forever, every last one. 113 I hate fickle people, but I love your Instruction. 114 You are my shelter and my shield I wait for your promise. 115 Get away from me, you evildoers; I want to guard my God’s commandments! 116 Sustain me according to your word so I can live! Don’t let me be put to shame because of hope. 117 Support me so I can be saved and so I can focus constantly on your statutes. 118 You discard everyone who strays from your statutes because they are dishonest and false. 119 You dispose of all the wicked people on earth like waste that’s why I love your laws. 120 My body shudders because I fear you; I’m in awe of your rules. 121 I’ve done what is just and right. Don’t just hand me over to my oppressors. 122 Guarantee good things for your servant. Please don’t let the arrogant oppress me. 123 My eyes are worn out looking for your saving help looking for your word that will set things right. 124 Act toward your servant according to your faithful love. Teach me your statutes! 125 I’m your servant! Help me understand so I can know your laws. 126 It is time for the LORD to do something! Your Instruction has been broken. 127 But I love your commandments more than gold, even more than pure gold. 128 That’s why I walk straight by every single one of your precepts. That’s why I hate every false path. 129 Your laws are wonderful! That’s why I guard them. 130 Access to your words gives light, giving simple folk understanding. 131 I open my mouth up wide, panting, because I long for your commandments. 132 Come back to me and have mercy on me; that’s only right for those who love your name. 133 Keep my steps steady by your word; don’t let any sin rule me. 134 Redeem me from the people who oppress me so I can keep your precepts. 135 Shine your face on your servant, and teach me your statutes. 136 Rivers of tears stream from my eyes because your Instruction isn’t being kept. 137 LORD, you are righteous, and your rules are right. 138 The laws you commanded are righteous, completely trustworthy. 139 Anger consumes me because my enemies have forgotten what you’ve said. 140 Your word has been tried and tested; your servant loves your word! 141 I’m insignificant and unpopular, but I don’t forget your precepts. 142 Your righteousness lasts forever! Your Instruction is true! 143 Stress and strain have caught up with me, but your commandments are my joy! 144 Your laws are righteous forever. Help me understand so I can live! 145 I cry out with all my heart: “LORD, answer me so I can guard your statutes!” 146 I cry out to you, “Save me so I can keep your laws!” 147 I meet the predawn light and cry for help. I wait for your promise. 148 My eyes encounter each hour of the night as I think about your word. 149 Listen to my voice, according to your faithful love. LORD, make me live again, according to your justice. 150 The people who love to plot wicked schemes are nearby, but they are so far from your Instruction! 151 But you, LORD, are nearby too, and all your commandments are true. 152 Long ago I learned from your laws that you had established them forever. 153 Look at my suffering and deliver me because I haven’t forgotten your Instruction. 154 Argue my case and redeem me. Make me live again by your word. 155 Salvation is far from the wicked because they haven’t pursued your statutes. 156 You have so much compassion, LORD make me live again, according to your rules. 157 My oppressors and enemies are many, but I haven’t turned away from your laws. 158 I look on the faithless, and I am disgusted because they haven’t kept your word. 159 Look at how much I love your precepts. Make me live again, LORD, according to your faithful love! 160 The first thing to know about your word is that it is true and that all your righteous rules last forever. 161 Rulers oppress me without cause, but my heart honors what you’ve said. 162 I’m overjoyed at your word, like someone who finds great treasure. 163 I hate, I absolutely despise, what is false, but I’m in love with your Instruction. 164 I praise you seven times a day for your righteous rules. 165 The people who love your Instruction enjoy peace—and lots of it. There’s no stumbling for them! 166 LORD, I wait for your saving help. I do what you’ve commanded. 167 I keep your laws; I love them so much! 168 I keep your precepts and your laws because all my ways are seen by you. 169 Let my cry reach you, LORD; help me understand according to what you’ve said. 170 Let my request for grace come before you; deliver me according to your promise! 171 Let my lips overflow with praise because you’ve taught me your statutes. 172 Let my tongue declare your word, because all your commandments are righteous. 173 Let your power help me because I have chosen your precepts. 174 LORD, I long for your saving help! Your Instruction is my joy! 175 Let me live again so I can praise you! Let your rules help me! 176 I’ve wandered off like a sheep, lost. Find your servant because I haven’t forgotten your commandments!
Most of us can recall a teacher or mentor who profoundly shaped how we understand ourselves and the world. I often think with gratitude about my high-school English teacher. Most teachers used ballpoint pens to comment on student work, and many used blue ink as a signal of gentleness and...
You know the material, O God, and you know the student. You know us better than we know ourselves. Reveal the truth we need to know, and speak to us in the way that we need to hear. Amen.
This week we continue to explore the importance of Christian morality. We do not earn God’s grace by our actions; rather, our obedience is a response to God’s grace. In Deuteronomy, we read that the choice of life will bring prosperity and is the proper response from a heart of gratitude. The psalmist echoes this sentiment, for blessed are those who follow the Lord not just with words but also with actions. The Corinthians have not understood this, so they continue to act like those in the world around them, living by the flesh instead of by the Spirit. Jesus pushes us even further. God sees not only what we do on the outside but who we are on the inside. A true life of obedience begins on the inside and flows outward.
Read Deuteronomy 30:15-20. When have you experienced the choice God sets before us of life or death, prosperity or adversity, blessings or curses? How have you discerned how to obey God?
Read Psalm 119:1-8. How does following God’s commandments bring you joy?
Read 1 Corinthians 3:1-9. What affiliations of yours or of people you know could you insert in place of “Paul” or “Apollos” in the scripture?
Read Matthew 5:21-37. When have you experienced legalistic interpretations of scripture? How do you get to the heart of scripture?
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