to obey is better than sacrifice / obedience is better than sacrifice
July 15, 2019 – Monday
1 Blessed are those whose ways are blameless, who walk according to the law of the Lord.
2 Blessed are those who keep His statutes and seek Him with all their heart—
3 they do no wrong but follow His ways.
4 You have laid down precepts that are to be fully obeyed.
5 Oh, that my ways were steadfast in obeying Your decrees!
6 Then I would not be put to shame when I consider all Your commands.
7 I will praise You with an upright heart as I learn Your righteous laws.
8 I will obey Your decrees; do not utterly forsake me.
Made a decision over the weekend to cover each of the 22 stanzas in this Psalm to explore what Charles Spurgeon called the main ocean of the Psalms where the others are as mere lakes. So we will cover every letter of the Hebrew alphabet and see what we can ascertain from each letter’s associated stanza. Let’s begin with today’s stanza the opening introductory stanza for the entire Psalm, The Longest Psalm.
The first two verses begin with the word Blessed and who is blessed? Those who are blameless, walk according to the law of the Lord, keep His statutes, and seek Him. How do they seek Him? With all their hearts! It is because of this we read in the third verse they do no wrong because they are following His ways.
The fourth and fifth verses tell us God’s precepts are to be fully obeyed and further we should desire to be steadfast in obeying His decrees. The sixth verse, if that were possible, if that were to be true Then I would not be put to shame when I consider all Your commands. So there is this great desire to be faithful to all of God’s commands.
The last two verses begin with I will, but in two quite different directions. The first is one of praise while speaking to learning all of Your righteous laws. The second a statement of obedience to God’s decrees, but also a call for mercy do not utterly forsake me implying there will be failures. There would be no forsaking if there were no failures, no mistakes, but the writer knows there will be failures and mistakes, so he calls upon God’s mercy.
Jesus answered when asked about the greatest commandment in the law:
“‘Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind.’ This is the first and greatest commandment. And the second is like it: ‘Love your neighbor as yourself.’ All the Law and the Prophets hang on these two commandments.”
He gave not one commandment, but two and stated clearly All the Law and the Prophets hang on these two commandments effectively giving us two commandments to live by though He would give others as well.
If you should want more information on the first letter of the Hebrew alphabet check out this article on Aleph, the First Hebrew Letter, Contains Depths of Godly Implications. It’s Monday, have a great week and think on Jesus’ words.
(to obey is better than sacrifice / obedience is better than sacrifice)