to obey is better than sacrifice / obedience is better than sacrifice
July 25, 2019 – Thursday
Psalm 119:65-72 NIV
65 Do good to Your servant according to Your word, Lord.
66 Teach me knowledge and good judgment, for I trust Your commands.
67 Before I was afflicted I went astray, but now I obey Your word.
68 You are good, and what You do is good; teach me Your decrees.
69 Though the arrogant have smeared me with lies, I keep Your precepts with all my heart.
70 Their hearts are callous and unfeeling, but I delight in Your law.
71 It was good for me to be afflicted so that I might learn Your decrees.
72 The law from Your mouth is more precious to me than thousands of pieces of silver and gold.
Every verse in our stanza today, Thursday, begins with the ninth letter of the Hebrew alphabet, ט Teth, which represents the number nine. Want to know how the is to be drawn, look at this short youtube video. Even though it is the first letter in the Hebrew word good, teth is the least occurring letter in the Hebrew alphabet. More background on tet made be found here where it is said to hide goodness among other things.
Looking at our eight verses for today, the first verse (65) really jumped out at me. Why? Because David is not asking for anything outside of God’s word. He is only asking Do good to Your servant according to Your word, Lord. Not asking for riches, health, power, or happiness, but simply what good he might receive according to God’s word. This strikes me as so different from so many prayers that are lifted up these days and points us in the direction our prayers should go.
The second verse (66) follows the thought of the first when David asks to be taught knowledge and good judgment by God because he trusts in His commands. Note that David does not simply ask for knowledge, but also for good judgment or the ability to apply knowledge wisely. We all know people with plenty of knowledge, but they lack common sense of good judgment when it comes time to apply their knowledge. David does not want that to happen to him.
Sometimes we learn by experience instead of applying our knowledge or the lessons of those with experience. That is the message of the next two verses (67-68) where David was afflicted and went astray. He learned some painful lessons, but now he follows God’s word and wants to be taught more because God is good, and what You do is good.
The next three verses (69-71) drive this point home when David first observes even when being attacked with lies, he will keep God’s precepts front and center with all his heart. While others go about their evil activities, he will delight in God’s law. David even sees good in his trials as it was during those trials he learned to apply God’s decrees.
As a result when David comes to the last verse (72) it should be no surprise to us when he states The law from Your mouth is more precious to me than thousands of pieces of silver and gold. Again we have great guidance from David that we should desire to know God’s laws (and judgment in application of this knowledge) more, much more, than gold and silver.
So what are we praying for when we pray?
(to obey is better than sacrifice / obedience is better than sacrifice)