(Kiln blog should come back to life this coming week; until then, here’s the next installment in our study of Psalm 119.)
Our psalmist celebrates the Path of Conscious Commitment. The first line in English translations is quite popular as a memory verse and in the lyrics of songs. This octet is a subtle extension of the previous, in that enlightenment calls for eager commitment.
Thus, the revelation of God shines down so that we can see our feet, symbolic of knowing where we stand, the foundation of all we do. It’s like sunlight shining on the path we take in carrying out the mission of our Master. The psalmist has made a solemn vow and will rise to it, keeping alive the witness of God on His created earth.
This world tries to squash us flat if we refuse to run with it, but he calls on God to revive him according to His own promises. Let’s communicate, Lord: Accept my praise offering in exchange for instruction in Your ways.
The phrase to take one’s life in hand refers to fearless combat, when life is so easily lost. Only a firm grip and commitment carries you through. Here the psalmist makes a pun, with the image that his life is in his hand, but he’s going to keep the Law in his other hand, with a promise to not set it casually aside and forget it. In this way he avoids the snares of wicked, for it’s through deviations from the path that we are caught outside the safety of God’s Word.
The record of revelation is our one true inheritance; we gladly lose our worldly possessions in favor of holding to the truth. Nothing else can bring such sense of power to the heart as an undiluted loyalty to God. We are born bent and disfigured, but if we bend ourselves in the direction of the moral character of God woven into Creation, it really won’t matter what earthly end comes upon us or when it comes. We can walk through the end to far better life on the other side.