69 Though the arrogant have smeared me with lies,
I keep your precepts with all my heart. David has a great deal of experience with this statement. As a young man in Saul’s court, I’m sure he experienced it with men who, in an attempt to suck up to Saul, would trash his character, and then as king he experienced it from his own sons when they rebelled. Arrogant people will always attack a leader with the premise that they can do it better, and instead of coming alongside to help the leader, they talk trash about them and try to tear what they’re doing down. What is David’s reply to them? His statement is “I keep your precepts with all HIS heart” What is God’s precepts: He is my defender. David states it often in Psalms: God is his defender, his protector (Ps 143:12; Judges 5:31). In the New Testament, Christ goes further and says: “Love your enemies” (Matt 5:43-44, Luke 6:27, 35). How do I/we as 21st century Christians relate? The same way David did. Humbly go to God and keep his precepts.
70 Their hearts are callous and unfeeling,
but I delight in your law. You see it all the time around you. People living for themselves, you can almost see the hole they have in their hearts. You can hear the deadness in their words when they’re attacking someone, there’s a definite lack of feeling of genuine caring in their words. We see it in the rise of bullying in our schools, even in our church’s. Satan loves to tear down with words. He doesn’t need violence, he only needs us to open our mouths to destroy each other. David posits the better way. Delight in God’s law. Now, as Christians, we’re not under the law, but David’s not advocating the law. He’s advocating living according to God’s example. The law was written as a guide for the Jews. Genesis-Deuteronomy is filled with examples of God’s love for us. David is saying “I delight in YOU, God”. When as I Christian, I can say: “I delight in you God”, then I can live the opposite of the world. My heart is tender towards the weak and even the arrogant. When you come right down to it, the arrogant are just as weak as anyone else, probably more so since they’re acting out of fear and anger. I have to come to the point in my walk when I say, “Yes, Lord, I delight in everything about you”.
71 It was good for me to be afflicted
so that I might learn your decrees. David’s statement is one of hindsight. Coming through a sickness or trial, he’s giving thanks for what he’s learned from it. You have to love hindsight. If we stop and consider our life we can learn quite a bit of things. David is looking back on the lessons he’s learned and realizes just how he was able to grow from them. Let’s be honest, most people don’t learn from their mistakes or don’t take the time once they’ve come out of a trial and say, what can I learn from this. In fact, a lot of people get mired in the waste of regret and bitterness. David’s example is: What can I learn from this, or what did I learn? That’s how we get wisdom and experience. To step back and say: “what am I learning, what was I taught?”
72 The law from your mouth is more precious to me
than thousands of pieces of silver and gold. That is a precious statement for David to make. God’s word is invaluable. I think that’s a stand alone statement, David’s words sum it all up. God’s word is more valuable than any amount of money.