I took a little break the beginning of the year it seems. I was dealing with a chest and head cold the first week of the year so I didn’t really post anything. I did read through the chapter once or twice, but I didn’t really dig deep into it. I was also a little busy last week also. A very good friend of mine got married last weekend, so I was out-of-town from the 6-10th and now here we are on the 15th, man, time has flown by.
99 I have more insight than all my teachers,
for I meditate on your statutes. David’s statement, at face value, could sound very arrogant and conceited if you just read the first half of this verse. Does that statement mean he thinks he’s smarter than the men that have taught him? That he believes he has surpassed all of his teachers? I don’t think that’s what he’s saying. I’ve looked at this verse in at least 10 different translations, and even consulted Matthew Henry’s commentary on Psalms 119;99. Henry, in a nutshell, states that David received his education from God, that he did not have formal education as a young man until he was brought into Saul’s court late in his teen years. As a young child, he would have been taught the faith from his parents, the temple priests, and the random traveling prophet, as well as discussions with friends and brothers. When he says he has more insight, I believe he’s speaking of that education that he received. He has more insight, because he has been able to meditate on it and take ownership of his faith and beliefs. Isn’t that the goal of any student of the faith? To surpass his mentor, to take ownership of his/her own faith? We cannot simply just accept faith because it’s passed on to us, we have to “own” it, we have to believe it because we have dug into the meaning and context of not only the verse but of the faith as a whole. If we simply live off of the inherited faith of our mentors and family, and rely on saying a prayer, then you have to question whether or not you really do have faith. With true faith comes growth and a change in self, in life, and belief. This all comes from meditating on scripture. Not just reading it, but digging into it and trying to find the meaning and understand it in its full context. We can’t simply just read the Bible and put it down, we have to dig into it like an archeology project.
100 I have more understanding than the elders,
for I obey your precepts. He is restating his above statement, but with a different twist. Above he stated he had more insight because he meditated. Now he’s saying he has more understanding because he obeys. There’s a two-step process to reading the Bible. We meditate and take it into our heart and make it a part of our life, but the second step is usually the hardest part. That step is obedience. With David, obedience was a bit more….well, let’s say stringent. He was required to obey the law. As a Christian, I am not beholden to the law, but freed from it by grace. Romans 6:14-15 says: “14Sin will have no power over you, because you aren’t under Law but under grace.15 So what? Should we sin because we aren’t under Law but under grace? Absolutely not! 16 Don’t you know that if you offer yourselves to someone as obedient slaves, that you are slaves of the one whom you obey? That’s true whether you serve as slaves of sin, which leads to death, or as slaves of the kind of obedience that leads to righteousness. (CEB). ” While grace frees me from the law, it, however, means I am beholden to Christ, who is my saviour, my Father, and my Master. When we obey the word of God it takes us a step closer to maturity, to wisdom, to knowledge. It also brings humility, but also responsibility. But I’m getting ahead of myself. David’s encouragement to the reader in these two verses: Meditate and Obey.