101 I have restrained my feet from every evil way,
That I may keep Your word. Restraint. That’s the key word for a Christian. There is so much that tugs at our attention to distract from the Path of Christ, excess that attracts and is “fun” for a season. The life of a Christian is one of restraint and self-discipline. That is what David is talking about. Our natural man would follow the path of least resistance into, well, the King James writers would call it “dissipation”, in modern english, it would be just plain sin. David is saying that he restrains himself from that path so that he may truly follow God’s word. I and II Samuel, however, is very honest in the telling of David’s life. There were times he strayed and went down the path of least resistance, however, with God, there is always grace with consequences. A second chance, however, He doesn’t withhold the judgement for our indiscretions. This is probably why David is writing this. To encourage the reader to follow his example to restrain from sin and follow God’s word, so that we may live with a clear conscious and a right relationship with God.
102 I have not turned aside from Your ordinances,
For You Yourself have taught me. God is our master Teacher. He was for David. I can imagine David sitting in the pasture with his sheep and meditating on a piece of scripture that he had heard or read and allowing God to speak to him in the silence. When he says, I have not turned aside from His Ordinances, David is making a statement that should resonate with me. That I am obeying, it ties in with the above verse. With restraint comes a following down the path of righteousness. That is what I must do, that is what any Christian must do. To not just read the Bible, but sit and meditate on it and allow God to be their teacher. My favorite moments are when I’m alone and I’m allowing God to speak into my life, shutting up and spending time with HIM. Too often, in my devotional time I think I’ve spent it more out of a sense of duty: “Read the Bible (check), take a note (check), say a prayer/do a lot of talking to God about what I want/need (Check)…ok, time for the next thing” I don’t think I actually meditate and think on what God is trying to tell me. I know I have a hard time listening. There is no trick or magic way to listen to God. It’s like any relationship, at least 50% of it should be listening to the other person and actually hearing what they say; not just us talking and saying we’re listening only so that we can adequately respond. How do I listen to God. I’d say it’s complicated, but it’s not. How do I listen to a non-physical being that is eternal, everlasting, and ever-present? I shut up and read the Bible, or worship, or just plain shut up and allow God to speak. Try it some time. I dare you.