This morning, I decided to spend a bit of time in Psalm 119 and was greatly encouraged.
At first glance, I see these verses as pretty straight forward. My Christianese mind-set starts to take over and I glance over the words like they have no meaning whatsoever. Up until recently, I think I did this quite frequently with the Psalms as a whole.
Regretfully, I must admit that far too often I choose other areas of Scripture, thinking to myself, “Surely, my time could be better used in Proverbs, the Prophets or anywhere in the New Testament.” This was until our church’s Preaching Team decided to take on 6-Weeks of Psalms to bridge our completion of Colossians and the Christmas Season Series. It has been a blessing to have this book renewed in my life.
As I stated, initially these verses seem fairly straight forward. Perhaps, it’s because the lamp and path metaphors have been so commonly used within the church world? These concepts have been made into songs and other poetic writings, and do have great value. But what intrigued me this morning was the statement following this verse.
The Psalmist sees the Word of God as such a light and lamp, that he pledges an oath! Furthermore, he has “…taken an oath and confirmed it…” If we’re to get really honest, we’d have to face that in our culture today, an oath is unheard of! Sure we promise a lot, but an oath has basically been removed from our modern language.
We live in a world where we value commitment and integrity, but words have little meaning. Maybe not globally, but at least in Western society.
For example, if I state I’m going o be somewhere at a certain time, I just generally have to fulfill that commitment. If someone tells me they’re going to complete a certain task by a certain date, I almost assume that it’ll be later than promised. This might be fundamentally wrong, but a promise just isn’t a promise in this day and age; never mind an oath!
Now, if this is a cultural problem, I can’t help but to wonder whether or not it slips in to our spiritual life? How many times do I make promises to God, almost knowing that I’m not going to fulfill them. I hate it, but it’s true.
I do understand the concepts of grace and forgiveness, but I don’t want them to prevent me from ever making strong commitments or dare I say it, an oath. I can’t help but to wonder what place was the Psalmist in when he wrote this? What was he feeling to state his dedication to the Word with such specific commitment as “…taken an oath.”
Did he fulfill his oath? Regardless, I want to be in that place!
In what areas of your life would you be willing to take an oath?