Teach me, O LORD, the way of your statutes;
and I will keep it to the end.
Psalm 119:33 English Standard Version
Perhaps you are thinking, in all these verses, there is so much repetition. It seems he is constantly asking to be taught: at verse 7 “when I learn”; verse 12 “teach me”; “open my eyes” verse 18; “teach me your statutes” verse 26. This is a theme that will flow through-out the 176 verses of this Psalm. Why?
Our hearts are prone to wander. We know the good we should do and run the other way.
Our God is the LORD—He keeps His covenant commitment to us forever faithful. He tenderly watches over us and directs us in His love. Those who hate Him complain that His rules are restrictive.
The way of the LORD’s statutes are critical so that our lives model holy living for those around us. We must be told again and again the ways to keep it so that those who look to us will see the faithful, compassionate kindness of God.
We need the repetition. Our hearts are stubborn in their sinfulness. Our will is in a contest against our commitment to the Living God. The psalmist knows this and wants to be submitted to the LORD, the One Who keeps His promises. He welcomes the repetition—that the goodness of the way of God will drown out the bad intentions and waywardness of his heart. How often have we, as parents said “If I have told you once, I have told you a thousand times”? We know how much we need to repeat what is important so that our children follow in the right steps. The psalmist, a child of God, welcomes the thousand-fold repetition, knowing by this instruction he will keep the way of the LORD.
God of Mercy Who has given us life in Jesus Christ—we thank You for the teaching of Your Word. We thank You for the way of Your salvation. Forgive us. We know how we are prone to wander from Your statutes and commands. Lead us, by Your Word and Spirit, in the way everlasting. Thank You, God our Father, for Your tender-hearted goodness to us. Thank You, God our Teacher, that in Your Word we have rare and beautiful treasures. Amen.