The hymn writer wrote, “I know not what awaits me, God kindly veils my eyes”. This is a thought that we may have as we start each day. God has kept from us knowledge of the hours to come, and in consequence we cannot know in advance how we shall react to the various experiences that we shall meet. Concerning the righteous, verse 31 of our psalm says, “The law of his God is in his heart; none of his steps shall slide”. The word “steps” reminds us that our progress day by day is a step at a time, not a series of large leaps and jumps, by which we clear the obstacles. And David is convinced that the righteous man can walk steadfastly and confidently because “the law of his God is in his heart”. Note: in the heart, not the head.
There is a contrast in the psalm between the wicked and the righteous; the difference exists because of differing attitudes to the Word of God. Verses 9-21 make it very clear that there is a rebellion against God. His will is being flouted: “they were disobedient, and rebelled against thee, and cast thy law behind their backs”, Neh. 9. 26. How can the righteous live day by day in such a polluted atmosphere?
Psalm 119. 18 gives us a suitable prayer with which to start the unknown day: “Open thou mine eyes, that I may behold wondrous things out of thy law”, and it is well to note in verse 19 why this is so, “I am a stranger in the earth”. With the Word in our hearts, and in dependence upon the Holy Spirit to bring it to our minds, we may go safely on our way.
Later in Psalm 119. 54 the writer speaks of his pilgrimage and affirms that as he has been on his journey homeward, “thy statutes have been my songs”. Clearly his mind had been occupied with the things of God. He met enemies in his pathway, but, undefeated, he pressed on, because the Word of his God was with him—in his heart.
In Ephesians 6. 10-17, where the apostle sees a malignant enemy and conflict in the life of the righteous man, he urges that the believer should take “the sword of the Spirit, which is the word of God”, v. 17, that is, the appropriate word given by God for that moment. And where does it come from? It is brought by the Holy Spirit out of the Word that has been hidden within the heart.
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