Your word is a lamp for my feet, a light on my path. – Psa. 119:105 NIV
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The reference scripture for today’s devotional is the one hundred and fifth verse of the longest psalm in the bible which is Psalm one hundred and nineteen. The author of this psalm is slightly unclear but what is obvious about the psalm is its division into sections with each section having eight verses. With a total of one hundred and seventy-six verses, the number of sections in this psalm is expectedly twenty-two. The section of the psalm in reference in today’s devotional is the section named “Nun”, a word whose meaning in relation to this scripture is not too clear but the section reveals the life experience of the author. According to the author, he had suffered so much in life and was appealing to the Almighty God to help preserve his life – Psa. 119:107. Hmmm. Sounds like the experience of many today, Christians inclusive.
Many today are able to reference several cases in their lives that are not palatable and will best be described as suffering. The writer of today’s scripture like most people did an assessment of his life experiences and concluded that he indeed has been suffering. This is despite the fact that he had long taken a confirmed oath to follow God’s righteous laws by making His Word a lamp unto his feet and light for his path – Psa. 119:105-106. By this, he implied that he never stopped guiding his life activities with the instructions from the scriptures and does not have a plan not to do so in the future. He actually took an oath to that. Wow! So ensuring that one guides ones life activities with instructions from the Almighty God, as stated in the scriptures, is still not sufficient to isolate such from life’s negative experiences that can present a life of suffering.
Despite these experiences however;
1. He has no intention to stop praising God – Psa. 119:108a.
2. He is still willing to learn more about the Laws of the Almighty God – Psa. 119:108b.
3. Although he is aware that he is solely responsible for his life activities, he will always ensure that the Word of God remains the guide – Psa. 119:109. This is despite the fact that being faithful to the Word has not taken away those negative experiences.
4. Even with the wicked constantly setting traps for him, he does not have any intention to stop making the laws of God his guide – Psa. 119:110.
5. He considers the laws of the Lord as a heritage in which he is sure he will always find joy in – Psa. 119:111.
6. He is determined to continue to keep living in those laws for the rest of his life – Psa. 119:112.
So, although he is pleading for a relief of his suffering, non granting of his request will still not be sufficient to stop him from walking in the precepts of the Almighty God.
What a precedence and standard that the author of this scripture is setting for the Christian the highlights of which are as follows:
1. The praise of the Almighty God should not be dependent on life experiences of the person. The Christian must know that praise for the Almighty has nothing to do with all those human desires called prosperity. He must be praised in all situations as long as such a person has breathe – Psa. 150:6.
2. The fact that the Christian has modelled his/her life according to the laws of God is not and insurance against negative life experiences. There is a destiny to be fulfilled which may not necessarily align with all that earthly desires that is being used to determine comfort. He created us for Himself and for a purpose that will glorify his name – Psa. 100:3. To think that earthly desires will over turn His plan will be a life in deceit.
3. Negative life experiences for the one that has modelled his/her life after the Word of God is not sufficient to take a decision to stop living by those precepts. The Bible is full of examples of people whose life experience was basically because they chose to walk in his precepts and they still did not stop doing that even when their lives was threatened. Ranging from Jesus Christ, to the three Hebrews and Abraham to even all the disciples except John, and of course many others in the scriptures. It is called “loyalty to the Almighty God”. He expects the Christian to be loyal to Him in all situations – Matt. 10:22; 24:13. That is the only way that He can also reward appropriately. If he rewarded all those that remained loyal to Him in the past, then you cannot be an exception
The fact remains that the laws of God remain the best laws that man can use as a life guide and whoever takes a decision to walk in them should not judge their aptness from the occurrence of supposedly negative life experiences. They are negative because you chose to see them that way but the only way for the Christian to view life experiences is to see them from the perspective of God’s plans and desires. An experience that meets with the plan of the Almighty God can never be described as negative even though, going by the standard of man, it may seem so, but his ways are not the ways of men – Isa. 55:8-9.
The Christian is alive to live according to the Will of God and not the expectation of man or desires of the flesh. The Almighty God will always deserve praise in all situations whether they are humanly classified as positive or negative. He is not getting the praise because of what you got or did not get from Him. He is getting it because He earned and deserves it. May God put in us all, the spirit to praise him in all situations in Jesus name. Amen.