Open your Bible to Psalm 119:17-24 as we continue with the next octave or eight verses. The Hebrew word that sets the tone for this section is ga’mol. It’s a great word because it’s meaning is reward and God’s goodness. He rewards those who seek Him (Heb. 11:6) and enjoys doing good for us (Luke 12:32). The opening line is a request to experience God’s goodness in a big way. He acknowledges being a servant of God and the desire to live the higher life, kingdom living, as he practices what he preaches. What a qualifier. If we want good things from God we need to look at ourselves and be honest: do we walk the talk? Actions do speak louder than words.
Let all that I am praise the LORD; may I never forget the good things he does for me. (Psalms 103:2 NLT)
The next verse is another request, a desire for God to give clarity, seeing His wonderful teachings. His ways bring wholeness, joy, and peace: the higher life. That means that you forgive, obey His instructions, and spend time getting to know Him.
The LORD is good to those who depend on him, to those who search for him. (Lamentations 3:25 NLT)
The Psalmist knows that life on earth is temporary (vs. 19-20), we’re just passing through, so to speak. Our eternal home is with God, in heaven for a time and then back on this renewed earth with Jesus. His request is for God to reveal his individual mission. Commandments, the word used here, are not the Ten Commandments, they are God’s commission or charge for us: our purpose on earth. He’s overwhelmed with desire to understand God’s righteous ways and complete that mission.
The LORD is good and does what is right; he shows the proper path to those who go astray. (Psalms 25:8 NLT)
We are reminded in verses 21-23 that we have enemies that won’t understand our desire to please God; it’s foolishness to them. We may experience mockery, scorn, or contempt but our eyes stay on the prize: God’s goodness. How do we fight those spiritual battles of depression, rejection, or fear? Our strategy is simple: meditate on His Word every day. His statutes or decrees are what we’re supposed to do, how we should act, and what we should say in stressful situations.
The LORD is good, a strong refuge when trouble comes. He is close to those who trust in him. (Nahum 1:7 NLT)
God’s Word is our instruction manual and it should us bring us delight. When we’re unsure of what to say or do we find the answers in His Word. That’s the kind of therapy you can count on and it’s free. His Word is designed to counsel you: don’t miss the appointment.
O LORD, do good to those who are good, whose hearts are in tune with you. (Psalms 125:4 NLT)