What a sweet song. There are so many "one -liners" that are incredibly rich for my soul. I sure hope I get the opportunity to study some of the broader themes. As it is I will attempt to bring one of the "one-liners" to light in this post.
"Direct me in the paths of Your commands, for there I find delight.
Turn my heart toward Your statutes and not toward selfish gain.
Turn my eyes away from worthless things; preserve my life according to Your word."
Psalm 119: 35-37
"There are worthless things this I know for the Bible tells me so." That should have been a line in a song in children's Sunday school class. And there must be something about the way that these worthless things look for he asks God to turn his eyes away from these things.
Amazing! He asks God to turn his eyes from these things! God is his hope for his eyes!
Working backwards now to verse 36: There is selfish gain to be had. Who could not affirm this? O how the mantra of our day is "Gain, gain, gain. Consume, consume, consume."
And again the psalmist shows his and our only hope is God. "[You, God] turn my heart to Your statutes." It is there in His word that we hear of "treasures in heaven" and "an inheritane that can never perish, spoil, or fade." In other words not worthless things. And we hear "Worthy is the Lamb" whose "precious blood" bought us. Jesus is the epitome of selflessness, and He is infinitely full of worth.
Now to verse 35: Aha, the turning of the eyes from eye-appealing worthless things, and the turning of the heart from the surface-level success of selfish gain does not leave one unsatisfied! It does not leave one unfulfilled! It does not leave one discontent! It does not bring us to monotonous, empty obedience! "Direct me in the paths of Your commands, for there I find delight." The delight that seems to be in worthless things is at best a mirage. The satisfaction from selfish gain always leads to misery. It is in the paths of the commands of God where delight is found:
"You have made known to me the path of life; You fill me with joy in Your presence, with eternal pleasures at Your right hand." Psalm 16:11
"Blessed is the man who does not walk in the counsel of the wicked...But his delight is in the law of the Lord." Psalm 1:1a-2
"I rejoice in following Your statutes as one rejoices in great riches...I delight in Your decrees." Psalm 119:14-16a
"Open my eyes that I may see the wonderfull things in Your law." Psalm 119:18
"I run in the path of Your commands for You have set my heart free!" Psalm 119:32
"If Your law had not been my delight, I would have perished in my affliction." Psalm 119:92
"Oh, how I love Your law!" Psalm 119:97a
"How sweet are Your words to my taste, sweeter than honey to my mouth!" Psalm 119:103
I pray it may be all that is precious to us in such a way that all our other desires bring fame to Christ's gospel, and in on the same note that all of the rubbish that deceitfully attractive would lose its luster.
"Turn your eyes upon Jesus,
Look full in His wonderful face,
And the things of earth will grow strangely dim,
In the light of His glory and grace."