Day 1

Happy Are Those Who Keep His Decrees

from the Psalm 119 reading plan


Psalm 119:1-16, Psalm 19:7-8, Exodus 20:1-17

BY Raechel Myers

I used to really love the law (Exodus 20:1–17). I remember enthusiastically singing the Ten-Commandments song “The Perfect Ten” at school and church with the confidence of a child whose Christian walk was just beginning.

Number one, we’ve just begun: God should be first in your life!
Number two’s the idol rule: those graven images aren’t nice.

I’d assure myself as I sang…

Number three: God’s name should be never spoken in jest.
Number four: the Sabbath’s for our worship and for rest.

So far, so good. Our family was known for nothing if not for our Sunday naps.

Number five: we all should strive to honor father and mother.
Number six: don’t get your kicks from killing one another.

Success!

Number seven: life is heaven when you’re true to your mate.
Number eight: don’t steal and break this rule for goodness’ sake!

Number seven was easy—I didn’t even have a mate!

Number nine: don’t be the kind who goes around telling lies.
Number ten: don’t covet when you see your neighbor’s house or wife!

I was doing so well. It had never occurred to me to covet my neighbor’s wife. In my mind I would sing that song with a full band playing behind me—like a victory song. I was delighting in God’s law because it was just so keepable! But as I grew to understand the law, I began to understand how difficult it was to follow.

I thank God that He brought me out of the age of check, check, check into the maturity of, If this is the measuring stick, I will never measure up. And even more, I’m thankful He didn’t leave me there with my checklist. When God mercifully, gradually granted me eyes to see how readily I broke His law by commission, omission, and flat-out rejection of Him, the big band musicians in my head began to slowly lower their instruments and solemnly take their seats. I wasn’t delighting in God’s law at all. I had been delighting in my “keeping” of His law.

But my delight hasn’t gone away; it has instead shifted and matured. Now, my soul finds rest in knowing that the law has been fulfilled by Christ on my behalf. Because of Jesus, the law no longer justifies or condemns us—it frees us and becomes our guide for thankful obedience to the One by whom we are justified.

Do you get that? If the law is our measuring stick, every one of us will be found unrighteous. But Jesus kept God’s law perfectly, imparting His righteousness to us so that when we are measured, we, too, will be counted as righteous—as perfect law-keepers!

Now, when I catch myself humming that childhood ten commandments tune (or teaching it to my children), I hear it differently. Not as a reminder of what I have to do, or even as a condemnation of what I can’t do. I hear it now as an assurance of what He has done, and as the kindest, clearest roadmap to the heart of the Father. He makes me righteous, and I delight in pleasing Him. “Oh that my ways may be steadfast in keeping [His] statutes!” (Psalm 119:5, ESV).

Lord, I love your law. “With my lips I declare all the rules of your mouth” (v.13, ESV).

Post Comments (146)

146 thoughts on "Happy Are Those Who Keep His Decrees"

  1. Di Perkins says:

    I’m so overwhelmed! I just have a hard time believing or how to believe. Thanks for the thoughts on this! I will mediate on it.

  2. Kimberly Teague says:

    “Not as a reminder of what I have to do, or even condemnation for what I can’t. I hear it now as assurance for what he has already done” ❤️❤️❤️ Yes! Thank you father that without you their would not even be this pursuit, but you call do me, drawing me in closer and closer. Help me to walk in your ways Father. Bless me with your steadfast love. You are so gracious. Mighty and gracious and worthy of never ending praise. ❤️

  3. Tshepiso Baeba says:

    Mighty God …am in awe of your Love , it cannot be contained, I immerse my spirit in your Love right now ..for I know that I’d be in the right mind to do right …even when I fall I KNOW Your Grace will pick me up.

  4. Tiffany Wiggins-Blackmon says:

    Thank you Lord for this reminder of your precepts. In the world we live in today we need your guidance and truth. I pray that we continue to walk in obedience and we do not waiver to the ways of the world. We will keep your laws and listen to your still small voice.

  5. Bru Soto says:

    Lord teach me your ways. And I thank you and praise you because you are a MERCIFUL Father who is full of love and full of GRACE. Help me to be gracious as well. Help me to show love and mercy to my Husband, my children, and the world surrounding me. Send me your Holy Spirit who gives me both the will and the power to do all these things. In the mighty name of Jesus I pray. Thank you again my God, my King! Amen.

  6. Patti Watson says:

    My heart is overwhelmed as I contemplate all that Jesus has done for me.

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