Why God’s Instructions Are Important

The Psalmist made it plain why we should follow God’s instructions. In Psalm 119, He mentioned his regard for God’s decrees, regulations, and commands over eighty times.

You have charged us to keep your commandments carefully. Oh, that my actions would consistently reflect your decrees! Psalms 119:4-5

This Psalm begins by describing three qualities of those living in obedience to God’s instructions.

  • Joyful are people of integrity, who follow God’s instructions.
  • Joyful are those who obey his laws and search for him with all their hearts.
  • They do not compromise with evil, and they walk only in his paths. Psalm 119:1-3

We usually don’t link rules and joy together, but God does. Many just put up with rules. Some even view God’s commands the same way. Let’s examine these three verses a little closer.

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The first one speaks about people who follow God’s instructions with integrity. That means you follow His instructions when no one but God sees you. That type of conduct generates joy.

The second one also generates joy when you go beyond following the rules. In other words, you don’t just want to obey Him; you want God to fill your heart so you can be like Him.

The third one knits the first two together. You consistently walk in God’s ways because of your integrity and obedience. When those qualities work together, you have no room for compromise. 

Our verse for today charges us to carefully obey God’s instructions. When the Psalmist said to obey Him carefully, we shouldn’t confuse that with shyly obeying God.

Oh, that my actions would consistently reflect your decrees! Then I will not be ashamed when I compare my life with your commands. Psalm 119:5-6

God's instructions

What Does Your Life Reflect?

What do you see when you look in the mirror? Obviously, you see a reflection of your physical being. That mirror reveals your clean or dirty face. It also shows you if your hair needs attention.

The Bible and God’s instructions serve as a spiritual mirror. How do you feel when you compare your actions with the Lord’s commands? Do you see your reflection with joy or with shame?

Let me throw out another question. How should we offer thanks to God? We can easily thank the Lord with our lips, which we should. The Psalmist, though, says we should show Him our thanks.

As I learn your righteous regulations, I will thank you by living as I should! Psalm 119:7

After all, we had just read in these first seven verses, one would think the writer had it all together. But in the next verse, he made a commitment to God followed by a plea.

I will obey your decrees. Please don’t give up on me! Psalm 119:8

As the Psalmist continually mentioned God’s decrees, commands, and instructions, he also made many commitments. We’ve already read that he will thank God, obey Him, and not be ashamed.

I Will . . .

He made quite a few more commitments throughout this entire Psalm. Let’s take a look at some of them.

  • I will study your commandments and reflect on your ways. Psalm 119:15
  • I will pursue your commands, for you expand my understanding. Psalm 119:32.
  • Teach me your decrees, O Lord; I will keep them to the end. Psalm 119:33
  • I will walk in freedom, for I have devoted myself to your commandments. 119:45
  • Though the wicked hide along the way to kill me, I will quietly keep my mind on your laws. Psalm 119:95
  • My life constantly hangs in the balance, but I will not stop obeying your instructions. Psalm 119:109
  • The wicked have set their traps for me, but I will not turn from your commandments. 119:110

We all make commitments to the Lord. And I’ll be the first to admit, at times, I forget some of the ones I’ve made. With his commitments, the Psalmist also threw in some reminders.

First, he reminded himself of a promise God made to him personally. In verse 65, he said, You have done many good things for me, Lord, just as you promised.”

Then, he reminded God of His promises. God doesn’t need us to remind Him of anything but likes it when we remember His promises to us.

Turn my eyes from worthless things, and give me life through your word. Reassure me of your promise, made to those who fear you. Remember your promise to me; it is my only hope. Psalm 119:37-38,49

Live Without Fearing The Law

Following God’s Instructions comes with Promises

Here are some of His promises. The Psalmist reminded God that He promised to give him His unfailing love and mercy. Through His unfailing love, God promised salvation and comfort.

The Lord also promised to restore and sustain the writer’s life. God also promised to rescue and protect the Psalmist. God extended all 15 promises written in this Psalm to each of us as well.

God does all these things to make it easier for us to follow His instructions. Jesus plainly told us that His words, i.e., God’s instructions, will never pass away.

Heaven and earth will disappear, but my words will never disappear. Mathew 24:35

The Value of God’s Instructions

Like me, you’ve probably heard that verse quoted dozens of times. But do we really understand the true value of them. The Psalmist certainly did.

Your instructions are more valuable to me than millions in gold and silver. Psalm 119:72

After reading the promises and commitments in this Psalm, how does your life compare with God’s commands? Living a life devoted to God is challenging but not impossible with His help.

Did the writer of this Psalm live a life fully devoted to the Lord? If David wrote it, we know he experienced challenges. Through it all, though, he kept himself reminded of God’s instructions.

So, no matter what challenges you face, don’t quit. Even if you fail in some of them, don’t let discouragement get you down. Let’s look at one more pick-me-up verse before we pray.

You made me; you created me. Now give me the sense to follow your commands. Psalm 119:73

Dear God, like the Psalmist, we will live a life of integrity as we obey your instructions. Thank you for the many promises you have made to us. Will you continually remind us of them?

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