O that my ways were directed to keep Your statutes!
(James Smith, "Gleams of Grace" 1860)
"You have commanded us to keep Your precepts diligently. O that my ways were directed to keep Your statutes!" Psalm 119:4, 5
THE COMMAND. "You have commanded us to keep Your precepts diligently."
God's precepts are to be kept — we should keep them . . .
in our minds and memories, and
in our practice and daily behavior.
They are to be kept diligently . . .
as our rule of conduct,
as our guide in all of life.
They are to be kept with sincerity, promptness, and careful attention.
We should keep them as the command of God — of God who is our Father, the source and giver of all good things.
We should keep them too, as those who must give an account.
THE DEVOUT ASPIRATION. "O that my ways were directed to keep Your statutes!" This aspiration expresses a love to the precepts, and an approval of them. It intimates that there are hindrances or difficulties in the way of keeping them . . .
the world hinders,
the flesh hinders.
This aspiration is a recognition of our weakness — and a desire for Divine strength. Divine influence is necessary to enable us to keep God's statutes. He who gives the precept — must give the wisdom and the strength, necessary to observe it. He who requires obedience — is ready to give us ability to render it. Let us then take every precept to His throne of grace, and with a hearty desire to do all that God commands, just because he commands it, and with a view to His glory; and cry out from the depths of the soul, "O that my ways were directed to keep Your statutes!"
Beloved, if we perform duty in a right spirit, it will soon become our delight. It will . . .
bring us near to God,
keep us dependent on Jesus, and
lead us into close fellowship with the Holy Spirit.
It will preserve us from a thousand snares — and introduce us to a thousand unknown, and unexpected joys!
Gracious Lord, direct us daily, that we may keep your precepts diligently!