Your decrees are the theme of my song wherever I lodge.At the beginning of this zayin stanza, I framed its theme like this:
In the night, Lord, I remember your name, that I may keep your law.
How does a person after God's own heart respond to wicked people who make a mockery of God's law and cause troubles and suffering for God's people?Verses 54 & 55 echo Psalm 37's answer to that question. The key to properly responding to the wickedness we see in the world (and sometimes in the church) is to always remain grounded in the Word. Only by putting down deep roots can the believer avoid being swept up in the 21st century tide of extreme division.
Much of what David wrote in Psalm 37 describes the spiritual disciplines that will keep us grounded.
- 37:3 dwell in the land and enjoy safe pasture: Spend so much time with God during your quiet times that, even when you're in the midst of the chaos of the world, you will be internally dwelling in His safe pasture
- 37:4 take delight in the Lord: Get to know the Lord through quality time in the Word and in prayer, praising Him for who He is, so that your heart delights in his companionship, rather than delighting in wickedness or delighting in wicked responses to wickedness (such as hatred, mocking, and politics)
- 37:5 commit your way to the Lord: Meditate on the Word and make concrete plans to live out what you're reading in your daily life, to avoid falling into habits driven by the world
- 37:7 be still before the Lord and wait patiently for Him: Spend time in stillness and solitude, learning to wait patiently for His guidance, rather than impatiently trying to control your world by other means
I could go on and on in Psalm 37 - and you should, too. David's response to wickedness is to put down roots in the Word, rather than giving in to your knee jerk responses.
David echoes that here in Psalm 119. Wherever he is, he worships God and praises His decrees. And every night he refreshes his mind with memories of God's name (who He is and what He stands for) so that he refreshes his commitment to keeping the law.
Keeping your focus when the world around you is getting crazy begins with intentionally and habitually renewing your focus on God and on incorporating His word into your life.