Those who love your instructions have great peace and do not stumble. Psalm 119:165
Bubble suits. I’ve been told a time or two that I could benefit from the purchase of one (yes, they’re available online – gimme one with sparkles!). You see, I’m what they call “gracefully-impaired”, more so than the average tripping up steps, choking on spit and stubbing toes. I’m talking daily injuries like one-footed-trashcan-skating through the laundry room to the kitchen, landing in a split. Can you relate?
Maybe not, but pain travels many paths, such as relationships (friends, family, co-workers) or loss (finances, freedom, health). Whatever the course, the cure remains the same, “I rejoice in your word like one who discovers a great treasure. I will praise you seven times a day because all your regulations are just. Those who love your instructions have great peace and do not stumble.” Psalm 119:162,164-165
It’s interesting to note that in this longest chapter of the Bible eight different words are used to describe scripture and are mentioned in practically every verse (171 out of 176!). Let’s look at three, used above, as defined by Blue Letter Bible:
Word (“imrah”) proceeding from God’s mouth – commanded or promised by God.
Regulations (“mispat”) to judge – concerning our words and works.
Instructions (“torah”) law and revelation – as taught and directed by God.
Now, attach these definitions to the word treasure, here meaning “spoil or plunder from battle”. The Bible is filled with golden nuggets of truth and precious pearls of wisdom. Whether these are claimed through study or found in stumbling, spiritual riches reflect honor in victory and produce gratification from gain. But the enemy knows we can’t treasure the word if we’re not in it; distraction is one of Satan’s best tactics for tarnishing testimonies and hobbling hope. So, instead, we gripe about government, part over politics and busy ourselves with temporal thrills, all the while allowing pain and the pursuit of pleasure keep us from the One we really need. As C.S. Lewis so accurately put it, “We are half-hearted creatures, fooling about…”
Notice peace is promised to those who love, not keep, God’s instructions. That’s because no one could keep the law perfectly. But God, through Jesus – the Living Word – fulfilled the law. He is our joy and life! He won’t shut down in a pandemic. He doesn’t sleep or go on vacation. He can’t be foreclosed or repossessed. He’s never out of stock or discontinued. His refreshing love flows freely, forever. Guaranteed. Thanks to Jesus, there’s one less online purchase for me; that bubble suit everyone’s talking about – it’s praise! This garment covers pain of every size including physical, mental, emotional and spiritual. When I walk in it, peace encompasses.
I find Proverbs 24:16 to be a fitting life verse: The godly may trip seven times, but they will get up again… How will they get up? Proverbs 119:164 explains, “Praise seven times”. That means many times. Over and over. Indefinitely. This isn’t just applicable for the gracefully-impaired, like myself, but for all. As Spurgeon posed, “Do we praise God seven times a day? Do we praise him once in seven days?” Even amidst the bumps and bruises of trashcan-skating, your slide can become a glide. A life of daily prayer and reading God’s Word, sandwiched between reflective praise, protects our stumbling and cushions the falls. Step with me now, out of cyberspace and into your bubble suit. It’s time to walk!