“I understand more than the aged,
for I keep your precepts.” Psalm 119.100
Respect your elders! It’s one of the first precepts kids are taught—or at least, it should be. While it seems our culture is ever-abandoning respect for the aged, that’s not what the psalmist is doing here. The psalmist is not casting off the wisdom of his elders out of disrespect. In fact, he is using respect for the aged to give another example of the supremacy of biblical wisdom.
This is the third in a string of comparisons. First, he showed the supremacy of biblical wisdom in comparison to his enemies. Then, he compared the wisdom of God’s word to the finest earthly educators. Here, he takes his comparison even higher, comparing it with the wisdom of the aged. In essence, he shows that God’s word provides more wisdom than even the most esteemed in society.
Notice also, he elevates his discussion of the means by which he obtains biblical wisdom. He is was wiser than his enemies because he always had the word (98). He had greater understanding than his teachers because he meditated upon the word (99). In this verse, he focuses on living out, keeping, God’s word. Biblical wisdom, true biblical understanding, is not simply head knowledge. Wisdom is displayed in living according to God’s word.
How do the affections of your heart reflect an esteem of biblical truth? In what ways does the testimony of your life demonstrate true, biblical wisdom?
Heavenly Father, your ways are high and lofty, far above the ways of man. May we ever esteem your truth. Give us true understanding of your precepts, that we may walk in them—to your honor and glory. Amen.