“You are good and do good;
teach me your statutes.” Psalm 119.68
This verse opens with a poignant proclamation of truth about God. He is good. Goodness is God’s essential nature, and good works flow out of that. God is good, and he does good. The psalmist offers the purest praise of God in this statement, as he simply affirms essential truth about God.
He also draws contrast between God and himself, for he begs (again) that the Lord would teach him. The poet knows, as we saw in the previous verse, that he has strayed; he has sinned; he has wandered from doing good. The psalmist needs, as we all need, the Lord to teach him and enable him to do good. Unlike God, goodness does not flow naturally out of us. We need God to instruct us in this, and God has instructed us in Scripture.
May we follow the psalmist’s example here. Let us praise the Lord for his abundant goodness—in character and deed. Also, let us pray that the Lord would grant us understanding of his precepts, that we might walk in light of his goodness.
When you pray and offer praise, how often do you extol the goodness of God? In what ways do you recognize your need to be instructed by the Lord, to be taught his precepts? How are you seeking him for greater understanding?
Eternal God, the only one that is eternally and truly good, we praise you for your goodness. We praise you for the ways you have displayed your goodness to us. Teach us to walk in your statutes, O Lord, to the praise of your good name. Amen.