“Put false ways far from me
and graciously teach me your law!” Psalm 119.29
Without God’s intervention, we are without hope. This is true of every aspect of life. If it were not for God’s good providence, we would not take our next breath. In this verse, the psalmist takes that massive truth and applies it to sin. He please for the Lord’s intervention to help him put off sin and walk in righteousness.
He first expresses that desire in the negative, pleading with the Lord to intervene by taking false ways away from him. Jesus also taught us to pray in this way in the Sermon on the Mount (Matt. 6.13). Christians must eagerly pray for the Lord’s protection from sin and temptation.
Next, the psalmist expresses his desire in the positive sense, asking the Lord to graciously teach him the laws of Scripture. He longs to know and apply the righteous standards of God to his life. Thus, he completes a picture of faithful repentance. He wants the Lord to intervene in putting false ways from him and in teaching him divine precepts. We are dependent upon the Lord to grant us understanding of his law and to apply it to our lives day-to-day.
Examine your heart. How does your thinking align with the psalmist’s here? In what ways do your cry out to the Lord to put false ways far from you? How often do you call out to the Lord for understanding of his law?
Gracious God and King, lead us in the way of righteousness. Put sin and evil far from us. Protect us from temptation and deliver us from evil. Teach us your law, so that we might walk in it and glorify your name. Amen.