“I hold back my feet from every evil way,
in order to keep your word.” Psalm 119.101
This section of Psalm 119 hails the discernment and wisdom to be found in the word of God. With this verse and the next, the psalmist shows the practical benefit of that discernment. Here, he states that benefit with a positive.
The wisdom he gets from the word allows him to hold back his feet, that is to guard his steps from following after evil ways. As believers in this fallen world, evil surrounds us. It lies in wait at every turn to pounce—to limit our experience of joy and damage our testimony. The only sure defense is found by God’s grace in his inspired word.
Keep in mind that this ability to hold back from evil comes after a string of verses where the poet spoke of having God’s word always with him (98), meditating on God’s truth (99), and obeying God’s precepts (100). This, friends is our best defense strategy, the only way to guard ourselves from the evil of the world.
How are you guarding your feet from turning to evil? In what ways do you keep God’s word with you, meditate upon it, and allow it to guide your life? What particular temptations do you face, and how are you addressing those temptations with biblical truth?
Lord, give us a greater love for you and your word, that we may walk in your ways. Guard our steps, dear Father, with your truth. Empower us to keep your word—for the sake of your great name. Amen.