Choices abound. We all have to make hundreds of decisions that determine the outcome of our lives. Whether major or minor, they all add up and shape our lives. Do we follow the way of God or follow our own way? We all need to evaluate the options and make up our minds. The more resolute our decisions, the easier they are to maintain. God has declared His ways and will help us walk the way of His Word. Our free-will choice to do as He says is always before us.
I have chosen the way of truth: thy judgments have I laid before me.
31 I have stuck unto thy testimonies: O LORD, put me not to shame.
32 I will run the way of thy commandments, when [for] thou shalt enlarge my heart.
What better way to choose than a way of truth. Because we know it is God’s Word, we know it is the truth, for He is true and righteous altogether (Psalms 19:9). Following the way of truth requires keeping God’s commandments. The psalmist says he has laid or set God’s judgments before him. When you choose the way of truth, you think it through and lay your plans out before you. Then you stick to them. That means continuing to choose and re-choose the right way as decisions need to be made. “Stuck” is the Hebrew word translated “cleave” in Genesis 2:24 where it describes a marriage commitment.
The workman of God’s Word has no need to be ashamed. When we choose the way of truth, lay it out before us, and stick to the plan, we will not be put to shame. Then we can run the way that has been laid before us. As we do so, God will enlarge our hearts. Just like when we run physically, we build our endurance and get better as we stay faithful and continue to run. We can build our conditioning spiritually as we run to do God’s Word. The more we run, the larger our hearts can get. We should condition ourselves and think about the long haul.
Then before the psalm closes, the psalmist repeats his declaration and asks for God’s help.
Let thine hand help me; for I have chosen thy precepts.
Perhaps the words of Moses and Joshua rang in the psalmist’s ears when he declared the way he had chosen.
See, I have set before thee this day life and good, and death and evil;
16 In that I command thee this day to love the LORD thy God, to walk in his ways, and to keep his commandments and his statutes and his judgments, that thou mayest live and multiply: and the LORD thy God shall bless thee in the land whither thou goest to possess it.
17 But if thine heart turn away, so that thou wilt not hear, but shalt be drawn away, and worship other gods, and serve them;
18 I denounce unto you this day, that ye shall surely perish, and that ye shall not prolong your days upon the land, whither thou passest over Jordan to go to possess it.
19 I call heaven and earth to record this day against you, that I have set before you life and death, blessing and cursing: therefore choose life, that both thou and thy seed may live: 20 That thou mayest love the LORD thy God, and that thou mayest obey his voice, and that thou mayest cleave unto him: for he is thy life, and the length of thy days: that thou mayest dwell in the land which the LORD sware unto thy fathers, to Abraham, to Isaac, and to Jacob, to give them.
Moses set God’s Word before them and commanded them to walk in His ways to keep His commandments. He challenged them to decide and implored them to choose life.
Joshua also repeated a similar challenge.
Now therefore fear the LORD, and serve him in sincerity and in truth: and put away the gods which your fathers served on the other side of the flood, and in Egypt; and serve ye the LORD.
15 And if it seem evil unto you to serve the LORD, choose you this day whom ye will serve; whether the gods which your fathers served that were on the other side of the flood, or the gods of the Amorites, in whose land ye dwell: but as for me and my house, we will serve the LORD.
Joshua declared his choice. He and his house would serve the Lord. He also set up a stone of witness as a perpetual reminder of the choice and commitment they made. We, too, must take the challenge and choose the way of truth, set it before ourselves, stick to it, and run to serve the Lord our God.
By Wayne Clapp