How can a man keep his way pure?

The psalmist gives the answer. In what is the longest chapter in the entire Scriptures, whether Jewish or Christian, the psalmist answers the question, “How can a man keep his way pure?”. His answer? Take a deep breath, fine blog readers…

  • By seeking God with all his heart,
  • By guarding his ways according to God’s word,
  • By not straying from God’s commandments in the Law,
  • By learning God’s decrees in the Law,
  • By reciting all the Law with his mouth,
  • By rejoicing in the Law,
  • By delighting in the Law,
  • By living his life according to God’s Law,
  • By obeying the decrees in the Law,
  • By opening his eyes to see the wonderful things in the Law,
  • By consuming his time and energy with the Law,
  • By rebuking those who have strayed from the Law,
  • By meditating on the Law,
  • By receiving God’s grace through the Law,
  • By having the Law written on his heart,
  • By holding fast to God’s rulings in the Law,
  • By running in the path of the commandments,
  • By keeping the Law to the very end,
  • By gaining understanding through the Law,
  • By seeing all the goodness in God’s Law,
  • By longing for His Law,
  • By trusting God’s Law,
  • By obeying the Law perpetually and eternally,
  • By putting his hope in the Law,
  • By loving the Law with delight,
  • By lifting up his hands to the commandments,
  • By not turning from the Law,
  • By remembering the Law,
  • By making the Law his practice,
  • By considering the commandments in his life,
  • By being a friend to all who follow the Law,
  • By being filled with the love of God through the Law,
  • By making the Law more precious than gold or silver,
  • By believing in the commandments,
  • By asking for understanding of the Law from the One who formed you,
  • By acknowledging the righteous nature of God’s Law,
  • By being blameless according to the commandments,
  • By not forgetting God’s decrees,
  • By acknowledging the trustworthy nature of all the commandments,
  • By acknowledging the eternal nature of the Law,
  • By relying on the Law for the preservation of his own life,
  • By seeking out God’s precepts,
  • By acknowledging the boundless nature of the commandments,
  • By meditating on the commandments all day long,
  • By considering the Law sweeter than honey,
  • By not departing from the Law,
  • By making the Law a lamp and light in the darkness,
  • By taking an oath and confirming he will follow God’s righteous laws,
  • By making the commandments his heritage,
  • By making the commandments the joy of his heart,
  • By loving the Law,
  • By holding God’s Law in high regard,
  • By standing in awe of all God’s Law,
  • By being humble in observing the Law,
  • By calling on the Lord to act when His Law is being broken,
  • By calling God’s commandments wonderful,
  • By understanding that God’s commandments give illuminating light,
  • By weeping when the Law is disobeyed,
  • By speaking of the righteousness of the Law,
  • By making enemies those who ignore the Law,
  • By speaking the Law as truth,
  • By calling out to the Lord for understanding of the Law,
  • By meditating on God’s promises in the Law through the night,
  • By drawing closer to the Lord through His Law,
  • By learning the commandments from his youth,
  • By knowing salvation comes to those close to God’s Law,
  • By acknowledging God’s compassion in the Law,
  • By telling others that God’s Law is eternal,
  • By trembling at God’s Law,
  • By rejoicing in the promises of the Law,
  • By abhorring falsehood and loving the Law,
  • By praising God 7 times a day for His Law,
  • By partaking in the great peace abiding in those who know God’s Law,
  • By waiting for his salvation through following the commandments,
  • By loving God’s statutes greatly,
  • By receiving God’s deliverance through the promises in His commandments,
  • By singing of God’s commandments,
  • By overflowing with praise to God for teaching us His Law!

It’s so tough to understand what the psalmist is getting at. Can you see it? I sure can’t. There’s absolutely no pattern here, none at all.

(Preach it, God-fearing Psalmist! )


  1. In looking at this list, I thought of something that John Wesley once said in his sermon "Witness of the Spirit":

    A true lover of God hastens to do his will on earth as it is done in heaven. But is this the character of the presumptuous pretender to the love of God? Nay, but his love gives him a liberty to disobey, to break, not keep the commandments of God. Perhaps, when he was in fear of the wrath of God, he did labour to do his will. But now, looking on himself as "not under the law," he thinks he is no longer obliged to observe it. He is therefore less zealous of good works; less careful to abstain from evil; less watchful over his own heart; less jealous over his tongue. He is less earnest to deny himself, and to take up his cross daily.

    This is not exactly something you hear preached in churches today, but I would dare say, were Wesley alive now, he would be with us!

  2. Wow, I like those words of Wesley. You've mentioned some of the early Reformers being in favor of the moral law of the Torah; Wesley seems to be one such Reformer.

    I agree with Wesley; a lot of folks use God's grace and love in a way I think wasn't intended. "His grace is sufficient" has been used by some as Christian liberty to act lawlessly.

    John Wesley the Messianic. Heheh, I like that. :-)

  3. In the three main strands of Protestant theology--Lutheran, Reformed, and Wesleyan--it is only the Lutheran tradition that really posits a major antithesis between God's Law and God's grace. Calvinism and Wesleyanism have generally had a very favorable view of the Torah's moral law, and with one who has both Methodism (mainly) and Presbyterianism (secondly) in my background, I am inclined to build upon the good that these two traditions have brought.

    The only problem is that the Reformers (and immediate post-Reformers) held to an artificial subdivision of the Torah's commandments between moral, civil, and ceremonial--lacking some of the Jewish interaction that has only come in the past century. If they had more interaction with Jewish points of view in their day, they may have divided the Torah's commandments more along the lines of the sub-divisions we see in the Mishnah, which I feel are a far more natural division.

  4. are more London picts from last Summer. We visited Wesley's Chapel where he lived and preached, and is buried:

  5. I enjoyed those pictures. I did some more reading on Wesley just now; that guy was really used by God.

  6. Pithy, eh? Thank you Mr. O'Reilly. I wish to opine. :-)

  7. Just name a town, any town, if you wish to opine. And keep it pithy, you pinheaded popinjay. =) Remember, the spin stops here.

    'Cuz we're lookin' out for you...