The more we know God, the better equipped we are to authentically praise Him no matter what our circumstances may be.
Life is hard sometimes. Life is challenging most of the time. The COVID-19 pandemic of 2020 disrupted the whirlwind we reaped by sowing the wind of competition the last 90 years or so. We have learned that bigger is not better and more is never enough. It’s true of our culture and it’s true of our churches, and if we’re honest, it’s been true of our hearts. We have sought after blessing through our own wills and works.
This psalm is a reminder of what is truly important: knowing God by seeking Him wholeheartedly. We know God by fixing our eyes on His commandments, because that is where He reveals His holiness and sovereignty and power.
Jesus came to fulfill the law (Matthew 5:17; John 3:16-21) because we are incapable of perfectly keeping God’s commandments. In Jesus we can praise God with an upright heart every day, especially in hard times. We can be blameless and steadfast as we draw near to the Creator and Sustainer of all things in all things.
In an uncertain world like the one in which we find ourselves, it is a comfort to know that we can endure by steadfastly drawing near to God, walking in His way with our whole hearts.
The Galatians were near eye-witnesses to the crucifixion and resurrection; this letter was written less than 20 years after the events. But in that short time, they began to add a human element to salvation – Jesus can’t possibly be enough, so keep the Law, too. But NO. JESUS IS ENOUGH. It is by faith alone. No one can stand before a Holy God based on their own merits; the righteous live by faith (Habakkuk 2). So what’s the Law for? The Law shows just how far we are from the perfect holiness of the Father. There is noonegood enough to meet Him on His terms.
Modern Christians fall into the same trap that entangled the Galatians. Too often believers judge each other based on what they see. Too often a checklist of church attendance, clothing, musical preferences, parenting styles, and political leanings replace the love of Jesus that should be the hallmark of Christian life, especially toward one another.
In Christ there is no distinction between cultures, preferences, or any other man-devised thing; everyone who calls on the Name shall be saved! And once saved, we are family in faith, not law. In Jesus, we are children of God through faith (v 26). We must keep family faith and love as priorities. If God supplies the same Spirit to each of us, then let us respond to each other in that Spirit.