S (Scripture): Psalm 119
You have treated your servant well,
Lord, according to your promise.
Teach me knowledge and good judgment
because I’ve put my trust in your commandments.
Before I suffered, I took the wrong way,
but now I do what you say.
You are good and you do good.
Teach me your statutes!
The arrogant cover me with their lies,
but I guard your precepts with all my heart.
Their hearts are unfeeling, like blubber,
but I rejoice in your Instruction.
My suffering was good for me,
because through it I learned your statutes.
The Instruction you’ve given to me is better
than thousands of pieces of gold and silver!
O (Observation): Instruction from the Lord proves useful and challenging for the author of this Psalm. The Psalm points to the ways that God brings community together by helping individuals to realize that they are called to follow God’s Instruction, rather than establishing their own individual ways.
A (Application): Like a really good workout – tearing muscle and allowing it to re-build stronger than it was before – following God’s instructions and ways can prove quite beneficial. The standards God has set forth do indeed guide us and give us hope.
And yet, we must remember the place of these Instructions. Too often we apply these instructions to those who do not believe in God. That is wholly unfair.
I hold myself to the Instructions God has given, but until someone else consents to the same standards, I will not hold others to this standard. Instead, I will allow the Instruction to have a hold on me so that I can (hopefully) trust in God. After all, this Instruction is worth more than the $1.6 billion “MegaMillions lottery” coming up tonight. This Instruction is priceless!
P (Prayer): Lord, help us to follow your Instruction for the sake of others around us. Amen.