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The Scriptorium

Not an Option

God didn't ask for volunteers. Psalm 119.4

Psalm 119.1-8 (4)

Pray Psalm 119.1-4.

Blessed are the undefiled in the way,
Who walk in the law of the LORD!
Blessed are those who keep His testimonies,
Who seek Him with the whole heart!
They also do no iniquity;
They walk in His ways.
You have commanded us
To keep Your precepts diligently.

Sing Psalm 119.1-4.
(Ode to Joy: Joyful, Joyful, We Adore Thee)
Blessed are they whose way is blameless, all who walk within God’s Law,
who, His testimonies keeping, seek Him, filled with joy and awe.
These are they who, no wrong doing, ever walk within God’s ways.
Lord, Your precepts You command us; we would keep them all our days.

Read Psalm 119.1-8; meditate on verse 4.


1. What has God commanded?

2. What are we to “keep”?

When God cast Adam and Eve out of the garden, He sent an angel with a fiery sword to guard the garden’s entrance so that fallen people may bring corruption into it no more (Gen. 3.24). Imagine that Adam tried to return to the garden one day. What do you see that angel doing to prevent him? Do you think that angel would have failed? Would he have used that fiery sword to keep the garden from being invaded?

The command given the angel to “guard” the garden is the same command given us where the precepts – teachings and doctrines – of God are concerned. We are to guard (“keep”) them with our life, to defend them against all naysayers and usurpers, to wield them with fiery power so that the living and powerful Word of God can at all times fulfill the purpose for which He sends it forth (Heb. 4.12; Is. 55.10).

Guarding the precepts of God is full-time work. It requires daily preparation, constant vigilance, earnest exertion, and continuous review. And it’s not optional. God has not called for volunteers to take up this aspect of His work. He has commanded us to this work. All who seek the happiness of knowing Him by trusting in Jesus and submitting to His Word are called to the work of guarding the doctrines and teachings of that Word diligently, energetically, and fervently.

Guarding them with your life, in every aspect of your life, all the days of your life. Diligently. Are you prepared to guard the teaching of God’s Word today?

Treasures Old and New: Matthew 13.52; Psalm 119.162
What does it mean to do something diligently?

Diligence is defined as careful and persistent work. To give our work a steady, earnest, and energetic effort.

That is how we are to view all the things that God has commanded us to do and not do. We are to proceed wholeheartedly, with nothing taking precedence over our obedience to God. And obeying God in all we do, makes what we do, pleasing to Him.

God’s children, in Zechariah’s day, were keeping some of the Law by fasting and mourning, a traditional holiday of sorts. But their hearts were not right. They were merely going through the motions. And God knew. In fact, He told Zechariah to say to these people, “When you fasted and mourned…did you really fast for Me – for Me?” (Zech. 7.5)

God wants us to care and do His will in the same way that He cares for us. He told Jeremiah to tell the people, “Yes, I will rejoice over them to do them good, and I will assuredly plant them in this land, with all My heart and with all My soul” (Jer. 32.41). We must be equally diligent about keeping His precepts. With our whole heart and whole soul.

“You have commanded us to keep Your precepts diligently” (Ps. 119.4).

Indeed, it is not an option.

For reflection
1. How would you explain what it means to keep God’s precepts diligently?

2. What can keep you from doing this?

3. What can you do to overcome any obstacles to keeping God’s precepts diligently?

“You have commanded your commandments to be kept most diligently.” Then follows, “O! that my ways may be directed to obey your decrees. Then shall I not be confounded, when I shall look into all your commandments.” He [the psalmist] begged that this thing be fulfilled by him, which he stated God had commanded. Augustine (354-430), Holy Virginity 41.42

Pray Psalm 119.5-8.
Ask God to give you strength of heart, mind, conscience, and life to guard His precepts today in all you say and do, that your ways may be His ways at all times.

Sing Psalm 119.5-8.
(Ode to Joy:
Joyful, Joyful, We Adore Thee)
Let my ways steadfastly keep to all the statutes of Your Word.
Then shall I, no shame enduring, fix my eyes on You, O Lord!
With an upright heart I praise You, in Your rules will I abide.
I will keep Your statutes wholly; keep me ever by Your side!

T. M. and Susie Moore

You can listen to a summary of last week’s Scriptorium study by going to our website,, and clicking the Scriptorium tab for last Sunday. You can download any or all the studies in this series on Psalm 119 by clicking here.

What is the Law of God and how should we learn and obey it? Two books can help. The Law of God arranges the statutes and precepts of God’s Law under their appropriate number of the Ten Commandments. This book is an excellent tool for meditating on God’s Law and thinking about its application in our time. The Foundation for Christian Ethics, on the other hand, explains why the Law matters and how we are to use it. You can order free copes of each of these
here and here.

If you find Scriptorium helpful in your walk with the Lord, please seek the Lord, asking Him whether you should contribute to the support of this daily ministry with your financial gifts. As the Lord leads, you can use the
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Except as indicated, all Scriptures are taken from the New King James Version. © Copyright 1982 by Thomas Nelson, Inc. Used by permission. All rights reserved. For sources of all quotations, see the weekly PDF of this study. All psalms for singing are from The Ailbe Psalter (Williston: Waxed Tablet Publications, 2006), available by
clicking here.

T.M. Moore

T. M. Moore is principal of The Fellowship of Ailbe, a spiritual fellowship in the Celtic Christian tradition. He and his wife, Susie, make their home in the Champlain Valley of Vermont.
Books by T. M. Moore

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