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The Scriptorium

Another, Equally Important, Question

You need to answer this one, too. Psalm 119.10, 11

Psalm 119.9-16 (2)

Pray Psalm 119.9-11.
How can a young man cleanse his way?
By taking heed according to Your word.
With my whole heart I have sought You;
Oh, let me not wander from Your commandments!
Your word I have hidden in my heart,
That I might not sin against You.

Sing Psalm 119.9-11.
(No Other Plea: My Faith Has Found a Resting Place)
How can a young man cleanse his way, and thus be free of sin?
By keeping God’s Word every day, and storing it within.
With all my heart I seek You, Lord, O let me never stray,
nor let me wander from Your Word, nor stumble in Your way.

Read Psalm 119.9-16; meditate on verses 10, 11.


1. How do these verses connect with verses 1-8?

2. Why did the psalmist want God’s Word in his heart?

The psalmist answered his own question, “How…?”, albeit only at a preliminary level: Taking heed to God’s Word is indeed the way to cleanse our path (v. 9). But this answer begs the further question, “How do I take heed to God’s Word?” Verses 10 and 11 give us the answer: Seek the Lord with your whole heart and hide His Word there.

The result of this discipline is a two-sided coin: We will not wander from God’s commandments (v. 10) or sin against Him (v. 11). We can readily see how these two verses link to the first stanza (cf. vv. 2, 3, 4, 5, 8).

The key is getting the Word of God, which is living and powerful (Heb. 4.12), to dwell in our heart, that part of the soul from which flow all the issues of life. There it can do the sanctifying work for which God gives it (Jn. 17.17). Reading, studying, memorizing, and reviewing the Word of God are essential to this. But we need to have the Lord Jesus, the living Word of God, dwelling within us by His Spirit, working to create in us a new heart, on which the Law of God is being rewritten (Ezek. 36.26, 27), if we’re going to know the power of God’s Word to make all things new in our lives.

To hide the Word in your heart, seek the Lord in His Word (v. 10). Don’t just read for ideas or insights. Read, study, and meditate to see the glory of God in the face of Jesus Christ (2 Cor. 4.6). Draw near to Him, and He will draw near to you (Jms. 4.8). Jesus is in every word of Scripture (Jn. 5.39), and His Word will dwell in us richly as we seek, meet, and partake of Him there (2 Pet. 1.4).

Treasures Old and New: Matthew 13.52; Psalm 119.162
“But indeed for this purpose I have raised you up, that I may show My power in you, and that My name may be declared in all the earth” (Ex. 9.16).
“Power belongs to God” (Ps. 62.11).
“For Yours in the kingdom and the power and the glory forever” (Matt. 6.13).
“So the men marveled, saying, ‘Who can this be, that even the winds and the sea obey Him?’” (Matt. 8.27)
“All authority has been given to Me in heaven and on earth” (Matt. 28.18).
“It is a fearful thing to fall into the hands of the living God”(Heb. 10.31).
“For our God is a consuming fire” (Heb. 12.29).

In view of all these verses about the awesome power of God, dare we even petition and pray, along with the psalmist, this request? “Oh, let me not wander from Your commandments” (Ps. 119.10).

We should make this request with great fear and trepidation. This same God Who is Master over all creation, has the power to answer this request. But do we really want Him to do it His way? He is not shy about guiding us. “My son, do not despise the chastening of the L
ORD, nor be discouraged when you are rebuked by Him; for whom the LORD loves He chastens, and scourges every son whom He receives” (Heb. 12.5, 6). And on the sweeter side we hear these words from Him: “I will instruct you and teach you in the way you should go; I will guide you with My eye” (Ps. 32.8).

He is more than willing to keep us from wandering. Are we serious about asking Him to do it?

We will only have the courage to ask when we are secure in His love. And this security comes as we dwell with Jesus in His Word and in His work. This Word that “became flesh and dwelt among us”; and through this dwelling together we behold “His glory” (Jn. 1.14).

“He who dwells in the secret place of the Most High shall abide under the shadow of the Almighty” (Ps. 91.1). Snuggled and secure. “…that Christ may dwell in your hearts through faith; that you, being rooted and grounded in love, may be able to comprehend with all the saints what is the width and length and depth and height – to know the love of Christ which passes knowledge; that you may be filled with all the fullness of God” (Eph. 3.17-19).

Loved and secure enough to ask Him to keep us from ever wandering away from His commandments! And please, Lord, put all Your power into it. That Your Name be declared in all the earth (Ex. 9.16).

For reflection

1. How can you know when the power of God is at work within you?

2. What do you expect the power of God to do in and through you today?

3. Whom will you encourage today to seek the indwelling power of God?

Here we are informed that we are well fortified against the stratagems of Satan when God's law is deeply seated in our hearts. For unless it have a fast and firm hold there, we will readily fall into sin. John Calvin (1509-1564), Commentary on Psalm 119.11

Pray Psalm 119.12-16.
Pray that God will hide more of His Word in your heart. Commit your day to Him. Try to anticipate any temptations you might face, and call on Him to give you strength to resist.

Sing Psalm 119.12-16.

(Passion Chorale: O Sacred Head, Now Wounded)
Be blessed, O God our Savior; teach us Your holy Word!
Our lips proclaim with favor the statutes of the Lord.
How great our joy, dear Jesus, to follow in Your ways;
What more than this could please us, or brighten all our days?

We contemplate Your precepts and cherish all Your ways,
Delighting in Your statutes, rememb’ring all our days.
With wondrous bounty bless us, Your humble servants, Lord,
that we may live with Jesus and keep His holy Word.

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.

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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.
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