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The Scriptorium

Every Step Ruled

If not Jesus, what? Psalm 119.133

Psalm 119.129-136 (4)

Pray Psalm 119.133.
Direct my steps by Your word,
And let no iniquity have dominion over me.

Sing Psalm 119.132, 133.

No Other Plea: My Faith Has Found a Resting Place)
Look on me, Lord, with mercy as on all who love Your Name.
Direct my steps to keep Your paths, and all Your Word proclaim.
Yes, let Your Word my shelter be; rule over all my soul,
and keep me from iniquity; my every way control.

Read Psalm 119.129-136; meditate on verse 133.


1. What two requests did the psalmist make?

2. What was he hoping to avoid?

Growing up in the post-war period in a very patriotic community, my brothers and I were members of the Sons of the American Legion. We did lots of cool stuff, but the coolest was marching in holiday parades, of which there were many.

We learned to march in step, listening carefully to the drum beat and the drill-master’s “Left (pause). Left (pause). Left, right, left (pause, repeat).” You did not want to get out of step because, if you did, everyone would see it! Including the drill-master (yikes!). We had a little “hop-step” corrective we could do to put ourselves back in step whenever we became distracted for some reason.

I made good use of that little trick, because I was often busier listening to my friends hollering at me along the parade route, or looking for someone to wave to, than I was paying attention to the drum and the drill-master.

I hope I’m doing a little better in marching for the Lord. When I listen for His voice, speaking in His Word and reminding me by His Spirit, and follow His directions, I’m right in step with His perfect plan for my life.

But let me become distracted for a moment, and I’m stumbling all over the place. When anything or anyone other than the Lord has dominion over our attention, we need the hop-step corrective of confession and repentance to get back in step on the Lord’s pathway.

And we’ll all need it, from time to time. Make sure you know how to use it; at the same time, be more diligent at listening for the Lord’s Word, so that you march according to His voice rather than some different drum.

Treasures Old and New: Matthew 13.52; Psalm 119.162
It took courage for the psalmist to pray: “Direct my steps by Your word, and let no iniquity have dominion over me” (Ps. 119.133). He is asking the All-Powerful Creator of the universe to direct his steps and to not allow any sin to have rule over his life. Risky business, that.

Saul wasn’t praying for this to happen to him, but we can clearly see that God has the power to knock us off our horses when we are stepping outside of His plan for us (Acts 9.1-9). And here we see the psalmist asking for that same treatment. “Don’t let me do anything outside the parameters of Your Law.” Gutsy.

Paul, who was Saul, spoke from personal experience when he wrote these words to believers then, and
to us now, “But the Lord is faithful, who will establish you and guard you from the evil one.  And we have confidence in the Lord concerning you, both that you do and will do the things we command you. Now may the Lord direct your hearts into the love of God and into the patience of Christ” (2 Thess. 3.3-5).

We will stay in step with God’s direction when we are living according to His Law (Ex. 20.1-17). Do we have the courage to ask for this guidance and help? Are we that bold?

“Search me, O God, and know my heart;
Try me, and know my anxieties;
And see if there is any wicked way in me,
And lead me in the way everlasting” (Ps. 139.23, 24).

“Every Step Ruled.”

For reflection
1. If Jesus doesn’t rule your every step, what will?

2. Why is it better to have Jesus ruling our way than anything else?

3. How can you tell when something other than Jesus is ruling your steps?

By these words he shows, as he has often done before in other places, that the only rule of living well is for men to regulate themselves wholly by the law of God. John Calvin (1509-1564), Commentary on Psalm 119.133

Pray Psalm 119.136.
Pray for the lost people in your Personal Mission Field. Ask the Lord for an opportunity to talk with one of them today, and to enable you to show them Christ’s love.

Sing Psalm 119.136.

No Other Plea: My Faith Has Found a Resting Place)
Lord, see the world in lawlessness, how love has grown so cold.
Look down, O Lord, to save and bless; let grace and peace take hold.
Though many look on You with awe, rejoicing in Your Word,
I weep for those who void Your Law and spurn Your grace, O Lord.

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.
Books by T. M. Moore

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