Meditation on Psalm 119:47-48
For I find my delight in your commandments, which I love. I will lift up my hands toward your commandments, which I love, and I will meditate on your statutes.
The Psalmist is engaged in actively pursuing God. He says “I find” my delight which implies that he is involved in seeking out something. He is seeking with a purpose, which is to discover something that he is invested in. He is seeking out those things “which he loves.” Those things which he loves so much that they bring him “delight.”
Jesus teaches us what should be the proper inclination of the heart (what we should love) in Luke 12:33-34. “Sell your possessions, and give to the needy. Provide yourselves with moneybags that do not grow old, with a treasure in the heavens that does not fail, where no thief approaches and no moth destroys. For where your treasure is, there will your heart be also.”
How much does the Psalmist value and love Gods word? Psalm 119:127 says “Therefore I love Your commandments above gold, yes, above fine gold.” We should be invested in nothing more fully than our pursuit of a right relationship with God. We should be invested with our whole heart (our will, our intellect, and our emotions). With our whole being. Everything we are and everything we have.
How do we know we are on the right course in our pursuit of God? We have to be able to discern His will. We need to know how to be brought back into a right relationship with Him from our fallen state as sinners. Psalm 19:7 “The law of the LORD is perfect, restoring the soul; the testimony of the LORD is sure, making wise the simple.” These directions are only contained in His Word, and that is the only place we will rightly find delight. All the passing pleasures of sin can never bring us the delight we were created for in our Heavenly Father.
Once restored to a right relationship with God, we need to maintain that relationship, to “work out our own salvation with fear and trembling” (Philippians 2:12). We do this by knowing and adhering to God’s commandments through abiding in His Word.
The Psalmist is displaying a right attitude in his relationship with God, because He says he finds His delights in God’s Commandments. In Psalm 119 there are 8 basic words used to describe the Scriptures, God's written revelation to us: law, word, judgements, testimonies, commands, statutes, precepts, and rules. The word the Psalmist chose in this verse is Commandments, and as Kidner says "This word emphasizes the straight authority of what is said.. the right to give orders." So the Psalmist is showing an inclination to submit to God’s authority. So much so that it causes him to delight, and He loves God’s authority.
In verse 48, the Psalmist shares his emotional, worshipful response toward God’s commandments. He says he will “lift up his hands” toward them. This brings to mind the scene in Nehemiah 8 where Ezra the priest brings the book of the Law of Moses in response to the people’s request. He read it before the assembly from early morning until midday (imagine that today). The people’s response to the hearing of God’s Word was to answer, “‘Amen Amen!’ while lifting up their hands; then they bowed low and worshiped the LORD with their faces to the ground.” Likewise, the Psalmist shows such reverence for God’s Commandments and authority that he responds with Worship.
Finally, the Psalmist declares that he will meditate on God’s statutes. “The noun is derived from the root verb "engrave" or "inscribe"; the idea is of the written word of God and the authority of His written word. Declaring his authority and power of giving us laws" (Poole). One commentator described biblical meditation as the “the digestive system of the soul, and of vital importance to spiritual development. It is the process by which we apply, absorb and internalize truth as a working principle into our daily lives.”
Our desire as a church is to be a people who abide in, delight in, and obey God’s Word. Abiding: dwelling, living in, pondering, praying over, studying commentaries, listening to reputable teaching and preaching, and discussing with family and friends, are all ways of meditating on God’s Word. We will only consistently do those things in which we delight. Like the Psalmist, may we abide in God’s Word, delight in submitting to His authority, and obey His Word.