Day 304 – Depart from Me, Pilferers!

I don’t know about you, but this verse in Psalm 119 felt a little bit like blame-shifting to me:

Depart from me, you evildoers,
that I may keep the commandments of my God.    (Psalm 119:115 ESV)

Sort of like, “Hey, if I don’t keep your commands, God, it’s because those evildoers would just not leave me alone!”

I hear something similar  from each of my daughters on a daily – if not hourly – basis.

And I am sure I do it too.

It goes something like this –

  • After I yell at the kids: “If only that stress would depart from me.”
  • Or if I start feel anxious: “If only that overwhelming To Do list would depart from me.”
  • Or when I fail to have a decent prayer time in the AM: “If only all those urgent things I need to deal with NOW would depart from me.”

Oh, that’s not what the Psalmist meant?

I checked three Study Bibles to find out what this interesting verse (to me, anyway) really means. No help.

But found Spurgeon’s notes on the passage insightful:

… A house is all the better for being rid of liars, pilferers, lewd talkers, and slanderers…. Evil doers make evil counsellors….

For I will keep the commandments of my God. Since he found it hard to keep the commandments in the company of the ungodly, he gave them their marching orders. He must keep the commandments, but he did not need to keep their company.

What a beautiful title for the Lord this verse contains! The word God only occurs in this one place in all this lengthened psalm, and then it is attended by the personal word “my” — “my God.”

“My God! how charming is the sound!
How pleasant to repeat!
Well may that heart with pleasure bound,
Where God hath fixed his seat.” Doddridge.

Because Jehovah is our God therefore we resolve to obey him, and to chase out of our sight those who would hinder us in his service. It is a grand thing for the mind to have come to a point, and to be steadfastly fixed on the holy determination, — “I will keep the commandments.” God’s law is our pleasure when the God of the law is our God.

Well said. Especially the part about “my God!”

I don’t have a lot of “liars, pilferers, lewd talkers, and slanderers” in my life right now. But it makes me wonder if my exposure to TV in the past (no time to watch now!) had an impact on my ability to obey.

Too convicting.

Off to bed.

Today’s Readings: Jeremiah 47:1 – 48:47, Psalm 119: 113-120, Proverbs 28:5, 2 Timothy 4:9-28. See About for what I’m up to with these daily posts. Your daily blogger, Holiday Longing (Reproduce with permission only).

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