I will delight in your statutes;
I will not forget your word.
Psalm 119:16 ESV
The psalmist concludes the second eight-verse stanza of Psalm 119 with this two-fold resolution, which he begins by reiterating the theme of verse 14. Just as the psalmist previously resolved to rejoice in God’s testimonies more highly than in all riches, he now declares simply that he will delight in God’s statutes. This emphasizes again the writer’s deep affection for God’s Word. Since this stanza has revolved around verse 9 as its thesis, this statement shatters any potential thoughts that we might have of a legalistic desire to obey God’s law. The psalmist does not desire purity purely to avoid God’s wrath against sin or to secure the LORD’s blessings. Instead, he desires to desire the Scriptures ever more deeply. He longs for an obedience that originates within the heart and works outward into daily life.
In the second resolution, we find the conclusion of another theme: remembrance. As he stores up God’s Word within his heart, mediates upon God’s law, and speaks Scripture to himself, he is attempting to fix the Word firmly within his mind. To forget God’s Word, after all, would be to forsake purity and the blessedness of knowing God. He is committed to remembering the Scriptures as if his very life depended upon doing so, which it certainly does. Knowing and obeying God’s Word keeps us from the sin that goes “down to death” and follows “the path to Sheol” (Proverbs 5:5).
Yet we should also remember the great and glorious news of God’s Word. Our purity is indeed dependent upon guarding ourselves with the Word; however, our sheer obedience will never be sufficient to make us pure before the holiness of God. Instead, our purity is derived from the work of Jesus Christ, the embodied Word of God, which He accomplished on our behalf. We humbly and joyously stand pure before God’s throne through Christ’s perfect keeping of God’s righteous law. May we never forget nor fail to delight in this wondrous news.