I have chosen the way of faithfulness;
I set your rules before me.
Psalm 119:30 ESV
This verse very much piggybacks onto the previous one. Where the psalmist spoke of putting away all false ways in verse 29, now he resolutely declares his commitment to the way of faithfulness. And where he previously prayed for God’s gracious teaching of His law, now he has set God’s rules before him.
I have chosen the way of faithfulness. The path of faithfulness is certainly a conscious choice. No one stumbles into faithfulness to the LORD, for faithfulness involves resilience in the face of hardship. Hebrews 11’s list of Old Testament saints who walked by faith is also of set of examples of those who chose the way of faithfulness. Abraham chose the way of faithfulness as he left his home to sojourn in a foreign land on the promise of God alone. He also chose the way of faithfulness when he trusted that God would cause his ninety-year-old wife, Sarah, to bear a child just as the LORD had promised. But perhaps his greatest moment of choosing the way of faithfulness was his willingness to sacrifice his only son Isaac at the command of God, knowing that God would somehow raise Isaac back to life in order to fulfill the promises that He made to Abraham. The list certainly goes on. Joseph, Moses, Joshua, David, Daniel, and more all chose faithfulness to God rather than the false ways of the world around them.
All of these remained faithful to the LORD because they set God’s rules before them. Abraham was the man of faith because he believed God’s promises to him. He set them before his eyes and walked in them. Before Pharaoh, Moses remained faithful because He held to the words of I Am, the God of his forefathers. Joshua led the Israelites into the Promised Land through many mighty battles, mediating on God’s law day and night. In the Psalms particularly, we have evidence of David’s vast devotion to God’s rules. Psalm 19 is one of the most notable, and many believe that the ancient king wrote this very psalm as well. Daniel’s faithfulness in the face of the lions’ den was rooted in his devotion to and faith in God’s Word, praying toward Jerusalem as Solomon had instructed captives to do long before.
Again, faithfulness does not happen by accident. All who walked the path of faithfulness to God chose to do so by setting His rules before their eyes and walking in them. As Hebrews 12:1-2 notes, the testimonies of prior saints are for our benefit so that we too would “lay aside every weight, and sin which clings so closely, and let us run with endurance the race that is set before us, looking to Jesus, the founder and perfecter of our faith, who for the joy that was set before him endured the cross, despising the shame, and is seated at the right hand of the throne of God.” Let us follow our Lord, who is our supreme example of faithfulness and of obedience to God’s rules.