I hasten and do not delay
to keep your commandments.
Psalm 119:60 ESV
This verse immediately flows from the previous one, which is made evident by the ESV’s decision to conclude verse 59 with a semi-colon rather than a period. In that verse, the psalmist noted that as he considered his ways he also turned his feet toward God’s testimonies. In other words, as he examined his way of life, he consciously and deliberately set his face toward the Word of God as the path for his feet. Yet having turned his feet toward obedience is not obedience itself. Thankfully, that is where this verse comes in. For with feet set upon following God’s testimonies, now he declares: “I hasten and do not delay to keep your commandments.”
We have already seen that the psalmist views himself as God’s servant, which also implies that he sees God as his King. This pledge of quick and immediate obedience to God’s commandments also reflects the prompt and willing submission of a servant to his king.
One of my favorite moments in The Lord of the Rings illustrates this same thought well. After a great battle, Aragorn, who is the long-awaited king, goes around to heal those stricken by the darkness of the enemy and in so doing, fulfills the prophecy that the hands of the king are the hands of a healer. When he calls upon a man named Faramir to awake from the darkness, here is what happens:
Suddenly Faramir stirred, and he opened his eyes, and he looked on Aragorn who bent over him; and a light of knowledge and love was kindled in his eyes, and he spoke softly. ‘My lord, you called me. I come. What does the king command?’
To all those who wonder how obedience to God’s commandments fits with the forgiveness of sins that is freely given through Christ, this is a beautiful picture. The grace granted to us by our King does not negate our obedience but fuels it. The man who has had his shameful, sin-stained face lifted up and washed clean by the blood of Christ no longer sees His commands as burdensome. Rather, when we look upon the loveliness of our King, our heart cries out within us, “What does the king command?”