Teach Me Good Judgment & Knowledge | Psalm 119:66

Teach me good judgment and knowledge,
for I believe in your commandments.

Psalm 119:66 ESV

Having begun stanza teth by rejoicing in God’s good dealing with him, the psalmist now continues his prayer by making a petition: teach me good judgment and knowledge. This is a petition that all of God’s people ought to make alongside the psalmist, for we should all desire good judgment and knowledge.

Of course, we tend to first think of the life-altering judgments to be made that need to be informed by the knowledge and wisdom of God. Do I go to school A or school B? Is this the person that I should marry? Should we homeschool our children?

Yet the ability to make a proper judgment is also of use to us each day. We must decide from the moment that we awake whether we will reach for the Bible or for the phone. We must decide whether we will pray or scroll through social media. We must choose whether we will be patient or harsh with everyone we encounter. Indeed, we need good judgment and knowledge for every aspect of our lives, regardless of how monumental or mundane the decision is.

Most importantly, we need the knowledge and judgment that flows from God Himself in order to keep us from diving into sin. As Paul makes clear in Romans 1, our sinful nature makes excusing and even justifying our sins all too easy. Each person’s conscience is certainly a common grace from God that restrains much evil, yet the conscience may be easily seared by continual sin, making good judgment and proper knowledge unavailable.

That is why the psalmist roots good judgment and knowledge in believing God’s commandments. Only when we gaze upon the will of the One who is the fount of all goodness and knowledge can we properly obtain good judgment and knowledge ourselves. As Proverbs 1:7 says, “The fear of the LORD is the beginning of knowledge.” Knowledge only truly begins whenever we bow in holy reverence for the Omniscient One. Furthermore, Ecclesiastes 12:13 makes an explicitly connection between fearing God and keeping His commandments, for a true fear of God will also display itself through being obedient to God’s law.

Let us, therefore, keep God’s commandments ever before our eyes and pray with the psalmist for our good God to give us good judgment and knowledge.

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