Sound In Thy Statutes

God’s statutes are His laws, His commandments. (De 4:40) We ask God to cause our hearts to be sound in His statutes so we won’t be ashamed. (Ps 119:80)

To be sound in something is to be grounded, trained, established and rooted in it. It’s to be fully aligned and consistent with a standard or principle. If we’re sound in God’s statutes our entire lives are conformed to His laws. There is no area of our mind or heart set apart or estranged from God’s law. To the degree that we’re deliberately out of step with His ways we’ll be ashamed. Why is this so?

Shame comes when we sin intentionally, presumptuously, when we have the opportunity to do good and we choose not to. (Ja 4:17) Such guilt brings shame, knowing we deserve contempt and rejection, because there’s no excuse for such wickedness.

Rebellion against unjust, wicked laws can be understood, but not against perfectly just laws. (Ps 19:7) What explanation can be offered for willful ignorance, neglect or violation of God’s commands? If there’s no way of knowing about a law there’s mercy (1Ti 1:13), otherwise rebellion is exposed and dealt with. (Ro 2:5-6)

Since our hearts are naturally inclined against God’s laws (Ro 7:23), we do well to plead with God to direct our ways to keep His statutes (Ps 119:5), to teach us His statutes. (26) The godly tremble at the thought of displeasing Him, afraid of His righteous response to sin. (120) It’s a fearful thing to fall into the hands of the living God. (He 10:31)

He’s already trodden down all who err from His statutes (118), who flagrantly and continually trample His laws underfoot — it’s as good as done. There’s no salvation for those who aren’t seeking His statutes (155), no mercy for those committed to rebellion. (He 10:28-29) Those who know Him keep His commands as well as they can. (1Jn 2:4)

As with learning a trade, a sport, or any discipline, we’re to pursue excellence in obedience (Php 1:10), training our souls unto godliness (1Ti 4:7), continually asking God to make us understand the way of His precepts (Ps 119:27) and to make us go in the path of His commands. (35) Without holiness, no one sees Him. (He 12:14)

As we learn God’s statutes our hearts rejoice (Ps 19:8) and our lips utter praise. (Ps 119:171) Suffering itself becomes a blessing to help us learn God’s statutes. (71) Our new nature delights in God’s laws (Ro 7:22); they become our songs (Ps 119:54) as we delight ourselves in them. (16)

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