Tuesday: Psalm 119:113-176 & Matthew 7:12-14

From Evan Arndt

“But small is the gate and narrow the road that leads to life, and only a few find it.”

I’ve always had trouble identifying with the psalmist when he gets poetical about the Law. While I admire the truth and righteousness of the Law, I can’t help but feel stuck under it or inadequate. I certainly don’t delight in it or pant after it like the psalmist does in Psalm 119. The difference in my experience and his makes me feel like I’m missing something. I worry that I am part of the many that don’t find the narrow path than the few that do.

This worry led me back to the Psalm over and over this week. After a few readings, the psalm seemed to change in tone right in front of my eyes. I realized that the Psalmist is not only praising God for the beauty and truth in his Law, but for the discernment and strength to follow them. Verses 150-151 started to stand out.

“Those who devise wicked schemes are near,
but they are far from your law.
Yet you are near, Lord,

and all your commands are true.” 

The psalmist isn’t claiming to be closer to righteousness than those wicked schemers, but instead praises God for being nearer to him. All the action here, all the righteousness, belongs to God, not the author. The law and ability to follow it through God’s close guidance are both given freely; Like buying food without money or finding the narrow gate when you don’t deserve to.  

I manage a local coffeeshop. I enjoy movies and books as well as arguing (probably too loudly) about them with friends.