From Caroline Dixon
Psalm 119.65-80: In this discreet section of Psalm 119, the Psalmist testifies to his own winding path – first he went astray, then he was afflicted, and now he keeps God’s statutes, after having learned their value. He concludes this section with a summary of his learning – that the law of God is more valuable than earthly riches. The Psalmist’s particular phrase “the law of your mouth” really stands out to me, and helps me remember why God’s law really is so incredible. Of course God’s law is better than base money! It is easy for me to forget to be amazed at the face that God spoke to us and taught us his ways – how to live with justice and rightly before him. “The law of your mouth” is a reminder that God came down to Moses to speak the law in a voice we could hear and comprehend. The creator and ruler of the universe actually spoke to us. And the content of his speech wasn’t just a reminder of his majesty and rule, but his speech contained instructions to guide our mundane, humble, human lives. God loves us so much, that he will guide us. The words from his lips are far more valuable than pieces of gold and silver.
Deuteronomy 6.1-9, 20-25: Moses has just reviewed the Ten Commandments (Deuteronomy 5) and now summarizes the importance of the law of God (Deuteronomy 6). He reminds the people that they are to both comprehend the law and to carry out the law. Comprehending the commandments is important – Israel is to “hear,” “teach,” “talk of them,” “write them,” and teach them to their children. It can be easy to overemphasize comprehension – to assume that obedience will flow naturally from understanding. So, it makes me smile to read Moses also reminding the people to “do” the commandments. In this passage, three times Moses pushes the people to be careful to actually “do” the law which they comprehend. Regarding the law, we are called to listen, comprehend, mull over, discuss, debate, and consider; we are to have God’s words on our hearts (v6). Because I find it very easy to stop at comprehension without action, I notice all the more Moses’s reminder to actually live in obedience. Hear and do.