Consider, O Lord, how I love your commandments; give me life according to your loving-kindness. I have kept your commandments and testimonies, for all my ways are before you. My tongue shall sing of your word, for all your commandments are righteous. Let your hand reach out to help me, for I have chosen your commandments. (Psalm 119:159, 168, 172-173)
Throughout this psalm, the psalmist praises God. Here, in this part, he speaks a great deal about God’s commandments. About how much he loves them; how he’s kept them; how they are righteous; how he’s chosen to live by them. It all sounds very positive. It would be wonderful if we too could say so positively about how we love/have kept/and chosen to live by His commandments; because it is in following God’s commandments that there is real life.
Then, in the very last verse of the psalm, the psalmist cries out, “I have gone astray like a sheep that is lost; O seek your servant, for I do not forget your commandments.” He’s recognised that he knows and wants to keep God’s commandments, but…… he has gone astray. Does that sound familiar?
Fortunately, we have a God who is a good shepherd who is seeking us and always welcomes us back.