“How can a young man stay pure? By living according to your word. I seek you with all my heart; do not let me stray from your commands. I have hidden your word in my heart that I might not sin against you” (Psalm 119:9-11).
My son is memorizing Psalm 119:9-11 for school. As we were reviewing it the other night, something struck me (courtesy of the Holy Spirit, I imagine). I told my son we often hear this verse saying, “How can a young man stay pure? By doing what the Bible says. […] I have memorized what the Bible says so I won’t sin.” Or something along those lines.
Then I asked my son who “the word” is another name for. He said, “Jesus!” I suggested Psalm 119:9-11 could be talking about Christ living in us: “How can a young man stay pure? By living according to Jesus in me. I seek you with all my heart; do not let me stray from the commands written on my heart. I have hidden Jesus in my heart that I might not sin against you.”
Reading the verse this way puts a whole different spin on it. Instead of this being a call to do what the letter of scripture says, it is a call to rely on Christ within. He is dead to sin and alive to God in us. He is the command written on our hearts. He is our rightness before God. He is our purity, and all else the psalmist longs for in these verses.
We too often read the Bible with old covenant eyes. Paul calls this reading with a veil over our hearts (2 Cor. 3:15-16). Lord, take the veil from our eyes. Show us the Son who fills your heart in a way our obedience never can!