Oh that my ways may be steadfast in keeping your statutes! Then I shall not be put to shame having my eyes fixed on all your commandments.
In this fallen world, there is the continuation of “and there was evening and there was morning” (Gen. 1:5), which is the continuation of darkness and light. In glory, there will only be light; in condemnation, there will only be darkness.
The same is true in relation to the believer in this fallen world. On the one hand, there will be the “delight in the law of God, in my inner being” (through the Spirit of Christ), while there is also “another law waging war against the law of my mind and making me captive to the law of sin that dwells in my members” (Rom. 7:22-23).
We see that same struggle in the psalms. One the one hand, we have the (imperfect) delight in God’s law, while on their other hand, there is a definite discrepancy between what ought to be (a perfect delight in God’s law) and what is (the struggle with man’s fallen nature, with inward corruptions).
As such, the psalmist cries out: Oh that my ways may be steadfast in keeping your statutes! This is more so a prayer (and desire) than a determination of the will. It is the acknowledgement of falling short, while asking God to make him more steadfast in keeping your statutes. The word steadfast means “to make firm, to establish” (The Complete Word Study Dictionary: Old Testament). Only God can do so. In glory, our ways will be perfectly steadfast, bearing the image of the man of heaven.
The Bible makes it plain that all sin causes shame, including for the one who has no “shame” for their sins, which they will have in the final judgment and throughout eternity. Thus, the only way to be saved from the shame of sin is to have a flawless righteousness (Isa. 45:23-25), which is the righteousness of Jesus Christ. In saving us, God not only deals conclusively with our sins; He also does so with any and all shame, covering us with “the robe of righteousness” (Isa. 61:10).
We can read the Bible in relation to the righteousness “that comes from the law” and the one which “comes through faith in Christ, the righteousness from God that depends on faith” (Phil. 3:9). As such, we are to see Jesus and His steadfast ways in keeping your statutes. We are to fix our eyes on the one who has kept all your commandments. In doing so, we will go “from one degree of glory to another. For this comes from the Lord who is the Spirit” (2 Cor. 3:18).
If you’ve been blessed by this small excerpt from the upcoming The Man of Heaven: A Christ-Centered Commentary Series (Reading the Scriptures in Light of the Person and Work of Jesus Christ), you can join for more encouraging samples…
For more information, you can read the Introduction to the series.