Reading: Psalm 119: 1-8
The ‘heart’ is mentioned a couple of times in the opening stanza to Psalm 119. For the psalmist and for the people of Israel, the heart was what guided life. For them, the heart contained all emotions, all thought, all intellect, all desires… All of who one was and ever would be was thought to be in their heart. When one reads this passage, with its emphasis on the heart, it expands our understanding of what it means to “seek Him with all of our heart”. For the Israelites and for us, it means pursuing God with all you’ve got.
This passage emphasizes blessings when we learn to live according to God’s laws. There is this idea of first learning God’s ways, precepts, and decrees. Then the writer uses the word ‘obey’ several times. This is because it is one thing to know the law and a whole other thing to obey it. But this is not a rote process like memorizing state capitals for a test. It is not boring or forced learning. The psalmist writes, “I will praise you with an upright heart as I learn your righteous laws”. There is joy and happiness in praise.
When we seek God with our whole hearts, obeying His ways as we live, then we find peace, contentment, assurance, and joy. It is when we seek God and find these qualities defining our lives, it is then that we are truly blessed. Living according to God’s ways and allowing God to be at the center of who we are – in our heart – transforms us into who God created us to be. Living in God’s image and following Christ’s example brings a peace and joy in our lives that not only blesses us but also blesses those in our lives.
May we seek God with all of our heart, living lives overflowing with the blessings of our loving Father. In this way, we live as light and love in the world. Thanks be to God for this gift.