GOD’s Word transforms our lives. Romans 12:2a says, “Be not conformed to this world, be keep on being continuously transformed by the renewing of your mind.” In the Christian life, the transformation of our character – of our spiritual lives – occurs when we read GOD’s Word, which renews the way we think.
Psalm 119:33-34 should reflect the heart’s desire of every believer in relation to the Word of GOD. “Teach me, O LORD, the way of Your statutes, and I shall keep it to the end. Give me understanding, and I shall keep Your law; Indeed, I shall observe it with my whole heart.”
Look at verse 33. The psalmist prays to GOD, “Teach me.” The verb “teach” is present tense (now) and imperative mood (a command). With a sense of urgency, the psalmist desires to understand GOD’s Word right now. “Teach me” reflects a spirit of humility (I don’t know everything), an openness (hunger to grow), and a willingness to change (transformation).
The later part of verse 33 contains the writer’s response to his urgent request. The psalmist is saying, LORD, teach me. And, if you do, then “I will keep it (Your Word) to the end.” Notice the future tense “I will keep it” is in response to the psalmist’s present request (“Teach me”). Verse 33 is a conditional statement.
GOD, if you do this (teach me the way of Your statutes – the Bible), then I will do this (I will keep it to the end). In other words, the psalmist pledges His future faithfulness in obeying GOD’s Word as it is revealed to him by the LORD.
Verse 34 says, “Give me understanding, and I shall keep Your law; Indeed, I shall observe it with my whole heart.” Again, we have a present tense verb – Give. It is present tense and imperative mood. The psalmist displays a sense of urgency in understanding the Word of GOD right now.
“Give me” is a very frequently used word in our culture. Unfortunately, it is typically used in a very selfish way. But, in this verse, “give me” is used in a very selfless way.
The psalmist prays urgently, GOD, give me understanding of Your Word right now. If you do, I promise “I shall keep Your law.” He also goes further by saying, “Indeed, I shall observe it with my whole heart,” that is, with great passion.
Our spiritual lives are transformed by the Word of GOD. But this critical change cannot occur in our lives unless we pray to GOD with passion, “LORD, teach me the way of Your statutes…. and give me understanding.”
May these verses be a prayer that comes from our hearts and our lips. LORD, teach me and give me understanding of the Word of GOD.