“I will run the way of thy commandments,
when thou shalt enlarge my heart.”
~ Psalms 119:32
Having gotten in the way, David is hastening on the way, for running implies being in a hurry. He says, “I will run.” The pace of life on this earth is ever increasing. Yet, despite the speed of life, there are few who are truly hastening toward Heaven. Many claim Heaven as their final destination, but, to all outward appearances, seem to be in no hurry to get there. They seem to want to take their time walking in the By-Path Meadow. They seem to relish the things of earth and wish to tarry here a little longer. Therefore, they move on with snails’ pace toward the Celestial City.
David says, “I will run.” Furthermore, running implies a freedom from hindrance. The writer of Hebrews instructed the Hebrew Christians to “lay aside every weight” and to “run with patience the race that is set before us” (Hebrews 12:1). The ancient Greeks would compete naked to eliminate any restriction of movement. They wanted their bodies to be free to perform. The Psalmist here indicates that he has laid aside the old man’s garments to free the new man to “run the way.” We find many Christians today with their bodies bound with the world’s fashions and barely able to walk a little in the way.
Additionally, running implies an expenditure of energy and force and a firm resolve to move deliberately toward the goal. David says, “I will run.” He is bringing his energies to bear upon his task. There is no doubt that the runner with his blood, sweat, and straining muscles is in the race. He is resolved and persevering until he reaches the finish line. David’s striving is a real effort and means that there is a measurable progress in a period of time. David is making tracks and covering ground. There are too many professed Christians today who are pretty much in the same place spiritually they were years ago. For them, the race seems to be mostly a spectator’s sport.
One must also admire here David’s pragmatic approach to God’s Word. He finds a “way” in the truths of Holy Scripture. The legalist runs after the law to “bind heavy burdens and grievous to be borne,” in order to “lay them on men’s shoulders” (Matthew 23:4). The antinomian runs after grace to use his “liberty for a cloke of maliciousness” (1 Peter 2:16). The intellectual runs after knowledge to “reason with unprofitable talk” and “with speeches wherewith he can do no good” (Job 15:3).
Daniel prophesied of the last days saying, “Many shall run to and fro, and knowledge shall be increased” (Daniel 12:4). We have witnessed this with the religionists of this day. There is much running back and forth. Everyone seems to going in different directions. It would also seem that knowledge has been increased. However, for all this running and increase of knowledge, we find no surge of practical godliness and personal holiness. We find many today that can teach systematic doctrine, who know little to nothing of holy living.
The Psalmist declares, “I will run the way of thy commandments.” All of his struggle and effort is directed and regulated by God’s Word. He finds here no book of mere intellectual stimulation, but rather words “to keep and to do” (Joshua 23:6). He confesses, “I made haste, and delayed not to keep thy commandments” (Psalm 119:60). The Psalmist loves God’s Word and delights to walk in His way. He believes the words of Moses to the children of Israel, “For it is not a vain thing for you; because it is your life” (Deuteronomy 32:47).
Finally, David says, “When thou shalt enlarge my heart.” God would enlarge his heart by shedding abroad His love and grace within it. He would enlarge his heart by filling it with wisdom from on high. He would enlarge his heart by marking in it the “remembrance of his holiness” (Psalm 97:12). For every growth in knowledge, for every growth in grace, the Psalmist would accelerate his pace. He says, “I will run the way of thy commandments, when thou shalt enlarge my heart.” May God give us grace to desire an enlarged heart more than an enlarged head and to get on in the way to Heaven. Amen.