[ 2 minutes to read ]
Blessed are they that keep his testimonies,
and that seek him with the whole heart.
~ Psalm 119:2
Blessed are they—Verse 2 begins as verse 1, continuing the theme of the blessed. The writer of this Psalm will go on to acknowledge his failures. We need not think the “blessed” are without any error this side of heaven. Their character is described and we may safely assume they are directives to us to come to this condition.
That keep his testimonies—”To keep” here signifies to watch or to guard. The thought is of one guarding something of great value, such as a treasure. To guard something means to at least have some notion of the value of what is being guarded. It also indicates a desire to retain what is being guarded. The Psalmist finds such treasure in the testimonies of God. He will go on later to say they are more valuable than hordes of earthly treasure.
The blessed are keeping “His testimonies.” The word here means to turn back again or go over again. The thought is of giving an account of some event or truth. It is similar to the idea we have of someone giving a testimony in court. They are recounting the event, the character of someone, some scientific fact, etc. These are God’s testimonies concerning Himself. It occurs 23 times in this Psalm and refers to God’s self-revelation to man.
God’s testimonies are worth guarding and keeping. Another to say that is to say they are worth treasuring. The Psalmist treasure the testimonies of God in his heart and mind.
That seek him with the whole heart—Two great keys are given here. The first might be easily missed. The blessed “seek him.” In all the keeping of the Word, exulting in promises, rejoicing in blessings, the truly blessed are seeking Him. This theme is worthy of greater development, but suffice it to say there is a difference in seeking God’s benefits and seeking God.
The second key is that the seeking is “with the whole heart.” It is no half-hearted effort. Men of the world will give their whole heart to pursuing earthly riches, pleasure, and power. The blessed give their whole heart to seeking God. I have never seen a list of great accomplishments in history through half-hearted effort. I suspect it would be a short list.
God requires that we seek Him with our whole heart. “And now, Israel, what doth the LORD thy God require of thee, but to fear the LORD thy God, to walk in all his ways, and to love him, and to serve the LORD thy God with all thy heart and with all thy soul” (Deuteronomy 10:12). God will suffer our hearts to be broken, but not divided. Whole-heartedness is a sub-theme that will continue throughout this long Psalm.
Link for Psalm 119 Sermon Series