By DR. KEVIN JACKSON
Let God shape your worldview
God’s view. My view. Worldview.
The pages of the Old Testament revealed a way to view the world and humanity. Although the writers of the Old Testament called their readers to that particular worldview, they usually contrasted that worldview with other views. In principle, the modern reader can ascertain this from Proverbs 28:26. The writer said, “Whoever trusts in his own mind is a fool; he who walks in the way of wisdom will be delivered.”
In Isaiah 26:3, Isaiah said, “You keep him in perfect peace whose mind is stayed on you because he trusts in you.” Jesus said something similar in the gospel of John: “Peace I leave with you, my peace I give to you. Not as the world gives do I give to you” (John 14:27). Jesus pointed out that the world’s view on peace leaves an individual empty. Jesus used the Hebrew “two ways” worldview in John 14.
According to the psalmist in Psalm 119:33-40, happiness comes from understanding God’s way and aligning one’s life to it.
In Psalm 119:33–40, the psalmist called his readers away from self-directed love to self-sacrificing love. Of course, these two types of love emanate from one’s view of the world. The psalmist believed happiness came from experiencing the love of God and then extending that love of God to others. In order to help his readers make this life transformation, he gave his concern (vs. 33-34), detailed the specifics (vs. 35-37) and provided some assurance (vs. 38-39).
In Psalm 119:33-34 he said, “teach me …give me … and I will keep it to the end … I will observe it with my whole heart.” He asked the Lord to teach him His way and to give him understanding so that he may keep God’s way. The psalmist knew that true happiness stemmed from aligning his life to God’s law.
Jesus summarized the meaning of the Ten Commandments in Matthew 22:37-40. He said, “Love God with your heart, soul, mind and strength and love your neighbor as yourself.” The meaning of the law is love, vertical and horizontal. However, love begins by realizing you have no personal righteousness, yet God provided the required righteousness in his son, Jesus Christ.
The psalmist prayed, “Teach me the way … Give me understanding … and I’ll observe with my whole heart.” With all of his being, he committed to think God’s thoughts, value God’s values, and feel God’s feelings. This was his concern.
In Psalm 119:35–37, the psalmist expressed a deep sense of honesty before God. By nature, we are unwilling to walk in His way of self-sacrificing love. By nature, we are prone to rebel, to complain and to incline our hearts to walk our own way.
In light of this hard personal truth, the psalmist prayed three prayers: First, lead me in Your path (v. 35). Oh Lord, make me recognize Your providence and submit my life to it. Second, incline my heart to Your testimonies (v. 36). Oh Lord, turn my heart to Your revelation and away from temporary, earthly gain. Third, turn my eyes from looking at worthless things (vs. 37). Oh Lord, keep my heart from drifting to worthless idols that appear to make me feel significant and superior to others.
In Psalm 119:38–40, he grasped for assurance from God. He said, “For your rules are good” and “in your righteousness give me life.” He prayed that God would confirm the promise to His servant. He wanted God to press His truth on his heart. He desired God to keep His word to His servant because he was devoted to God’s way.
The psalmist invited his readers to the happy life — the blessed life (119:1-2). Throughout these verses (119:33-40), he drove the truth into the hearts of his readers. True happiness comes from understanding God’s way and aligning one’s life to it. Have you experienced God’s love in the gospel of Jesus Christ? Have you turned from worthless things?
Have you found assurance in the gospel work of Jesus Christ?
Dr. Kevin Jackson became the senior pastor at Grace Baptist Church in 2009. He and his wife, Mary Ann, have two daughters, Perrin and Mary Pinson, and one son, Seth.