4 You have commanded us
To keep Your precepts diligently.
On the surface this verse seems redundant. Almost as if to say, “You have commanded us to do your commandments.” Or, “You said to do what you say.” Or worse yet, “You made a rule that we should keep your rules.” Why waste space stating the obvious? Why sing a song about that? Why does the psalmist after a glowing introduction to blessing suddenly seem to turn into a killjoy?
Because he had a revelation that God’s commands are his empowerments.
God’s power is in His Word. We see this throughout the entire Bible. The first recorded words that God ever spoke were: Then God said, “Let there be light”; and there was light. Gen 1:3
Through what power did God create? Through speaking! He spoke, and everything came into being.
“Let there be a firmament” (v6). “Let the dry land appear” (v9). “Let the earth bring forth [vegetation]” (v11). “Let there be lights [sun, moon, stars]” (v14) And so on.
And when God created mankind, he spoke again: Then God blessed them, and God said to them, “Be fruitful and multiply…” Gen 1:28
The Lord wasn’t just giving them directions. It wasn’t a list of “to-do’s”. Rather, he was imparting power to them. The same power that was released when He said “Let there be light” was released when He said “Be fruitful.” If He hadn’t said it, they couldn’t have done it.
Peter understood this truth. When He saw Jesus walking on the water, he said to Him, “command me to come to You on the water.” So He said, “Come.” And when Peter had come down out of the boat, he walked on the water to go to Jesus. Matt 14:28-29 Peter knew if Jesus would say it, he could do it.
And with one simple word - “Come” - the Son of God empowered Peter to overcome the natural law of buoyancy and tread upon the waves of the sea of Galilee. If Jesus had not said it, Peter would have taken one step and sunk to the bottom.
And so it is with us. When He says, “keep My word” He isn’t just telling us what we ought to do. But His commands provide a supernatural impartation of grace that enables us, empowers us, to do it. If we try to do it apart from hearing His voice, we too will sink to the bottom.
We have been introduced to the overwhelming blessing that awaits those who keep God’s Word. But what good is it if we cannot keep it? Indeed God is so gracious that He commands us - He empowers and enables us - to keep His precepts diligently.
Scripture taken from the New King James Version®. Copyright © 1982 by Thomas Nelson. Used by permission. All rights reserved.