Life of the Word of God (6)

The sixth stanza of Psalm 119 shows us something of the freedom of life under God’s word.

Let your faithful love come to me, O Lord
— Your salvation, according to your word.
Then I will easily answer a word of disgrace, 
Because I trust in your word.
Do not take from my mouth your word of truth — never, ever;
For on your judgments I have set my hope.
I shall keep your law continually, forever and ever.
I will walk around in wide space, for I seek your statutes.
I shall speak your precepts before kings but will not be ashamed!
I delight in your commands; they are my love.
I will lift up my hands to your commands, which I love,
And will meditate on your decrees. 

I will walk “in a wide space”, says the Psalmist, by which he means “in freedom”. The Psalmist understands what we so often do not: that real freedom comes through being under authority. That freedom is a precarious thing, a gift contingent upon the provision of a giver. Freedom comes only when we are in touch with the truth, only when there is a certain “constraint” laid upon us — the constraint of being shown the reality of the world and our life within it. Thus freedom can only be fully realised through obedience, through submission to the authority of God, the word of God which reveals truth and puts us in touch with reality. Without reality, all with have is an illusion of freedom, an appearance of unlimitedness which in fact deprives us of the capacity to act meaningfully in the world.

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