“Blessed are the undefiled in the way, who walk in the law of the Lord”
Oh my soul. What catalog of persons do you covet more than any other creatures upon this earth? Is it the wealthy, the healthy, the popular, the powerful? Whose estate do you secretly esteem? Whose circumstance is the most seemly in your sight, whose position the most preferred, and who in your opinion has the greatest advantages of all? Is it he whose riches seems to soar beyond the reaches of worldly wants and worries? Is it she whose beauty seems to beckon every eye? Is it those carefree creatures you covet, whose love of life and energy to enjoy it is seemingly insatiable? Who is living right now the life you want to live?
Listen to the Psalmist’s inspired assessment of the most enviable individuals in all the earth: “Blessed are the undefiled in the way, who walk in the law of the Lord.” Do you hear who it is that has the most favored position from heaven’s perspective? It is those whose ways are blameless, who walk in the law of the Lord. “Blessed” are they, says the Psalmist. It is not whose way is popular but whose way is pious that have the better portion. It is not those who are followed by loud crowds but those who follow the Lord’s commands that the Holy Spirit pronounces “blessed.”
Our text describes their way as “undefiled.” They must live in the flesh, but not in the lust of the flesh. They travel through Vanity Fair but they want not the wicked wares of this world. Many fancies they willingly forgo, many pleasures they simply pass by. They have put on Christ’s white robe of righteousness by faith and have their eye fixed on their journey’s end and are determined to keep the soil of sin from spoiling this garment of God’s grace. But our text calls their way blameless not sinless, pure but not perfect. Evil often entices them, and they live no day without some dirt of defilement leaving a stain of sin upon their sorry souls. They are undefiled not because they haven’t sin, but because they hate their sin. “A righteous man may fall seven times and rise again…” (Proverbs 24:16) They bring their guilt to the throne of grace. They cry “Wash me thoroughly from my iniquity, and cleanse me from my sin (Psalm 51:2).”
But how keep they this blameless way? By what method do they manage to keep their footing undefiled? Do they simply make conscience their guide? Oh how many have followed that unreliable leader into the very pit of hell! Is tradition their teacher? Many have pledged their allegiance to tradition, only to find this inconsistent instructor has taught them to stray. “Thus you have made the commandment of God of no effect by your tradition” said the Lord (Matthew 15:6). But what of government and civil law? Are not good citizens of this or that country a sufficiently blameless bunch? What? Shall he who curses the Lord with his lips, but pays his taxes on time, be accounted blessed by God? Yes, by all means “render to Caesar the things that are Caesar’s” but do not forget to also “render to God the things that are God’s (Mark 12:17).” Do not put your trust in princes. How shall they keep this blameless way? How shall you know these blessed ones? Our text says they “walk in the law of the Lord.” It is to God’s commands, and all His commands, they pledge their hearts and souls and minds. Here is the only highway to true happiness. “How shall a young man cleanse his way? By taking heed according to Your word (Psalm 119:9).”
O my soul…do you boast of blessedness and think thyself approved of God? You deceive yourself if you love not the law of the Lord. “He who says ‘I know Him,’ and does not keep His commandments, is a liar and the truth is not in him.” What think thou of God’s commands? What of His command to be first in your heart? Is He your dearest delight, His presence your passion, His glory your goal? Have you put away all those idols of ambition? Is His holy name so precious that you banish all that even borders on blasphemy from your common conversation? Do you call the Lord’s Day a special delight? Lovest thou thy neighbor? O my soul, if you wish to ignore the commands of God then you cannot know the blessing of God. Where there is no holiness there can be no true happiness. Obedience is the only path to blessedness. And this path is only open for those in Christ Jesus, for He said “I am the way, the truth and the life; no one comes to the Father except by Me.” Dear readers…are you “in the way?” Have you come to know Christ by faith and cleansed your guilt-stained soul in His precious blood? Then His law is no longer your enemy and cannot condemn you, and blessed are you who walk in it now!