Oh, that my ways were steadfast in obeying your decrees! Then I would not be put to shame when I consider all your commands. (Ps. 119:5–6)

How do I get home? In the days before GPS navigation, I found myself asking this disconcerting question during what should have been a simple drive. I lived in a small town in Iowa and taught at a local Bible college. I had made the hour-long drive to the Des Moines airport to pick up a new student. Now it was well over an hour into the return trip when a road sign alerted me that I was heading out of state!

How had I gotten into this predicament? Instead of getting clear directions, I’d relied on my ability to feel my way home. Somewhere I had taken a wrong exit. I had to turn around and follow the signs to get back on the right route. Some three hours after leaving the airport, the new student and his chagrined chauffeur finally reached their destination.

Psalm 119’s author knew the embarrassment of getting off track. That’s why he wrote the longest psalm in the Bible (176 verses) to praise God’s law. It’s God’s set of directions to warn us when we’re straying and point us toward the right road. Jesus came so we could fulfill God’s law from the heart (see Matt. 5:17–48; Rom. 8:3–4; 13:8–10). Will we learn and love his directions like the psalmist, or end up like I did—ashamed and far from home?

Thank God for one of his commands and commit to live by it.

Jerome Van Kuiken grew up in the Philippines as the child of missionaries. He teaches Bible, theology, and apologetics at Oklahoma Wesleyan University and serves in the children’s ministry at his local church.

© 2019 Wesleyan Publishing House. Reprinted from Light from the Word. Used by permission.