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Keep Thy Precepts – Diligently

Psalm 119:4 (KJB) “Thou hast commanded us to keep thy precepts diligently.

Throughout the Bible, there are many places that God tells us to keep His commandments. In this chapter, there are five occurrences of “Keep Thy Precepts”.

Psalm 119:63 (KJB) I am a companion of all them that fear thee, and of them that keep thy precepts.

Psalm 119:69 (KJB) The proud have forged a lie against me: but I will keep thy precepts with my whole heart.

Psalm 119:100 (KJB) I understand more than the ancients, because I keep thy precepts.

Psalm 119:134 (KJB) Deliver me from the oppression of man: so will I keep thy precepts.

There are many other verses that also command us to keep God’s commandments. Perhaps all the verses could be summarized by the following:

Deuteronomy 6:17 (KJB) Ye shall diligently keep the commandments of the LORD your God, and his testimonies, and his statutes, which he hath commanded thee.

Here we see the repetition of a word that we would be wise to understand. Diligently – what message is God directing to us when He wants us to Keep His Precepts, diligently? Websters 1828 Dictionary defines diligently as follows:

With steady application and care; with industry or assiduity; not carelessly; not negligently.

Websters 1828 Dictionary.

In similar manner I checked my Oxford English Dictionary and the definition is very similar as you might expect:

Diligently – In a diligent manner; with steady application; assiduously, industriously; not idly or lazily; with dispatch.

The Oxford English Dictionary

A quick search of the word diligently shows it is used around 37 times in the Bible. The first mention of a word is always significant and it is found here:

Exodus 15:26 (KJB) And said, If thou wilt diligently hearken to the voice of the LORD thy God, and wilt do that which is right in his sight, and wilt give ear to his commandments, and keep all his statutes, I will put none of these diseases upon thee, which I have brought upon the Egyptians: for I am the LORD that healeth thee.

The definitions of the word diligently and the application in the Bible leave us with no doubt that we are to give special, steady, attentive care in keeping the commandments or precepts of God. A precept is a commandment or an order. Just the words “Keep they precepts diligently” have significant meaning. Read verse four again from the beginning and ponder each word – Thou (God) hast commanded (not a suggestion) us to keep thy precepts (God’s Word – the Bible) diligently (not idly or lazily).

How many of us can say that we have lived up to that verse? How often do we give mere lip-service to His precepts, going through the motions of serving Him half-hardheartedly? Our duty is to so obey His commandments diligently. I have to admit in reading and studying this verse I can completely understand the inspired writers next comment!

Psalm 119:5-6 (KJB) O that my ways were directed to keep thy statutes! Then shall I not be ashamed, when I have respect unto all thy commandments.

Have I ever during the best times of my life been able to “keep they precepts diligently? We fail is so many ways a volume of books could be written just to document the excuses that we conjure up for ourselves. Reflecting upon our responsibility we should cry out for grace to, for His Grace, to help us keep God’s Word. All too often, the spirit is willing, but the flesh is weak. All too often we are careless in our dedication. How often do we talk about doing God’s work, but fail to actually do it.

We need to change our perspective. We wrote an article some time back and spoke about the following verses.

Ephesians 5:15-17 (KJB) See then that ye walk circumspectly, not as fools, but as wise, Redeeming the time, because the days are evil. Wherefore be ye not unwise, but understanding what the will of the Lord is.

Remember the word circumspectly – meaning to be cautious, with watchfulness every way. To guard against surprise or danger? Let’s first apply walking circumspectly to ourselves as the verse says, not as fools, but as wise. Let’s watch what we do. Being cautiously indeed could mean making decisions based on what God’s Word says not what our heart says. Oh boy can our heart lead us down the wrong road. As verse seventeen says let’s understand what the will of the Lord is. To not overwhelm us to much why don’t we start with a couple of Biblical thoughts to focus on in the coming weeks. Here are a few that I want to concentrate on.

Psalm 119:4 (KJB) Thou hast commanded us to keep thy precepts diligently.

Philippians 4:8-9 (KJB) Finally, brethren, whatsoever things are true, whatsoever things are honest, whatsoever things are just, whatsoever things are pure, whatsoever things are lovely, whatsoever things are of good report; if there be any virtue, and if there be any praise, think on these things. Those things, which ye have both learned, and received, and heard, and seen in me, do: and the God of peace shall be with you.

Romans 12:1-2 (KJB) I beseech you therefore, brethren, by the mercies of God, that ye present your bodies a living sacrifice, holy, acceptable unto God, which is your reasonable service. And be not conformed to this world: but be ye transformed by the renewing of your mind, that ye may prove what is that good, and acceptable, and perfect, will of God.

I am going to focus on these verses for the coming weeks. Why don’t you pick out a few that you can focus on. Let’s move forward to being diligent one step at a time. Wow, just occurred to me looking at these verses about that becoming more diligent is a choice we have to make. It’s a heart problem – and the only way we can change it is to follow God’s precepts. He has commanded us to keep His precepts – diligently, not idly of being lazy. We can do this we just have to spend more time in God’s Word, in prayer and worship.

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