Sometimes the grind of low enthusiasm results from not having sufficient knowledge to address life's difficulties. While additional training in management or finances or parenting or vocational skills can certainly help, all knowledge must be built upon a foundation of spiritual wisdom. In verses 98–100 of Psalm 119, the composer speaks of the superiority of the Word over three sources of truth held in high esteem by the world.
1. The Word makes us wiser than our enemies.
Your commandments make me wiser than my enemies,
For they are ever mine. (119:98)
The world places great importance on knowledge gained from experience. In this case, the songwriter mentions experience in dealing with our enemies. But he says that the one who has a grasp of the Word is wiser than his enemies. Sometimes difficult people can drag our enthusiasm down. Divine wisdom will help us rise above the negative effects of people who drag us down.
2. The Word gives us more insight than all our teachers.
I have more insight than all my teachers,
For Your testimonies are my meditation. (119:99)
The world also emphasizes the importance of getting knowledge from education. While additional knowledge in a field of study or training in a particular skill never hurts, the Lord says that the one who knows the Word possesses more insight than his educators. What good is an Ivy League education in business or law if you don't know how to live wisely? What help is a vocational certification if moral foolishness leads you astray?
3. The Word causes us to have more understanding than the aged.
I understand more than the aged,
Because I have observed Your precepts. (119:100)
I wholeheartedly encourage respect for older people. I'm becoming one of them! Yet I have noticed that age doesn't necessarily lead to understanding. On the contrary, I have observed many old fools and have learned from many young sages. Verse 100 declares that one who obeys God's Word gains more understanding than many years without the benefit of the Scriptures. In Job 32:8-9, we find a similar observation:
But it is a spirit in man,
And the breath of the Almighty gives them understanding.
The abundant in years may not be wise,
Nor may elders understand justice.
A knowledge and application of the written truths of the Word will better equip us for life than the combined advantages of hard-knock experiences, dedicated teachers, and even decades of living. The Scriptures provide more than mere knowledge. From the Bible, we receive insight. Insight translates to effectiveness. Effectiveness leads to success. Success builds confidence. And confidence inspires enthusiasm.
From Living the Psalms by Charles R. Swindoll, copyright © 2012. Reprinted by permission of Worthy Inspired, an imprint of Hachette Book Group, Inc.
Used with permission. All rights reserved.
Featuring books for your permanent bookshelf from Charles R. Swindoll: Life Is 10% What Happens to You and 90% How You React - softcover book, and Growing Deep in the Christian Life: Essential Truths for Becoming Strong in the Faith.