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The psalmist has just asked God to give him knowledge and good sense. What is knowledge? The same verse answers that question: the teachings of God are knowledge. Further, the psalmist asks for good sense, so that he (or she) can understand the knowledge contained in Scripture and apply it rightly. This word for “good sense” is “taste, judgment” in Hebrew and “training, discipline” in Greek. In other words, Give me your knowledge, God, and teach me to discern it rightly.
Especially in today’s chaotic world, where information is as cheap as dust on a pavement, the child of God needs God’s discernment to sort through what is from him and what is not. Especially prevalent is the temptation to get drawn into politics and to take “sides.” Listen, with God there are no sides. God loves people, not positions. God calls his children from all political persuasions and beliefs.
The child of God can never go wrong by focusing on the basics of the gospel of Jesus Christ. First, know that God is love. He is for us, not against us. Know that all people, including ourselves, are sinners who can never please God without the atoning work of Jesus Christ, the Son of his love, the only human ever who had no sin. Know that Jesus the Son is God–holy, divine, powerful, omnipotent, yet humble as a lamb. Christ died for our sins and was raised again. Because he was raised from the dead–the only person ever to be so permanently raised–we who identify with him will be raised from the dead. How does someone identify with him? By believing his word revealed in Scripture. Then apply that knowledge! Since I am to be resurrected, that should pretty much compensate for all the difficulties I may experience today. Finally, love others–all others–the way Christ loves us. That’s it.
Give me knowledge and good sense, for I have put my faith in your teachings. –Psalm 119:66
Hezekiah’s prayer is recorded in Isaiah 38. That prayer is one of my favorite portions in all of Isaiah. Hezekiah lay dying with a mortal illness. He prayed to God, and here he gives his praise and thanksgiving for God’s answer of healing mercy and forgiveness of all his sins.
Hezekiah reminds me that there are various forms of illness: there are physical illnesses, and there are spiritual. I recently passed through a season of spiritual illness. As the nature of my sin slowly dawned upon me, I turned to the Lord in confession and repentance. I am happy to say he healed me. Not too long afterward, the world pandemic of Coronavirus began. I am so glad to be spiritually recovered during this challenging time. Not only am I better equipped to withstand my own trials, but I am positioned to watch, stand, and pray for others. The Lord is merciful, and he is good. His love is everlasting.