Make me to go in the path of thy commandments; for therein do I delight. Incline my heart unto thy testimonies, and not to covetousness. Psalm 119:35, 36
I like paths. I like to see the way clearly marked before me, especially when I walk in the woods or climb a mountain. Not only do paths help me know where to go, they also feel comfortable, because they’ve been proven. A path in the forest stays a path by the wear of many footsteps. (Or by ambitious woodsmen who work hard to keep it clearly marked.) A path says to a traveler “This is the best way, walk here.”
The Psalmist asked for strength to go the right way, to walk the right path. The proven path he spoke about? The path of God’s commandments. It’s been tried and proven true—the very best way to walk. Why did the Psalmist want to walk there? Because he delighted in this path. I too want to walk in the path of God’s commandments. I want to delight in the path he sets before me, and not complain about it.
In the world around me people are clamoring about following the path of God’s commandments. “Why limit yourself to such a narrow path?” they ask. Or, “Why follow any path at all?” They offer alternatives: “All roads lead to God.” “Make your own path.” “Forge your way through the forest. Don’t worry about the ones who follow you; they can find their way alone.” Do I covet their “freedom?” Do I wish to throw caution aside and take a few adventurous steps off the proven path?
“O God,” I cry in alarm, “incline my heart unto thy testimonies, and not to covetousness!”