I HAVE CHOSEN
Psalm 119:30 “I have chosen the way of truth; Your judgments I have laid before me.”
Choice is one of the most, if not the most radical concept that has ever been introduced to mankind. I know that many of us here in the west take this concept of choice for granted sometimes.
But if we take a sober look at the history of mankind, we will come to the conclusion that the majority of humanity never had much of a choice as far as to how they wanted to conduct their lives.
Even today, there are many that are born in nations that refuse to give them a choice, be it freedom of movement, freedom of religion, or even, economic freedom.
If you are born today into a religion that proclaims that to depart from such religion is a crime that is punishable by death, you clearly do not have much of a religious choice, that is, if you want to go on living.
You would be surprise to know how many nations today forbid the right of their citizens to choose which God they want to worship. And if you are a Christian in certain parts of Iraq today, you will be forced to renounce Christ and convert to Islam, and if not, you will die, even if your family had lived in those areas as Christians for hundreds of years.
That is the history of humanity in a nut shell, seems like there is always somebody who thinks that he knows what is better for everybody else, and for some reason they are the ones that end up with the power to lord it over everybody else.
From a biblical perspective let us take a look as to where does the right to choose originate from.
Genesis 2:16-17 “And the Lord God commanded the man, saying, ‘Of every tree of the garden you may freely eat; but of the tree of the knowledge of good and evil you shall not eat, for in the day that you eat of it you shall surely die.’”
Even before Eve was created, the first man, who was created in the image of God, was given a choice; everything was made available to him except one, for he was forbidden to partake of the tree of dead.
God is sovereign, that means that He does whatever He chooses to do.
Adam was created in the image of God, so he was made a sovereign creature. The difference between Adam and God, is that God is Good, so that God can never choose to do wrong, however, even though Adam was made sovereign, he was also naked, that means that he had not yet been clothed with God’s eternal goodness and immortality, since he had not yet partaken of the tree of life, therefore he is forbidden to partake of that which can kill him.
But if Adam partakes of the tree of life first, he makes the tree of death obsolete. For the tree of life offers to cover Adam with God’s goodness and immortality. Which by the way is what Jesus covers us with.
Romans 13:12, 14 “The night is far spent, the day is at hand. Therefore let us cast off the works of darkness, and let us put on (clothe ourselves with) the armor of light...But put on (cover ourselves with) the Lord Jesus Christ, and make no provision for the flesh, to fulfill its lusts.”
This is why when we are born again, that is Jesus becomes the covering for our nakedness, God considers us good and without sin.
1 John 3:9 “Whoever has been born of God does not sin, for His seed (Jesus our covering) remains in him; and he cannot sin, because he has been born of God.”
That is because as far as God is concerned, when we came before His throne and confessed our sins before Him, He killed us, for the soul that sins shall surely die. But since we came before His throne in the name of Jesus, the death of Jesus on the cross is imputed to us, and our sins are forgiven, and Jesus covers us with His goodness and His eternal life.
But even after we become born again, we still have to make choices, for as long as we remain in our mortal bodies that we inherited from Adam, we will always be plagued by our propensity to sin.
1 John 1:8 “If we say that we have no sin, we deceive ourselves, and the truth is not in us.”
So that from the spiritual perspective God only sees the atoning blood of Jesus when He looks at us, for His seed, God’s Son, remains in us, therefore we cannot sin. But from the physical perspective we still have to make choices, and wrong choices bring bad consequences.
1 John 1:7 “But if we walk in the light (here is our choice) as He is in the light, we have fellowship with one another, and the blood of Jesus Christ His Son cleanses us from all sin.”
So that as born-again believers, the choices that we make will determine what our condition will be in any given circumstance.
God already made His choice; He chose to love us, for He is love. He provided for us the cleansing agent, which is the blood of Jesus.
Now it is up to us to either walk in the light, which is the revelation of His salvation to us, or we can choose to follow after the desires of our flesh, and fall into the other choice that God has made for those who reject His free offer of grace and salvation.
Jeremiah 34:17 “Therefore thus says the Lord: ‘You have not obeyed Me in proclaiming liberty, every one to his brother and everyone to his neighbor. Behold, I proclaim liberty to you,’ says the Lord— ‘to the sword, to pestilence, and to famine! And I will deliver you to trouble among all the kingdoms of the earth.’”
Isn’t it amazing that while the world is seeking to enslave men, and to deprive them of choice, and to keep them captive, God is in the business of freedom of choice.
Even when enlightened men, those who should know better, for they have tasted of the freedom that comes from knowing God—turn their backs on God’s grace and love—it is their choice that God gives them the freedom to fall into, no matter how bad their choices are for them.
In our opening text, the eight verses of Psalm 119, verses 25–32, correspond with the Hebrew letter Daleth, which means door.
A door is a place of entrance, no one can be born again unless he first opens the door of his heart to let the Lord in.
Revelation 3:20 “Behold, I stand at the door and knock. If anyone hears My voice and opens the door, I will come in to him and dine with him, and he with me.”
So that the choices that we make open doors through which we will have to transverse, whether we like it or not, so that it becomes very important that we understand where the doors lead that we open by the choices that we make.
Psalm 119:25 “My soul clings to the dust; Revive me according to Your word.”
We open the door to our Lord’s salvation when we come to the realization that we cannot save ourselves. My soul clings to the dust, so we seek the salvation that is prescribed in God’s Word.
How does God Word say that we are to be saved?
Psalm 119:26 “I have declare my ways (confessed my sins), and You answered me (You saved me); teach me Your statutes.”
Why do we need to learn His statutes?
Because our choices open doors, and now that we are saved we do not want to open doors that are not in our best interest. We want to make choices that align with the plans that He has for our lives.
Revelation 3:7 “And to the angel of the church in Philadelphia write, ‘These things says He who is holy, He who is true, He who has the key of David, He who opens and no one shuts, and shuts and no one opens.’”
We want the doors that the Lord opens to remain open, and we want the doors that the Lord closes to remain close. In order for that to happen we need to learn His statutes and make the choices that they prescribe.
Psalm 119:27 “Make me understand the way of Your precepts; so shall I meditate on Your wonderful works.”
Understanding is what we are trying to gain from this lesson. If we can be made vividly aware of the ill consequences of unwise choices, we would think twice before we make them.
Do we really want liberty to fall to the sword, to pestilence, and to famine? I say that is not a liberty that I want. O Lord, please close that door and keep me as far away from it as possible! We can only pray that prayer with real faith if we are made aware, that is, we understand the perils that those wrong choices can bring into our lives.
Psalm 119:28 “My soul melts from heaviness; strengthen me according to You word.”
Imagine that! It seems like the psalmist knew a thing or two about wrong choices, his words seem to cry out, not my will O Lord, not my will, but according to Your Word!
Psalm 119:29 “Remove from me the way of lying, and grant me Your law graciously.”
A lie is always the perversion of truth. Since we desire the truth of His
Word, we need to stay focus on His law, or Word of grace. It is not by works that we have done, but by His grace that we are saved!
Psalm 119:31 “I cling to Your testimonies; O Lord, do not put me to shame!”
Once the right choice was made in verse 30: I have chosen the way of truth, now we cling to His promised salvation, and as we do, we will not be put to shame.
Psalm 119:32 “I will run the course of Your commandments, for You shall enlarge my heart.”
What a beautiful promise we conclude with, a heart that is big enough to receive tremendous enlightenment, and yet, a heart that is able to remain humble and accessible to God at all times.
I want to be like that! Don’t you?