Your word is a lamp to my feet and a light for my path. In this verse the Psalmist testifies that the Divine Law was his school-master and guide in leading a holy life. He thus, by his own example, prescribes the same rule to us all; and it is highly necessary to observe this rule; for while each of us follows what seems good in his own estimation, we become entangled in inextricable and frightful mazes. The more distinctly to understand his intention, it is to be noted, that the word of God is set in opposition to all human counsels. What the world judges right is often crooked and perverse in the judgment of God, who approves of no other manner of living, than that which is framed according to the rule of his law. It is also to be observed, that David could not have been guided by God’s word, unless he had first renounced the wisdom of the flesh, for it is only when we are brought to do this, that we begin to be of a teachable disposition. But the metaphor which he uses implies something more; namely, that unless the word of God enlighten men’s path, the whole of their life is enveloped in darkness and obscurity, so that they cannot do anything else than miserably wander from the right way; and again, that when we submit ourselves with docility to the teaching of God’s law, we are in no danger of going astray. Let us, then, be assured that an unerring light is to be found there, provided we open our eyes to behold it. The Apostle Peter (2 Peter 1:19) has more plainly expressed the same sentiment, when he commends the faithful for taking heed to the word of prophecy, “as a light that shines in a dark place.”
Your statutes are my heritage forever; they are the joy of my heart. The prophet, to stir us up by his own example, asserts, that he took such pleasure in God’s ceremonies as to esteem nothing more precious. It is love only which leads us to set a value on any object; and therefore, it is requisite, in order to our observing the Divine law with the reverence due to it, that we begin with this delight in it. God’s testimonies convey to our minds a joy, which, causing us to reject and despise all other things, holds our affections fast bound to them.
Heart Aflame: Daily Readings from Calvin on the Psalms by John Calvin