“PRAISING GOD WITH UPRIGHTNESS OF HEART”- Psalm 119:7
Psalm 119:1-7: 1. Blessed are the undefiled in the way,who walk in the law of the Lord! 2. Blessed are those who keep His testimonies,who seek Him with the whole heart! 3. They also do no iniquity;They walk in His ways. 4. You have commanded us to keep Your precepts diligently. 5. Oh, that my ways were directed to keep Your statutes! 6. Then I would not be ashamed,when I look into all Your commandments. 7. I will praise You with uprightness of heart, when I learn Your righteous judgments.
Verse 7 of Psalm 119 jumped out at me today: “I will praise You with uprightness of heart, when I learn Your righteous judgments”. This phraseology: “uprightness of heart” riveted me. It made me ask the questions: “What is uprightness of heart? Can someone praise God WITHOUT an upright heart?”
When researching the word “uprightness”, I came upon these synonyms: rectitude, decency, integrity, principle, honesty, honour. Baker’s Evangelical Dictionary defined “uprightness” as “unchanging standards, correctness, genuineness, and forthrightness”.
How can a person praise God with honesty, genuineness and integrity? Well, for one, The psalmist says that he was able to do that AFTER learning God’s righteous judgments. I believe a further clue lies in verses 2 and 3 of Psalm 119, which state “Blessed are those who keep His testimonies, who seek Him with the whole heart! They also do no iniquity; They walk in His ways”.
If we claim to HONESTLY praise God, our heart attitudes should be consistent with those claims. Namely, we should delight in and practice the guidelines God has set out for us in His Word. Simultaneously, we should be seeking Him with everything in our hearts, i.e. our primary motivation and passion should be God Himself. Added to this, we shouldn’t harbor any “premeditated, continuing and escalating” sin in our lives (iniquity, as defined by gotquestions.org).
“Uprightness of heart” is indeed a tall order, but it is the way in which God should be praised. I know I’m not there yet, but I desperately want that to be my heart attitude. Maybe you do too?