97 Oh how I love your law!
It is my meditation all the day.
98 Your commandment makes me wiser than my enemies,
for it is ever with me.
99 I have more understanding than all my teachers,
for your testimonies are my meditation.
100 I understand more than the aged,
for I keep your precepts.
101 I hold back my feet from every evil way,
in order to keep your word.
102 I do not turn aside from your rules,
for you have taught me.
103 How sweet are your words to my taste,
sweeter than honey to my mouth!
104 Through your precepts I get understanding;
therefore I hate every false way.
He was smart, far smarter than I was. This could have been a problem. He was in my class, and I was supposed to be the teacher. At least that is what the sign on my door said and what the Registrar thought in the university administrative offices. It was a wild ride of a semester; I must admit it. I probably learned more than he did.
The psalmist imagines that he knows more than his teachers, he is wise beyond the aged. But read carefully what lets him make that claim. It is not a superior intelligence, but obedience to the laws and statutes of God. He follows the Torah.
This psalm is not about me or you, at least not initially. We have not kept God’s Torah, but Jesus has. Put this psalm into Jesus’ mouth and it might change everything for you. He keeps the Torah, perfectly. The Ten Commandments are not a burden for Him, they are a description of Him. He does mediate upon God’s Torah day and night and the commands of God are sweeter than honey in his mouth. Can you imagine having childhood Jesus in your Sunday School class if you had lived in ancient Nazareth?
There is more to this, however, and here we must also believe, for it is not by sight. This righteousness is for all who believe (Rom. 3:22) and this Jesus lives in us (Gal. 2:20). God made Jesus to be our sin so we might be His righteousness (II Cor. 5:21). In the mystery of Incarnation and Salvation, these words do describe us, perfectly, in Christ.