The reason we are not happy is that we sin, and the main reason we sin as much as we do is that we do not know the Bible well enough. These verses tell us that the happy people are those who “do nothing wrong.” However, if we ask how they have learned not to do wrong, the answer surely is that they have learned to “walk in [God's] ways” and “obey” his precepts. 

I stress living by the Bible, because that is what these opening verses emphasize. This is because the blessedness they speak of is for those who “walk” according to God's law and “keep” his statues. In other words, from the beginning we are to understand that this is a practical matter, a way of life and not merely a course of academic study. On the other hand, it is also clear that we cannot live by the Bible unless we know it well. As the first psalm says, it must be our “meditat[ion] day and night" (v. 2). 

Many writers acknowledge that to be happy is a universal goal of men and women. The only people who do not want to be happy are abnormal. But apart from being instructed by God, human beings do not know how to achieve happiness. They think they will be happy if they can earn enough money, be respected by those with whom they work, acquire enough power to do whatever they like or to be free from all restraints, or discover someone who will love them without conditions. But these pursuits do not ensure happiness, and sin always warps and destroys even the best achievements. 

Not long ago we were studying the shortest psalm in the Psalter, which is also the shortest chapter in the Bible. Here, two psalms later, we are dealing with the longest psalm and the longest chapter. Psalm 117 contained two verses and five lines. Psalm 119 contains 176 verses and 315 lines. The first tells us to praise God. This psalm praises God for his Word, the Bible, because God has given us the Bible and it is only through the Bible that we can come to know who God is and how to praise him. 

The last three verses are a powerful summary and application of all the psalm has been saying up to this point, and they are the last section I want to draw to your attention.