What we read, what we listen to, what we watch — what fills our mind — makes us who we are. We become what fills our mind. So also the psalmist:
“Your statutes are always righteous;
give me understanding that I may live” (119:144).
Literally — “righteous are your statutes forever.” What God calls us to do partakes in God’s very being — the perichoretic relationship of Father, Son, and Spirit shapes the commands. They are designed to draw us into that relationship and to guide us in that very motion. If the perichoresis is God’s eternally self-emptying love of Father into Son and Son in Spirit and Spirit into Son and Son into Father, then the commands of God are designed to lead us into that kind of self-emptying.
Because whatever God does is perfect, his laws lead us into that perfection.
Therefore, the psalmist prays, “give us understanding so we can live.” Perhaps in the sense of surviving the assaults of his enemies, and perhaps in the sense of “really living”. In Joy, in the Presence of God, in the Glory of being in God.
The statutes give “discernment.” As they did for the anointed one (Isa 11:2) and Solomon (Prov. 1:2).
The one who listens and learns and observes the statutes finds words of life — words that give life, words that are life, and words of life.