Imagine if you built an expensive display case out of beautifully polished oak, padded the inside with the most expensive velvet fabric you could find, and enclosed in with a beveled glass door.  Then you placed your Bible in that case showing to all who entered your home how important God’s word was to you.
-
If you really value God’s word, you would not keep it in such a case.  Instead, you would take it out and read it, but what if you read it, but never let it affect your life?  When it comes to God’s word, we should do more than just value it and read it, we should live it.
-
In order to live it though, we must first be taught it.  That does start by reading it.  Psalms 119:33 says, “Teach me, O LORD, the way of thy statutes; and I shall keep it unto the end.”  The Psalmist is committed to guarding God’s word and making it a priority right up to the end, but in order to do that, he understands that he must be taught God’s word.
-
But do we really understand everything that we are taught?  I think of some of the classes I had back in High School where the teacher would stand up and teach, but I did not really understand what he was trying to get across.  For example, I was in college before I really understood the right times to use the words “who and whom“. 
-
Not only should we pray to be taught, we should pray for understanding as well.  “Give me understanding, and I shall keep thy law; yea, I shall observe it with my whole heart.” (Psalm 119:34)  Unless we really understand what God is saying, how can we observe to do it?  That is why it is so important to “study to shew thyself approved unto God, a workman that needeth not to be ashamed, rightly dividing the word of truth.” (II Timothy 2:15)
-
So we need to be taught God’s word, we then need to understand what we are taught, but the next step is to actually do it.  The end of vs. 34 says, “yea, I shall observe it with my whole heart.”  To observe it is actually just one of the steps to doing it though.  In our English language, observe can mean to notice or watch something, or it can mean to carry it out- to do it.  In the Hebrew it was a lot like the word we translate “keep”- it meant to guard or take heed.  It is back to the idea of making God’s word a priority.
-
The Psalmist was not just making it a priority for the sake of looking at God’s word, he was making it a priority so that he could actually carry out obedience to God’s word.  Look at what he asks for next.  “Make me to go in the path of thy commandments; for therein do I delight.” (Psalm 119:35)
-     
Being taught and even understanding what you have learned is not the same as actually having that teaching alter your path.   For example, I have been taught many times how to mud and tape sheetrock.  I know the basics, but when I try to do it, it never turns out the way my teachers taught me to do it.  I can get the job done, but it takes me more time and more steps and the finished product is still not as good.
 -  
Having the knowledge and understanding is one thing, being able to consistently apply what you have learned is another.  The Psalmist understands that, and thus is asking God to make him do what he is supposed to do.
-
You see as we make God’s word a priority, we should want to be taught it, then we should want to understand it, and finally we should want to apply it.  If you do not have all of those, then how can you say that it is really important to you?