Tuesday, June 18, 2013
“Great peace have those who love Your law, and nothing can make them stumble.” Psalm 119:165
Would you characterize your life as having “great peace,” as the psalmist describes? According to this passage, there is a direct correlation between loving God’s Word and inner peace. So confident is the psalmist of this truth that he boldly states, “nothing can make them stumble.” Nothing…not fear, or anger, or being wronged, or the unknown, or anything else can make him stumble.
But what does it mean to love God’s Word? As you may know, Psalm 119 is the longest chapter in the entire Bible. Apparently, God has a lot to say about His Word, and how He wants us to relate to it. Many times when we think of His law, we think of an old, outdated book. Some don’t even believe it to be the literal words of God, but instead a book about Him. Some dismiss certain parts as irrelevant, while extolling the parts they find comforting and acceptable. How do you think God wants us to honor the Bible? Have you ever pondered this question?
God indeed has a lot to say about His Word. In fact, a synonym for the word, “Torah” (Hebrew word for the first five books of the Old Testament) is used in almost all 176 verses of Psalm 119. Even though this psalm was originally written to refer to the Torah, there is much to glean from it for us today. Is it a coincidence that this chapter is found right in the middle of the Bible? I don’t think so.
The Torah is referred to in basically 10 ways in this chapter – His law, way, testimonies, commandments, precepts, word, judgments, righteousness, statutes, and truth or faithfulness. Each usage shows us a different characteristic of our God and why loving Him and His Word leads to peace.
1) God’s law displays His sovereignty, for who else could establish it?
2) His Way denotes His rule
3) Testimonies characterize His declaration to the world
4) Commandments show His authority
5) Precepts tell us that He has not left things arbitrarily up to us to figure out
6) His Word shows us that the Bible is a declaration of His mind
7) Judgments display His infinite wisdom
8) Righteousness tells His rules and standards for what is right
9) His statutes are always binding
10) Truth or faithfulness shows that His Word is eternal and enduring
In his commentary on this passage, Matthew Henry summed up the relationship between loving God’s Word and peace perfectly. He wrote, “Those who love the world have great vexation, for it does not answer what they expect; those that love God’s Word have great peace, for it outdoes what they expect.”
Father, Give me a deeper love for Your Word. Please give me grace to believe and obey it because it is good and trustworthy. In Jesus’ Name, Amen.