Love And Hate

bible sword

Oh, how I love Your law! It is my meditation all the day.

You, through Your commandments, make me wiser than my enemies; for they are ever with me. I have more understanding than all my teachers, for Your testimonies are my meditation. I understand more than the ancients, because I keep Your precepts.

I have restrained my feet from every evil way, that I may keep Your word. I have not departed from Your judgments, for You Yourself have taught me.

How sweet are Your words to my taste, sweeter than honey to my mouth!

Through Your precepts I get understanding; therefore I hate every false way.

(Psalm 119:97-104)

Love And Hate

There are only two ways to approach the Bible: either one will love what he reads or he will hate it. The word of God is likened to a sharp two-edged sword that cuts to the discerning soul of its recipient. Few men can digest the word of God because it is a powerful testimony of the flawed character of the sinful nature. Like a mirror reflecting the absolute truth of a man’s soul, the Bible is a reflection of the failed philosophy of human wisdom and the decadent passions of the flesh. Truth is absolute in the word of God. There is only one way of righteousness, one body of truth and life can only come from one source. Everything in the word of God is measured by whether man chooses to obey his Creator or to reject Him. The righteous few hold to the word of God’s commandments while the majority of men follow the path of unrighteousness. Love and hate are the engines that drive the way man views the Bible. For the psalmist, his love for the truth of God’s word is a deeply emotional experience. He ponders the depths of its wisdom every day soaking in all of the riches of the message. His love for the word of God is to recognize the foundation of the laws given by the Lord. Faithfulness is law keeping. Obedience comes from a willingness to follow the commandments written down in the Bible. Without submission to the law man becomes an outlaw or a person outside the law.

Meditating on the commandments of God brings wisdom that excels the knowledge of those who oppose the Lord. The world is filled with disobedient hearts that will not submit to the will of God. Truth guides the heart in paths of righteousness gleaned from the wisdom of the Divine. Bible knowledge creates a mind that is wiser than those who oppose the word of God. There is great wisdom in the world but a knowledge of scripture is the greatest knowledge a man can gain. The psalmist proclaims how the word of God makes him wiser than his teachers because eternal truths are explained through the knowledge of the word of God. Great men of ages past have great wisdom but pale in comparison to Him who is eternal and abides forever. The ancients lived a short time and died. The Lord God is the one who formed the world and the soul of man. He lives throughout all the ages and sits above the circle of the earth ruling through His divine word. Keeping the precepts or teachings of God will give greater wisdom than any man or body of men can accumulate in ten thousand years.

The word of truth moves man from the ways of folly and mistakes of human wisdom. Reading the Bible will keep the mistakes of life to a minimum. There must be a spirit of restraint to protect the heart from pursuing evil by keeping the word of the Lord close to the soul. Danger comes from straying from the path of God’s instructions. There must be a determined will to not depart from the judgments of God and to bind the heart close-knit to the teachings of the Lord. Standing on the rock of salvation requires standing on the rock of salvation and not moving. The word of God is the only safe harbor to sail ships of life from and binding the mind, soul, body and heart to the reading of His laws, commandments, precepts and instructions will keep the soul from the harmful influences of Satan’s wiles. Two imperatives are given by the psalmist: he restrained his feet from every evil way and refused to depart from the judgments of God. That is devotion to the will of the Lord. What he was taught from the word of God would abide in his heart.

There are untold blessings for those who abide in the word of God. The heart that is filled with the word of God is a soul drenched in the riches of sweet truth plucked from the divine orchard of God’s grace. For the psalmist it is sweeter than honey. The word of God is a sweet delicacy of incredible taste as he ponders the wisdom of the word through the ages. Remarkably the Bible today contains so much more than what the psalmist had when he wrote this psalm and how much sweeter are the words of mercy found in the story of Jesus Christ. Regardless, his view of scripture must be mirrored today to find the joy of knowing the precepts of God to gain understanding. The final lesson is the more time spent in the book of the Lord the greater a desire to hate every false way. Truth reveals error. The knowledge of the Bible will make the heart stand firmly against the paths of unrighteousness. Love and hate: love the law of the Lord and hate every false way.

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