How The Word Changes The Heart

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I hate the double-minded, but I love Your law. You are my hiding place and my shield; I hope in Your word. Depart from me, you evildoers, for I will keep the commandments of my God! Uphold me according to Your word, that I may live; and do not let me be ashamed of my hope. Hold me up, and I shall be safe, and I shall observe Your statutes continually. You reject all those who stray from Your statutes, for their deceit is falsehood. You put away all the wicked of the earth like dross; therefore I love Your testimonies. My flesh trembles for fear of You, and I am afraid of Your judgments. (Psalm 119:113-120)

How The Word Changes The Heart

The fifteenth division of this psalm is a continuing theme of the power of God’s word and the failed wisdom of man. There is a fervency of spirit to abide in the teachings of the law, commandments, statutes, testimonies and judgments of the Lord. It is not merely an intellectual discovery the psalmist makes about the word of God but an emotional bonding that will create in him a deep and abiding love for the law of the Lord. Law keeping in many forms is a system of repetitive expressions of obedience only because of necessity. The statutes of God are framed in such a way to create an emotional response to those who will keep the commandments of truth finding hope, security and fear in the will of the Father. There must be a demonstrative expression of the heart when the word of God dwells as a hiding place and shield in the soul of man. It is impossible to spend much time in the word of God without the message of the Lord inspiring and creating in the heart chords of thanksgiving, praise and glory to the author and finisher of hope. Double-minded hearts are not in tune with the true message of God’s word. Love for the heavenly Father bears open the mind to receive the eternal message of salvation ascribed on the pages of holy writ.

Someone said the scriptures are written to comfort the afflicted but they will also afflict the comfortable. True knowledge of the statutes of the Lord will change the heart in ways never imagined. Truth becomes clearer and evil becomes darker. The evildoers will not last long under the microscope of God’s law. Falsehood will be clearly defined in the testimonies of righteousness from the word of the Lord. There is a remarkable change that impacts the stubborn heart to either receive the message of hope or reject the only hope. Change takes place regardless. Trusting in the word of God will bring about the security of a heavenly hiding place. As a shield in the hands of a soldier the word of God will protect and defend the heart from all attacks of the evil one. Keeping the commandments of the Lord will uphold the spirit of grace in the lives of those who trust in His word without being ashamed. The word of God holds up the weakened hands, strengthens the weary legs and keeps the feet on the path of truth. Those who stray from the path of His word do not abide in His word. Their love is not given to know the law of God. Only when the heart seeks to know the statutes of the Lord will hope and peace be found. The longer one spends in meditation of the word the great the love for His word grows.

A final feature of the word of God is the aspect of fear. The psalmist clearly loves the law of God and makes notations of how much it has changed his life. Included in this transition is the full knowledge of the fear of the Lord. Reading the history of man through the pages of God’s word opens up the mind to the judgment of the Lord upon sinful man. The Lord is full of mercy, grace and love but He has also left a testimony of His fierce anger and wrath against all ungodliness. Noah lived in a time when the wrath of God was demonstrated on a global scale. Abraham witnessed the destruction of the cities of the plain as the Lord rained judgment on the immorality of those condemned. The nation of Israel was given divine authority to exterminate the nations of Canaan because of their iniquity. All flesh should tremble for fear of God and to be afraid of the judgments of God. It is real. The purpose of the examples of the wrath of the Lord is to instill in the heart of all men that God is a Lord of punishment upon the evil doers. This judgment is an expression of His divine love. Everything the Lord God has done is right because the nature of God is truth. Reading the laws, judgments, commandments and statutes of the Lord will demonstrate His goodness and His severity. The question that must be asked is how has the word of God changed your life? If there has been no change you are not reading His word.

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