Love for the Word

I. O how I love thy law! It is my meditation all the day (Psalm 119:97)

A. This is an exclamation of passion for the TORAH.

1. The focus is on the great LAW of God

2. The love for that law produces righteous behavior.

3. Romans 13:10 --Love worketh no ill to his neighbour: therefore love is the fulfilling of the law.

4. 1 John 5:3 -- For this is the love of God, that we keep his commandments: and his commandments are not grievous.

B. The emphasis of the Psalmists “love” is internal emotion.

1. The Hebrew word is abab nearly equivalent to the Greek phileo.

2. The Hebrew abab does have a breadth of applications

a. Genesis 22:2 – Abraham:  “…Isaac, whom thou lovest”
b. Genesis 27:4 – Isaac:  “make me savoury meat which I love”

3. The New Testament stresses agape; the Old Testament abab

4. The play on words can be seen in John 21:15-17.

a. Jesus asks Peter if he loves (agape) the Lord
b. Peter responds that he is fond (phileo) of the Lord

C. The Psalmist expresses his “love” in many ways in Psalm 119.

1. He “delights” in the commandments because he loves them (47)

2. He will “lift up his hands” because he loves them (48)

3. He “meditates” in the Law because he loves it (97)

4. He “hates vain thoughts” because he loves the Law (113)

5. He sees God work judgment on the wicked and therefore loves the way God sentences them (119)

6. He loves the commandments above “fine gold” (127)

7. He remembers that God answers prayer for those who love God (132)

8. He takes joy in the purity of God’s word (140)

9. He knows God will “consider” him since he loves God’s precepts (159)

10. He summarizes his “love” in Psalm 119:163-165 – “I hate and abhor lying: but thy law do I love.  Seven times a day do I praise thee because of thy righteous judgments. Great peace have they which love thy law: and nothing shall offend them.”

II. The Law and Commandments have produced a growing level of wisdom.

A. There is a growth in intellectual abilities.

1. He has become “wiser” than his enemies (Psalm 119:98)

a. Wisdom is usually the final product of knowledge and understanding.
1) Job 32:9 -- Great men are not always wise neither do the aged understand judgment
2) Proverbs 6:6 -- Go to the ant, thou sluggard; consider her ways, and be wise
b. Wisdom is most frequently seen to emphasize the ability to use information for a successful outcome.
c. Knowledge (facts) > Understanding (why) > Wisdom (success)
d. The wisdom of the commandments has produced a triumph over both the personal enemies and (by implication) God’s enemies.
e. Note:  God’s enemies are “practical” enough to understand the value of “wisdom”
1) Pharaoh telling his advisors to increase the labour on Israel (bricks with no staw): Come on, let us deal wisely with them; lest they multiply, and it come to pass, that, when there falleth out any war, they join also unto our enemies and fight against us, and so get them up out of the land. (Exodus 1:10)

2. He has more “understanding” than his teachers (those with knowledge)

a. The Hebrew word in Psalm 119:99 is sakal.  It emphasizes careful consideration – the pondering process.
b. Isaiah 41:20 -- That they may see, and know, and consider, and understand together, that the hand of the LORD hath done this, and the Holy One of Israel hath created it.  (Note process)
c. 1 Samuel 18:14-15 -- And David behaved himself wisely in all his ways; and the LORD was with him. Wherefore when Saul saw that he behaved himself very wisely, he was afraid of him.

3. He “understands” more that the ancients (those with experience).

a. The Hebrew word in Psalm 119:100 is biyn.  It emphasizes discernment or insight – the “aha” moment.
b. Psalm 32:8-9 -- I will instruct thee and teach thee in the way which thou shalt go: I will guide thee with mine eye. Be ye not as the horse, or as the mule, which have no understanding: whose mouth must be held in with bit and bridle, lest they come near unto thee.
c. Hosea 14:9 -- Who is wise, and he shall understand these things? prudent, and he shall know them? for the ways of the LORD are right, and the just shall walk in them: but the transgressors shall fall therein.

B. There is growth in personal righteousness.

1. He has “refrained” his feet from every evil way (119:101)

a. The Hebrew word is kala’, which emphasises restraint.
b. Genesis 8:2 -- The fountains also of the deep and the windows of heaven were stopped, and the rain from heaven was restrained
c. Haggai 1:10 -- Therefore the heaven over you is stayed from dew, and the earth is stayed from her fruit.

2. He has not “departed” from God’s judgments (119:102)

a. The Hebrew word is cuwr, which denotes the choice to turn away.
b. Daniel 9:5 -- We have sinned, and have committed iniquity, and have done wickedly, and have rebelled, even by departing from thy precepts and from thy judgments

3. He has discovered the “sweetness” of God’s Word (119:103)

a. Ezekiel 2:8 through 3:3 -- But thou, son of man, hear what I say unto thee; Be not thou rebellious like that rebellious house: open thy mouth, and eat that I give thee. And when I looked, behold, an hand was sent unto me; and, lo, a roll of a book was therein; And he spread it before me; and it was written within and without: and there was written therein lamentations, and mourning, and woe. Moreover he said unto me, Son of man, eat that thou findest; eat this roll, and go speak unto the house of Israel. So I opened my mouth, and he caused me to eat that roll. And he said unto me, Son of man, cause thy belly to eat, and fill thy bowels with this roll that I give thee. Then did I eat it; and it was in my mouth as honey for sweetness.
b. Revelation 10:8-10 -- And the voice which I heard from heaven spake unto me again, and said, Go and take the little book which is open in the hand of the angel which standeth upon the sea and upon the earth. And I went unto the angel, and said unto him, Give me the little book. And he said unto me, Take it, and eat it up; and it shall make thy belly bitter, but it shall be in thy mouth sweet as honey. And I took the little book out of the angel’s hand, and ate it up; and it was in my mouth sweet as honey: and as soon as I had eaten it, my belly was bitter.

III. The combined love for the Word and the growth in righteousness must result in an equal “hatred” for the “evil way.”

A. Hatred is the flip side of love.

1. Psalm 11:5 -- The LORD trieth the righteous: but the wicked and him that loveth violence his soul hateth.

2. Psalm 5:54-6 -- or thou art not a God that hath pleasure in wickedness: neither shall evil dwell with thee. The foolish shall not stand in thy sight: thou hatest all workers of iniquity. Thou shalt destroy them that speak leasing: the LORD will abhor the bloody and deceitful man.

B. Hatred for evil is a direct result of loving what God loves.

1. Proverbs 6:16-19 --These six things doth the LORD hate: yea, seven are an abomination unto him: A proud look, a lying tongue, and hands that shed innocent blood, An heart that deviseth wicked imaginations, feet that be swift in running to mischief, A false witness that speaketh lies, and he that soweth discord among brethren.

2. Proverbs 13:5 -- A righteous man hateth lying

3. Proverbs 8:13 -- The fear of the LORD is to hate evil: pride, and arrogancy, and the evil way, and the froward mouth, do I hate.

4. Psalm 97:10 -- Ye that love the LORD, hate evil

C. Hatred for the evil way will change your relationship with others.

1. Psalm 101:3-4 -- I will set no wicked thing before mine eyes: I hate the work of them that turn aside; it shall not cleave to me. A froward heart shall depart from me: I will not know a wicked person. Whoso privily slandereth his neighbour, him will I cut off: him that hath an high look and a proud heart will not I suffer. Mine eyes shall be upon the faithful of the land, that they may dwell with me: he that walketh in a perfect way, he shall serve me.  He that worketh deceit shall not dwell within my house: he that telleth lies shall not tarry in my sight.

2. Job 31:1 -- I made a covenant with mine eyes; why then should I think upon a maid?

3. Proverbs 13:20 -- He that walketh with wise men shall be wise: but a companion of fools shall be destroyed.

4. Pr 28:7 -- Whoso keepeth the law is a wise son: but he that is a companion of riotous men shameth his father.

5. Ps 119:63 -- I am a companion of all them that fear thee, and of them that keep thy precepts.

6. James 4:4  Ye adulterers and adulteresses, know ye not that the friendship of the world is enmity with God? whosoever therefore will be a friend of the world is the enemy of God.

7. Revelation 21:27 -- And there shall in no wise enter into it any thing that defileth, neither whatsoever worketh abomination, or maketh a lie: but they which are written in the Lamb’s book of life.

2 Peter 3:10-14

But the day of the Lord will come as a thief in the night; in the which the heavens shall pass away with a great noise, and the elements shall melt with fervent heat, the earth also and the works that are therein shall be burned up.  Seeing then that all these things shall be dissolved, what manner of persons ought ye to be in all holy conversation and godliness, Looking for and hasting unto the coming of the day of God, wherein the heavens being on fire shall be dissolved, and the elements shall melt with fervent heat?

Nevertheless we, according to his promise, look for new heavens and a new earth, wherein dwelleth righteousness.  Wherefore, beloved, seeing that ye look for such things, be diligent that ye may be found of him in peace, without spot, and blameless.

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