The subject of truth is often up for debate in our culture. There are many people who would have us to believe that truth cannot be definitive. However, truth that is not absolute is not truth. With all the belief systems and competing views out there, how is a Christian supposed to have the time to know what they all say? Don’t we have to read their books and listen to their philosophy if we want to be able to accurately defend our beliefs? The psalmist provides the answer for us in today’s passage.
Section 13 (MEM)
Psalms 119:97-104 O how love I thy law! it is my meditation all the day.
Thou through thy commandments hast made me wiser than mine enemies: for they are ever with me.
I have more understanding than all my teachers: for thy testimonies are my meditation.
I understand more than the ancients, because I keep thy precepts.
I have refrained my feet from every evil way, that I might keep thy word.
I have not departed from thy judgments: for thou hast taught me.
How sweet are thy words unto my taste! yea, sweeter than honey to my mouth!
Through thy precepts I get understanding: therefore I hate every false way.
The psalmist begins this passage with a declaration of delight. He claims that God’s law is his meditation all the day. A similar statement is made about the man who is blessed in Psalms 1:2
Psalms 1:2 But his delight is in the law of the LORD; and in his law doth he meditate day and night.
So, which came first? The chicken, or the egg? Did he meditate on God’s law because he loved it, or did he love it because he meditated on it? I am not sure I can accurately answer that question. However, I do believe that our love for God’s Word will grow the more we spend time in it, and obey it. As we see the truths revealed in its pages, and reap the benefits of obedience to its precepts, we will learn to love it.
I believe as well that it is a love for God that produces a love for His Word. Love the author, love the book. The psalmist points out this connection in the second verse of our passage. He says, “THOU, through thy word…”
Let us never forget that it is God’s Word. The power of the Word is the power of God. He is not separate from His Word. It would be hard to fathom loving God’s Word without loving God.
We also should recognize that it is God who instructs us from His Word. This keeps us from viewing the Bible in some mystical sense. There are some people who hold their Bibles to be intrinsically powerful, but the power of God’s Word is the power of God. We must remember that.
Now, the basic truth that the psalmist expresses in this passage is that because of God’s Word, and the truth God has taught him in it, he has gained wisdom beyond many who are around him. There are three segment of society he mentions. They are:
- His enemies – The psalmist had enemies who were using all their wits to destroy him. God, through His Word, had made the psalmist wiser than his enemies. He was able to withstand their attacks and avoid their pitfalls because of this wisdom.
- His teachers – The world has deified education and knowledge. Men with titles after their names are held as being the authorities on every subject. The psalmist had no such titles, yet, he knew that he knew more about the truth of life, death, and God than any other man, no matter how educated, who did not believe the Bible. This holds true today. Many educated men claim to have the answers to all the questions of the human heart. They have impressive degrees, and spend many years on their education, so that they are now set up as our teachers. Fear not, dear Christian. A thorough understanding of God’s Word will provide more wisdom than a dozen years at the most prestigious universities of the world.
- His elders – He calls these “the ancients,” and more than his elders, this probably refers to the ancient wisdom of the world. Scientific precedent, and entrenched philosophy are no match for the Word of God. Any Christian, no matter his age, can gain wisdom older than the ancient by simply reading and obeying God’s Word. God is the author of all truth and all true wisdom. Learn from Him. You have His book, and he stands ready to instruct you out of it.
The last few verses of the passage show that the psalmist’s love for God’s Word has kept him out of much mischief and sin. He loves God’s Word so much, that he hates all the ways that are contrary to it. He knows the true way, and therefore he hates every false way. There is only one true way. There are many false ways. Learn the truth, and you will spot the error. May we imitate his example.
Heavenly Father, You have given us your Word, and it is a lamp unto our feet. Help us to love your word as the psalmist did. There are so many voices in the world claiming to have the truth. May we focus on your Word, and allow you to be our teacher. Help us to recognize that if You are our teacher, our education will be far superior to every philosophy and belief of man. As we keep your Word, keep us safe from our enemies. Instruct us today. We are your students. In Jesus name, amen.