Summary: Insight & purity [holiness] result from being "Made Wise By The Word." May we too meditate on God's Word throughout the day and grow in understanding & wisdom.
PSALM 119: 97-104 [The Ministry of The Word Series]
MADE WISE BY THE WORD [or A SCHOLAR BECOMES A SAINT]
How should we live? Where is the guide to life? Every new car comes with an owner's manual. But where is the owner's manual for us? The psalmist answers in this section that the owner's manual for life, particularly spiritual life is the Word of God.
So how do you deepen your relationship with the Lord? Our relationship to the Lord is determined by our following His will and His will is revealed in His Word. We cannot be in His will if we are not in His Word.
The psalmist thus declared his love and devotion to the Word which gave him more understanding and wisdom than his enemies, teachers, and elders (vv. 97-100). By God's Word he had kept himself pure (vv. 101-102; 9, 104) and tasted the sweetness of God's promises (v. 103). Insight and purity [holiness] (v. 104) result from being "Made Wise By The Word" (CIT). May we too meditate on God's Word throughout the day and grow in understanding and wisdom. [Mem is the thirteenth letter of the Hebrew alphabet.]
I. CHANGED BY THE WORD, 97-100.
II. CLEANSED BY THE WORD, 101-103.
III. CHARGED BY THE WORD, 104.
Verse 97 begins with a shout of love for the Word. "O how I love Your law!" The concluding phrase proves that he is telling the truth. "It is my meditation all the day."
Note the exclamation. He loves God's Word and boldly expresses it. We love it for its truth. We love it for its wisdom. We love it for its transforming power. ..for its comfort..for its encouragement... for its guidance... We love it for its purity or holiness. We love it for it reveals the Father, Son, and Holy Spirit.
Because he loves the Word he meditates on it all day long. He has so saturated himself in the Word that it is his constant companion and guide.
Meditation takes time. We must first understand what the Bible says which requires study-a little digging. Most important of all, we must apply to our everyday lives what we read and learn. Anything less will produce little or no spiritual growth. There is much to love in the Bible but only as we study it and obey it will it change our lives.
So why is he so preoccupied with God's Word? Why does he fill his mind with it rather than with the news paper, junk novels, or MTV? The answer is that through it he has become wise. The Word of God is teaching him how to live. It's God's owner's manual for life.
Some Christian women had gathered in a home for BIBLE STUDY. When the teacher discovered that she had forgotten to bring her Bible, the hostess offered her the use of her own Bible and went to get it.
Looking where she usually kept it, she was surprised that it wasn't there. She searched for it every where but still no Bible. What will those women think of me, she thought, if I can't even find my own Bible! Running upstairs, she found the cleaning woman, who had just started working there. "Betty," she asked, "have you seen my Bible anyplace?"
The maid responded with a "Praise the Lord! Praise the Lord!" "Why in the world do you say that?" the distressed woman asked. "Because," Betty replied with a big smile on her face, "the first thing I do when I begin at a new place is hide the Bible. I do it just to find out how long it takes people to miss it! I put yours in the linen closet under the sheets."
Many people, even Christians, seldom open the Bible to read it, meditate on it, or study it. And because they fail to partake of the "milk" and "meat" of the Word, they are spiritually undernourished.
If someone should hide your Bible, how long would it take before you missed it? May we not neglect the Word, not even for a day.
The importance of the Scriptures is powerfully stated in verse 98. "Your commandments make me wiser than my enemies, For they are ever mine."
Continually studying the Word made the psalmist wiser than his enemies. He was not distracted or seduced by his enemies lies, for God's commandments are ever with him. Because God's Word was his permanent possession, he has been made wiser that those who try to defeat him.
An example of this was seen when a policeman in Haifa, a port city in Israel, was CHASING SMUGGLERS who were using a cart pulled by a couple of donkeys. When they saw the policeman in pursuit, they realized they didn't have a chance, so they jumped off the cart and escaped. Very devout in his study of Scripture, the policeman devised a plan. He didn't feed the donkeys for three days, then let them go because, from Isaiah 1:3, which says the ass knows his master's crib, he knew that the donkeys would lead him to the home of their master—which they did. [Courson, Jon: Jon Courson's Application Commentary : Vol. 2: Psalms-Malachi. Nashville, TN : Thomas Nelson, 2006, S. 149.]