Summary: The act of hiding God’s Word in one’s heart is not just memorizing it, but by living in full devotion to the Lord.
Knowing the Word
Sermon Series: The Manual
We have been going through a Series called: The Manual
Today, we are going to look at the importance of Knowing God’s Word.
We know there is purpose (1st week – 2 Timothy)
We know we should feed on it (2nd week – 1 Peter)
Today I want us to be challenged to KNOW His Word.
I will be reading from the longest chapter in the entire Bible. That longest chapter is found in the longest book of the Bible.
So if you would, turn to Psalm 119.
Ps 119:1 Blessed are they whose ways are blameless,
who walk according to the law of the LORD.
Ps 119:2 Blessed are they who keep his statutes
and seek him with all their heart.
Ps 119:3 They do nothing wrong;
they walk in his ways.
Ps 119:4 You have laid down precepts
that are to be fully obeyed.
Ps 119:5 Oh, that my ways were steadfast
in obeying your decrees!
Ps 119:6 Then I would not be put to shame
when I consider all your commands.
Ps 119:7 I will praise you with an upright heart
as I learn your righteous laws.
Ps 119:8 I will obey your decrees;
do not utterly forsake me.
We find that the blessing of God rests on those who give themselves to wise living. They are people of integrity, living blameless lives. Their walk follows the path set out in God’s law. In his statutes God sets down how he is to be loved, and his loving children respond to his wishes.
The decrees of the Lord give order to human lives, even as they uphold order in the created world.
The hope of the godly is fully placed in the Lord. The psalmist prays that his response to God’s revelation may be acceptable and that no "shame" or ultimate disgrace may overtake him. The shame the author writes of is a state of being abandoned by the Lord and condemned to utter ruin. Thus he prays that the Lord will have mercy on his servant and
"not utterly forsake" him.
The psalmist is looking for God’s favor by which he may again praise his God "with an upright heart." The laws of God are "righteous" in that they establish divine order in this world, granting the godly a sense of deliverance and freedom. As a final expression of commitment, the psalmist stresses that he will OBEY the decrees of God.
If you were to go through the entire chapter of Psalm 119, you would find that it has 176 verses. This is what makes it the longest chapter. Yet out of these 176 verses in Psalm 119, we will find the psalmist make reference to God’s Law 173 times.
The psalmist uses eight words for God’s law:
1. "Law" occurs twenty-five times. In the broad sense it refers to any "instruction" flowing from the revelation of God as the basis for life and action. In the narrow sense it denotes the Law of Moses, whether the Pentateuch, the priestly law, or the Deuteronomic law.
2. "Word" is any word that proceeds from the mouth of the Lord. It is a general designation for divine revelation.
3. "Laws" pertain to particular legal issues ("case laws") that form the basis for Israel’s legal system. God himself is the Great Judge.
4. "Statute(s)" derives from the word that means "witness," "testify"; "testimony" is often synonymous with "covenant". The observance of the "statutes" of the Lord signifies loyalty to the terms of the covenant between God and Israel.
5. "Command(s)" is a frequent designation for anything that the Lord, the covenant God, has ordered.
6. "Decrees" is derived from the root for "engrave," "inscribe." God reveals his royal sovereignty by establishing his divine will in nature and in the covenant community.
7. "Precepts" occurs only in the book of Psalms and appears to be synonymous with "covenant" and with the revelation of God. Its root connotes the authority to determine the relationship between the speaker and the object.
8. "Word" or "promise" may denote anything God has spoken, commanded, or promised.
Throughout this whole chapter, we find the psalmist placing a heavy emphasis on the very Words of God. Not just reading them or hearing them but by living in OBEDIENCE to them.
But in order to be truly obedient, you must learn what it is that God has laid out in His Word, accept it, then live by it.
Let me read this next section starting at verse 9, to help us see how important KNOWING His Word truly is.
Ps 119:9 How can a young man keep his way pure?
By living according to your word.
Ps 119:10 I seek you with all my heart;
do not let me stray from your commands.