PSALM 119:97-104  


 

(See:  pronunciation guide for the Hebrew vowels)

PSALM 119:97-104

The mām file. This letter refers to WATER and speaks of spiritual refreshment through the word of God. THE WORD FILE

Verse 97, The Dedication Entry

1. Oh how I love your law: The concept of love places maximum value on its object and therefore produces dedication. Law, is torAh and refers to Godís instruction for life.
2. It is my meditation all the day: The verb involves review, correlation and application.
The intensity of love qualifies the intensity of dedication. The term, ďall the dayĒ is hyperbole to communicate that intensity. It means that in every situation of life, the believer focuses FIRST on divine viewpoint as it is contained in Godís word.

Verse 98, The Wisdom Content Entry

1. Your commandments make me wiser than my enemies:
MitswAh are Godís guidelines for spiritual and moral living.
The verb, make wise, is chAkam as a piel imperfect. The comparison with my enemies is made with the use of the preposition, min in front of the noun for enemy (
íAyabh).
2. For they are mine perpetually: The preposition, kiy, indicates the basis for establishing the believerís superiority over the spiritual rebels. It is because the believer learns Godís word on a daily basis Ė perpetually (le `olAm), and this gives him a superior knowledge CONTENT to the unbelievers who donít have the capacity to process Divine wisdom.


Verse 99, The Wisdom Insight Entry
From CONTENT comes the ability to properly perceive and evaluate life situations.

1. I have more insight than all my teachers: The verb is sAkal as a hiphil perfect to indicate past and present condition based on successful processing of doctrinal instruction.
The comparison is made again with the preposition, min. Teachers is a piel participle of lAmadh. It COULD refer to his progress beyond his instructors, but the context seems to focus on those who are presently negative to God. Thus, it seems more likely that these are instructors who have fallen from their dedication to Godís truth.
2. because your testimonies are my meditation: Testimony is `āduth again and refers to
the principles and facts which center around Godís character and actions. The word, meditation, is the noun, siychAh, and as at verse 97, indicates daily review, correlation and application.
So, in the same way that daily meditation on Godís word gives the believer superior wisdom CONTENT, likewise, daily meditation allows the believer to ďtranslateĒ that knowledge into keen insight about all the issues of human life.

Verse 100, The Orientation Entry

1. I understand more than the aged: The verb is biyn and refers to ORIENTATION to the character and plan of God. It involves orientation to evil and the angelic conflict, which is the key to success as Godís servant in a world ďruledĒ by Satan (2Cor. 4:4; John 12:31).

The comparison to ďthe aged (zAqān),Ē and the connection to the previous verses, makes this believer the most spiritually oriented believer of his day.
The principle behind this comparison as well as the comparison with oneís teachers can be seen at Job 32:1-10.
ďThe abundant in years may not be wise
nor may elders (zAqān) understand justice.Ē

As already noted in my introduction, this believer is the most spiritually oriented believer of his generation and has come under the most severe persecution that has ALMOST shut him down from functioning as an efficient evangelistic servant of God. However, even in such severe circumstances, God was able to use him. And although we have no record of his direct influence on others, God has given us through him, this fantastic psalm that magnifies the most important thing in the believerís life Ė the word of God.
2. Because (kiy) I have observed your precepts: The verb is nAtsar again, and refers mainly to diligent study and then to consistent application. Application is not the basis for orientation to Godís plan; study and COMPREHENSION is. The verb is in the perfect tense to indicate past and present action. This believer has studied diligently in the past and continues to study and mediate on Godís word.

Precepts is piqqudh; Godís truth that has been appointed and gathered for spiritual living.

Verse 101, The Fellowship Entry

1. I have restrained my feet from every evil way: The verb is kAlíA as a qal perfect to indicate both past and present action. It indicates volitional dedication to reject the overt pull of evil, which maintains the believerís fellowship with God. ACTION is the issue in this case, but of course, it requires the ATTITUDE first.
The word for ďevil wayĒ is
íorach (overt way) + r`a. The use of ďfeetĒ and ďíorachĒ clearly focuses on overt behavior. The word, r`a, refers to that which is contrary to Godís standards and is therefore HARMFUL. The issue with EVIL is not so much any POWER of evil, but it refers to that which is harmful to Godís creatures. The contrast of good vs. evil is beneficial vs. harmful.
Satan is evil because he thinks and does that which is HARMFUL to Godís creatures and to Godís plan.
The sin nature is evil because it is harmful to the proper function of man as was originally designed by God.

The attitude and consistent action of keeping away from the overt expression of evil constitutes keeping Godís word. And the keeping of Godís word VINDICATES it as pertinent, adequate and reliable. Godís word gives the standards that are opposite to and of course far superior to the viewpoint and lifestyle of evil.

2. So that I may keep your word: The verb is shAmar as a qal imperfect to indicate personal intent. It means to GUARD or PRESERVE the integrity of something. In this case, it is done through DOING what the word states to be contrary to divine viewpoint and therefore HARMFUL (evil) to Godís people.

Word is dAbhAr and refers to Godís revealed standards in general, and embraces all the other nuances that the various words for Godís truth communicate. In short, all aspects of the divine value system.

Verse 102, The Obedience Entry

1. I have not turned aside from your ordinances: The verb is sur as a qal perfect + the negative, to once again indicate PAST and present action.

The other side of avoiding evil is obedience to good.

Keep in mind that the REPETITION in the psalm is designed to stress the issue of obedience to that which has greater value than anything else in life Ė the word of God.
Ordinances is mishpAt; the standards of divine justice as seen in the morality system that God has designed for the entire human race.

2. For you yourself have taught me: The use of the 2nd person personal pronoun along with the 2nd person of the verb places great emphasis on the statement and indicates direct and intimate interaction. The principle of inspiration is expressed at this point.
This is the only claim to such direct revelation from God that we find here. The FACT that traditionally, this psalm has been accepted as part of the inspired Old Testament Scriptures, lends support to this very personal experience stated by the believer.
This might in fact be the very explanation how this believer could continue to STUDY and LEARN Godís word as he wanders throughout the land. It seems unlikely that he would be able to carry with him the written scrolls of the Torah or other Scripture.
Such personal revelation from God is not a guarantee that the believer will be faithful in obedience, but in this case, it has certainly produced a high quality of sinless consistency as the inspired testimony bears out.

The experience of learning Godís word makes such an impact on the faithful believer, that it motivates him toward obedience.

Verse 103, The Value Entry
How much sweeter are your words (
íimrAh) to my taste than honey to my mouth.

For the trusting believer, there is no greater pleasure or value than the study of Godís word.
Pleasure also communicates value.
The Greater PLEASURE of Godís word is also seen at Psalm 19:10b.
The GREATER value of Godís word is seen at Psalm 19:10a; Proverbs
8:11, 19; 24:13-14.

Verse 104, The Hatred Entry

1. From your precepts (piqqudh) I get understanding: the verb is biyn again to indicate the acquisition of knowledge and insight, that allows the believer to truly understand the nature of that which is contrary to divine viewpoint; that which is falsehood and deception. With such insight, the DIVINE viewpoint attitude of hatred toward that evil is to be naturally expected.
2. therefore I hate every false way: The verb is sAn
íā. This is hatred that reflects Godís attitude of rejecting what is contrary to His viewpoint.
The phrase is every way of falsehood.
íOrach, again indicates that which is OVERT, and sheqer is that which is contrary to truth. It refers to anything that undermines the Divine value system and Godís plan for the proper function of the human race.

Orientation to Godís Hatred
Orientation to the Believerís Hatred of Evil

SUMMARY OF THE THE WORD FILE

Verse 97, The Dedication Entry
In every situation of life, the believer focuses FIRST on divine viewpoint as it is contained in Godís word.

Verse 98, The wisdom CONTENT Entry
Knowledge of Godís word gives the believer greater wisdom than the spiritual rebels.

Verse 99, The Wisdom INSIGHT Entry
Knowledge of Godís word gives the believer greater insight than those who reject truth.

Verse 100, The Orientation Entry
ďThe abundant in years may not be wise
nor may elders (zAqān) understand justice.Ē

Verse 101, The Fellowship Entry
The attitude and consistent action of keeping away from the overt expression of evil constitutes keeping Godís word

Verse 102, The Obedience Entry
The experience of learning Godís word makes such an impact on the faithful believer, that it motivates him toward obedience.

Verse 103, The VALUE Entry
For the trusting believer, there is no greater pleasure or value than the study of Godís word.

Verse 104, The Hatred Entry
Knowledge of Godís word gives the believer the DIVINE viewpoint attitude of hatred toward evil.

 
 

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