For me, Psalm 119 is one of the best Psalms on which to meditate. Each time I ponder what the Psalmist says in Psalm 119, I better appreciate just how important God’s Word is to me, and how important it ought to be to every believer. Below are my thoughts on Psalm 119:97.
Psalm 119:97 (ESV) reads:
97 Oh how I love your law! It is my meditation all the day.
In a more “dynamic” translation (the New Living Translation), it reads:
97 Oh, how I love your instructions! I think about them all day long.
The Psalmist wrote that he loves “your law” or, per the NLT, “your instructions.” To better apply what the Psalmist wrote to us in the 21st Century, when he used a word like “your law” or “your instructions,” it corresponds to God’s Word, which is the sixty-six books of the Protestant Bible.
Your love for God’s Word corresponds to one’s love for God. As Ligonier Ministries (R. C. Sproul) writes (boldfacing added):
Love for God and for what He has commanded us to love is inseparable from love for the very commands of God. If we love the Lord, we will love His law, for His law is a reflection of who He is.
Possibly, some people can separate a love for the Bible and a love for God, but to do so isn’t biblical. To say you love God, and yet, don’t carry out even a minimal amount of Bible engagement reflects a disconnect in understanding the biblical truth that the Bible is God’s Word. Being God’s Word means that it is God’s words written by men under the inspiration of the Holy Spirit as 2 Peter 1:21 (ESV) reads:
21 For no prophecy was ever produced by the will of man, but men spoke from God as they were carried along by the Holy Spirit.
The Psalmist then wrote that God’s Word is the subject of his “meditation all the day.” The NLT reads, “I think about them all day long.”
Let me make clear that genuine Christian meditation is not emptying one’s mind and letting it fill with whatever comes in nor does Christian meditation pursue the goal of losing one’s personal identity. Christian meditation involves focusing on the Word of God by reading it and thoughtfully contemplating, fixing our eyes on it, being occupied with it so that it might penetrate our hearts and sanctify us by the power of the Holy Spirit. One could say that to meditate on God’s Word is to be marinated by His Word where it seasons who you are and how you live in thought, word and deed. Any meditation ought to be done in light of the New Covenant in Christ including the price that was paid by Jesus Christ on the cross for our salvation and the command to take the saving gospel of Jesus Christ to the world.
Verse 97 shows a dynamic that happens when one engages the Bible. Here, the Psalmist meditated on God’s Word because he loved it, and then loved it the more because he meditated in it. Any genuine Bible student will agree that the more they study the Bible more they want to study the Bible.
Please understand that when I stress Bible engagement, I do not in any way, shape or form mean mere academic learning or an activity to gain knowledge alone. To spend the time to acquire Bible knowledge alone without application to one’s life is a dangerous pursuit. Such a person can become quite satisfied with their knowledge so that they live an ungodly life even they know a lot of Bible.
The main questions that arise from verse 97 are:
· Does the extent of your Bible engagement comprise an accurate objective indicator of your love for God and His Word?
· If so, does it comprise objective evidence that you love God and His Word? Or, does the extent of your Bible engagement reflect that something else ranks above your love for God and His Word?
Although the extent of a person’s Bible engagement (reading, studying, listening, mediating) may not be completely determinative of their spiritual condition; in my opinion, it is a strong indicator of salvation.
If you are reading this post and your Bible engagement is very weak or essentially non-existent, possibly you ought to examine yourself consistent with what Paul wrote in 2 Corinthians 13:5 (ESV):
5 Examine yourselves, to see whether you are in the faith. Test yourselves. Or do you not realize this about yourselves, that Jesus Christ is in you?—unless indeed you fail to meet the test!
Where you will spend eternity is too important of a decision to get wrong!!
If you are reading this post and are not a Christian, unless God intervenes, your eternal destination is hell. But, your destiny can change. Today can be the day of your salvation. Please see my blog (https://stevebelsheim.com/2020/04/20/for-god-so-loves-you-2/) for a description of how you can be saved and a more concise description at my (https://stevebelsheim.com/2020/10/20/there-is-hope-even-when-there-seems-to-be-no-hope-2/ ).
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