MEM - Loving God's Word
(97) How I love your law (Torah)! All day I meditate on it. (98) Your commands make me wiser than my enemies, for they are with me forever. (99) I have more insight than all my teachers, for I meditate on your statutes. (100) I have more understanding than the elders, for I keep your precepts. (101) I have restrained my feet from every evil path so that I may obey your word. (102) I have not turned aside from your judgments, for you, yourself, have instructed me. (103) How sweet to my taste are your words, (sweeter) than honey to my mouth. (104) From your precepts I gain understanding. Therefore, I hate every deceitful path.
Several words in this stanza are repeated for emphasis: the exclamatory “how” (introducing vss. 97 & 103), “meditate” (vss. 97 & 99), “understanding” (vss. 100 & 104), and the phrase, “every evil/deceitful path” (vss. 101 & 104). We should also take note of three consecutive comparisons: “wiser than my enemies” (vs. 98), “more insight than all my teachers” (vs. 99), and “more understanding than the elders” (vs. 100). Altogether, four verses contain comparatives formed in Hebrew by using the featured letter of this stanza, “mem.”
I. A love for God’s Word makes me
- wiser than my enemies. (98)
- more insightful than my teachers. (99)
- more understanding than my elders. (100)
II. A love for God’s Word produces in me a lifestyle that honors God
- by keeping me from evil paths. (101 & 104)
- by giving me a great desire for God’s truth. (102 & 103)
A love for God’s Word produces in me the wisdom that leads to a lifestyle that honors God.
When we read Scripture, we should constantly ask ourselves, “Does this describe my life?” Take, for instance, the great statement of devotion to God’s Word we find in the opening verse of this segment. It sets forth the kind of commitment we desire to see reflected in our lives. But then we find ourselves wondering, “Is it possible to love God’s Word so much that I meditate on it all day long?”
Of the great evangelist, Dwight L. Moody, it was once said, “He was a one book man, but of that one book he was absolute master and servant.” There is really only one way to become a one book person like Moody, someone who truly loves God’s Word. That happens when we spend a significant amount of time each day immersed in the Scriptures, not just reading a verse or two for a minute or two. This kind of meditation involves probing the text, contemplating its significance, thinking deeply about how it should change our lives. Such an approach takes planning, commitment, and personal discipline, but rich rewards await the person who is devoted to loving God’s Word wholeheartedly!