The Things God Gave Us
The law of the LORD is perfect, converting the soul: the testimony of the LORD is sure, making wise the simple.
The statutes of the LORD are right, rejoicing the heart: the commandment of the LORD is pure, enlightening the eyes.
The fear of the LORD is clean, enduring for ever: the judgments of the LORD are true and righteous altogether.
More to be desired are they than gold, yea, than much fine gold: sweeter also than honey and the honeycomb.
In Psalm 19:7-10 we see six separate things God has given to His people, and the specific effect of each one in our lives. There is a distinct meaning for each of the words: law, testimony, statutes, commandments, fear, judgments, occurring in this context. A different Hebrew word is used in each.
1. The law of the Lord is perfect. This refers to the law of Moses specifically. The Hebrew word used here is "towrah", or "torah", which refers specifically to the Penteteuch, or the five books of Moses: (Genesis, Exodus, Leviticus, Numbers, and Deuteronomy) or the Decalogue, or Ten Commandments. Converting the soul. Changing the soul from the path of death, caused by sin, to purity and righteousness.
The practical effect of the Word of God is to cause man to look inward and recognize his sinful state, and make him look to Jehovah God for his help. The law gives man knowledge of his sin, its tendency is to convert or turn the soul from sin and the ways of the world, toward God and holiness. The Hebrew word translated "perfect" is tamiym, which means entire, complete, full, perfect, sincerely sound, without spot or blemish, undefiled.
The law shows our sinfulness and misery in departing from God, and the necessity of our return to him. The conversion is not merely outward, but the inner soul of man is moved and converted. Outward changes are useless; unless the change comes from within, the results will be temporary at best.
There are things used in medicine that would be poisonous and deadly, yet can also becomes life-saving. One example of this is curare, used in heart medications. This is the exact same way the law is: by itself, it only convinces of sin, and condemns to death. Combined with the gospel, however, and accompanied by the power of the Holy Spirit, the law brings life. The apostle Paul wrote:
Wherefore the law was our schoolmaster to bring us unto Christ, that we might be justified by faith. (Gal.†3:24) For Christ is the end of the law for righteousness to every one that believeth. (Rom.†10:4)
It is very important to note that we are not justified (declared to be just and righteous) in Godís eyes by trying to keep the law, as if we ever could! Paul made that very clear when he wrote:
Therefore by the deeds of the law there shall no flesh be justified in his sight: for by the law is the knowledge of sin. (Rom.†3:20) I do not frustrate the grace of God: for if righteousness come by the law, then Christ is dead in vain. (Gal.†2:21)
2. The testimony of the Lord is sure. The Hebrew word for testimony is "eduwth", which means "witness". Godís testimony to us is His Holy Bible. In it He bears testimony against sin, and on behalf of righteousness; He testifies of our fall and of our restoration. This testimony is plain, infallible, and certain. God's witness is His Word. It is so certain that we may draw solid comfort from it both now, and for all eternity, and so absolutely sure that no attacks made upon it, can ever weaken the power of itís message. Indeed, even the gates of hell cannot prevail against it! Making wise the simple. It takes a humble, teachable minds believe the word, and become wise unto salvation. Things hidden from the wise and prudent are revealed unto babes. As a law, the Word of God converts, and then as a testimony it teaches.
We must not only be converts, we must be disciples, constantly learning from the one source of all true knowledge, and then putting that knowledge into practice, and experiencing these truths firsthand.
For the word of God is quick, and powerful, and sharper than any two-edged sword, piercing even to the dividing asunder of soul and spirit, and of the joints and marrow, and is a discerner of the thoughts and intents of the heart. (Heb.†4:12)
3. The statutes of the Lord are right. The Hebrew word for statues is "piqquwd", meaning a mandate; specifically used to refer to the Divine laws (plural) of God. His statutes and decrees are founded in righteousness, and are such as are wholly trustworthy. As a physician gives the right medicine, and a counselor the right advice, so does the Book of God. Rejoicing the heart. Note the progression: first one is converted, then made wise, and lastly, made happy. Truth makes the heart right, then gives joy to the right heart. Wisdom and true joy do not come without conversion, nor do they come before conversion.
All scripture is given by inspiration of God, and is profitable for doctrine, for reproof, for correction, for instruction in righteousness: That the man of God may be perfect, thoroughly furnished unto all good works. (II Tim.†3:16-17)
4. The commandment of the Lord is pure. The Hebrew word "mitzvah" is used here, meaning a command, ordinance, or precept, whether human or Divine. Godís Word contains no error to defile it, no stain of sin to pollute it; it is pure and unadulterated. Anything commanded by His Word is pure and holy, and will never lead us wrong. Enlightening the eyes. By itís own purity, Godís Word cleanses our eyes of sinful things that hinder spiritual discernment. The purity of God's truth cures the natural blindness of the soul. Once again, notice the progression: the convert becomes a disciple and next a rejoicing soul, he now obtains a discerning eye. It is through following His commandments and putting them into practice in our own lives that we begin to see clearly the sin that so easily besets us.
The words of the LORD are pure words: as silver tried in a furnace of earth, purified seven times. (Psalm†12:6)
Every word of God is pure: he is a shield unto them that put their trust in him. (Prov.†30:5)
5. The fear of the Lord is clean. The word used here is "yirah", meaning moral reverence. The fear of the Lord is a combination of both humility and reverential awe, as well as fear of incurring His righteous judgment. The effect of reverential fear of the Lord is a life of cleanliness; a life no longer seeking the temporary pleasures of sin, but rather one that seeks to please God. Inward purity results in cleansing out the love of sin, sanctifying the heart in which it reigns. Outward piety means nothing; cleansing must begin within if it is to have any lasting effect. Enduring for ever. Filth brings decay, but cleanness is the great foe of corruption. The grace of God is a pure, abiding and incorruptible principle. Both in the Word and in the heart, when the Lord writes, He says with Pilate, "What I have written, I have written." He will make no erasures Himself, nor will He allow others to do so. The revealed will of God is never changed;
even Jesus said He came not to destroy, but to fulfill. (Matt. 5:17) When the governments of great and might nations are shaken, and ancient constitutions are being trampled, it is comforting to know that the throne of God is unshaken, and his law unchanged.
The fear of the LORD is the beginning of wisdom: a good understanding have all they that do his commandments: his praise endureth for ever. (Psalm †111:10)
6. The judgments of the Lord are true and righteous altogether. The Hebrew word for judgments is "mishpat", and it refers specifically to a verdict (favorable or unfavorable) pronounced judicially, especially a sentence or formal decree. God's judgments, all of them together, or each of them apart, are manifestly just, and need no laborious excuses to justify them. The judicial decisions of Jehovah, whether revealed in the law, or illustrated in the history of His providence, are pure and holy truth; their power is invincible, their justice unimpeachable, and so they shall remain forever and ever. More to be desired are they than gold, yea, than much fine gold: sweeter also than honey and the honeycomb.The judgments of God are true and righteous, and as such, they are more precious than the most precious gold, and are sweet to those who have placed their
faith and trust in Him. For those who have not done so, however, His righteous judgment will be bitter, and will endure forever.
Thy word is true from the beginning: and every one of thy righteous judgments endureth for ever. (Psalm.†119:160)
Not only do His judgments endure forever: So does His truth, His mercy, His righteousness, His name, and His kingdom, and His praise!
For the LORD is good; his mercy is everlasting; and his truth endureth to all generations. (Ps.†100:5)
O give thanks unto the LORD; for he is good; for his mercy endureth for ever. (1 Chron.†16:34)
His work is honourable and glorious: and his righteousness endureth for ever. (Psalm.†111:3)
Thy name, O LORD, endureth for ever; and thy memorial, O LORD, throughout all generations. (Psalm.†135:13)
Thy kingdom is an everlasting kingdom, and thy dominion endureth throughout all generations. (Psalm.†145:13)
The fear of the LORD is the beginning of wisdom: a good understanding have all they that do his commandments: his praise endureth for ever. (Psalm.†111:10)
He is the Alpha and the Omega, the beginning and the end, who was, and is, and ever will be. He has given us His law, His testimony, His statutes, His commandments, and a reverential fear for Him, as well as the sure promise of judgment that will endure forever.
Most of all, He has given us His only begotten Son, Jesus Christ, who paid the price we could never pay to make us acceptable and pleasing to Jehovah God Almighty. Have you placed your faith and trust in Him? If you have not, what are you going to say to Him on that day when He will hand down his judgment? Now is the time to make your choice, because His judgment will endure forever.
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