May your unfailing love come to me, O Lord, your salvation according to your promise; then I will answer the one who taunts me, for I trust in your word. Do not snatch the word of truth from my mouth, for I have put my hope in your laws. I will always obey your law, forever and ever. I will walk about in freedom, for I have sought out your precepts. I will speak of your statutes before kings and will not be ashamed. For I delight in your commandments, because I love them. I lift up my hands to your commandments, and I meditate on your decrees.
Notice the first sentence – May your unfailing love come to me. Just mull over it for a while and then proceed reading the rest of it. Now highlight the sentence – I will walk about in freedom, for I have sought out your precepts – in your mind. It states clearly that God’s word is not to bound you, but to set you free.
God’s word holds God’s commands – His ordinances, statutes, laws, precepts and decrees. All of them mean the same thing – God’s word. There has to be a certain approach towards God’s word to be able to comprehend it the right way.
We need His Spirit to understand His word
A human mind cannot perceive what God wants to say. That’s when the Holy Spirit comes into the picture. But when He, the Spirit of truth, comes, He will guide you into all the truth. (John 16:13) We need humility and truthfulness to hear from God. I can open my Bible and read a passage just like I read from any other book. I may like it or not. Let me put it this way – if I sit down to read the Bible just like any other book in the world, I will have opinions about it, I will understand it from my point of view, like it or dislike it. However, the Bible is not a book. Sure, it has pages, an index and chapters. It is still not a book. It is the WORD OF GOD. So it has to be read with a different approach.
How should I read my Bible?
If you read Psalm 119: 41-48 carefully, you will find there are quite a few ways to read the word of God.
Here they are –
Put hope in His laws. (verse 43)
Trust in His word. (verse 42)
Seek His precepts. (verse 45)
Speak of His statutes. (verse 46)
Delight in His commands. (verse 47)
Meditate on His decrees. (verse 48)
It should begin with seeking the truth about God. When we seek something, we are after it until we find it. We need to be intrigued about the word of God. We should be curious about what God is up to (not curious in a way to question God or the way He works). We should really be thirsty for what God has to say about this world, our lives, circumstances and the eternal life He has promised.
Now, as we begin to seek Him, we find Him and the truths that are hidden in His word – The Bible. Now we need to meditate on His word. We need to keep thinking about God’s promises and commandments (just the way we keep thinking about our work, shopping list, money or love).
As we meditate on His word, we also delight in His word. There are so many things to be upset about in our day-to-day lives, but God’s word has secrets to the continual joy of His Kingdom. To delight is to feel the assurance that His promises are true, unchanging and eternal.
When we know God through His word, we can put hope in Him. Yes, promises produce hope. It is not possible to be hopeless when you know God’s word.
Hope leads to faith. When we read his word and know the truth, we need to trust in His word. To trust is to believe without questioning or logic in what God has to say about life, people and this world in general. When we know that God is right, His ordinances are true and just, we simply need to place our trust in Him through His word.
Okay now, we seek, meditate, delight in, hope and trust in His laws, decrees, commands, statutes and precepts. Is there anything else that we need to do? Oh yes, we need to speak His word out! (We speak a lot of things in our everyday lives – lots of crap, actually.) God’s word needs to be spoken out too! God’s word is not just a good book to be read and kept aside on a shelf. It is a source of truth, holiness, wisdom, faith and power. When we extract something out of somewhere, we need to spread it out to allow it to grow.
If I had to put it simply, I’d say God’s commands are actually the key to our much desired happiness –joy and peace. It’s when we disobey or rebel against God, we lose our happiness.
Do you believe the word of God is a source of our happiness?