Loving His Manner

Psalms 119:97 (ESV)
Oh how I love your law!
It is my meditation all the day.

When I became a Christian, I suddenly had an affinity for righteousness. I was instantly drawn towards all that is good, what is holy. I was drawn to God Himself. The above verse expresses what only those who have been changed desire. It is not a reflection of the unconverted mind. It is an expression of the Christ abiding heart.

As all Christians would agree, the law of God is an expression of who He is. It tells us something of His very character or essence. The unbeliever does not love God, nor His precepts. They loathe everything about Him. Paul even makes this point when speaking of mankind in general…

Romans 1:29-32 (ESV)
They were filled with all manner of unrighteousness, evil, covetousness, malice. They are full of envy, murder, strife, deceit, maliciousness. They are gossips, slanderers, haters of God, insolent, haughty, boastful, inventors of evil, disobedient to parents, foolish, faithless, heartless, ruthless. Though they know God’s righteous decree that those who practice such things deserve to die, they not only do them but give approval to those who practice them.

But, when God’s Spirit invades a person’s soul, what is described in Psalm 119:97 then becomes their new theme. God, to them, is no longer a nuisance. He is now the substance of their joy.

The psalmist here, is obviously enamored with God’s law. He loves it. Not only does he love it, but he meditates or thinks about it constantly. “All the day,” implies that what is in view consumes him.

Now, I have to admit, as much as I now love God and everything about Him (since repenting and putting my faith in Christ), I can’t say that when I read things like…

Deuteronomy 22:9 (ESV)
You shall not sow your vineyard with two kinds of seed, lest the whole yield be forfeited, the crop that you have sown and the yield of the vineyard.

…I respond like the psalmist, gleefully rejoicing over God’s stipulation about not mixing seeds. That would be kind of silly. So, something else must be going on in Psalm 119:97, or else I might need to ask God to recalibrate my thinking.

Towrah

If you look up the word “law” in the Hebrew, one way of understanding towrah (תּוֹרָה) is “custom, manner.” When you think of one’s manner, you ponder what they are like or who they are. This aspect of the word makes sense here. The psalmist is not expressing an emotion (I don’t think anyway) about how much he loves a verse in Leviticus or Deuteronomy, but he is describing his deep admiration for who God is. He’s proclaiming how he feels about his Lord. Let me show you what I mean…

Let’s replace “law” with “manner” in the verse and see what happens…

Psalms 119:97 (ESV)
Oh how I love your manner!
It is my meditation all the day.

Do you see the beauty of what is being said?

What the psalmist is saying is…

“Oh how I love who You are! It is what I think about every moment.”

What better object of our focus ought we have… than Christ Himself?

Hebrews 12:1b-2 (ESV)
…let us also lay aside every weight, and sin which clings so closely, and let us run with endurance the race that is set before us, looking to Jesus, the founder and perfecter of our faith, who for the joy that was set before him endured the cross, despising the shame, and is seated at the right hand of the throne of God.

May we look to Him “all the day,” continually loving who He is…

Godspeed, to the brethren!

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