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 PSALM 19:7-11

"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. Moreover by them is thy servant warned: and in keeping of them there is great reward."

the word of god!

 

 A Preacher in his Study

 

LESSON 1, INTRODUCTION:

Thinking of the Scriptures, Psalm 19 often comes to mind. The first part of the Psalm talks about God's works. The second section speaks of God's Word! Both are perfect!

Let me show you.

"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. Moreover by them is thy servant warned: and in keeping of them there is great reward." Psalm 19:7-11

I believe the Word of God, what we call the Bible, is named and renamed, several times, in this Text.

It is the "law" of the Lord. It is also the "testimony" of the Lord. And also it is composed of His "statutes!" And "commandment." You see what I mean. Even when the Psalmist mentions "the fear of the Lord," he obviously has Scripture in mind. Not to mention "judgments," the Bible is full of them.

Looks like God's Word does it all!

Everything we need in our Christian lives!

And that's what Paul said in 2nd Timothy 3:16. "All scripture is given by inspiration of God, and is profitable ...." I stopped the verse at this key word, "profitable!" That word is "ophelimos" in Greek. Really, it gives us the New Testament name "Philemon" too!

It means "profitable" in this sense. "Ophelimos" is derived from "ophelos," a noun that in turn comes from the verb "ophello." And that verb, picturesquely, means "to heap up" something. To "make a pile" of it! "To accumulate" it! And that something is most often considered to be good and enriching and helpful in nature, not anything harmful!

See?

God's Word "piles up" good things in your Christian life!

It helps you "accumulate" what you need to grow day by day!

Wow!

We just might settle in Psalm 19 a few days and see what Scripture claims for itself! Such a venture ought to make us more fervent students of Holy Writ, the precious Word of God!

Anyone ready to start?

                                                                                 --- Dr. Mike Bagwell

 

 

LESSON 2, THE LAW OF THE LORD:

The Psalmist David writes: "The law of the LORD is perfect, converting the soul." That's his first sentence in the paragraph, Psalm 19:7a, the "a" merely meaning that it's the first clause in the verse.

I am immediately going to suggest that the term "law" here refers to more that the five Books of Moses. That well may be their usual designation, but not in this Psalm. I suspect here they refer to all the written Word of God.

God's Word is God's Law, that kind of thing.

The specific noun for "law" is the familiar word "torah." It does mean "direction, instruction, law," even "teaching" say the experts. But get this. It comes from a root word, "yarah," that means "to throw, shoot, cast or pour!"

Let's concentrate on that "pouring" aspect a second. I notice that in the King James Version the translators render "yarah" as "to rain" twice, not "reign" like a king but "rain" as in falling water droplets. It is also expressed as "watered" once. I've even heard scholars say it can mean "to pour."

The suggestion is that God's Word is like life-giving water, pouring out of Heaven onto our thirsty souls! Look at Deuteronomy 32:2. "My doctrine shall drop as the rain, my speech shall distil as the dew, as the small rain upon the tender herb, and as the showers upon the grass." God said that, comparing His Word, His Doctrine, to the falling rain!

Even Job 29:22 does this. The Patriarch says, "My speech dropped upon them. And they waited for me as for the rain; and they opened their mouth wide as for the latter rain."

Isaiah does this as well, but quoting God again. "For as the rain cometh down, and the snow from heaven, and returneth not thither, but watereth the earth, and maketh it bring forth and bud, that it may give seed to the sower, and bread to the eater: so shall my Word be that goeth forth out of my mouth." Isaiah 55:10-11

When God's Man gets to preaching and the Holy Spirit anoints what's being said, it's like it starts "raining" in that place! The sweet refreshing "showers" of God's inspired Word falling all around!

That's probably where the old-timers' expression "getting out of the banks" originates. Lots of rain! Lots of God's Word!

Paul may even have this "raining" effect of Scripture in mind when he wrote 1st Corinthians 3:6. Watch the underlining. "I have planted, Apollos watered; but God gave the increase."

Please Lord, no draught.

Let it rain!

Pour out Thy Word, Lord.

What I'm trying to say is that the "law" of the Lord represents every chapter in the Book, each verse of which is fully capable of watering our thirsty hearts! Of producing growth in our hungry spirits! Of refreshing our dusty feet!

Then, "The law of the LORD is perfect, converting the soul."

Yes, God's Word is perfect!

"Tamiym" is the adjective used, meaning "complete, whole, entire, sound, or full!" In the King James Text here are it's appearances: ""without blemish" 44 times, "upright" 8 times, "without spot" 6 times, "sincere" 2 times, plus others.

Nothing is missing from Scripture! The root verb of "tamiym" is "tamam," that is "to complete, to finish, to be done." Don't expect a 67th Book of the Bible! It's not coming!

When Jude charged us to "Earnestly contend for the faith (the Word of God) which was once delivered unto the saints," he used an adverb that means "once for all!" The Bible is a completed Book!

Without error, too!

"The law of the LORD is perfect, converting the soul." 

Furthermore, here the Word of God is pictured as "converting the soul" as well! It is vital in the salvation issue! Here's how James, in the New Testament, words it. "Receive with meekness the engrafted word, which is able to save your souls." James 1:21

No Word of God ... no salvation!

But let's check that word "converting" more carefully. "Shub" means "to turn back, to restore, to recover, to deliver."

Scripture can absolutely transform the whole personality! The whole person! Everything he or she is!

It can help us make an "about face," an "180 degree" turn!

Sounds initially like "repentance." In fact, "shub" is the Old Testament word for repenting!

It also sounds like a life-changing process! Sanctification, through the medium of the precious Word of God!

And the soul, "nephesh," is derived from a verb, "naphash," that essentially means "to breath." It is representative of life itself. One's very innermost being, his mind and will and emotions.

God's Word can change everything!

How all-encompassing it truly is!

"The law of the LORD is perfect, converting the soul."

Tomorrow, Lord willing, we shall examine the "testimony" of the Lord. It's great, too!

                                                                          --- Dr. Mike Bagwell

 

 

LESSON 3, THE TESTIMONY OF THE LORD:

According to Psalm 19, here's another great thing about the Word of God. This fact is taken from the last half of the seventh verse. "The testimony of the LORD is sure, making wise the simple."

What portion of the Scriptures could be classified as "testimony?"

While this noun, "eduth" in Hebrew, likely refers to the whole of Scripture, it precisely means "witness," or maybe "evidence." Legal terms.

But the root of the word "eduth" is ultimately "ud," a verb meaning "to return, to repeat, to go about, to do again."

I believe "testimony" then might refer to those portions of Scripture that are "repeated" in God's Word!

The Ten Commandments are repeated, being found both in Exodus 20 and Deuteronomy 5, and most of them again in the New Testament, this time by Jesus Himself!

Some of the Psalms are repeated too. As are the miracles of Jesus, many of His Sermons and sayings as well.

And, thank God the Virgin Birth and Crucifixion and Resurrection accounts are given again and again!

Not to mention the prophecies of Jesus' Second Coming!

Facts all so important to God that He thought they needed to be emphasized and then re-emphasized, told over and over again.

These certainly qualify as "testimonies."

And since "testimony" or "eduth" implies "witness," perhaps this verse links all the repetition together. "At the mouth of two witnesses, or three witnesses, shall he that is worthy of death be put to death; but at the mouth of one witness he shall not be put to death." Deuteronomy 17:6, two or three sets of eyes had to corroborate an event for it to be legally viable!

God thus testifies to the veracity and authenticity of His Own Word! Multifold, He does!

But, what do these "repetitious," better said, "twice-told" or "thrice-told" truths do for the Christian, for the born-again Bible student?

"The testimony of the LORD is sure, making wise the simple."

They give him or her surety.

The verbal adjective "sure" translates "aman" in Hebrew. It means "faithful, established, verifiable, stedfast, continual, trustworthy!" Also I just noticed that it's rendered "nurse" three times.

"And Naomi took the child, and laid it in her bosom, and became nurse unto it." Ruth 4:16 where the word nurse, surprisingly, is "aman."

God's oft-repeated sections of the Bible breed assurance!

And nourish spiritual growth!

What else, if anything?

"The testimony of the LORD is sure, making wise the simple." Psalm 19:7b

It makes us wise.

The verb "making wise" is "chakam," having a hint of "teaching or instructing a person in wisdom." A definition for "wisdom" I love is "skill in living godly!"

Truly God's Word imparts such wisdom!

The "simple," in Hebrew "pethiy," can mean "naive, open-minded," and as a synonym "easily led" I would suggest! The root of "pethiy" is "pathah," meaning "to be wide-open, to be spacious, to be gullible!"

The kind who would believe anything!

Like in Proverbs 14:15, "The simple believeth every word."

There you have it!

God's Word, especially the dual and triple records, often parallel in form, give us more confidence, more wisdom and more discernment!

Think I'll go read Jesus' "feeding of the thousands" miracle again, that little boy with his "loaves and fishes!" After all, it's told in the New Testament four times! Once each by Matthew and Mark and Luke and John!

Such accounts will lessen my doubt.

Increase my knowledge.

And sharpen my sensitivity!

Wow!

Pretty good, for a bunch of "testimony!"

Inspired testimony, that is!

                                                                        --- Dr. Mike Bagwell

 

 

LESSON 4, THE STATUTES OF THE LORD:

Its litany of praise continues!

Psalm 19 lauds the Word of God, perhaps as no other passage in Scripture. Beauty and substance are there!

Here's today's slice of truth. "The statutes of the LORD are right, rejoicing the heart." Psalm 19:8

We are suggesting that the "statutes" of the Lord here in verse eight are basically equivalent to the "testimony" of the Lord and the "law" of the Lord in the previous verse, verse seven.

"Basically," I say.

There are small nuances of difference, no doubt, or the Holy Spirit would not have chosen different nouns.

But the whole Paragraph, our entire Text for this series of Bible lessons, Psalm 19:7-11, exalts the Word of God, all the Word of God!

But, more specifically, what are the "statutes" of the Lord?

The word is spelled "piqqud." Most Hebrew dictionaries, called lexicons, define it as "precepts." In fact, Psalm 19:8, right here, is the only place in the Bible that "piqqud" is translated "statutes." The list, King James wise, looks like this: "piqqud," rendered as "precept" 21 times, "commandment" 2 times, and "statute" 1 time.

Technically, a "precept" is based on its Latin background. "Pre" means "before" and "cepere" means "to take." It pictures a standard of conduct, the "precept" itself, that will determine in advance my response to a given situation.

It "takes over" my behavior and, as it were, automatically "guides" my response!

Conditioning!

Programming!

Though it's a more negative term, brainwashing!

But, and more to the point today, let's study the Hebrew background of the noun "statutes," not its Latin etymology.

"Piqqud" is derived from "paqad," a verb meaning "to attend to, to number, to visit, to look after, to care for." Again, its King James usage is beautiful and varied.

The word seems to have a "mathematical" connotation.

Here we go, straight from a concordance. "Piqqud," from "paqad" translated "to number" (as in "to count") 119 times! Get that, 119 times! "To visit," 59 times then on down the list until "to count," 3 times. Then come a few more.

I suggest to you, after prayerful consideration, that the "statues" of the Lord are those "favorite" passages of the Bible, those which the Holy Spirit has put "into" you heart, that you especially love, that you visit and re-visit again and again! So many times you can hardly "count" them!

Those are the "statutes!"

Mine are verses like Psalm 34:3 and 1st Corinthians 15:58 and Psalm 37:4 and Revelation 22, the whole chapter, about Heaven! Plus a few dozen others. And always including the Text I'm studying here on the Website at any given time!

Yours will be different yet.

"Statues," you go there time and time again!

These become "part" of you!

These "pre-program" your behavior!

These "visit" you every day, either literally with an open Bible or mentally via meditation or spiritually through the ministry of the Holy Spirit!

I like this concept!

But quickly back to the verse, its first clause, "The statures of the Lord are right."  This little adjective is "yashar," meaning "level or straight!" Or at times, "upright" in the sense of being "just or lawful."

These "statues" will keep us "straight!" In other words, "in line!" Focused! On target! On task!

No excessive "ups and downs" in our Christian lives, just level and steady and faithful service for Jesus!

Again, that idea of the "precept" is evident. 

Well, if you're correct, Brother Bagwell, what do these "statutes" do? What do they do for us who are saved?

 "The statutes of the LORD are right, rejoicing the heart." Psalm 19:8, that's what they do, bring joy and delight to our hearts!

The verb "rejoicing" is "samach," that is, "to make glad, to be merry!" Except that here it's a piel stem verb, indicating intensive and vigorous action! Really rejoicing!

It makes you "brighten up," or "cheer up." For example: "The light of the eyes rejoiceth the heart." Proverbs 15:30, note the correlation.

Here are some things in the Bible that are said to "gladden" mankind. Wine, ointment or perfume, a wise son, and a kind word, among others. But foremost on our list today is ... the Word of God! Especially His "statutes," those favorite passages that speak to us repeatedly!

I dearly love Psalm 34:3, especially now that my wife has gone to Heaven!

And 1st Corinthians 15:58 has been my life verse since I was an early teenager! It indeed rejoices my heart! I have written that reference thousands of times, I guess, when signing people's Bibles. As I do, every time, its message again thrills my soul!

Verses that "watch over" us!

That "visit" us regularly!

That "guide" our lives!

Yes!

"The statutes of the LORD are right, rejoicing the heart."

That little noun "heart" is "leb" and just means one's "innermost being." It may even include the mind and will and soul, even his understanding and her spirit. Whatever it is, it is "happy" in the Word of God!

That is, if it revels in the "statues" of Scripture!

Wow!

Re-visit some of your favorite verses today!

                                                                                 --- Dr. Mike Bagwell

 

 

LESSON 5, THE COMMANDMENT OF THE LORD:

David wrote, referring to the precious Word of God: "The commandment of the LORD is pure, enlightening the eyes." Psalm 19:8

Much of God's Word is "commandment" oriented, thousands of such "orders" being included in Scripture.

The commandments God gave Moses.

The commandments of Jesus.

I once taught a class to a group of Preachers which I called "the commandments of Paul," considering every time the Apostle used an imperative verb in all his writings!

Even the little New Testament Book of James is full of commandments!

Yes, indeed: "The commandment of the LORD is pure, enlightening the eyes." Psalm 19:8

Using the singular form of "commandment," likely representing all the commands of the Bible, the Holy Spirit has chosen the Hebrew noun "mitzsvah." It means "a charge given and expected to be obeyed." Also, "an order issued by a leader."

God made us.

He has the right to tell us what to do!

God saved us too, those who have been born-again.

Thus He yet again has the prerogative to require certain actions from us. By virtue of His being our Redeemer!

The old Jewish rabbis said that the Law contained six hundred and thirteen total commandments!

And that Micah reduced them all to just three requirements! "He hath shewed thee, O man, what is good; and what doth the LORD require of thee, but to do justly, and to love mercy, and to walk humbly with thy God?" Micah 6:8

And then Jesus carried that total down to two. "Then one of them, which was a lawyer, asked him a question, tempting him, and saying, Master, which is the great commandment in the law? Jesus said unto him, Thou shalt love the Lord thy God with all thy heart, and with all thy soul, and with all thy mind. This is the first and great commandment. And the second is like unto it, Thou shalt love thy neighbour as thyself. On these two commandments hang all the law and the prophets." Matthew 22:35-40

Well, the Psalmist David I think is now calling the whole Bible the "commandment" of the Lord.

No matter how many exact imperatives it contains!

And, get this, every one of these commands is designed to lead us to a pure life!

Not a single one promotes sin in any way at all!

They are designed with holiness in mind.

So much so that the Holy Spirit says in our Text: "The commandment of the LORD is pure."

The adjective "pure" is spelled "bar," meaning "clean, sincere," even at times "choice."   It is based on a verb, "barar," that means "to select, polish, make bright and purify."

God's commands are not "burdens" to hinder us, but "brushes" to polish and clean us!

God's favorite parts of Scripture just may be His commands! I say that because of the meanings "choice, select, polished" inherent in "bar," the English word "pure" used here!

Why would His commands be God's favorites?

Perhaps simply because of this verse, John 14:15. "If ye love me, keep my commandments."

Amen!

God's commands are pure, all right, and our obeying them reveals and proves genuine love!

This helps me.

God is delighted when we love Him, when we obey Him!

But, what does Psalm 19:8 say the commands of God will do? I mean specifically.

Note the last three words. "The commandment of the LORD is pure, enlightening the eyes."

There!

"Enlightening the eyes!"

The verb is spelled "or," just that, in Hebrew! It means "to shine, to become daylight, to allow daybreak!"

It introduces, I think, the idea of a "breakthrough of bright light!"

God's commands are pictured here as "teachers!"

Illuminators!

Bearers of further light!

I will go so far as to say this. I strongly suspect that as we obey a particular command of God, whatever area it might involve, in so doing the Holy Spirit will teach us some great a Truth about God or Scripture or godly living!

This is an illustration of Peter's upward cycle of growth in 2nd Peter 1:5-8. Especially where he asks us to add to our existing  virtue ... knowledge! Virtue is moral purity! It must precede any real learning, spiritual learning, that we do.

Only the clean and pure can be taught by the Holy Spirit!

Dirty students do not get admitted to His class!

The word "eyes" is the common Hebrew noun "ayin," the body's God-given organ of sight.

Who would have ever thought that commandments of any kind could have  enlightened anything?

Only God!

If I do not learn, analyze, and obey the Lord's commands, I will definitely miss much of the truth He wants to share with me!

Now here it is, all put back together again. "The commandment of the LORD is pure, enlightening the eyes." Psalm 19:8

Thank you, Lord.

May we live this verse today.

                                                                        --- Dr. Mike Bagwell

 

 

LESSON 6, THE FEAR OF THE LORD:

David once called the Word of God "the fear of the Lord!"

At first that seems strange. That is, until we examine that word "fear." It is spelled "yirah," and fundamentally means "terror or dread." However, in every Hebrew dictionary I've ever seen this thought is added: "respect, reverence, piety."

Do keep in mind that the "respect" part is implied, rather than overtly present in this definition.

Either way, there will be very little "yirah" directed toward Almighty God apart from His precious Word.

The Bible is meant to produce a healthy fear, the terror and dread kind, of God in our lives. We need that! Because Proverbs 16:6 tells us: "By the fear of the LORD men depart from evil." This is nearly identical in thought to Psalm 119:11. "Thy word have I hid in mine heart, that I might not sin against thee."

The Bible also is meant to produce a healthy fear, the respect and reverence kind, in our lives! For example, "My heart standeth in awe of Thy Word." Psalm 119:161

For these reasons in Psalm 119:9 the writer declares: "The fear of the LORD is clean, enduring for ever." As is the case with our whole five-verse paragraph, Psalm 19:7-11, the Scriptures are being discussed. The "fear of the Lord" is then a parallel term to "the Word of God."

It's just that it indicates a "specific" aspect of the Bible. That part that accents reverence for God and a healthy fear of His awesome attributes.

Like this: "My flesh trembleth for fear of thee; and I am afraid of thy judgments." Psalm 119:120, again with "judgments" indicating the Word of God.

Furthermore, when we are told "the fear of the Lord is clean", verses like Psalm 12:6 should come to mind. "The words of the LORD are pure words: as silver tried in a furnace of earth, purified seven times."

Yes!

The word "clean" is "tahor," meaning "purged, washed," in that sense "purified." It's another of those far ranging Bible terms that includes physical cleanliness, ritual cleanliness and ethical cleanliness.

The more I love and study the Bible, the cleaner I will become.

Jesus knows this. "Now ye are clean through the word which I have spoken unto you." John 15:3

Psalm 119:9 rightly asks: "Wherewithal shall a young man cleanse his way? by taking heed thereto according to thy word."

To put it bluntly, God's Word "scares" the sin away from us. We become afraid of iniquity and transgression and rebellion!

Not only that, our Text continues: "The fear of the LORD is clean, enduring for ever."

This particular aspect of Scripture, its fear-producing ability, is specifically said to "endure for ever."

I suspect this is added to remove any temptation to "return" to evil at some future point! The flesh thinks strange things!

You know, 2nd Peter 2:22 style, "The dog is turned to his own vomit again; and the sow that was washed to her wallowing in the mire."

So, the Word of God is eternal!

Our purifying "policeman," Scripture itself, is always "on the job."

"Enduring for ever."

The verb "enduring" translates "amad," that is, "standing, remaining, established!"

And the adverbial phrase "for ever" is one word in Hebrew, "ad." It means "in perpetuity." Never ending! To go on and on and on some more, ad infinitum!

Right will be right for all eternity!

Reminds me of Revelation 22:11. "He that is righteous, let him be righteous still: and he that is holy, let him be holy still."

Amen!

Now, to tie all this together, I looked at the base word for fear, the "parent" of our word "yirah" today. It is "yare," and here is how the King James Bible expresses it again and again: "fear" 188 times, "afraid" 78 times, "terrible" 23 times, "dreadful" 5 times, but also "reverence" 3 times!

That's not a lot, but it's there, 3 times the translators wanted us to know that "yare" has a reverential component.

An element of worship.

The Bible, we are both to be fearful of it, and respectful of it!

Both qualities will help us live lives that are "clean" in the sight of God.

At least, that's what I see in Psalm 19:9 today. "The fear of the LORD is clean, enduring for ever."

Talk about a Book that does everything!

Truly, David was right again when he wrote to the Lord: "Thy commandment is exceeding broad." Psalm 119:96

It certainly is.

                                                                             --- Dr. Mike Bagwell

 

 

LESSON 7, THE JUDGMENTS OF THE LORD:

Much like Psalm 119, Psalm 19 uses a number of different names for the Word of God. All are synonyms, of course.

The Scriptures are characterized as "the law of the Lord, the testimony of the Lord, the statutes of the Lord, the commandment of the Lord, the fear of the Lord, and the judgments of the Lord."

These categories of Holy Writ explain why the same Book, the Bible, can "reprove, rebuke and exhort," probably simultaneously!

What an amazing Document, the Word of God!

Today we come to "the judgments of the Lord."

The Psalmist David writes: "The judgments of the LORD are true and righteous altogether." Psalm 19:9

The noun used for "judgments" is "mishpat," a legal term. Its parent verb is "shaphat," meaning "to govern, to punish, or to decide controversy." But I've noticed a couple of interesting things about these two words. As a verb the emphasis in the King James Bible seems to be punitive, with "shaphat" being translated as "avenged, executed, and condemned," as well as "judged." Also as a noun I see "mishpat" rendered as "manner, fashion, custom, ordinance," as though it hints at God's way of normally doing things.

With these Biblical facts in mind, I suggest to you the "judgments" of the Lord represent the times when God, being true to His Own Nature, His Own Essence, brings chastisement or punishment on His subjects who have disobeyed His Rulings. And that this happens often enough, consistently enough, that a general rule can be postulated around God's expected response!

Thus, "judgments" are God's holy and righteous actions when He is vindicating His Word!

And the Bible contains the accounts of many, many judgments. The exact number remains undetermined.

I've seen books about "All the Promises of the Bible, All the Kings of the Bible, All the Prayers of the Bible," and so forth, but I've never seen a book about "All the Judgments of the Bible!"

Just think how many "judgments" are described, in detail too, the the Book of Revelation alone!

Think of the judgments, the "plagues" in Egypt, too, recorded in the Book of Exodus.

Even Jesus participated, the withered fig tree comes to mind, Herod "that fox," too!

But, if we've defined "judgments" rightly, how are they described here in Psalm 19:9, with which adjectives?

"The judgments of the LORD are true and righteous altogether." So says the Holy Spirit.

Two traits of God's "judgments."

Each refutes a common criticism, criticism of God's righteous retributions.

Many today say of God's judgments, the Flood in Noah's time for example, that it did not really occur! They deny the historicity of the event. Or they say it is not to be interpreted literally, but figuratively or spiritually somehow!

In other words, they call God a liar!

But Psalm 19 just told us, specifically concerning these "judgments," that they are "true."

They did happen!

Literally!

The word used here is "emeth," meaning "faithful, firm, sure, reliable," even "continual."

God's judgments are fixed!

They are not fluid, but solid!

They are dependable!

They are real!

And there are more coming to this old sinful earth we inhabit, too.

If God calls something true, we had best pay attention!

Secondly, God's "judgments" are "righteous." That's in addition to being "true."

Oh, how often the enemy has called God "unfair" and "partial" and at times even "wicked" or "cruel" for His judgments!

This is that old "If God is good why is there so much suffering in the world?" argument. Or "If God is all powerful why do catastrophes occur?"

Let me tell you something. Based on the Bible, God makes no mistakes! Never has, never will!

And whatever "judgment" He sends is absolutely "righteous!"

"Tzsadaq" means "to be right, to be clean, to be justified."

If we had a better sense of the horror of sin, its total repulsiveness to Almighty God, we would better understand His reactions to it! His "judgments" against iniquity and transgression and all the rest.

By the way, the ultimate consequence of sin was this: the Darling Son of God dying on the Cross of Calvary!

I easily found ten times in Scripture where God's "judgments" are precisely said to be "righteous."

Ten times!

That number alone proves that lost mankind will call God's judgments otherwise. Not righteous!

Yet today it seems that folks are reluctant to call anything a judgment from God.

We seem to leave it as an act of "fate" or mere "coincidence" or a result of some "scientific law" being broken!

We had better get back to correlating God's Word, the myriad violations of it in the world every day, to the consequences that follow such disobedience.

No nation, the United States of America included, can ignore or scoff or mock God's precious Word, and prosper, not for long!

God's judgments, true and righteous!

Altogether!

Yes, that last word is there! "The judgments of the LORD are true and righteous altogether."

The adverb is spelled "yachad" and means "in union." Truth and righteousness are "joined" or "united" in God's judgments, no doubt in many profound ways.

Next time you believe one of God's judgments has befallen humanity, search for those two qualities. Look for that which is both "true" and "righteous" in the Lord's most recent move!

And admittedly, while we Believers lack full divine perspective, we should still be able to see a "bit" of truth and righteousness in what God has done!

In fact, I guarantee it.

While the world howls and fumes, the saints of God will adore and worship the Judge upon His Throne!

Even with all the unprecedented suffering and sorrow in the Book of Revelation, we still hear it twice. During the midst of one of the most intense periods of judgment ever to hit this planet, John records: "And I heard another out of the altar say, Even so, Lord God Almighty, true and righteous are thy judgments." Revelation 16:7

And after all is said and done, world-wide judgment of sin, Heaven is ablaze with praise! "And after these things I heard a great voice of much people in heaven, saying, Alleluia; Salvation, and glory, and honour, and power, unto the Lord our God." Revelation 19:1

They continue. Notice the underlined words,please. "For true and righteous are his judgments: for he hath judged the great whore, which did corrupt the earth with her fornication, and hath avenged the blood of his servants at her hand." Revelation 19:2

Here's a whole new area of Bible study, the judgments of the Lord!

Exciting Bible study!

Tomorrow, Lord willing, we will learn why these judgments are so profitable for us to study!

Hope to see you then!

                                                                           --- Dr. Mike Bagwell

 

 

LESSON 8, STILL THOSE JUDGMENTS:

Of all the "types" of Scripture we've studied, all mentioned in Psalm 19:7-11, the last one received the most attention.

The first five include: The law of the Lord, the testimony of the Lord, the statutes of the Lord, the commandment of the Lord and the fear of the Lord.

The last one is named in verse nine, at the end. "The judgments of the LORD are true and righteous altogether."

Verse ten then continues: "More to be desired are they than gold, yea, than much fine gold: sweeter also than honey and the honeycomb." Psalm 19:10

A pattern has developed!

Scripture, or at least a portion of Scripture, is named.

Then it is described with a brief expression, usually an adjective or two.

Then these two facts are followed by a statement of the efficacy, the sheer power, of that unit of God's Word!

Let's briefly remember "the law of the Lord" sequence. "The law of the LORD is perfect, converting the soul." That's it, Psalm 19:7, the very first part of the verse.

Its name: God's "law," but really it can mean any part of our precious Bible!

Its description: "perfect!"

What it is promised to do: "converting the soul!" Changing everything about me!

And so goes this pattern for six cycles!

So today, "the judgments of the Lord" are evaluated, very highly esteemed too!

"More to be desired are they than gold, yea, than much fine gold: sweeter also than honey and the honeycomb." Psalm 19:10

Technically, the way the Psalm is constructed by the Holy Spirit, this clause precisely describes those "judgments." But, in reality, these lovely things are also true of all 1,189 chapters of God's Word.

The verb "desired" is "chamad" in Hebrew, and is variously translated as "covet" and "lust" and "to take delight in." I mean several different times in the Old Testament! It's a very strong word! "To consider as precious," one lexicon adds.

Literally craving the Word of God!

"Gold" means just what it says, "money." The noun "gold," spelled "zahab," is derived from a root verb that means "to shine or shimmer!" Gold does so. At least I've been told that.

Worth more than the stock market, your retirement fund, or the Nation's treasury, is the Word of God!

"Fine gold" is a different word yet, "paz." It speaks of the metal after it has been tested and purified in the goldsmith's fires! Naturally, it's even more priceless that the raw ore! So, "refined" gold here is called "fine" gold.

But not only do God's "judgments," His written statements, the holy record of His great acts, invest for us spiritual capital, better than "gold," they also can be eaten!

Like food!

And they taste good!

How good?

"Sweeter also than honey and the honeycomb."

The first adjective is "mathoq," anything "pleasant" as well as "sweet." In each of its twelve Bible appearances it is "sweet" to some degree. "Sweet, sweeter and sweetness" are its three variations in Scripture. All the way from Samson's riddle to three different Proverbs, all centering on "honey," to descriptions of "sleep" and "light," both of these in Ecclesiastes!

Oh yes, there's more! The Song of Solomon, perfectly describing Jesus as "the apple tree," especially mentions the "sweetness" of His fruit! Then both Isaiah and Ezekiel prophesy, one polemically and one personally, using the word "mathoq." For example: "Woe unto them that call evil good, and good evil; that put darkness for light, and light for darkness; that put bitter for sweet, and sweet for bitter!" Isaiah 5:20, reversed values!

Yes, "Sweeter also than honey and the honeycomb."

The noun "honey" comes from a root word that means "gummy, sticky!" It's spelled "debash" and is found 54 times in the Bible. The word "honeycomb" is "nopheth," indicating "flowing" honey, "dripping or oozing" from its source. Super sweet! Ready to eat! Strength giving! Healthy to the body!

The Word of God!

Better than money!

Better than your favorite food!

And, tomorrow, Lord willing, two more benefits!

Maybe the best two of all!

When its comes to earthly gold, "filthy lucre" Paul calls it, we are given warning after warning! "For the love of money is the root of all evil: which while some coveted after, they have erred from the faith, and pierced themselves through with many sorrows." 1st Timothy 6:10

But not the "gold" of God's Word!

One may desire it all he or she pleases! "More to be desired," that kind of feeling, is encouraged when it comes to Scripture!

And even with earthly honey, the natural product, there is a warning. "Hast thou found honey? eat so much as is sufficient for thee, lest thou be filled therewith, and vomit it." Proverbs 25:16

But with the "honey" of Scripture, the "sweet" Word of God, it's an "all-you-can-eat" buffet anytime!

No limitations, no warnings!

The Bible, an amazing Book!

One that God seems to value rather highly, too!

David says to God, in Psalm 138:2, "For Thou hast magnified Thy Word above all Thy Name."

Wow!

Even above the Divine Name?

Yes!

                                                                           --- Dr. Mike Bagwell

 

 

LESSON 9, THE END RESULT:

First came the negative, then the positive. And both are amazing side-effects of God's Word!

"Moreover by them is thy servant warned: and in keeping of them there is great reward." Psalm 19:11

The pronoun "them" in our verse has as its antecedent "the judgments of the Lord," first mentioned back in verse nine.

Let's put that part of our Text together, for easier assimilation. "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. Moreover by them is thy servant warned: and in keeping of them there is great reward." Psalm 19:9-11

It's as if the Holy Spirit has again saved the "best" until last! Already calling the whole Bible God's "law," God's "testimony," His "statutes," and His "commandment," also the "fear" of the Lord and then His "judgments" too, six total names, more information is given about the last one, the "judgments" than any other!

In one sense every word in the Bible is a result of God's "judgment." God's "discernment." God's "discretion."

Be sure of this. Every Word God has spoken through all eternity is not in the Bible!

No!

We are told of Jesus: "And there are also many other things which Jesus did, the which, if they should be written every one, I suppose that even the world itself could not contain the books that should be written. Amen." John 21:25

And our Lord Himself revealed to His Followers: "I have yet many things to say unto you, but ye cannot bear them now." John 16:12

If true of the Son of God, how much more so of the Father in Heaven?

Point is this, God has "chosen" what he put in the Bible, His very words and deeds and attitudes!

If so, and it is, then every verse in Scripture is a "judgment" choice of Almighty God!

He has determined what is "right" to include in His Book!

Sixty-six Books of God's "judgments!"

A veritable law library!

And, naturally, logically, we humans had better listen!

Today's Verse chimes, nearly bluntly: "By them is thy servant warned."

The verb "is warned" translates "zahar," primarily meaning "admonished." However, beautifully so, "zahar" is also worded like this in the King James Bible, "to teach" once and then "to shine" once!

By definition "zahar" means "to warn or admonish" plus, although perhaps secondarily, "to send out light, to make to shine."

God's "judgments" caution us!

They also help "clean and polish" us, resulting in our shining to the Glory of God! Or at least in our shining more brightly when the "light" of God rests on our souls!

We should be "warned" Christians!

Warned of what?

Of God's "judgments" on iniquity!

Of God's promises to be true unto Himself, to His nature, to His Being, His "Essence" the teachers say!

After all is said and done, after all judgment has been executed by our Lord Jesus Christ: "He that is unjust, let him be unjust still: and he which is filthy, let him be filthy still: and he that is righteous, let him be righteous still: and he that is holy, let him be holy still." Revelation 22:11

The "judgments" of the Lord, their end result!

But now, positively, the "judgments" also promise certain reward!

"Moreover by them is thy servant warned: and in keeping of them there is great reward."

The last half, the "reward" is thrilling!

"Eqeb" means "consequences!" The "consequences" of obeying God's "judgments," God's holy words, are ultimately "out-of-this-world!" Twice "eqeb" is rendered as "end," the "end result" of following Scripture, great reward!

The root word behind "eqeb" is thought to be "aqab," meaning "to take something by the heel!" It's the same idea as Jacob's name, the "supplanter."

How can reward come from judgment?

It sort of sneaks up on its "victim!"

Catching him from behind!

It ambushes Him, overcoming him with blessing after blessing after blessing! Kidnapped by reward!

"Great" reward, too!

"Rab" means "much or many or great" or even "more numerous!"

Storehouses of reward!

If I will just "keep" God's judgments, keep them in mind and heart.

"Shamar" basically means "to observe, to give heed, to obey, to guard, to watch over!"

God blesses those who love and respect His Word!

With great reward!

That's the end "goal" of Scripture, blessing God's children!

Indeed!

                                                                                 --- Dr. Mike Bagwell

 

 

                                    What a great Paragraph of Scripture!

 

 

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