to obey is better than sacrifice / obedience is better than sacrifice
July 30, 2019 – Tuesday
Psalm 119:89-96 NIV
89 Your word, Lord, is eternal; it stands firm in the heavens.
90 Your faithfulness continues through all generations; You established the earth, and it endures.
91 Your laws endure to this day, for all things serve You.
92 If Your law had not been my delight, I would have perished in my affliction.
93 I will never forget Your precepts, for by them You have preserved my life.
94 Save me, for I am Yours; I have sought out Your precepts.
95 The wicked are waiting to destroy me, but I will ponder Your statutes.
96 To all perfection I see a limit, but Your commands are boundless.
The letter lamed, the twelfth in the Hebrew alphabet, is – like the eleventh, kaf – quite unusual. If you take a look at this video, at the 50 second mark stop it and you will see only the letter lamed stands taller than all the other Hebrew letters. The interlinear bible will show each verse begins with this letter as shown as well. It may not look like it in the stylized print font you see above, but the letter is derived from a shepherd’s staff with a hook of sorts at one end. This may be more easily seen here or even here where it is in more of a script form. Lamed has the numerical value of thirty and is thought by some to be constructed of the two letters vav and kaf which may be seen here where it is said lamed is considered to be the heart of the Hebrew alphabet.
One thing that stands out in these verses beginning with lamed (and many of the others) is
“The love of God’s truth is a consistent theme throughout Scripture, and particularly in the Psalms. Psalm 119 is an exhaustive account of the psalmist’s love for the truth and his delight in the law.”
– John MacArthur from How Do We Become Spiritually Mature
Consider the truth in MacArthur’s article when we look at the eight verses above. The first (89) is about how God’s word is both eternal and stand firm. The second (90) speaks to God’s faithfulness and the third (91) returns to the theme of how God’s word endures. In the fourth (92) we finally hear of David’s delight in God’s word and because it was his delight it kept him from perishing. As a result, in the very next verse (93), we read how David is so thankful he will never forget God’s precepts which preserved his life.
But David’s trials are not over, so he asks (94) God once again to save him because he has sought out God’s precepts. Further (95) while the wicked are trying to destroy him, he will continue to ponder God’s statutes. Why? Because (96 ESV) everything, no matter how perfect, has a limit, but your commandment is boundless.
David loves and delights in God’s word more that the wonderful things of this world. We would do well to do the same. Especially when take time to read and study and think upon His word. It will profit us greatly.
(to obey is better than sacrifice / obedience is better than sacrifice)