The Hebrew language had several different words that are often translated into English as “law”.
I’m not going to give you all those different Hebrew words here today, but I’m going to read a partial list some of their meanings, and I’d like to see if you can pick out which of these words are the word used here in Psalm 119. Here they are: statute or decree, command, precept, judgement, direction (as in “The directions to complete a project”).
Which one do you think? It’s actually the last one I read, and in the Hebrew, the word is Torah. Yes, it is correctly translated as “law” in every English Bible, but isn’t it interesting that the second, perhaps more nuanced definition of Torah is direction. God’s Law is very accurately described by some as an Owner’s Manual for us.
My church is in the last few weeks of a remodel of our sanctuary. It’s been over a year long project, and one of the things we are doing is upgrading our sound system, and being the tech guy at the church, it has been my job to recommend new equipment. Well, now that we have the new equipment, now I have to learn how to use it. Guess what the first thing was I looked for when I opened the boxes. Right. The Owner’s Manual. I want to be sure I get the best sound out of our new hardware, and I want to be sure I don’t break anything. I want to use this equipment as it was made to be used.
God created us, and He knows how we best operate, and how we can best reach our highest potential. And that is why His law was given to us. It was because of His great loving kindness. God didn’t want us thrashing about trying to figure things out on our own. And Psalms chapter 119 is filled with praise to God for giving us directions for our life.
Thank you Lord, for your loving kindness, and for revealing yourself to us through your Word.