The Word of God
The author of the Holy Scriptures like the Creator in Nature reveals His perfection in the use of certain words and phrases in the one hundred and nineteenth Psalm. In this chapter there are 176 verses, divided into twenty-two sections. Each group has eight verses. The root idea of the number eight conveys the thought of more than enough. Since there are twenty-two letters in the Hebrew alphabet we are reminded of the 22 skull bones and surely this is not mere chance but design, skill, order and perfection. God’s desire is that we might know His mind and heart. It is for this purpose ten synonyms for the Word of God are employed by the Holy Spirit in the alphabet of divine love. 1. Law; 2. Testimonies; 3. Ways; 4. Precepts; 5. Statutes; 6. Commandments; 7. Judgments; 8. Word; 9. Sayings; 10. Righteousness.
1. Law — Torah is a word greatly revered by the Jew and always used in the singular. The root word is most suggestive meaning to propel or project as an arrow from a bow. An arrow warped in the making is never true in its flight. This was in the mind of the writer in Psalm 19 where we are told the law of the Lord is perfect converting the soul. It signifies direction, destiny and God’s decalogue as the rule of life.
2. Testimonies — Eduth, reminds of the witness of the altar in Joshua 22:34 and suggests reiteration, or testimony. The motive of the two and half tribes in establishing the altar “ED” was not disloyalty, but an external proof of the theocracy of the nation. The outcome of the meeting with the other tribes prevented a civil war, the perpetuity of mutual relationships as tribes, and a practical lesson for Christians of all generations concerning misunderstanding. What a testimony to the truth of Psalm 133!
3. Ways — Derek signifies a footpath, a common path pointing to a given destination and implies a mode of life, a fixed course for the journey of life along which we are to walk in obedience to God’s Word.
4. Precepts — Piqqudim is derived from a root meaning to visit, to inspect, or oversee, to charge, and since it is always used in the plural denotes intensity, purpose of heart, moral earnestness relative to the mandates of the Book of God.
5. Statutes — Chuqqim, comes from a root meaning “graven” or to hew, to cut-in, inscribe, engrave and usually rendered stature or decree. Thus what God has ordained, decreed, prescribed should be permanently engraven on our hearts and brains in order that the Word of God might become flesh, (John 1:14), and His people translated as enduring Epistles, (2 Cor. 3:1-3).
6. Commandments — Mitsvah, is an interesting word meaning to set up, to constitute, and often used as a definite charge backed by authority. To refuse to obey is an act of rebellion. God’s commands are never given without the power to carry them out, therefore all His commandments are His enablings and for our enjoyment.
7. Judgments — Mishpatim, takes us into the law court and means to give a finding which is just, upright and true, coming from a root meaning to set up right. Judgment therefore denotes the verdict of God. God’s findings are final. How often in the Prophets He speaks by means of a vision, then a voice resulting in a verdict, (see Joel chapters 1-3, Vision, Voice and Verdict). His wise and just decisions are not to be questioned, denied or distorted, but to be accepted, loved and followed.
8. Word — Dabar, meaning to set forth in speech. It is the articulation of the will of God in the language of Holy love. To follow His word, His promise, His message is the pathway to purity within, (v.9), and power without (v.11).
9. Sayings — Imrah, means an utterance and is different in meaning from the word found in verses 11, 38, 41, 50, 58, 67, 76, 82, 103, 116, 123, 133, 140, 148, 154, 158, 162, 170, 172, It signifies revelation and illumination as an utterance which conveys the thought of the speaker. How significant this word in view of the title applied to Christ! “The Logos” or the “Word of God.” How much we should value the sayings of the Saviour, the very breath of God
10. Righteousness — Tzaddi, is derived from a root meaning “justice” or “right.” The inherent meaning is right, true, just and is used for “just balances” in Leviticus 19:36. God’s Word is the standard of measurement by which all our actions are weighed or lined.
Thus these ten words taken together by a nation, community or a child of God will result in lasting blessing to the individual and the benediction of heaven to all — regardless of class, color or country.