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The Scriptorium

Have It, Love It

And you will do it. Psalm 119.97

Psalm 119.97-104 (1)

Pray Psalm 119.97.

Oh, how I love Your law!
It is my meditation all the day.

Psalm 119.97, 98.
(Truro: Shout, for the Blessed Jesus Reigns)
O, how I love Your Law, O Lord! I ponder it throughout the day.
The wisdom of Your holy Word keeps all my fiercest foes at bay.

Read Psalm 119.97-104; meditate on verse 97.

1. What was the psalmist’s attitude toward God’s Law?

2. What did he do with it?

Back in the days when I was first learning Hebrew, building vocabulary was an important task. I tried to associate words I was learning with familiar English things or ideas suggested by whatever word I was trying to memorize. So for the Hebrew word, “to love”, which is אָהַ֥בְ, ah-HAHV, I thought of “I have” and holding something close to my heart, so that it was in my heart. To this day, when I read this word, I think of holding Susie close to my heart and saying, “I have her!” That is, I love her.

The מ (mem) stanza is neatly bookended with two opposite yet complementary and valid affections: love and hate. So it forms an inclusio. As we shall see, “hate” is not a four-letter word. We need both love and hate to walk the pathway of righteousness.

But love is the starting point and ending point. If we love God’s Law – and all His Word – we will hide it in our heart (Ps. 119.9-11). We will cling to the Word of God (Ps. 119.31) holding it close through meditation, thinking about and pondering it all day long (Ps. 1). That’s the sense of that Hebrew exclamation, “Oh”. We have received the Word as a gift from God, a gift that brings the protocols, priorities, power, and practices of heaven into our daily lives (Ps. 119.89). God has given us His Law as a gift of love, and we embrace and obey it to show Him our gratitude and love.

You have the Word. Love it. Meditate on it day by day so that it buries itself in your soul and you overflow with love for Jesus.

Treasures Old and New: Matthew 13.52; Psalm 119.16.
“Oh, how I love Your law!” (Ps. 119.97)

God’s Law is like a cast that keeps a broken leg steady and in place.
It is like a fence that keeps young children safe and away from the busy street.
It is like a pan that holds dough so it can rise and bake into a lovely loaf of bread.
It guides, protects, and promotes growth, maturity, and life (Deut. 32.46, 47).

But for us to reap the benefits of the Law, we need first to know it, and then to cherish it. We think about it all day long. “It is my meditation all the day” (Ps. 119.97).

We should be continually asking ourselves:
Does this thought I’m thinking show Jesus that I love Him? (Jn. 14.15)
Does this behavior that I’m contemplating prove my undying love for my Savior? (Jn. 15.14)
Did that action taken (Ex. 20.8-17) proclaim to the world, and to my loving Lord, that I have taken His Name as mine and long to live each moment of my day in honor of Him and for His glory? (Ex. 20.1-7)

Through the power of the Holy Spirit we can love the Law of God. We will learn the Law and meditate on it.
Our behavior will begin to match our beliefs. We will be loving God in a way that resonates with His heart.
We will know Him and know what pleases Him. We will be able to say with the psalmist David:
“I will sing of mercy and justice; to You, O LORD, I will sing praises.
I will behave wisely in a perfect way. Oh, when will You come to me?
I will walk within my house with a perfect heart.
I will set nothing wicked before my eyes; I hate the work of those who fall away;
It shall not cling to me. A perverse heart shall depart from me;
I will not know wickedness” (Ps. 101.1-4)

We will “have it, love it”, and do it.

For reflection
1. How can you remind yourself throughout the day to love the Law of God?

2. Why is it important that you do so?

3. How can you encourage your fellow believers to love the Word of God throughout the day?

What we love, we love to think of. All true wisdom is from God. A good man carries his Bible with him, if not in his hands, yet in his head and in his heart. Matthew Henry (1662-1714), Commentary on Psalm 119.97

Pray Psalm 119.103, 104.
Pray that God will make His Word increasingly sweet to you. Call on Him throughout the day to guard you from evil.

Psalm 119.103, 104.
(Truro: Shout, for the Blessed Jesus Reigns)
Your words are sweet unto my taste, the sweetest taste that e’er could be!
I hate and loathe all evil ways; give understanding, Lord, to me.

T. M. and Susie Moore

You can listen to a summary of last week’s Scriptorium study by going to our website,, and clicking the Scriptorium tab for last Sunday. 

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Except as indicated, all Scriptures are taken from the New King James Version. © Copyright 1982 by Thomas Nelson, Inc. Used by permission. All rights reserved. For sources of all quotations, see the weekly PDF of this study. All psalms for singing are from The Ailbe Psalter (Williston: Waxed Tablet Publications, 2006), available by clicking here.

T.M. Moore

T. M. Moore is principal of The Fellowship of Ailbe, a spiritual fellowship in the Celtic Christian tradition. He and his wife, Susie, make their home in the Champlain Valley of Vermont.
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