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The Scriptorium

No Contradiction

Single-minded. That's what we want. Psalm 119.113

Psalm 119.113-120 (1)

Pray Psalm 119.113.

I hate the double-minded,
But I love Your law.

Sing Psalm 119.113-115.

(Aurelia: The Church’s One Foundation)
Lord, those who do not trust You with all their mind and heart,
shall soon receive their just due - let them from me depart!
My shelter and my shield, Lord, I hope in all Your Word!
To all Your Law I yield, Lord, to live in full accord.

Read Psalm 119.113-120; meditate on verse 113.

1. Whom did the psalmist hate?

2. How did he feel about God’s Law?

The psalmist reminds us again that there is no contradiction between hate and love when they are each properly focused. We must hate that which compromises the Word and ways of God; and we must love His Law and Word with all our heart. Exercised thusly, hate and love are two sides of the same coin.

Still, “hate” seems like a dangerous affection to keep in our heart. And, indeed, it is. We must be careful in how we use it. The focus of hate must always be evil and sin (cf. Ps. 97.10). Those who practice evil fall away from the Lord’s pathway (Ps. 101.3). Thus, we rightly “hate every false way” (Ps. 119.104) and those who promote them (v. 113; cf. Ps. 139.21, 22).

But we hate those who fall away even as we love them and appeal to them to forsake their wicked ways and receive the grace of salvation through Jesus Christ. That is, our hate is always tempered and constrained by love, just as God’s is (cf. Matt. 5.43-48). We should pray for the lost and for all those who espouse wickedness and evil, who practice deceit and spread lies, and who are causing many to fall into the snares of sin. We hate them for that, and we hate the evil they promote. But we love them enough to pray for them and to serve them as we can, that God might break through their hard souls and give them a new heart in Jesus (Gal. 4.6).

Just as He did with us.

Treasures Old and New: Matthew 13.52; Psalm 119.162
The psalmist hated double mindedness in others, but he also hated it in himself.  We can see that he quickly reminded himself that he loved God’s Law.

 In Psalm 112.7, 8 we read that a good man’s “heart is steadfast, trusting in the LORD”, and his “heart is established.” The attributes of steadfastness and being established exemplify singleness of mind—totally focused on God.

Being on the fence about our determination to follow God’s Law is anathema to us and to the Lord. Jesus said to the church in Laodicea: “I know your works, that you are neither cold nor hot. I could wish you were cold or hot. So then, because you are lukewarm, and neither cold nor hot, I will vomit you out of My mouth” (Rev. 3.15, 16). His thoughts are straightforward and clear on the subject.

In the Merriam-Webster dictionary, after the definition for double-minded—wavering in mind, undecided, vacillating—James 1.8 is given as an example of its use in a sentence: “he is a double-minded man, unstable in all his ways.” And indeed, that is what this hated mindset gets us: instability in everything.

Instability breeds insincerity and hypocrisy. And who wants that in their life? Nobody should.

So what will keep us from this fate? A sure, pure, and indefatigable love for God’s Law:
“Blessed are the undefiled in the way, who walk in the law of the LORD!
Blessed are those who keep His testimonies, who seek Him with the whole heart!
They also do no iniquity; they walk in His ways” (Ps. 119.1-3). Steadfast and established.

Straightforward. Single-minded. Ready. Set. Forever. To the very end.

For reflection
1. What are some things that can make us “double-minded”? Why is this not a good mindset to adopt?

2. Loving God’s Law is the way to overcome double mindedness. But what should loving God’s Law look like in your life?

3. How will you be able to recognize double mindedness when it begins to tempt you?

Here is a dread of the risings of sin, and the first beginnings of it. The more we love the law of God, the more watchful we shall be, lest vain thoughts draw us from what we love. Matthew Henry (1662-1714), Commentary on Psalm 119.113

Pray Psalm 119.116, 117.
Preview your day in prayer, asking the Lord to help you hate evil and love His Word, and to uphold you and keep you safe in all your ways.

Sing Psalm 119.116, 117.
(Aurelia: The Church’s One Foundation)
Uphold me by Your Word, Lord, and keep me from all shame.
Let me live ever forward to glorify Your Name.
Lord, hold me up! Sustain me in all Your holy way.
To keep Your statutes train me, and help me to obey.

T. M. and Susie Moore

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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.
Books by T. M. Moore

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