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The Scriptorium


We need both. Psalm 119.163

Psalm 119.161-168 (2)

Pray Psalm 119.163.
I hate and abhor lying,
But I love Your law.

Sing Psalm 119.163, 164.
(Hymn to Joy: Joyful, Joyful We Adore Thee)
Lord, I hate all sin and lying but I love Your holy Law.
All throughout the day I praise You, thanking You in joy and awe.
For Your judgments all are righteous; all who love Your Law have peace.
We shall never stumble as our faith and love for You increase.

Read Psalm 119.161-168; meditate on verse 163.

1. What did the psalmist hate?

2. What did he love?

In many ways, the Christian life boils down to hating what we should and loving what we should. Christians have a love/hate relationship with the things of the world. We hate everything that deceives, lies, and flouts the truth; we love God and His Law and all His Word and everything in the world that glorifies Him. What we love we are drawn to, embrace, delight in and enjoy, and seek to emulate. What we hate we put away from us and do everything in our power to guard ourselves and others against.

It follows that we can tell what we love and what we hate by the amount of time and effort we devote to matters.

It behooves us, like the psalmist, to rehearse our love for God and His Word daily. Not just to read and study it, but to say to the Lord, “Oh, how I love Your Word” (Ps. 119.97). And then to explain why. How it is living and powerful. Equips us for every good work. Holds for the promise of eternal glory. Gives light to our path. Delights and comforts us with the assurance of our Lord’s Presence. Transforms us into His image. Guides our steps in the ways of God’s Kingdom. And more. Tell God daily that you love His Word, and tell Him why. Your love for the Law and all God’s Word will grow.

And tell Him also what you hate: everything that is contrary to truth. Lies. Deceit. Equivocation. Falsehood. Law-breaking. Mere self-interest. By rehearsing what you hate you’ll be reminded of that conviction whenever the temptation arises to fall in line with whatever is not of God and His truth.

Love what God loves and hate what He hates. That’s the key to full and abundant life.

Treasures Old and New: Matthew 13.52; Psalm 119.162
The psalmist is in good company when he states that he hates and abhors lying (Ps. 119.163) because God hates it too. He commanded us, “You shall not bear false witness against your neighbor” (Ex. 20.16). We certainly don’t like it when anyone lies about us, so we must never do that to anyone else. Not just because we don’t like it; but because God says not to do it.

Getting the love/hate situation straight begins in and with us. Revival will not happen in us while sin is lurking in our lives. As God warned Cain when he was angry with his brother Abel, “If you do well, will you not be accepted? And if you do not do well, sin lies at the door. And its desire is for you, but you should rule over it” (Gen. 4.7). And God says the same thing to us: Sin is creeping about you, but you should rule over it!

And how do we come to rule over the sin that is near us? How do we learn to love God’s Law and hate the sin in our own lives? By staying in God’s Word and by being filled with His Holy Spirit:
“Oh, how I love Your law! It is my meditation all the day” (Ps. 119.97).
“Through Your precepts I get understanding; therefore I hate every false way” (Ps. 119.104).
“Set your mind on things above, not on things on the earth” (Col. 3.2).
“Let this mind be in you which was also in Christ Jesus…” (Phil. 2.5).
“But we have the mind of Christ” (1 Cor. 2.16).

Jesus Christ is the truth (Jn. 14.6). And if we are to be like Him, we must be truthful through and through.

There is no place in our lives for equivocation, little lies, or spinning the truth for any reason. “A righteous man hates lying…” (Prov. 13.5). We must be believable people of the truth; for if we lie about anything, how will we be believed when we speak about the good and bad news of the Gospel?

Loving God’s Word and hating sin must begin in us:
“Let the words of my mouth and the meditation of my heart
be acceptable in Your sight, O LORD, my strength and my Redeemer” (Ps. 19.14). 

For reflection
1. Why is it appropriate that believers should hate lying and all sin? What does it mean to hate these?

2. Can we love God with all our heart if we don’t hate sin? Explain.

3. What can we do to encourage our fellow believers in the teaching of Psalm 119.162? Whom will you encourage today?

Now if the love of the law and the hatred of falsehood are inseparably conjoined, it is a plain inference that all who are not taught in the school of God are infected with deceit and hypocrisy. John Calvin (1509-1564), Commentary on Psalm 119.163

Pray Psalm 119.161, 162.
Where do you expect to be challenged today concerning what to love and what to hate? Commit your day to the Lord, especially those challenges and temptations you expect to face. Seek grace to love God and His Word, come what may.

Sing Psalm 119.161, 162.
(Hymn to Joy: Joyful, Joyful We Adore Thee)
Lord, I take my stand with gladness on Your holy, righteous Word.
I rejoice as with great treasure in Your holy Law, O Lord.
Princes persecute me daily; without cause they seek my harm.
Yet I stand on Your Word squarely; hold me with Your mighty arm.

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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