For The Love of God (Part 2)
By Thomas Thorne
Psalm 19:14 is one of the classic verses of the Bible. “Let the words of my mouth and the meditation of my heart be acceptable in your sight, O LORD, my rock and my redeemer” (Psalm 19:14 ESV). Let’s take a deeper look at key phrases in the original Hebrew of this verse and see if we can gain additional insight into these words of David.
The first key phrase is “words of my mouth” (Hebrew – im-ray pee). “Words” can be translated as either “word” or “speech.”1 David is here referring to our speech, regardless of the circumstances.
The second key phrase is “meditation of my heart.” This is from the Hebrew ve-heg-yone lib-bee. The noun “meditation” (heg-yone) can have several meanings such as: “talk, planning, thinking, meditation, playing, music.”
Likewise, the word for “my heart” (lib-bee) can also have several definitions. “Heart” in the Bible can refer to “mind, character, disposition, loyalty, concern, intention,” or “purpose.”
“Be acceptable” is le-ratson in Hebrew. This phrase also means “for goodwill, favor, acceptance, pleasure” or “liking.” This phrase “be acceptable in your sight,” could also be translated as “for your liking” or “let them be pleasing.”
So, let’s take a look at what we have so far:
- Let the words of my mouth, all of my talking and speaking …
- and the meditation, planning, talk, music, and even thinking of my:
- Let all of these be for pleasure, goodwill, acceptance, liking and favor …
Next is the phrase “in your sight,” (Hebrew – le-fa-neh-ka) which indicates “in your presence/face, in front of you, before you,” or “in your sight,” O LORD (Hebrew YHVH). And “LORD/YHVH”, we know refers to the eternal God, the creator of the universe, and our master.
We need to realize what is being said here. David is asking God to let everything he says and does be to God’s liking and pleasure and to build favor – to let all these things be as if they were being done face to face, right in front of God. David is asking that all of his thoughts and actions be righteous and just, so that none of them need to be hidden.
And near the end of the verse, “my rock” is from the Hebrew tzoo-ree. This is defined as “(my) large rock, boulder; a figure of God, as support and defense of His people.”
When we think of a boulder, we normally don’t think of an offensive weapon. Although, a large rock used as something to hide behind, to provide protection from darts or arrows is something to be considered. A rock or boulder therefore would have been a defensive tool.
Jesus will provide this defensive mechanism on our behalf if we ask and let it happen. The evil thoughts and inclinations that come can be thwarted.
The last phrase is, “and our redeemer” (ve-go-eh-lee). To redeem means to “recover ownership of by paying a specified sum (or debt).” Jesus is our redeemer. His payment of our debt to God allows us to be forgiven of our sins, and to have life, abundant life, and eternal life.
So, we have gone through a lot of definitions. Here is my attempt to put this together in one paragraph.
Let the words of my mouth and the thoughts and meditations that I dwell on, the plans that I make, the speech that I use, my music, even the fun times I have, and the games that I play – my mind, my character, my disposition, my inclinations, my loyalties, my concerns, my intentions, my aims, and my purposes; let all of these be for the pleasure, goodwill, acceptance, liking, and favor of you– before you, in front of you, in your sight, and even face to face,
O LORD, YHVH, my master, my rock, my boulder, my champion in the fight against the enemy, and my redeemer, the One who has bought me back from being a slave to sin, the one who has offered me forgiveness, life, abundant life, and eternal life.
The love of God, as we are told by Jesus, involves doing what he told us to do. All of our actions should be done with complete honor and respect to His name, reputation, and authority (Exodus 20:7). Likewise, everything we think and do should be for the favor, liking, and pleasure of God (Psalm 19:14).
1 Definitions throughout this article are from A Concise Dictionary of the Hebrew and Aramaic Language, William H. Holladay, Eerdmans Publishing Co., Grand Rapids, MI, 1988.
Tom Thorne and his wife (Amy) moved to Marion from Denver, NC almost a year and a half ago. Thomas and Amy are fellowship leaders of a small congregation of Believers called “Servants of the Most High God.” Tom can be reached at email@example.com
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