“The statutes of the Lord are right, rejoicing the heart;
The commandment of the Lord is pure, enlightening the eyes;” NKJV
The commandment of the Lord is pure, enlightening the eyes;” NKJV
Here it is in the Message:
“The life-maps of God are right, showing the way to joy.
The directions of God are plain and easy on the eyes.”
KEY WORDS Today: Statutes/life-maps/pure/eyes (always pull a few key words from scripture to help you understand the meaning better)
Statutes or life-maps are also translated as precepts.
Statutes in Hebrew is, “piqquwd” and it means “precepts.”
Precept according to the online dictionary means:
1. A rule or principle prescribing a particular course of action or conduct.
2. Law An authorized direction or order; a writ.
So, we could say, God's authorized directions that come from His written Word make the heart glad and bring joy.
The order, commandment, of God is pure. “Pure” in the Hebrew is "bar" and it means sincere, or clear. It enlightens, or brings light to the eyes. Eyes in Hebrew is “ayin” and it means, “eye” “of mental or spiritual faculties/qualities.”
So we could say, God's Word is sincere and clear and it gives us spiritual and mental ah-ha light bulb moments about our life and the direction we need to take.
Let's look at someone from the Bible who had an ah-ha moment. We'll look at what it led him to clearly do and the result that came from his obedience.
Let's look at Daniel. Chapter 9 starting in verse 1.
"It was the first year of the reign of Darius the Mede, the son of Ahasuerus, who became king of the Babylonians. During the first year of his reign, I, Daniel, learned from reading the word of the Lord, as revealed to Jeremiah the prophet, that Jerusalem must lie desolate for seventy years."
From reading scripture (scrolls and Jeremiah's word more specifically), Daniel had a light bulb moment. Here's what God told Jeremiah:
"This message came to Jeremiah from the Lord early in the reign of Jehoiakim son of Josiah, king of Judah. “This is what the Lord says: Stand in the courtyard in front of the Temple of the Lord, and make an announcement to the people who have come there to worship from all over Judah. Give them my entire message; include every word. Perhaps they will listen and turn from their evil ways." Jeremiah 26:1-3
God's people were turning from Him. He'd warned them early on that if they stopped serving Him, He would do whatever was necessary to draw them back. Jeremiah has come to warn them and bring judgment--which is fair.
Here's what God instructed Jeremiah to say, and this is what Daniel read years later.
“Say to them, ‘This is what the Lord says: If you will not listen to me and obey my word I have given you, and if you will not listen to my servants, the prophets—for I sent them again and again to warn you, but you would not listen to them—--then I will destroy this Temple as I destroyed Shiloh, the place where the Tabernacle was located. And I will make Jerusalem an object of cursing in every nation on earth.’"The priests, the prophets, and all the people listened to Jeremiah as he spoke in front of the Lord’s Temple. But when Jeremiah had finished his message, saying everything the Lord had told him to say, the priests and prophets and all the people at the Temple mobbed him. “Kill him!” they shouted. Jeremiah 26:4-7
Not exactly welcoming to God's words, huh? So…
"Then Jeremiah spoke to the officials and the people in his own defense. “The Lord sent me to prophesy against this Temple and this city,” he said. “The Lord gave me every word that I have spoken. But if you stop your sinning and begin to obey the Lord your God, he will change his mind about this disaster that he has announced against you." Jeremiah 26:12-13
However they did not. And…
"‘This is what the Lord of Heaven’s Armies, the God of Israel, says: With my great strength and powerful arm I made the earth and all its people and every animal. I can give these things of mine to anyone I choose. Now I will give your countries to King Nebuchadnezzar of Babylon, who is my servant. I have put everything, even the wild animals, under his control. All the nations will serve him, his son, and his grandson until his time is up. Then many nations and great kings will conquer and rule over Babylon. So you must submit to Babylon’s king and serve him; put your neck under Babylon’s yoke! I will punish any nation that refuses to be his slave, says the Lord. I will send war, famine, and disease upon that nation until Babylon has conquered it." Jeremiah 27:5-8
Seems harsh? Nah, not really and besides…
"‘They will all be carried away to Babylon and will stay there until I send for them,’ says the Lord. ‘Then I will bring them back to Jerusalem again.’”"Jeremiah 27:22
"This entire land will become a desolate wasteland. Israel and her neighboring lands will serve the king of Babylon for seventy years." Jeremiah 25:11
And what will happen then you ask?
"This is what the LORD says: “You will be in Babylon for seventy years. But then I will come and do for you all the good things I have promised, and I will bring you home again." Jeremiah 29:10
And what famous verse comes after?
"I say this because I know what I am planning for you,” says the Lord. “I have good plans for you, not plans to hurt you. I will give you hope and a good future." Jeremiah 29:11
And we know in Daniel Chapter one, it begins. Nebuchadnezzar comes in and takes them captive, a young Daniel is swept up among them.
At this point in Chapter 9, Daniel is an old man, still serving the Lord, still reading scripture. He’s been in captivity about 67 years. And he discovers that the 70 years is almost up. The same words we take comfort in today, Jeremiah 29:11, he took comfort in on that day.
God was about to do something awesome! Daniel had trusted God on many occasions. When he refused to eat idol-sacrificed food at the king's table, when he interpreted dreams for the Neb and then later his great-grandson, and of course when he was thrown into the lion's den for not compromising his faith.
Daniel knew when God spoke a word, He was good for it. Do you know that? Do you believe it?
As a result of reading this, of having his eyes enlightened—he knew good things were coming. Freedom could be tasted! What did Daniel do?
"I turned to the Lord God and pleaded with him in prayer and fasting." Daniel 9:3
Turned; prayer; fasted
Daniel's prayer is amazing and it's recorded in verses 4-19. But I want to pull out these verses:
"But the Lord our God is merciful and forgiving, even though we have rebelled against him. We have not obeyed the Lord our God, for we have not followed the instructions he gave us through his servants the prophets. All Israel has disobeyed your instruction and turned away, refusing to listen to your voice." Daniel 9:9-11
God wasn't being harsh, He was being fair. They rebelled. They had not followed the instructions.
What does Psalm 19 say? The instruction of the Lord (His precepts) rejoice the heart. When we do not follow them, when we rebel, we go into captivity. Maybe not like the Israelites…but I assure you, you'll find yourself in bondage. Enslaved.
Like Daniel, we pray. And God, Who is faithful to forgive us our sins when we confess them, acts. On our behalf. With mercy. And grace.
“O my God, lean down and listen to me. Open your eyes and see our despair. See how your city—the city that bears your name—lies in ruins. We make this plea, not because we deserve help, but because of your mercy. O Lord, hear. O Lord, forgive. O Lord, listen and act! For your own sake, do not delay, O my God, for your people and your city bear your name.” Daniel 9:18-19
Daniel's faith and faithfulness to God opened up a special blessing. God gives Daniel some amazing visions, and he gets to see Christ in all His glory in a few of them! What could bring more joy?
All because he loved the Word of God.
Practical application: Spend time in God’s Word. When we spend time with God in His Word, it will always keep us pointed on Jesus Christ.
When was the last time you had a light bulb moment from scripture? If it’s been awhile, why do you think that is? And care to share that amazing moment in the comments?
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