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Tuesday, December 22, 2009

Day Five: Precept

"The Twelve Days of Christ" series looks at Psalm 119's twelve Hebrew words for God’s Word, and a connection to the church for each one.

"The Bible is alive, it speaks to me;
it has feet, it runs after me;
it has hands, it lays hold of me."
~ Martin Luther

Day Five: Precept
piqqud: masc noun, "mandate, precept, instruction"
from paqad: verb, "to oversee, attend, search out; to commit to, that is, to cause people to attend to something placed under their care"

I will never forget Your precepts,
For by them You have given me life...
I understand more than the ancients,
Because I keep Your precepts...
Consider how I love Your precepts;
Revive me, O LORD, according to Your lovingkindness.
~ Psalms 119:93,100,159 (NKJV)

"You revealed to Me paths of life;
You will fill Me with joy with Your face."
~ Acts 2:28 (LITV)

In the English, "precept" can mean a general rule regarding behavior and thought, or an actual order of law. That's not too far off the Hebrew, which is somewhere between an instruction or mandate and a stewardship or trust.

Forgive me for being overwhelmed with this trust. Who are we that the Lord should entrust to us revelation of Himself in what He prescribes? The passage from Acts (a quote of Psalm 16:11) puts the above verses from Psalm 119 in exactly that context. In understanding what God instructs, we understand God.

I define knowledge as acquisition of information, wisdom as seeing from God's perspective, and understanding as thinking as God does, with the mind of Christ. How dare we! Who are we to seek the face of God, let alone be allowed access into His thoughts?!

We, the church, have such privilege.

Such thoughts go beyond "do not commit adultery" to understanding that lust in our hearts robs marriage of sanctity; beyond "do not murder" to the understanding that hatred tears down another and therefore steals away life.

Here is life, joy, revival: to love what the Lord prescribes as revelation of the Almighty Himself.

Here is the very face of our beloved Lord and Savior.

"God's precepts strike those who love Him
as right and delightful."
The Complete Word Study Dictionary
Spiros Zodhiates, General Editor

Contrasting points-of-view, questions and feedback are invited. Post to "Comments" or e-mail to Copyright 2009, Anne Lang Bundy, all rights reserved.


  1. He knows the hearts of man...and he would still trust us. I can understand feeling overwhelmed by that.

    "you fill me with joy with your face" I love the way that is worded.

    May God bless you with His love today, Anne.
    ~ Wendy

  2. In my mind, wisdom, like love, is best when it is action oriented.

    Wisdom, like love, IS God.

    Your post reminds me how awesome and powerful our Father really is.

    That we dare to and He allows us to worship him in any other position other than flat on our stomachs with our faces hidden, speaks to His love for us.

    We have a loving Father.

    Thanks Anne... :-)

  3. Our God is so awesomely wonderful.

  4. Indeed it speaks to me. It breaths aloud to where I can hear Him. Oddly though and I must confess He has ben so quiet lately. Perhaps it's because I haven't been still, my spirit is rushing around as much as my body these days and my mind is busier than both. I'm still engaged in our special time and have even expanded my efforts there but to no avail, this is my quiet season.

  5. Wendy, yeah, I love the way the Bible is worded, too LOL. :D Thank you for the blessing. May it be returned to you by God Himself.

    Russell, as I ponder "wisdom, like love, is best when it is action oriented," I'm inclined to argue that it's not best in action, but only exists in action. Shakespeare said, "They do not love that do not show their love." Might the same be said of wisdom?

    Denise, always, in all ways.

    T. Anne, He speaks in different ways at different times. In hours of greatest stress, I've known Him to speak most plainly.

  6. I like that you ask "how dare we." Seems He does just that -- dares us to seek Him.

    And thankfully so.

  7. Lyla, I love your take on this. He dares us to seek Him! Unforgettable.

    For some reason it makes me think of this quote: "You can discover more about a person in an hour of play than in a year of conversation." ~ Plato

  8. I agree, but sometimes there is great wisdom in not doing... :-)

  9. Russell, I took some time today to exercise the wisdom of not doing.

    Can I stop thinking about this now? :D


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