This morning I came across a reference to Psalm 119: 15-16 in a devotion about how King David would seek God’s wisdom when making decisions and plans.
As I looked at the passage and then wrote it down in my journal, I began circling words to look up and study a bit more deeply.
The first line says:
I will meditate on your precepts.
I took a pause and looked up the word precepts, because while I think I know what it means….I really don’t know that I have a grasp of it.
For all the word nerds, here is what I found:
To command; any command or order intended as an authoritative rule of action; but applied particularly to commands respecting moral conduct.KJV commentary
and also this take:
A commandment, an authoritative rule for action, a divine injunction in which man’s obligation is set forth.BibleStudyTools.com
So basically, a precept is some kind of directly worded commandment that is grounded in authority and calls for action on the part of the one being commanded.
Clearly being told what to do, by the one who has the authority to tell you to do it and the obligation of response on your part to do it.
Putting in human terms.
When your mom tells you to make your bed every morning before you go to school…she has the authority as the mom to command you to do it, the expectation that you can and will do it and you have the obligation to make follow that instruction every day.
When your boss tells you that the work day starts at 8 AM, ends at 5 PM, you get a half hour for lunch and no surfing the internet, he/she has the right to give you those instructions and you have the responsibility and capability of doing them.
My next question would be, where do we start looking for the precepts that David meditated on and the first answer I found was the Ten Commandments.
As Christians we are alarmed when these are removed from public places, and we certainly have our favorites that we pull up to defend what we believe to be right and true….however, in full disclosure…as I look at them this morning, I move no farther past the first four and find myself harking back to David’s Psalm.
I meditate on these:
1. Do not have other gods besides Me
2. Do not make an idol for yourself, whether in the shape of anything in the heavens above or on the earth below or in the waters under the earth
3. Do not bow in worship before them, and do not serve them
4. Do not misuse the name of the LORD your God
There are a myriad of reasons why idol worship is not a good idea.
It robs us of the fellowship and relationship of the only God, the one who made us, formed us…loved us before we knew Him…the only One Worthy of glory and honor and praise and adoration.
But it would seem the main reason we look only to Him, worship only Him, honor His name with our mouths, hearts, minds and bodies is obedience.
He has commanded us to do so.
And if that rubs a rough spot in you, perhaps you have found a place where you have set up some kind of false or functional god.
If something within us still wants to be the one who controls what, how, when we worship…even if we say it’s God we want to worship…we may be bowing down to an idol we formed and fashioned by our own making.
We may be harboring some old place of serving something or someone other than our God.
Mediate on those four “precepts” today and let the Spirit of the living God work in your heart and soul today.
Before we move on to the other six commandments and demand those around us to adhere to them, maybe it would be good to do a heart check on our own level of obedience to the first four <3