In addition to the fascinating study of God’s many names, which formed the bulk of our readings in the past, there is another OT subject that has many facets, namely God’sWord. There are, in fact, no less than eight different Hebrew words in Psalms 119 alone that describe the many aspects of God’s Word.
The first such word is law, which is the most frequent of all, appearing some 219 times. The Hebrew is tôrāh (H8451), a feminine noun meaning “direction, teaching, and instruction.” Generally speaking, law most often refers to a body of teaching, and that is precisely what allScripture is. While we will examine in subsequent studies the Mosaic Law and its bearing on NT believers, all Scripture provides direction and instruction. While not all Scripture was written to the church (NT believers), all Scripture was written for the church. In other words, all Scripture provides legitimate application for us in this age.
It’s interesting and instructive that the very first occurrence of tôrāh is in Gen_26:5, long before God gave the Mosaic Law: “Because that Abraham obeyed my voice, and kept my charge, my commandments, my statutes, and my laws.” In other words, God has always had laws. This is further evident in the fact that before God gave the Mosaic Law, some of its basic principles already existed among the Babylonians, Hittites, and other civilizations. This clearly demonstrates that at the very least a basic verbal law had been handed down through the years. It eventually was ignored by the majority after Babel, but there were some, such as Abraham, who retained the knowledge of God’s law. We see the same implication in Job (which predates the Mosaic Law): “Neither have I gone back from the commandment of his lips; I have esteemed the words of his mouth more than my necessary food” (Job_23:12). Again, long before Moses, there were commandments, that is, law, which while eventually replaced by the Mosaic Law, was nonetheless a code of behavior and a body of teaching by which man was bound. As we will see, this is the law written in man’s hearts (Rom_2:15), a law he cannot escape.
Scriptures for Study: What do Psa_1:1-3; Psa_119:1 promise to those who keep God’s law, that is, the instruction of His Word in general?