Your word is very pure; therefore Your servant loves it.
The psalmist here declares that God’s Word is pure. The Hebrew word translated “pure” is tsaraph, which means “to smelt, refine, test” (Brown-Driver-Briggs Hebrew Lexicon). This is the same word used elsewhere in the Bible to describe the smelting process of refining gold and other precious metals (Zechariah 13:9). The word also is occasionally used in the context of “trying” or “testing” human beings (Psalm 26:2; Daniel 11:35).
There are two points about God’s Word we learn from this statement:
- God’s Word is totally pure. The Bible elsewhere reveals that “all Scripture is given by inspiration of God” (2 Timothy 3:16). The words of the Bible come directly from God, through the authors He worked with to record His words (2 Peter 1:21). Since God is perfect in every way (Psalm 18:30), His inspired Word is also perfect. We can put our full trust in the Bible for guidance in “the way of truth” (Psalm 119:30).
- God’s Word refines us. We, imperfect and frail human beings, are the ones who need to be purified. The Word of God is an essential tool in taking us from our “carnal,” human nature (Romans 8:7) to “a perfect man” (Ephesians 4:13). Many scriptures refer to the purifying power of God’s Word in our lives (John 15:3; Ephesians 5:26). But we must understand that it is not merely reading the Word of God that purifies us; we must be “obeying the truth through the Spirit” (1 Peter 1:22). We must read and live God’s Word in order to become purified.
The psalmist closes this verse with a simple statement: “Therefore Your servant loves it.”
Christians must develop three elements in their relationship to the Word of God: They must read it, love it and live it.
To learn more about God’s incredible Word, see the section about “A Book Unlike Any Other: The Holy Bible.”
Tomorrow on the Daily Bible Verse Blog: “Pity on the Poor.”