Law, Precepts, Statutes, Decrees, Commands

Now, this law is an incorruptible picture of the High and Holy One that inhabiteth eternity.It is he whom, in his essence, no man hath seen, or can see, made visible to men and angels.It is the face of God unveiled; God manifested to his creatures as they are able to bear it; manifested to give, and not to destroy, life -- that they may see God and live.It is the heart of God disclosed to man.Yea, in some sense, we may apply to this law what the Apostle says of his Son: It is the streaming forth or out-beaming of his glory, the express image of his person.

"If virtue," said the ancient Heathen, "could assume such a shape as that we could behold her with our eyes, what wonderful love would she excite in us!" If virtue could do this! It is done already.The law of God is all virtues in one, in such a shape as to be beheld with open face by all those whose eyes God hath enlightened.What is the law but divine virtue and wisdom assuming a visible form? What is it but the original ideas of truth and good, which were lodged in the uncreated mind from eternity, now drawn forth and clothed with such a vehicle as to appear even to human understanding?

If we survey the law of God in another point of view, it is supreme, unchangeable reason; it is unalterable rectitude, it is the everlasting fitness of all things that are or ever were created.

The law of God (speaking after the manner of men) is a copy of the eternal mind, a transcript of the divine nature: Yea, it is the fairest offspring of the everlasting Father, the brightest efflux of his essential wisdom, the visible beauty of the Most High.It is the delight and wonder of cherubim and seraphim, and all the company of heaven, and the glory and joy of every wise believer, every well-instructed child of God upon earth.

....its nature: As Saint James, speaking of the same thing under another name, says, "The wisdom from above" (which is no other than this law, written in our heart) "is first pure", chaste, spotless; eternally and essentially holy. And, consequently, when it is transcribed into the life, as well as the soul, it is (as the same Apostle terms it) pure religion and undefiled; or, the pure, clean, unpolluted worship of God.

It is, indeed, in the highest degree, pure, chaste, clean, holy. Otherwise it could not be the immediate offspring, and much less the express resemblance, of God, who is essential holiness.It is pure from all sin, clean and unspotted from any touch of evil.It is a chaste virgin, incapable of any defilement, of any mixture with that which is unclean or unholy.It has no fellowship with sin of any kind: For "what communion hath light with darkness?" As sin is, in its very nature, enmity to God, so his law is enmity to sin.

Psalm 119

Blessed are those whose ways are blameless, who walk according to the law of the Lord.

Blessed are those who keep his statutes and seek him with all their heart—

they do no wrong but follow his ways.

You have laid down precepts that are to be fully obeyed.

Oh, that my ways were steadfast in obeying your decrees!

Then I would not be put to shame when I consider all your commands.

I will praise you with an upright heart as I learn your righteous laws.

I will obey your decrees;

do not utterly forsake me.


How can a young person stay on the path of purity?

By living according to your word.

I seek you with all my heart;

do not let me stray from your commands.

I have hidden your word in my heart that I might not sin against you.

Praise be to you, Lord;

teach me your decrees.

With my lips I recount all the laws that come from your mouth.

I rejoice in following your statutes as one rejoices in great riches.

I meditate on your precepts and consider your ways.

I delight in your decrees;

I will not neglect your word.


Be good to your servant while I live,

that I may obey your word.

Open my eyes that I may see wonderful things in your law.

I am a stranger on earth;

do not hide your commands from me.

My soul is consumed with longing for your laws at all times.

You rebuke the arrogant, who are accursed, those who stray from your commands.

Remove from me their scorn and contempt, for I keep your statutes.

Though rulers sit together and slander me, your servant will meditate on your decrees.

Your statutes are my delight;

they are my counselors.


I am laid low in the dust;

preserve my life according to your word.

I gave an account of my ways and you answered me;

teach me your decrees.

Cause me to understand the way of your precepts, that I may meditate on your wonderful deeds.

My soul is weary with sorrow;

strengthen me according to your word.

Keep me from deceitful ways;

be gracious to me and teach me your law.

I have chosen the way of faithfulness;

I have set my heart on your laws.

I hold fast to your statutes, Lord;

do not let me be put to shame.

I run in the path of your commands, for you have broadened my understanding.


Teach me, Lord, the way of your decrees, that I may follow it to the end.

Give me understanding, so that I may keep your law and obey it with all my heart.

Direct me in the path of your commands, for there I find delight.

Turn my heart toward your statutes and not toward selfish gain.

Turn my eyes away from worthless things;

preserve my life according to your word.

Fulfill your promise to your servant, so that you may be feared.

Take away the disgrace I dread, for your laws are good.

How I long for your precepts!

In your righteousness preserve my life.


May your unfailing love come to me, Lord, your salvation, according to your promise;

then I can answer anyone who taunts me, for I trust in your word.

Never take your word of truth from my mouth, for I have put my hope in your laws.

I will always obey your law, for ever and ever.

I will walk about in freedom, for I have sought out your precepts.

I will speak of your statutes before kings and will not be put to shame, for I delight in your commands because I love them.

I reach out for your commands, which I love, that I may meditate on your decrees.


Remember your word to your servant, for you have given me hope.

My comfort in my suffering is this:

Your promise preserves my life.

The arrogant mock me unmercifully, but I do not turn from your law.

I remember, Lord, your ancient laws, and I find comfort in them.

Indignation grips me because of the wicked, who have forsaken your law.

Your decrees are the theme of my song wherever I lodge.

In the night, Lord, I remember your name, that I may keep your law.

This has been my practice:

I obey your precepts.


You are my portion, Lord;

I have promised to obey your words.

I have sought your face with all my heart;

be gracious to me according to your promise.

I have considered my ways and have turned my steps to your statutes.

I will hasten and not delay to obey your commands.

Though the wicked bind me with ropes, I will not forget your law.

At midnight I rise to give you thanks for your righteous laws.

I am a friend to all who fear you, to all who follow your precepts.

The earth is filled with your love, Lord;

teach me your decrees.


Do good to your servant according to your word, Lord.

Teach me knowledge and good judgment, for I trust your commands.

Before I was afflicted I went astray, but now I obey your word.

You are good, and what you do is good;

teach me your decrees.

Though the arrogant have smeared me with lies, I keep your precepts with all my heart.

Their hearts are callous and unfeeling, but I delight in your law.

It was good for me to be afflicted so that I might learn your decrees.

The law from your mouth is more precious to me than thousands of pieces of silver and gold.


Your hands made me and formed me;

give me understanding to learn your commands.

May those who fear you rejoice when they see me, for I have put my hope in your word.

I know, Lord, that your laws are righteous, and that in faithfulness you have afflicted me.

May your unfailing love be my comfort, according to your promise to your servant.

Let your compassion come to me that I may live, for your law is my delight.

May the arrogant be put to shame for wronging me without cause;

but I will meditate on your precepts.

May those who fear you turn to me, those who understand your statutes.

May I wholeheartedly follow your decrees, that I may not be put to shame.


My soul faints with longing for your salvation, but I have put my hope in your word.

My eyes fail, looking for your promise;

I say, “When will you comfort me?”

Though I am like a wineskin in the smoke, I do not forget your decrees.

How long must your servant wait?

When will you punish my persecutors?

The arrogant dig pits to trap me, contrary to your law.

All your commands are trustworthy;

help me, for I am being persecuted without cause.

They almost wiped me from the earth, but I have not forsaken your precepts.

In your unfailing love preserve my life, that I may obey the statutes of your mouth.


Your word, Lord, is eternal;

it stands firm in the heavens.

Your faithfulness continues through all generations;

you established the earth, and it endures.

Your laws endure to this day, for all things serve you.

If your law had not been my delight, I would have perished in my affliction.

I will never forget your precepts, for by them you have preserved my life.

Save me, for I am yours;

I have sought out your precepts.

The wicked are waiting to destroy me, but I will ponder your statutes.

To all perfection I see a limit, but your commands are boundless.


Oh, how I love your law!

I meditate on it all day long.

Your commands are always with me and make me wiser than my enemies.

I have more insight than all my teachers, for I meditate on your statutes.

I have more understanding than the elders, for I obey your precepts.

I have kept my feet from every evil path so that I might obey your word.

I have not departed from your laws, for you yourself have taught me.

How sweet are your words to my taste, sweeter than honey to my mouth!

I gain understanding from your precepts;

therefore I hate every wrong path.


Your word is a lamp for my feet, a light on my path.

I have taken an oath and confirmed it, that I will follow your righteous laws.

I have suffered much;

preserve my life, Lord, according to your word.

Accept, Lord, the willing praise of my mouth, and teach me your laws.

Though I constantly take my life in my hands, I will not forget your law.

The wicked have set a snare for me, but I have not strayed from your precepts.

Your statutes are my heritage forever;

they are the joy of my heart.

My heart is set on keeping your decrees to the very end. d


I hate double-minded people, but I love your law.

You are my refuge and my shield;

I have put my hope in your word.

Away from me, you evildoers, that I may keep the commands of my God!

Sustain me, my God, according to your promise, and I will live;

do not let my hopes be dashed.

Uphold me, and I will be delivered;

I will always have regard for your decrees.

You reject all who stray from your decrees, for their delusions come to nothing.

All the wicked of the earth you discard like dross;

therefore I love your statutes.

My flesh trembles in fear of you;

I stand in awe of your laws.


I have done what is righteous and just;

do not leave me to my oppressors.

Ensure your servant’s well-being;

do not let the arrogant oppress me.

My eyes fail, looking for your salvation, looking for your righteous promise.

Deal with your servant according to your love and teach me your decrees.

I am your servant; give me discernment that I may understand your statutes.

It is time for you to act, Lord;

your law is being broken.

Because I love your commands more than gold, more than pure gold, and because I consider all your precepts right, I hate every wrong path.


Your statutes are wonderful;

therefore I obey them.

The unfolding of your words gives light;

it gives understanding to the simple.

I open my mouth and pant, longing for your commands.

Turn to me and have mercy on me, as you always do to those who love your name.

Direct my footsteps according to your word;

let no sin rule over me.

Redeem me from human oppression, that I may obey your precepts.

Make your face shine on your servant and teach me your decrees.

Streams of tears flow from my eyes, for your law is not obeyed.


You are righteous, Lord, and your laws are right.

The statutes you have laid down are righteous;

they are fully trustworthy.

My zeal wears me out, for my enemies ignore your words.

Your promises have been thoroughly tested, and your servant loves them.

Though I am lowly and despised, I do not forget your precepts.

Your righteousness is everlasting and your law is true.

Trouble and distress have come upon me, but your commands give me delight.

Your statutes are always righteous;

give me understanding that I may live.


I call with all my heart; answer me, Lord, and I will obey your decrees.

I call out to you; save me and I will keep your statutes.

I rise before dawn and cry for help;

I have put my hope in your word.

My eyes stay open through the watches of the night, that I may meditate on your promises.

Hear my voice in accordance with your love;

preserve my life, Lord, according to your laws.

Those who devise wicked schemes are near, but they are far from your law.

Yet you are near, Lord, and all your commands are true.

Long ago I learned from your statutes that you established them to last forever.


Look on my suffering and deliver me, for I have not forgotten your law.

Defend my cause and redeem me;

preserve my life according to your promise.

Salvation is far from the wicked, for they do not seek out your decrees.

Your compassion, Lord, is great;

preserve my life according to your laws.

Many are the foes who persecute me, but I have not turned from your statutes.

I look on the faithless with loathing, for they do not obey your word.

See how I love your precepts;

preserve my life, Lord, in accordance with your love.

All your words are true;

all your righteous laws are eternal.

Sin and Shin

Rulers persecute me without cause, but my heart trembles at your word.

I rejoice in your promise like one who finds great spoil.

I hate and detest falsehood but I love your law.

Seven times a day I praise you for your righteous laws.

Great peace have those who love your law, and nothing can make them stumble.

I wait for your salvation, Lord, and I follow your commands.

I obey your statutes, for I love them greatly.

I obey your precepts and your statutes, for all my ways are known to you.


May my cry come before you, Lord;

give me understanding according to your word.

May my supplication come before you;

deliver me according to your promise.

May my lips overflow with praise, for you teach me your decrees.

May my tongue sing of your word, for all your commands are righteous.

May your hand be ready to help me, for I have chosen your precepts.

I long for your salvation, Lord, and your law gives me delight.

Let me live that I may praise you, and may your laws sustain me.

I have strayed like a lost sheep.

Seek your servant, for I have not forgotten your commands.