Loving God’s Word

Bishop’s Message

Oh, how I love your law! I meditate on it all day long.
~ Psalm 119:97 (NIV)

The Psalmist’s love for God’s written Word was shared by Methodism’s founder, John Wesley, who wrote, “Let me be homo unius libri” (Aquinas’ Latin phrase for “a person of one book”). Wesley was referring to the Bible, the written Word of God. This does not mean that Wesley read only one book—he was one of the most widely read persons of his day. But Wesley made the study and application of the Bible his priority in life. Like the Psalmist, Wesley loved God’s written Word.

The Psalmist’s love for God’s teaching shines through his repeated expressions of his love. (Read, and be inspired by, Psalm 119 verses 97, 159, 163, 165, 167, 174 et al.).

Most of us find it hard to think of “Law” as something to love (with apologies, and respect, to our lawyers, judges, and Law students)! In this regard, we should note that the English translation “law” of the Hebrew word torah is slightly misleading. The same Hebrew word is used frequently in the book of Proverbs for the teaching, advice or instruction given by parents to their children (Proverbs 1:8; 3:1; 4:2 et al.). This is why, for example, the Common English Bible (CEB) and several others1 prefer to render the Hebrew text Torah as God’s Teaching or Instruction, rather than God’s Law.

I love your Instruction!
I think about it constantly.
~ Psalm 119:97 CEB

May we, like Wesley and the Psalmist, find joy and wisdom in loving God’s Word!

O give me that Book! At any price, give me the Book of God.
I have it; here is knowledge enough for me.
Let me be homo unius libri!
~ John Wesley (Preface to Sermons on Several Occasions, paragraph 5)

Bishop Dr Gordon Wong was elected Bishop of The Methodist Church in Singapore in 2020.
He served as President of the Trinity Annual Conference from 2012-2020.