Open to Suggestion
“The law of the LORD is perfect, restoring the soul; the testimony of the LORD is sure, making wise the simple.” (Psalm 19:7)
In the above verse we are presented with two distinct problems with a solution for each: a soul that must be restored and a “simple” person who needs wisdom.
Let’s begin with the second phrase. The root for the word translated as simple is pathah which literally means “to open, or to be open.” Scripture uses it figuratively to describe a person who is open to suggestion or easily seducible.
In my younger years, when I was utterly given over to sin, I possessed a devilish ability to discern girls who were needy for affection. I targeted girls who were vulnerable to exploitation. They were “open” to my advances because they wanted the attention I offered. The simple person David is referring to is someone who is similarly vulnerable to the wiles of the devil.
The first phrase of our verse seems to describe a simpleminded person who has been led astray by the enemy and has become ensnared in sin. In keeping with our illustration above, it is a girl who has given up her virginity and has subsequently gone from man to man until she has completely corrupted herself morally.
Eventually she begins to grasp the emptiness of sin and begins to look for a way out of its clutches. Under the influences of the Holy Spirit she starts to see the extent her soul has been polluted. Is she beyond redemption?
No. Under divine inspiration David promises that there is an invisible power inherent in Scripture that can transform her from the inside out.
The law of the Lord—meaning the entire written revelation of God and His ways—is the spiritual mechanism available to heal the diseased soul. Moreover, it claims to be able to accomplish this monumental task perfectly, completely. Once it has established itself within a person’s heart, it has the power to build a sound mind and establish a love for holiness.
As this inner transformation is occurring, the Holy Spirit is busy utilizing the Word to accomplish yet another important task. The door of the heart—that has long stood open invitingly to the seducers of the spiritual realm—now has a guard stationed there to expose and block unwanted intruders who might attempt to gain entrance. A sign now hangs over that doorway: Closed. No Tresspassing.
The truth is that all of us have allowed the enemy access to our souls, but as we spend meaningful time in the Word, we have its assurance that it has the power to protect us from the enemy’s lies and to utterly change the direction of our thinking.
And how about you? Can you see how the Lord has used His Word to close the door of your heart to “unwanted intruders?” Can you see how the Holy Spirit has used it to restore your inner life from the ravages of past sin? What a blessing that God created us in such a way that He can always mend what has been broken!