At All Times-Psalm 34:1

November 2, 2014

How to Delight in the LAW of the Lord

Filed under: Uncategorized — by Whitney Standlea @ 2:00 pm

This morning, for the first day of November, I read the very first Psalm. A familiar one that begins:

Blessed is the man who walks not in the counsel of the wicked, nor stands in the way of sinners, nor sits in the seat of scoffers; but his delight is in the law of the LORD, and on his law he meditates day and night. (Psalm 1:1-2 ESV)

As I tried to mediate for a moment on meditating on God’s law it struck me in a peculiar way. If you are familiar with the Psalms you know that it is a common theme to talk about the the Law of the Lord in a way that expresses its unique appeal, beauty and pleasure. Psalm 19 readily comes to mind as the Law revives the soul, rejoices the heart, and is more sweeter than honey! I say this struck me in a peculiar way because lately both the book I have been reading and the sermons I have been hearing have been focusing in on the condemnation, weight, and hopelessness the Law brings. It is indeed the grace-filled Gospel of God that brings righteousness and peace with God, apart from the Law. Under a wealth of recent teaching on this, I had to look at the idea of delighting in the law of God afresh. How do I delight in the law of God? Several things came readily to my mind. These are not exhaustive, and I do not intend to thoroughly explain each one. But I hope you will find it helpful for yourself as I enumerate them. At the very least, it will be helpful to me.

  1. The Law of God provides guidance and wisdom for life. “Your Word is a lamp to my feet and a light to path.” “How can a young man keep his way pure? By guarding it according to your Word.” “I have hidden your Word in my heart that I might not sin against you.” Even though the Law exposes our sin at a standard we could never achieve, it still provides wisdom directly from God on how to walk through life-akin to reading the owner’s manual written by the designer of the product. We can delight in the benefit it is that He has expressed these things to us. No doubt, the man or woman who seeks to walk in accordance with God’s command will find protection from many of the natural consequences to a sin filled lifestyle.
  2. The Law of God points us to the beautiful character of God. As I read God’s laws through even the most difficult of books (I am thinking Leviticus, oh my!) I see the beautiful character and nature of God on display. His holiness, certainly reverberates with the constant cry, “Be Holy, as I am holy.” But particularly, I think upon the love God has for the foreigner, widow, and sojourner. I do delight in seeing God’s faithful care and provision within His law for the most vulnerable among us. His tenderness is on display in a beautiful way that beckons us to cry to Him in our destitution and on behalf of those suffering injustice. Many other qualities and concerns of God are evident in reading His law.
  3. The Law of God points to the perfect righteousness of Christ. When we read the laws and demands of God, we are incapable of fulfilling the overwhelming demands. Yet we can be stirred afresh to ponder the perfection of our Lord as He walked in full obedience to the law of God. For we know as we read the law of God that Christ came and fulfilled the Law, fully and completely. With all His heart, and all His mind, and all His soul, and all His strength all the time. 
  4. The Law of God show us our sin. As un-delightful as that may sound, Paul states in Romans 7:7,  “Yet if it had not been for the law, I would not have known sin. For I would not have known what it is to covet if the law had not said, “You shall not covet.” (Romans 7:7 ESV) It is the Law of God that shows us our sinfulness. This is a cause for delight because sin leads to repentance, and thereby forgiveness and hope in Christ.
  5. Delighting in the Law of Faith and Love. Jesus not only came and fulfilled the Law, but He initiated a New Covenant, not relating to God by works of the Law in the flesh, but a covenant of faith. First John 3:23 says it so succinctly:  “And this is his commandment, that we believe in the name of his Son Jesus Christ and love one another, just as he has commanded us.” (ESV) We find ourselves unable to please God or gain acceptance before Him, but He has given us a new Law. He has called us to have faith in His perfect Son Jesus Christ. By faith we are completely justified apart from the Law. The overflow of this is reconciliation to God, and the indwelling of the Spirit of God which fill us with the ability to walk in Love. The fruit that this Spirit produces is “love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, self-control.” And Praise God!! Against these things there is no Law! (Galatians 5:22-24).
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