O how I love Your law!
Psalm 119:97-112 from the daily reading in the One Year Bible
O how I love Your law! It is my meditation all the day. 98 Your commandments make me wiser than my enemies, For they are ever mine. 99 I
have more insight than all my teachers, For Your testimonies are my meditation. 100 I understand more than the aged, Because I have observed Your precepts. 101 I have restrained my feet from every evil way, That I may keep Your
102 I have not turned aside from Your ordinances, For You Yourself have taught me. 103 How sweet are Your words to my taste! Yes, sweeter than honey to my mouth! 104 From Your precepts I get understanding; Therefore I hate every false way.
105 Your word is a lamp to my feet And a light to my path. 106 I have sworn and I will confirm it,
That I will keep Your righteous ordinances. 107 I am exceedingly afflicted; Revive me, O Lord, according to Your word. 108 O accept the freewill offerings of my mouth, O Lord, And teach me Your ordinances. 109 My life is continually in my hand, Yet I do not forget Your law. 110 The wicked have laid a snare for me, Yet I have not gone astray from Your perecepts. 111 I have inherited Your testimonies forever, For they are the joy of my heart. 112 I have inclined my heart to perform Your statutes Forever, even to the end.
Hebrews 8:6-13 says: He has obtained a more excellent ministry, inasmuch as He is also Mediator of a better covenant, which was established on better promises. For if that first covenant had been faultless, then no place would have been sought for a second. Because finding fault with them, He says: “Behold, the days are coming, says theLord, when I will make a new covenant with the house of Israel and with the house of Judah—not according to the covenant that I made with their fathers in the day when I took them by the hand to lead them out of the land of Egypt; because they did not continue in My covenant, and I disregarded them, says theLord.For this is the covenant that I will make with the house of Israel after those days, says theLord: I will put My laws in their mind and write them on their hearts; andI will be their God, and they shall be My people.None of them shall teach his neighbor, and none his brother, saying, ‘Know theLord,’ for all shall know Me, from the least of them to the greatest of them.For I will be merciful to their unrighteousness,and their sins and their lawless deeds I will remember no more.”In that He says, “A new covenant,” He has made the first obsolete. Now what is becoming obsolete and growing old is ready to vanish away. We do live under the new and better covenant of Christ. We are no longer subject to the covenant of the law. I must say though that I disagree with the writer of Hebrews when he says: In that He says, “A new covenant,” He has made the first obsolete. Now what is becoming obsolete and growing old is ready to vanish away. It goes against the very words of Jesus who in Matthew 5:17-20 Himself says: “Do not think that I have come to abolish the Law or the Prophets; I have not come to abolish them but to fulfill them. For truly, I say to you, until heaven and earth pass away, not an iota, not a dot, will pass from the Law until all is accomplished. Therefore whoever relaxes one of the least of these commandments and teaches others to do the same will be called least in the kingdom of heaven, but whoever does them and teaches them will be called great in the kingdom of heaven. For I tell you, unless your righteousness exceeds that of the scribes and Pharisees, you will never enter the kingdom of heaven.” Jesus says that the Law will not pass away. You see, the problem is not with the Law. The problem is with the heart of people. The writer of Hebrews says: For if that first covenant had been faultless, then no place would have been sought for a second. Because finding fault with them, He says: “Behold, the days are coming, says the Lord, when I will make a new covenant… The them, that there was found fault with was not and is not the laws of God. Jesus says they will not pass away. The fault was and is in the hearts people. It was they who could not fulfill the requirements of the old covenant. Really what they failed in was to change. The old covenant did not change the hearts of people. So, God offered a new covenant through Christ Jesus, who never fails.
There is still though the same problem now, with the new covenant as there was with the old. The problem is still with the hearts of people. In the same way that people did not fulfill the requirements of the law, but rather rejected them because they seemed overwhelming and restrictive, many also reject the life of the new covenant in Christ, believing it to be too restrictive. The problem is neither with Christ nor is it with the law. It is with the hearts of people. In today’s text from Psalm 119, the psalmist shows us that there is no fault in the law, if the heart of the person is right. He says: O how I love Your law! It is my meditation all the day. Rather than reject the law because it is restrictive, the psalmist loves the law. He meditates on it all day. He says: Your commandments make me wiser than my enemies, For they are ever mine. I have more insight than all my teachers, For Your testimonies are my meditation. I understand more than the aged, Because I have observed Your precepts. The psalmist rightly sees and seeks the benefits of the law for his life. He understands that God’s ways are higher than, better than the ways of man. He seeks the wisdom of and from God’s word and His law. The psalmist continues: I have restrained my feet from every evil way, That I may keep Your word. I have not turned aside from Your ordinances, For You Yourself have taught me. How sweet are Your words to my taste! Yes, sweeter than honey to my mouth! From Your precepts I get understanding; Therefore I hate every false way. The psalmist sees and understands that the law of God is not restrictive, but rather it is protective. It is we who need restrained, not the law which restricts us. Jesus says: “Enter through the narrow gate; for the gate is wide and the way is broad that leads to destruction, and there are many who enter through it. For the gate is small and the way is narrow that leads to life, and there are few who find it.” (Matthew 7:13-14) The psalmist says: I have not turned aside from Your ordinances. It is by following the ordinances of God, not turning aside from them, not rejecting or relaxing them, that he and we will find and enter the narrow way of Christ. The psalmist says: How sweet are Your words to my taste! Yes, sweeter than honey to my mouth! If we also believe that the Word of God and the words of God are sweet, why do we feel the need to sugar coat it? Why do we relax the commandments of God?
The psalmist says: Your word is a lamp to my feet And a light to my path. I have sworn and I will confirm it, That I will keep Your righteous ordinances. Jesus Himself says: “Light has come into the world, and men loved the darkness rather than the Light, for their deeds were evil. For everyone who does evil hates the Light, and does not come to the Light for fear that his deeds will be exposed. But he who practices the truth comes to the Light, so that his deeds may be manifested as having been wrought in God.” (John 3:19-20) Again, it is the heart of people that fault lies in. Whether they reject the light of the word or the light of Christ Himself, they walk in darkness because they love darkness more than the light. There is a misunderstanding and a misconception that we can love Jesus and reject or relax the law. Jesus did not do away with the law, He fulfilled it. Jesus Himself says: “If you love Me, keep My commandments…He who has My commandments and keeps them, it is he who loves Me. And he who loves Me will be loved by My Father, and I will love him and manifest Myself to him... If anyone loves Me, he will keep My word; and My Father will love him,and We will come to him and make Our home with him. He who does not love Me does not keep My words; andthe word which you hear is not Mine but the Father’s who sent Me.” (John 14:15-24) John 1:1-5;14 says: In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God. He was in the beginning with God. All things were made through Him, and without Him nothing was made that was made In Him was life, and the life was the light of men And the light shines in the darkness, and the darkness did not comprehend it… And the Word became flesh and dwelt among us, and we beheld His glory, the glory as of the only begotten of the Father, full of grace and truth. Jesus and the word are one, they are inseparable. You cannot love Jesus and reject the word.
The psalmist says: I have inherited Your testimonies forever, For they are the joy of my heart. I have inclined my heart to perform Your statutes Forever, even to the end. The way of the covenant of the law and the way of Christ have the same destination. Both are to lead us to the inheritance of the promises and the testimonies of God. Jesus says: “Go therefore andmake disciples of all the nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit,teaching them to observe all things that I have commanded you; and lo, I amwith you always, even to the end of the age.” (Matthew 28:19-20) Jesus and God’s Word abide forever.
Heavenly Father, Lord Jesus Christ; precious Holy Spirit; like the psalmist I say, O how I love Your law! It is my meditation all the day. How sweet are Your words to my taste! Yes, sweeter than honey to my mouth! From Your precepts I get understanding; Therefore I hate every false way. Your word is a lamp to my feet And a light to my path. May I walk in the way and the path of Your light, not rejecting or relaxing Your commandments, but loving, embracing and teaching others the same. I love You Lord and I love Your Word. I know that neither You nor Your Word will ever fail. Amen.