Tuesday, September 18, 2007

I Love Thy Law, O God

It is in this essay that I want to express my love for and commitment to God’s word. Perhaps there is no greater place to begin than in the one hundred and nineteenth psalm where the psalmist cries out in nearly every verse his love for, commitment to, reliance upon and the authority of God’s precious statutes.

Psalm 119:16 I shall delight in Your statutes; I shall not forget Your word. This verse brings the whole psalm, all one hundred and seventy-six verses, to a single thought, namely, the utter delight of the Word of God by the man of God.

The cry of my heart is the exact representation of the psalmists here Psalm 119. Because God’s word is holy, sufficient, inspired, infallible and comforting, we have as our command and demand to meditate on it. We shall find our hope, joy, delight and refuge in God in His word. For it is only in the Word of God that we have an anchor for the soul.

It is in this brief essay that I want to express a few ways in which our love for God’s law ought to be manifest in our daily lives. Let us never forget that our theology (in this case, bibliology) must express itself in doxology. Our love for God’s word must result in a righteous living in obedience to God’s word.

First, our love for God’s law ought to express itself in constant reading of it. This is an overlooked necessity of the Christian who claims to have a dependence upon and a love for God’s law. For one to constantly find refuge in God and His character, he must be constantly bathing in the pure and refreshing Word from the Living God. There is no other option.

This must not simply be a one time occurrence during the week. It must not be a five minute quick “read-through-a-chapter” in the evening before bed when our minds have been “shut-off”. Rather, this must be the first priority of the Christian every day. It must be the food and sustenance that we need to go through our day so to know how we can do “all to the glory of God” (1 Cor 10:31).

How often is it, when we find ourselves consuming our time watching the television for hours I without end, sitting in traffic for a time every day, for surfing the internet at length, for exercising our bodies daily. These activities may be profitable and can be used to God’s glory, but how often is it when these activities, as eternally insignificant as they may be, crowd out our daily consumption of God’s written word.

Let us, therefore, find ourselves in constant reading of God’s word. Daily, hourly, constantly nourishing on and feeding upon the strength and meat revealed in the pages of Scripture.

Second, our love for God’s law ought to express itself in constant reflection of it. The sheer act of reading the Bible and closing it and placing it back on the shelf until the next day is not the goal. The goal is to read God’s word and then to reflect on it through the course of the day. It was spoken of John Bunyan that if you were to cut him, “he would bleed Bibline.” May that be characteristic of each and every one of us. Psalm 119:48 And I shall lift up my hands to Your commandments, Which I love; And I will meditate on Your statutes. May we be those who are so saturated with God and His word that every thought that we think, every word that we speak, every place that we go, every motion that we make would be – in some way – a reflection of God and His word working in our lives.

May it never be that we live a day without meditation upon God and His word. May it never be that we make decisions, lead families, head-up an organization or partake in any of the most mundane activities of life without meditation upon and absolute love for God’s word.

Third, our love for God’s law ought to express itself in constant delight of it. This was the heart of the psalmist when he noted in Psalm 119:35 Make me walk in the path of Your commandments, For I delight in it. So may it be said of our heart. May we pray to our God and ask that He would cause us to walk in the paths directed in God’s word for we delight in His law. Hear it again when he notes, Psalm 119:47 I shall delight in Your commandments, Which I love.

Is our heart constantly delighting in God’s law. Are we finding our inner joy, our inner strength, our inner excitement, our inner exuberance from the Living Word of God? May we find utter delight and satisfaction in reveling in the perfect and clear word of God. The psalmist is clear and single-minded when he prays to the Lord, Psalm 119:77 May Your compassion come to me that I may live, For Your law is my delight.

So I as you, Do you love God’s Law. Do you read it repeatedly and habitually? Is it a priority in your daily life? Do you read God’s word more often than you read secular novels and fiction books? Do you meditate on and reflect upon the understandable yet the incomprehensible word of God? Do you find that you delight in it? Do you love reading the Scriptures? Do you long to be in your quiet room to be alone with the Savior in reading His Word? May we find our heart-cry with the psalmist in pleading with the Lord, Psalm 119:174 I long for Your salvation, O LORD, And Your law is my delight.

Your pastor and friend,
Geoffrey R. Kirkland

September 17, 2007

2 comments:

Anonymous said...

Geoff, great post!

I was reading Psalm 119 this morning as a matter of fact.

Mom adn I listened to a very good message by John Piper a few days ago where he was referencing the prayer of v 18- Open my eyes that I might see wonderful things from Thy law.

Piper made 3 points- 1. There are wonders in God's Word. 2. We need God's enablement to see them and appropriate them, and 3. We need to ask for His enablement.

He then challenged us to read thru Psalm 119 and identify all the prayers. That is what I was doing this morning.

Thanks for your very helpful post on this wonderful Psalm and God's Word in general.

Love,

Dad

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