Posted by: Terry | August 14, 2010

Delight in the Law

In Psalm 1 David pens that the Blessed man’s, “delight is in the law of the Lord, and on his law he meditates day and night.”

The Law was all of the Torah, the first five books of the Bible. In those books is enough to meditate on for a lifetime. How Joseph rose from a cocky daddy’s boy to the second most powerful man in the world, and he did it all with faith and integrity.

There are all of the lessons of the Exodus, the creation and what that teaches about the beauty and purpose for creation. There is even what we usually think of when we say Law, the commands of Leviticus, which reveal much about what God is like.

And of course there is the Decalogue, the Ten Commandments, which form the heart of the Law. What delight could one find in meditating on these restrictions?

A person such as David, with a heart and mind that sought to know God, would first of all see in the Ten some of the character of God. Meditating on the Ten would only deepen his understanding of God.

As I consider the Ten some thoughts:

These are the very words of God, not made up, not something contrived by a priest or Moses. These words were validated by the thunder, lightening, and dark clouds over the mountain.

There is really nothing new here, all of these were already as C. S. Lewis wrote “inscribed on the hearts” of all people. In a sense God was not only formalizing what they already knew but revealing the source of what they knew to be right. And as Paul would later explain, God was revealing how far short we all fall from what we know is right.

The basis of God speaking is that He is the one that brought them out of slavery in Egypt. It was God who challenged and defeated the armies of Egypt when the Israelites could do nothing.

He makes it clear how they are to live after he set them free, not as a condition of being set free. He is God and they are in a relationship with God because of what they have been through. Again Paul writes that they were “baptized with Moses” in the Red Sea. Baptized, completely identified with God’s representative and thus with God himself.

In a world where most people and nations had multiple gods, how could Israel have any other God? One is led to think of all of the lesser deities to which we pay homage. God is not arbitrary, he is God, and all of these other things are nothing, why then are they so enticing?

God is jealous, but not selfish. Human jealousy is fear of competition and it is based on insecurity. God is only stating the obvious when he says “have no other gods beside me.” There are no other gods only creations of the imagination.

The first three commands make it clear how we do not acknowledge or comprehend the sovereignty and power of God. That God is the one who in mercy and grace rescued a people from slavery, provided for them, then reveals himself to them and instructs them how to follow him, the only logical choice. He makes it clear that worshiping God is different than how the rest of the people of the world lived and followed their imagination.

As a Christian with the perspective of the message of Christ the message is even more clear. God loved the world enough to send Jesus the Christ, who rescued us from the dominion of darkness and transferred us into his kingdom. Now as members of that kingdom it only makes sense that we would live in accord with the new nature we have been given, or at least that should be our objective.

Like David we find blessing in delighting in the message of God and meditating on his person and precepts.



  1. Very good, Son, now you are back to your old self.

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