Saturday Sermon: Learning to delight in the Law of God
"Praise the Lord. Blessed is the man who fears the Lord, who greatly delights in His commandments." - Psalm 112:1
We are relating properly to God when, having come through faith in Jesus Christ to know the Father, we now live daily in love and fear of Him. How can we be sure that we love and fear the Lord? The psalmist tells us plainly: they fear the Lord who delight in His commandments.
The reference here is clearly to the Law of God - the Ten Commandments and the statutes, precepts and rules which guide us in the blameless life of love for God and our neighbors. Paul insists that the Law of God is holy and righteous and good (Rom. 7:12), and it is appropriate for those who delight in the God who gave such laws to delight in His Law as well.
But what does it mean to delight in the Law of God? Well, in the first place, we cannot delight in what we do not know. For many believers, this will be a new experience - like sitting down to chicken livers for the first time. In the contemporary Church we have become persuaded that the Law of God is not for us. We're "under grace" rather than "under the Law."
I am persuaded that one of the reasons the Church is often called out for its hypocrisy is this lack of delighting in the Law of God. If the Church spent as much time in faith seeking to live as God prescribed, hypocrisy would not be a sustainable charge. But since we spend our time living as we chose, then we are acting like hypocrites.
Psalm 1 tells us that the righteous person delights to meditate in God's Law day and night. As we begin to delight in studying the Law of God, we will delight even more in obeying it. We will learn to say with the psalmist, "Oh how I love Your Law" (Ps. 119:97).
In doing the Law of God, we walk in the paths of love for God and neighbor that mark out the course of divine grace flowing through us to others. We will discover depths of saving grace and power that we have never known before as we work out our salvation in fear and trembling by submitting to the work of God's Spirit in teaching us His Law (Phil. 2:12, 13).
The Law of God is not a burden to be grudgingly learned and obeyed. It is, rather, the very source of full and abundant life to all who delight in it (Lev. 8:1-5).
They who fear the Lord nurture and manifest that fear in their delight in His Law. Loving God and fearing Him thus go hand in hand, through the joyful, consistent, increasing study and practice of the holy and righteous and good Law of God.
Mike Singenstreu is the pastor of Christ Presbyterian Church, PCA, which meets at 1929 Red River in the Crossroads Center.