Psalm Nineteen: Perspectives…

Posted: October 4, 2012 in Interlude (Psalms)

In reading this psalm I couldn’t help but notice that David was a fan of God’s Word. And not just in a vague, “thus saith the Lord” kinda way. I mean, he really liked it. Even the commands, the rules, the Laws. Listen to how he describes them: “The law of the Lord is perfect,reviving the soul; the testimony of the Lord is sure, making wise the simple;the precepts of the Lord are right, rejoicing the heart; the commandment of the Lord is pure, enlightening the eyes;the fear of the Lord is clean, enduring forever; the rulesof the Lord are true, and righteous altogether.More to be desired are they than gold, even much fine gold; sweeter also than honey and drippings of the honeycomb.Moreover, by them is your servant warned; in keeping them there is great reward.”

Now let’s compare this to what Paul teaches us about this very same Law of God that David loved. Paul says this in Galatians three: “Is the law then contrary to the promises of God? Certainly not! For if a law had been given that could give life, then righteousness would indeed be by the law.But the Scripture imprisoned everything under sin, so that the promise by faith in Jesus Christ might be given to those who believe. Now before faith came, we were held captive under the law, imprisoned until the coming faith would be revealed. So then, the law was our guardian until Christ came, in order that we might be justified by faith.”

To summarize Paul’s thoughts here, the Law was given to condemn all of mankind, because none of us are capable of keeping the law perfectly. It was designed to reveal our sin, to expose us for the rebels we are. It offers salvation to no one.

Two seemingly contradictory positions. One esteems God’s Word as “sweeter than honey,” the other as being “held captive” under it. Was David a fool? Paul too negative?

I would say no to both questions.

I would also tell you that we should have the mindset of both.

See, this is how it works. One of the things that Walt and I preach hard is that the do’s and dont’s of the Bible have to be understood in light of the done of the Cross. Yes, there are laws and rules for us. No, we cannot keep them fully. But once the revelation of our sin drives us to Jesus, does this mean that there is now no benefit to following God’s Word? Absolutely not!

Here’s the secret: God’s Word, His rules, laws, etc. didn’t vanish at the Cross. Sure, we aren’t under the grip of the Mosaic Law, but no one can deny that the New Testament holds plenty of commands for Christians. The thing is, they are designed to maximize our joy. Think about it. What law have we ever been given that, if kept, does not maximize our happiness?

God’s Word is sweeter than honey because they reflect God’s best for us. Obeying God doesn’t lead to a life of drudgery, of desolate obedience. It leads to joy and happiness, to the best life we could have. Piper sums it up best: “God is most glorified in us when we are most satisfied in Him.” It’s a win-win for us. Not only does He save us, but He gives us the means of a crazy wonderful life.

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