Your word is a lamp for my feet, a light on my path. (Psalm 119:105, NIV)
The glories of the law of God are praised nowhere higher than in Psalm 119, which I have been reading the last couple of days in the morning and evening.
Verse after verse, the psalmist praises the commands, instruction, statutes, and precepts of the LORD. They are a source of hope, a guide to life, and a shield against the many foes and troubles of the psalmist’s life.
What is remarkable to me — as a Christian in the USA in 2014 — is how clear the law is to the psalmist. The psalmist writes of meditating upon the law and pondering God’s precepts, but never puzzling over them. He does not cherish fuzziness. I often feel that our instincts run in the opposite direction. We seem to exalt obscurity when it comes to the law of God and the commands of Christ. We spend great energy looking for ways to stretch meanings or find loop holes. We do not meditate on the law so much as argue with it.
The psalmist does not argue with the law. He argues with God. He calls God to do what God has promised. He asks how God can let so many law-breakers run about with impunity. But all these questions appear to be so pressing precisely because the psalmist glories in the law of the LORD.
I suspect he’d be called a biblicist today. Or perhaps — to bring up an old epithet used against the first Methodists — a Bible moth.
In the preface to his sermons, John Wesley wrote:
To candid, reasonable men, I am not afraid to lay open what have been the inmost thoughts of my heart. I have thought, I am a creature of a day, passing through life as an arrow through the air. I am a spirit come from God and returning to God: Just hovering over the great gulf; till, a few moments hence, I am no more seen; I drop into an unchangeable eternity! I want to know one thing — the way to heaven; how to land on that happy shore. God himself has condescended to teach the way: For this very end he came from heaven. He hath written it down in a book. Give me that book! At any price, give me the book of God!
His passion to know and do the will of God remind me of the voice of the Psalms.
Would that people heard such passion in my voice and saw it in my life.