Tuesday, January 19, 2016

Psalm 19: Law Is God's Manual for Life

KEY TEXT: Ps 19:7-9 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 rules of the Lord are true, and righteous altogether. (ESV)

God’s Word is here described variously as “law”, “testimony”, “precepts”, “commandment”, “fear of the Lord” and “rules of the Lord”. God’s Word is not just law (ethical system), but also testimony (stories of God’s faithfulness), precepts (principles for living), commandment (moral imperative), and rules (guidelines). In short, God’s Word provides everything that we need to be godly people. And when we do study and practise it, we experience the blessings, variously described as revival (“reviving the soul”), wisdom (“making wise the simple”), joy (“rejoicing the heart”), clear direction (“enlightening the eyes”), godly fear (“fear of the Lord”), and righteousness (“righteous altogether”). 

On the contrary, when we neglect God’s Word, we suffer from spiritual deficiencies of all sorts: backsliding, folly, depression, lost, irreverence, and sin. We are only as consistent in our walk with God as our daily habit of reading and studying God’s Word to know and obey Him better. 

Psalm 1 tells us that the "blessed man" is one whose "delight is in the law of the Lord" and "on his law he meditates day and night" (Psalm 1:2). And because of this discipline he experiences manifold blessings:
  • Spiritually Alive ("like a tree planted by streams of water"): Water is the source of life and a type of the Spirit. When we are soaked in God's Word we are also soaked in the Spirit.
  • Fruitful ("yields its fruit in its season"): He is fruitful and like a tree bearing fruits becomes a blessing to others who consume his fruits.
  • Ever-green ("its leaf does not wither"): He is consistently green, no backsliding into spiritual depression, typical of believers who read the Bible only occasionally.
  • Successful ("in all that he does, he prospers"): He is no flop. What he puts his hand on, he prospers. It can be study, work and even play.
Father God, what a great resource You have given us in Your Word, for in it, we find the complete manual for life. Amen.

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