Wednesday, January 29, 2014

Delight in the Law

Blessed is the one who does not walk in step with the wicked or stand in the way that sinners take or sit in the company of mockers, but whose delight is in the law of the Lord, and who meditates on his law day and night. That person is like a tree planted by streams of water, which yields its fruit in season and whose leaf does not wither—whatever they do prospers. 
Psalm 1:1-3

I delight in a lot of things. I delight in my wife, Stacy. I delight in my daughter. I could even be accused of delighting in a Dr. Pepper from time to time. But this psalm says that a defining characteristic of the righteous person that he delights in God's law. This is a very different attitude towards God's law (and the Old Testament in general) than we often find in our churches today. Why does he delight in the law? Isn't the law boring and restrictive? No! Scripture teaches throughout the Old Testament but especially in the Psalms (and specifically in this psalm) that God's law is truth that leads to righteousness (Deut. 4:1-8Deut. 6:24-25Psalm 119:7, 62, 137, 160, & 164.) God rewards and prospers righteousness and brings the wicked to ruin. That makes God's law a road map to spiritual prosperity.

The end result of delighting in God's law is presented in verse three. "Whatever they do prospers." For years I have prayed that God would make me like the Bible character Joseph. I have prayed that He would prosper whatever I put my hand to for His glory. Only now have I noticed that this verse shares the secret of how I can have that. The secret is to know God's law and obey His commands! The person who knows and obeys God's wise direction is like a tree planted by an ample supply of water. He can withstand any drought or difficulty. He will be productive.   

How do you relate to God's law? I know we are not under the law anymore. It isn't our path to salvation. But God's moral law found in the Old Testament is still good and true and wise. It is still worthy of meditation and delight. Even today it lays out the path to righteousness and spiritual prosperity. Delight in the law of the Lord! Meditate on it day and night, and you too will be like that tree planted by a gentle stream. You will prosper in whatever you do.  

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