July 29, 2012
Delighting in God’s Law
“But his delight is in the law of the Lord, And in His law he meditates day and night” (Psalm 1:2).
For those who diligently seek God, there is no greater delight than learning God’s will, doing it, and reflecting on it in their minds.
Along this path lies the good life. Joshua was reminded of this in God’s charge to him: “This Book of the Law shall not depart from your mouth, but you shall meditate in it day and night, that you may observe to do according to all that is written in it. For then you will make your way prosperous, and then you will have good success” (Joshua 1:8). Because God is good, any word that God has spoken is good. To love God, revere God, and respect God is to rejoice whenever God speaks. “The statutes of the Lord are right, rejoicing the heart . . . more to be desired are they than gold” (Psalm 19:8,10).
In Psalm 1, the person who is said to be blessed is one who “meditates” in God’s law. Meditation requires more than a hurried glance at the Scriptures once in a while. It first involves concentrated study and then the leisurely contemplation of what has been learned. When we meditate on God’s law, we admire its beauty and ponder its application in our lives. We ruminate on it and mull it over, indulging ourselves in the real enjoyment of thinking about God. The godly person doesn’t just do this on rare occasions. He does it “day and night.”
We must learn to appreciate God’s word as our rule of life, our law, our torah. The word law has such a negative connotation that it’s hard for us to have such an appreciation. We’d rather think of the Scriptures as “inspirational” literature, there for us to consult if we ever need a lift. But the very lift we need is to delight in the law of the Lord. God has revealed God’s will not just to inspire us, but to govern us – we need to meditate on it day and night.
Delighting in God’s law is simply a part of our delight in God Himself. In another of the Psalms, David said, “I delight to do Your will, O my God, and Your law is within my heart” (Psalm 40:8). The more we discover what God is really like, the more joy it will bring us to turn God’s precepts over and over in our minds and revel in the sheer goodness of such a great God.
“God is my being, my me, my strength, my beatitude, my good, my delight” (Catherine of Genoa).