Wednesday, March 2, 2011

Like One Who Finds Great Spoil

Sometimes I think we have a tendency to think God's grace is opposed to His law. That grace=good and law=bad. But this is not how the Psalmist speaks in Psalm 119. It is true, that God's law does bring us knowledge of sin, and drives us to God's grace as the source of our redemption and justification. Yet, God's law is also given for our good.

God didn't give us the commands as a 'booby trap' per se, where it is just a road block to make us turn to him. The law, the commands, are for our good. Does a Father give his young child rules just so the child knows he's an idiot and needs grace. No. Having rules will show the child how often he breaks them, and how much he needs mercy. But, the rules are also there out of the Father's care and provision. They are their because the Father loves the child. More so, when the child comes to a greater knowledge of the Father's love and delight towards him, the child will begin to willingly obey and delight in the Father's rules. They are no longer burdensome, because the child knows the Father loves him unconditionally, and has given him these commands for his good. My point is this, I think a lot of the time we have an overly Lutheran view of the law where ANY mention of the law is bad. Any mention of commands is BAD! I just don't think that is biblical at all. The law does give us knowledge of our sin. It is the hammer that crushes any hope of self-justification, leading us to look to Christ's finished work as our only hope of being righteous before God. Yes! But, for those who are children of God, there is great delight in the good commands our Heavenly Father has given us. We need to constantly remind ourselves that we can't earn God's love or favor by our obedience to the law, yet, it is right that we delight in His commands. It is right that we should find ourselves gravitating more and more towards imitating the written inscription of God's moral character. As God's grace transforms us, as children, we will begin to trust and delight in the commands our gracious Heavenly Father gives us.

"I rejoice at your word,
like one who finds great spoil.
I hate and abhor falsehood,
but I love your law....
I hope for your salvation, O LORD,
and I do your commandments.
My soul keeps your testimonies;
I love them exceedingly.
I keep your precepts and testimonies,
for all my ways are before you.
Let my cry come before you, O LORD;
give me understanding according to your word!
Let my plea come before you;
deliver me according to your word.
My lips will pour forth praise,
for you teach me your statutes.
My tongue will sing of your word,
for all your commandments are right."

Psalm 119: 163-172

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