You pull out the Bible because you are supposed to; or perhaps there is dust. Maybe you are organized and have a nice check off list for Bible reading. Maybe you open the Bible and throw your finger on a verse and begin reading.
But it’s dry.
You think, “Why do I not get anything out of this? What am I missing?”
You land on a genealogy or the law of God given to the levites in Leviticus. (sigh) Or, you are reading through the muck of a letter by Paul and his words dance back and forth on the page and you have no idea what he is talking about. As a matter of fact, who *is* Paul?
You watch people’s blog, or Facebook, posts showing a cup of coffee with an open Bible describing how amazing their time with God is, and how they have fancy painted Bibles and journals. You compare yourself and see a book with tiny words and some red letters with thees and thous.
Perhaps doing some research and buying a new Bible is in order, but even if you have a brand-spankin’ new one, how does one love the word of God?
Psalm 119. It’s the longest chapter in the Bible. It’s also smack dab in the middle of your Bible.
This psalm describes a love for God’s word, his statutes, his commands, his judgements.
But it isn’t.
And the words are active.
The question is, can you handle it?
It comes down to motivation. Why do *you* think you should read the Bible?
Do you want your ways to be pure and blameless? Does your soul need to be revived? Do you want to learn? Do you want to be more loving?
Do you want freedom?
Agonizing Over Sin Creates a Love for the Law of God
This is the paradox. It’s loving the law of God that brings us freedom. It’s the rules that bring grace.
My soul is crushed with longing after your ordinances at all times. ~ Psalm 119:20
The law crushes us. Why? Because it shows us our sin. The law shows us that we are imperfect. The statutes reveal our need for a Savior.
Everyone sins. You sin. I sin. We cannot ignore that fact. Have you lied? Have you secretly yearned for something that belonged to someone else? Did you ever disobey your parents? Have you taken someone’s life?
The law shows us our missed marks. Do you care? Do you care that you have sinned against the God who lovingly created you?
My soul weeps because of grief; strengthen me according to your word. ~ Psalm 119:28
I considered my ways and turned my feet to your testimonies. ~ Psalm 119:59
Salvation Creates a Love for the Law of God
The law of God is like a mirror. It shows us what is wrong about us. But the law doesn’t solve our problem. And yet, the law solves our problem.
My soul longs for your salvation; I hope in your word. ~ Psalm 119:81
Why does the writer hope in God’s word? Because God tells us that he is love. He extends lovingkindness to us.
Let your steadfast love come to me, O Lord, your salvation according to your promise; ~ Psalm 119:41
God promised back in Genesis that He would solve the sin problem that we have. His word is truth. Therein lies the hope. Salvation will come from the Lord. Jesus is our hope, the fulfillment of the law.
I am yours; save me, for I have sought your precepts. ~ Psalm 119: 94
Knowledge Creates a Love for the Law of God
Want to be smart? Want to be wise? Then fear the Lord and he will give you knowledge!
Oh how I love your law! It is my meditation all the day. Your commandment makes me wiser than my enemies, for it is ever with me. I have more understanding than all my teachers, for your testimonies are my meditation. ~ Psalm 119:97-99
The writer of Psalm 119 understands that wisdom is priceless and that it only comes from God. He knows that he needs to meditate on God’s word so he can gain knowledge and education. These words are not proud and haughty. On the contrary, they claim a dependence upon a power much stronger than humanity.
Your testimonies are my delight; they are my counselors. ~ Psalm 119:24
The sooner we realize that the Christian life is impossible, the better. We cannot live the way God wants us to on our own will and determination. We must be teachable. We need God to do what we cannot do ourselves.
Teach me, O Lord, the way of your statutes; and I will keep it to the end. Give me understanding, that I may keep your law and observe it with my whole heart. ~ Psalm 119: 33-34
Our Faithfulness Creates a Love for the Law of God
God has done his part. He has blessed us with his word. We must do our part: READ IT. The more you read it, the more you love it!
With my whole heart I seek you; let me not wander from your commandments! ~ Psalm 119:10
I have been going through a dry season in my Bible reading and it breaks my heart. I have allowed myself to become distracted by life. And when my focus is not on Jesus, but on everything else (even good things!), then I begin to lose my first love. Despite my lack of faithfulness, God IS faithful. He had been throwing Palm 119 in my face for weeks now.
We need to be faithful in reading, and seeking God’s commands, with our whole hearts. Even on the dry days, even through the genealogies, even through the hard passages, even through the bloody verses…we must read God’s word.
I will meditate on your precepts and fix my eyes on your ways. ~ Psalm 119:15
Once we read it, then we must obey. The mirror of the law shows us what sin we are doing…then we must search the scriptures to know how to remedy the situation! God doesn’t laugh in our face and reject us. No, he graciously molds us into the righteous people he knows we can be.
Blessed are those who keep his testimonies, who seek him with their whole heart, who also do no wrong, but walk in his ways! ~ Psalm 119:2-3
Obedience is hard, yet it is easy. If we keep in mind that this world has nothing for us, then obedience is much easier. Can you imagine being Abraham on the mountain raising a knife over Isaac? Can you imagine being Peter in the pit of a jail? Can you image being Stephen, Paul, Perpetua, Tyndale, Bonhoeffer, or Elliot killed for standing for Truth?
I hold my life in my hand continually, but I do not forget your law. The wicked have laid a snare for me, but I do not stray from your precepts. Your testimonies are my heritage forever, for they are the joy of my heart. I incline my heart to perform your statutes forever, to the end. ~ Psalm 119: 109-112
People do not allow their lives to be taken from them because they believe a lie. On the contrary, they have kept the statutes and commands and know the Truth.
How well do you know God’s law, precepts, statutes, ordinances, words? Are you obeying it?
A Love of the Law of God Creates Thankfulness
Once we realize that God’s law shows us the error of our ways, teaches us God’s ways, corrects our paths, and brings us salvation, how could we not be filled with thanksgiving?
I shall give thanks to You with uprightness of heart, When I learn Your righteous judgments. ~ Psalm 119:7
There is so much more the word of God does that is revealed in this psalm. I urge you to read it! There is revival, comfort, grace, prayer, pleading, remembrance, praise, joy, grief, closeness, and mercy.
How sweet are Your words to my taste! Yes, sweeter than honey to my mouth! ~ Psalm 119:103