Sunday, October 2, 2016

what's love got to do with it? -- part 1

The Word for today:
Psalm 119:25-48
mark this: Psalm 119:47 --
I find my delight in your commandments, which I love.
I'm a love child. Here's my birth certificate:
God so loved the world, that he gave his only Son, that whoever believes in him should not perish but have eternal life. (John 3:16)
Psalm 119 is a love Psalm. It is "born of love for the law of God, extolling the beauties and excellencies of the written Word of God in a way found nowhere else in the Bible (1)."
Let's tiptoe into these pages and eavesdrop a bit. If we're really, really quiet we can listen in on love:
I find my delight in your commandments, which I love.
I will lift up my hands toward your commandments, which I love.
 (Psalm 119:47-48)
When we read Psalm 119, we must not be unsettled by some technical phrases the psalmist (2) uses to designate God's Word.
If those words--like Law and Commandment--make it sound to you like Psalm 119 is talking about a bunch of "Thou shalt nots," then you're reading them right!
Because the Big Story of the Bible is that Jesus came to fulfill the Law for you, so that God can now decree the Commandment:  Thou shalt not die.
When Satan spoke those words, they were a lie:
But the serpent said to the woman, "You will not surely die." (Genesis 3:4)
But because of Jesus, God could turn the lie into a blessing:
For the LORD has commanded the blessing, life forevermore. (Psalms 133:3)
What the word of the world is powerless to deliver, the Word of God can.
So we love God's Word like life itself, because that is what it is:
My son, be attentive to my words; incline your ear to my sayings.
Let them not escape from your sight; keep them within your heart.
For they are life to those who find them.
 (Proverbs 4:20-22)
(1) quoted from the Scofield Reference Bible; (2) Bible scholars are uncertain about the authorship pf Psalm 119. My bet is that it's written by Ezra, the Bible teacher's Bible teacher.

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