July 21

Psalm 119:129-132

“With open mouth I pant, because I long for your commandments.” vs. 132

The psalmist loved the law and was ecstatic as he pored over its commandments and savored its precepts. We who have been raised on a diet of grace and forgiveness might have some difficulty understanding that unabashed, almost amorous, delight in the law of the Lord. Often that’s because we think of law in terms of judgment rather than instruction. Paul in Galatians describes the function of the law as that of a schoolmaster, a set of teachings that ultimately will bring us to the Christ. Seen in those terms we can perhaps understand the delight of the psalmist. For him it was like the finest teacher, a rabbi that could help him how to live in this world in a God-pleasing way. As 21st century Christians we still need that kind of guidance. Some of us get it from our parents, for others it might be a pastor or teacher who has given us direction on the way of truth. We’re living in a world that grows more complex with each passing year. Our children face a myriad of important choices and options every day and they need good guidance. It’s not a matter of “laying down” the law–no one needs that heavy-handed approach. But all of us need to learn wisdom and discernment, and properly presented, the law provides exactly that–and the Ten Commandments are a good place to start.

Thought for the Day: Who taught me the commandments?

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