Your decrees are wonderful; therefore my soul keeps them. The unfolding of your words gives light; it imparts understanding to the simple. With open mouth I pant, because I long for your commandments.” vss. 129-131Psalm 119:126-131
Most people only have a vague notion of what the Law meant to the Jewish people. We’ve heard it disparaged in countless sermons and have come to think of it as a stumbling block, an obstacle to the gospel of grace. But to a faithful Jew the Law was beautiful and to be cherished above all things. It was what gave Jews identity and set them apart from all the nations of the world. We see those feelings expressed clearly in Psalm 119, a carefully crafted and artfully written poem designed to cement reverence for the Law in the hearts of its readers. It is a good thing to have these kinds of feelings for the behavioral standards that have shaped us from childhood. Those precepts, poured into our hearts by loving parents and teachers, are what keep us on the straight and narrow. Without them we would hopelessly wander through the morass of foolish and even evil choices the world so regularly sets in our paths. Certainly these guidelines will have a kind of elasticity as we shape them to deal with our changing times, but they should never be cast away. Jesus himself lived as a faithful Jew and loved the guiding principles of the law–having rules to live by is an incredible blessing!
Thought for the Day: What precepts have guided my life?