Summary: The Christian can use the Law as a resource or a supervisor to discover the Law of Love.
"The Christian’s Resources"
It always amazes me when I look at the sky and think that for centuries men have sailed the seas using the stars, the sun, and the moon to give directions to far off ports. The order, the predictability of these
heavenly bodies also helped man to tell time and seasons. The first six verses of this Psalm remind us that even pagans can look at the heavens and see the handy work of a creative and sustaining God: A God who has put many natural laws to work in our universe.
The Christian and the Jew knows that not only do the natural laws teach us of God, but that there is also a written "law of the Lord" that leads us to a relationship with the Only God of the Universe. We Christians are fortunate to have not only the written commands of God from the Hebrew Scriptures, the Old Testament; but to also have the New Testament, that reveals Jesus the Messiah to us and shows us how to write these laws upon our hearts and to put them into practice through the law of love. Our Bible is filled with resources to help us learn of God and to become more like Him. Verses seven through fourteen describe six of these resources. Let us take a look.
"The law of the Lord is perfect, reviving the soul."(v.7a)
Laws are to guide, instruct, direct, put straight, give order to, protect… Paul taught that the law was a "schoolmaster"(KJV) or "supervisor"(NIV) to bring us to a justifying faith in Christ.( See Galatians 3:23-26)
When we see the law(Torah), we quickly learn that we are sinners,incapable of saving ourselves. We realize that our sin is awful and that we cannot escape it by our own good works. The Scripture teaches that Jesus kept and fulfilled the law and that through faith in Him we can be saved from our sin.
"The statutes of the Lord are trustworthy, making wise the simple."(v.7b)
A statute is a particular law listed in the whole law.
We can trust the holy God who gave Moses the law. All of its parts are trustworthy. Even the simplest person can receive spiritual wisdom from reading the statutes of the law and submitting to the ways of God. The Old Testament Law taught that there is no forgiveness of sin without a blood sacrifice.
The law points us to Jesus our High Priest and also our Sacrificial Lamb, through whom we receive salvation.
The more we learn of the law, the more we see that all of our righteousness is but filthy rags in comparison to Jesus, our Messiah.(Isaiah 64:6)
"The precepts of the Lord are right, giving joy to the
A precept is a "command or principal intended as a general rule of conduct."
God has told us what He intends to be the way for man to act. He wants us to walk in holiness. He has told us what is important to our salvation in the Scriptures. Jesus corrected man’s incorrect understanding of God’s laws. Too many people thought that they could keep the law outwardly; while inside themselves they did it with ungodly spirits, pride, revenge, a lack of love… Jesus taught that what was in the heart was as important or even more important than the act.(Example—The Pharisees used certain laws
Experience tells that when we know we have pleased God that we experience joyful hearts. Notice 1 John 3:18 "Dear children, let us not love with words or tongue but with actions and in truth. 19 This then is how we know that we belong to the truth, and how we set our hearts at rest in his presence 20 whenever our hearts condemn us. For God is greater than our hearts, and he knows everything. 21 Dear friends, if our hearts do not condemn us, we have confidence before God."
"The commands of the Lord are radiant, giving light to the eyes."(v.8b)
A command is an order to govern or control.
We are to walk, not as children of darkness, but as "children of light." Ephesians 5 tells us, "8 For you were once darkness, but now you are light in the Lord. Live as children of light 9 (for the fruit of the light consists in all goodness, righteousness and truth) 10 and find out what pleases the Lord. 11 Have nothing to do with the fruitless deeds of darkness, but rather expose them. 12 For it is shameful even to mention what the disobedient do in secret. 13 But everything exposed by the light becomes visible, 14 for it is light that makes everything visible. This is why it is said: "Wake up, O sleeper, rise from the dead, and Christ will shine on you." As we study and apply the Word of God its radiance gives us light.(Ill. "I saw the light..." Or the cartoon "light bulb" going off in the comic strip. See 1 John 1:7.)