The law of the Lord is perfect, refreshing the soul.
The statutes of the Lord are trustworthy, making wise the simple.
The precepts of the Lord are right, giving joy to the heart.
The commands of the Lord are radiant, giving light to the eyes.
The fear of the Lord is pure, enduring forever.
The decrees of the Lord are firm, and all of them are righteous.
They are more precious than gold, than much pure gold;
they are sweeter than honey, than honey from the honeycomb.
By them your servant is warned; in keeping them there is great reward.
But who can discern their own errors?
Forgive my hidden faults.
Keep your servant also from willful sins; may they not rule over me.
Then I will be blameless, innocent of great transgression. Â Â Â Â Â Psalm 19:7-13 (NIV)
Nehemiah 8:1-10, Psalm 19, 1 Corinthians 12:12-31, Luke 4:14-21
The lectionary this week spoke to me about God’s laws. They are a blessing. I must admit, however, that I see the blessing as I look through the grace that is in Jesus Christ.
Nehemiah’s passage is relating how Ezra stood for six hours in front of the people, men, women & children who could understand, and read from Moses’ writings of God’s Law. We have a hard time standing for six verses of the gospel to be read on Sunday morning. We don’t want a sermon to go past 15-20 minutes. And yet Nehemiah says that the people listened for six hours and wept. We aren’t told why they wept but we can assume that it was under the conviction and presence of God that they felt.
Luke’s passage has Jesus reading from Isaiah 61 in His hometown church and telling those present that He has fulfilled the passage, which they accept. But they become very angry when He then refuses to â€œperformâ€ miracles for them as He had done in other cities. The reading goes on to relate Jesus’ observation that those sent by God (like prophets) are not welcomed in their own towns. Isn’t that the ‘gospel’ truth!
And then there is the familiar 1 Corinthians 12 passage about the importance of all parts of Christ’s Body. Every time I read this passage I am again struck by the ‘order’ of the points of the passage:
- Every part is important to the growth and function of the Body as a whole
- A part that may be seen superficially as insignificant is actually vital and given special significance in God’s Kingdom
- And then the appointments of the Church are mentioned like apostles, prophets, healers, miracle workers â€“ who may be seen by the Church as elevated and honored positions
- It is not these elevated positions that are seen as excellent but those who seek and work and live their lives in the fullness of God’s perfect love as described in 1 Corinthians 13
God’s Laws, His precepts, His principles are so very precious â€“ a treasure to be guarded in my life as a jewel of worth that I cannot calculate, but also given away freely as I share with others and live my life based on them. They can be found throughout God’s Word from Genesis to Revelation. And every time that I read a passage a new ‘nugget’ of treasure can be found.
I have read Psalm 19 many times and yet today the words joy to the heart and light to the eyes jumped out at me. When life is so difficult and I feel the weight of burdens, God’s law gives me joy and light. It does! Whether it is the beauty of the words themselves or the faithfulness of God throughout generations of His children, I am lifted to know that God is involved in my life and true to His promises.
Tired? Overwhelmed? Uncertain what to do? Read a psalm or a chapter in one of the gospels every day for a week and then think about how the weight of your burdens compare to last week. â€œMy burdens are light,â€ Jesus says. See if He is right.
Come to Me written and sung by Kari Jobe