Monday, July 12, 2010

Delight in the Law

Praise the LORD. Blessed is the man who fears the LORD, who finds great delight in his commands. (Psalm 112:1)
So I find this law at work: When I want to do good, evil is right there with me. For in my inner being I delight in God's law; but I see another law at work in the members of my body, waging war against the law of my mind and making me a prisoner of the law of sin at work within my members. (Romans 7:21-23, NIV)

There are a lot of things I delight in - a new achievement, the love of my spouse, a compliment from a friend, seeing my children make a good decision - but I can't say I've often found myself delighting in a law or command. Over the last two years we've seen about a half dozen major regulatory changes in the lending industry. Each one met with a groan, and the a question of how the ideals of government would meet the practicality of the workplace. Then, almost begrudgingly, we trudge through... because we must, and for no other reason.

Yet the psalmist knew that the person who finds delight in God's commands would be blessed. Why?

First of all, the commands God gives us are for our own protection. God tells us to not lie, steal, covet, etc because He wants to lift our burdens. He knows there are earthly consequences to our actions. We clearly understand consequences: if you murder, you will go to jail. Anyone want to object? Yet, many times we fool ourselves into believing there will be no consequences if I ___ (lie? cheat? covet? ignore that person in need?).

Secondly, God doesn't want us living life thinking about all the things we can't do. He wants us to celebrate the life He has given us and rejoice in the love He has shown us. He wants to be our focus, not the sin we are trying to avoid (because, after all, if you're focusing on a sin - even if you're not doing it - you're not avoiding it... duh!).

With these ideas in mind, re-read a portion of the Old Testament. Does it seem a little different? Now, go about your life, and make it different too.