Wednesday, April 02, 2014
Layin' down the Law
"If you love me," Jesus said in John 14, "you will keep my commandments." Psalm 119 is huge! i think it was originally an acrostic style poem. It definitely has a parallelism format, each line is like an "if/then" statement. It reads like the father of the epileptic, "I believe! Forgive my unbelief!" The psalmist declares over and over his love for the Lord and confesses almost as equally, his weakness and inability to love the Lord. i had trouble seeing this psalm as a love song when i was younger. Words like "law" and "ordinances" and "precepts" and "commands" tripped me up. It was the young law student's psalm. For me, it was just a reminder that i didn't love God's law, i obeyed it, like i obeyed my parent's laws and my teachers' laws and my babysitters' laws and the daycare's laws, not out of love but out of fear. Fear i wouldn't be loved if i didn't. Fear i would be punished. Fear of losing my identity as the 'good kid'. Later i would learn the laws of my culture which i had better toe if i wanted to be cool or acceptable or at the very least, not ostracized and ridiculed. Eventually i gave up and became a law unto myself but it didn't take away the fear, it just buried it in loneliness and despair.
There is no fear in love, John tells us. Perfect love drives out fear. The reason the psalmist can confess his undying affection for the law of God is because of this, simple fact....
Which i'll get to later.