S42P8 – Confessions of Psalm 119: loving God’s instruction brings peace
Great peace have they who love your law, and nothing can make them stumble. I wait for your salvation, O LORD, and I follow your commands. I obey your statutes, for I love them greatly. I obey your precepts and your statutes, for all my ways are known to you.
Obedience comes in many different colors. Do you know that we do not always obey in the same manner? One can tell how a person feels about the rules he or she must follow based on the manner in which they follow those rules. For example, a child who begrudgingly cleans up his room with much whining and perhaps even tears clearly does not think that performing this task is that important. In fact, it upsets him to have to do so. When we are faced with following a rule, we can do so with calmness and control, or we can fight tooth-and-nail the whole way. If we know the rule and agree with it and know that it is best, we should follow it happily. That is what today’s verse is all about.
To love God’s law means that we agree with it. It means that we are on board and committed. When He tells us to do something, or when He instructs us not to do something, we can make the right decision with a heart that still desires to do wrong. We must ask ourselves whether this illustrates that we in fact do not love the instruction we are receiving. It would stand to reason that those who love God’s instruction follow it without a fight. This does not necessarily mean that we are always happy to do what God commands, but it certainly means that we bring ourselves to obey him without all the other nonsense. The reward in this is that those who love his law and live for following his instruction will know peace and not stumble.
The fact that we are even capable of loving that which is the opposite of our nature is quite amazing. We are born into sin with a desire for the ungodly, and it takes God to correct us and show us otherwise. He makes it possible for us to fall in love with his instruction and to know that it is what is best for us. He makes it possible for us to obey him without stomping our feet and shaking our heads and clenching our fists. If we do not have this attitude when we are called to obey the commands of God, then we must ask for him to give it to us. Father, make us lovers of your instruction, and bring us to a place where we obey your commands with maturity and joy.