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The Fear of the LORD and our Delight in God’s Word

Date: 
August 23, 2019

In my previous note to the church, I reflected upon the blessed man of Psalm 1. In verse two we read this description of the blessed man:

   but his delight is in the law of the Lord,

    and on his law he meditates day and night.

As we meditate on God’s law we will come to delight in God’s law. In Psalm 19:7-9, David gives us reason to meditate and delight in the law of the Lord:

The law of the Lord is perfect,
    reviving the soul;
the testimony of the Lord is sure,
    making wise the simple;
the precepts of the Lord are right,
    rejoicing the heart;
the commandment of the Lord is pure,
    enlightening the eyes;
the fear of the Lord is clean,
    enduring forever;
the rules of the Lord are true,
    and righteous altogether.

For David, the law of the Lord refers to Torah, the five books of Moses, which contain testimony, precepts, commandments, and rules. According to the great preachers of the church, the term “law” has a broader application for Christians. For John Calvin, Psalm 19 refers to “the whole body of doctrine of which true religion and godliness consists.” Matthew Henry and Charles Spurgeon agree. Henry writes that the term “law” refers to the Holy Scripture, “as it is a rule of our duty to God and of our expectation from him.” Likewise, Spurgeon writes that Psalm 19 refers to “the whole run and rule of Sacred Writ.”

Henry also points out that while David is celebrating God’s Word in this Psalm, his praise is finally and fully directed towards the Lord himself. Each and every reference to the Scriptures is anchored to the phrase “of the Lord.” The law is perfect, the testimony is sure, the precepts are right, the commandment is pure, and the rules are true, because they are of the Lord. Thus, Alexander Maclaren comments, “the psalmist had often brooded on the thought of what that law was, because, loving its Giver, he must needs love the gift.” We will only delight in the law if we delight in its Giver, and we will only taste and see that the Lord is good if we fear the Lord. Meditating on God’s Word in the fear of the Lord will refine our spiritual palate to taste and see that the Lord is good and to delight in his Word.

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