March 10, 2021
Oh, how I love your law! I meditate on it all day long.
Your commands are always with me and make me wiser than my enemies. I have more insight than all my teachers, for I meditate on your statutes. I have more understanding than the elders, for I obey your precepts. I have kept my feet from every evil path so that I might obey your word. I have not departed from your laws, for you yourself have taught me. How sweet are your words to my taste, sweeter than honey to my mouth! I gain understanding from your precepts; therefore I hate every wrong path. (Psalm 119:97-104)
Psalm 119 is a poem of one who delights and lives in the Word of God and it is no wonder that it is the longest chapter in the entire Bible! Verses 97-104 tell us some of the benefits of the Word.
- It gives us delight (v 97). The Word of God invites meditation and captures our hearts. It makes us wonder if we can find a greater love in this world that we can contemplate nonstop for even a few short hours, let alone the entire day.
- It gives us insight (v 98-100). The Word of God teaches more than man can and goes deeper than what experience teaches. Think about it: Is there a library of books comprehensive enough or a think-tank stimulating enough to even grapple with God’s created order, let alone explore the mysteries of his infinite wisdom?
- It lights our path (v 101-102). The Word of God keeps us from iniquity and on God’s path. Don’t we wish that all of life’s paths were so well lit and signposted that our next steps were not only apparent, but we were always reminded of our purpose and assured of our direction?
- It reorders our taste (v 103-104). The Word of God reshapes us to perceive beyond the sweetness of honey and to sense evil in all its horror as to hate it with all our being. I wonder if there is a surgery that could even change our taste buds, let alone alter our mental paradigms like the Word of God can.
How marvelous is the Word of God! But what has all this got to do with Lent, a period to reflect on Jesus’ sacrifice on the cross?
Jesus is the Word made flesh and the Son made sacrifice. His death on the cross reveals the loving heart of God and removes his holy wrath so that we can become children of God. Jesus died horribly so that we could live gloriously. Such sacrificial love captures our wonder.
Jesus is the wisdom of God. The Cross is foolishness to the world because it is a weakness, a curse, a shame, a sentence for the worst of the worst. But Jesus bore it so that we could escape it. Through it we become God’s delight as God sees, not our sins, but Jesus’ righteousness in us. More than that, he gave his Holy Spirit to become Christ’s presence with us and in us. He is the Light. He is the Way, the Truth, and the Life. In Christ, we are not the result of a makeover or a surgery, we are a new creation, awaiting an unimaginably greater glory to come.
How do we know? The Word of God tells us so. May I encourage you to study it even more than you study anything or anyone else. After all, Jesus, the Word made flesh, was crucified for us. May your study this Lent heighten your delight in his Word.