Message Magazine’s Online Devotional for Tuesday, August 25, 2015
“Teach me, O LORD, the way of thy statutes; and I shall keep it unto the end.
Give me understanding, and I shall keep thy law; yea, I shall observe it with my whole heart.” (Psalms 119:33-34)
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When the Lord descended upon Mount Sinai to speak His famous ten words, His eternal commandments, He was revealing His character in a concise format. The commandments are a transcript, a window into the character of God. They are the only safe governing principles by which we may live. This is why it was curious when the children of Israel responded to Moses concerning God’s laws, judgments, and statutes, by saying, whatever the Lord said, they would do. On the surface, it was a good response. It is good to do the Lord’s will. When Moses came from communing with the Lord, the problem was obvious, they would attempt to keep the law in their own power. As we well know, it was not long before they failed miserably at keeping it.
As the nation of Israel progressed, different groups within their tribes became extreme in their attempt to follow the letter of the law, to the point of making more than six hundred additional laws as an addendum to what the Lord commanded. They thought that if they could master good behavior, that it would make them worthy of salvation; therefore, they prided themselves in the observance of their rules.
Jesus came to clear up the misconceptions about God’s character. He revealed a God that loves us so much as to sacrifice all in order that we might be saved. In His discourse in another mount, Jesus reframed the eternal ten-commandment law by focusing in on its spirituality. He said, “Ye have heard that it was said by them of old time, Thou shalt not commit adultery: But I say unto you, That whosoever looketh on a woman to lust after her hath committed adultery with her already in his heart.” (Matthew 5:27-28).
He brought to blinding light the fact that the law is not about external expression only, which in some ways may be performed regardless of spiritual commitment. The law is about our heart condition toward the Lord, expressed in the way that we live. Now it makes sense why David said, “Teach me, O LORD, the way of thy statutes; and I shall keep it unto the end. Give me understanding, and I shall keep thy law; yea, I shall observe it with my whole heart.” (Psalms 119:33-34).
I pray with David that the Lord will teach me His law and that I will keep and observe it with my whole heart.
He realized that only the Lord could teach what it means to keep His commandments. He understood that, “For we know that the law is spiritual: but I am carnal, sold under sin. Wherefore the law is holy, and the commandment holy, and just, and good.” (Romans 7:14, 12).
Without the Lord keeping the New Covenant within us, we are simply incapable of pleasing Him. We cannot begin to comprehend His law. Remember that it is a micro revelation of His character; therefore it is as high above us as the heavens are high above the earth. I pray with David that the Lord will teach me His law and that I will keep and observe it with my whole heart.