Tag Archives: God’s Law

The Law of Liberty (The Law (6))

41Let thy mercies come also unto me, O LORD, even thy salvation, according to thy word. 42So shall I have wherewith to answer him that reproacheth me: for I trust in thy word. 43And take not the word of truth utterly out of my mouth; for I have hoped in thy judgments. 44So shall I keep thy law continually for ever and ever. 45And I will walk at liberty: for I seek thy precepts. 46I will speak of thy testimonies also before kings, and will not be ashamed. 47And I will delight myself in thy commandments, which I have loved. 48My hands also will I lift up unto thy commandments, which I have loved; and I will meditate in thy statutes. (Psalm 119:41-48, KJV)

Herein lies one of God’s greatest secrets regarding his Law; it is a way of liberty rather than a harsh set of rigid strictures. But, how can this be one always wonders if God’s Law is so cruel that it demands the stoning even of the man caught picking up sticks on the Sabbath? (I have spoken of this incident in other places that you should be able to find by clicking the tag below. In addition one should consider that God knew this man’ heart before he instructed Moses with the punishment. Did this man act in rebellion and utter contempt for God and his Law?)

The psalmist gives the reason that God’s Law is law of liberty within this very stanza. In the first verse here he says that God is God of mercy. His mercies bring us salvation, he says, and this itself is “according to God’s word.” God gives us profound insights into his word in what we call “the Bible.” The Bible, of course, does not contain all of God’s word, but that which it does contain is God’s word. This writer tells us that God’s mercy and salvation comes just as his written word, the Bible, says.

But, there exists also a second reason why this law is a law of liberty. In addition to being a law of mercy it is a law of “truth.” This poetic writer prays that God will not take his “word of truth” out of his mouth. Salvation and mercy come according to God’s word, so does truth. It is here that we get the first glimmer of the true foundation of God’s Law.

As we continue on we will see this foundation expressed more clearly, for the foundation of God’s Law and the foundation of his Throne are one and the same, mercy and truth. And it is mercy and truth which brings us liberty.

God’s Way (The Law (4))

DALETH. My soul cleaveth unto the dust: quicken thou me according to thy word. I have declared my ways, and thou heardest me: teach me thy statutes. Make me to understand the way of thy precepts: so shall I talk of thy wondrous works. My soul melteth for heaviness: strengthen thou me according unto thy word.  Remove from me the way of lying: and grant me thy law graciously. I have chosen the way of truth: thy judgments have I laid before me. I have stuck unto thy testimonies: O LORD, put me not to shame. I will run the way of thy commandments, when thou shalt enlarge my heart. (Psalms 119:25-32)

This fourth stanza of Psalm 119, beginning with the Hebrew letter daleth, teaches us to give up our ways in exchange for God’s ways. This is every man’s calling and duty, but few accept the challenge to grow into the likeness of God.

First the Psalmist admits that his soul (his mind, will, and emotions) cleaves to the dust. This means he remains a man of the world, one bound by his carnal, or fleshly, nature. But he longs to be delivered from this. Thus he asks God to “quicken” him, which means to make him live. By this he admits that his earthly life is merely a sojourning and not his true home.

Second, he “declares his ways” to his God. He does not deny that he remains a man of sin; he admits it and wants to change. This is the pattern of David, the man after God’s own heart. David sinned like all of us, but he did not refuse to acknowledge his sin and repent. Most people believe they have no sin to repent of. They have not declared their ways to their God.

Third, the psalmist understands that the only way to turn away from one’s own ways is to embrace God’s ways. The first step in doing this is to “understand the way of [God’s] precepts.” How many of us ever take the time to study, ponder, and meditate upon the Old Testament, especially the precepts of God? We may have read them once when we raced through the Bible in a year according to some man-made program, but did we understand them? Did we even recognize them as God’s precepts? Do we know why God commanded us to honor the Sabbath, for example?

Do we even know what a “precept” is? According to Wikipedia, the word precept comes “from the Latinpræcipere, to teach [and] is a commandment, instruction, or order intended as an authoritative rule of action.” A “rule of action” is “a way of life.” It is only when we begin to understand the precepts of God that we can begin to walk in his ways. Only then can we move on to talk of God’s “wondrous works.”

But the psalmist knows himself. His soul “melts for heaviness.” This means he “mourns” for his sins and his sinful nature. The writer of this psalm is one of the people Jesus describes in his sermon on the mount, saying,

Blessed are the poor in spirit: for theirs is the kingdom of heaven. Blessed are they that mourn: for they shall be comforted. (Matthew 5:3-4)

The psalmist knows he is poor in spirit and he mourns over his sinful condition. Jesus affirms that the Kingdom of Heaven is his and that he will one day be comforted. But today, before our soul is quickened, there remains but one way to lift our soul from the dust, and that is “to be strengthened according to God’s Word.” At the same time we must repent of our sins and ask God to remove from us “the way of lying,” which is the way of man. In its place we need God’s Law, which is “the way of truth.”

Finally, we must affirm before God, as did this writer, that we too have “chosen the way of truth.” If we truly do this, then our lives will show evidence of change. Rather then walking in all the sinful ways of the world, we will begin to walk in the ways of God’s judgments, testimony, and commandments. The end result will be that we will “run the way of God’s commandments when he enlarges our heart.” This speaks of our glorification, or resurrection from the dead. At that time we will be empowered to fully walk (run) in God’s way. But, the only way to qualify for this event is to first “declare your ways” of sin to God. Repent, for the Kingdom of God is at hand!

Seeing Wondrous Things in God’s Law (The Law (3))

Deal bountifully with your servant, that I may live, and keep your word. Open my eyes, that I may behold wondrous things out of your law. I am a stranger in the earth: hide not your commandments from me. My soul breaks for the longing that it has unto your judgments at all times. You have rebuked the proud that are cursed, who do err from your commandments. Remove from me reproach and contempt; for I have kept your testimonies. Princes also did sit and speak against me: but your servant did meditate in your statutes. Your testimonies also are my delight and my counselors. (Psalms 119:17-24)

The last one hundred years witness a concerted effort to wipe God’s Law off the face of the earth. Men cast dispersions upon it until today many see the Law as outright evil. Christians have helped derogate God’s Law by teaching such preposterous things as “Moses was legalistic” and “The god of the Old Testament was a harsh god of law, but the God of the New Testament, Jesus, is a loving God of grace.” This explains why men today call evil “good” and good “evil” because it is the Law that defines good and evil.

This writer of Psalm 119 understood that God’s Law reveals a reality even deeper than what we see on the surface. He prayed that God would show him “wondrous things” out of his Law. When he prays that God will “open his eyes,” he asks that God will open his “spiritual eyes.” His natural eyes already see what is written. But, what kinds of wondrous things could one possibly see, even spiritually, from this ancient law revealed to Moses almost 3500 years ago!? Well, let’s consider the famous food law. How could such a mundane thing as forbidding certain foods ever show “wondrous things?”

And every animal that parts the hoof, and has the hoof split in two, and chews the cud, among the animals, that you shall eat. Nevertheless these you shall not eat of them that chew the cud, or of them that have cloven hooves; as the camel, and the hare, and the rock badger: for they chew the cud, but divide not the hoof; therefore they are unclean unto you. (Deuteronomy 14:6-7)

One can only see into the wonders of God’s ways when he sets his heart upon knowing, understanding, and walking in the truth. Like many laws this one reveals a prophetic truth. In a mystery it shows men how to be clean (perfect) before God for that is his ultimate purpose with us. Moses tells us here that God considers an animal clean if it possesses two specific traits; it must chew the cud and have a split hoof. This, of course, describes one of the most common animals that humans eat, beef, and others as well like deer and elk. The psalmist, though, seeks something deeper than the mere natural application of God’s Law. He wants to know God himself.

So, seeking the mind of God we discover that to have a cloven (divided) hoof means, spiritually, to “rightly divide the word of truth.” Paul says, “Study to show yourself approved unto God, a workman that needs not be ashamed, rightly dividing the word of truth.” (2 Timothy 2:15) Paul says we must study God’s word to become approved. The second aspect of this food law reveals how to study.

Wikipedia says, “Cud is a portion of food that returns from a ruminant‘s stomach in the mouth to be chewed for the second time. … Cud is produced during the physical digestive process of rumination, or “chewing the cud”. The idiomatic expression chewing one’s cud means meditating or pondering….” Applying this spiritually, i.e. looking at the antitype, the prophetic application, of this law, we see that a “clean” person before God is one who meditates and ponders God’s word, God’s Law. Thus we see that what seems to be just a simple law dealing with natural things actually has an important spiritual application. This law literally reveals how God reveals wondrous things to us. We must study and meditate upon his word, constantly bringing it back to mind and chewing upon it. Only then can we rightly divide the word of truth and walk in God’s ways!

Removing the Bible From Our Public Schools (The Law (2))

9How can(A) a young man keep his way pure?
By guarding it according to your word.
10(B) With my whole heart I seek you;
let me not(C) wander from your commandments!
11I have(D) stored up your word in my heart,
that I might not sin against you.
12Blessed are you, O LORD;
(E) teach me your statutes!
13With my lips I(F) declare
all the rules[a] of your mouth.
14In the way of your testimonies I(G) delight
as much as in all(H) riches.
15I will(I) meditate on your precepts
and fix my eyes on your(J) ways.
16I will(K) delight in your statutes;
I will not forget your word. (Psalm 119:9-16)

The second stanza of Psalm 119 answers one of mankind’s greatest needs. It tells us how to raise the coming generation in purity of thought and action. America’s parents and leaders knew this, yet in 1963 The Supreme Court hammered one nail into our coffin by outlawing the reading of the Bible and prayer in our public schools. They foolishly or evilly, depending upon their intent, said,

“Because of the prohibition of the First Amendment against the enactment by Congress of any law “respecting an establishment of religion,” which is made applicable to the States by the Fourteenth Amendment, no state law or school board may require that passages from the Bible be read or that the Lord’s Prayer be recited in the public schools of a State at the beginning of each school day – even if individual students may be excused from attending or participating in such exercises upon written request of their parents.” (U. S.  Supreme Court, SCHOOL DISTRICT OF ABINGTON TOWNSHIP, PENNSYLVANIA, ET AL. v. SCHEMPP ET AL. APPEAL FROM THE UNITED STATES DISTRICT COURT FOR THE EASTERN DISTRICT OF PENNSYLVANIA. No. 142. Argued February 27-28, 1963. Decided June 17, 1963, Pp. 205-227)

The Court rendered this decision when I was attending third grade public school. I still remember singing,The Battle Hymn of the Republic in this particular school and I think it was this very year. Here are the words to that stirring song:

Mine eyes have seen the glory of the coming of the Lord;
He is trampling out the vintage where the grapes of wrath are stored;
He hath loosed the fateful lightning of His terrible swift sword;
His truth is marching on.
Glory! Glory! Hallelujah! Glory! Glory! Hallelujah!
Glory! Glory! Hallelujah! His truth is marching on.

I have seen Him in the watch fires of a hundred circling camps
They have builded Him an altar in the evening dews and damps;
I can read His righteous sentence by the dim and flaring lamps;
His day is marching on.
Glory! Glory! Hallelujah! Glory! Glory! Hallelujah!
Glory! Glory! Hallelujah! His day is marching on.

 

I have read a fiery Gospel writ in burnished rows of steel;
“As ye deal with My contemners, so with you My grace shall deal”;
Let the Hero, born of woman, crush the serpent with His heel,
Since God is marching on.
Glory! Glory! Hallelujah! Glory! Glory! Hallelujah!
Glory! Glory! Hallelujah! Since God is marching on.

He has sounded forth the trumpet that shall never call retreat;
He is sifting out the hearts of men before His judgment seat;
Oh, be swift, my soul, to answer Him! be jubilant, my feet;
Our God is marching on.
Glory! Glory! Hallelujah! Glory! Glory! Hallelujah!
Glory! Glory! Hallelujah! Our God is marching on.

In the beauty of the lilies Christ was born across the sea,
With a glory in His bosom that transfigures you and me:
As He died to make men holy, let us live to make men free;
[originally …let us die to make men free]
While God is marching on.
Glory! Glory! Hallelujah! Glory! Glory! Hallelujah!
Glory! Glory! Hallelujah! While God is marching on.

He is coming like the glory of the morning on the wave,
He is wisdom to the mighty, He is honor to the brave;
So the world shall be His footstool, and the soul of wrong His slave,
Our God is marching on.
Glory! Glory! Hallelujah! Glory! Glory! Hallelujah!
Glory! Glory! Hallelujah! Our God is marching on.

Today there exists hardly a public school in America where you can hear this song. And if you did, some unbeliever who also heard it would likely file suit against them and prohibit it from ever happening again. But, this song was the “battle hymn” of this republic, America. Now any so-called hymn of our public school would deal more with vampires, satan, and pre-marital sex than anything of God.

Can anyone really wonder why judgment has come upon this once great land?


The Law (1)

In my generation I have seen my country, that country which has been esteemed for many years as the preeminent “Christian” nation in earth, turn utterly and totally away from God’s Law. What was once illegal and considered vile is now legal  and often praiseworthy among the nations leaders, America’s judges, mass media, and teachers.

We now live in the time when men call evil “good” and good “evil.” Those who proclaim the truth will be blacklisted and oppressed in these evil days. I have personally seen it and have even been subjected to it. Because men have rebelled against God’s Law and now actively persecute his people, His judgment must now come. In fact that judgment has begun. Only one thing can stop it. Our nation must repent of its many sins and embrace God’s ways as its ways.

I am now going to begin a series of short articles which praise the virtues of God’s Law. I will base this upon Psalm 119. Psalm 119 is a Hebrew “acrostic” poem. Each stanza of eight verses begins with a Hebrew letter, each in order from the first letter of their alphabet to the last.  Here are the first eight verses.

Blessed are the undefiled in the way, who walk in the law of the LORD. Blessed are they that keep his testimonies, and that seek him with the whole heart. They also do no iniquity: they walk in his ways. You have commanded us to keep your precepts diligently. O that my ways were directed to keep your statutes! Then shall I not be ashamed, when I have respect unto all your commandments. I will praise you with uprightness of heart, when I shall have learned your righteous judgments. I will keep your statutes: O forsake me not utterly. (Psalms 119:1-8 KJ2000)

God promises blessings to the person or nation which walks in his ways. A curse, of corsem, is the alternative to those persons and nations who refuse to embrace truth and the way of righteousness. Only those who endeavor to keep his ways will be unashamed when Jesus comes to rule the earth. Only their praise shall be accepted by him. Let us each determine to walk in God’s way of truth, righteousness, and morality.