Blessed is a person who fears the Lord,
Who greatly delights in His commands. – Psalm 112:1
I read that verse the other day and immediately thought, “Why and how is a person blessed if they delight in His commands?” I also thought of other similar verses. Psalm 119 talks over and over again, in every way imaginable, about those who love His law… who walk in His ways… who seek His commandments… who keep His Word.
So why and how are those who love His law blessed?
That’s the question that echoed inside of me, and I think it was the Holy Spirit asking me, not the other way around! He wanted to show me something wonderful.
What is God’s law? What do His commands encompass?
I think that all too often, when we think of God’s law, we think only of the 10 commandments, or we think of the laws in Leviticus. Or maybe we think of the things Jesus taught us to do and not do.
That’s only part of it! I think that taking those parts out of context gives the wrong impression completely.
Think of the first few days of Creation, when God set the planets and stars and earth in place. Anyone who knows even basic middle-school science knows that there are natural laws such as gravity and centripetal force that keep those stars and planets in orbit.
Laws. Put in place by God. Can we not then consider even gravity part of God’s law?
How about other aspects of natural law, such as the law that the seed of an apple will grow an apple tree and not a maple tree or a coconut tree. Or when two lions mate, the female bears lion cubs rather than bear cubs or baby skunks. Genesis recounts that this natural law was decided by God. It’s His law.
Nature follows natural laws as God created them without much argument. The earth doesn’t argue with God about which star it wants to orbit, and the moon seems quite content to orbit the earth.
We humans don’t think twice about relying on natural reproductive laws for our food supply. Nobody worries that the farmers who planted the world’s supply of wheat that year are going to suddenly discover that their seeds have spouted brussel sprouts instead. Millions of mills and bakers and retailers depend upon those wheat seeds sprouting wheat plants, which will then grow more wheat kernels, which can then be turned into flour for bread to feed the world.
Now let’s consider one of our simplest and least-controversial man-made laws. The laws in the United States and much of the world dictate that we drive on the right side of the road, while the laws in a smaller number of countries decree that they drive on the left. We depend on people to follow those laws just as much as we depend upon nature following natural law. When you’re driving fast enough to kill yourself and all your passengers if you hit anything, and you see an oncoming car, both you and that other driver both know this truth: This is only going to work as it should if we both follow the law and stay on the correct side of the road.
This, then, is the truth that we need to realize:
Laws are principles that dictate how things work… or how things should happen in order to work well.
At least, that is what they are ideally intended to do.
But all of us can easily think of laws that are far from that ideal. Right? In fact, it seems that most of the world is engulfed in controversy over what should and shouldn’t be law. You’re probably thinking of somebody’s law right now that you think is wrong.
This actually illustrates my point.
Because I’m talking about God’s law. The laws of the One who is perfect and who knows all things… because He created all things!
When an author creates the world of the story, it’s called world-building. That author is deciding the laws of that world. Some of them might be laws that the people in the story have created, but the author has to spend a lot more time deciding the laws that shape their characters’ realities. Fantasy and science fiction authors in particular have to create a lot of laws. George Lucas decided when he created the Star Wars world that light beams didn’t always go on indefinitely and could be formed into light sabers. He decided there e this thing called the Force that Hedi could use, and he decided how it worked and didn’t work. C. S. Lewis decided that there would be a portal from our world to Narnia between the wardrobe and the lamppost — but only sometimes! He also decided that time did not pass at the same rate between the two worlds. Brandon Sanderson has created many worlds in his books with a wide range of laws. In one world, different metals have magical powers that some people can use, and in another world, some people can draw line figures that come to life.
God created our world.
He is the One who decided to create humans so that when one yelled cruel things at another, it would harm the relationship. Think about that for a moment! He could have created us so that yelling cruel things created warm fuzzy feelings. How strange would that be?!
He gave humans the idea of a hug or a kiss and decided how it would affect us.
God not only created the laws that govern how the world does work, He also created the laws that determine what works well and what doesn’t work well! We might think we know… but He actually does know. He knows what “working well” really looks like and what is only a temporary facade that will eventually lead to disaster.
Who wants their life to work well? Me!
Who actually knows how to live my life so that it will work well? God.
And that is why He provided us with the “rules of the game.”
Every instruction in the Bible about what we should or shouldn’t do is exactly that. It’s Him saying, “Look, I created this world, and I created you. Here’s how it works. I’m not going to keep it a secret from you or make you spend tons of time figuring it out like so many of your authors do in their fictional worlds. I’ll lay it out, right here. Anything that goes against how things should be, I gave this label called ‘Sin.’ Avoid those things if you want life to go well for you. Here are some good laws. Love your neighbor as yourself. This is a law that’s going to work well for you, because this is how I created humans. Honor your father and mother and it’ll go well for you. Love Me first. Because you’re going to have a really hard time following and trusting any of these principles and laws if you don’t love Me. Besides, I created you to love Me and feel fulfilled when you love Me! Also, the more you know Me, the more of my world-building laws you’ll understand.
“But I’ve given you the freedom to decide whether or not you want to know these laws that I created the world and humans to work upon. You can even decide you know better than Me if you want to, but I don’t recommend it. It’s not going to work well for you. But I really really want things to go well for you because I love you! So here you go. Here’s how it works. My laws. And here I am, offering a relationship and the power to follow the laws and find a treasure, because I’m the main part of that treasure. Seek Me and you’ll find Me!”
Do you see? His laws are like a treasure map, and X marks the spot called “How things work well.” Sin marks the spots called “How things (and you) get destroyed.”
Do you want your relationships to work well? The Bible has the steps to follow to get there. Do you want your marriage to work well? The Bible has that outlined as well! Do you want your finances to be blessed? The Bible’s got that laid out too!
This is why the person who loves His law is blessed.
The person who loves hunting treasure is the one who finds it! They’re going to eagerly search that map for the clues and learn all they can about the person who made the map. They’re going to be delighted when they figure out more of it. Then the focus of their life is going to be finding that treasure!
Meanwhile, the one who doesn’t love hunting treasure probably isn’t going to stumble across it. They aren’t even going to be interested in the map — the laws that lead to the treasure.
And that is why He said, “Blessed is the one who delights in His commands!”
Lord, increase our love for Your law!
I am a stranger on the earth;Do not hide Your commandments from me. – Ps 119:19Those who love Your Law have great peace,And nothing causes them to stumble. – Ps 119:165