Earlier this year I bought myself a small present - a decent slingshot! Since then I’ve loved going outside to spend time firing at tin cans or other unsuspecting (lifeless) targets. Perhaps there’s something in the saying that in every grown man there’s still a little boy! I have to admit it might be somewhat boyish, but it’s just such a great feeling to take aim and then to hit your chosen target right on. I think everyone who’s been a boy will understand what I mean!
As I was out today, I was reminded of an understanding I once gained about the word ‘Torah’, which usually gets translated as ‘Law’ in our English Bibles. Torah, or Law, means much more than merely a rule, a regulation or a command. It also carries the meanings ‘to teach’, ‘to instruct’ or ‘to direct’. It’s noteworthy to realise that the word ‘Torah’ is derived from another word, ‘yarah’ which can mean to throw, to cast or to shoot an arrow!
Why exactly is this interesting, you may ask? It shows, I believe, something of God’s purpose in providing us with Law (Torah). His purpose in giving us His Law is so we may ‘shoot accurately’ and hit the target in our life on earth. More satisfying even than hitting a target with an arrow, a slingshot or even a gun, is when we find fulfilment in life by attaining the goal which we were created for. But we can only reach this ultimate goal in one way: by obeying God’s Law!
Some would say that God gives us laws because He wants to spoil our fun. Others would hold that He gives us laws because He wants to control. But we know better! He gives us His Law so we may be completely fulfilled, secure in our destiny in Him. By His Law we don’t mean a legalistic system by which we attain some kind of self-righteousness. We know that this isn’t possible. Instead we refer to His eternal, righteous and immutable Law which proceeds from His unchanging, holy and perfect nature. Even when heaven and earth as we know it pass away, His nature, and therefore His righteous Law, will eternally remain!
All things considered, isn’t it good of God to give us His Law, and to show us how we ought to live, so we may ‘accurately hit the target’ in our earthly lives? We have a choice. We can seek to live by His Law, or our own set of rules. But we must remember our own rules might lead to temporary success, but they won’t enable us to fulfil the Law - to hit the target. Ultimately there’s only one way to lasting success, and Psalm 1 is an excellent scripture to help us find that way.
Prayer: Heavenly Father, thank You for Your Law. I know You didn’t give it because You’re a harsh disciplinarian, but because you’re a loving Father. Help me to lead the life described in Psalm 1, in Jesus’ name, Amen.
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