Six verses of Psalm 119, and six different words for the Word of God! Each one highlights a different facet of this priceless diamond. Here, in verse 6, it’s ‘commands’. One way and another, each word emphasises the fact that the Word of God is law. But that doesn’t mean that it is, as we might say, legalistic.
Think of it like this. God wants relationship with everyone. We are all made in His image – designed for relationship with Him. As He restores us, broken and distorted by sin, into His image, so our relationship with Him becomes closer and stronger. Colossians 3:10 says this: ‘You have put on the new self, which is continually being renewed in fuller and fuller knowledge, closer and closer to the image of its Creator’ (Complete Jewish Bible). He wants a perfect fit of me in Him and Him in me. And His Word shows me what I need to be and do to make the fit flawless.
I need to know what Scripture tells me about God if I’m to relate well to Him. In this sense, the Bible’s revelation of the character of God is part of the Law. The history of the people of God reveals so much about man’s relationship with Him. So, I can learn from these stories how to grow in my knowledge of Him. This, too, is Law.
God longs that I should enjoy all His promises. If I believe and receive them, I will grow in my relationship with Him. So, even the promises are Law. Jesus revealed the image of God in all its perfection. This is part of what it means when we say that He fulfilled the Law.
In all these ways, Scripture gives me the ‘blueprint’ – the pattern of what it means to carry the image of God. It is what Paul calls ‘the law of the Spirit who gives life’ (Romans 8:2).
An architect’s plan is the ‘law’ for the building to be constructed. It will only be safe and secure if it’s built strictly according to the plan. Scripture gives me God’s plan for living.
What the psalmist is saying here is that, when I ‘consider’, (look intently at), ‘all’ (leaving nothing out) ‘God’s commands’ (the whole of His Law), I won’t ‘be put to shame’. Why? Because the life I’m building will be strong and secure – one in which God takes pleasure as He sees more of His image in me.
Prayer: Father, thank You that, in Your Word, You have given me a blueprint for life. Please would You continue to fill me with Your Spirit so that Your Word becomes so alive to me that I can live by it and grow closer to You. Amen.
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