“The earth is filled with your love, O Lord; teach me your decrees.” (Psalm 119:64, NIV)
There were times in my life when I concluded that God’s Word, in the end, was just a bunch of dos and don’ts — page after page of statutes and requirements that need to be adhered to. When I looked a little deeper I would see that person after person was guilty of breaking the rules. As I viewed God’s Word this way, it was difficult to find the motivation to go on reading. What I would like all of us to recognize this morning is that what I have described above is not at all a proper view of God’s Word. The psalmist, in the verse above, is telling us that God’s love is what we should find as we meditate upon His Word. Where and how do we find God’s love in all those dos and don’ts?
First, it is important to understand why the dos and don’ts are there in the first place. Is it possible that God has a significantly higher purpose for giving us rules and regulations than to make us feel guilty for failing them? Is it possible that His love is what motivates Him to provide us those requirements? Before the Lord gave Moses and the children of Israel the 10 Commandments, He stated, “I am the Lord your God who brought you out of Egypt with a mighty hand and an outstretched arm” (Exodus 20:1). The Lord was reminding them of His grace and redemption prior to giving them any requirements. In fact, the requirements were simply the way in which the Israelites could stay in that loving relationship as they went into the promised land. But you see, viewing the commands of God through His love for us puts them in a different light. They are provided not to make us feel guilty but to help us live in a loving relationship with Him.
Second, the more we focus on God’s Word properly, the more and more we see His love. The more and more we see His love in His Word, the more and more we will see His love in the world. God desires for us to be in a loving relationship with Him. He wants us to see how His love predominates all that He does. We can see beyond the tragedy of this life to a God who rescues and redeems those suffering from the tragedy. The closer we are to God and His Word, the clearer we see His love for humanity.
Today, may our view of God’s Word and our view of this world be the same as God’s, one of love.