God’s Law

The breastplate of the High Priest consisted of 12 stones with the names of the children of Israel. These contained 18 of the 22 Hebrew letters. Added to this was the “completer” or “perfecter,” also known as the Thummim. Whenever the Priest needed a word for God’s people, he would come forward into the Holy of Holies and step into the presence of God before the Ark of the Testimony and there he would receive God’s speaking, a fresh and living word that was for the whole of Israel. Psalm 119 is just this kind of message, one that proceeds from the High Priest’s entering into the Holy of Holies with God’s people on his heart, bearing them before Jehovah, reading them with the use of the Urim upon the breastplate, and bringing back to them a living message from God.

The message we see in Psalm 119 are the reality of the law, the two aspects of the law, the two aspects of the function of the law, and the two kinds of people in relation to the law.

First, Christ is the reality of the law. The ten commandments were also referred to as the ten “words” and as we know from John’s gospel Christ is the word of God. The ten commandments were also the very testimony of God. Again, Christ is the real testimony of God. God’s law is nothing other than Christ Himself. In John 6:63, the Lord, the Logos (gk constant word), says to His disciples, “The words which I have spoken to you are spirit and are life.” The Spirit, the living, pneumatic word is the reality of the constant word which is the reality of the God’s law.

Secondly, here we see that the word has two aspects, if we care for the commandments in letters, the word becomes the killing letter. If instead we take the word as the breath of God we receive the aspect of the Life-Giving Spirit.

Third, the law functions in two aspects. On the one hand it exposes man’s sin and subdues us before God. It also becomes a child-conductor leading us to Christ. On the other hand, it also functions to:

  • minister the living God to God’s seekers
  • dispense God Himself as life and light
  • restore man’s soul and make his heart joyous
  • bring salvation
  • strengthen, comfort and nourish
  • uphold us, keep us, and cause us to hope
  • enjoy God as our portion
  • enjoy God’s countenance and the shining of His face
  • enjoy God as our hiding place and shield, enjoy His help and well-dealing
  • make us wise and give us understanding
  • give us proper discernment and knowledge
  • keep us from sinning and from every evil way
  • keeps us from stumbling, establishes our footsteps, and causes us to overcome iniquity

Whether our experience is positive or negative depends on the condition of our heart in receiving the law. Hence, we can see that there are two kinds of people in relation to the law. The letter keepers, illustrated by the Judaizers and Saul of Tarsus; and the loving seekers, illustrated by the psalmists and the apostle Paul.

What are we?

What is the condition of our heart before the Lord? Do we love God? Do we humble ourselves and regard His law as His living word through which we contact Him and abide in Him? Or do we separate the law from the living God as the source of life?

In Psalm 119 we see that the psalmist was not in anyway half-hearted. He was in every way a loving seeker. Too often however, when we come to the word we fail to receive any help. Too easily then, we become letter keepers. Our brother shared with us seven points that we need to take care of so that in our searching out the scriptures we are loving seekers and not letter keepers.

  1. We will not receive help if we have no exercise of the heart.
  2. Or if we have a divided heart, one that is loving many things. In verse 2 we see the Psalmist sought out the word with all his heart.
  3. We will receive no help if we have a lack of heart, if our heart is like dead wood.
  4. Any sin that we don’t or won’t confess, unforgiven offenses, lack of consecration, our not being subdued before the Lord, all of these are coverings, hinderances and frustrations that keep us from the Lord.
  5. On top of this, the bible demands that we humble ourselves when we come to the word. We must set aside our self confidence and self assurance. James 4:6 tells us that He gives grace to the humble.
  6. We must ask for mercy that we would not insist on anything.
  7. And finally, we need to open our entire being, body, soul and spirit including our eyes, mouth, and mind to love the word. We must exercise our will to take this way and we must pray to be strengthened in our spirit to receive blessing from the word.

Saints, it is such a privilege that we could be those loving seekers, prayerfully, diligently, whole-heartedly searching out the living God through His law.

Lord grant us a heart like the psalmist. Inspire us through this message to love You more and love Your word more.

 

For more enjoyment from this message in the training, click here.

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  1. Christ is the reality of the law to infuse His living substance into His loving seekers! | A normal believer in Christ

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