God is not only our Judge; He is our lawgiver! Scripture make this clear in Isaiah 33:22, “For the LORD is our judge; the LORD is our lawgiver; the LORD is our king; he will save us.”
God lays down His law for our good! His law is not repressive as Psalm 19 reveals:
The law of the LORD is perfect, reviving the soul; the testimony of the LORD is sure, making wise the simple; the precepts of the LORD are right, rejoicing the heart; the commandment of the LORD is pure, enlightening the eyes; the fear of the LORD is clean, enduring forever; the rules of the LORD are true, and righteous altogether. More to be desired are they than gold, even much fine gold; sweeter also than honey and drippings of the honeycomb. Moreover, by them is your servant warned; in keeping them there is great reward (vs.7-11 ESV).
This passage discloses the nature of the law and the Lawgiver: perfection, certainty, righteousness, purity, and verity (truthfulness). It also shows what the law can do personally in our lives in relationship to the Lawgiver: it revives the soul, gives wisdom, rejoices the heart, enlightens the eye, gives warning, and brings reward when followed. No wonder the Psalmist say that God’s law is his delight 4 times in the longest Psalm—Psalm 119 (vs.70, 77, 92, and 174). The first Psalm gives us instruction on how to enter into God’s blessing:
Blessed is the man who walks not in the counsel of the wicked, nor stands in the way of sinners, nor sits in the seat of scoffers; but his delight is in the law of the LORD, and on his law he meditates day and night. He is like a tree planted by streams of water that yields its fruit in its season, and its leaf does not wither. In all that he does, he prospers (vs.1-3 ESV – emphasis added).
What do you delight in? I began to understand the word delight a number of years ago when I held my first grandchild in my arms. At that point the emotions in me that had been damaged and suppressed were released and I began to take delight in a lot of things that I had been taking for granted. I began to delight in God again. I am afraid that we often take God for granted and have lost our delight in Him. May God grant us the ability to grow in our delight in God our Creator and Lawgiver!
Furthermore, for your meditation this week, there is a correlation between delighting in God’s will for our lives and the Law of God. Psalm 40:8 says, “I delight to do your will, O my God; your law is within my heart.” This verse is attributed to Jesus Christ by the writer of Hebrews in chapter 10. Clearly our Savior delighted to do the will of the Father because God’s law was in His heart. We cannot expect to delight in God and His will for our lives until we learn to delight in His Law. Our God is a good and loving Lawgiver in whom we can delight! Amen!
With Prayer, Mark © March, 2011
Selected Verses on God as Lawgiver
ESV – Emphasis added
Ezra 7:10, For Ezra had set his heart to study the Law of the LORD, and to do it and to teach his statutes and rules in Israel.
Nehemiah 8:1-8, And all the people gathered as one man into the square before the Water Gate. And they told Ezra the scribe to bring the Book of the Law of Moses that the LORD had commanded Israel. So Ezra the priest brought the Law before the assembly, both men and women and all who could understand what they heard, on the first day of the seventh month. And he read from it facing the square before the Water Gate from early morning until midday, in the presence of the men and the women and those who could understand. And the ears of all the people were attentive to the Book of the Law. And Ezra the scribe stood on a wooden platform that they had made for the purpose. And beside him stood Mattithiah, Shema, Anaiah, Uriah, Hilkiah, and Maaseiah on his right hand, and Pedaiah, Mishael, Malchijah, Hashum, Hashbaddanah, Zechariah, and Meshullam on his left hand. And Ezra opened the book in the sight of all the people, for he was above all the people, and as he opened it all the people stood. And Ezra blessed the LORD, the great God, and all the people answered, “Amen, Amen,” lifting up their hands. And they bowed their heads and worshiped the LORD with their faces to the ground. Also Jeshua, Bani, Sherebiah, Jamin, Akkub, Shabbethai, Hodiah, Maaseiah, Kelita, Azariah, Jozabad, Hanan, Pelaiah, the Levites, helped the people to understand the Law, while the people remained in their places. They read from the book, from the Law of God, clearly, and they gave the sense, so that the people understood the reading.
2 Kings 10:31, But Jehu was not careful to walk in the law of the LORD, the God of Israel, with all his heart.
Isaiah 5:24, Therefore, as the tongue of fire devours the stubble, and as dry grass sinks down in the flame, so their root will be as rottenness, and their blossom go up like dust; for they have rejected the law of the LORD of hosts, and have despised the word of the Holy One of Israel.
Romans 7:21-25, So I find it to be a law that when I want to do right, evil lies close at hand. For I delight in the law of God, in my inner being, but I see in my members another law waging war against the law of my mind and making me captive to the law of sin that dwells in my members. Wretched man that I am! Who will deliver me from this body of death? Thanks be to God through Jesus Christ our Lord! So then, I myself serve the law of God with my mind, but with my flesh I serve the law of sin.
1 Corinthians 9:20-21, To the Jews I became as a Jew, in order to win Jews. To those under the law I became as one under the law (though not being myself under the law) that I might win those under the law. To those outside the law I became as one outside the law (not being outside the law of God but under the law of Christ) that I might win those outside the law.
James 4:12, There is only one lawgiver and judge, he who is able to save and to destroy. But who are you to judge your neighbor?