GOOD MORNING, Siblings!
Today we complete Psalm 119 with today’s readings: Psalm 119:89-176
Hard stuff ahead. Take a deep breath and commit to read through to the end because that ties it all up together!
For many of us, reading the Bible from start to finish is a new thing. (In fact, fewer than 17% of Christians even read their Bible.)
Deep study of the foundational Scriptures may also be a new thing. This is nothing to be ashamed of, but it IS something to be excited about now that we are finally diving in!
Many of us (including myself) have spent most of our walk reading just the gospels and Paul’s letters.
From that perspective, much of the “old” testament (that phrase makes me bristle) may feel irrelevant to us today because many of us (including myself) were taught that it is.
A lot of this confusion is culminated in this Psalm with all of its talk of loving the law, because we have been told that “the law was nailed to the cross”.
However, like many things we are told we can obtain a greater understanding by firsthand reading, to see what it says for ourself.
If we check this one out, we see:
“…by canceling the record of debt that stood against us with its legal demands. This he set aside, nailing it to the cross.” Colossians 2:14
Please see other translations here:
This letter, written by Paul, is often taken out of context and worded to sound as if the law was nailed to the cross. In actuality, this is saying that the debt we owed because of our transgressions was wiped clean.
Messiah (Jesus) paid the debt. Paul is not introducing a new concept but rather reiterating what our Messiah and all of Scripture foretold. When we are caught speeding and pay the fine, does that mean we are then free to speed anytime we want? Goodness, no! That means we get to start again. Clean slate, second chance. New life.
Does that mean we can now live however we want and Messiah will continue to pay the debt with no requirement for us to ever obey God, live according to His Word, or keep His commandments?
We have read what YHWH says about that and will read much more yet. However, for now recall that Messiah said that keeping YHWH’s commandments are how we show that we love God. So what of Paul and all of His talk of the law being a bad thing? (He also talked of it being a wonderful thing)
Simple, there were two sets of laws being spoken of in the gospels and the letters. There was YHWH’s law and also the Pharisee’s set of laws that they had added to YHWH’s and actually held up as more important than YHWH’s. Not only that, but the Pharisees and many others were keeping these strict set of manmade laws in addition to (or sometimes instead of) YHWH’s law as a means of trying to make themselves righteous and earning their salvation – as if such a gift could ever be earned!
There are some serious heart issues at play and we will learn more about them directly from the Word as we move forward with our reading but I just wanted to plant that seed now to help in case anyone reading this felt the confusion growing.
Hang in there. YHWH’s word proves true for eternity, always has and always will.
To help further explain this, I found a great article online.
This is a direct quote from an article on Christiantoday.com about this psalm:
“Protestants can sometimes get nervous about loving ‘the law’, eager to celebrate the grace given by Christ, and wary of falling into pharisaic ‘works-righteousness’. But this psalm stands as something of a challenge to that view. Without ‘The Law’/Torah, the Bible would have quite a few holes in it. This psalm teaches us that what God commands is good, and reminds us that being a Christian isn’t just about believing in abstract ideas about ‘grace’, but actually becoming holy, good people, sanctified by God, who love like Jesus does. The law is concerned with justice, how we live and ultimately reflects the good character of God. Christians shouldn’t find their identity in the law, but they should love it; the psalmist certainly did.”
Now, you may be asking “What exactly is this law being spoken of?” A simplistic way to think of the law spoken of here is to consider it the Ten Commandments.
As we’ve talked about before, the Ten Commandments serve as an outline of God’s statutes and teachings. If we study them and seek to line our behavior up with them, we will come into line with the way of life this psalmist professed to live.
Again, I understand if this psalm makes some uncomfortable based on what we’ve been taught and I want to assure you that this Psalmist was not some sadistic person who just loved rules – he, like us, lived a life blessed from start to finish by God’s Grace thanks to walking in obedience to YHWH.
❤️By the time we finish reading the Bible in its entirety, many of us will be able to come back to Psalm 119 and see it as a Psalm which is even more about grace than it is law – even though we may see the opposite now.❤️
Hang in there! The Father has so much more to show us, still!
Thank you for letting me read through the Bible with you!
Test everything, hold tight to what is good.~ 1 Thess 5:21
We are saved by Grace alone: Obedience is not the root of our salvation, it is the fruit!
MAY YHWH BLESS THE READING OF HIS WORD