Delighting in the Law

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Still Life with Bible, Vincent van Gogh (1885)

Blessed are you, O LORD;
teach me your statutes.
In your statutes I will delight;
I will not forget your words.
Open my eyes, that I may consider
the wonders of your law.
Make me understand the way of your precepts,
and I will meditate on your wondrous deeds.
Give me discernment, that I may observe your law
and keep it with all my heart.
Lead me in the path of your commands,
for in it I delight.
—Psalm 119:12, 16, 18, 27, 34, 35

Saint_Joseph_Catholic_Church_(Wapakoneta,_Ohio)_-_stained_glass,_the_Ten_CommandmentsOften we think of the law as something that places limits on our freedom—God’s list of don’ts. But true freedom does not mean we can act however we please without punishment; rather, it means being grounded in the truth, so that we are free to act in accordance with the purpose we were designed for, without being held back by the snares of sin and self-importance. True freedom must be rooted in truth; thus, it must be objective, not bending to our subjective demands. God’s law is not a list of restrictions; it is a recipe for our well-being, meant to help us to thrive.

Whether or not we believe that God’s law is rooted in truth, we will face the consequences if we choose to disregard it. When we begin to see the ways in which God’s law protects us from harm, we move beyond a sense of mere obligation and start to obey out of love for the God who cares for us and keeps us safe. When we find our will is stymied by His law, we will trust that He has our best interest at heart and seek to understand why He has placed that barrier before us. Ultimately, like a parent who places an arm out to keep their child from a ledge, His law is always for our good.

Originally posted at Frassati Reflections.
Featured image: Still Life with Bible, Vincent van Gogh (1885)
Photo by Nheyob / Stained glass in Saint Joseph Catholic Church (Wapakoneta, Ohio) / CC BY-SA 4.0

Erin Cain

Erin Cain

Erin Cain is a writer and editor living in New York City, drinking lots of Earl Grey tea, and attempting to grow in virtue and love. She writes at Work in Progress.

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3 thoughts on “Delighting in the Law”

  1. Avatar

    do you think that there is merit in comparing the many (640?) Jewish Mitzvahs with the (150?) Old Testament Psalms…..anything to gain ??

    always with thanks, richard

  2. Pingback: SVNDAY EDITION – Big Pulpit

  3. Avatar

    The freedom that Christ offers comes from faith and unconditional trust in Him. He gives us the peace and strength to deal with our inner slavery to worry, anger, and addictions. This does not happen if our only preoccupation is to obey rules and regulations.

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