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.
The wicked are not so,
but are like chaff that the wind drives away.
Therefore the wicked will not stand in the judgment,
nor sinners in the congregation of the righteous;
for the LORD knows the way of the righteous,
but the way of the wicked will perish. (Psalm 1 ESV)
I love ice cream. I love my dog. I love my wife. In different ways I take delight in each of these objects of my affection. I also delight in driving my motorcycle. However, I do NOT delight in seeing a highway patrol officer pull in behind me when my delight involves going “slightly” over the posted speed limit.
For most of us, the delight we experience in our walk with God is the nature of his grace, the forgiveness of sin, the freedom from guilt, and the hope of life everlasting – and rightfully so! These are a delight! But so too is the law of the LORD!
Following the moral laws of God creates a freedom in life to grow and to prosper. The moral law of God expressed in the commandments and the Beatitudes in Matthew 5 form us more into the image of Christ. This image is our true calling, our true purpose, our true life. Once we embrace and delight ourselves in this life, we flourish like trees planted by streams of water.
This Lent, take some time to read and mediate on the law of the Lord in Exodus 20:1–17, Matthew 5, and Matthew 28:18–20, to name just a few. Do this remembering that, according to Christ, all the law is summed up in loving God and loving one another (Matthew 22:36–40). Take some time this Lent to meditate and demonstrate your love for God and your love for your neighbor, for in doing this we flourish!