In my last posting we discovered that there is so much revelation about the nature of God in the “law” of God. Deep divine self-disclosure is there to be discovered. The search to understand our God better is a delightful adventure in “Listening Prayer” – that is, to meditate or think deeply on what God has said in His Word, waiting on Him to reveal Himself personally to your heart and mind. Here it is again:
Psalm 1:1-2. (1) How blessed is the man who does not walk in the counsel of the wicked, nor stand in the path of sinners, nor sit in the seat of scoffers! (2) But his delight is in the law of the Lord, and in His law he meditates day and night.
This delightful adventure of discovery applies to the whole of the Bible – every bit of it. Paul says that “All Scripture is inspired by God and profitable for teaching, for reproof, for correction, for training in righteousness; so that the man of God may be adequate, equipped for every good work.” 2 Timothy 3:16-17
So, the whole of the Bible is profitable. That means both the Old and New Testaments. And that means the “Law.” And again, let’s take the Ten Commandments to illustrate this principle. The value of thinking deeply about what is called “the decalogue” is that these commands reveal the very character of God. They are expressed in language that speaks to human behavior, but behind the commands there is the much higher revelation about the nature of our great God.
For example, we are commanded by the Law not to murder. Why? Because God is the life-giver. And we are not to commit adultery. Why? Because God is a covenant-keeper. (And aren’t we glad His is!) Further, we are not to bear false witness. Why? Because God is Truth. Etc.
Here’s another way of putting it. The law is given to a fallen human race to show us what it would take for us to be “godly.” The strong contrast between God’s character and fallen human tendencies is a stark revelation of our need for forgiveness – our need for a Savior. Paul says,“Wherefore the law was our schoolmaster to bring us unto Christ . . . “Galatians 3:24a KJV
The point here is this: Thinking deeply about the Word of God, even the Old Testament Scriptures, requires the art of “Listening Prayer.” It is an active journey of faith. It is exploring with expectancy to encounter personally the revelation of God Himself — His holiness, power, grace, feelings, wisdom, patience, plan, nearness, compassion, justice, and love.
Now, let’s celebrate the New Covenant. Paul says, “For sin shall not be master over you, for you are not under law but under grace.” Romans 6:14 For all of us who are in Christ Jesus, the Holy Spirit has come to indwell and empower us to live in line with the character of God revealed in all of Scripture. Take a thoughtful, delightful look at Romans 8:1-4.
1) Therefore, there is now no condemnation for those who are in Christ Jesus. 2) For the law of the Spirit of life in Christ Jesus has set you free from the law of sin and of death. 3) For what the Law could not do, weak as it was through the flesh, God did: sending His own Son in the likeness of sinful flesh and as an offering for sin, He condemned sin in the flesh, 4) so that the requirement of the Law might be fulfilled IN us, who do not walk according to the flesh but according to the Spirit.
Wow! We must explore this next time. Be encouraged as you “meditate” on this until then.