Monday, August 17, 2015

A Thought for Monday 17 August 2015

“My soul faints for Your salvation, but I hope in Your Word.  My eyes fail from searching Your Word, saying, ‘When will You comfort me?’”  Psalm 119:81-82

The praise of the Law is strange for Christians who rely instead on St. Paul’s words: “We are not under the law but under grace” (Romans 6:14).  This is, I think, a simple understanding of “law” as nothing more than a list of rules, things we must not do.  When we understand “law” in its broadest terms, however, especially when we understand the Law as The Word of The Lord, we find treasure we never knew existed.  And when we embrace the whole Word – rather than a series of words carefully selected to suit our own purposes – we find the “comfort” the psalmist was searching for.

Our parents had rules we were expected to abide by; and although we often rebelled against those rules as we grew older and bolder, we also discovered not only consequences for violation of those rules but reasons for the very existence of these rules.  We learned from these rules many useful lessons that would inform us well into adulthood.  We discovered not restrictions but a parent’s love for us and a concern for our well-being.

That is the whole of the Word today just as it was then.  Jesus didn’t dismiss the Law; He taught from that Law (in Hebrew it is Torah).  In fact He personified that Law as “the Word which became flesh”.  It is this same Word from which salvation comes; fully trusting in the Word as a Father’s love for us and a concern for our well-being – both today and in the world to come.

We must not dismiss the Law nor should we excuse ourselves in the name of “grace”, for grace is found within the Torah itself when we see the imperfections of those written of in the Scripture still used to build a Nation (Israel).  Torah is not strictly a list of rules (and certainly not only Ten).  It is the very Way of Life as Jesus Himself is the Way.



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