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February 16 – Mem: Praise for the God of the book

“I do not turn aside from your rules, for you have taught me.” – Psalm 119:102 

Scripture reading: Psalm 119:97-104

Many churches today are limiting or even abandoning the reading of God’s law in the worship service. That is an unfortunate development. Today’s stanza shows why. This part of the psalmist’s prayer contains no requests, but consists entirely of testimony and praise to God for His law. The psalmist explains what God’s law does for him.

First, the law brings delight. “Oh how I love your law!” (97) “How sweet are your words to my taste, sweeter than honey to my mouth…therefore I hate every false way” (103,104). The darkness and danger of worldly ways stand in stark contrast to the joy and delight of faithful living. Second, the law is a constant companion. “It is my meditation all the day…it is ever with me” (97,98). Like a good friend, the law is always at our side, teaching, admonishing and helping us to understand God, ourselves and the world. Third, the law produces wisdom. “Your commandments make me wiser than my enemies…I have more understanding than all my teachers…I understand more than the aged” (98-100). Through the law, we ordinary believers gain a wisdom greater than some of the smartest people around. Fourth, the law is a guide. “I hold back my feet from every evil way…I do not turn aside from your rules” (101). The law helps us to make good and happy decisions. Finally, the law reveals God. “For you have taught me” (102). Whatever we learn from the law, we learn from God Himself.

God’s law does a lot for us. But don’t worship the book; rather, praise the Lord of the book.

Suggestions for prayer

Pray that when you hear God’s law in church today, you will receive it as a catalyst for praise and an opportunity to testify of God’s goodness and grace!

This daily devotional is available in a print edition you can buy at Nearer to God Devotional. Rev. James Slaa is pastor of the Smithers Canadian Reformed Church in British Columbia, Canada.

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