Out of custom and habit we often say ''Thank you'' when someone gives something to us. But in all sincerity could you say "Thank you" to God for giving us His law with all its strict requirements? It is interesting to note that in Psalm 119:61,62 the psalmist does that. He writes, "The bands of the wicked have robbed me: but I have not forgotten Thy law. At midnight I will rise to give thanks unto Thee because of Thy righteous judgments."
Now God's righteous judgments are that which God judges to be the right thing for man to do. It is easy to say that it is good that there are laws for the neighbor to keep. That makes our life safer and provides more pleasure for our flesh. But can you sincerely sing (PRC Psalter):
While snares beset my path,
Thy law I keep in view;
At midnight I will give Thee praise
For all Thy judgments true.
Since sleep is so sweet why should we rise up at midnight, or stay awake till midnight to thank God for His law? Does not that law deny us so much pleasure and threaten us with so much misery? Especially when our enemies oppress us, there is such an urge to do to them what God's law forbids us. We want to get revenge. We want to do to them what they did to us, or even to do more harm to them. Shall we rise up at midnight to give God thanks for that law that denies getting even with them?
Yes, the day is not long enough to thank God for His law. It teaches us how to live in love toward Him, but also His great love for us. We on this side of the cross surely have reason for midnight thanksgiving. Only in the way of knowing that law can we understand and appreciate the cross of His Son. God's law demanded that cross as the way to our salvation. Knowing that law we can understand what His Son suffered for us, and how He fulfilled the demands of that law for us.
And seeing this by His grace, the day is not long enough to praise and thank Him. In fact God has promised an endless day that has no night, so that we can in the new Jerusalem praise and thank Him for that salvation which He wrought through His Son.
Read: Psalm 19
Psalter versification: #328:3
Meditations on the Heidelberg Catechism
Song for Meditation: Psalter #123
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Through the Bible in One Year
1 Chronicles 12:19-40 ; 1 Chronicles 13 ; 1 Chronicles 14:1-17
Quote for Reflection:
It is shocking to think how persons dare to remain members of Christian churches, and even to enter the pulpit, when they are conscious that their private life is foul. Oh, how can they do it? How is it that their hearts have grown so hard? What! hath the devil bewitched them? Hath he turned them away from being men, and made them as devilish as himself, that they should dare to pray in public, and to sit at the sacramental table, and to administer ordinances, while their hands are foul, and their hearts unclean, and their lives are full of sin? I charge you, if there are any of you whose lives are not consistent, give up your profession, or else make your lives what they should be. May the eternal Spirit, who still winnows his Church, blow away the chaff, and heave only the good golden wheat upon the floor! And if you know yourselves to be living in any sin, may God help you to mourn over it, to loathe it, to go to Christ about it to-night; to take hold of him, to wash his feet with your tears, to repent unfeignedly, and then to begin anew in his strength, a life which shall be such as becometh the gospel. ~ Charles H. Spurgeon on Philippians 1:27