Why Loving God's Laws Isn't Legalism

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Here are eight reasons why God's law brings life.
Here are eight reasons why God's law brings life. (Aaron Burden)

"Oh, how I love Your law," writes the psalmist, "It is my meditation all the day" (Ps. 119:97).

Four times he writes about loving the law of God. What a foreign concept that is to a culture that delights in lawlessness and considers anything that might be restrictive as legalism.

The psalmist knew why he loved the law of God and clearly articulated his reasons for loving it.

Here are 8 reasons why David loved the law

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1. He said the law of God makes him wiser than his enemies who are always around him (119:98).

2. He has more understanding that his educators because he regularly meditates on the Word of God (119:99).

3. He even understands more than the older men, the elders of the community, because he diligently seeks to obey the principles and precepts of the law of God (119:100).

4. The words of God are sweet to his taste, like honey to his taste buds (119:103).

5. The law of God has restrained his feet from going down the wrong path to evil; have aided him in not departing from good judgment; and have taught him to hate things that may seem good and fun, but are deceptively wicked and destructive (119:101, 102, 104).

6. Love for the law of God has taught the psalmist to hate being double-minded. There is no duplicity in his heart and mind. He consistently seeks after God and the way of the righteous (119:113-120).

7. Persecution comes against him, but he stands unmovable because his heart is in awe of the Word of God and his spirit rejoices in the truth of God's law as one who has found a mine full of gold. Because he loves the law of God, lying and deception are abhorrent to him (119:161-163).

8. Love for the law of God maintains a life of stability and security because his mind and emotions are garrisoned with peace.

It would seem the psalmist has found a dream life and indeed he has found it. It is the life God has promised to everyone who will love Him with all their heart, soul, mind and strength; who will run after His law and keep His commandments. "Now it will be, if you will diligently obey the voice of the Lord your God, being careful to do all His commandments which I am commanding you today, then the Lord your God will set you high above all the nations of the earth. And all these blessings will come on you and overtake you if you listen to the voice of the Lord your God" (Deut. 28:1-2).

Literally, the promised blessings of God will run after you, tackle you and come upon you, if you will diligently "obey the voice of the Lord" and "carefully observe all His commandments." Twelve more verses list all of the blessings that will come into the life of someone who will love the law of the Lord.

I hear some well-meaning brothers and sisters say, "All of that is Old Testament. We live in the New Testament and we don't have to keep the law anymore."

May I share with you the words of our Lord Jesus Christ? "If you love Me, keep My commandments. I will pray the Father, and He will give you another Counselor, that He may be with you forever: the Spirit of truth, whom the world cannot receive, for it does not see Him, neither does it know Him. But you know Him, for He lives with you, and will be in you. I will not leave you fatherless. I will come to you" (John 14:15-18).

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