The Psalms mention loving God’s Law and precepts, with that said I could see where one could love God’s Will which is Love itself and the virtues which are all very beautiful (from Chastity to Hope).
But how can those of us learn to love God’s Law and precepts when it appears like thin ice, where they seem like reasons to be lost forever? Like another thread I recently posted, special consideration for the scrupulous and those wrought with anxiety.
God made laws that are to be obeyed, but He,
in His love WANTS us to obey them and so
he chose the Jewish people to live out the law,
the only Problem was that the Jews were weak
thru the flesh(Rom. 8:3), this was solved by Him
sending Jesus in the form of sinful flesh to be THE
sin offering, so that Paul said: “The sting of death is
sin and the power of sin is the law, but thanks be to
God He gives us the victory thru the Lord, Jesus
Christ” 1 Cor. 15:56, So now, whoever does not live
according to the flesh but according to the Spirit has
fulfilled the righteous requirements of the Law!! Rom.
8:4 Do we need the Law any longer? I believe we do
well to get acquainted w/ the ins and outs of the Law
so that we can gauge HOW we are doing, in fact
Satan is an expert in the Law of God(That’s how he
brings calamity upon people, by using GOD’S JUDGMENT!!)
Pray for the grace to trust in God, who is infinite wisdom and goodness.
St. Augustine, Spirit and the Letter:
“We…say that the human will is helped to achieve righteousness
in this way: Besides the fact that human beings are created with free choice of the will
and besides the teaching by which they are commanded how they ought to live, they
receive the Holy Spirit so that there arises in their minds a delight in and a love for that
highest and immutable good that is God, even now while they walk by faith, not yet by
vision. By this [love] given to them like the pledge of a gratuitous gift, they are set afire
with the desire to cling to the creator and burn to come to a participation in that true light,
so that they have their well-being from him from whom they have their being. For free
choice is capable only of sinning, if the way of truth remains hidden. And when what we
should do and the goal we should strive for begins to be clear, unless we find delight in it
and love it, we do not act, do not begin, do not live good lives. But so that we may love it,
the love of God is poured out in our hearts, not by free choice which comes from
ourselves, but by the Holy Spirit who has been given to us (Rom 5:5).” source
I wish I could formulate as good a response as this one !
Before anybody jumps into Psalm 119, I think it is best to get one’s bearings by meditating on Psalm 1, which is referred to as the “head psalm.” The psalms that follow will make no sense until one has internalized the lessons of Psalm 1.
Blessed is the man who does not walk
in the counsel of the wicked,
Nor stand in the way of sinners,
nor sit in company with scoffers.a
Rather, the law of the LORD is his joy;
and on his law he meditates day and night.
He is like a tree
planted near streams of water,
that yields its fruit in season;
Its leaves never wither;
whatever he does prospers.
But not so are the wicked, not so!
They are like chaff driven by the wind.
We need to identify for ourselves those who are the wicked, sinners, and scoffers.
These are the people who deny God or his laws – a bit of a circular definition – but I think it’s the easiest way to live, to figure out very quickly, up or down, what we should believe and how to live. A Baptist acquaintance of mine told me, he always wanted to find himself agreeing with the Bible – and I would quickly hasten to add, with the Church, too.
The Psalm does seem to thank God for giving them his laws, commandments, and precepts. In fact it brags in a certain way that they were previleged to have be given them while other nations and peoples were not.
It strikes me that it is a great thing to know these things for it furnishes us with some certitude whether we are doing God’s will or not. If we didn’t know them, then we would be in the dark in many cases, and even in error for we would have to guess with our sinful nature.
So it is a blessing that we are given knowledge of God’s desires.
Many a man has looked at them with a nausious feeling, the feeling that they are nothing but burdens heaped upon our backs by God. They seem to think that if God loved us he would remove them.
But in fact, God is love, and to know love means to know the narrow way. And that is why he has taught us the way and given us his wisdom thru these messages.
How love God’s law? I think it just takes a shift in your perspective. You talk about walking the law like a tightrope, fearful of making a misstep and falling into the abyss. What if, instead of the tightrope, the law is the safety net? God gave us the law to save us from disaster. Yes, the way is narrow but thanks to the law we know where the edges are. It also helps to remember that God is not waiting for every mistake so he can punish us. Instead he’s watching as a Father watches the faltering steps of his toddler, ready to pick us up when we fall and set us right again.
Anxiety is fear, and as Scripture says, “Love casts out fear”. The law is based on and flows from God’s love, so that, as we come to love God His law is no longer seen as a burden or a bondage but rather as something to be cherished, because we can now agree with it on our own, no longer at odds with it but fulfilling and obeying it out of love (Rom 13:8).
In any case man will always be obligated to do the right thing, but the right thing in the New Covenant is defined by love.