Psalm 119, the longest psalm in the Bible, with 176 verses, is a love song to God’s law. But you’ll never understand the Psalmist’s enthusiasm about a moral code until you think about children playing near a cliff’s edge. Without a fence, they’re always in danger, never able to relax. Because of the fence, they can play freely and without fear. God’s law is a safety fence that brings incredible freedom. Of course, it’s only a matter of time until a child starts to wonder what’s on the other side of the fence. If he or she doesn’t know or trust the fence builder, they hop over the fence and fall off the cliff. And if they’re fortunate enough to survive, they come back saying like the Psalmist, “Before I was afflicted I went astray, but now I obey Your Word.” (Psalm 119:67 NIV) But there’s more to this story. God’s law is not only a safety fence, it’s also a mirror that shows us we can’t live up to His standards without His help. Only when we realise that the fence builder loves us and wants the best for us, are we happy to stay on the right side of the fence. The Ten Commandments begin with the words, ‘I am the Lord your God…’ (Exodus 20:2 NIV), therefore don’t kill, steal, etc. God speaks about the relationships first, then about the rules that govern it. The Christian life is not a question of rules or relationship, but rules based on relationship. It’s morality because of intimacy with God. When you understand that, you’ll trust whatever God asks of you.
*The Word for Today is published by UCB Australia. A free introductory copy of the devotional may be obtained from UCB Australia; 1800 00 777 0 or firstname.lastname@example.org*