Your laws are wonderful.
No wonder I obey them!
The teaching of your word gives light,
so even the simple can understand.
I pant with expectation,
longing for your commands. (NLT)
Bible reading can be a bit of a chore. We might agree in our heads that God’s commands are for our good but our hearts may feel otherwise. The things I want to do or enjoy doing seem frowned on. The word of God can be a bit like bad tasting medicine. It does good, but certainly doesn’t feel good.
And so these words of the Psalmist may come as a surprise. He is over the moon with delight at the commands of God. Far from seeing them as burdensome, he sees them as the key to wisdom and freedom. Far from being puzzling and complex, he sees them as readily understood and to be willingly obeyed.
If we are to be like this writer, we need a change of heart and not just more study of the Bible. To come to the Scriptures as some sort of necessary but undesirable duty is to miss out on what they are about. We need to approach them prayerfully, asking God’s Spirit to soften our hearts. We aim not just at understanding or even obedience, but delight.
We pray the familiar may become fresh, the words we may have read over and over again strike a new chord in our hearts. We pray that we open our Bibles with some sort of expectancy and appetite. We pray we will not just read the Bible but that it will read us. We pray that we will take our medicine because we truly believe it is good medicine.
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