“Your law is within my heart”.
Ps 40:8 NIV
The problem with obeying a law, or a set of laws, is that they are always somebody else’s idea of what human conduct should be. They are imposed from outside and most of us find at least some aspect of them disagreeable.
There were no doubt some in ancient Israel who found the law about keeping the Sabbath holy to God an unwelcome regulation. They could find all sorts of other things that they would rather do than keeping that day “holy to the Lord”. Those people who did find the laws, or “torah”, an irritating imposition were thinking of themselves, their likes and dislikes before thinking of what God laid upon them. The author of Psalm 40 was not one of those. His heart overflowed with gratitude to God and so he delighted in God’s laws. To fulfil them was an expression, not only of his loyalty, but of his gratitude for what God had first done for him. So much did he love the law that he “internalized” it. No doubt he memorized every word of it and could quote it as well as the reasons it contained for each law. And he didn’t only know it – he loved it too.
Christian believers will make the New Testament theirs as well. They will learn many of the verses off by heart, and will familiarize themselves with some of the great sayings of Jesus and of the apostle Paul. They will also learn, know and love verses from some of the great hymns that stir the heart and inform the mind. We probably learn more from what we sing than from what we read.
PRAYER THOUGHT Lord, let me treasure deep in my heart the words that express my faith in Jesus.