1 Oh, the joys of those who do not follow the advice of the wicked,
or stand around with sinners, or join in with mockers.
2 But they delight in the law of the Lord, meditating on it day and night.
Psalm 1:1-2 (NLT)
I am blogging again after a long break. One night, while my wife was preparing dinner, I was in the room with my son, I just picked up my NLT Bible for no reason and started to read it. For unknown reasons, I was drawn to Psalm 1. As I read it, thoughts came to my mind which I am going to share with you now.
Verse 1 is quite clear. Verse 2 is the one I want to elaborate. The magic word here is “delight”. The Lord wants us to delight in his law. We are supposed to be so delightful that we end up meditating on it day and night.
The question here is, how to get into the state of being delightful? Can it be achieved through threats and blackmails? Supposed I am to tell you the God commands you to take delight in his laws and if you don’t you are going to face the wrath of his judgement. Will you be able to obey? In other words, can you be threatened into being delightful?
The same goes for things like joy and love. No one can be threatened in being joyful and loving.
This is the part where incompetent preachers miss it. In their minds, you have to obey everything God says or face his judgement. They can never imagine that the threats can never result in a true relationship with God.
God’s desire is to have a true relationship with us. He wants us to spend time with him, study his words and live holy lives but not through threats nor blackmails. He wants us to do all these stuff because we want to do them, not because we force ourselves to do them in order to avoid going to hell. I suspect this truth is too profound for any theologians to understand.
The next question is how to achieve them? Is it possible to get people to live godly lives without resorting to blackmails? The answer is “yes” if you do it God’s way. Godly lives can only come from inside out, meaning our hearts must be transformed first before we get into the outward behaviour. This means the correct impression of God.
This is the transformation that happened to me. In my first church, I was given the impression that God is a very judgemental, evil and perverse person. He is obsessed with sins. His interest in me was limited to whether I give money to the church and whether I go for missions. This is a very oppressive God. Do you think I will ever take delight in his laws?
Through his grace, my impression of him has changed. Now I see God as someone who values me more than any other stuff like sins, giving money to church or going for missions. Today, I can live life without giving any attention to sin, refuse to give a single cent to the church, refuse to go for missions and still able to stand before God as his most beloved son. Whatever, I do or don’t do will never affect my position as the son of God.
Knowing this truth has set me free from the bondage of the devil. As a result, I end up taking delight in the Lord, which includes his law.
Next, what does, “they delight in the law of the Lord” means? To those under bondage, the word “law” always refer to the 10 Commandments. Imagine this. Can you meditate on “Do not murder”, “Do not commit adultery” etc and be happy about it? Of course not.
The “law of the Lord” in this verse simply refers to God’s desires and dreams for you after you have the correct impression on him. Those desires and dreams must have been darn good in order to cause you to think about them day and night. This means that this “law of the Lord” must be the same as your deepest desire in order for you to be so obsessed with it.
That is all it means. A Christian life is a life of joy which comes from a true relationship with the Creator. It has nothing to do with threats nor blackmail.
How to live this way? This is my suggestion. Never allow yourself to do anything out of threats or blackmails. If you feel like you must make time to pray or read the Bible in order to avoid God’s judgement, then I suggest you not to do it. Do the other things you like instead. The only reason you pray or read the Bible is when you have the hunger and thirst for him. If you do them out of threats, you are wasting your own time and God’s.
When you read the Bible, focus on how much he loves you and care for you. If you read any words amounting to threats and blackmails, they are not for you. If you are a believer, Jesus has taken all your sins and related punishments on the Cross. All those bad things you read has no effect on you. Once you are convinced of this, you are set free.