Laws, aches, and new perspectives

24+ hours spent in a hot gym this week, wearing spandex and a sweat-soaked shirt along with 149 other girls in the same boat.

And we did this by choice.

As enjoyable as it was to get on the court again, meet new people who play the same sport as me, and spend some time on the Bethel campus,being home where I can wear girly clothes and not sweat more than my body weight while enjoying the air-conditioning.  I’m also glad that when 8:00 rolls around tonight, I won’t be swatting a volleyball; I’ll be in bed.

I’ve been away from Blog Central (aka Macky, my sister’s laptop) for too long.

Processing thoughts on paper shouldn’t be my last resort when I don’t have Macky, (but the ease with which I can type out all the things I’ve been pondering and exploring in my cerebellum is enticing.)  but this week it was.  I pulled out my journal and wrote when I had brain function, and when I had none I just didn’t think much, didn’t make much sense when I talked, and basically wished that I had gotten more sleep the night before.

During a break where I was without my roommate, I went to the college’s café, bought a much-needed mocha, and settled into one of the comfy chairs.  In retrospect, I probably should have sat on the floor since I smelled so foully, but I enjoyed the comfort.  Feeling completely blissful at the thought of relaxation with my Bible and favorite beverage, I jammed my headphones into my ears and pulled at my ribbon bookmark to open my Bible to 1 Samuel 23, where David is hiding from Saul (from whom God’s presence has been taken away, making him sort of go off the deep end and want to kill David, his former soother) in the desert of Ziph.  As I was reading that, I was reminded of an idea that I had – likely not an original one – to read the Psalms in conjunction with David’s story, so as to gain more of an insight into what he was thinking while he was running away. So, I checked my handy-dandy cross-references for a Psalm (have I mentioned that I love my TNIV study Bible?) and found a connection to Psalm 54, and from there to Psalm 19, where David is exalting the Law.

Exalting the Law.

the LAW.

Do you catch the irony here?  Perhaps it’s because I live in a generation of people who think that rules and regulations are usually made by people who want to limit fun and don’t understand that we teenagers really know best, but isn’t it odd that David is waxing eloquent about something that can’t save?  Something that is a stumbling block to legalists and people who believe in salvation by works?

It’s pretty strange in today’s context.  Yes, we know that the Law of the Lord provides sure guidance, but following it can’t save us… and it IS a whole bunch of really complicated regulations for life.

David says in Psalm 19 that God’s law is more precious than gold to him, sweeter than honey.  Without the Law as a guide, it is difficult to know what God expects of us in conduct and thoughts and life in general, so (in case you couldn’t feel my surprise already) it startles me to see David extol it with such evident passion!

I was in a pickle for a bit, trying to figure out why exactly David was so taken with God’s laws, until I read something in the footnotes of my Bible that put it into a completely different perspective.

God’s laws “faithfully represent God’s will.”

To put myself in David’s place, without having Jesus (who showed that it is the Spirit of the law rather than legalistically following the letter of the Law that is important) as an example, I can see that it would be precious, the Law.  To have assurance of at least something when your life is uncertain for a good chunk of it would be a welcome contrast to confusion.  To have God’s will represented in something that had endured generation after generation would probably bring about peace, to the anxiety that adhering to rules usually has in our society.  That perspective makes me see the Law in a whole new way: it is a standard that I cannot live up to without Christ, but it provides insight and guidance for what I should do, think, and what God wants from me, which also reveals part of His character.

This is what I’m pondering as I sit, exhausted, on my bed, finally wearing something other than my sports attire and having taken a shower.

Man, I’m sore.

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