Mark the man of God giving utterance to his feelings of heavenly delight—expressing most, by intimating that he cannot adequately express what he desires. He seems unable to restrain his acknowledgments of Divine influence springing up in his heart—O how love I Your law! This experience is most distinctive of a spiritual character. The professor may read, and understand, and even externally obey the law; but the believer only loves it; and he lives in it, as if he could not live without it. To the professor it is a task imposed to satisfy conscience; "the veil upon the heart" darkens all his spiritual apprehension, and consequently excludes spiritual delight. To the child of God, it is food and medicine, light and comfort—yes, "life from the dead." The law of precept in the word is a "law of liberty"—a law of love—in his heart. His former obedience was the bondage of fear. But how different is the effect of constraining love! He now delights to view it in every lineament. He dwells upon every feature with intense enjoyment. Before, it was his confinement—his chain. Now, it is his liberty—his ornament. He is not what he was, "Old things are passed away: behold, all things are become new."
Think what good reason there is to love the law. It is the epistle of our most beloved friend—not to be slighted, but to be placed in our bosom, nearest our hearts. It sets out that relief, without which the conscience would have been tortured by the never-dying worm. There is more of glory—more of God—in this, than in any other manifestation of His name. It has ever been the mirror, that has reflected Christ to His church. The spiritual eye discerns Him in every part. Now—Reader—do you search for Him in His law? Do you love His law, because it "testifies of Him?" Do you pray for His Spirit, that His law may guide you to Him? This is the evidence that you have "turned unto the Lord, when the veil is taken away," and you "with unveiled face behold in this glass the glory of the Lord." Then if you do love His law, you will love the whole of it—its obligations as well as its privileges. You will love it at all times, even when it is thwarting your own will and way. The whole law is light and love—wisdom and faithfulness.
But love of the law fastens the soul to the beloved object, It is my meditation all the day. When you cannot have it in your hand, it will be found, if indeed your soul is in a prosperous state, "hid in your heart." There it is kept as your most precious treasure; while you live upon it with unwearied appetite as your daily bread, and exercise yourself in it as your daily rule. Oh, how worthy is it of all the love of the warmest heart! The deepest students are most humbled for their want of suitable enlargement.
But this heavenly spirit can only be grounded upon a sense of reconciliation. Can an unreconciled sinner be interested in the law, in every page of which he reads his own condemnation? This explains the enmity of the ungodly. But the cultivation of this spirit upon the ground of the gospel is a most important principle of the Christian steadfastness, the want of which has been the source of fearful delusion; and in the exercise of which we shall realize a deeper insight and more spiritual discernment of Scriptural truth. Warm affections will be far more influential than talent, or mere external knowledge.
This habit of love and holy meditation will spread its influence over our whole character. It will fill our hearts with heavenly matter for prayer, diffuse a sweet savor over our earthly employments, sanctify the common bounties of Providence, realize the presence of God throughout the day, command prosperity upon our lawful undertakings, and enlarge our usefulness in the church. Thus the man of God is formed in his completeness, symmetry, and attraction—such as the world is often constrained secretly to admire, even where the heart is unready to follow.
Lord! implant in my heart a supreme love to Your law. Write it upon my heart—even that new law, "the law of the Spirit of life in Christ Jesus." May I love it so, that I may be always meditating upon it, and by continual meditation yet more enlarging my love and delight in it! So let it prove an ever-springing source of heavenly enjoyment and holy conversation!
"O how love I your law!" It is a note of exclamation. He loves so much that he must express his love, and express it to God in rapturous devotion. In making the attempt he perceives that his emotion is inexpressible, and therefore he cries, "O how I love!" We not only reverence but love the law, we obey it out of love, and even when it chides us for disobedience we love it none the less. The law is God's law, and therefore it is our love. We love it for its holiness, and pine to be holy; we love it for its wisdom, and study to be wise; we love it for its perfection, and long to be perfect. Those who know the power of the gospel perceive an infinite loveliness in the law as they see it fulfilled and embodied in Christ Jesus.
"It is my meditation all the day." This was both the effect of his love to the law and the cause of that love. He meditated in God's word because he loved it, and loved it the more because he meditated in it He could not have enough of it, so ardently did he love it; all the day was not too long for his converse with it. His matin prayer, his noonday thought, his evensong were all out of Holy Writ; yes, in his worldly business he still kept his mind saturated with the law of the Lord. It is said of some men that the more you know them the less you admire them; but the reverse is true of God's word. Familiarity with the word of God breeds affection, and affection seeks yet greater familiarity. When "your law" and "my meditation" are together all the day, the day grows holy, devout, and happy, and the heart lives with God in love to his Word, and delight therein. David turned away from all else but the word and will of the Lord, for in the preceding verse he tells us that he had seen an end of all perfection; but he turned in unto the law and tarried there the whole day of his life on earth, growing henceforth wiser and holier.