Thank-you to all who have offered encouragement to the ongoing work of this "department." Writing in this sort of a framework gives me an incentive to think and pray in a way in which I would not otherwise do.
Without further ado let us embrace the first chapter of the Psalms:
Blessed is the man
who walks not in the counsel of the wicked,
nor stands in the way of sinners,
nor sits in the seat of scoffers;
but his delight is in the law of the Lord,
and on his law he meditates
day and night. (Psalms 1:1-2) ESV
I love the word "delight." We love God not because we are in abject fear of punishment, but because we seek joy and happiness through God. There is no delight in wickedness, sin and scoffing; there surely is delight in having the guidance of God's word and the assurance of salvation.
Matthew Henry writes:
To meditate in God's word is to discourse with ourselves concerning the great things contained in it, with a close application of mind, a fixedness of thought, till we be suitably affected with those things and experience the savour and power of them in our hearts. (page 578).
Matthew Henry, Commentary on the Whole Bible edited by Leslie F.
Church (Grand Rapids: Zondervan) 1961. First published in several
The goal of meditation, therefore, is to "...experience the savour and power..." of the great things of God in our hearts.
Our non-Christian friends may scoff at that old-fashioned word, "sin." Ask, however, a divorcing couple in a bitter custody dispute how much fun the sin of adultery brought them. Ask a politician caught in a scandal how much fun it is to be accused of wrongdoing in public. No need to mention the extreme and obvious examples of drug and alcohol addiction or criminal imprisonment. Not much fun there.
Contrast this with the joy found in couples and families bound and committed to each other with God's love. Contrast it with the joy of a new convert, one who can scarcely believe he can be forgiven through Jesus and have a new life. Contrast it with the joy of helping or giving to a friend in need, using Jesus as our example.
Yes, we can delight in the law of the Lord. We can meditate on his law day and night.