In God’s providence the moon continues in its orbit so marvelously that it is exactly on time month after month, so that our calendars for next year can tell us when it will be full moon and when it will be new moon. For thousands of years the earth has rotated on its axis at an unchanging speed, so that the rising of the sun and the setting thereof may be predicted day after day and year after year.
But man, made in God’s image, by nature never keeps the law according to which God created him. And in Psalm 119:91, 92 the psalmist had already in that day written: “They continue this day according to thine ordinances: for all are thy servants. Unless thy law had been my delight, I should then have perished in my affliction.”
Here he is referring to the inanimate creatures in the heavens including this earth. They function according to the laws wherein God created them. But man, made in God’s image, lives by nature as though he were god and need not keep God’s commandments.
He also points out that by God’s grace he does keep God’s law, because God made him have delight in that law. He does not mean by “I should have perished” that he would have died at the hands of his enemies if he kept God’s law. He was not in danger because he kept that law. He means that had he not been given delight in God’s law, he would then not have continued to keep God’s law. His spiritual life would have perished.
When we see the sun set tonight or rise tomorrow morning, shame should cover our faces. They keep God’s law, and we do not. These indeed are dumb creatures but move in harmony with God’s law. And it is only by God’s grace that we can sing sincerely:
Thy word and works unmoved remain,
Thy every purpose to fulfill;
All things are Thine and Thee obey,
And all as servants wait Thy will.
I should have perished in my woe
Had not I loved Thy law divine;
That law I never can forget;
O save me, Lord, for I am Thine.
Yes, God makes us as Christ’s sheep delight in His law and thereby enables us to walk in harmony with it.
Read: Psalm 119:81-96
Psalter versification: 332:2
This devotional was written by Rev. Heys and published by the Reformed Book Outlet.