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Provide, Protect, and Reflect
by Karen Burkhart
Do you relish rules? Do you love laws? Probably most of us are inclined to answer “no” to both, though I’m certain we all know someone who would answer with two enthusiastic thumbs up. Even now, just thinking about that person may cause you to feel an eye roll coming on. But maybe we shouldn’t be so quick to dismiss them as buzzkills. Maybe they actually
understand, better than we, that rules and laws are foundational to real freedom and joy.
Consider who has more fun playing soccer: the kids playing with or without boundaries, goal posts, and referees? Sure, the lack of structure may be enjoyable at first, but soon enough tears will be shedding and tempers flaring. When good rules and referees are put in place, kids can really thrive.
Life works much the same way. God didn’t make rules and laws to hinder our freedom or rob our joy—he made them for precisely the opposite reasons. Years ago, someone taught me that God’s laws were given to both PROVIDE for and PROTECT His children. To this day, I have yet to find a law for which that has not been the case. I have also come to learn that God’s laws are given to perfectly REFLECT His nature and character. If you want to know what God is like—look at His laws.
In today’s Scripture, we see spelled out clearly some of the provisions of God’s law: refreshment for our souls, wisdom, joy, enlightenment, and security. We also see what God’s laws protect us from: burnout, foolishness, depression, darkness, and shifting expectations. Lastly, we see that the commands of God reflect his perfect, trustworthy, right, radiant, firm, and righteous nature. What’s not to love? God's law is beautiful because He is beautiful and we still need both today.
When we're tempted to view God’s laws as a hindrance or burden, let's ask Him to change our hearts so that our delight will be in the law of the Lord and on his law we will meditate day and night (Psalm 1:1-2).
Spoken Prayer: Lord, thank you for loving us too much to withhold life-giving, joy-filling, laws. Thank you for desiring to provide for and protect me and reveal yourself to me through your laws. When I'm tempted to disregard or despise your laws, help me to humble myself and yield to You and Your ways. In Jesus' name, Amen.