By Sudarshana Devadhar
Much earlier than Jeremiah’s prophecy, the psalmist’s words attest to his love for the law, the law called by many names. According to the translation in the New International Version, the laws are also called “commands,” “statutes,” “precepts,” and “word.” The psalmist clearly loves all of them.
The psalmist offers several reasons for loving the law of God. One is because laws are sweet and powerful. In expressing the nature of its sweetness, the psalmist compares the law to honey. Let me hasten to say that I am not an expert on honey. However, I understand that the sugar content of honey is ideal for health, and the taste of the honey differs from place to place depending upon the kind of flower s available to the bees. Therefore, the psalmist uses the metaphor of honey to describe the nature of God’s law-ideal for our health and well-being and suited to our particular needs.
When I was in graduate school, a professor used to say that students write only two kinds of papers that professors read: one is work and the other pleasure. Is God’s law for us work or pleasure? Is it like tasting honey?
Second, the laws of God exert power. They make us wiser than our enemies and bless us with understanding. The psalmist does not talk about knowledge but wisdom. In this age the world supplies us with all kinds of knowledge through an abundance of sources, but wisdom is not a natural byproduct of the world’s knowledge. Our wisdom comes from a passionate commitment to God and living and practicing the law in our daily lives.
God of Wisdom, help me follow your laws so that I may become a blessing to others. Hear my prayer, in the precious name of our Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ. Amen.