The Lord is my portion; I promise to keep your words. I entreat your favor with all my heart; be gracious to me according to your promise. When I think on my ways, I turn my feet to your testimonies; I hasten and do not delay to keep your commandments. Though the cords of the wicked ensnare me, I do not forget your law. At midnight I rise to praise you, because of your righteous rules. I am a companion of all who fear you, of those who keep your precepts. The earth, O Lord, is full of your steadfast love; teach me your statutes! – Psalm 119:57-64
Do you remember the emotions you felt when you first realized that your spouse was “the one”? Before I worked up enough nerve to ask my wife, Lori, on a date, I was longing to see and talk with her. I met her in the very first college class I attended. The class was one of my least favorite subjects, but it instantly became a hit with me. Why? Lori was in this class. This was going to be the one hour I knew I could see Lori. I didn’t even know that she knew I existed. However, I knew full well that she was there and thought she was beautiful. I loved to hear her voice answer the questions in class. It wasn’t until a year later that I asked her on a date. Life has never been the same since.
During the summer break of 1996, Lori and I did not see each other for 3 months. She lived in Maine and I lived in New Jersey. I would check my mailbox 20 times a day to see if the mailman had come. I wanted to read what she had to say. I wanted to smell the paper (she sprayed her perfume on each note), which reminded me of her while I read it. I could not get enough of it. You didn’t have to force me to read her letters. I wanted to read it with all of my heart. I loved her and wanted to treasure every word she had written. I still have the notes that she wrote to me during these days. These are sweet memories. She captured my heart, showed me her sweet spirit and I was a goner.
As you read the Psalms you can see an even greater love and desire for God and His word. This is greatly convicting to me. How much do I love God’s Word? Do I just read it out of duty? Or do I deeply desire it? Read again how the Psalmist describes his response to the word. His response does not come from obligation, but of passionate obedience. He “turns his feet” to obey God. He does not “delay to keep your commandments”. Through the tough times when his enemies are trapping him…”I do not forget your law”. He even wakes up in the middle of the night to praise God for “your righteous rules”. Reading this response to the Word is convicting for me. How much do I desire God’s word? How much do I love it? Do I treasure every word written? Do I long to read it again the next day?
Many read the Bible out of begrudging submission. They try to “love” the Bible, but they just can’t. What’s the problem here? The problem lies within our hearts. We are shining our light of “wisdom and understanding” on the Bible hoping that something will stick. This is not our work to accomplish. This is God’s work within me. My response to God’s glorious light is a love for the Word. This desire is not self manufactured or manipulated. His Spirit produces it within me. He changes my heart. He puts the love for Him and His Word within me. May the gospel produce an impossible love for God and His word in your heart. If you have no desire or love for His Word – it may be time to check your heart. The light of the Word produces a Love for the Word.