The First Four
Psalm 119: 73-80
Verses 79-80 May those who fear You turn to me, those who understand Your statutes. May I wholeheartedly follow Your decrees, that I may not be put to shame.
After seeing God in light of His judgment the psalmist turns from his personal prayer about the law to turn it into a prayer for the congregation of God’s people.
The shift in the thinking of the song writer shows just how much he had learned from the law. He learned that loving the law wasn’t just about him as an individual but it was a gift to God’s people as a whole. This list of statutes was to help each of God’s people to live in close relationship with Him and to help keep clear communication between God and His people as a community.
The law can be seen to have an obvious place in our personal lives but the idea of it being vital for a group of people takes a little more understanding. There is something about the interpersonal relationships that can bring out the best or the worst in us. The law was given so that we, as God’s people, could learn to live in better harmony with each other, than the average group in the world.
Groups of people hold various personalities with different likes and dislikes and that can lead to fractions rather quickly. That is why the law is of great importance to a congregation. And while we may think it has to do with the part of the commands that talk about loving one another, the truth is that while those are important, it is the first four that make the body of believers what God desires them to be.
The people of God will be known as His people when they live a life that shows He is their Lord. The first four of the commandments speak to the level of relationship with God. When we, as a Church, love the Lord our God with all our heart, mind, soul and spirit it will bind us together as never before because we won’t be disagreeing about the things that don’t matter like the color of carpet, kind of windows, or even the style of the music. When we focus on the first four, we will be looking at things more from how it serves God, instead of how they serve us.
Making It Personal
What would it mean for your relationships with other believers if you filtered your interactions through the first four commandments? Do your relationships reflect a love of God or self? What fellow believer do you need to renew relationship with?
Making It Personal Kids
What are the first four commandments? How could those commandments help you love others like Jesus wants you to? Do you have someone that you need to learn to love better?
Father, thank You for this reminder that to live for You, we need to love You in a way that transfers to those in the Church. Father, please help us learn to love You so that we can learn to be unified in our obedience to the law. In Jesus’ name, amen.