Delight In God and His Commandments

The apostle John says in his first epistle, “his commandments are not grievous” (1 John 5:3). How can God’s commandments be grievous to anybody who really has an enlightened mind? There is no life like it; this is the only life-the other is darkness. Is it possible that to a child of God the commandments should be grievous, a heavy burden to be borne? But the children of Israel were always giving that impression. They said in effect, “Look at those other nations; they have kings, but we don’t have one. Give us a king.” You see, they despised the fact that God was their King. They envied those other nations; those people could do what they liked. They did not have the Ten Commandments; they did not have to observe the Sabbath; they could eat anything they liked and marry anybody they liked. “Here are we,” said God’s people, “living this narrow life.” They were always grumbling and complaining; that was the charge brought against them.

Is that true of us? Do we find the commandments of God “grievous”? Do we find the way that God has mapped out for us to be hard and difficult and narrow and trying? Is our Christianity against the grain? Do we give the impression that it is a matter of duty or perhaps more a matter of fear than anything else? If so, my friends, we are “limit[ing] the Holy One of Israel” [Ps.78:41]. God means us to enjoy keeping His commandments. They are meant to be our chief delight. The psalmist could say, “I delight in thy law” (Ps. 119:70), but we are in a superior position to the psalmist; we have a fullness that he did not know.

D. Martyn Lloyd-Jones, Seeking the Face of God: Nine Reflections on the Psalms (Kindle Edition)

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