Wednesday, April 1, 2020

The Father Whose Word is Law

Today’s fascinating thread from God’s word was, The law of the LORD is perfect, reviving the soul”.[1] It weaves together with Jesus’ words to his disciples as they grappled with his resurrection, “‘These are my words that I spoke to you while I was still with you, that everything written about me in the Law of Moses and the Prophets and the Psalms must be fulfilled.’”[2]

When we read in our English translation, The law of the LORD is perfect, reviving the soul,” the fact that LORD is in All-Caps means that it is referring to the personal name of God. That personal name is Yahweh.

What David really said was, “The law of Yahweh is perfect, reviving the soul”. He was not thinking of a title given to Yahweh as, “the Lord”, but of the personal name of the distinctive and particular God of the Israelites, the Creator of the heavens and the earth, the God who appeared to Abraham and established a covenant that would one day give us the Messiah. This God has a word that is law, and how we understand this law and the one from whom this law proceeds, makes all the difference to how we feel when we speak of such things.

“The law of Yahweh is perfect, reviving the soul”.

Let’s begin, then, with this wonderful fact: there is a God whose name is Yahweh. He is the “High King of Heaven”, as an old hymn describes.[3] He is distinct from gods that have other names. We are repeatedly told to relate to him according to his name because that name distinguishes him as unique in the most supreme of ways.

This is our Father.

We now know that Yahweh has given his Son Jesus, “the name that is above every name,”[4] which we find in Revelation is, “King of kings and Lord of lords.”[5]  

This is our Brother.

The point for us is profound: our heavenly Father is the particular God named Yahweh, and his Son has been given the name that is above every name on heaven and earth, King of kings and Lord of lords, and by his name we call on Yahweh as our Father. The name is the person; the person is our security.

The law of Yahweh is perfect, reviving the soul”.

This person, our Father, has “the law”. Do not think of the Ten Commandments with all its rules and restrictions that prove us guilty as sinners. The New Testament does that quite well all on its own, by the way.

Instead, think of the whole of Scripture. What joyful rest and peace does it give the children of Yahweh to know that it is our Father who owns “the law”. Our Father’s word is law. No one can change that. What Father says will be is what will be. No one can make it otherwise.

“The law of Yahweh is perfect, reviving the soul”.

Our Father’s word is “perfect”. He is not like an earthly judge who cannot know for absolute certainty that every fact in a case has been presented. He is not like an earthly law-giver who is swayed by lobbyists and special interest groups that actually promote lawlessness with their laws against Christians. His law, the whole of what he has revealed in his word as what was, what is, and what will be, is perfect and will not be out-ruled by something better.

Again, since there is no one better than Father Yahweh, there is no rule of law greater than our Father’s word.

This is our security.

“The law of Yahweh is perfect, reviving the soul”.

With our Father’s full word of law, our lives are restored. It is by our Father’s words that we are revived to the life we were given. Life is about becoming our real selves because “real” means the way God made us, and our Father’s law has declared that we WILL be restored to the image and likeness of Jesus the King of kings and Lord of lords.[6]

“The law of Yahweh is perfect, reviving the soul”.

This reality applies to the “soul”, the “inner self” that is governed by the thoughts of the mind flowing through our inner beings by the activity of our hearts. The heart will always pump what our mind gives it, so even this declaration of wonder that “the law of Yahweh is perfect, reviving the soul,” is a reality to feed our minds so our hearts can make it do its work on our souls.

Consider that, for David, even without a great deal of what we call the Old Testament yet written, he knew that the law of Yahweh was so vastly superior in perfection than the babbling of the gods of the nations that he had to look at this diamond of truth as though turning from one facet to another. And each facet revealed something distinctive and complementary so that the whole consideration of the law of our Father made everything stand out so brilliantly that he simply had to write a song and sing about it!

Three thousand years later, David’s song still speaks because our Father Yahweh’s law is perfect, and when it is received as such, it continues to restore our souls to who we really are. And we need the restoring of our souls today as much as ever.

Unless otherwise noted, Scriptures are from the English Standard Version (The Holy Bible, English Standard Version. ESV® Text Edition: 2016. Copyright © 2001 by Crossway Bibles, a publishing ministry of Good News Publishers.)

[1] Psalm 19:7
[2] Luke 24:44
[3] The Hymn is, “Be Thou My Vision”.
[4] Philippians 2:10-11 in context of Philippians 2:1-11.
[5] Revelation 17:14; 19:16
[6] Genesis 1:26-27 shows that this was our design in creation. The New Testaments shows Gods’ work to restore us to this (Ephesians 4:20-24). And the work God promises to carry on to completion (Philippians 1:6) is fulfilled at the return of Christ (I John 3:1-2).

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