Today’s passage gives a key to great peace and being someone who is never offended. Could you use more peace and less offense?
165 Great peace have those who love your law,
and nothing can make them stumble. (NIV)
Delighting in His Law
When we follow the laws of God with delight, His laws will press us to respond to this world in holiness, righteousness, and love. Even when others are mistreating, attacking, or abusing us, the law will not allow us to respond with hate. The law commands us to love our enemies, to speak the truth in love, and to not let anything out of our mouths except for building others up. In fact, other than if our life is being threatened or the life of someone else, in which case, there is a time for anger and fighting back, the laws of God require us to remain calm and do what works for the overall good of others.
The alternative is what we see every day. It is to respond in vitriol, vengeance, and vindictiveness. And the world is going to pot. This response only works to refuel the hate, anger, racism, and arrogance of the one coming after us. When they escalate, we will also.
Eliciting a Different Response
Delighting ourselves in the laws of God restricts us from following our emotions so that we might honor God. This behavior however elicits a different response from others. When it is clear we want good for them, they are more likely to restrain their hostility. It is not always going to happen, but God reminds us in Proverbs that a gentle answer turns away wrath.
When we love the laws of God, we will follow them. To follow the laws of God as closely as possible, we know in the end, we have done our best and gone above human effort to supernatural restraint. Because of this, we live at peace with ourselves, without guilt or regret. Many will respond to kindness by de-escalating but when others reject our kindness, we can release them to themselves without any need for retribution. We have peace.
And finally, when we see the touch of God upon our lives when we follow His laws. We see Him protecting our reputation, our provision, and our health. Following the laws of God give us great confidence that no matter what we see in the immediate, God will continue to keep His promises to those who love His law.
Lord, teach me to love your law so that I might increase my peace and stop getting offended. Amen.