The delight of the ‘law’

Why ‘law’ between brackets? Because ‘law’ is a limiting and misleading translation. The word ‘law’ is connected with rules and obligations. And that is mostly not a positive association. An association that cannot be correct, because according to Psalm 1:2 we should find delight in the law of YHWH:

“But his delight is in the law of the LORD”

How do we find delight in rules, in obligations?

The Hebrew word ‘torah’, which is translated here as ‘law’, also means instruction or direction. And it has a much deeper meaning. That becomes clear when we see that in the context of this Psalm the ‘law’ of YHWH is set against the ‘counsel’ of the ungodly (verse 1):

“Blessed is the man that walketh not in the counsel of the ungodly”

‘Counsel’ again between brackets. The Hebrew word ‘etzah’ indeed means counsel, or advice. It is the counsel or advice you get from people you expect to be wiser than you: wise counsel (see Proverbs 19:20). But the counsel in this verse is the counsel of the ungodly. That is not wisdom, these are lies and delusions. So we should not turn to this counsel, ‘but’ (verse 2) to the ‘torah’ of YHWH. If the ‘counsel’ of the ungodly is lies and delusions, then (‘but’, verse 2) the ‘torah’ of YHWH refers to His truth. So the torah is that ‘wise counsel’, it refers to His ‘instructions’, His teaching of truth. The ‘law’ of YHWH is therefore much more than the ten commandments or other Biblical rules; it is His truth that gives us delight when we meditate on it day and night (verse 2):

“and in his law doth he meditate day and night.”

Why meditating day and night? ‘Torah’ also means ‘direction’. We can only direct our mind on one thing at a time. People who think they can multitask well, may not agree. But multitasking is not doing everything at the same time, multitasking is moving (very) quickly from one thought to the other and back again. Not even that good for our mind. The ‘wise counsel’ of this psalm is that if we direct our mind on His ‘law’, two things will happen: we cannot direct our mind on lies and delusions at the same time, ánd His truth comes more and more into our mind (and heart). Then we direct the eyes of our heart on the ‘things which are not seen’ which are eternal:

“While we look not at the things which are seen, but at the things which are not seen: for the things which are seen are temporal; but the things which are not seen are eternal.” 2 Corinthians 4:18

Why will directing our mind on His truth give us delight? Because His truth sets us free:

“Then said Jesus to those Jews which believed on him, If ye continue in my word, then are ye my disciples indeed; And ye shall know the truth, and the truth shall make you free.” John 8:31-32

If we direct our mind on His truth, then according to Psalm 1:3 we are like a tree planted by the rivers of water. We are then planted by the Living Water (John 4:13-14) and are constantly nourished by His truth. The result is that we will give fruit, ‘much fruit’ according to John 15:5. And that is the hundredfold fruit from the parable of the sower (Matthew 13).

Directing our mind on His law (truth) therefore gives us delight, directing our thoughts on the ‘counsel’ of the ungodly does not give us that delight. What do you choose to direct your mind on?