Bread – Revival

May 11, 2016


Psalm 19

“The law of the Lord is perfect, reviving the soul … Moreover, by them is Your servant warned; in keeping them there is great reward.”  Ps. 19:7, 11

How can God’s law revive the soul, as stated by the Psalmist?

I think there are three ways.

The first is that we like boundaries.  Although we would protest otherwise, boundaries give us comfort because we know where the path is and where it goes, boundaries help to define who we are (as compared to other people, who we are separated from by boundaries), and boundaries provide us protection from the claims of others.  So, when we see boundaries, understand them, and appreciate them for their benefits,  our countenance improves, our feet walk lighter, and our soul is revived.

The second way the law revives the soul is that it provides us a standard by which we can live our lives, if we will but trust the Lord and let His Holy Spirit reside in us.  Now, admittedly, this is a standard which we will never achieve short of heaven, but it is a standard which we can see and we can grow toward.  As we grow toward God’s standards, we are more able to withstand the troubles in life, we are more able to focus on things that matter, and we can look back and see how far we have come from our dark days to the present.  God’s law does not cause us to belittle ourselves for our failures, but gives us the real opportunity to revel in the freedom which comes from obedience to the Master.  In being able to see a standard which is higher than ourselves, we can, with the support of the Holy Spirit, rise to the occasion.

The third way the law revives the soul is that it provides us a shield from the darts of the enemy.  As the last part of the section of the Psalm says, “By them, is Your servant is warned; in keeping them there is great reward.”  By negative implication, the law of the Lord, by telling us what to do, also then warns us about what not to do.  “Love the Lord your God with all your heart…” tells us that the opposite, loving idols and other substitutes for God (including ourselves), results in loss of self, loss of others, and loss of society.  Not only does God’s law give us what we should aspire to by way of behavior and character, it also gives us what we should avoid.  And knowing what we should avoid means that, when we avoid it, our soul, our very nature, is revived.

There are two kinds of revival.  One is captured in movies and the public imagination, and is full of emotion and “glories to God.”  This kind of revival generally has a short life.   The second is the kind which takes place over a long period of time and occurs because God has reached into our place of death, has brought us into life and relationship with Him, and has taught us His way through His Word, empowering us to live life in the present to the fullest.  This kind of revival is real.  This kind of revival is long-lasting.

“The law of the Lord is perfect, reviving the soul.”  This is real revival.  The permanent kind.  God’s kind.

_________

© 2016 GBF   All Scripture quotations are from the English Standard Version (2001), unless otherwise indicated.

 

 

 

 

 

 

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