“Sweeter than Honey”
Psalm 19 (19:10) – October 4, 2020
Happy New Year! L’Shana Tovah! We are starting the Jewish year 5781.
The new year’s greeting that one person says to another, “A sweet new year to you!” “L’Shana Tovah!” reminds me of this verse from Psalm 19: The Laws of the Lord “are more precious than gold; they are sweeter than honey.”
Psalm 19 has been a beloved reading of mine for years. Not only does King David get all excited about the heavens communicating the glories of God, but he also expressed his awe and praise about Scripture doing the same thing.
Certainly, the law of the Lord, the statutes, the ordinances, the decrees of the Lord are not exactly warm bedtime stories. However, these words of the Lord are guideposts for us. How else are we to know and to understand how we are supposed to treat each other?
David made it his life’s work to try to follow God, as best as he could. Psalm 19 definitely shows us how highly he thought of Scripture. What do you treasure most? Would you think of something valuable as “sweet?” King David obviously did.
Like David, we stand in awe of God’s glory, whether we marvel at the vast heavens or the countless stars, or are amazed at the order and trustworthiness of God’s Word.
As we consider the Bible, God’s Word, more closely, these words and ideas give us more specifics for what it means to love God and to love others. On several occasions during His ministry, our Lord Jesus talks about God’s Law. He gives a response to a devout Jew who wanted to know the most important command of any of those given in the Hebrew Scriptures. Jesus’ response? Love God, and love others. The rest of the Bible is commentary.
As David praises God’s Word in this psalm, I am also reminded of the Ten Commandments, another Lectionary Scripture reading for this morning. Talk about the law of God, the commands of God, the statutes of God, and the decrees of God! The Ten Commandments encapsulate the high points. These special commands list how people are supposed to love God and to treat each other.
Thinking about the whole Bible – the Hebrew Scriptures and the New Testament – as guideposts or directions for living God’s way, the way set out for us gets very clear. It is not just a mental exercise, or an intellectual game we play in our heads. No! I like Eugene Peterson’s translation of our Psalm reading for today in The Message: “The revelation of God is whole and pulls our lives together. The signposts of God are clear and point out the right road. The life-maps of God are right, showing the way to joy.”
“The directions for living we find in the commandments and in Jesus’ teaching are intended to be put into practice in real life. And they are intended to make that life more whole, more peaceful, more joyful.” 
Best of all, when we live in this way, we are allowing the life and love of God to flow through us. Each of us does our part to heal the broken and wounded world around us.
If so, then you allow the life and love of God to flow through you. If so, our living in God’s way and walking God’s road surely is sweet. Sweeter than honey from the honeycomb!
“Non-Virtual Faith,” Alan Brehm, The Waking Dreamer, 2015.