This last Sunday’s sermon dealt with Psalm 19, and I still have thoughts about precious and sweet in my head. David, in describing the law of the Lord, uses a typical construction for Hebrew poetry. He gives parallel words for law such as statutes, precepts, commands, and ordinances. Next the psalmist tries to give his readers an earthly comparison by saying this law is more precious than gold and sweeter than the honey from the comb.We still get the metaphor regarding the preciousness of gold, but our world has offered too many saccharine substitutes for us to appreciate the thorough sweetness of honey. So we work to understand the exceeding wonder of God’s Word.
Recently Dave and I experienced another “precious and sweet” in the birth of our second grandchild. Many parents wonder, after having had one child, if they can ever love a second child as much as their first. Won’t the second child diminish the love parents have for their firstborn? The question often lies deep within the womb and the mind, unspoken, but thought about nonetheless. Then the second child emerges and enters the world. Parents need only one look at that helpless baby for God to expand their hearts to love this child with the intensity they have for the older sibling. How God does this amazes us, He enlarges our hearts, and we stand stunned by the sheer emotional power of multiplied love.
When the reality of Jesus enters an individual’s life, he or she begins a life-long trek of learning about the preciousness and sweetness of a life lived with Christ at the center. This new life as a believer in Christ never constitutes a heaven on earth existence, for we too readily accept fool’s gold and tamper with artificial sweeteners. Still, the Lord sees each of His children with a love that expands exponentially. In His love, He corrects, instructs, and admonishes each of His children out of a pure love, His method of instruction originates in the Scriptures as the Holy Spirit massages the truths of the text into the everyday situations of our lives. Will I love this child as I do the first? How will I have enough love, energy, discipline for this one? God gives it. Quantifying or qualifying it defies scientific exploration, but ask any parent. A second child? A fifth child? A child born with handicaps? Love soars! Somehow the expansion of love in the heart occurs without our noticing the exact hows and whens. But the worry we experienced before the birth of that child evaporates.
As parents see their newborn child, love blossoms. Are there days of frustration and discouragement? Yes, but precious and sweet describe the overarching experience. I need to apply this automatic human response to babies to my spiritual journey. Certain thoughts, words and acts from me cause personal frustration, sadness, discouragement. When I look at the words of Scripture, I sometimes mentally do battle with them, forgetting the precious and sweet that God holds out to me. How dumb of me!