Psalm 19:7-9 is a poem of sorts (well, lots of Psalms are, but this one has a very clear structure even in English):
The law of the Lord is perfect,
reviving the soul;
the testimony of the Lord is sure,
making wise the simple;
the precepts of the Lord are right,
rejoicing the heart;
the commandment of the Lord is pure,
enlightening the eyes;
the fear of the Lord is clean,
the rules of the Lord are true,
and righteous altogether.
Throughout Scripture we can find this kind of celebration of God’s Word. Specifically mentioned here is the law, and look at what we see are the benefits of it: soul revival, wisdom, joy, light/vision, continuity, and righteousness.
Why oh why do we pile on the guilt? Instead of associating God’s law with all of these wonderful things, instead of rejoicing, we hide in shame. We, like Adam and Eve, run from God because of our broken sinfulness. Our eyes are open to both good and evil and we are certain that we are evil. And we’re really quick to point out the evil in others, too, just to deflect some of the blame we carry.
In Romans 7, Paul gives a dizzying account of the frustrations we experience in our walk with God. We don’t do the very thing that we know we should, but instead we sin even though we hate it. On and on it goes until, “Wretched man that I am! Who will deliver me from this body of death? Thanks be to God through Jesus Christ our Lord!” (v. 24-25).
We know God’s law is perfect, and wonderful. We also know we cannot keep it. And we are wretched… we would still be wretched… except…