Wednesday, January 21, 2015

Book Review – Discovering Delight – 31 Meditations on Loving God’s Law by Glenda Mathes

In this book we have a helping hand in developing a love for and delight in God’s law. The book begins with a mediation on each of five law exalting poems, Psalms 1,19,37,40 and 112 which lead us in seeing that the origin of our delight is seeing the character of God in both creation and in God’s law.  This motivates us to want to know more. There are then 22 meditations on God’s law from the 22 stanzas of Psalm 119. The book closes with 2 promises from Old Testament Prophets Isaiah and Jeremiah giving us clear pictures of what taking such delight will result in.  A meditation from Romans 7 then shows us that only in Christ are we enabled to love the law. The book closes with a celebratory meditation on Revelation 19.

Although this is a book about God’s law and by our old nature that law is abhorrent to us, Glenda Mathes does an excellent job of winning us over to delighting in the law in several of her meditations She does this not by clever tales or pretty language, but by a solid hermeneutic always drawing our attention to the scripture itself, the meaning of the text in the original languages, how genre affects our understanding of the text and by the analogy of scripture. One example of this is her mediation on Psalm 19 in chapter 2.

Psa 19:7-9 KJV  The law of the LORD is perfect, converting the soul: the testimony of the LORD is sure, making wise the simple.  (8)  The statutes of the LORD are right, rejoicing the heart: the commandment of the LORD is pure, enlightening the eyes.  (9)  The fear of the LORD is clean, enduring for ever: the judgments of the LORD are true and righteous altogether.

“Notice all the descriptors? The law of the Lord is perfect, sure, right, pure, clean, and righteous. It is the ultimate ideal. Note also the many present participles, “ing” verbs in this section. What is the law doing? It is converting the soul, making wise the simple, rejoicing the heart, enlightening the eyes, and enduring forever. Such action verb phrases vibrantly depict God’s law as living and active (see also Heb 4:12).”

Each chapter includes questions for reflection, helping the reader to make practical application.

This book will remain near my reading chair for help in frequent feasting upon and delighting in God’s law.

I received this resource for free from Reformation Heritage Books via Cross Focused Reviews for this review. I was not required to write a positive review.

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