Thy statutes have been my songs in the house of my pilgrimage.
Golf is full of seemingly arbitrary and capricious rules that we feel are overly penal especially to us who are known to hit balls over fences. Thankfully, a few of these rules were relaxed for 2019, but many still remain in full force today. Rules are necessary and beneficial to promote and establish order. The golfer can use many of the rules to his or her advantage during the course of play. The ability to get relief from moveable obstructions and a cart path allows the golfer to get into a better position for the next shot without penalty. Just as the laws we attempt to live and abide by, they do not guarantee compliance or order.
The rules or the laws of God are still in full force and effect today. Jesus came to fulfill the law, but not abolish any application. It is still a sin to lie, cheat, steal, kill and worship the “little g” gods. The people in the days of Moses were in bondage by the law. Further, the lost and unsaved are still in bondage to the law today. The more we attempt to gain favor by living a good life by solely and sorely abiding by the law, the more egregious life becomes and the more penal the laws apply. However, we who are saved by our faith through Jesus Christ as Lord are empowered by the law.
Liberty is impossible without a law. Dr. Vance Havner wrote, “the law of Christ brings the liberty of Christ.” He went further and declared that the result of a commandment is conquest. The lost sees and feels restraint by the law, but the redeemed fully realizes a release and empowerment.
Consider in golf if it wasn’t codified that relief is permitted when a ball rests on a cart path. Better yet, how many times has someone yelled “hitting three” when a ball innocently falls off the tee prior to any attempt at a swing, But for the rules of golf, confusion would ensue. Arguments, contention and strife are needless results of a society without established rules of order.
If David was able to rejoice and sing because of the law during the course of his pilgrimage, how much more should we rejoice with a song book which includes the entire New Testament? David rejoiced without the privilege of any of the validating proofs written by any of the apostles. David sang a song without knowledge of any of the writings by Luke in the Book of Acts. David rejoiced without the benefit of virtually being taken up to heaven through the writings of John the Revelator.
We have writings which depict, validate and bring life the eye witness accounts of Jesus’ persecution, crucifixion, resurrection, and ascension. We have validation and proof of the Holy Spirit because it continually abides within us. We have much greater reason to sing our song of this freedom by the giver of the law. Let us rejoice in the fact we have empowerment through our Savior as we complete our pilgrimage.
“I will sing of my Redeemer
and his wondrous love to me;
on the cruel cross he suffered,
from the curse to set me free.
Sing, O sing of my Redeemer!
With his blood he purchased me;
on the cross he sealed my pardon,
paid the debt, and made me free.”