“The earth, O Lord, is full of your steadfast love” Vs. 64
Psalm 119 has a particular vision and faith regarding the Torah. The Torah is the all-encompassing, life-giving word of God which goes far beyond its most common and simplistic translation as “law.” The psalmist envisions creation as one big classroom. The teacher is God. For students, the teacher has the servants of God. These students learn the Torah, the words of God. This learning is their way of life so that they may have faith. The Torah is the way in which the Lord deals with his people and his people know the Lord through the Torah.
When life is lived out of the wisdom of the Torah, the psalmist sees the earth as one constant expression of the Lord’s steadfast love. When life is lived out of the wisdom of the world, the world is seen as full of betrayal. Seasons betray the farmer and crops fail. Family members betray their promises to one another and love withers. Business and trade partners betray their contracts with each other and economies falter. You, too, know the betrayal of expectations and promises and you have suffered for them. Only faith confesses the world full of God’s love.
Like the psalmist, you too have a Torah. Only you call it “Word and Sacrament”. Everything said in Psalm 119 about the Torah is appropriately said of Word and Sacrament. They are the way your Lord deals with you; you know the Lord only through them. Through these means of grace, the Holy Spirit works faith in Jesus Christ. Held in such faith, you confess the earth to be filled with the Lord’s steadfast love.
Table Talk: Describe being taught by the world versus by the Lord
Pray: Father, give me ears to hear and to receive your Word. Amen
Written by Rev. Timothy J. Swenson,
Dean of Chapel for the Institute of Lutheran Theology