1997, Articles, Raiati

Loving the Commandments / September 07, 1997

             The first step towards righteousness is to have faith in God and to believe that what He declared in the Bible is the truth. This also necessitates making all your desires and whims die away. For our minds are often influenced by our actions, especially the frequent ones. If you have been lying so long and you think that it has been saving you, you might be convinced that lying is a good and smart behavior. The same will also happen if you steal or cheat, so you shall not see the divine truth. Your iniquities will become the source of your mind. Since all humans incline to the wickedness and tend to turn the same into a way of thinking, God spoke to eradicate this misconception from our hearts. The divine word exists, because our minds are incapable of choosing the right position; or because our minds are inclined to do trespasses and are damaged by iniquities.

            For this reason came the guiding word to which we resort and from which we come, so we shall be in the truth, or we shall be the truth. Nevertheless, you have to adapt yourself to the word and you ought not to abandon it, so as not to allow your own words to take control of your actions. The word of the Bible, and not your own word, knows what is good for you more than you do. If you adapt yourself to the word, it will stay in you and your soul will be relieved, so you will resort to it and keep it on your mouth and in your ears. If you are tempted by evil, you shall be able to repel it by the truth with which your soul has been molded, so it will be the shield, the sword, the helmet and the whole weapon.

            The author of the Psalms recognized this and talked about our love to the commandments, in Psalm 118 (Psalm 119 in modern versions). Before our spiritual maturity, when we were acting as children in the Christian life, we were like school students. We feel that God is like the teacher; He gives orders and we delight ourselves in disobedience. At first, the individual builds an enmity between him and the commandment because he feels that it threatens his freedom. He is his own god. He wants to take his own decisions, and not from any human or divine authority. But, at one point, the student will become mature, and he will understand that it is of interest to him to be obedient, and that the teacher decides what knowledge he will give his student.

            To trust God – and this is what faith is all about – is not only to be convinced of the commandment, but also to love it, because we know that it can heal and embellish the soul; and all that is not a commandment is a temptation. This is why David claimed in this great Psalm: “Your word I have hidden in my heart, that I might not sin against You.” Not only have I read it over and over again, but also I have eaten it. The divine word shall come into our hearts so that it will protect us from the sin if it tried to infiltrate.

             The prophet-melodist talks about love by which we accept the word: “My soul breaks with longing for Your judgments.” Compare this statement and what we usually do.   We long for sins, whereas David longs for the commandments of God.

            And after longing comes love, for he says: “My hands also I will lift up to Your commandments, which I love.”  He then talks about action: “It is time for You to act, O LORD, for they have regarded Your law as void. Therefore I love Your commandments more than gold, yes, than fine gold!” Your word is a weapon with which I fight against the wicked. I will have neither a strong weapon in my hands, nor enough strength to fight them, unless I love Your commandments, so that they will attract and move me, to go into your fight in the universe. 

Translated by Amani Haddad – 09.02.10

Original Text: “محبة الوصايا” – 07.09.1997

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