The insolent smear me with lies, but with my whole heart I keep your precepts; their heart is unfeeling like fat, but I delight in your law.
ecently, I was talking to an acquaintance who said she would rather have not been born, but since she was born she is going to make the best of it. She wasn’t depressed or suicidal; she simply is apathetic toward lifeunfeeling. I find this very sad.
I tried to figure out what would make a seemingly healthy person consider life in such a way and had trouble coming up with any answers. But then this morning I read the passage in Psalm 119: their heart is unfeeling like fat, but I delight in your law, and I got a glimpse of what might be wrong in this person’s heart.
This acquaintance is not a believer in Jesus Christ. In fact, when I talked to her about Jesus she prefaced one statement with, “if Jesus did exist...”. I, of course, did not allow that statement to pass by unchecked. But after I disabused her of the notion that Jesus was a myth she began regularly using the phrase, “I don’t care what he said.” Again, I find this very sad. But I think it gives a clue into why she views life in the way she does.
The passage from the Psalms presents a contrast. On one side the image is fat, which has no feeling. We are all aware of how that works. The areas of our body that are composed primarily of fat have very little sensation while the areas with little fat are quite sensitive. So this image makes sense to us.
On the other side of the contrast, the psalmist presents God’s law. Perhaps we would not have immediately understood the impact of God’s law in this case. But the psalmist lays out a contrast that forces us to see that God’s law is the opposite of unfeelinglike fat.
Perhaps the reason so many people in our societyespecially young peoplehave given up on caring about life is that they do not understand God. It brings a whole new layer of importance to evangelism.
Thank you, God. I delight in your law.