In a recent reading in our Bible plan we came across a verse that may have made you chuckle but when you examine it more closely speaks great truth. Psalm 119:70 says,
Their heart is unfeeling like fat, but I delight in your law.
“Their heart” is referring to the inner disposition of the wicked toward the LORD. Such people are “unfeeling like fat.” Fat by definition is “the naturally oily substance found in animal bodies.” It often protects vital organs and is also used to store unneeded energy for future occasions. If you have ever carved some meat or performed minor surgery you’ll sense the reality behind the saying “unfeeling like fat.” Fat jiggles but that is about it. There are no nerves in fat as there are in other bodily tissues and so fat is without ability to feel. It simply is. Fat is a picture of the heart without God, it is selfish and dead, without any positive spiritual inclination towards God. It is descriptive of every human without a personal knowledge of the LORD and it is a state that cannot be altered unless God graciously intervenes.
BUT! Enter one of the big buts of the Bible, “but I delight in your law.” The verse follows a similar pattern to Eph 2:1-9. Verses 1-3 recall being “unfeeling like fat” and verses 4-9 the gift of grace and faith that enables the dead to be brought to life through Christ so as to “delight in your law.”
2 And you were dead in the trespasses and sins 2 in which you once walked, following the course of this world, following the prince of the power of the air, the spirit that is now at work in the sons of disobedience— 3 among whom we all once lived in the passions of our flesh, carrying out the desires of the body and the mind, and were by nature children of wrath, like the rest of mankind. 4 But God, being rich in mercy, because of the great love with which he loved us, 5 even when we were dead in our trespasses, made us alive together with Christ—by grace you have been saved— 6 and raised us up with him and seated us with him in the heavenly places in Christ Jesus, 7 so that in the coming ages he might show the immeasurable riches of his grace in kindness toward us in Christ Jesus. 8 For by grace you have been saved through faith. And this is not your own doing; it is the gift of God, 9 not a result of works, so that no one may boast.
Once the Lord has worked grace in your heart we are enabled to feel, and what we feel is a delight towards the Lord, His word and His ways. One immediately sees the stark contrast between their old life and their new life. Deadness is replaced with life, pride with humility, ugliness with beauty, unfeelingness with delight.
Fat is uncomfortable and the unfeeling hearts of those I know who have not come to know Jesus grieves my heart. They are so cold to the things of the Lord, things that are beautiful, things that give life, things that cause me great personal delight. Chief among the means of grace the Lord has given to the Church is His word. It is a despised piece of dead literature (or at the very best simply a noteworthy piece of human literature to be examined) to those who are as unfeeling as fat, but to those who have been given the gift of faith, the Bible becomes the living word (Heb 4:12). By itself it is just a book but because the Spirit inspired its words He enables those who approach it with fear (Isa 66:2b) and prayer to meet God, know Him, be known, and guided in the way of righteousness. Because the Bible is the word of God, in ever growing degrees, Christians should feel an ardent attachment for all that it contains and represents. We should relish the opportunity to read from it, study it, and hear it proclaimed. It should be to us spiritually what bread is to us physically.
Just the other day as I sat down to read the Bible, and before I had even opened it, the Lord flooded my heart with a passionate delight for His law. I am eternally grateful that the Lord has inclined my heart towards His law, to delight in Him, and that He uses that to shape me to be more like Christ. That degree by degree I am not what I once was but more and more am what I should be.
May you come to delight in the law, and if that is a struggle for you I pray that the Holy Spirit would open your eyes, that you may behold the wondrous things out of His law. (Ps 119:18).
The Lord’s Sweetest Blessings,