Jonathan Edwards was convinced that the goodness and generosity and grace of God shine forth with greatest brilliance in his commands to you and me. That’s right, in his commands. In his sermon entitled “Christian Happiness” (304), he explains:
“What could the most merciful being have done more for our encouragement? All that he desires of us is that we would not be miserable, that we would not follow those courses which of themselves would end in misery, and that we would be happy.”
Did you hear that? I have to pause for a moment lest that statement slip by unnoticed. Read it again. All that God desires of us is that “we would not be miserable . . . and that we should be happy.” Does that sound like the God you’ve been “serving” these many years? It should. Now, let’s pick up with Edwards as he explains how God goes about fulfilling this great desire. You may find it surprising:
“God, having a great desire to speak after the manner of man, that we should not be miserable but happy, has the mercy and goodness that he forwards us to it, to command us to do those things that will make us so. Should we not think him a prince of extraordinary clemency, he a master of extraordinary goodness, he a father of great tenderness, who never commanded anything of his subjects, his servants, or his children, but what was for their good and advantage? But God is such a king, such a lord, such a father to us” (“Christian Happiness”, 304).
Every syllable of every statute, every clause of every commandment that ever proceeded from the mouth of God was divinely designed to bring those who would obey into the greatest imaginable happiness of heart. Why? Because God is most glorified in you when you are most satisfied in him (Piper)!
Don’t swallow God’s law like castor oil. For when you understand his intent, it will be like honey on your lips and refreshment to your soul and duty will appear “sweet and blessed” beyond all comparison.