Tuesday Hymns: “The Law of God is Good and Wise”

During our Sunday night worship service the members of the RPC congregation make the hymn selections, and last Sunday night a young man (I would guess about seven or eight) wanted to sing hymn # 150 in The Trinity Hymnal, “The Law of God is Good and Wise,” which is our Tuesday Hymn for this week (Thank you, Jonathan, you made a great selection).

It was written by Matthias Loy, a 19th century American Lutheran pastor and reminds us of important truths about God’s Law. First of all, he states very clearly that God’s Law “is good and wise and sets His will before our eyes.” God’s Law is very adept at showing us what is right and wrong, and what is sin and righteousness. However, Loy also reminds us of another very important truth: While God’s Law shows us the holiness of God and our own sin, “its holiness condemns us all; it dooms us for our sin to die and has no power to justify.”

Our only hope is to flee to Christ “who from the curse has set us free, and humbly worship at His throne, saved by His grace through faith alone.” Christ has kept the Law on our behalf, and experienced the wrath of God for our sins, that we might have life in His name.

The hymn is sung to the tune, ERHALT UNS, HERR, which is unfamiliar to most of us, but after a verse or two it is picked up easily.

The law of God is good and wise,
And sets His will before our eyes,
Shows us the way of righteousness,
And dooms to death when we transgress.

Its light of holiness imparts
The knowledge of our sinful hearts,
That we may see our lost estate
And seek deliverance ere too late.

To those who help in Christ have found
And would in works of love abound
It shows what deeds are His delight
And should be done as good and right.

When men the offered help disdain
And willfully in sin remain,
Its terror in their ear resounds
And keeps their wickedness in bounds.

The law is good, but since the fall
Its holiness condemns us all;
It dooms us for our sin to die
And has no power to justify.

To Jesus we for refuge flee,
Who from the curse has set us free,
And humbly worship at His throne,
Saved by His grace through faith alone.

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