Archive for November 3rd, 2012

Psalm 119:1-88

Psalm 119 is a textbook on God’s Word.  Not only is it the longest chapter in the Bible, it is filled with wisdom around how we should interact with God’s Word. It is highly personal – we see “I”, “my”, “me” over and over as the psalmist uses his personal life and testimony to teach us how to relate to God through His written word.  What a powerful chapter – we’ll split it in half and tackle the second half later.  One of the key verses that many Christ Follower’s memorize is found here: “How can a young man keep his way pure? By guarding it according to your word. With my whole heart I seek you; let me not wander from your commandments!  I have stored up your word in my heart, that I might not sin against you”.  It is often taught as a reason to memorize scripture, and that it is, but we might call it the direction for how to stay pure as well.  We need to take God’s Word into our heart – to memorize and make it our own – because it is the guide for how we are to live.

The chapter begins by defining what it looks like to be blessed.  There is a whole long list of things that are called out as how we should live:

–       “walk in the law

–       seek him with their whole heart

–       do no wrong

–       walk in his ways

–       having my eyes fixed on all your commandments

–       praise you with an upright heart

–       learn your righteous rules

–       keep your statutes

–       declare all the rules of your mouth

–       delight in your statutes

–       not forget your word

–       keep your word

–       behold wondrous things out of your law

–       consumed with longing for your rules at all times

–       kept your testimonies

–       meditate on your statutes

–       meditate on your wondrous works

–       set your rules before me

–       cling to your testimonies

What a list of behaviors the writer brings to light that can help us realize the blessing of the Lord.

But it becomes even more personal as the psalmist asks God to touch him:

–       “Teach me

–       Give me understanding

–       Lead me

–       Incline my heart

–       Turn my eyes

–       Confirm to your servant

–       Turn away the reproach

The psalmist asks God to take action and interact with him personally – to pour into his life.

And then the writer goes on to list a series of things, again very personal, he he will do:

–       “I trust in your word

–       my hope is in your rules

–       I will keep your law continually

–       I have sought your precepts

–       I will also speak of your testimonies

–       I find my delight in your commandments

–       I will lift up my hands

–       I will meditate on your statutes

–       I do not turn away from your law

–       I take comfort

–       I remember your name

–       I have kept your precepts

–       I promise to keep your words

–       I entreat your favor

–       I think on my ways

–       I turn my feet to your testimonies

–       hasten and do not delay to keep your commandments

–       I do not forget your law

–       I rise to praise you

–       I am a companion of all who fear you

–       I believe in your commandments

–       I keep your word

–       I keep your precepts

–       I delight in your law

–       I have hoped in your word

This is like a personal resume of how the psalmist has connected with God and His Word.  It is his life.  It is what he does.  It is how we should live!

 

This section ends with some requests:

–       “Let your steadfast love comfort me

–       Let your mercy come

–       Let the insolent be put to shame

–       Let those who fear you turn to me

–       My soul longs for your salvation

–       I hope in your word

–       My eyes long for your promise

–       In your steadfast love give me life, that I may keep the testimonies of your mouth”

This is like a prayer that wraps up a lesson in how to relate to God and His Word.  We need to know His Word, live His Word, and pray His Word.  God has made Himself known to us through it.  It is up to us to get into it, and make it part of us.  Are you spending time in His Word?  Every day?  It is in your heart?

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