What a great week looking at Psalm 119. How awesome is the word of God! How wonderful God’s thoughts are to us. This psalm uses many words for the Bible. It is clear that the author of Psalm 119 had done a lot of reflection on how God communicates with people (see the “Think” section below).
What 3 words would you use to describe God’s word? How does it delight your soul? I hope you have gained wisdom through Psalm 119 this week. I hope you have obeyed the teachings you have been entrusted with this week? I hope you will worship God this Saturday as you realize all God has given you through his word.
Read: Psalm 119:69-176
169 Let my cry come before you, Yahweh.
Give me understanding according to your word.
170 Let my supplication come before you.
Deliver me according to your word.
171 Let my lips utter praise,
for you teach me your statutes.
172 Let my tongue sing of your word,
for all your commandments are righteousness.
173 Let your hand be ready to help me,
for I have chosen your precepts.
174 I have longed for your salvation, Yahweh.
Your law is my delight.
175 Let my soul live, that I may praise you.
Let your ordinances help me.
176 I have gone astray like a lost sheep.
Seek your servant, for I don’t forget your commandments.
Consider the meaning of some of the words David uses above:
• God’s word (Ps. 119:169) – refers to that which is written down of the words and works of God.
• Statutes (Ps. 119:171) – from a Hebrew root word that means “to engrave”. It was common to engrave God’s law on stone. Might have referred to the 10 commandments.
• Commandments (Ps. 119:172) – in a deed of purchase for a plot of land, this word refers to the terms of the contract. It refers to the particular terms of God’s covenant with Israel. It is used for the 10 Commandments.
• Precepts (Ps 119:173) – general term for responsibilities God places on his people. Used 24x in the OT and only in Psalms. 22 of the 24 references are used in Psalm 119.
• Law (Ps. 119:174) – Hebrew word, “Torah”, refers to “teaching” and specifically the “wisdom teaching” of the book of Proverbs. Eventually connected to the teaching of the Law of Moses by the priests.
• Ordinances (Ps. 119:175) – used related to how government functions. Specifically it is God’s design for how governments should operate in justice and rightness. Government should reflect God’s character, holiness and justice.
What strikes you about the above definitions David uses for God’s word? Are you as surprised as I am how much of it refers to law and requirements? Responsibility and teaching? What does this tell you about the God we serve? Why would He be so focused on us obeying Him?
It seems so much of our church message today is gushy and love oriented. These are not bad things and they are biblical concepts BUT so much of today's reading is about performance and action. Maybe you think, “Well, that’s the Old Testament, they liked that stuff back then.” Unfortunately you cannot come to that conclusion. The truth is, that is YOUR God and He has a plan for those that claim His name.
Someone once said, “Teach a man WHAT to do and he will always have a job. Teach a man WHY to do and he will be the boss.” I am not sure we are well served to walk away from this passage and these definitions without asking the question, "why". Why does God expect so much from us? Why is there so much emphasis on doing right? Here are some thoughts:
1. To protect and provide for us. God is the ultimate Dad. He knows us and our propensity to sin/struggle. He knows what will make us most happy. Just like us with our kids, they do not always understand bur they are supposed to obey any way. We make the rules to protect and provide for them.
2. To show God that we love Him. Jesus said if we love Him we will obey Him. You cannot separate the two.
Worship God as you close your time. Thank Him for giving you life and being the ultimate Dad to you. Confess that you are a child and open to His lead. Confirm your willingness to listen and obey Him.
Choose one of the above definitions for God’s word, look at the verse it refers to in Psalm 119 and pray that verse back to God in dedication and devotion.
Have a great weekend and make sure to worship with God’s people.
DevoLink: Devotions to help you Link with God.