Psalm 119:1-8(click here for todays passage)
If we are going to live the Bible we will need God’s help (5). We will be unable to do it in our own strength. It is good that we come to a place where we recognise this and cry out in our need. Someone said that the victorious Christian life is a series of new beginnings, and as we cultivate an appetite for God’s Word and feed on it, we give the Holy Spirit something to work with in our hearts. He then enables us to walk in God’s paths.
Psalm 119 is the longest psalm in the Bible. Essentially, it is a prayer written in praise of God’s Word. The writer of this psalm is not identified, but we do know that whoever he was, he was someone who was devoted to God and His Word. He makes clear throughout that God and His Word are inseparable. If we love God we will love His Word; and if we love God we will obey His Word (John 14:15, 21, 23.)
There is a fascinating feature in this Psalm. It has been written as an acrostic poem using all the letters of the Hebrew alphabet. It is divided into twenty-two sections, one for each of the twenty-two letters of the Hebrew Bible. All the lines in each section begin with the Hebrew letter associated with that section. Obviously, this is not something that we pick up in our English translations, but it’s an interesting detail. Furthermore, each section has eight verses, and to the Hebrew mind that represents abundance, ‘more than enough’. To the Biblical writers, the number 7 represented completeness. So the number 8 meant ‘more than completeness’ or ‘more than enough.’ By these poetic devices the psalmist further underlines the sufficiency of God’s Word.
‘’You’re blessed when you stay on course, walking steadily on the road revealed by GOD. You’re blessed when you follow his directions, doing your best to find him. That’s right – you don’t go off on your own; you walk straight along the road he set. You, GOD, prescribed the right way to live; now you expect us to live it. Oh, that my steps might be steady, keeping to the course you set; then I’d never have any regrets in comparing my life with your counsel.’’ The Message.
Seeking God is inseparable from His Word. At the end of the day we have to ask His help to both understand and obey it.
When I was at school, I loved English Literature, but I struggled with understanding some of Shakespeare’s language, even as I generally enjoyed his works. I’ve often thought, ‘Wouldn’t it have been wonderful if I could have had the Bard of Avon come and sit beside me in class and have him explain his books to me?’ When it comes to God’s Word, we not only have the Book, we also have the Author. We need to ask for help, and that help will be forthcoming. How blessed we are!
Prayer: Lord, you have given us a clear route. Help us to stay on your road and not get diverted.
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