Friday, November 12, 2010

FEEDING ON THE WORD - PSALM 119

The first impression I got when I started reading this Psalm was that of an attempt to stay away from "shame".  The shame of missing a command, law, or statute that the LORD had given to His people. 

"Blessed are they whose ways are blameless, who walk according to the law of the LORD.  Blessed are they who keep his statutes and seek him with all their heart.  They do nothing wrong; they walk in his ways.  You have laid down precepts that are to be fully obeyed.  Oh, that my ways were steadfast in obeying your decrees!  Then I would not be put to shame when I consider all your commands." (vv.1-6)

We should all know by now that there is only one person that has not missed fulfilling a command, law, or statute in history - Jesus of Nazareth.  However, this Psalm goes on to describe how one can "keep his way pure" and the answer is found in verse 9.

"How can a young man keep his way pure?  By living according to your word."

For the Jews the Law was extensive to say the least.  I have enough trouble with "Love thy neighbor as thyself." (Lev. 19:18)  But Judaism had hundreds of laws and commands to have to follow.  It is no wonder that scattered throughout the remainder of this chapter of Psalm 119 we have instances of cries for understanding.  I can empathize with these verses.

"Let me understand the teaching of your precepts; then I will meditate on your wonders." (v.27)

"Your hands made me and formed me; give me understanding to learn your commands." (v.73)

"I am your servant; give me discernment that I may understand your statutes." (v.125)

So many times I lack in this area and so many times the Holy Spirit says, "Jump back into my word."
His Word also states to associate with those of like kind - "those who fear you[God]" and have put God's word in their heart.

"May those who fear you rejoice when they see me, for I have put my hope in your word." (v.74)

It is always good to have confirmation from the Holy Spirit as we read His Word and from fellow believers as we bounce ideas and experiences off of each other - as iron sharpens iron.  And speaking of confirmation and good words, the following verses are passages that speak to the goodness and benefit of His Word within this chapter.

"At midnight I rise to give you thanks for your righteous laws." (v.62) (Interesting time he picked)

"Your word, O LORD, is eternal; it stands firm in the heavens.  Your faithfulness continues through all generations; you established the earth, and it endures.  Your laws endure to this day, for all things serve you." (v.89-91)

"...you yourself have taught me.  How sweet are your words to my taste, sweeter than honey to my mouth!  I gain understanding from your precepts; therefore I hate every wrong path." (vv.102-104)

"Your word is a lamp to my feet and a light for my path." (v.105)

"You are my refuge and my shield; I have put my hope in your word." (v.114) (What a declaration!)

Some, if not all, of these verses could stand alone and teach or preach a sermon on any given Sunday.  However, it is this whole Psalm and key verses and points, by the teaching of the Holy Spirit, that lead me to understand His Word even more.

If you desire to live a pure life the best you can, stay plugged into His Word, The Bible and plugged into His people too.  Scripture will give you God's instructions, directions, and guidance you are looking for on a daily basis.  I had a bad habit of waiting around for bad things to happen before running to the Word and seeking out His advice.  That is not living.  It sure is not living the abundant life that Jesus says we can have in Him, with Him, and through Him.  And we get that pure life, again, that abundant living by "feeding on the Word" daily, SO THAT we can do whatever He says for us to do.