Friday, August 29

Balm In The Psalm

The Rock's Golden Dome - Israel
Psalm 119:129-136

PE. “Thy testimonies are wonderful: therefore doth my soul keep them.” Psalm 119:29

I’m taking a break from Job, and basking in the Psalm portion of our scheduled Bible reading.

Apart from Psalm 119 being the “Devotional” Psalm, it is also the “Acrostic” Psalm. Each line of these Psalms begins with a suggestive letter of the 22-letters in the Hebrew alphabet.

During the 1990’s, being personally involved in the lives of Israeli Jews, I begun to learn Hebrew. I was reminded of how little I knew after visiting Israel twice, and staying with family members in Jerusalem (who are devout religious Jews), and could only speak Hebrew. A smile goes a long way, when you don’t know what to say!

Suffice to say, David was a Jew, as was Christ; and they both had a command of the Hebrew language. It is my firm understanding, that until we introduce Hebrew into our Bible reading schedule, we will miss the nuances through God’s beautiful Word.

PE – is the 17th letter in the Hebrew alphabet.

David was so affected by the Word of God – Vs.129
1. He admired God’s Word – Vs.129a “Thy testimonies are wonderful…”
2. He adhered to it – Vs.129b “…therefore doth my soul keep them.”

God’s Word is intended to give light (understanding) – Vs.130a “The entrance of thy words giveth light;”

I was delighted to find a correlation between this light in Vs.130 and the very first verses of the Bible. Without this light, the world is utterly in the dark.

As soon as the word of God enters into us and has a place in us, it enlightens us; we find we begin to see when we begin to study the Word of God.

God’s Word is intended to give understanding even to the simple – Vs.130b – “…it giveth understanding unto the simple [the deceived and easily persuaded].”

When Christ is formed in the soul, there is a gracious longing for God’s Word – Vs.131 reveals David’s desire toward the Word of God; “I opened my mouth, and panted: for I longed for thy commandments.”

During one of my visits to Israel, I drove from Jerusalem – Amman –Hebron (approximately 23-miles South of Jerusalem). The tomb of Abraham lies in the town centre of Hebron. The Dead Sea by Hebron is the lowest point on the planet - -411m below sea level. I drove through the Syrian Desert - with an armed driver!

As I watched the Bedouin farming their 3-blades of grass in such an unforgiving environment, I was overcome with thirst. They pant for a cool breeze, and that’s precisely how David is describing his desire toward the Word of God – “I opened my mouth, and panted…”

A request for God’s favor - Vs.132 “Look thou upon me,” His petition is humble; he is not asking for the operations of God's hand, only for the smiles of his face; a good look is enough! God is faithful to His promise.

Then David goes onto praying for two great spiritual blessings;
For direction in the paths of duty – Vs.33a “Order my steps in thy word…” As God leads me in the right way for everything in my life, let every step I take in that way be under the guidance of His grace.
For deliverance from the power of sin – Vs.33b “…and let not any iniquity have dominion over me.” I dread that sin would ever have dominion over me and so, I claim God’s promise in answer to my prayers – “For sin shall not have dominion over you: for ye are not under the law, but under grace.” Romans 6:14

A Quiet and Peaceable Life – Vs.134 “Deliver me from the oppression of man:” that he may serve God without fear.
We have little appreciation of how much of our virtue is due to our liberty! The oppression of man had made David an exile from his country, and banished him from the sanctuary of the Lord.

God’s Servant – Vs.135a “Make thy face to shine upon thy servant;”
Oppressors frown - God smiles.
They darken our life - but God shines upon us.

David craves for holiness – Vs.135b “and teach me thy statutes.” And…it’s a great position to be when we see our need of teaching.

Great Sorrow – Vs.136a “Rivers of waters run down mine eyes,” Where there is a gracious heart – there is a weeping eye. David had prayed for comfort in God's favor.

Godly Sorrow – He wept for the dishonor done to God – not for his own sorrows – Vs.136b “…because they keep not thy law.”

The Scriptures show us what we were, what we are, and what we shall be.

“It is a sign that we are not acquainted with God's testimonies, or do not understand them, if we do not admire them.” Matthew Henry

The more I study the Word of God, the more affected I am by heavenly things – learning the “truth” and “essence” of God’s precious Word.

I Love You,

1 comment:

Leanne said...

I first learned of reading the Psalms when I heard Dr. Evans teach years ago. Since then they have given me endless comfort, reminded me to allow God to control my life and my mouth and given me a sense of calm as soon as I start to read. They are a familiar comfort that I rely on often and it is amazing to me how I find the exact verse I need to find that comfort anew each reading.