P119C – Days 129-134
This weekend I will be attending the Women of Faith Conference and will likely not have a chance to write. In keeping with our goal of finishing the P119C by the end of October, I am posting the verses for yesterday through Monday, September 19.
“Your testimonies are wonderful;
Therefore my soul keeps them.
The entrance of Your words gives light;
It gives understanding to the simple.
I opened my mouth and panted,
For I longed for Your commandments.
Look upon me and be merciful to me,
As Your custom is toward those who love Your name.
Direct my steps by Your word,
And let no iniquity have dominion over me.
Redeem me from the oppression of man,
That I may keep Your precepts.”
- Psalm 119:129-134
Point to Ponder:
The Ausbury Bible Commentary’s entry on the Hokmah, or Didactic Songs, of which Psalm 119 is part, reads:
While the Gospel of Jesus rejects all distortions of…devotion that set obedience to the law in itself as of any consequence to salvation, the spirit of this piety surely finds echo in the Christian’s all-consuming quest “to know Christ and the power of his resurrection and the fellowship of his sufferings, becoming like him in his death, and so, somehow, to attain to the resurrection from the dead” (Phil. 3:10).
The word didactic points to something that is intended to teach, particularly in having moral instruction as an ulterior motive. In this set of verses, I see two distinct lessons that are to be taken away from the reading. If we divide the set in half, concentrating first upon verses 129-131, we see that God’s Word:
1. Pierces the soul.
2. Sheds light.
3. Tastes good.
I think of this in terms of watching my one-and-a-half year old niece Riley (who isn’t my biological niece, but we’re all related by Christ’s blood anyway) eating a s’more last night. When her mother handed her the delicious treat, she wasn’t entirely sure what to do with it. She was more focused on getting her chubby little legs pointed and going in directions that were forbidden. Then, she took a bite. Understanding spread across her petite features in a pure “aha!” moment. This is good. I should eat this. I want more!
We don’t appreciate God or His truth until we allow ourselves to come to the place of being pierced. The Gospel is not human-friendly in the sense that we are not cast in a particularly good light. We flail about, stubborn and awkward, desperately needing a Savior. Until we let go of the illusion that we can somehow fix and save ourselves, we hate God. We push Him away. If, however, we come to grips with reality, He breaks open our souls. Light floods into the dark places. It is good – and we want more!
The lesson here? Once is never enough. God’s Word is a rich feast of many courses.
In verses 132-134, we see:
1. Look upon me.
2. Direct me.
3. Redeem me.
This is how the Gospel is very human-friendly. God saves. Not only does God save, He wants to save. Let that concept blow your mind. He doesn’t notice us or help us simply because He is obligated to do so. No; He delights in relationship with us. To put it quite plainly, He adores you. He woos you. He draws you in tenderly with cords of love.
The lesson here? As God loves, God enables.
Taken together, we see that the Bible, that fat book that so easily intimidates or frustrates, is one of the greatest blessings the Lord could ever have given to us. We ache for His mercy, struggle to break free of sin’s grip and seek the safety of His presence in a haunted world. We’ll not find answers or hope without turning to the Word that is alive and active via the ministry of the Spirit.
I have not read my Bible today. I have let other things be more important than communing with God and learning from Him. I don’t know what your day has been like, but let’s be sure, together, to turn to the only real source of truth.
Grace and peace to you,