Wednesday, October 15, 2014

Wednesday Devotional: Psalm 119.9-16 (Stanza ב)

Take some time to pray that God would open your heart, mind, and life to His Word. 
Abba, reveal to us the riches of Your Word, and give us the passion to pursue You by reading it wholeheartedly today filled with the Holy Spirit! In Jesus' Name, Amen.

Scripture: Psalm 119.9-16 (Stanza ב)
9    How can a young man make his path pure
      i.e. keeping [it] in line with Your Word?
10  With all my heart I pursueYou!
      Don't lead me away from Your commands!
11  I hide Your promise in my heart, 
      so that I don't sin against You!
12  You are Blessed, Yahweh!
      Teach me Your laws!
13  With my lips I tell all about 
      all the judgments of Your mouth!
14  In the path of Your pronouncements I rejoice--
      like [I rejoice] over all wealth!
15  On Your decisions I meditate!
      and I think about Your ways!
16  In Your laws I take pleasure
      I don't forget Your word!

   Psalm 119 continues with another 8 verses that all start with the second letter of the Hebrew alphabet, bet, ב. This section also seems to function almost as the second part of the intro for the chapter. There are lots of different terms for God's communication to us in these verse, sometimes in laws, other times in promises, and other times in speech. The question of the passage is how we response and think about God's communication to us. Also, the concept of following after God is found here, with talk about ways and paths. Before Peter followed Jesus and left his net, the poet of this psalm was following Yahweh. Jesus is Yahweh, so following Him has always been a part of what true believers in Yahweh have done. 

   Spend some time for yourselves to read and meditate on these 8 verses. Pray through the passage and enjoy some personal time with God, and maybe think about or write down some of your own reflects on the passage before you read mine. 

   The first thing that really jumps out at me is, ironically, not the psalmists question of how he can make his life pure. As much as I can honestly say living a holy and pure life before God is hard, especially if I think about all the raging hormones that we all fight, I didn't resonate emotional with the question, although I have been talking with God lately about how hard purity is. Instead, my heart left at the words "I pursue you with all my heart!" Pursuing God with all my heart is what I long to do, it is in many ways all my life is about. I love God. I long to pursue Him, to seek Him to chase Him down and grab Him and never let Him go. I'm been pursuing Him, at this point, as long as I can remember, by His grace. But how much more I long to pursue Him with greater zeal and greater faithfulness. And since my whole life has been one of chasing Him down, I can sympathize with the psalmist who adds "Don't lead me astray." It is a place of supreme trust, following Yahweh, and we honestly recognize that He is the One Who keeps us faithful. 
   Joy in God's ways and words is one other area that really jumps out at me. I think how much this guy loves and enjoys all the things that God has say and even commanded. Sometimes, we think of commands as great burdens, especially in our culture. Yet, it is amazing that this guys sees them as a place of supreme joy, as things that make him smile, and that in a way give his life meaning. He enjoys them as much as being rich. How amazing. Many of us think about getting rich, or about how much happiness we would have if we only had more wealth. Yet, this passage reminds me that in fact, I have far greater riches and joy that satisfies as much as riches, if not more, not in physical possessions but in the communications of God to us. The more I reflect on them the more joy I have. And the truth is, that in my walk with God, walking with Him and learning His ways and His Word has always given me supreme joy. 


So, I might suggest that we pursue God and follow Him more and more, making that desire paramount. 

I also think that we should consider that we are already more deeply and freely rich than human and temporary wealth can offer. Only God can give me joy in despair, no amount of money can do that. Only God's word can comfort me and give me hope, money never can. we should start seeing ourselves as rich in God's word, and start taking deep joy in His communication to us!

Abba, You are Good, and Your Word and Ways are good! Give us great delight in learning and reading and thinking about them! O God, don't let us turn to thinking about money and being rich as the way we make ourselves feel better or feel happy, but instead turn us to You! Make us pursue You, don't make us go astray! You are Sovereign give us ultimate delight in You through reflection on Your Word! Make reading the Bible more of a joy for us than blowing a bunch of money at the mall! We love You in Jesus' Name, Amen. 

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