Wednesday, November 5, 2014

Wednesday Devotional: Psalm 119.33-40 (Stanza ה)

   Pray and ask God to make you understand the passage and direct you in how to live it by the Holy Spirit in Jesus' Name.

   Abba, please open my eyes to see the wonders of Your Word. I want to know You more and live more fully for You. I want to follow Christ and do Your work by the Holy Spirit. Give me the ability to truly understand this passage and grow because of it. In Jesus' Name, Amen.

Passage: Psalm 119.33-40 (Stanza ה)
33   Make me know, Yahweh, the path of Your rules,
       and I will keep it to the end.
34   Make me understand,
       and I will definitely keep Your teaching,
       and I will follow it with all my heart!
35   Make me walk on the path of Your commands,
       because I enjoy it!
36   Make my heart turn toward Your statements,
       and not toward profit gotten by evil actions
37   Make my eyes go away from seeing worthlessness
       Make me alive on Your path!
38   Make Your promise sure for Your slave,
       which results in You being feared.
39   Make my shame, which I fear, go away,
       because Your judgments are good!
40   Look at me! I long for Your requirements!
       Make me alive in Your righteousness!

   The psalmist continues with the theme of wanting to follow Yahweh's way of life, living a lifestyle shaped by what God has said, decided, and commanded. However, he also mentions again the ominous threatening presence of shame, this time admitting in v.38 that the shame he is facing is scaring him. It is more than he can handle. The shame may have to do with the profit obtained by wrongdoing, but it is unclear whether the psalmist is mentioning it as the motivator of those shaming him, or if he has struggled with giving in to that sin in the past and is perhaps now having to bear the consequences of it.
    As far as the structure of this stanza is concerned, it is interesting that every single verse opens with a direct request for action. In fact, all the first 7 verses use the same verb form, which indicates that the psalmist wants God to cause something to happen, not just do something, but to make the request a reality. That makes v.40 stick out, because it opens with a different kind of verb. Other than that, it is hard to break the stanza down into subsections, but there does appear to be some slight cohesion between the last four verses, since v.37 and v.40 both end with the same phrase which serves to bracket those verses off to themselves a bit.

   To me the big thing that jumps out at me in this passage is just how desperate and dependent the author is on God. He literally begs God to act in ever single verse, sometimes more than once a verse! He needs God to act, and I think that I need to really embrace that kind of desperation in my relationship with God at times. But is is his desperation to know God's word and then live it that only compounds this impression. Am I as desperate as the psalmist to know God's Word and live it out?
   Yet, it also strikes me that this guys is really coming to God with his struggles in view. He recognizes that he needs help to overcome the temptation to profit at the expense of others. He also needs help to continue to feel sure and confident in God's promises and stay on God's way of life. He has fears and shame that he can't handle. I feel like I need to make sure I keep going to God with everything going on in my life, that I wouldn't hold back but really spread out my problems in front of God and desperately ask Him to act.
   Lastly, I am struck by how much life itself is wrapped up in following and obey God, in knowing and clinging to God's Word. Following God is always the only way to both experience true life.

    I need to be utterly and at times desperately dependent on God.
    I need to continue to go to Yahweh with everything I'm going through, trusting Him to act.
    I need to beg God for a deeper love of His Word and a greater faithfulness in living it out.
    I need to reframe my mind to seeing life through the lens of true life, i.e. knowing and following God.

    God, You're really are my everything! I need You! I'm desperately in need, so desperate that only You can truly help! O God, give me a deeper love for Your Word and a greater ability and consistency in living for You! Make me think of life more in terms of You being my life. There is know life apart from You, despite how lifelike it may at times appear. You know what I need You to do, to make happen, so make it happen! DO IT! FOR YOUR GLORY! I can't make happen the impossibilities set before, but You CAN! So do what You've got to do, and make me faithful to do the work You've called me to do! In Jesus' Name, Amen!

No comments:

Post a Comment