Wednesday, November 12, 2014

Wednesday Devotional: Psalm 119.41-48 (Stanza ו)

   Pray and ask God for help with what you're going through today and tomorrow. Also ask Him to make you see the riches of this passage and how to apply it to your life.

   Abba, I love You! Yet, I'm not perfect. I sin. Forgive my sin today. Clean out my heart from foolishness. Purify my mind from selfishness. Open my eyes to see You for Who You really are, and Your Word today for what it really says! In Jesus' Name, Amen.

Passage: Psalm 119.41-48 (Stanza ו)
41   And may Your loyalties come to me, Yahweh,
       Your salvation according to Your promise!
42   And I will respond to the person shaming me in word,
       because I trust in Your Word.
43   And don't ever take away the message of truth from my mouth,
       because I wait for Your judgments.
44   And I will definitely obey Your instruction completely,
       for ever and ever
45   And I will definitely walk around in a wide area,
       because I pursue Your rules!
46   And I will definitely speak about Your statements before kings
       and I won't be ashamed.
47   And I will delight in Your commands,
       which I love!
48   And I will lift my hands to Your commands, which I love,
       and I will definitely study Your on laws!

   All the verses in this stanza begin with the word "and" in English, because the word for "and" in Hebrew is וְ, which is the only word in Hebrew that begins with the 6th letter of the Hebrew alphabet, the waw ו (pronounced vav).
   The structure of the stanza is more complicated. However, what is clear is that the last two verses of the stanza, vv.47-48, form some sort of conclusion section, because they are structured as a chiasm, which is a kind of poetic structuring device, where half of the statements mirror the other half of the statements. Sometimes, like here, the mirror has a focal point.
        A           I will delight in Your commands
             B         which I love
                  C        I will lift my hands to Your commands
             B'        which I love
        A'          I will definitely delight in Your laws
   The rest of the verses may form another chiasm, but is not as sure. The focal point of that chiasm would likely be "because I put my hope in Your judgment" from v.43.

   One thing that sticks out to me is how passionate the psalmist is about obeying God. He is also full of love for God's words, commands, and the like. He gets joy and pleasure from them, from knowing them and studying them. Learning and following the lifestyle Yahweh gives us in His Word is a way to show our love Yahweh, our God, rather than a way to earn His love.
   But a bigger theme that jumps out at me as look at the passage how sure the author is about the vindication and justice he will one day experience. He is certain that if God out of His loyalty saves him, that he will be able to face the people who are shaming him, he will be able to experience freedom, and that he will even be able to face kings without shame. Hope in Yahweh is powerful. It is not merely positive thinking, but it is the author's confidence in Yahweh to be the kind of God that Yahweh always was, is, and will be. Hope is powerful, not because we believe that circumstances will just change on their own, but because we worship and serve the God Who is faithful and loyal to His people. Yahweh will act. Our hope as Christians is based on the clearly proven fact that God does act.

    I need to really hope in God and allow that hope to empower and encourage me to endure when I'm dealing with frustrating people, people who are make my life difficult or ashamed. Hoping in the judgment of God frees me from having to take revenge.
    I need to really delight in the lifestyle God has given, not just take it on begrudgingly. What God has specified in His Word is something that I should love. I need to ask God continually for the right kind of attitude towards His Word.

    Lord, Yahweh my God, give me hope in You in the midst of trial and people who attack me. And give me right attitude and response towards Your Word, all of it! Make me enjoy the Bible more and more every day! In Jesus' Name, Amen.

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