Thursday, December 11, 2014

Wednesday Devotional: Psalm 119.57-64 (Stanza ח)


    Spend some time praising God for His faithfulness. Confess your failures in faithfulness and receive His forgiveness. Ask for insight into His Word. All in Jesus' Name.

    Abba Father, You are so awesome and holy! You are in control of all and are to be glorified in all! There is no other God, Holy Triune Father! You are always so good to me. You are good to me even when I am so faulty in my own faithfulness to You. I should exalt You and trust You in all and for all and with all, but so often I fail. Forgive me, not because I am worthy, but because I trust in Your Son's death and resurrection for me! Fill me now with Your Spirit so that I can truly understand and apply Your Word! Enrich me with a greater knowledge of You! In Jesus' name, Amen.

Scripture: Psalm 119.57-64 (Stanza ח)
57   "Yahweh is My Portion" I say [to myself]
       in order to keep Your words!
58   I've begged You with all my heart!
       Be gracious to me according to Your promise!
59   I've thought long and hard about my ways,
       so I'll definitely return my feet to Your requirements!
60   I hurried and I didn't wait
       to obey Your commands!
61   The ropes of wicked people surround me!
       I don't forget Your instruction!
62   In the middle of the night I get up to praise You
       for the judgments of Your righteousness!
63   I'm a friend to all those who fear You
       and to the people who obey Your rules!
64   Your loyalty, Yahweh, fills the earth!
       Teach me Your laws!

   Psalm 119.57-64 is the next stanza, with each verse starting with the eighth letter of the Hebrew alphabet, hhet, ח. This section continues the saga of dealing with personal failures and external pressures coming from evil, arrogant people. The prayer/conversation with God continues here. The structure of this stanza seems to be framed by the Name Yahweh, which is the second word of both v.57 and v.64. Within that frame, which in v.57 focuses on the need for the psalmist to be committed to Yahweh and which in v.64 focuses on Yahweh's commitment to the psalmist, the stanza seems to break down into two subsections. The first is vv.57-60, which focuses on the repentance of the psalmist, while the second is vv.61-64, which focuses on the threat faced by the psalmist coming form evil people and the distinction between them and the psalmist.

   All of us at time wonder about how to stay faithful to God, how to make sure that we follow His Word. I am encouraged by v.57 because it gives us a method that we can use to achieve that objective, a method we can be sure was helpful to the psalmist. The method is remembering Who Yahweh is to us, remembering the place that God has/should have in our lives. The author had to remind himself that Yahweh was his portion. This was his way of saying that his God was all he really needed. Yahweh was his wealth. He is all he has. At the end of the day, it is God that makes his life worth living. It is God that has the highest value in his life. It is also a reminder that it is God that I am and always should be committed to. I do not have another God. I only have Yahweh as my God. and what an amazing God He is!
   I am also convicted by the psalmists example of true and committed repentance. He thinks deeply about his ways. Sometimes we can over-analyse our spiritual lives and cause ourselves real spiritual harm. However, it is just as harmful to never think about how we are living our lives. If we never look and see whether we are following Christ faithfully, we can never follow Him more fully. We can't adjust our lives without seeing what needs to change. But when the author did see what needed to be changed he begged for grace from God, recognizing his need of forgiveness and mercy. And perhaps more convictingly for me is that as soon as the psalmist sees what's wrong he doesn't wait to deal with it. He moves to obedience right away, not denial, not avoidance, but repentance and obedience.
   Lastly, I am blessed to see how committed God is to me. He is so faithful and loyal to me and to all those who trust in Christ that the author can say "Your loyalty fills the earth!" Yet, I am to be as committed to Him as He is to me. And so everyone who is on His side, I call a friend and ally. Sometimes we forget that Jesus is our King and that our connection and true allegiance to one another is because we have the same Lord and Savior Jesus Christ and the same Spirit of God living within us. But all of that works because Yahweh our God is so faithful.

   I need to remember that Yahweh is my God and that He is everything to me, so that I can more fully live for Him and obey His Word.
   I need to reflect on my life, request forgiveness, and then truly change my lifestyle to conform it to the pattern that Yahweh has given us.
   I need to praise God for His faithfulness as well as remain faithful in my commitment to Him, including my commitment to His people, even if they may be hard to deal with.


Abba, I love You! You are my God! There is no other God but You Yahweh! You are so faithful and forgiving! I love You and I praise You for that! You're awesome! Forgive me of my sin because of Christ, and empower me by Your Holy Spirit to truly and quickly repent. Help me to love Your people! I love You! Be glorified! In Jesus' Name, Amen!

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