Thursday, May 2, 2013

BETH - Psalm 119:9-16

A Devotional by Margot Cioccio

This portion of Psalm 119 is brought to you by the Hebrew letter Beth. Each section of 8 verses go along with a letter of the Hebrew alphabet. It is an acrostic poem in which each of the first words of pairs of verses starts with the letter of that section. Its hard to see and appreciate in English.

You can make one for your name like I have done with mine. I won't claim to be a poet but acrostic can help you to memorize. Perhaps you put your personal mission statement into an acrostic to help you remember it.

Make my life a prayer to you.
Arise I will at dawn to pray
Ready to dig into your word
Golden treasures hidden for those who care to seek
Out into my day I go with you by my side
There I am your hands and feet to love is your design.

I found some one reading today's portion of Psalm 119 in Hebrew.

How can a young man cleanse his way?
By taking heed according to Your word.
10 With my whole heart I have sought You;
Oh, let me not wander from Your commandments!
11 Your word I have hidden in my heart,
That I might not sin against You.
12 Blessed are You, O Lord!
Teach me Your statutes.
13 With my lips I have declared
All the judgments of Your mouth.
14 I have rejoiced in the way of Your testimonies,
As much as in all riches.
15 I will meditate on Your precepts,
And contemplate Your ways.
16 I will delight myself in Your statutes;
I will not forget Your word.

Here it is in the Message
How can a young person live a clean life?
    By carefully reading the map of your Word.
I’m single-minded in pursuit of you;
    don’t let me miss the road signs you’ve posted.
I’ve banked your promises in the vault of my heart
    so I won’t sin myself bankrupt.
Be blessed, God;
    train me in your ways of wise living.
I’ll transfer to my lips
    all the counsel that comes from your mouth;
I delight far more in what you tell me about living
    than in gathering a pile of riches.
I ponder every morsel of wisdom from you,
    I attentively watch how you’ve done it.
I relish everything you’ve told me of life,
    I won’t forget a word of it.

It is so easy to loose our way at times. We have so many voices and opinions trying to tell us what God's plan for our life is. Sadly most of those who are talking can't even figure out their own lives. 
God's word is our road map. He posts road signs long the way for us. Confirmations that we are heading the right way.

 I delight far more in what you tell me about living than in gathering a pile of riches.
Do you delight more in living His way than you do about gathering riches. Is he your provider? Does he know your address? Is his timing perfect? It is, yet so much of the time I can find myself fretting about such things. It is so easy for me to at times only see the here and now and to completely forget that there is a spiritual realm. We may feel insignificant and doubt our gifts and callings when all the time where the action is is in the spiritual realm. We wrestle not agains flesh and blood but agains powers and principalities and rulers of the air. We cast down imaginations and every thing that exalts it self above God.   

Be blessed, God; train me in your ways of wise living.  Help me Lord to silence the accuser. That enemy that roars and taunts. Help me to pick up those smooth stones from the river bed and go into battle knowing I might not be much to look at but I serve an awesome God. 

I’m single-minded in pursuit of you; don’t let me miss the road signs you’ve posted.
Sometimes we get ourselves in such a dither that we can recognize God's answer if it were standing in front of us staring in our face and tickling us with a feather. All we can see is our lack when what we should see is how great is our God.  Hagar in the desert completely misses the near by well because she is beside herself with grief thinking she will have to watch her son die. Its not like God went poof - theres a well. It was already there. She just could not see it.  Keep your eyes on Jesus, he is the author and finisher of our faith. He knows the end from the beginning and everything in between.

I ponder every morsel of wisdom from you, I attentively watch how you’ve done it.
Are you hungry enough to ponder each morsel of wisdom. What is God saying to you when you open His Word. How is the Holy Spirit teaching and training you. Are you attentively watching how God has done things and what is is doing presently? Or are you distracted by too many devices. It is important to un-plug from the amazing technology of our day. It is really cool but God is so much richer and so much more satisfying. 

With my lips I have declared All the judgments of Your mouth.
 Are you declaring the things of God. I know that my redeemer lives. I am loved and accepted, I am valuable and he calls me His beloved. I am the apple of His eye, He hides me in the shelter of his wings. When I walk through the fire I will not be burned, when the flood rises around me I will not be drowned. Fear not I am with you. He formed me in the secret place before I came to be He knew me.
I just wrote all of those from memory they are not word for word and I generally can't quote you chapter and verse. I have thought about His word, I sing his word, I read is word. It has saturated me and fills me it is my daily bread. 
Matthew 4:4
But He answered and said, “It is written, ‘Man shall not live by bread alone, but by every word that proceeds from the mouth of God.’”
Isaiah 43:2
When you pass through the waters, I will be with you; And through the rivers, they shall not overflow you. When you walk through the fire, you shall not be burned, Nor shall the flame scorch you.

Psalm 17
Show Your marvelous lovingkindness by Your right hand,
O You who save those who trust in You
From those who rise up against them.
8 Keep me as the apple of Your eye;
Hide me under the shadow of Your wings,
9 From the wicked who oppress me,
From my deadly enemies who surround me.

Job 19:25
For I know that my Redeemer lives, And He shall stand at last on the earth;

Ephesians 1:6
to the praise of the glory of His grace, by which He made us accepted in the Beloved.

Psalm 139:13
For You formed my inward parts; You covered me in my mother’s womb.

1 Corinthians 2:9
But as it is written: “Eye has not seen, nor ear heard, Nor have entered into the heart of man The things which God has prepared for those who love Him.”

Are you declaring the Word of God are you standing on it and believing that it is true. Are you able to rightly divide it and to correctly apply it to various situations? Do you remember it when you are in trouble? I don't have to go running around in a crisis to try and build up my faith. I come into it filled from eating daily at the Lord's table. When I find I am under attack I remind myslef that no weapon formed against me will prosper. When people are being mean and saying hurtful things I remeind myself that my fight is not with flesh and blood but with principalities and power and rulers of the air.
Most Christians are clueless that at times they have become a weapon in the enemies hands. I need to pray for that person to be delivered from the enemies clutches. I need to forgive them they don't know what they are doing. Thats what Jesus did on the cross.

Your word I have hidden in my heart, That I might not sin against You.

Even when I find myself in an identity crisis or questioning my path and examining my priorities. I do not loose sight that God is sovereign. He has not lapsed into a coma while sitting on his throne. He is active and participating in the lives of those who will invite him to come in and sup with Him.

I will delight myself in Your statutes; I will not forget Your word.
Are you delighting in the things of God or has it an obligation or a duty of sorts. 
I will delight in you and I will not forget your word. Thank you for writing it in my heart and mind. Should they some day confiscate all my bibles and my computer - His word will remain hidden in my heart.

We all have our ups and down. Times when we loose sight of who we are in Him. We all have times when the enemies roaring seems to drown out the truth. Times when we fall prey to the lies and the arrows. Times when we are broken and need to be healed. Through it all God's word remains constant.  He is faithful when we falter. He loves us just as much on our good days as on our bad days. You are precious to him.

How can you live a clean life, by staying connected to Jesus. Be nourished by his word. Drink from the sweet waters that flow from His presence.  I'm sure there is more to be minded from this portion of the word and perhaps you will share your insights.

Be blessed as you spend time delighting in His Word. May He help you to see that particular verse that speaks right to your present need. May you find new wonder and joy as you move through your day and may you know that He is near you and will never leave or forsake you.

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