For anyone just joining this study we are looking at the longest Psalm in the Bible. Psalm 119. It is an acrostic poem divided into 22 sections with each section starting with a letter of the Hebrew alphabet.
One can't really see the beauty of the acrostic construction because of translations but it would be as if I were to write a poem each day praising God. On the first day the letter would be "A"
Always Lord I will seek you.
Already I have put my hope and faith in you.
Answer me when I call for you are faithful.
Arise in your splender and might
The acrostic would then continue through the letters of the alphabet. I've included a video of the verses being read in Hebrew. For me hearing it in Hebrew is much like smelling the ancient, earthy, old leather smell of Nard, the fragrance poured on Jesus prior to the crucifixion. It smells to me of Jesus and these words carry that ancient sound, and although I don't directly understand the language they are like the music of the Lord's language being spoken in my presence. The resonate with a beauty and a reminder that the things of God are much richer and fuller than my limited understanding is often able to conceive. For me it is a nice touch that grounds me to an ancient past that contains a beautiful and rich story that you and I have been invited to partake.
Psalm 119:89-96 (The Voice)
The Hebrew letter "Lamedh"
89 Forever, O Eternal One, Your word stands in heaven, firm and resolute.
90 Your faithfulness endures to every generation; You founded the earth, and it remains.
91 Everything remains today in keeping with Your laws, for all things exist to serve You.
92 If I had not found joy in Your guidance, then I would have died from my misery.
93 I will never forget Your precepts, for through them You have given me life.
94 I belong to You, Lord; save me because I have taken care to live by Your principles.
95 The wicked lie in wait, anxious to kill me; I will set my mind on Your statutes.
96 I have seen the limit of all perfection, but Your commands are all-encompassing.
Forever, O Eternal One, Your word stands in heaven, firm and resolute.
God spoke and created.... and we are made in His image. We are to declare the praises of Him who called us out of darkness and into His glorious light. His word stands firm and resolute, our God is not wishy washy. He is the same yesterday, today and tomorrow. We are to proclaim His truths to this generation but that does not mean we need to be all stuffy. We are to be alive in Him. Full of life that is abundant because He knows us intimately and loves us each beyond measure. His word gives us foundations and boundaries to joyously create and live full lives for His glory and pleasure. As an artist I like some structure, it gives me a frame work that helps me understand how I fit into the creative process. Boundaries and guidelines are not limiting but allow me the freedom to explore, imagine, to create. It is like the child who plays freely and happily in their own yard. The boundaries are not to limit their fun and creativity but to keep them safe and protected. As my children have gotten older their boundaries have increased as they have become more responsible and able to handle more. When they were little and started to get anxious and fussy I knew that their world had gotten too big too fast for them. So we would move back to those familiar and safe surroundings and they would toddle off happily to play. I am thankful that the Word of God stands firm and resolute giving me a wonderful environment to explore and enjoy.
Your faithfulness endures to every generation; You founded the earth, and it remains.
Christianity did not start with my generation. There have been many generations of faithful people who loved and served the Lord before I even drew my first breath. He has been faithful to them and I hear their stories and I am encouraged that as He was faithful to them He will be faithful to you and I.
Everything remains today in keeping with Your laws, for all things exist to serve You.
I read this and I am reminded of Job 38 where God questions Job and his understanding of creation. I've just shared verses 22-30 but the rest of it is equally inspiring.
“Have you entered the storehouses of the snow
or seen the storehouses of the hail,
23 which I reserve for times of trouble,
for days of war and battle?
24 What is the way to the place where the lightning is dispersed,
or the place where the east winds are scattered over the earth?
25 Who cuts a channel for the torrents of rain,
and a path for the thunderstorm,
26 to water a land where no one lives,
an uninhabited desert,
27 to satisfy a desolate wasteland
and make it sprout with grass?
28 Does the rain have a father?
Who fathers the drops of dew?
29 From whose womb comes the ice?
Who gives birth to the frost from the heavens
30 when the waters become hard as stone,
when the surface of the deep is frozen?
If I had not found joy in Your guidance, then I would have died from my misery.
I will never forget Your precepts, for through them You have given me life.
There is joy and peace in His guidance but you have to seek Him and you have to step out of the crazy rat race and the ternary of the urgent to pause, to meet with the Lord, to listen to His voice. We have filled our lives with so many distractions it is a wonder that we can hear our own flesh and blood family members. They too often are shoved aside in our busyness and the Lord is often pushed even further back in the mix. He leads me beside still waters, He restores my soul... Sadly if you are just off doing your own thing you may not be hearing the shepherd who would love to lead you.
I belong to You, Lord; save me because I have taken care to live by Your principles.
The wicked lie in wait, anxious to kill me; I will set my mind on Your statutes.
I belong to You. Acts 17:28 says ‘For in him we live and move and have our being.
Yes there are bad and wicked things that seem at times to lie in wait to get us. I love the choice the psalmist makes at this point. He says I will set my mind on Your statutes. We have to decide what we will focus on. Will it be on fear that paralyzes and sucks the life out of us, or will we turn our eyes to Jesus the author and finisher of our faith. I could break out into Vegi tales chorus "God is bigger than the boogy man, He's bigger than Godzilla or the monsters on TV - Yes God is bigger than the boogy man and He's watching over you and me." So here it is for those of you who might have missed this little gem. http://youtu.be/3Jd4qnxj7D0
I have seen the limit of all perfection, but Your commands are all-encompassing.
I like this verse from the Amplified Bible.
Psalm 119:96 (AMP)
96 I have seen that everything [human] has its limits and end [no matter how extensive, noble, and excellent]; but Your commandment is exceedingly broad and extends without limits [into eternity].
What ever you are facing it is not to big for God. The other side of the coin is that you may feel your concerns are not big enough to bother God with. What God wants is for you to know His love. To see that no matter how big or small your concern my be, that you don't have to handle it on your own. He won't just barge in and take over, He waits to be invited to share life with you.