…Lingering on the Sunday Message… 10/18/09

October 21, 2009

General

Psalm 119:1-8, Aleph

1  Blessed are the undefiled in the way, who walk in the law of the LORD.
2 Blessed are they that keep his testimonies, and that seek him with the whole heart. 
3 They also do no iniquity: they walk in his ways.
4 Thou hast commanded us to keep thy precepts diligently.
5 O that my ways were directed to keep thy statutes!
6 Then shall I not be ashamed, when I have respect unto all thy commandments.
7 I will praise thee with uprightness of heart, when I shall have learned thy righteous judgments.
8 I will keep thy statutes: O forsake me not utterly.

I would imagine this Psalm to be depicted beautifully in the original Hebrew.  These eight verses combine to illuminate four essential aspects of the Christian life.  Verses 1 & 2 speak of the Happiness of blessedness and how to obtain it.  Verses 3 & 4 illustrate a call to Holiness.  Five and six are descriptive of a repentant Humility before God.  Finally, 7 & 8 show the Honor in worshiping God rightly.

Looking closer, we also see the general theme of this Psalm, the Word of God, described within each verse.  And, each verse employs a different word that describes an aspect of God’s Word. 

  1. Law – Directives
  2. Testimonies – Disclosures ( of Himself)
  3. Ways – Directions (Guidance)
  4. Precepts – Deposits
  5. Statutes – Decrees
  6. Commandments – Demands
  7. Judgements – Decisions (Verdicts on all of life’s aspects)

After this we notice progressions; from ‘The Way’ to ‘His Way’ to ‘My Ways’.  Also, the Psalmist, who begins in the third person, gradually makes the song personal by going to the first person plural before finally ending in the first person singular with the use of the word”I”.  God has established the path; called us to walk therein; and gives us an understanding of our position before Him.

Finally we noticed the word “keep”.  Mentioned four times in this stanza, ‘keep’ can be resolved to three states; Protection, preservation (heeding warnings), and performance (observing and obeying).  Furthermore, ‘keeping’, throughout scripture has been used metaphorically in many colorful ways. 

  1. Keeping a garden;  The Word of God is the Husbandman of our heart.
  2. Keeping a flock;  Speaking of Christ, the Incarnate Word, being the Shepard of our souls.
  3. Keeping a house;  Being the head of a household, responsibility for what enters in.

All of this, clearly, speaks volumes about the need to rightly yield the sword of scripture.  It is immensely important to always be reading and gleaning and memorizing verses.  It is the way, the only way, that Christ speaks to us.  And when we pray, we speak back with him.  It is this sweet give and take that establishes our faith.  And if we memorize scripture, we can have this give and take anywhere; receiving guidance and direction from the Lord as we walk in His ways.

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