Saturday, March 31, 2012

Psalm 119:161-176

161 Powerful people attack me unjustly, but I respect your law.
162 How happy I am because of your promises
- as happy as someone who finds rich treasure.
163 I hate and detest all lies, but I love your law.
164 Seven times each day I thank you for your righteous judgments.
165 Those who love your law have perfect security,
and there is nothing that can make them fall.
166 I wait for you to save me, Lord, and I do what you command.
167 I obey your teachings;
I love them with all my heart.
168 I obey your commands and your instructions;
you see everything I do.
169 Let my cry for help reach you, Lord!
Give me understanding, as you have promised.
170 Listen to my prayer, and save me according to your promise!
171 I will always praise you, because you teach me your laws.
172 I will sing about your law, because your commands are just.
173 Always be ready to help me, because I follow your commands.
174 How I long for your saving help, O Lord! I find happiness in your law.
175 Give me life, so that I may praise you; may your instructions help me.
176 I wander about like a lost sheep;
so come and look for me, your servant,
because I have not neglected your laws.
Psalm 119:161-176

In Jesus' day, the first portion of scripture children memorized was Psalm 119. As each stanza began with a letter of the alphabet, the children not only learned their letters, they learned God’s Word.

Few parents, Sunday school teachers, or youth leaders teach children Psalm 119 today. How different our lives and our children’s lives would be if we/they memorized Psalm 119 along with the Lord's Prayer, the 23rd Psalm and the Ten Commandments. The Word of God would be much more significant in our lives. We would hold greater respect for God’s Word and would possess an inner reminder of the value and consequences of obedience.

Living the Christian life in obedience to God’s Word is the result of giving our will totally over to Christ. But often we get caught up in the whirlwind of life around us. If we will focus our heart and soul on Christ and His perfect Word, as David did in Psalm 119, we will find ourselves on solid footing. God gives us His Word to help us on the path he has called us to travel. Everything we need to know and understand about who God is, who we really are, and how we can receive salvation through Jesus Christ, is found within the pages of our Bible. We are left in absolute awe that God cares so much for us, a selfish and ungrateful people.

As we read and re-read Psalm 119, let us pray that we will not forget the commandments of God, but will love them and, by the grace of God, live a life of obedience to our Lord.

The psalmist reiterates how much he loves God’s Word. He has also proven that his love isn’t just words. He has followed God’s commands and lived as he should; he has respected and obeyed God’s law; he has learned and paid attention to God’s instructions; he has trusted in and counted on God’s promises; he has praised and thanked God for His Word.

Questions to consider:

In Psalm 119 the psalmist states ten times that he loves God’s Word. Can you find all ten?

Verse 174 says the psalmist is homesick for God’s salvation. What about God and the Christian life are you homesick for?

If you were to write a devotional about God’s Word, what would be your basic premise? What would be your hook to open your devotional? What supporting scripture would you choose?

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