B90X “The Word” Psalm 119 Feb. 10, 2013 CRBC PM
For my own part, I have never ceased to rejoice that God has appointed me to such an office.
People talk of the sacrifice I have made in spending so much of my life in Africa.
Can that be called a sacrifice which is simply paid back as a small part of a great debt owing to our God, which we can never repay?
Is that a sacrifice which brings its own blest reward in healthful activity, the consciousness of doing good, peace of mind, and a bright hope of a glorious destiny hereafter?
Away with the word in such a view, and with such a thought! It is emphatically no sacrifice. Say rather it is a privilege.
Anxiety, sickness, suffering, or danger, now and then, with a foregoing of the common conveniences and charities of this life, may make us pause, and cause the spirit to waver, and the soul to sink; but let this only be for a moment. All these are nothing when compared with the glory which shall be revealed in and for us.
I never made a sacrifice.
- African missionary David Livingstone, Cambridge University, December 4, 1857.
On some of the fourteeners there at little plastic tubes with caps on the ends and a small cable securing the tube to the summit.
If there is a tube, after unscrewing the cap, one typically finds a rolled up log book and a pen. Or sometimes a pencil that looks like a marmot or caged mouse has chewed on the end exposing the lead.
Sometimes the log is in good order with lots of clean pages. Other times, it looks water logged, rotten, wind torn, full, or so dilapidated that scrawling ones name legibly is nearly impossible.
Picture of Ryan writing in one on top of Sunlight or Windom.
There is a place for the date, ones name, town of origin, and a comment column.
I completely ignore this type of request for information and, if indeed there was a tube and log would write, “The Heaven declare the Glory of God, the skies proclaim the work of his hands.” Psalm 19:1
For those of you somewhat on track with B90X at some point this past week or soon, you will have or will read Psalm 19. As I read that a few days ago I was reminded of the quote I write on top of every 14er in Colorado. The heavens do declare the Glory of the Lord!
Then in reading abit further in that psalm David speaks of his great joy, delight, love, and respect for the word of God. It goes like this: Read through Psalm 19:7-11.
When one heads up towards the Maroon Bells outside of Aspen, the view that anyone from a toddler to a grandpa in a wheelchair can have is stunning.
Show picture of Maroon Bells. And sign.
“Do not attempt climb if not qualified.”
Read remaining verbiage on sign.
Look at v. 11 again. That sign in front of the Bells is kind of like the Bible. In the stories are lessons.
“How do you read the Bible?” How do you view it in your life? Is it important? Do you see it as a bunch of warnings? Do you see it as a killjoy? Do you see it as narrow focused and myopic?
Or do you see it like David?
Reviving the soul.
Making the simple wise.
Bringing joy to your heart.
Giving light to your eyes.
In thinking about what the Bible is to me, all the words involved and the blessing they bring, I ran to Psalm 119. Go with me there please.
Psalm 119 is an expansion of Psalm 19:7-9. Psalm 119 is the equivalent of the Amplified Bible of today on steroids, performance enhancing drugs, and growth hormones times 10.
Psalm 119 may be my favorite chapter in all of the Bible. If I had to tear one page of my Bible out and keep that one forever, it may indeed be this one. Well, maybe four pages.
It is the most glorious work of literary genius in all the Bible. It is 176 verses all about the words, decrees, laws, promises, and commands of our Father.
Here is what C.S. Lewis said about Psalm 119, “It is not, and does not pretend to be, a sudden outpouring of the heart… It is a pattern, a thing done like embroidery, stitch by stitch, through long, quiet hours, for love of the subject and for the delight in leisurely, disciplined craftsmanship.”
Let’s look at it ever so briefly- in its unique acrostic format Psalm 119 conveys all of the following and more:
What the Word of God is.
What the Word of God does for us and to us.
How we should walk (do life) in light of the Word.
The benefits of knowing the Word.
The fruit of walking (living life) in the Truth of the Word.
Psalm 119 is a poem called an acrostic. This does not mean that the last words in each line rhyme, instead it means that the first letter of each stanza begins with the same letter.
Look at the first 8 verses. Above it there is a symbol and the word Aleph. Show pictures of Hebrew Bible.
There are 22 letters in the Hebrew Aleph-Beth, all shown in your Bible with 8 verses in each stanza.
There are 8 words that show up at least 22 times:
decrees, commands, law (s), precepts, promises, ways, and word.
If you have an NIV, it would appear that five verses do not contain any one of the eight words, but in fact 121 is ok. So 84, 90, 122, and 132 don’t have one of those Hebrew words.
This Bible is an amazing book. It is so fun. It is awe-inspiring. It is captivating.
I love it.
Really quick, what are all these words:
1. Law- torah. Law has a broad meaning and a narrow meaning. Broadly speaking it refers to any instruction flowing from the revelation of God as the basis for life and action. In the narrow sense it is the Ten commandments, the Priestly law, Torah specific. So sometimes it will say law and can go either way.
2. Word- dabar. This is any spoken word that comes out of the mouth of God. So could be the law above, any word from a prophet. Interesting thing about this word, dabar, it can also mean “name” which has a twinge or reputation attached to it.
3. Statutes- this word’s root is in witness or testimony. The two tablets of testimony, the ark of the testimony. The observance of the statutes signifies loyalty to the terms of the covenant between the Lord and Israel.
4. Commands- this is more specific to the laws, the covenant.
5. Decrees- means engrave or inscribe. So this refers to something set in stone that is not changeable.
6. Precepts- Similar to commands and decrees.
7. Promises- imrah, sometimes is translated as word. But refers to any spoken word which is a promise which proceeds out of the mouth of God.
Some points on the chapter that are life to me:
- Except for vv. 1-4 and 13, 72, 88, 115, and 138, what one word precedes all of our words? Your!
a. Not mine
b. No human. Is. 55:8 God speaking, “For my thoughts are not your thoughts, neither are your ways my ways.”
c. Not arbitrary.
Instead they are:
c. directional- 172 of the 176 vs. are directed towards Father.
2. There is “delight” in the word of God. This “delight” word is used 105x in the entire Bible. In Psalms used 28 times- 26% of all uses, in 119 used 9 times- 32% of Psalms. Not drudgery.
3. “I will” is found 18 times in Ps 119. Nearly every time it is associated with obedience. It is important to obey every word of God.
4. Praying through Psalm 119. I pray through different verses. Sometimes I pray from beginning to end. Using each verse to trigger thoughts on how to pray.
Specifically- the word “word.” Go through a couple of those.
V. 9, 11, 89, 105
Let’s see if there is time to go through some other features of Ps. 119.
Finally to close, I want you to think about this statement-
Love for God’s word is a love for God. 16, 47, 70.
Love for God emanates form hearing his voice in his word. Listening to Him.
If you have ever experienced the hatred that can come from hearing someones voice- the same thing can happen with Father. You hear his voice and totally ignore it, or hate the sound of it, or purposely disobey all that he says.
Pray for a hunger and a thirst for spiritual things.
Refreshing and outpouring.
Love for God and Love for the word.