Tuesday, May 29, 2012

May 29, 2012 …. An Obsession With God’s Word

Passage of the Day: Reference of Today’s Chronological Bible Study: Psalm 119 … To study these chapters, go to this link
Passage of the Day: Reference of Today’s Chronological Bible Study: Psalm 119: 9-16 … To study these chapters, go to this link 
Passage of the Day: Reference of Today’s Chronological Bible Study: Psalm 119: 105-112 … To study these chapters, go to this link

Highlight Passage : Psalm 119: 9-11 9 How can a young person stay on the path of purity? By living according to your word. … 10 I seek you with all my heart; do not let me stray from your commands. … 11 I have hidden your word in my heart that I might not sin against you.
Highlight Passage #2: Psalm 119: 105-106 [NLT]105 Your word is a lamp for my feet, a light on my path. 106 I have taken an oath and confirmed it, that I will follow your righteous laws. 

My Journal for Today: And today in my chronological reading plan, I was led to read and meditate on one of the most powerful Psalms in our Bible, Psalm 119, the longest of the psalms [and the longest chapter in the Bible]; and one of the most poetic of the Bible songs, having been written as an acrostic, where the first letter of each stanza of eight verses is a letter of the 22 letter Hebrew alphabet. Therefore, 8 verses times 22 letters equals 176 verses, which is the length, in verses, of Psalm 119.

Long ago my mentor taught me of the tradition and supposed history of this psalm, possibly being written by Ezra, the priest, who reintroduced God’s word to God’s people after the walls and Temple were rebuilt, which is documented in Nehemiah 8: 1-12. Here, the remnant of Israel were gathered; and Ezra reintroduced the Book of the Law to the people. And hearing the word, especially with the help of the Levite teachers, God’s chosen were overwhelmed with joy and worshipped their Lord as they had not done in decades during their captivity by the Babylonians.

And so, I can just imagine Ezra, being captivated by the power of God’s word to bring God’s people back to Himself, then writing this beautiful and powerful song, which captured the compulsive love affair the author of Psalm 119 had with God’s word. And so, I really hope you’ve taken the time to read (or re-read) and meditate on this wonderful poem about the power of God’s word to reshape and guide the lives of believers. But today I’m going to highlight only two passages from this poem which express truths which are near and dear to me, personally, as well as to the mission and ministry purpose God has led me pursue in life, … Battle Plan Ministries, which, if you don’t know about, you can read about BPM at this link.

The second stanza of Psalm 119, the so-called “Beth” (2nd letter of the Hebrew alphabet) verses, declares a powerful prescription from God to help believers avoid sin in their lives. Is there any reader here today, declaring themselves to be “a Christian,” who doesn’t want do all we can to avoid our sin nature? Do I sense a strong “YES!” answer to that question? Well, if one is serious about being proactive to avoid sin, God gives his strategy – or “Battle Plan” as we’d call it in our ministry – to avoid our default to our sin nature; and that is investing the time and effort to get God’s word so deeply into our consciousness that this process gives us our one, strong weapon against sin and Satan; and that, of course is God’s word, the sword of the Spirit (see Ephesians 6: 17).

Hey, Jesus used this strategy to fight His arch enemy, Satan (see Matt. 4 and Luke 4); and I figure that if that battle strategy to avoid sin is good enough for Jesus, it’s good enough for me (and any believer!). I hope you agree, because Psalm 119: 9, 11 sings clearly that getting God’s word deeply into the heart (i.e., spiritual being) of any believer, even the immature disciple, is the way to glorify God by avoiding sin. Sure, Jesus (in Matthew 4 and Luke 4) was The Living Word; but we can wield the living word as our sword in battle when we live on and claim the sword of the Spirit.

The second passage to which I highlight any reader here today is the “Nun” segment of Psalm 119, which is Verses 105 – 112, especially highlighting verse 105-106, which I’ve copied above for my fellow seekers after truth. Here we see Ezra, or whomever authored this psalm, declaring that God’s word lights up the path of anyone who truly believes Scripture; and then, God uses His truth to guide that believer in life. And I hope you agree with this poet, and yours truly, that God’s word is truly a light unto our footsteps in life.

Often in ministry, I ask men, who are trying to walk through life with more direction, purity, and freedom from sin, if they’d rather be the first to walk through a minefield; or would they rather have a guide-map showing where al the mines are to avoid being wounded in making our way through the minefield we call life. … Duh!!! … The answer is a no-brainer, of course. And Psalm 119: 105 clearly states that God’s word is that path-finder through the minefields of life, lighting the way for us to walk through life without getting our emotional/spiritual “toes” blown away.

I hope you take in Psalm 119 in depth, my friend, … possibly doing a careful study of this powerful poem some day down the road. And I hope you let this Psalm guide you to get God’s word deeply into your heart and life so that it will become a light unto your path and a powerful weapon to avoid sin.

And as little Edith Ann [Lily Tomlin] used to say from her chair on Laugh-In (take 10 seconds to view her at this link) …

 “And ... THAT’S THE TRUTH!!”

My Prayer Today: … Lord, Your word is truth; and it always is a light unto my path and my sword in battle! Amen

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