I shall give thanks to You with uprightness of heart,
When I learn Your righteous judgments.
I shall keep Your statutes;
Do not forsake me utterly! -Psalm 119:7-8, NASB 1995
-There is a natural response to learning God's judgments.
-God's judgments are always right.
-There is a fear that God will abandon the psalmist to his sin.
There are some very interesting sand dunes in the world. They look like any other, but something special happens on occasion. Ken and I visited this one in Nevada for the second time hoping to hear it sing, but alas there was not a bit of wind.
There are only about 35 locations around the world that produce this phenomena. While the exact cause remains a mystery it is believed that the sand has to be a certain shape and size, needs to contain silica, and have just the right humidity.
What I love about today's verses is the recognition that on our own we are lacking. When we add God's statutes to the mix then we are able to truly sing. God's righteousness is more than just a bunch of rules and regulations for us to follow. To live according to God's righteousness means that I do not accept sin as a way of life. I learn to replace my desires to lie, cheat, steal, etc. I learn to put others needs above my own. I learn to love as Christ loves us.
That word "learn" in verse 7 is a key word. God does not just set us loose without direction. He has given us a guide for the right way to live our lives. It is up to us to learn it. But we cannot succeed in living it apart from God. Thus the psalmists plea that God not utterly forsake him. We have no hope apart from God. Thanks be to God He has provided the way for us to live voctoriously. Remember all of our recent lessons from Philippians? Thanks be to God that He chose not to forsake us, to leave us to pay the pirce for our sin, but gave us the way out through His Son Jesus Christ. Becuase I have confessed Jesus as my Lord, God is already at work perfecting me. A dear sister in Christ told me yesterday that she was getting better every day; that should be my answer as well. How am I doing with standing firm in the faith...better every day.
Christ lives in me and that sets me apart. There is so much mystery wrapped up in that. So much that I cannot yet explain, do not yet understand. I am just like one of those sand dunes that has something special that allows it to sing. That something that sets it apart from other sand dunes. How blessed I am to be able to say with the psalmist that I will give thanks to God with uprightness of heart...He does indeed make my heart sing.
Grace, Peace, and Mercy,
Oh, that my ways may be established
To keep Your statutes!
Then I shall not be ashamed
When I look upon all Your commandments. -Psalm 119:5-6, NASB
-if only it were a way of life for me to follow God's way rather than mine...then I would never be ashamed of anything I have done
Well, that seems pretty straightforward. I looked up the word "established" and found it to be rather convicting. I came across the following:
-to put (someone or something) in a position, role, etc., that will last for a long time. -
-to make firm or stable
-to put on a firm basis
-to put into a favorable position
-to put beyond doubt
-to begin or create (something that is meant to last a long time)
Synonyms for established include:
-entrenched, settled, traditional, fixed, ingrained, rooted, secure, set, stable, vested, deep-rooted, permanent, unshakable.
That paints a pretty good picture of what the psalmist is saying here. When I read these verses it comes across to me almost as a plea, "Oh, if only I would make Your ways the unshakable ways of my life. If I would just walk in them I would never be put to shame; I would never cringe when I came to read Your words, Your commandments."
I was reading a little bit about the Puritans and how they meditated on Scripture. That word "meditation" has taken on a lot of different meanings over the years. For the Christian it can only mean one thing: we meditate on God's Word. It is not an emptying of our minds in order to hear something divine. Rather, it is a filling of our minds with the sweet words found in our Bibles. It is coming to sit with those words and consider them, and pray for understanding of them, then pray that we allow those words to change us into the women God intends us to be. That kind of meditation is truly transforming and the only kind that the Christian should engage in.
Look at the photo I posted. When you step outside at night and look up into the sky you may see a star or two shining bright. If you live somewhere in the country as I do then as your eyes adjust you may even see the milky way and marvel at all the stars you can see across the night sky. Now if you have an amazing telescope at your disposal, look at the view you can get. If all I do is let my Bible sit on its shelf or coffee table it is just as when I first step outside at night. Perhaps I hear a good sermon or pick it up and do a l little reading. I see a little more, maybe even a "milky way" type view. But when I take time to sit with a couple of verses my understanding truly grows beyond anything I could have imagined. It is like I have focused that telescope on a particular part of the sky and can see more than I could have imagined. And the amazing thing? There is still more out there to see, still more beyond our current capability. I truly believe that I could continue to read my Bible everyday for the rest of my life and only get a glimpse of all that it contains. The depths of its riches are far beyond my imagining. I can read the same verses year after year and still I learn more, I see that which I did not the previous year.
So let us be a people who meditate on God's words. Let us be a people who establish our ways upon the words we find in our Bibles so that we will have nothing to be ashamed of. May our journey be as rich and beautiful as the universe God has created. May He give us eyes to see deep into the "hidden things."
Grace, Peace, and Mercy,
I am a woman with a Mary heart and these are my musings as I read and study God's Word
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