Our daughter recently completed a half marathon. She has been competing in this particular event for the last 8 years. Each year the finishers medal is shaped like the piece of a puzzle. When she completed the race this year she was able to join the pieces together and the puzzle was also complete.
That’s how I feel about the verses we have been studying in Psalm 119. Each segment is building upon the last. We are almost finished and each day, piece by piece, we are beginning to see the completed picture. A picture of trust, God’s word does not fail!
After reading through this morning’s verses, I began to imagine what it must have been like for David to “Study” the word. All that was written of the Bible during his time was Genesis through Deuteronomy, Joshua, maybe part of Judges, Psalm 90 and Job.
Now I love Genesis, Exodus, parts of Deuteronomy and Joshua but find it a bit more difficult to get through Leviticus, Numbers and Job. So when David says he got up early and stayed awake at night to think on God’s word, I wonder where he spent most of his time? I’m sure he spent time in Leviticus, the book filled with the laws God gave, because he, David, was always talking about “thy laws”. And he probably spent time in Numbers; being a military man how many could be called to battle when needed. As a king, ruling over a vast nation, I’m sure he spent time studying the geographic divisions in Joshua so that he would know the borders of the lands allotted to each of the tribes and also know the enemy nations that they had been commanded to drive out.
And as he studied, I’m sure his heart was stirred to praise and give glory and honor to his God. I’m sure that’s how the Psalms were written. That’s really important! When you read something in the Word that speaks to you personally, take time to pause and review it over and over, let it sink in to your heart and create a stirring in soul, let it renew your mind, giving you God’s thoughts to replace those of your own. And when the word sinks in, it will take root and begin to grow, just like a seed (hmm, I think I remember Jesus teaching about something like that), and it will bring a harvest of fruit in your life. And when it takes hold it becomes so real, it brings a time of praise to God, that He would share something so precious, so marvelous with you and make it real to you.
“Lord, I call to you with all my heart. Answer me, and I will obey your laws. 146 I call to you. Save me, and I will obey your rules. 147 I get up early in the morning to pray to you. I trust what you say. 148 Late into the night I stay awake to think about your word. 149 I know your love is true, so listen to me. Lord, you always do what is right, so let me live. 150 Here come those who have evil plans to hurt me. They live far away from your teachings. 151 But you are near me, Lord, and all your commands can be trusted. 152 Long ago, I learned from your rules that you made them to last forever.” Psalm 119:145-152
Recently I had opportunity to look at some physical circumstances that didn’t appear to be too pleasant. In fact, they could have been downright discouraging if I had allowed them to be but you know what God brought to my heart? Psalm 112 – the righteous man’s Psalm – and I refused to let my heart be afraid over evil tidings and had it firmly fixed on God’s word. Then instead of fear, faith came! God’s word is sure and certain, every other thing – circumstance or report, is subject to change. God’s word stands forever. His promises will not fail; written thousands of years ago they contain the same God-breathed power today that they had at their penning.
“We never give up. Our bodies are gradually dying, but we ourselves are being made stronger each day. 17 These little troubles are getting us ready for an eternal glory that will make all our troubles seem like nothing. 18 Things that are seen don’t last forever, but things that are not seen are eternal. That’s why we keep our minds on the things that cannot be seen.” II Corinthians 4:16-18
I am sure that David was fully acquainted with Moses writings to the children of Israel and that is why he made it his life’s goal to know God’s word and keep it close. Once again, using my imagination, I can see King David up early this morning and reading…
“11 “This command that I give you today is not too hard for you. It is not a secret hidden in some far away land. 12 This command is not in heaven so that you should say, ‘Who will go up to heaven for us and bring it to us, so that we can hear and do it?’ 13 This command is not on the other side of the sea so that you should say, ‘Who will go across the sea for us and bring it to us, so that we can hear it and do it?’ 14 No, the word is very near to you. It is in your mouth and in your heart. So you can obey it.
15 “Today I have given you a choice between life and death, success and disaster. 16 I command you today to love the Lord your God. I command you to follow him and to obey his commands, laws, and rules. Then you will live, and your nation will grow larger. And the Lord your God will bless you in the land that you are entering to take for your own. 17 But if you turn away from your God and refuse to listen, if you are led away to worship and serve other gods, 18 you will be destroyed. I am warning you today, if you turn away from God, you will not live long in that land across the Jordan River that you are ready to enter and take for your own.
19 “Today I am giving you a choice of two ways. And I ask heaven and earth to be witnesses of your choice. You can choose life or death. The first choice will bring a blessing. The other choice will bring a curse. So choose life! Then you and your children will live. 20 You must love the Lord your God and obey shim. Never leave him, because he is your life. And he will give you a long life in the land that he, the Lord, promised to give to your ancestors—Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob.” Deuteronomy 30:11-20
This day – today – let the Word of God bring you life and blessings!!!