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27 entries from April 2020

"Make me understand!"

Psalm 119.27 Make me understand the way of your precepts, and I will meditate on your wondrous works. 

When meeting the many challenges in life, David prays a prayer that we need to pray over and over again: "Make me understand!" He asked to be able understand in both verses 12 and 18. We encounter things in life that we do not understand. The situation is not always the way we expected. Maybe our dreams were too big or unrealistic? Or maybe the challenges we face are part of the training to help us fulfill our dreams?

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To be somebody is drinking deeply of the Spirit

To be somebody is drinking deeply of the Spirit

being immersed in the Life-giving One

being soaked in the new wine

being taken by the Holy Wind

to rise up with soaring wings like eagles

and carried away from the self-centred life

To be somebody

Is to be taken out of oneself

Becoming part of something greater

Living for a higher cause

Relating to other persons

Interacting with kindred spirits

Through the Spirit of Life

Whom you are constantly drinking of

Acknowledging our sin brings inner health

Psalm 119.26 When I told of my ways, you answered me; teach me your statutes! 

I told you about my path. I acknowledged my sin for you. Openly, I confessed to you everything I did. I told you all my ways. And you answered me!

An open confession is good for the soul. Acknowledging our sins brings inner health. It is not good to keep quiet and only struggle with our own thoughts. When we keep it all inside; our dishonesty devastate our inner lives. Then we are filled with frustration, irrepressible anguish, and misery. When we ponder and strive with heavy thoughts about something stupid we have said or done, we waste away. Then we become paralyzed. Then we lose our energy and courage. When we loudly and clearly confess our sin to God and do not cover our iniquity, then God answers and that changes everything.

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Pressed against the dust

Daleth is the fourth letter of the Hebrew alphabet. All the next eight verses begin with this letter corresponding to D in our alphabet. It seems that David is having a hard time and is depressed in this section of eight daleth verses.

Psalm 119.25 My soul clings to the dust; give me life according to your word! 

There is a rather drastic portrayal David give us in the first sentence: "My soul lies in the dust", "my soul is depressed", "I lie pressed against the dust"! “I am close to death!” He is not doing well. Life is difficult. He lies prostrate in the dust and is pressed down. There is not much honour and royal reverence in this situation he is currently in.

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To be somebody is living in the sacred garden of covenant

To be somebody

is to live a life of consistent commitment

to let friendship and love grow

to become beautiful flowers

in the sacred garden of covenant

It is to allow the early buds

of encouragement and excitement

turn into full bloom

- as a foretaste of heaven

When your friendship is too costly

to be expressed in words

then the future is yours

to explore the beauty of covenant living

To be somebody

is to be adventurous enough

to dare to explore the depths of covenant love

Following God's counsel is the safest thing we can do 

Psalm 119.24 Your testimonies are my delight; they are my counselors.

This verse is the last one to begin with the Hebrew letter gimel. In the first verse we found a prayer for life in abundance. Then we have seen that the psalmist faced many challenges in his life. It was not easy for him to handle the adversity and negativity he met. Therefore, I think the way he ends this section is extraordinarily great.

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What to do when people are plotting against you?

 Psalm 119.23 Even though princes sit plotting against me, your servant will meditate on your statutes.

It is a fantastic attitude David express in what he says here. He shows us who has the highest priority with him. When the officers and leaders sit and talk negatively about him, it is not important for him to defend himself. What is important to him is to give the Word the right place in his mind.

David is not in an easy situation when he writes this verse. The chieftains are sitting and conspiring against him. Important leaders sit together and talk negatively about him. The princes are plotting against him. He faces great adversity and a lot of negativity. In the former verse he met  scorn and contempt, but now it is even worse. He is opposed by great men, chiefs, powerful officers and princes.

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Take away from me scorn and contempt

Psalm 119:22 Take away from me scorn and contempt, for I have kept your testimonies.

David asks for grace to be saved from ridicule and contempt. He obviously doesn't like to be looked down upon. He wants, as we all do, to be respected for who he is and for what he believes in. He knows of bitter experience, that it is not always so.

We can face scorn and contempt for at least two reasons. Atheists or people who hate God will despise those who believe in God. When we are God's friends, the world quickly becomes our enemy. When we love God and His words, we must expect to be mocked and ridiculed in various ways. We can carry this mockery with a raised head, for it is really directed at God. Then it is an honour for us to suffer for his name.

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God's displeasure rests with those who think they know everything

Psalm 119:21 You rebuke the insolent, accursed ones, who wander from your commandments. 

Earlier in this Psalm we have seen that the psalmist has an humble and teaCHable attitude. He longs for God and wants to gain insight into his commandments that he can live according to God's will. He is filled with joyful confidence in the Word of God. He bows to the judgments of the Lord and will obey his precepts. He is meditating on the blessings of obeying the law of the Lord.

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Consumed by irresistible longings and holy cravings

Psalm 119,20 My soul is consumed with longing for your rules at all times.

That's a strong word David uses when he says, "I am consumed day and night!" "My soul is broken!" (NB). He is eaten up on the inside. He is crushed. He loses his powers. He feels like hs is perishing. It is not external adversity or difficulties in life that stifle his strength and powers, it is his own length.

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I am a stranger in this world

Psalm 119.19 I am a sojourner on the earth; hide not your commandments from me! 

David starts this verse by putting words on who he is. He is a guest on earth. He is a pilgrim. He is a sojourner. He doesn't have his home here. He belongs to another city and is on his way home. So are we. It is the same position we are in, whatever status we have, or how well we succeed in life, we will always feel like alien on earth. We do not have our lasting home in this world, for our eternal and permanent abode lies in the coming age. When the earth is recreated and everything in heaven and on earth have been brought together into one under the dominion of Jesus Christ, then we will no longer be alienated.

It is the secular culture and prevailing philosophies that make Christians feel alienated in the world. What is politically correct in our time is often on a collision course with what is right, true and good for us who hold on to the Bible as God's Word.

It is this feeling of not belonging, feeling of being a stranger, feeling of being an outsider on earth that makes us cry out to God: "Do not hide your commandments from us!" We are being squeezed on all corners, but have our footing in the revelation of the word of God. We need to live in revelation. We need new light in the Word every single day. We need the safe feeling of being led by God's commandments. We need a constant reminder of the promises associated with living in accordance with the law of the Lord. We must find comfort and joy in the Word of God.

As an alien on earth, we need open communication with our right home. As pilgrims and friends of God, we need to hear the living words that come out of the mouth of God. The Bible is God's letter of love to us. We pray that we always may hear the glorious voice of our dear bridegroom through what we read in the Bible.

“My life on earth is so brief, so tutor me in the ways of your wisdom.” (TPT)

Open my eyes!

Psalm 119.18 Open my eyes, that I may behold wondrous things out of your law.

This prayer is perhaps the secret of David’s appreciation of the word of God. He prays that God must open the eyes of his heart to a spiritual understanding and insight. God's law is full of wonderful things, but it is not always easy for the human eye to grasp it. Therefore, we need to pray the prayer for revelation that David prays in this verse.

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Give your servant plenty

We can put, life in abundance, as heading over the next eight verses that all start with the letter gimel. We gain this life through prayer and faithfully adhering to the Word of God.



Psalm 119.17 Deal bountifully with your servant, that I may live and keep your word.

David starts this section with a heartfelt prayer: Do good to your servant. He does not come with a claim, because he has no reason or right to demand anything from God. But he can turn to God in humble prayer. This is something we can all do. We can come before God with our passionate and heartfelt prayers.

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I will delight in God's law

Psalm 119.16 I will delight in your statutes; I will not forget your word.

David finishes the eight verses that start with beth in a wonderful way. This essence is largely about the joy he finds in the word of God. Now he tells how he rejoices in God's statutes. He says that he finds joy in all the laws of God and does not want to forget to walk in his words.

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I will meditate on the word of God and walk on his path

Psalm 119.15 I will meditate on your precepts and fix my eyes on your ways.

David tells us what he wants to continue to do. He wants to meditate on the Lord's command and fix his gaze on his path. It is not something he is planning to do, but something he will continue to do. He loves the Word of God and takes it seriously. Therefore, he meditate on the Lord's precepts to be able to understand them and live according to them. This word, precepts, is a strongly commanding word and is always used in this psalm in plural. In other words, David says that he will meditate upon all the commandments of the Lord and think carefully through all that God has said. He wants to fix his eyes on the Lord's path to learn to walk on them.

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I delight in walking by your testimonies.

Psalm 119.14 In the way of your testimonies I delight as much as in all riches.

We meet a wonderful attitude of heart in this verse. The focus is on God's law or testimony. The psalmist says that God's Word shows him how to live and that he finds great joy in living the Word. He uses strong words: "I delight, I rejoice, I find the supreme happiness in your statutes! I delight in walking by your testimonies." He actually says that he finds greater joy in following what God says than in all the riches of the world.

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I speak continually of your laws

Psalm 119:13 With my lips I declare all the rules of your mouth. 

In this verse we find a content and satisfied tone. David tells of how he has built up and encouraged God's people with what he himself had learned from God's law. This is something he has done in daily life in his conversations with people. This is something he's doing all the time. He says he likes to say what the Word of God says. This is not a quiet process in his heart, but he does it with his lips. He quotes the word of God aloud, both for himself and for others to the hear what God's law says.

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Teach me the life-changing powers of your precepts!

Psalm 119:12 Blessed are you, O Lord; teach me your statutes!

Blessed are you, Lord! The psalmist is personal when he says, "you, O Lord," and he is full of admiration and worship. You are marvelous, Lord, who has given us such good and glorious law. That law testifies about how loving and caring you are. This law shows us your glorious and holy character. Your law is good, holy and spiritual, so we worship and praise you who have given us your life-giving words.

Blessed are you, O Lord! This is some of the best we can say both about God and to God. When we use this term, we say that he is perfect, that he is worthy of worship and praise.

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I consider your prophecies to be my greatest treasure 

Psalm 119.11 I have stored up your word in my heart, that I might not sin against you.

This is also a word that has followed me from my youth. I have experienced what the psalmist is talking about. Therefore, I have written this truth in one of the first pages of my Bible: This book will keep you away from sin, or sin will keep you away from this book. There is a deep truth to this.

When we store God's Word deeply in our hearts, we will be led and motivated by the Word to do what is right and good and to avoid that which is sin. With the Word of God in our hearts, we will be aware of what God wants to do for us and through us. When the word of God dwells in our hearts, we will know God's will and be able to choose the right path when we have to make choices.

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