In the first half of this second strophe of Psalm 119, we saw the psalmist’s desire to study Scripture, and the joy it brings. In this week’s passage, we can see four practical ways to put this into practice. Take a look at Psalm 119:13-16:
Studying Scripture is a key aspect of developing a vibrant and growing spiritual life. This means more than just a simple reading through of God’s Word, although that is a great start. But it is when we take that Word and really dig into it, studying it and even memorizing it, that we begin to see the full effect it can have on our growth.
In the first half of this stanza, the psalmist shared his desire for God’s Word, and the joy it offers. In the second half, these four verses, he gives four practical ways to implement God’s Word into our lives.
While there is some debate about how old the psalmist may be as he wrote this, one idea that seems to be likely is that this psalm is a sort of spiritual journal for King David. As such, it contains aspects of his spiritual growth through different periods of his life. In that case, these strophes at the beginning may represent his younger life, while those towards the end could have been written later in his life. I do not know if this is the case, but it certainly fits with much of this psalm’s structure.
In light of this possibility, it seems as if the psalmist, probably David, is writing to encourage young readers, maybe because he is young himself at this point. As he does so, he gives four simple and practical applications to inserting God’s Word into every area of our lives.
Remember, only others can stop you temporarily, but you are the only one who can do it permanently.
A few years ago, my son Titus and I spent the weekend at a father/son retreat at Lake Aurora Christian Camp. And it was pretty incredible.
We had some great experiences together. Titus and I first hit the waterfront and took a paddle-boat out onto the lake. It was pretty comical. Titus weighs significantly less than I do, so the paddle boat listed to the side pretty hard. Kinda made it hard to turn…
That evening after dinner, we had some game time, a campfire with singing, a devotion, and s’mores, and a hayride around the camp property.
Late night activities included dodge ball, capture the flag and other games.
The next morning, there was a great opportunity for father and son devotions together after breakfast. This was probably the most meaningful part of the weekend for me. Sharing in God’s Word with my son that morning is a memory I will cherish.
After our devotion time, we headed to the climbing tower. Titus successfully attempted to climb the medium difficulty wall. This is one of the proudest moments I’ve experienced with Titus. After all, he was only eight, and this was a pretty significant achievement for him. Once on top of the tower, he zip-lined down the eighty foot cable to the bottom.
Living In The Sacred Now (Eugene, OR: Harvest House Publishers, 2001)
This year, I am trying to ficus my life down and be more simplistic in what I do, to be more unhurried. And I learn best by reading, so I have gathered a list of books about rest, and Sabbath, and living unhurried, and biographies of those who have done so, to help me understand and achieve more of this in my own life.
One of the books I have decided to reread is Kim Thomas’ book, Living In The Sacred Now. This is a book with a series of very short chapters that are devotional in nature. She describes what it looks like to be immediately present in the moment, and not focused on what is behind, or what is to come.
I first read this about ten or twelve years ago, but I think it has a lot to offer for my thought process, especially in this area of my life. You may be interested in it as well. If this is an area you struggle in, I suggest you grab a copy and read it. You can’t get it from Amazon directly, but you can find it from several third party sellers there.
On this day in history: In 1845, Edgar Allan Poe’s poem, The Raven, was published for the first time in the New York Evening Mirror. In 1924, R. Taylor patented the ice cream cone rolling machine. And in 1936, the first members of major league baseball’s Hall of Fame were named in Cooperstown, NY.
Today Is National Bubble Wrap Appreciation Day!
You know what to do…
The Only Iced Coffee Maker You’ll Ever Need – Iced coffee is an excellent way to drink this incredible beverage. And this looks like a great way to make it. I may need to grab one of these and write a review over at Coffeelogical.
Workmen’s Cafe Overwhelmed With Customers After It Is Accidentally Awarded A Michelin Star – This happened a year ago, but it’s still humorous.
The Mysterious Rock Walls Of Rockwall, Texas – This is on my bucket list of places to visit some day…
Alpine Adventures – I love mountains. My favorite place on earth is out in the Rocky Mountains of Colorado, but I am fascinated with any mountains, really. This video shows the beauty of the Alps.
Beth, the second strophe of Psalm 119, begins with a very well known and oft quoted verse. Take a look at it for yourself in Psalm 119:9-12:
The most dominant theme that comes through in this second stanza is one of joy and praise. In these four verses, the psalmist writes about holding fast to the Word of God, and then ends with an exclamation of praise in verse 11. And where does this delight and joy find its source? In God’s Word.
This passage starts off with a simple question: How are we to live a holy life? How are we to keep ourselves pure? The answer is immediately given, and is found in living our lives in accordance with the Word of God.
As a youth minister, I cannot count the number of times I heard people say something to the effect of, “I want to enjoy my life while I am young. I’ll consider church and Christianity when I’m older.” But the psalmist reverses that, and says that the way to purity begins when we are young, or at least as young as we can possibly be. This does not discount the possibility of people coming to know God late in life, but rather states the principle that we need to turn to God now, before another moment goes by, as soon as possible. Or, as Hebrews 3 tells us, this is a decision to make today.
The next couple of verses show the lengths we are to go to in order to seek after God’s Word and make it a priority in our lives. Verse two tells us to seek it with all our hearts. Verse three states that we must hide it in our hearts. Doing so will have the effect of helping us not to stray, and helping us to avoid sin.
The last of the human freedoms is to choose one’s attitude in any given set of circumstances.
- Victor Frankl, survivor of a Nazi concentration camp