Psalm 119 Here is a simple method for reading and pondering the words of scripture. Begin with a series of questions. For example, in the first stanza of 119, there are just eight verses. Try asking, as you read, some or all of these questions.
Follow this example:
What words are repeated?
What attribute of God is noted?
God has ordained His precepts; therefore, God is worthy of our praise, for He is a God of order and design for men.
Is there a contrast or a comparison noted?
Those who follow in God’s footsteps are blessed. In contrast, those who do not are shamed.
Which synonyms are given?
Precepts, ordinances, law, statutes, commands
Is there a result from the psalmist meditation that you could apply to your life?
No shame comes to those who focus on God’s commands.
Is there a command that I need to obey?
Learn God’s just regulations, keep God’s statutes
Is there a challenge given?
I will keep God’s statutes.
Is there a plea to God for some area of his life to which you can relate?
Do not abandon me; pray that my heart is predisposed or steadfastly directed towards knowing and applying God’s precepts.
Is there a verse that I can take with me all day today?
2Chron 1, 1Kings 3-4, Ps 72 There is a saying these days: what is on your bucket list or what is on your wish list.
Did you ever think God would want to know what is on yours?
After a very long day of celebration fitting for a new king, Solomon retired for the night and as he slept, had a dream. In the dream, he and God conversed about his wish list and what God should do for him. It is interesting that of all that Solomon could have asked for, he did not ask for riches or to conquer his enemies. Instead, Solomon’s mind was on how to govern wisely. Solomon asked God to give him wisdom and discernment to rule these people, for they were many. God was pleased with his request and told Solomon that He would honor his bucket list and also give him what he had not asked for: riches untold and honor surpassing any king before him.
When Jesus walked this earth, he often stopped to engage people in a dialog. He wanted to know what was on their hearts. Jesus didn’t ask them what they thought or how they felt. Instead, he asked them to tell him what was on their hearts, what was on their wish list. God used that same strategy in the dream he gave to Solomon.
If God would come to you and ask the same question, what would be on your wish list?
Psalm 119: Many of us have scores of Bibles at our fingertips, bookstores galore, and many different websites that offering different versions of the Bible. But, the early Israelites learned through oral recitation using the memory aid tool: “abecedaries,” just like children today learn their A-B-C’s in a sing-song fashion. All 176 verses of this psalm remind us of the steadfast love of God and His Word and mention the Word of God in nearly each stanza.
Martin Luther memorized this entire psalm, and as a monk, he followed the pattern to recite long passages of scripture. He found Psalm 119 was easy to memorize because of its sing-song pattern. What a great challenge for us! Just as the psalmist said, those who are blessed are blameless and obedient to the law of the Lord. They choose to observe God’s rules and seek Him with their whole heart.
The psalmist knew the principle of 2Tim 3:16 “All scripture is inspired by God and is profitable for teaching, reproof correction, and training in righteousness.” Take time to walk through each stanza for your edification so that you might know who God is and what He does through the hearts and minds of those who taste and see that the Lord is good.
“The God of Psalm 139 knows you. Do you know Him?”
From sunrise to sunset or when time began and is evermore before us, the psalmist reminds us through visual imagery that we serve an omnipresent, omnipotent, and omniscient God! Throughout scripture, different authors portray God as an eternal being aware of our being.
Hagar knew God as El Roi, the God who sees and cares about me. The gospel writers tell us that He is the Bread of Life upon which we may feed and the Living Water from which we may quench our spiritual thirst. The Apostle John wrote that He is and was Immanuel [God with us]. He was manifested in human form that we might understand God is Light and God is Love. [1John 1] He was revealed that we might desire His presence in our lives. Again He is the Good Shepherd that knows and calls his sheep by name yet is intimately acquainted with each one and as the Shepherd sees into the womb where a child is being woven as His perfect tapestry. God knows our mindset, ways, and thoughts, yet we cannot even begin to fathom His thoughts. So the psalmist asks: what is man that He should take notice of them.
Each day spend time with Him in His Word so you know Him as He knows you. Then rejoice in His presence! Seek Him to lead you step by step that you might honor Him.
Ps 108 “Beginning and Ending with God!”
How do you begin your day, with or without a time alone with God? How do you end your day? King David was both a morning person and also a night owl. Although busy with kingdom issues, David found time alone with God in reading and prayer. God was his priority no matter the kingdom or family issues before him.
David honored God by offering thanks to God before others. When we begin our time alone with God, can we say we are ready to hear from him, or are our minds so saturated with the busyness before us that we find it hard to focus? Are we able to rejoice in this truth from the lips of those we meet: they will realize this is your work and that you, Lord, have accomplished it.
Here’s a suggestion from a longtime favorite hymn of old:
When morning gilds the skies my heart awakening cries;
May Jesus Christ be praised!
Alike at work and prayer; to Jesus, I repair
May Jesus Christ be praised.
Like David, do we “repair” or turn to God for His answer to our dilemmas? It is in the quiet we can hear God’s voice. As you ponder who God is and think ahead, why not make a date with God for your time alone with him in the wee hours of the morning or the late-night hours of day’s end?
Psalm 6, 26, 40, 58, 61-62 with emphasis on Psalm 62 The author says in vs one, “For God alone, I patiently wait;” which emphasizes that he is in the mode of waiting patiently, and then in vs. five, it is as if he is preaching to himself — “Patiently wait for God alone, my soul!” Did he lose that patience?
And that is our life…
We waver, which James tells us not to do. If we waver, we will never receive our answer or we may have to wait longer for an answer from the Lord. “But he must ask in faith without doubting, for the one who doubts is like a wave of the sea, blown and tossed around by the wind. For that person must not suppose that he will receive anything from the Lord, since he is a double-minded individual, unstable in all his ways.” [James 1:6-7]
How often are we impatient and we do not “rest” in Him? Perhaps that is why we face more problems than solutions! Today choose to be patient in prayer.
Oh how family members become the ache in our hearts!! We have raised them the best we could, yet they stray so far from the values, beliefs, morals we taught them. When they practice folly, pride, lusts, and evil, our hearts are reminded of our own mistakes and regrets for wrong choices. Yet, though all of that can be understood as a human trait, the deepest heartache is watching your children walk away from the Lord! Thus, Absolom broke David’s heart.
How did David respond? He was crushed!!! This is when grey hairs, worry lines appear and vigor wanes. The one and only top-of-the-top desire of parents is for their children to love the Lord!!! Pray! Pray! Pray! God is God of all but reigns individually in the open hearts of people who put their faith in Him. He is still above and over the ache in our hearts for our children, regardless of their age. Trust Him with their lives.
Psalm 64 Whether a child or an adult, we are easily hurt by another’s words, which aim at the heart. We quote this ditty when challenged: “sticks and stones may break my bones, but words will never harm me.” But we know that is not true. Words hurt or words edify. David knew this all too well as he notes that his enemy ‘sharpens their tongues like swords; they aim their arrows, a slanderous charge.’
Words either edify or tear down. Words lift, and praise or words seek to destroy. Jesus said that the things that come out of the mouth originate in the heart. James reminds us that our tongue cannot be subdued; it is a restless evil, full of deadly poison. With it, we bless the Lord and Father, and with it, we curse people made in God’s image. Men face this problem. Perhaps that is why David challenged himself with these words: I will put a muzzle over my mouth, and again I will watch what I say for once words are said, they cannot be retrieved. But, also like David, we become impatient, wanting to speak our minds.
We would do well to memorize and apply Ephesians 4:29 “You must let no unwholesome word come out of your mouth, but only what is beneficial for the building up of the one in need, that it would give grace to those who hear.”
2Sam 7 & 1Chron 17 What do you do in the quiet of the moment? There is a lull now in the fighting due to the absence of Saul and his sons and David has conquered Jerusalem, making it his home. Like many of us, he sees his life passing before his eyes and realizes that although God has prospered him, he has an inner desire to do more–not for himself–but God before his days come to an end. Thus, in a time of peace, David began to see how the Tabernacle could become a permanent structure. God was pleased with David’s desire but did not allow David to build Him a permanent structure, for he was a man of war. “But God said unto me, Thou shalt not build a house for my name, because thou hastbeen a man of war, and hast shed blood.” [1Chr 28:3]
Even when God said no, God used Nathan to bring a message of hope to him. Your line will continue and prosper and not end as it did with Saul’s. David was overwhelmed and went and sat before the Lord to pray. Is that our attitude of humility? He is an example of how we are to respond when God says no.
How often do we cry out to the Lord; why not Lord? Or do we go in and sit before the Lord and just gaze into His eyes and yield ourselves totally to His will with a grateful heart?