Celebration of the Word | Psalm 119:1-16
Psalm 119. It’s the longest Psalm. The longest chapter in the Bible. 176 verses. Arranged in twenty-two eight verse segments, each line in each segment beginning with the same letter in Hebrew (each line in verses 1-8 begins with the Hebrew letter aleph, each line in verses 9-16 begins with the Hebrew letter bet, and so forth). Each line a celebration of the Word. The Bible, it seems is either a book you love or hate – or that you simply ignore. It’s a book that you either relate to deeply or one that alienates you just as deeply. Or perhaps, for some of us, both. Perched to dive into the Old Testament, we pause not to critically evaluate this ancient divine community library or to defend it against its detractors. We will simply extend an invitation to pause and allow ourselves to hear an ancient voice extolling, line by line, the value of the Word in his life. Know that this voice spoke originally to an audience that was mostly illiterate, that had to rely on song and story and memory, that had to hear the rhythms of voice that turned statutes into their songs in the night. I’m inviting you to hear this voice, to take these words into your own mouth and hear them afresh through your own voice, and to see what this does in you, what you hear, what you learn. Two sections a day. It won’t quite get you through half of the Psalm, but perhaps it will make you hungry for the rest. This will be your reflect and receive each day. No other comments from the peanut gallery. Just hear the song. I’ll be using Peterson’s Message translation. I like how he sings the song. Read aloud. Enter the rhythms. Hear the Voice.
You’re blessed when you stay on course,
walking steadily on the road revealed by God.
You’re blessed when you follow his directions,
doing your best to find him.
That’s right—you don’t go off on your own;
you walk straight along the road he set.
You, God, prescribed the right way to live;
now you expect us to live it.
Oh, that my steps might be steady,
keeping to the course you set;
Then I’d never have any regrets
in comparing my life with your counsel.
I thank you for speaking straight from your heart;
I learn the pattern of your righteous ways.
I’m going to do what you tell me to do;
don’t ever walk off and leave me.
How can a young person live a clean life?
By carefully reading the map of your Word.
I’m single-minded in pursuit of you;
don’t let me miss the road signs you’ve posted.
I’ve banked your promises in the vault of my heart
so I won’t sin myself bankrupt.
Be blessed, God;
train me in your ways of wise living.
I’ll transfer to my lips
all the counsel that comes from your mouth;
I delight far more in what you tell me about living
than in gathering a pile of riches.
I ponder every morsel of wisdom from you,
I attentively watch how you’ve done it.
I relish everything you’ve told me of life,
I won’t forget a word of it. Psalm 119:1-16 | MSG
Which line from today’s reading from Psalm 119 really speaks to your heart? Why?
Lord, give me the grace to ponder every morsel of wisdom from you, to relish everything that you have and will tell me of life. Transfer your wisdom not merely to my lips but to my walk. Through Jesus.
For all of this week’s resources for this new series on Spiritual Disciplines including this week’s DG video, check out the Vineyard website.