Hello friends! I hope you’ve had a great week in God’s Word as you’ve read through Psalm 119. As we mentioned last week, each section of Psalm 119 begins with a letter of the Hebrew alphabet. It’s an acrostic. This week we will be reading and writing out the first two letters, Aleph and Beth.
Psalm 119:1-16 — Aleph & Beth
Here are a few thoughts that the Lord brought to mind as I wrote out these verses.
I noticed in the first 11 verses it was all about ways and walks and wanderings. It’s speaks to what brings about a blessed life.
We learn the one who walks in the ways of the Lord is:
- do no wrong
- not put to shame
We learn the Word of God in our lives does the following for us:
- directs our way
- protects from sin
- guides us
- guards us (literally this word in the original language means “to put a hedge around”)
- makes us steadfast
- keeps our way pure
- brings joy and an attitude of praise
In contrast, we learn that when we…
- fail to seek the Lord with our whole hearts
- fail to store His Word in our minds
- fail to obey His Word
- fail to make His Word a priority in our lives
…we become wanderers.
At times we become wanderers because we are seeking to go our own way—apart from the Lord. At times we are wanderers because we are seeking satisfaction and contentment in life through the things of this world. At times we are wanderers because we are seeking to find answers and solutions to life’s circumstances through our own power and abilities. The Bible identifies all of these as sin—seeking to live a life (or a part of your life) apart from God. I’ve been a wanderer and it’s not fun. It’s stressful. It’s unsettling. Our wandering places lack peace and contentment. Lately, I’ve been seeking direction and purpose in some areas of my life. I’ve been asking the Lord, “what’s next”? I’ve been confused and discouraged at times because I want the answer now. I want to make things happen. Instead I’m in that holding pattern, waiting. It’s interesting how closely wandering and waiting play out in our lives. They both cause us to slow our pace. There are no quick answers.
One of my favorite hymns is Come Thou Fount of Every Blessing. It speaks of the heart that is prone to wander and I can so readily identify. But God will use our wandering seasons for our good and His glory. He will use our wandering to reveal areas where our hearts and lives are not aligned with His. It’s a refining season as we learn to wait upon the Lord, to know Him in new ways as He draws us close and shapes our hearts through His Word. God wants to move us to a place of wonder! We move from wandering and waiting to wonder as we become watchful in the Word of God and in prayer. Instead of seeking answers or the quickest route out, we can experience the wonder of His presence, His peace, His power and His joy as He works—if we are willing to seek and trust Him.
Psalm 119:1-16 speaks of the “blessed” one who lives a life characterized by peace, contentment and joy. Psalm 119:1-16 describes this person as steadfast, courageous and full of joy and delight.
- I want to be steadfast, even if I don’t have the answers to the direction for this season of my life.
- I want to be courageous, even if I don’t know what God has planned next.
- I want to walk about in a spirit of rejoicing and praise, rather than grumbling and complaining.
This passage confirmed for me that continuing to make God’s Word a priority, to store it up in my heart and mind, and to meditate upon it throughout my day is the answer.
This I know…
God’s Word is living and active, energizing and powerful, sharper than any two-edge sword, even to the dividing of joint and marrow, soul and spirit and it judges the thoughts and intentions of my heart. It brings me great joy!
What about you, are you wandering or waiting and watchful in the Word of God each day?
I’ll close with one of my favorite hymns. It reminds me that as a Jesus follower, clothed in this body of flesh, my tendency will be to have a heart that is prone to wander. But I live by the grace of God, and the Word of God is my anchor and the light for my path. Guiding. Directing. Securing. Protecting. Providing. Proving.
Journaling Assignment: Read and write out Psalm 119:1-16. Then journal few thoughts, record how God encouraged you, instructed you or corrected you through His Word. If you feel comfortable, share some of your thoughts with us! Let’s encourage one another in the Word and in our walk with Christ
Rejoicing in Him!
©2017 Susan Cady