Tuesday, October 16, 2018

A Unique Psalm with A Message of Amazing Grace

I know, O Lord, that your rules are righteous, and that in faithful ness you have afflicted me.  Let your steadfast love comfort me according to your promise to your servant.  Let your mercy come to me, that I may live; for your law is my delight.  Psalm 119:75-77
Psalm 119 is a very unique chapter in the Bible.  It is the longest chapter in the Bible with 176 verses. The format of Psalm 119 is an alphabetic acrostic, meaning it is composed of 22 stanzas of 8 verses each. Each of the 22 stanzas is built on a different Hebrew letter, of which there are 22 in the Hebrew alphabet. In each of the stanzas, each of the eight verses begins with the letter of that stanza.  Some believe that it was written this way as an illustration of order verses chaos because one of the themes in this chapter is living a life of obedience to God – a God of order.  
Other themes of Psalm 119 are persecution of believers, and the ultimate truth that God’s Word is more than sufficient for every area of life.  There are differing opinions among scholars about who actually wrote Psalm 119 because the author did not disclose his identity along with his wisdom.  It is obvious from his writing that he has experienced great trouble in life but has come through it and has gained understanding of God’s exquisite love and mercy.  
The psalm is filled with beautiful sections of the author pleading with God to teach him His ways, along with beautiful sections of God’s faithfulness and love.  This past week in my Bible study, one interesting thing was pointed out.  In the beginning of the book, the author of Psalm 119 says in vs 5-8: Oh, that my ways may be steadfast in keeping your statutes! Then I shall not be put to shame, having my eyes fixed on all your commandments.  I will praise you with an upright heart, when I learn your righteous rules.  I will keep your statutes; do not utterly forsake me!  Here he is expressing how he is going to keep the Lord’s statutes and keep his eyes fixed on all His commandments. Then, in the very last verse of the chapter, he says if I do stray away like a lost sheep, please come after me!  The psalmist knows what we all must eventually learn, that we fail to live the life of holiness that we should, or that we strive for. From the opening of the chapter to the end, he realizes that a safety net is in order for us fallible human beings, and what better safety net than for God Himself to come and rescue us.
Three Things to Remember When You Lose Your Way:
  • He admits his failure- Even the strongest Christians lose their way sometimes.  This author obviously loved the Lord and was seeking His laws, applying them to his life.  He has the best of intentions and a seemingly pure heart that desires God. But he admits that he has failed. 
  • He cries out to God– He is not happy about the wrong choice and he does not want to stay there.  He admits he needs God’s help.  He asks God to come and get him and bring him back.  
  • He has not forgotten God’s commandments– He made a mistake, but he has not forgotten what he has learned. Even sin cannot take away the knowledge of God in our lives.  Sin often brings that knowledge back to the front of all our thinking because we are often desperate to not stray again. 
We have a Heavenly Father that understands that we will make mistakes, and He waits, always willing to not only take us back, but to come and get us when we cry out to Him.  He will seek us, like a shepherd goes after his stray sheep, and bring us back to Him again. 

Scripture to Claim:
Forever, O Lord, your word is firmly fixed in the heavens.  Your faithfulness endures to all generations; you have established the earth, and it stands fast.  By your appointment they stand this day, for all things are your servants.  Psalm 119: 89-91 

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