Bible Reading for: September 9
It is Christ who strengthens us to obey and do His will. We can do all things through Him if only we will turn and lean on Him and His strength.
Psalm 117 was the shortest chapter in the Bible. Psalm 119 is the longest. It is an acrostic poem of twenty-two stanzas. There are 22 letters in the Hebrew alphabet and each stanza in this Psalm starts with one of those letters and progresses alphabetically. Each verse within each stanza starts with the same letter as well.
The focus of this amazing display of poetry is praise of God’s Holy Word signified by such terms as: word, saying, way, testimonies, judgments, precepts, commandments, law, statutes, and faithfulness. I don’t think you can over-emphasize the value of God’s Word. There is real power there.
One thing that stands out to me in this Psalm, however, is the clear statement that it is God that makes one able to understand and respond to His Word. Below are verses I pulled from the Psalm that show how much we need to rely on God to teach us His Word, to open our minds His truth.
Psalm 119:12, 18-19, 26-27, 29, 33-37, 66, 68, 73 ESV
12 Blessed are you, O Lord;
teach me your statutes!
18 Open my eyes, that I may behold
wondrous things out of your law.
19 I am a sojourner on the earth;
hide not your commandments from me!
26 When I told of my ways, you answered me;
teach me your statutes!
27 Make me understand the way of your precepts,
and I will meditate on your wondrous works.
29 Put false ways far from me
and graciously teach me your law!
33 Teach me, O Lord, the way of your statutes;
and I will keep it to the end.
34 Give me understanding, that I may keep your law
and observe it with my whole heart.
35 Lead me in the path of your commandments,
for I delight in it.
36 Incline my heart to your testimonies,
and not to selfish gain!
37 Turn my eyes from looking at worthless things;
and give me life in your ways.
66 Teach me good judgment and knowledge,
for I believe in your commandments.
68 You are good and do good;
teach me your statutes.
73 Your hands have made and fashioned me;
give me understanding that I may learn your commandments.
Do you see how much we should be depending on God to help us? Please understand that we are to purpose to obey, to understand, to learn, but we must pray for God to give us the heart, the mind, the strength to do so. This is always a great mystery to me. On the one hand I am to obey, on the other I can’t without God’s help. Just laying back and waiting for God to do all of the heavy lifting, however, doesn’t work. I must lift, He will strengthen; I must read His Word, He will provide understanding; I must turn my eyes from evil, He will provide peace; I must follow, He will lead.
Brother, do you realize that the only reason you know the truth of Jesus Christ is because He opened your heart to that truth? Do you not know that you have been chosen? What an honor; what a blessing! As the New Testament says:
Philippians 4:13 ESV
“I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me.”
Now go and do right!
Victorem Vivere! (Live Victorious!)
Your brother and servant in Christ,
Dying to self, living to serve!