Scripture Union Resources

Living Words

Sunday, January 8, 2012
Pray: 
Holy God, overcome my fears with Your transforming Word. May Your Spirit break through any barriers within me.
Read: 
PSALM 119:97-112

[97]מ Mem Oh, how I love your law! I meditate on it all day long. [98] Your commands make me wiser than my enemies, for they are ever with me. [99] I have more insight than all my teachers, for I meditate on your statutes. [100] I have more understanding than the elders, for I obey your precepts. [101] I have kept my feet from every evil path so that I might obey your word. [102] I have not departed from your laws, for you yourself have taught me. [103] How sweet are your words to my taste, sweeter than honey to my mouth! [104] I gain understanding from your precepts; therefore I hate every wrong path. [105]נ Nun Your word is a lamp to my feet and a light for my path. [106] I have taken an oath and confirmed it, that I will follow your righteous laws. [107] I have suffered much; preserve my life, O LORD, according to your word. [108] Accept, O LORD, the willing praise of my mouth, and teach me your laws. [109] Though I constantly take my life in my hands, I will not forget your law. [110] The wicked have set a snare for me, but I have not strayed from your precepts. [111] Your statutes are my heritage forever; they are the joy of my heart. [112] My heart is set on keeping your decrees to the very end.

Scripture taken from the Holy Bible, NEW INTERNATIONAL VERSION. Copyright © 1973, 1978, 1984 International Bible Society. All rights reserved throughout the world. Used by permission of International Bible Society.

Meditate

Consider: 
“Discipleship is our response to grace” (Brennan Manning). In what ways has God been grace-full to you over this past week? Give him a big “thank you.”
Think Further: 

We discover in these few verses what keeps the psalmist anchored in living God’s way through experiences of suffering (107), risk taking (109) and opposition from others (110). Despite all these pressures, he’s committed to persevering to the end of his life (112). From our own experience we probably know how difficult it can be to maintain living God’s way with him at the center of our lives, so how does the psalmist go about it?

This is not just gritted teeth obedience, although he is obviously very determined to stay true to what God says (106). We’re given a glimpse into his sense of intimate relationship with God, where he says of God “you yourself have taught me” (102). Almost every line in the whole psalm is structured on an “I—You” polarity, making it a prayer about living God’s way in which relationship with him is both the glue and heart of the matter.

He loves God’s “law,” a word that can be used of a single command or the whole body of Scripture (John 15:25; 1 Cor. 14:21). He meditates on it constantly, doing so in the midst of life. Some have described this as being a bit like a cow chewing the cud, where the grass is chewed repeatedly to break it down completely and get all the goodness out of it. What a contrast to our instant age, with quick-fix verses and box-checking to say we’ve had our time with God and can now get back to the business of living our lives. He recognizes God’s commands and statutes, which speak of the binding force and permanence of Scripture and are a source of practical wisdom. As far as he’s concerned, guidance, joy and real delight can be gained from God’s words. How about you?

Apply: 
Reflect on the role God’s Word (and laws and statutes) play in your life. How valuable are they in a practical way? Should and could they be more so?
Pray: 
Merciful Father, truly Your Word is a lamp to my feet and a light to my path. Your grace is the glue that holds everything together. How great You are.
Through the Bible In One Year: 
Genesis 16,17 / Psalms 5,6

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