(… continued from yesterday…)
There are many passages of Scripture that can help us with a true New Year’s
solution. Today I want us to think about 8 verses right in the middle of the longest chapter right in the middle of the Bible. Take a look at Psalm 119:73-80.
When the writer of Psalm 119 paused to take account of his life he recalled God’s plans for him. The psalmist realized that if he was going to live the kind of life that he was created to live, he must live according to the ways of his Creator. Any resolution plan had to be filtered
through the lens of God. It’s as if the psalmist said, “God, I don’t think I have it in me.” And it’s as if God would resound back, “You do have it in you. I made you. I created you with my own hands. And if you let me, I can do some amazing things in you.”
I chose Psalm 119 to start off our year because of all the good that is this chapter. I wish we had the time to go into this even more, but this psalm is 176 verses long. It would not be a bad thing this year to make your only resolution to read one verse from this chapter every other
day, and ask God to give you understanding to live it out. That would be a great thing to do.
This chapter is so rich with guidance and wisdom and it teaches us to love God’s ways, his commands, his Word.
§ This Psalm starts off saying, “Blessed are they whose ways are blameless, who walk according to the law of the Lord. Blessed are they who keep his statutes and seek him with all their heart.” Psalm 119 is all about the solution for our lives. Do you need a new
resolve this year? Then live according to God’s ways.
§ Verse 32 says, “I run in the path of your commands, for you have set my heart free.”
§ “Direct me in the path of your commands,” says verse 35, “for there I find delight.”
§ Verse 37: “Turn my eyes away form worthless things; preserve my life according to your word.
§ Verse 68: “You are good, and what you do is good; teach me your decrees.”
§ Let this one blow your mind; Verse 96: “To all perfection I see a limit; but your commands are boundless.”
§ Verse 105: “Your word is a lamp to my feet and a light to my path.”
§ Verse 129: “Your statutes are wonderful; therefore I obey them.”
§ Verse 133: “Direct my footsteps according to your word; let no sin rule over me.”
§ Verse 144: “Your statutes are forever right; give me understanding that I may live.”
§ Verse 165: “Great peace have they who love your law, and nothing can make them stumble.”
§ And Psalm 119 ends in a curious way before we can think that the writer of this chapter is some superhero of faith and therefore can’t possibly relate to us regular folk who
struggle with problems. In verse 176, the author of this psalm admits, “I have strayed like a lost sheep.” He had problems. He sinned. He messed up. He had issues that needed solving. So he confesses, “I have strayed like a lost sheep. Seek your servant, O God, for I have not forgotten your commands.” Simply put, the psalmist knew that he needed God to remake his life; to bring resolution to his problems.
The whole psalm is poetic and filled with parallel structures and a congruence of themes and phrases that I can’t even begin to describe here. And verses 73-80 are laid out in a
really neat way. These verses are broken down into a concentric structure to communicate that we should be living the way God has created us to live:
Verse 73 has to do with ME understanding who I am created to be.
Verse 74 concerns inspiring the COMMUNITY around me by the way I live.
Verse 75 is about embracing the TRIAL of God’s discipline in my life.
Verse 76 concerns the CORE TRUTH of God’s unfailing love.
Verse 77 concerns the CORE TRUTH of God’s compassion.
Verse 78 is about standing through the TRIAL of life’s hardship.
Verse 79 concerns receiving support from others believers in my COMMUNITY.
Verse 80 has to do with ME resolving to live how I am created to live.