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
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.”
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
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.
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:
73 has to do with ME understanding who I am created to be.
74 concerns inspiring the COMMUNITY around me by the way I live.
75 is about embracing the TRIAL of God’s discipline in my life.
76 concerns the CORE TRUTH of God’s
77 concerns the CORE TRUTH of God’s
78 is about standing through the
TRIAL of life’s hardship.
79 concerns receiving support from others believers in my COMMUNITY.
80 has to do with ME resolving to live how I am created to live.