Welcome to His Encouragement Thursday!
This week I am going to begin a series on Psalm 119.
For those who may not know, Psalm 119 is broken down into 22 stanzas and each stanza begins with one letter from the Hebrew Alphabet. Each stanza is broken up into 8 verses for a total of 176 verses. It is the longest Psalm in the Psaltry. And, Psalm 119 is an example of an acrostic, which is a poem where the first letter of each verse spells out a word, message, or follows the alphabet. In this case, Psalm 119 follows the Hebrew Alphabet.
My goal with this series is not lofty. I am not an expert on Psalm 119. I just love its symmetry and message, and I want to share that with you over the next 22 weeks. Perhaps I will be able to share some insight, some interesting tidbits and facts, or just some thoughts on how the verses strike me. My true goal is that this series is an extra encouragement to you, and helps you end your week strong in God’s love and purpose for you. I hope you enjoy and are blessed!
Psalm 119: 1-8
Aleph (the letter A)
Blessed are those whose way is blameless, who walk in the Law of the Lord!
Blessed are those who keep His testimonies, who seek Him with their whole heart,
Who also do no wrong, but walk in His ways!
You have commanded Your precepts to be kept diligently.
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!
Psalm 119 is all about hearing and doing the Scriptures.
God’s Words matter. He doesn’t just say them to say them. He has written His book so that we would read it, study it, test it, and then do it!
Today, I want to focus on two concepts discussed in this first stanza.
First, I want to briefly dissect the word blessed. The word is used twice, and when something in the Bible is repeated it’s really important to God. So, what does blessed mean? Blessed means to be made holy, or to be consecrated, or to be set apart. When we are blessed by God we are set apart from … the world and its cares and desires.
According to the Psalmist, how are we labeled blessed by God? By DOING (i.e., walking) what God asks us to do, by following His commands. We are also set apart, or made holy, when our goal in life is to seek God with our WHOLE heart. This should be our number one goal. We should be in our Bibles every day learning about God, His desires, His commands, etc. A blessed person is one who knows God and knows His Word AND acts like it.
The second topic I want to focus on for a moment is the intention behind the word diligent (line 4). “Diligent,” according to Oxford Dictionary means having or showing care and conscientiousness in one’s work or duties. So, as pertains to the overall meaning of this stanza, when God commands us to do something we should be diligently obeying whatever it is God has asked us to do. We should do the command as thoroughly and as well as we possibly can. God knows we are not perfect. He knows we will make mistakes. It’s not really about doing a command perfectly. It’s more about putting our whole hearts into the matter so God sees we love Him despite our mistakes and imperfections. So, when God is asking us to be diligent in whatever it is He is asking us to do, He isn’t expecting perfection. He is expecting we go at the task with our whole hearts.
Has God put something on your heart this week? Is there something you know you need to work on? If so, honor God by diligently working on His task for you. Your conscientious work will be just the thing to set you apart and make you blessed in God’s eyes.
NOW, IT’S YOUR TURN!
WHAT BIBLICAL VERSE IS ENCOURAGING YOU TODAY?
Check out more Thursday Encouragement from my fellow blogger friends:
Trisha @ Joy of Reading
Jacquelyn @ A Heavenly Home
Jessica @ A Baker’s Perspective
Becca @ The Becca Files
Gina @ Stories by Gina
Rebecca @ Rev. Rebecca Writes
Andi @ Radiant Light
Leslie @ Words of Hope
Claudia @ Claudia Moser