Welcome to His Encouragement Thursday!
This week I am going to continue my 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: 49-56
Zayin (the letter Z)
Remember Your Word to Your servant; You have given me hope through it.
This is my comfort in my affliction: Your promise has given me life.
The arrogant constantly ridicule me, but I do not turn away from Your instruction.
Lord, I remember Your judgments from long ago and find comfort.
Fury seizes me because of the wicked who reject Your instruction.
Your statutes are the theme of my song during my earthly life.
Lord, I remember Your Name in the night, and I obey Your instruction.
This is my practice: I obey Your precepts.
Psalm 119 is all about hearing and doing the Scriptures.
What strikes me about this segment of Psalm 119 is what the Psalmist doesn’t say. Just take the first verse — verse 49. The Psalmist says to God, “Remember Your Word to Your servant.” God never forgets His Word, so why is the Psalmist asking God to remember? I get the sense that the Psalmist is frustrated by his surroundings. Perhaps the Psalmist is alive during political upheaval or pestilence or lawlessness. Perhaps the Psalmist looks out at his neighbors, his community, his government and he can’t believe what he sees: humans doing whatever, whenever, selfishly with no thought for anyone but themselves. Perhaps it feels like God has turned His face from His people and left them alone to figure life out for themselves because of all the wicked that is taking place. It’s as if the Psalmist is calling out to God to remind God that a remnant still exists. I can hear the Psalmist’s subtext to God: “Please remember Your promises, Lord, because some of us are still on Your side. Don’t forget those of us who are as done with all this craziness as You must be!”
It’s so easy to let what’s happening in society draw our attentions away from God and His promises. It’s easy to forget to wait on God patiently. It’s easy to get drawn into the high emotions of a group of people right outside your door. It’s easy to emotionally spiral out of control and join the majority. But it’s equally as easy to get furious and judge those who surround us who appear to be losing their common sense, their sense of right vs. wrong. I get the sense in verse 53 that the Psalmist’s fury has been ignited by those who do evil, but more by those who do evil who know better. To reject God’s instruction means they have heard God’s instruction but they are choosing to go their own way regardless of how much hurt falls on others. Does this sound familiar?
The most important take away from these eight lines is to constantly go back to our Bibles and remind ourselves of God’s promises. True comfort comes from GOD! It is imperative today more than ever that we keep our focus on God. There is a strong delusion on this earth right now. People seem to have lost their minds. It’s frustrating. It’s angry-making. It’s a bit scary. And, it’s only going to get worse. BUT God promises us in His Word that HE WINS and He takes care of those who truly love Him. Yes, emotions may overtake you. Even the Psalmist got emotional! But, instead of spiraling into an emotional tizzy and then joining the crazed crowd, we must go to God as the Psalmist did in his day. God’s Word is calming. If you are feeling like your emotions are spiraling, pause what you are doing and grab your Bible. Remind yourself that God is the Boss, He is in charge, and He has you under His wings.
One final thought — verses 49-56 is the seventh segment of Psalm 119. The seventh letter of the Hebrew alphabet is the Zayin. Zayin in Hebrew means “sword” or “weapon.” If you look up info on the Hebraic metaphorical and spiritual meanings of zayin, you will discover that symbolically it represents THE Crowned Man (the Messiah) who is equipped with the sword of the Holy Spirit. This is common Jewish knowledge. When they see the letter zayin in their writings they should be instantly reminded of the promise that a warrior Messiah is coming with a sharp sword to save them. This entire segment of Psalm 119 portrays a man who is crying out to God to remember His promises. He is calling upon God to send out His warrior Messiah. But he is also reminding himself to take comfort that ONE DAY the warrior Messiah will indeed come and save all of His people. What a comfort! One day — very soon — Jesus will be here making right all that is wrong. Take comfort in that today.
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
Keneesha @ Women Loving God’s Way