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: 57-64 (MSG Translation)
Chet (the letter H; it is pronounced with our typical ‘h’ sound + the ‘et’ sound in bet)
Because You have satisfied me, God, I promise to do everything you say. I beg You from the bottom of my heart: smile, be gracious to me just as You promised. When I took a long, careful look at Your ways, I got my feet back on the trail You blazed. I was up at once, didn’t drag my feet, was quick to follow Your orders. The wicked hemmed me in — there was no way out — but not for a minute did I forget Your plan for me. I get up in the middle of the night to thank You; Your decisions are so right, so true — I can’t wait till morning! I’m a friend and companion of all who fear You, of those committed to living by Your rules. Your love, God, fills the earth! Train me to live by Your counsel.
Psalm 119 is all about hearing and doing the Scriptures.
I chose the MSG translation this week because it resonated with me the most. There is SO much goodness in just these eight verses it’s almost a little overwhelming. I highly recommend taking a few minutes to study these verses for yourself; there’s so much packed in these lines, you may be surprised by the message God has for you beyond what I can do here today.
There’s really so much to appreciate about this stanza, but two ideas stand out the most.
The first is how the Psalmist chose God’s way. He did not come to God’s path willy-nilly. He wasn’t forced into a religion by his parents or his peers. Instead, he studied. He tested God’s Word. He “took a long, careful look” at the rules, commands, parables, histories, etc., laid out in the Bible and made a conscious choice to choose God and His path.
The Psalmist establishes a phenomenal premise about God’s character here — God is not a slave driver. He does not want us to become mindless automatons who follow Him no matter what. And, He NEVER tries to force a relationship with Him upon us. Instead, because He is LOVE, God allows us the opportunity to make our own choice. If this doesn’t make you love God more, I don’t know what will. I mean, think about it. The Creator of EVERYTHING gives us 100% power to choose Him. I think that’s AMAZING!
The second idea that really struck me is when the Psalmist thanks God — he does it in the middle of the night. Why the middle of the night? Because he is so filled with thanksgiving and praise that the emotions wake him up in the middle of sleep. He just cannot wait until the morning to say, “Thank You!” What devotion to God!
It’s a little humbling though. Have I ever awoken in the middle of the night and seen it as an opportunity to have a very private, quiet chat with God? Or did I just get frustrated and curse my ceiling because I was inconvenienced with a little less sleep? This really illustrates my priorities. If I’m honest, I don’t think I’ve ever seen being woken at midnight as a blessing. BUT, I can change that. God still has me here, so it’s not too late to change my perspective and become a bit more like this Psalmist.
This stanza of Psalm 119 is jam-packed with amazing goodness. I can definitely say that God has blessed me this week with new insight. I see Him a little better and I feel like I have one more realization about the kind of woman God wants me to be. I pray, dear readers, that this segment of Psalm 119 blesses you, too!
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