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: 65-72
Tet (the letter T; it is pronounced with our typical ‘t’ sound + the ‘et’ sound in bet)
Lord, You have treated Your servant well, just as You promised.
Teach me good judgement and discernment, for I rely on Your commands.
Before I was afflicted I went astray, but now I keep Your Word.
You are good, and You do what is good; teach me Your statutes.
The arrogant have smeared me with lies, but I obey Your precepts with all my heart.
Their hearts are hard and insensitive, but I delight in Your instruction.
It was good for me to be afflicted so that I could learn Your statutes.
Instruction from Your lips is better for me than thousands of gold and silver pieces.
Psalm 119 is all about hearing and doing the Scriptures.
In this piece the Psalmist illustrates a before-and-after scenario. Before he read and learned God’s commandments he was a sinner living a sinful life. But then he did his homework. He read, he studied, he prayed. He developed a relationship with God and realized he wanted to keep God’s Word and obey His commandments.
In line 69, it says that “the arrogant have smeared [him] with lies.” I had to look this up because I didn’t really understand why this was happening to this speaker. Who are these people? Well, according to Rabbinical commentary, these arrogant people are those the Psalmist hung out with BEFORE he chose to read and study God’s Word. So why are they lying about him now? Because the Psalmist chose a path they do not want to follow. Isn’t that kind of the way it goes? Think back about when you decided to give your life to Jesus. Did all of your friends and family gladly stand behind you and support you? Or did you have some family and friends who gave you grief?
But the best part of this stanza is that the Psalmist APPRECIATED the affliction. Why does he appreciate his past experiences of affliction? Because those moments proved to him that he made the right choice in choosing God and leaving a sinful life to the past. Those moments opened his eyes to the Truth of God and the world. Now he is able to DISCERN. And because of this, the Psalmist sees that choosing God is better than any amount of gold or silver. Worldly people will tell you that such thinking is foolish, but there truly is nothing better, or more hope filled, than a relationship with the Creator of the known and unknown universes. I don’t know about you, but I totally agree with the Psalmist.
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