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: 113-120
Samekh (the letter S; pronounced “saw-meck”)
I hate those who are double-minded, but I love Your instruction.
You are my shelter and my shield; I put my hope in Your Word.
Depart from me, you evil ones, so that I may obey my God’s commands.
Sustain me as You promised, and I will live; do not let me be ashamed of my hope.
Sustain me so that I can be safe and always be concerned about Your statutes.
You reject all who stray from Your statutes, for their deceit is a lie.
You remove all the wicked on earth as if they were dross; therefore, I love Your decrees.
I tremble in awe of You; I fear Your judgments.
Psalm 119 is all about hearing and doing the Scriptures.
In James 1:8, James defines a double-minded man as “unstable in all his ways.” In this 15th section of Psalm 119, the psalmist states, “I hate those who are double-minded, but I love Your instruction.” Another way to write this verse would be, “I hate those who are unstable in all their ways, but I love God’s Word because it is ALWAYS stable and unchanging.”
When something is stable and unchanging we call this thing a strong support. It’s no mistake that in the second line of this stanza the psalmist states that God is his shelter and shield. When the world is in chaos, when evil lurks all around, the psalmist knows Who to turn to for stability — his Lord and the Word.
It’s also no mistake that this section of Psalm 119 focuses on the letter Samekh. The fifteenth letter of the Hebrew alphabet comes from a Hebrew root-word that means “to lean upon,” “to uphold,” or “to support.” The shape of the letter Samekh is a circle and it symbolizes God’s all-encompassing support. God’s sole goal is to be His children’s main place of support and comfort and protection. He desperately wants to encircle us like a shield and keep us from all the bad guys. He is, after all, our Abba, and good daddies do everything they can to protect their children.
The interesting part of this stanza is the juxtaposition the psalmist illustrates between those who are evil and himself — a man desperately praying to God to help him NOT be like the evil people.
I totally get where the psalmist is coming from. I LOVE Jesus with every fiber of my being, and I am a sinner. I hate that part of myself. I hate it because I, too, am desperate to stay on God’s right side but I know that without Him I am capable of becoming as lost as those we consider wicked and deceived. I do not want to be categorized “evil” or “wicked.” I do not want Jesus to meet me in Heaven and say, “I never knew you.” I want Jesus to run to meet me so He can hug me in a great big bear hug. So, to achieve this goal, I put my hope in God’s Word, instruction I love with my whole heart, trusting that one day I will be with Him in Heaven.
At the end of the day, we have to put our hope and trust and faith in the Father of all fathers, the God who desperately wants to sustain us, to shield us, and support us. If we can just stay focused on that fact, if we can daily meet with our Father through prayer and Bible study, if we can put aside all the evil in our world and focus on God, we will get to the point where we tremble in awe of Jesus and He will say to us, “Hello, my good and faithful servants!”
I don’t know about you, but I am desperate for that day! Come, Lord Jesus, come!
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