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: 161-168
Shin (21st letter; pronounced “sheen”; the letter “S/Sh”)
Princes persecute me without cause, but my heart stands in awe of Your Words.
I rejoice at Your Word like one who finds great spoil.
I hate and abhor falsehood, but I love Your Law.
Seven times a day I praise You for Your righteous rules.
Great peace have those who love Your Law; nothing can make them stumble.
I hope for Your Salvation, O Lord, and I do Your commandments.
My soul keeps Your testimonies; I love them exceedingly.
I keep Your precepts and testimonies, for all my ways are before You.
Psalm 119 is all about hearing and doing the Scriptures.
The letter shin is a letter that contains dual meaning. On the one hand, it represents peace. But on the other, it also represents lies and falsehoods. This is important to note because this 21st stanza sets up a dichotomy: those who have peace and those who do not because of falsehoods.
My favorite line in this stanza is line 165: “Great peace have those who love Your Law; nothing can make them stumble.” Isn’t this beautiful?
Think about the last seven months. They’ve been crazy, right?! Now think about the moments in the last seven months when you’ve experienced a moment of peace. Perhaps you were reading a good book or enjoying an excellent cup of coffee. Or maybe you took a step back and realized you were super grateful for all the extra family time you’ve been experiencing lately.
When I think back on the last seven months, I do have a lot I’m thankful for. I’ve had such excellent family time with my husband and daughter. I’ve appreciated spending time working on my house. I have read quite a few good books and enjoyed great cups of tea and coffee. But what I’ve really loved is all the extra Bible study time I’ve had.
As in the days of the psalmist, our days are filled with leaders (“princes”) who persecute and lie. Who hurt others just cause they can. Who crave power so much they are willing to do ANYTHING to get what they want. It’s mind blowing the depths of evil people are willing to stoop to in order to remain in power. It’s all excruciatingly frustrating and disheartening. And, sometimes I’ve had very agitated moments. I definitely feel our world is illustrating the negative side of shin — lies and falsehoods and persecutions abound, and I definitely abhor it!
Like the psalmist though, I, too, find great peace when I read my Bible, when I study and take in God’s Words, His statutes, and commands. When I read my Bible, I remember that God is the Boss and He has control over everything. I remember that in Daniel 2:21 it states, “[God] changes times and seasons; He removes kings and sets up kings.” I remember God’s promise that one day God will rule this earth from earth and there will be peace and order. When I read my Bible I have hope again because I know where my Salvation comes from. It is true what the psalmist says — those who love God’s Words really do have peace!
If you, dear reader, are struggling today and peace seems far off, grab your Bible and spend some time with God. I guarantee you will feel better immediately!
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