Psalms 119:9-16

Big Idea: Purity in our lives comes from continual mediation, study, and doing of God’s word.
Psalm 119:9-16 are labelled as the verse set of Beth, and have an interesting perspective on the studying, meditation of, and doing of God’s word. Ultimately, this is a very joyful and rejoice-ful set of verse. David is talking of how he was always rejoicing in God’s word, and how it delighted him to be meditating on the precepts that were making his way pure. Beth is illustrating the matters and attitudes of the heart that are needed to help us learn from the Word of God. It’s emphasis is not one of heaviness and toil, but rather a light and reflective state, overflowing with thankfulness and joy. The psalmist is looking at the opportunity to study, meditate and practice the word as a joyful opportunity given to him by God, and David is being so in these passages.
Aleph, the verses before Beth, are talking of how blessed and fortunate we are to be able to learn from God about how to live to obey his Words and precepts of law. It is written from a grateful and thankful heart that is looking at the fact that he is unable to do this all on his own. It flows right into explaining what reading and meditating on the word does, which is what Beth is talking about. The purity from earnest studying of God’s word is the effects of being able to study the word. These two illustrate the beauty and thankful joy that we have in learning from God how to obey God. Then the verses directly following Beth are Gimel. Gimel is taking the first two sets, and showing how your life can make it difficult to keep these humble attitudes of the heart when faced with the difficulties of life. David is crying out to God, expressing his deep longing to be with God…because it would help him shed the difficulties of life. However, Gimel continues into reminding himself that learning from the precepts of the Lord are a delight. It reaffirms everything that is expressed in Beth and Aleph, but is expressed through the trials of life. It gives us a point of view of how the Word of God can make even the difficulties of the world seem nothing when learning from the Lord directly, and that we need to be reliant on God for all situations.
Reading these passages have shown me how we can be rejoice-ful and take delight in learning from the Lord, no matter when why and how we are opening the Bible to study. It’s not a burden, it’s not a task, it’s a gracious gift that we get to learn from God how to serve God, and live out our lives for Him. This helps remind me, now that I am constantly in the Bible for Old Testament history, that it’s not just ‘reading’ but it’s a special time for me and God. It’s a time of learning from the past to get more out of the Word. It puts me in the study habits of David, who had the historic books to study from and the Laws. So, to glean from it should not be heavy, but a delightful and joyful time. Also, it helps me to examine what is in my life, and make adjustments. For example, we’re learning in Old Testament history a lot of God’s grace and love, but it also teaches us about humanity’s way of self reliance as a sin. These passages also tie into that because we cannot learn of the ways without God’s grace and mercy to teach us these words and the ways to live them out. If we do undertake them in self reliance, we have a burden and it becomes heavy!  
But this not only applies to me, but to other Christians as well. There is a misconception that the Word of God is tedious and heavy work, like what Russell said in the first few chapters of his book—’Its work’. Being with God in the Word is a good time, and not tedious or laborious as we believe. I have found myself, that reading the word ignites a hunger crave within my own soul to read more. Especially if we’re taking the idea that we’re not reading as punishment, but as a way to learn! It’s another step in our education. Every adult then is not done with their education, because God always has new stuff to reveal in his Word. So I wonder…that if the real reason we do not read the Bible as much as we should as Christians is because we think there is nothing new to learn from it? If that’s the case…we’ve most definitely got the wrong perspective on the Word of God. It’s alive and always able to breathe something new into you…which is why you can always be excited and grateful to dive into the Bible.

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