S (Scripture): Psalm 119:
129 פ (Pe) Your rules are marvelous.
Therefore I observe them.
130 Your instructions are a doorway through which light shines.
They give insight to the untrained.
O (Observation): To a people who have come from slavery…who don’t know a way of life outside of being told what to eat, when to get up, what work to perform, when to sleep…the Law provided a way forward into freedom for God’s people, post-Exodus.
The Law provided a guide for the people of God. And they delighted in it so much it was like a light shining through a doorway. The Law was hope. The Law guided people to care for one another and to honor God while doing it.
[Nerdy, but cool, Bible stuff: The psalmist celebrates God’s law and the guidance it provides his people. He expresses his desire to know God’s law thoroughly so that he might experience the blessings that come to those who obey it. This lengthy psalm exhibits an elaborate acrostic pattern. The psalm is divided into twenty-two sections (corresponding to the letters of the Hebrew alphabet), each of which is comprised of eight verses. Each of the verses in the first section (vv. 1-8) begins with the letter alef (א), the first letter of the Hebrew alphabet. This pattern continues throughout the psalm as each new section highlights a successive letter of the alphabet. Each verse in section two (vv. 9-16) begins with the second letter of the alphabet, each verse in section three (vv. 17-24) with the third letter, etc. This rigid pattern creates a sense of order and completeness and may have facilitated memorization.]
A (Application): Sometimes my life is a bit scattered: taking time to be with my wife, my kids, my work, my friends, myself… Sometimes I feel like a slave to my schedule and my “duties.”
Yet…when I retreat…and God puts things back into perspective for me…I can sense a way forward. God shuffles things around in my life and I am reminded that I am not in the center. And that starts to bring some relief. That notion that it’s not all on me to figure out, but rather to listen to God and respond…now we’re getting somewhere.
I imagine that’s what the Law was like for the psalmist. A guide. A way forward. And the psalmist realizes she needs simply to reply to God being at the center.
This is a gift of the Holy Spirit…God can do this with me directly, and in the whole body of Christ, rather than only through an external Law. (Remember Jeremiah saying the Law is on our hearts!)
What centers you?
P (Prayer): Lord, remind me that you are the one in the center. Amen.