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S (Scripture): Psalm 119
Let my cry reach you, Lord;
help me understand according to what you’ve said.
Let my request for grace come before you;
deliver me according to your promise!
Let my lips overflow with praise
because you’ve taught me your statutes.
Let my tongue declare your word,
because all your commandments are righteous.
Let your power help me
because I have chosen your precepts.
Lord, I long for your saving help!
Your Instruction is my joy!
Let me live again so I can praise you!
Let your rules help me!
I’ve wandered off like a sheep, lost.
Find your servant
because I haven’t forgotten
O (Observation): The close of this Psalm is found here in the text provided for you today. This Psalm is an acrostic. Every letter of the Hebrew alphabet begins a section. Each section begins with the coordinating letter of the alphabet. This is meant to show wholeness or completeness. The wholeness is how God’s followers are caught up in God’s being. The wholeness shows how the Torah shapes God’s people towards righteousness – that is, to be in good standing before God and neighbor.
God’s guidance is sought in all things. When afraid, angry, sorrowful, repentant, happy…in all things, God’s people remain grateful for God’s guidance and grace.
Even though “I” is used, I read it as a “collective ‘I’.” That is…imagine everyone who has ever read and prayed over this Psalm. Imagine all of God’s people reading it – aloud – together, in multiple languages. God’s people…with one one, heterogenous praise.
A (Application): Reading this text today has caused me to pause. Quite often, when I think of someone “falling away” from God, I think of myself or others doing “bad things.” What a limited view of sin.
As I read this text today, I am ashamed. For these past few months, so much personal strife has entered my arena. We have not done “bad things” as much as circumstances around us have simply been difficult and challenging.
This Psalm reminds me that not trusting that God will lead me / us in times of strife has been my sin. My despair has been winning, but today’s reading brings me hope once again…and it reminds me of the importance of reading Scripture daily. (Or almost daily : )
God reaches out to us in friends and family and so many other ways…of this, I have no doubt. Yet…what lies in our power is to pick up the written Word and to trust that it will not return empty.
Pick it up.
Open it in your browser.
Just start reading.
In fact, read it with others. Ask questions. Struggle with how the Scripture applies to your life. (Kind of like what I struggle through every time I write!)
BibleGateway.com. Give them a whirl.
What scriptures to read? Do like I do:
Go to https://www.moravian.org/ and see what texts they suggest for the day!
What is your pain / strife today? In what ways do you feel like you’ve been drifting?
P (Prayer): Lord, continue to speak to me. Amen.