Sunday, April 13, 2008

Psalm 119

I read psalm 119 for the first time a couple years ago, but I didn't dwell on it, just thought it a wonderful read and very long. The second time I read it was because my then Pastor pointed it out as a point in one of his doctrines. He quoted it heavily and again I thought it was a truly fantastic psalm and felt sorry for the man who had written it (the back story of the man and the lesson he learned from suffering was the Pastors point). The third time I read the psalm was from studing on my own. I was searching all the bible references to teaching (using my fantastic PC study bible!) looking for that verse in Deuteronomy about teaching your children. At this point let me briefly describe the PC study bibles marvelous search function. You can search for a word from the whole of their resource library or from a specific bible version. A list will come up of all the times that word (or phrase) was used. The word teach occurs 123 times in the NIV. Some examples:
Deut 11:19-20Teach them to your children, talking about them when you sit at home and when you walk along the road, when you lie down and when you get up. NIV
1 Sam 12:22-25For the sake of his great name the LORD will not reject his people, because the LORD was pleased to make you his own. 23 As for me, far be it from me that I should sin against the LORD by failing to pray for you. And I will teach you the way that is good and right. 24 But be sure to fear the LORD and serve him faithfully with all your heart; consider what great things he has done for you. NIV
Job 6:24Teach me, and I will be quiet; show me where I have been wrong. NIV
Ps 25:4-5how me your ways, O LORD,teach me your paths; 5 guide me in your truth and teach me,for you are God my Savior,and my hope is in you all day long. NIV
Ps 34:11-14Come, my children, listen to me;I will teach you the fear of the LORD. 12 Whoever of you loves life and desires to see many good days, 13 keep your tongue from evil and your lips from speaking lies. 14 Turn from evil and do good;seek peace and pursue it. NIV
Ps 51:12-13Restore to me the joy of your salvation and grant me a willing spirit, to sustain me. 13 Then I will teach transgressors your ways,and sinners will turn back to you. NIV
Ps 90:122 Teach us to number our days aright,that we may gain a heart of wisdom. NIV
By this point I'm blown away. As I was reading through these verses, I realized anew how much I needed to be taught. Not only that, but that God was faithful in both pointing that out to me and reassurring me that He would teach me. I was reminded, by the Spirit, of the Lord Jesus telling his disciples how he would send them the 'helper'. The impact this has on me and why the Spirit had to point that out will be another post. Need less to say, it wasnt a coincidence that as I was having these thoughts I reached the middle of the list and saw the ten places the Psalmist asks to be taught by God.
Ps 119:12Praise be to you, O LORD;teach me your decrees. NIV
Ps 119:266 I recounted my ways and you answered me;teach me your decrees. NIV
Ps 119:33Teach me, O LORD, to follow your decrees;then I will keep them to the end. NIV
Ps 119:64The earth is filled with your love, O LORD;teach me your decrees.NIV
Ps 119:66Teach me knowledge and good judgment,for I believe in your commandsNIV
Ps 119:68 You are good, and what you do is good;teach me your decrees.NIV
Ps 119:108Accept, O LORD, the willing praise of my mouth,and teach me your laws.NIV
Ps 119:124Deal with your servant according to your love and teach me your decrees. NIV
Ps 119:135Make your face shine upon your servant and teach me your decrees. NIV
Ps 119:171May my lips overflow with praise,for you teach me your decrees.NIV
I saw all that and was naturally filled with the urge to read the psalm from beginning to end.
To Be Continued