November 24, 2018
BIBLE THEMES MAKE THE BEST SONGS
Although Psalm 119 has no autograph, it is almost universally accepted by older commentators as being of David. Verse 54 moves me to agree. Who else would write of his God-inspired songs, but King Saul’s favorite song writer and lute player, David?
I have to agree with David about the best theme for songs. Romantic love might be the most prolific theme for modern songs, but teens soon turn twenty. And agape love, which is God’s kind of love, is a better theme. Regardless of “where we live,” no matter the circumstance, biblical themes make the best songs. They encourage us and bring joy, moving our focus from worldly things to things above. They give us voice to offer the highest praise to our God and to His Son, Jesus Christ.
I love music, especially the songs inspired by Bible themes. Don’t you?
November 28, 2017
There is a right way and a wrong way to approach the Bible. The psalmist approached it in the right way. He first declared his position as a servant of the Lord before requesting understanding and knowledge of God’s Word. He came saying, “I have already decided to obey You, O Lord, only help me understand what I read, so I know how to apply it rightly to my life. The psalmist came empty, asking to be filled. He came thirsty, asking for the living water to quench his thirst.
There is also a wrong way to approach the Bible. The requests may be the same, but the attitude is opposite of the psalmist’s. The one who approaches wrongly will come full of their own knowledge, asking only to add to it. They come without thirst, only wishing to spit it out at others to prove their own superiority. They come not as a “servant,” but as a self-appointed master, thinking to use the Bible according to their own design.
How do you approach God’s Word? May we join the psalmist in saying, “Lord, I am your servant. Give me understanding of Your Word.”
November 24, 2017
The psalmist spoke not of the Lord, but directly to Him. Not, “He is my portion,” but “O Lord, You are my portion!” He had already made the determined choice to “keep” the Lord’s words. Now he recognized that his “portion,” his inheritance, for such a Word-committed-life was the Lord Himself. As Jesus told His disciples, “If you love Me, you will keep My Words” (John 14:15). Following the Lord’s Word, we are able to say, “I am the Lord’s and He is mine!” This is not seeking the Lord’s hands, but rather seeking His face. We obey not out of fear, nor from a motivation of profit, but out of sincere love. As the lyrics to the old spiritual song declare, “Give me Jesus. Give me Jesus. You can have all this world, but give me Jesus.”
November 22, 2017
Psalm 119 is an acrostic based on the letters of the Hebrew alphabet. It’s theme is appropriately the Word of God. Every verse is an ode to the Scriptures. In verse 24, the psalmist described the Word as God’s “testimonies” and as his own “counselors.” This is a wonderful insight. For the Bible is first of all a book about God. It contains His “testimonies,” progressively revealing His character and purposes. The psalmist found “delight” in this. Secondly, the Bible is a book of instruction, offering counsel to those who would follow it. The psalmist considered the Bible the most reliable and trusted source for wisdom and direction. Each book, chapter and verse of Scripture were as personal “counselors” to him.
How do you read the Bible? Do you look to see what new insight it reveals about God? Do you prayerfully consider how to apply it to a particular area of your life? Do you delight in the Lord’s testimonies and counsel?
November 30, 2016
Our communication with God is to be two-way: We talk to Him in prayer and He speaks to us through His Word. Daily prayer and Bible reading is a believer’s lifeline to the Father. Are you facing a difficult decision? Are you in need of encouragement or advice? Go to the Father. Make known your requests. Read His Word. Pray “Lord, give me understanding according to Your Word.” Let the Spirit speak into your situation. Listen. He has spoken. He still speaks.
May 28, 2016
Psalm 119 is an acrostic poem written in celebration of God’s Word. It’s 22 stanzas were based on the Hebrew alphabet and at 176 verses, it is the longest chapter in the Bible. Verse 89 marks the beginning of the “Lamedh” stanza and also stands near the halfway mark of the psalm. It is like a keystone in a beautiful archway, anchoring the Word of God in the heavens. It is wondrous to consider the stars at night, yet God’s Word is more “firmly fixed in the heavens” than any ancient constellation. Why trust an astrological sign when theological revelation is infinitely superior and more clear? The heavens and the earth may pass, but God’s Word will last forever (Matt. 24:35).
May 23, 2016
How do you “store up” (“hide”) God’s Word in your heart? First believe it and receive it. Then, study and commit it to memory, so that it begins to re-write your thinking. When Jesus was tempted in the wilderness by Satan, He responded with Scripture every time. Memorize and repeat the Word to face today’s challenges.
November 29, 2015
Better to put your hope in the unchanging Word than in the ever changing circumstances of this world. God’s Word will accomplish what it says. The one who wrote Ps.119 knew this. Take some time to study this the longest chapter in the Bible. List the different words used for Word, such as: “law, promise,” etc…
November 23, 2015
A prayer for godly perspective and vision. “Lord, turn my eyes from ‘worthless’ (vain, empty, deceitful) things, and put them on Your eternal things.” Our eyes are continually bombarded with worldly advertising, especially (and ironically) during the Christmas season. We are tempted to spend our worship on worthless things that will not fulfill and will not last. And having spent our worship in the wrong place, we have nothing left for God. As Jesus said, “Do not store up your treasure on earth” but instead “store them up in heaven” (Matt. 6:19-20). And as Paul said, “Set you eyes and affections on things above, not on earthly things” (Col.3:1-2). Stop seeking worthless things and start seeking eternal things.
May 23, 2015
The longest chapter in the Bible and the one found near its very center is Psalm 119. It seems appropriate that the longest psalm in the Bible would be written as a meditation on God’s Word. Divided into 22 stanzas, it is an extended acrostic poem based on the Hebrew alphabet (Our word “alphabet” comes from the first two Hebrew letters: “aleph” + “beth”). In verse two, the psalmist wrote that the one who not only “keeps” the Word, but also “seeks” its Author will be “blessed.” In this verse, the psalmist refers to Scripture as “His testimonies.” As you read this psalm, how many synonyms can you find for God’s Word. As you number them, consider how you might keep them and seek the Father’s face as you do.