Today’s Lectio Divina: Excerpts from Psalm 119. (MsgB)
You’re blessed when you stay on course, walking steadily on the road revealed by God.
You’re blessed when you follow His directions, doing your best to find Him.
That’s right—you don’t go off on your own; you walk straight along the road He set.
By Your words I can see where I’m going; they throw a beam of light on my dark path.
I’ve committed myself and I’ll never turn back from living by Your righteous order.
I inherited Your book on living; it’s mine forever—what a gift! And how happy it makes me!
I concentrate on doing exactly what you say— I always have and always will.
Here’s some interesting statistics about Psalm 119…
It is, by far, the longest psalm of the 150 songs found in the Book of Psalms and the longest chapter in the Bible. With its 176 verses, Psalm 119 has more verses than thirteen Old Testament books and sixteen New Testament books!
Wow! Kinda makes it hard for me to pick only one subject matter here to blog on!
But here’s the fun part.
Psalm 119 was written as an alphabet song. Its 176 verses are divided into twenty-two 8-verse stanzas, with each stanza assigned to each of the twenty-two letters of the Hebrew alphabet. So with the help of some outside English translations, let’s review our alphabet, class.
Aleph (verses 1-8)
Beth (verses 9-16)
Gimel (verses 17-24)
Daleth (verses 25-32)
He (verses 33-40)
Vau (verses 41-48)
Zain (verses 49-56)
Cheth (verses 57-64)
Teth (verses 65-72)
Jod (verses 73-80)
Caph (verses 81-88)
Lamed (verses 89-96)
Mem (verses 97-104)
Nun (verses 105-112)
Samech (verses 113-120)
Ain (verses 121-128)
Pe (verses 129-136)
Tzaddi (verses 137-144)
Koph (verses 145-152)
Resh (verses 153-160)
Shin (verses 161-168)
Tau (verses 169-176)
From A-Z, God gives His Word to us. And just like the A-B-C song we all learned as kids, so it might be helpful for those of us who love God and want to walk in His ways to ponder deeply on this alphabet song (Psalm 119) as well. The interesting thing about music is that it truly helps us commit things to memory. Take verse 105 of Psalm 119, for example. Back in the day, songstress Amy Grant composed this one little verse into a song that I hear people still singing even today.
Thy Word is a lamp unto my feet and a light unto my path.
Over the years, I’ve found that if I really want to keep something cemented into my mind, I set it to music. Gosh, I guess God had that fact set in stone way back, long before any of us were singing the A-B-C song.
Ok kids, let’s try it once again.
Aleph, Beth, Gimel, Daleth, He, Vau, Zain…
I think this one is gonna take a bit more practice!
My prayer: Father, thank You for making hard things simple by setting Your truths to music. May I use not only Psalm 119 but also all of Your written Word as a song to my heart, setting my life to music. For Your name’s sake. Amen.
My questions to ponder: So how might I take scriptures that God is speaking to me and set them to music so that I might better remember them? What other rhythmic ways might I bring God’s Word into my life, so that, like the Alphabet Song, I can recall it easily when I need it the most?
So what is God speaking to you today as you ponder the Psalms?
Over a 50-week period, you and I will take a deeper look at The Psalms: God’s Songbook of Prayers. In order to keep all the blog sessions organized, we suggest you bookmark our Contemplating the Psalms home page for ease of use. Keep in mind that one of the best ways to explore the on-going applications of this blog series is to walk alongside a biblically-based, Christ-centered spiritual director who is familiar with how to make material like this part of your overall spiritual formation in God. Many of our directors in our Contemplative Activist network are available to companion you in your journey with Jesus. Click here for more info.
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