Mountaintop Musings: Knowing God's word
November 28, 2018
One of the greatest chapters in the Bible is Psalm 119. It is an acrostic poem that exalts and praises God’s Holy and Majestic, Live-giving and Life-changing Word.
An acrostic is a Hebrew poem that runs through the Hebrew alphabet, and has (in this case) eight lines whose first word starts with the first letter of the Hebrew alphabet, Aleph. The next eight lines start with a word whose first letter is in Hebrew Beth, and so on. That is a neat way in which the Jews were guided to write some of the Psalms. It was, I am told a great aid in memorizing God’s Word so one would better be able use it in life.
Just think of verse 1, “Blessed are the undefiled in the way, who walk in the law of the Lord.” You want to be blessed by God then this verse says you better know His word and apply it. Verse 2 says we will be blessed if we keep his testimonies (Law) and seek Him with our whole heart. Again who would not want that? Keep God’s laws and seek Him with all of your being and see what He does! It does not get better than that!!
Verse 7 reminds us that when we have learned God’s righteous judgments (commands) then we will be able to praise Him with a pure, undefiled and upright heart. To be in right relationship with God the writer tells us that we must know God’s Word. We know God’s Word by reading it, studying it, attending a church that teaches and believes it, and puts it in to practice.
In the past I have used a memory verse program developed by the Navigator’s called the “Topical Memory System”. It involves 60 verses arranged by five topics, each having 12 verses to memorize. It is very good and one that I must say I need to get back in to. In that program two verses that I used with teens and they really embraced them were verses 9 and 11. They were in a section that I think was on holy living.
Psalm 119: 9 & 11 are “How can a young man keep his way pure? By living according to your word…I have hidden your word in my heart that I might not sin against you.” Now that is about the best guidance and advice a young, and old person could ever receive! Just think this is wisdom from roughly 3,000 years ago and is still will work! You want to live in a way that pleases your Maker, live according to His Word.
A favorite verse of many is 105: “Your Word is a lamp to my feet and a light to my life.” In other words God’s Word is good for the up close and personal, day-to-day decisions we make; and it is good for the big life-changing decisions that crop up. I guess one can say it applies to every decision and thought we make or have.
If you have not ever read the 119th psalm I would encourage you to read it today. It is long, but not too long. Skip over a YouTube video or two and invest part of your life in this majestic section of Holy Writ. You will not be disappointed. It will challenge you in how you use the time you have in life, matters of sexual purity and fidelity to your mate, interpersonal relations, the very thoughts you have will be affected I guarantee it.
It might also just allow the Holy Spirit of God to draw you in a little closer to a life-changing encounter with its Author. When you read the Holy Bible it is like having God himself breathe life in to your soul. All scripture is God breathed, or inspired by God Paul writes in 2 Timothy 3: 16 and it is profitable or useful for doctrine (right thinking), for reproof (rebuking error), for correction, for instruction in righteousness.
So as we move in to the celebration of Christmas, the birth of the Savior I would challenge you to blow the dust off you family Bible and read it so you can know what God says and not take my word for it! Until next time, thanks for reading this column and feel free to call me any time.
(Dave & Lisa Carroll are area missionaries with InFaith, America’s oldest Christian home mission agency. You can contact Dave at 406.459.8935 or [email protected])