We are looking at Psalm 119: 81-88 today. Wow, I feel like a bouncing ball after reading these verses a few times. The writer does not seem to be “in a good place." He goes from feeling lost and in need of a life preserver, to trusting in God’s Word. He knows where his eyes should look, but doesn’t feel the comfort of God in his situation. At one moment he questions God’s timing and reminds God what unbelievers are doing, and the next moment, he declares his belief in God’s Word.
Many of us feel the same way right now. We know God’s Word to to true, yet we are faced with new and strange “edicts” from the government, that, at first glance seem to go against God’s teaching. God warns us to always put Him first and obey Him, while at the same time giving to Caesar what is Caesar's. Sometimes Christians disagree about which government laws contravene God’s laws.
Be assured, I am not going to tell anyone which governmental instructions to obey, and which ones that do not need to be obeyed. My purpose is to challenge us to be so in tune with the Lord through our personal Bible study and prayer life that we are able to hear what He is saying to us. Let’s be immersed in God’s Word. Please Review Psalm 119: 89-96
When trying to decide which rules to obey when it comes to the Covid-19 “Commands,” ask yourself these questions:
The verses below may have been addressed to young men, but this is a principle we all need to follow when interacting with those with whom we do not agree.
Likewise, urge the younger men to be self-controlled. Show yourself in all respects to be a model of good works, and in your teaching show integrity, dignity, 8 and sound speech that cannot be condemned, so that an opponent may be put to shame, having nothing evil to say about us. 2 Timothy 2: 6 – 8
Following the principles from God’s Word will help us to
discern what His “still small voice” is saying.
Based on: Psalm 119 73 – 80
When you read Psalm 119:73–80, do you pick up on the repeated word and sentiment from the previous stanza? The writer continues to point out his delight in God’s word. We know that this is a familiar theme throughout this Psalm. When I read these verses again in preparation for this blog the first verse jumped off the page. I had read these verses several times, but this time God opened my eyes to something I had not seen before.
Your hands have made and fashioned me;
give me understanding that I may learn your commandments.
The writer presents two streams of thought to us. He begins by reminding us that mankind was created by God, and then in the same sentence he asks God to give him the understanding to learn God’s commandments. Both of these topics are import but the first phrase has my attention today; “Your hands have made and fashioned me.”
This is not new information, nor a new revelation to me. It is a reminder. God brought this fact into fuller understanding for me. We can be confident in the fact that it was God, the creator of the world who used His own hands to shape and bring into being the very first humans to live on this earth. One was created from the dust of the earth, and the other created from the flesh of the first. Please do not believe that the first person, Adam, was any more important than the second person, Eve. In God’s own words she was created to be “a helper, suitable for him.” God created men and women to complement each other. Whether married or single, man or woman, you benefit by having people of the opposite sex in your life. Each person brings their unique point of view. Learn to appreciate each person brought across your path. Each one will enhance your life experience.
God Created Me, Debi Snider
God created and fashioned me to be uniquely me, and to be HIs. He knows I do not appreciate confrontation, that I tend to run from difficult situations. He made me that way. He knows I rather enjoy being in “lockdown” during COVID. He knows I do not mind at all not speaking to people I do not know well. He knows there are some things that I find easy to keep organized, and that I love my to-do lists. But He also knows that I can be extremely lazy and at times I ignore my to-do list.
Are you a combination of contradictions like I am? These “weaknesses” are exactly where I need to become more like Christ.
Make your own attitude that of Christ Jesus, Philippians 2:5
But grow in the grace and knowledge of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ. To him be the glory both now and to the day of eternity. 2 Peter 3:18
Covid-19 Lesson for Debi: God made me unique, but I am not to use personal weakness[JW1] as excuses not to strive to be more like Christ. He promises to[JW2] help us do what we can[JW3] do on our own.
I can do all things through him who strengthens me. Philippians 4:13
I need to set aside my love and desire of being [JW4] alone and force myself to interact with people face to face. Well, 6 feet apart. “Speaking” to people through my blog, and other writing, allows me to hide behind the safety of my computer. This is part of my ministry, but this is not the only way God wants me to connect and minister.
Dear Lord, you are my God, it is you who has fashioned me. I want others to know I am yours. Help me to become more like you each day. Thank you for the promise that you will give me the strength to do and be what I am not able to do and be in my own strength. Show me who I am to connect with today. Give me the words to say, and soften me to have a compassionate heart.
What has God said to you through the verses of Psalm 119:73–80? He does have a message in these verses for you. Read it enough times so that you know what that message is. You may think that it is a small, insignificant message, but if He is speaking to you, telling you to do something, it is no small message.
Craft your own prayer to the Lord today.
 The Holy Bible: English Standard Version. (2016). (Ps 119:73). Wheaton, IL: Crossway Bibles.
Based on: Psalm 119: 65 – 72
If you have been following these posts based on Psalm 119, you will notice that the stanzas, and even the verses, do not always follow one theme. We know that King David wrote some of the Psalms, and some were written by others. There is no clear opinion as to who wrote Psalm 119. I found a quote that helps me approach this Psalm with better understanding.
“No matter who wrote it, we notice that it was likely written over some period of time and later compiled because there is not a definite flow of thought from the beginning of the Psalm to the end. The sections and verses are not like a chain, where one link is connected to the other, but like a string of pearls were each pearl has equal, but independent value.” David Guzik – Blue Letter Bible
This is a beautiful and reassuring thought. The verses and stanzas are each important as stand-alone truths, not necessarily dependent on the previous, but yet stronger when linked with each of the other verses. Today’s verses are a good example of Guzik’s idea.
I trust you have read this stanza a few times. At first, I could not see the connection between the verses, but after several readings it became clearer.
During childhood many of us heard the words, “someday you will understand why we have these rules and consequences.” Or perhaps you remember something like this, “when you become an adult you will be glad I made you do…” These parental sayings came to mind as I reviewed these verses. The writer admits that he has done wrong, but that he still loves God and His Word. He is thankful for the laws and for God’s correction. The writer seems to love God even more because of the guidance and discipline.
When I look back on my life, I remember times when the Lord had to correct my sinful behaviour. I see now, that when I turned from my wrongdoing and began to obey His Word, God was able to use and guide me in ways I could not have imagined. I am thankful, and yes delighted, for God’s vital discipline, faithful love, ready forgiveness, and His never-ending mercy on my life.
But what does this have to do with the pandemic we are facing today?
I believe that all of God’s Word is relevant for the day we live in. Sometimes we need to dig deep into our hearts, minds, and attitudes to find what God is saying. The obvious point is, we need to use God’s Word to keep us from sin. But perhaps God has taught or reminded you of another practical way to use these verses in your life during this “new” normal. I would love to hear what that might be. Email me at firstname.lastname@example.org
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