We’re in a new series called “Foundations” which builds off of Jesus’ metaphor in Matt 7: “A house built on sand will never be able to stand BUT a house that’s built on the rock will never be able to fall.”
This week, we’re in Practice #2: Grow in God’s Word. Specifically, we’ll spend four days in Psalm 119.
We will enter into God’s presence through His holy Word today. If you can, give yourself 15 minutes to just be with God. Set a timer and put everything else away except for you, your Bible, and the device you’re reading this on.
Let’s start: “God, you are good and you are true. You’ve given me your Word as a gift. Thank you that I can know you. Thank you that I can worship you. Open my mind to your truth as I contemplate your words in Psalm 119. Open my eyes - let me see You.”
Now, let’s read from the NET (New English Translation):
25 I collapse in the dirt. Revive me with your word.
26 I told you about my ways and you answered me. Teach me your statutes.
27 Help me to understand what your precepts mean. Then I can meditate on your marvelous teachings.
28 I collapse from grief. Sustain me by your word.
29 Remove me from the path of deceit. Graciously give me your law.
30 I choose the path of faithfulness; I am committed to your regulations.
31 I hold fast to your rules. O LORD, do not let me be ashamed.
32 I run along the path of your commands, for you enable me to do so.
Today, let’s practice a Bible study method where we compare different translations to understand the nuance of what the original author was saying. In verses 25 and 28 of the New English translation, the Psalmist uses the words “collapse” and “revive” (v. 25)/”sustain” (v. 28).
Using a tool such as BibleGateway.com, look up verses 25 and 28 in four different translations. Write down the synonyms you see for these verbs:
Now, rewrite verses 25a and 28a (“a” meaning the first half of the verse) in your own words. What is the Psalmist saying?
Have you ever felt this way? Have you experienced something so life-sucking, energy-draining, and sorrow-producing that you felt like all of your reserves were gone? What happened? Think about how you felt physically, emotionally, and spiritually. Did God seem close or distant during that time?
Rewrite verses 25b and 28b in your own words. What is the Psalmist saying?
Remarkably, the Psalmist is pointing to God’s Word as the thirst-quenching remedy to all of his problems. How does this match with your own experience of God’s Word? When you were in that life-sucking, energy-draining, sorrow-producing place, what brought you meaning and joy?
Spend some time in prayer and confession related to the way you view Scripture. Ask God to help you see His Word as a refreshing gift.
As you close, think of someone in your life who is in a dark, discouraging place right now. If you’re able to do so, send them some encouragement (by call, text, or email) which includes Psalm 119:25 and 28. Let them know you’re praying for them to experience revival and refreshment through the power of God’s Word.
Published on 09-16-2021 @ 4:22 AM CDT