The Word endures forever

psalm_119-160

Psalm 119:160 (KJV) is source of the Verse of the Day for August 6, 2014:

Thy word is true from the beginning: and every one of thy righteous judgments endureth for ever.

The phrase “righteous judgments” brought to mind one of my favorite passages from Psalm 19 which uses various expressions of the Word of God, such as the law of the Lord, statues, and commandments. I especially recall verse 9:

The fear of the Lord is clean, enduring for ever: the judgments of the Lord are true and righteous altogether.

Biblical scholar EW Bullinger points out that Psalm 119 is an acrostic psalm of 22 sections of eight verses each with each section starting with one of the 22 consecutive letters of the Hebrew alphabet. Take a look at the psalm and note that the first eight verses are labeled under Aleph, verses 9-16 are labeled under Beth; the same sequence follows for all 176 verses (8 x22).

The Verse of the Day is part of the Resh section set to music by Anthony Chow in the following video:

The Psalmist is clear in his proclamation that the Word of God endures forever. The reference to the Word of God as enduring also brings to mind Isaiah 40:7-8. This particular passage is used as the epigraph or introduction to a poem inspired when I stood on the stump of a massive oak tree that had gradually died over a period of time, eventually having to be cut down. Although the tree had been around for centuries, its demise brought to mind how fleeting life is in the light of eternity.

The Old Oak Stump

The grass withers, the flower fades,

because the breath of the LORD blows upon it:

surely the people are grass.

The grass withers, the flower fades,

but the word of our God stands for ever.

Isaiah 40:7-8

 

 

I stand dead center on the old oak stump,

The ruin of a woodland monument,

My feet encircled by the woody rings

That number far beyond remembered years.

I read between the lines of annual

Reports a history of all you have seen:

You saw the Shawnee dance around his fires;

You knew the name of each German who came

To farm, to build, and to beget his sons

Under the shaded beauty of your boughs;

You spread your arms and offered shelter as

A dwelling place for bird and beast and boy.

Yet time’s swift stroke condemned the tenement

As progress served its eviction notice.

Men leveled the tree whose lease had expired,

Legend of a people, long since cut off,

Like meadow grass overgrowing the land

Where I stand and read man’s life history:

Fleeting as baby’s breath, man’s day sprinkles

Grasslands for a season, then blows away.

All life evaporates like dew, except

The Word of God, which ever shall inspire.

 

Psalm 119:89 also proclaims the same truth: Forever, O Lord, Your word is settled in heaven. Indeed, the Holy Bible, the Book of Life, the Word of God, the word of the Lord endures forever.

Ken Whitson offers an original song “The Word Will Stand Forever.”

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