Posts Tagged ‘Psalm 119:11’

The Strong, the Wise and the Righteous

July 18, 2018

The Verse of the Day for July 18, 2018 comes from Psalm 119, the longest chapter in the Bible. Also known as the Torah Psalm, this passage makes reference to the Word of God in every verse, employing such synonyms as “statues, Law, judgments, precepts, etc. The Verse of the Day is the next to the last verse of the Aleph or the first section where David makes a bold declaration of his intent:

Psalm 119:7 (New Living Translation):

As I learn your righteous regulations, I will thank you by living as I should!

The section ends with another declaration of intent, ending with a passionate plea:

Psalm 119:8 (NLT):

I will obey your decrees. Please don’t give up on me!

David goes on to demonstrate his efforts to live uprightly and follow the precepts of God:

Psalm 119:11 (NLT):

I have hidden your word in my heart, that I might not sin against you.

At the dedication of the Temple, David, who is described as “a man after God’s own heart,” comments on the attributes of God by saying,

17 I know, my God, that you examine our hearts and rejoice when you find integrity there. You know I have done all this with good motives, and I have watched your people offer their gifts willingly and joyously. (1 Chronicles 29:17)

David goes on to speak of his own state before God:

2 Samuel 22:23-26

23 I have followed all his regulations;
I have never abandoned his decrees.
24 I am blameless before God;
I have kept myself from sin.
25 The LORD rewarded me for doing right.
He has seen my innocence.
26 “To the faithful you show yourself faithful;
to those with integrity you show integrity.

God is always on the lookout for individuals who are “upright in heart.” A classic illustration of God looking for and finding such an “upright” person is found in Job, who is described in this way in the first verse of the book that bears his name:

Job 1:1 (Amplified Bible):

1 There was a man in the land of Uz whose name was Job; and that man was blameless and upright, and one who [reverently] feared God and abstained from and shunned evil [because it was wrong].

Psalm 11:7 (NLT) also makes known the kind of people who get God’s attention:

For the righteous LORD loves justice. The virtuous will see his face.

II Chronicles 16:9 reveals that the eyes of Lord are always scanning the planet, looking for individuals with an upright or perfect heart. Such an individual is further described in Psalm 37:37 as “the perfect man . . . the upright,” whose life is a reflection of the peace of God. These two verses are combined in a Scripture memory song with these lyrics:

II Chronicles 16:9 and Psalm 37:37

For the eyes of the Lord run to and fro,
For the eyes of the Lord run to and fro,
For the eyes of the Lord run to and fro,
Throughout the whole earth
To show Himself strong, to show Himself strong,
To show Himself strong in behalf of them
Whose heart is perfect toward Him.
The man with a perfect heart is whole and complete:
Mark the perfect man and behold the upright,
For the end of that man is peace.

For the eyes of the Lord run to and fro,
For the eyes of the Lord run to and fro,
For the eyes of the Lord run to and fro,
Throughout the whole earth

Ten years ago I recall a Bible teaching that described those who survive in times of famine. The Verse of the Day and related scriptures brought to mind this response:

The Strong, the Wise and the Righteous

“In times of famine, those who survive
and prosper are the strong,
the wise and the righteous.”
Apostle Eric L. Warren

In times of severe famine those who survive are the strong
In mind, those empowered by the Spirit of Might.
Though living in a strange land, they sing the Lord’s song,
Striving to please their God, in whom He takes delight.
During drought and scarcity of food the wise
Search for wisdom as bold hunters pursue their game.
They seek to do all God’s will and not compromise.
God hears every cry when they call upon His name
And satisfies the deepest hunger of their soul.
Walking worthy of their calling as faithful sons,
They learn that to run to serve is life’s highest goal.
In times of famine they shall find grace in the Lord’s eyes;
Set apart for His glory: the strong, righteous and wise.

We end our comments on the Verse of the Day “a musical rendering of Psalm 119:1-8 offer as a worship song by Jason Silver: “All Your Commandments”

Psalm 1: My first psalm

November 19, 2017

Psalm 1 3

The following was published a year ago and is revised and re-posted here:

In reflecting on the Verse of the Day for November 19, 2017, an expression came to mind that I generally associate with this particular passage, and so once again we have the Verse of the Day and the Word or Phrase for the Day Combo.

Here are the opening verses of one of my favorite psalms:

Psalm 1: 1-2 (AMP):

[Book One] [The Righteous and the Wicked Contrasted.] Blessed [fortunate, prosperous, and favored by God] is the man who does not walk in the counsel of the wicked [following their advice and example], nor stand in the path of sinners, nor sit [down to rest] in the seat of scoffers (ridiculers). But his delight is in the law of the Lord, and on His law [His precepts and teachings] he [habitually] meditates day and night.

The First Psalm is especially meaningful to me in that it is the first passage of scripture that I “learned by heart.” We, thus, introduce the “Phrase of the Day.” I recall committing the entire psalm to memory in the mid-fifties, back in the day, in what we called “junior high school.” I vividly remember that Mrs. Little, the local undertaker’s wife, gathered kids from the neighborhood in a kind of impromptu Vacation Bible School in her home, which was located behind “Little’s Funeral Parlor.” She told us to memorize Psalm 1, which I did and still “know by heart” to this day.

Here is the entire psalm in the King James Version which I committed to memory:

1 Blessed is the man that walketh not in the counsel of the ungodly, nor standeth in the way of sinners, nor sitteth in the seat of the scornful.

But his delight is in the law of the Lord; and in his law doth he meditate day and night.

And he shall be like a tree planted by the rivers of water, that bringeth forth his fruit in his season; his leaf also shall not wither; and whatsoever he doeth shall prosper.

The ungodly are not so: but are like the chaff which the wind driveth away.

Therefore the ungodly shall not stand in the judgment, nor sinners in the congregation of the righteous.

For the Lord knoweth the way of the righteous: but the way of the ungodly shall perish.

Recently I came across a discussion of idioms on EnglishStackExchange.com where someone asked if “learn by heart” and “learn by rote” meant the same. In making the distinction between these two expressions, one writer commented that “[to] go over many times is the process of ‘rote learning’; I learned it by heart is the effect it produced or the quality of learning that was acquired.”  Learning by heart means to learn something so well that it can be written or recited without thinking; to memorize something. 

Another writer went on to say: “Learning by heart — which may be somewhat of a dying tradition — means to learn something so deeply that it becomes part of our core: it fills us; it changes us. The difference might be less in technique than in what we do with the acquired information.”

In the years that have transpired since the first time I recited the passage, I have come to identify with the man so described as “blessed (happy, fortunate, prosperous, and enviable” in the Amplified Bible:

In a previous blog post I express my identification with this individual in the following self-portrait:

Talk about a Man

Psalm 1

 Talk about a man that show is blessed—I’m the man.

Talk about a man that show is blessed—I’m the man.

At first I couldn’t, but now I see God’s master plan.

 

To study the Word of Life show is my delight.

To study the Word of Life show is my delight.

I’m all the time thinking about it—day and night.

 

Planted by the rivers of water, my roots reach deep.

Planted by the rivers of water, my roots reach deep.

By the still waters the Good Shepherd leads his sheep.

 

In God all His promises are yes and amen.

In God all His promises are yes and amen.

I been truly blessed since I can remember when.

 

The Word of God soothes my soul like a healing balm.

I’m the man they talking about in that First Psalm.

In thinking about the phrase “to learn by heart,” I recall another related verse which was the first verse in a set of 25 scripture memory cards that I later committed to memory as well:

Psalm 119:11 (NKJV):

11 Your word I have hidden in my heart, that I might not sin against You.

Today, more than 60 years have passed since I first encountered the First Psalm in all of its beauty and learned it by heart, the Word of God remains deeply implanted within me.

Listen to a musical version of this beautiful psalm offered by the Sons of Korah:

 

 

 

God’s Word is a lamp

November 17, 2017

psalm 119 105

Revised and re-posted, the Verse of the Day for November 17, 2017 is taken from Psalm 119, the longest chapter in the Bible. Also known as the Torah Psalm, this passage makes reference to Word of God in every verse, employing such synonyms as “statues, Law, judgments, precepts, etc. One of the most familiar metaphors used to describe the Scriptures is found in Psalm 119:105 (AMP):

[ן Nun] Your word is a lamp to my feet and a light to my path.

The Verse of the Day is part of the Nun section set to music in the following video by Clear:

This particular verse was among the first scripture memory songs that I ever composed with the following lyrics:

God’s Word is a lamp, a lamp unto my feet.

God’s Word is a lamp, a lamp unto my feet

God’s Word is a lamp, a lamp unto my feet

And a light unto my path.

 

When I am in the dark

And cannot find my way,

I open up the Bible

To see what God will say.

I look and find the answer

And then I gladly obey.

 

God’s Word is a lamp, a lamp unto my feet

God’s Word is a lamp, a lamp unto my feet

God’s Word is a lamp, a lamp unto my feet

And a light unto my path.

 

When you have a problem,

And you don’t know what to do,

Just open up the Bible

See what God says to you.

Just look and find the answer.

Ask yourself, “What would Jesus do?”

 

God’s Word is a lamp, a lamp unto my feet.

God’s Word is a lamp, a lamp unto my feet

God’s Word is a lamp, a lamp unto my feet

And a light unto my path.

The Verse of the Day also brings to mind other references to the Word of God as a light:

Psalm 119:130 (NLT):

The teaching of your word gives light, so even the simple can understand.

The Amplified Bible renders the verse this way:

 130 The entrance and unfolding of Your words give light; their unfolding gives understanding (discernment and comprehension) to the simple.

The term “simple,” sometimes viewed in a negative way, is, however, not a pejorative adjective, in that it refers to being naïve, or inexperienced, uninitiated or innocent or guileless. Some might view this quality in a favorable light, as the Shaker hymn states, “Tis a gift to be simple

This message is reinforced in Psalm 19:7-11 (NLT)

The instructions of the Lord are perfect, reviving the soul. The decrees of the Lord are trustworthy, making wise the simple. 8 The commandments of the Lord are right, bringing joy to the heart. The commands of the Lord are clear, giving insight for living. 9 Reverence for the Lord is pure, lasting forever. The laws of the Lord are true; each one is fair. 10 They are more desirable than gold, even the finest gold. They are sweeter than honey, even honey dripping from the comb. 11 They are a warning to your servant, a great reward for those who obey them.  By believing in him you will have life by the power of his name.

The Word of God embodies who God is, as 1 John 1:5 so clearly reveals:

[God Is Light] This is the message [of God’s promised revelation] which we have heard from Him and now announce to you, that God is Light [He is holy, His message is truthful, He is perfect in righteousness], and in Him there is no darkness at all [no sin, no wickedness, no imperfection].

We conclude with worship leader, David W. Morris, on “Thy Word” (Psalm 119:105 by Hosanna! Music.

Psalm 40:8 and related verses with song

October 21, 2013

Psalm_40-8

In reflecting on the Verse of the Day for October 21, 2013, my mind immediately went to the First Psalm, the first passage of scripture that I ever committed to memory when I was in grade school, more than 60 years ago, back in the day, in what we called “junior high school.” I remember that Mrs. Little, the local undertaker’s wife, gathered kids from the neighborhood and told us to memorize Psalm 1, which I did and still recall by heart to this day. Psalm 40:8 brought to mind Psalm 1:1-2:

Blessed is the man that walketh not in the counsel of the ungodly, nor standeth in the way of sinners, nor sitteth in the seat of the scornful.

But his delight is in the law of the Lord; and in his law doth he meditate day and night.

Here is a reading of Psalm 1 in Hebrew with English subtitles:

Psalm 1 is set to music in this selection from Kim Hill:

Another related scripture from the Book of Psalms is Psalm 119:11, a special verse that I committed to memory by composing a melody to facilitate memorizing the scripture, the first of a long series of scripture memory songs.

Thy word have I hid in mine heart, that I might not sin against thee.

Here is a similar Bible Memory Verse for Kids for Psalm 119:11 by Shannon Linville.

A great way to begin the day is with a couple of verses set to music from the Psalms.

“Constant Reminders”: Inspired by the Verse of the Day

October 17, 2012

This morning as I began my day, I thought of Psalm 46 and decided to look up that particular psalm on the Bible software on my laptop. I couldn’t help but marvel at how my routine has changed over the past 45 years since I was first made reading the Scriptures a part of my daily routine. I was drafted into the US Army in 1967 in the midst of the Vietnam crisis, which served as a backdrop to my commitment to Jesus Christ and my introduction to the Word of God upon which I decided to build my life. Before I left for basic training, the members of my former church in Gary, Indiana had given me a small leather-bound Bible with a zipper. I still have the well-worn Bible with frayed pages and though the place where my name was embossed in gold has been worn away, I have endeavored to “hide the word in my heart that I might not sin against God.” Back then with the Bible in hand, taking a “good look at the Good Book” was part of my daily routine. Now that routine often involves reading the Word of God from my laptop.

For the past 45 years I have tried to implement the discipline of reading the Bible as a way of beginning my day.

As I went to pull up Psalm 46, the “Verse of the Day” caught my eye. When I read the two verses, a melody came to mind while meditating on this passage from the New International Version:

Psalm 25:14-15

The Lord confides in those who fear him;
    he makes his covenant known to them.
15 My eyes are ever on the Lord,
    for only he will release my feet from the snare.

Verse 14 caused me to think of a poem that I had written nine years ago after hearing a message by Apostle David Puplompu who used six words as the foundation for his teaching: God-faith-hope-promise-covenant-love. I used to those six words in crafting a particular kind of poem called a “sestina” which is structured using six words which serve as the ending word of lines of a series of six stanzas plus a three-line closing stanza. One of the six words used is “covenant” mentioned in Psalm 25:14.

 

  Constant Reminders

   for Apostle David Puplompu

 

Quick and powerful is the Word of God.

Once heard, it generates within us faith,

Arising to anchor our souls in hope,

Linked to a sure and unfailing promise,

Sealed with an everlasting covenant:

Constant reminders of His endless love.

 

Never failing, always abounding love,

Still overflowing from the heart of God,

Expressed in the oath of His covenant,

Salted before the offspring of great faith,

From God, who cannot lie in this promise:

That through the Scriptures we might rest in hope.

 

Though we do not see, yet we wait in hope,

For we are rooted and grounded in love

And know that God fulfills every promise.

We place our ears near to the lips of God

And learn to walk, not by sight, but by faith,

Assured that He will keep His covenant.

 

God makes known to us a new covenant,

Quickened within us by a lively hope,

Energized by ever-increasing faith,

That we might know and be known by His love,

Surpassing even the knowledge of God:

How great and how precious is each promise.

 

To us and our children is this promise,

For we are joint-heirs of the covenant.

Grace, mercy and peace from our Father, God:

His plans to give us a future and hope.

As His dear children, we must walk in love,

Since we know that the just shall live by faith.

 

Born again into the family of faith,

As God sent, so we received the promise,

A measure of the fullness of His love.

Bound by words of a righteous covenant,

We shall never be ashamed of our hope:

We know that faithful and true is our God.

 

The seed of faith planted in covenant,

Rooted in its promise, blossoms in hope:

Rich harvest of love from the Word of God.

 

Verse 15 and its reference to “my eyes are ever on the Lord” caused me to think of the lyrics to this original composition:

 

The Servant’s Song: My Eyes Are Only on You

 My eyes are only on you.

My eyes are only on you.

All that you tell me that I will do.

I offer my life; I give it to you,

For my eyes are only on you.

 

As the eyes of a servant look to the hands of His Lord,

As the ears of a servant know so well his master’s voice,

So my mind stays focused to watch and learn how you move.

Create in me a servant’s heart; teach me to serve in love.

 

 

My eyes are only on you.

My eyes are only on you.

All that you tell me that I will do.

I offer my life; I give it to you,

For my eyes are only on you.

 

As I continue to wait upon my Master and Lord,

I will quickly obey and gladly submit to His will.

I fulfill my calling as I watch and wait to see

When He bids me to the wedding feast, and He will wait on me.

 

My eyes are only on you.

My eyes are only on you.

All that you tell me that I will do.

I offer my life; I give it to you,

For my eyes are only on you.

 

What a wonderful way to begin my day.  My routine of reading the Word of God is still the same yet somehow different because of the technology that I did not have access to 45 years ago when I first began to “hide the Word in my heart.”

 

Though I may not literally read the Bible everyday, I still endeavor to apply Psalm 119:11, one of the first scriptures that I committed to memory more than 40 years ago.