November 5 – Dalet - Psalm 119:25-32

Monday, November 5, 2012

November 5 – Dalet - Psalm 119:25-32

My soul cleaves to the dust; revive me according to thy word!
When I told of my ways, thou didst answer me; teach me thy statutes!
Make me understand the way of thy precepts, and I will meditate on thy wondrous works.
My soul melts away for sorrow; strengthen me according to thy word!
Put false ways far from me; and graciously teach me thy law!
I have chosen the way of faithfulness, I set thy ordinances before me.
I cleave to thy testimonies, O LORD; let me not be put to shame!
I will run in the way of thy commandments when thou enlargest my understanding!

Are you beginning to notice some of the eight different words which the Psalmist uses to write of the Law?  In this strophe, we see statutes, precepts, law, ordinances, testimonies, commandments.  The word ‘precept’ is translated from the Hebrew word ‘piqqud.’  It is a charge, an order issued by an authority.

This portion of Psalm 119 is a lament.  The Psalmist is miserable.  He uses such terrific phrases to describe his situation.   “My soul cleaves to dust.” He is near death.  “My soul melts away for sorrow.”  What beautiful words to mean that he feels as if he is melting away because of the number of tears flowing from his eyes.

Then, he uses the same word, ‘cleave,’ when talking about the closeness he has with the Law.  As close as he was to death, he will be with the Law.  Redemption from death came from His asking the Lord to hold him close to the Law.

The point of this strophe is that without God’s word, we are nothing.  If we walk away from Him, we will die as nothing.

There have been several times in my life where I simply didn't have time to read scripture.  When I was in college, I was much too busy with other things.  But, I remember the first time I opened my Bible to do some actual studying and reading and I felt as if I’d returned to a safe place. I couldn't imagine ever leaving it again.  I did, though.  Several times. Each time that I would come back, I always felt as if I was where I belonged.  I’d open the Bible and discover words that seemed to be written to me personally, reminding me always of the truth that could be found there.

God’s truth never changes.  His love never changes.  No matter how far our souls fly from Him, no matter how much weariness or pain they are in, we can find His strength and Love when we return to the Law.

Lord, teach me your statutes, enlarge my heart so that I can understand your precepts, choose the way of faithfulness, cling to your testimonies and run in the way of your commandments.