Gracefully Truthful

God,Holy Spirit,Scripture,Transformation,Truth

Discover the original intent of Scripture. Make good application to our everyday lives.
Become equipped to correctly handle the Word of Truth!

Read His Words Before Ours!

Psalm 119:15-16

15 I will meditate on Your precepts and think about Your ways.
16 I will delight in Your statutes; I will not forget Your word.

The Original Intent

1) Who is writing this psalm and what type of psalm is this? 

Unlike other books in the Bible, Psalms doesn’t have a single author. Instead, it is composed by different authors and compiled together as a type of hymn book the Israelites used for worship, meditative reflection, and a guidebook for confessing sin.

This psalm is not attributed to a particular author, however, it is believed by many to be written by David due to its similar linguistic style and flow to his other psalms. It is written in an acrostic type fashion, utilizing every letter of the Hebrew alphabet to begin the line of each stanza.

This psalm is also repetitive in mentioning the Word of God. This repetition, mixed with the acrostic style, would have made for easy memorization which was important since physical copies would have been limited and the psalms were shared orally.

The Everyday Application

1) Who is writing this psalm and what type of psalm is this?

While we do not know for certain who wrote this psalm we can clearly see a focus on the word of God throughout it. The writer’s words place a heavy importance on the instructional true words of God; we shouldn’t miss this! It would also make sense that in a chapter so focused on God’s Word, it would be written in a way the Israelites could easily memorize and recall.

The lesson for us can be seen in the importance placed on God’s Word and the reminder we should not take for granted access to Scripture or the value of it in our lives. Practical tips for memorization aren’t limited to ancient oral cultures. Pick a passage to memorize this week and make it a habit to practice it each day.

Try putting the verses to a simple melody, writing it multiple times in your journal, placing sticky notes throughout your house, or taking a picture of the passage on your phone and using it as your lock screen. The methods for memorizing are many, but the emphasis of meditating on God’s Word is singular in focus. When we give ourselves to this, the rewards are limitless!

The Original Intent

2) What does it mean to “meditate on your precepts”?

Meditation by definition is “to engage in contemplation or reflection” and precepts are “a command or principle intended especially as a general rule of action” (Merriam-Webster). The Israelites would not only have read or recited these words, but also would have spent time thinking about them and storing them in their hearts.

There was a diligence placed upon the word of God which was commanded of the Israelites in Deuteronomy 6:5-7 and Deuteronomy 11:18. They were familiar with the concept of not simply saying the words but meditating on them and storing them within their hearts, allowing the words to impact the way they lived. The author understands the greatness of the word of God and is reminding the Israelites of this truth through his words.

The Everyday Application

2) What does it mean to “meditate on your precepts”?

Just as the Israelites stored the word of God in their hearts so should you and I. When we take time to go beyond merely reading the words in our Bibles to actively, prayerfully think about the words, we discover God’s rich calling on our lives. When we meditate on God’s words, we are taught by His Spirit as He shapes our hearts and lives to look more like Jesus and less like our sinful selves.

Remaking our lives from the inside out is something only God’s Spirit can do, and if we rush through Scripture meditation or lack consistency in reading His Word, we are denying ourselves the opportunity to grow up in Christ. (Colossians 1:28-29) When we choose to prayerfully sit under the instruction of God’s Words, checking off a to-do list item isn’t our goal, rather, we want to surrender to the Spirit at work in us through God’s living and active word. (Hebrews 4:12)

The Original Intent

3) What does it mean to “not forget your word”?

Matthew Henry writes, “When the law is written in the heart, duty becomes a delight. He will never forget what he has learned of the things of God: ‘I will not forget Thy word, not only I will not quite forget it, but I will be mindful of it when I have occasion to use it.’’ Those who meditate in God’s word, and delight in it, are in no great danger of forgetting it.”

The psalmist knows this to be true and understands the importance of God’s word. He is making sure the Israelites know the importance of remembering God’s words and storing them in their hearts. He understands that it is only when God’s word is not forgotten that it is useful when it is needed.

It is good to remember that the psalmist did not see this as a burden, but as something to be delighted in which is seen in the line immediately before the reminder to not forget.

The Everyday Application

3)What does it mean to “not forget your word”?

It’s easy to sit down with our Bibles and simply read the words before us, and then walk away unchanged, forgetting the words we just read. (James 1:23-24) We can then say we spent our time with the Lord for the day. However, we must ask ourselves what fruit is evidenced in our lives as a result of this cursory “reading” of God’s Word. Have we truly allowed the Spirit of God to transform us, allowing His glory to be reflected in us because of His living Word cutting through our sin and defenses? Do the words we read change the way we live? If we are simply reading to read, the likely answer is no.

We must store God’s word in our hearts, ponder its truth, and speak with the Author of those words that we might be changed. Practically, this means taking time to memorize Scripture so we remember truth. When we train ourselves in memorization and meditation, the Lord is able to bring to the forefront of our minds the exact words we need in our daily lives.

In our regular, everyday need, His words impact our lives by His Spirit and He sustains us through His word. When I memorize His words, I do not forget them, and my life is forever changed by the living word of God. I challenge you, sisters, to store God’s word in your heart.

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