Lent Day 40

Day 40: Saturday, 20 April

Psalm 119: Lamedh

89 Your word, Lord, is eternal;
      it stands firm in the heavens.
90 Your faithfulness continues through all generations;
      you established the earth, and it endures.
91 Your laws endure to this day,
      for all things serve you.
92 If your law had not been my delight,
      I would have perished in my affliction.
93 I will never forget your precepts,
      for by them you have preserved my life.
94 Save me, for I am yours;
      I have sought out your precepts.
95 The wicked are waiting to destroy me,
      but I will ponder your statutes.
96 To all perfection I see a limit,
      but your commands are boundless.

NIV

We return to Psalm 119. The section where each line in the Hebrew starts with the letter lamedh is found above. I have mentioned that learning words is a good thing, and it is not so difficult if you take the time. What would be better: to look it up in a web browser on your mobile or to recite it instantly?

These are words of encouragement. Repeat to yourself the opening verse until something of its truth touches your heart. The three verses are powerful statements about God. It might seem a little odd to delight in God’s law, for to me the Ten Commandments carry a lot of “thou shalt not” in them, and the ‘thou shalt’s’ might not seem that exciting, either. But I’d be missing much if I did not peer more closely into the text and ask myself why God gave these words to Moses. They speak of long life, of blessings passing directly and free of charge through generations of families, and you will take a day off each week. Jesus added a layer of truth to the words of the law and summed it up in a few words, and he himself paid in his blood the price of our sin. As the Temple veil was torn, so the tablets of stone became redundant to those who follow Jesus.

The Law exists today, and everyone who is not in Christ remains under it, whether they believe that or not. Anyone who loves the law and follows it will be like the young psalmist above, who follows God with excitement, fervour and outright commitment. Even better for those who follow Christ.

What has a Christian got that surpasses the joy of the psalmist?

If you have found these reflections useful, how might you develop your understanding of them or respond artistically to their content? How about keeping favourite verses in a journal, drawing designs or pictures to colour in, learning a psalm or two?

Father God, I commit myself to you. Commit me to meditating upon your word that it may enlighten my thoughts and actions and set my spirit to rise in worship. Amen.

For the pure joy of it: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=zOo2HbNESNo

If you like that, then https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=–UABwqW9Sg

Journaling and colouring in Bible: https://www.google.com/search?q=ISBN+9781473640160

Scripture quotations taken from The Holy Bible, New International Version (Anglicised Edition) Copyright © 1979, 1984, 2011 by Biblica (formerly International Bible Society). Used by permission of Hodder & Stoughton Publishers, a Hachette UK company. All rights reserved. "NIV" is a registered trademark of Biblica – UK trademark number 1448790.

Paul