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"Know ye not that they which run in a race run all, but one receiveth the prize?...Now they do it to obtain a corruptible crown; but we an incorruptible. I therefore so run, not as uncertainly;" 2 Cor 9:24-26

Teaching and Keeping

Posted by Emma on March 26, 2010 | Filed under: Bible,Christianity,Psalm 119,Studying the Word

“Teach me, O L_rd, the way of thy statutes; and I shall keep it unto the end.” -Psalm 119:33

This verse starts the fifth section of the Psalm. Each verse in this section will start with the letter ה (hey). This section starts out with a profound statement on the part of the Psalmist. As Christians, we should adopt this verse as a motto for life.

The first word in the verse is הורני (horiny), a form of a verb meaning direct, teach, instruct. The Psalmist is requesting that God teach him something. We know he is wanting God to do the teaching because of the next word יהוה (yud-hey-vav-hey), which is the proper name of God. It is a very holy name.

By now you are probably familiar with the word דרך (dereche), which is a way, road, journey, distance, or manner. In this Psalm it has been figuratively talking about life as a way and various aspects of life as different ways. It does that here as well. The word חקיך (chukeecha) means something prescribed, a statute. These are things God has told us to do. The Psalmist is talking about the way of God’s statutes. A way Christians should live.

The word ואצרנה (vi’etzirenah) is made up of a conjunction and a root word. The conjunction is a ו (vav) which means and. The root word is a verb meaning, watch, guard, keep. It is talking about doing something diligently and guarding it faithfully. It is making sure that no harm comes to that which we are diligently doing.

The final word in this verse is עקב (ekev) which means end. It is talking about the end of a matter and usually the end of time. The Psalmist uses it to talk about the end of his time on earth.

The Psalmist makes a very good request. He ask God to teach him the way of God’s statutes. Then he states that he will keep it unto the end of his stay here on earth. We should earnestly want God to teach us His words and His commands, but we must be willing to keep them. If we are willing to keep God’s commands with fidelity and diligence, I think God will teach them to us. Pray for God to teach you His commands and purpose in your heart to keep them.

Run This Way

Posted by Emma on March 25, 2010 | Filed under: Bible,Christianity,Life's Race,Psalm 119,Studying the Word

“I will run the way of thy commandments, when thou shalt enlarge my heart.” -Psalm 119:32

This verse caught my attention because run is the third word. I enjoy running and I really like the concept of running the race of Christ. This verse goes along with running the race of Christ, it is part of running the race of Christ.

The first word in this verse is דרך (dereche) which means way, road, journey, distance or manner. Here it is talking about the way of God’s commandments. This is a path our journey of life should be overlapping.

The next word is מצותיך (mitzivotecha) which means your commandments. It is talking about God’s commands. These are the things He has instructed us to do. They are easy to find. Read your Bible and you will come across them. God was gracious to us and recorded His commands in the Bible. We have no excuse for not doing them.

ארוץ (arutz) means run. We all know how to run. Running is not always easy, but you must persevere if you would win. The analogies that can be drawn between running physically and running spiritually are many. Run the race for the Lord!

The word תרחיב (tarichiv) is a verb meaning enlarge. It is to make bigger, more open. What is being made bigger? The last word in this verse is לבי (liby) which is the inner man, your mind, will, and heart. It is your thoughts, your emotions, your affections, what you determine to do. Along with your soul it is the core of who you are. We should all want God to enlarge our hearts to Him. To give us more of a love for Him.

The Psalmist is stating that he will run the way of God’s commandments, but he wants God to enlarge His heart. We should all ask God to enlarge our hearts, to fill us with His love and let that love come out of us. The more we run God’s way, the closer we will be to Him. The closer we are to Him, the more He will dwell in us and our hearts will be enlarged. It all works together. We must do our part as He does His part, but it is only by His grace that we can even begin to do our part. Without Him we would be nothing, we must never forget that.

If you are saved, running the way of God’s commandments is running the race for Christ. Christ said, “If you love me, keep my commandments.” (John 14:15) Jesus is God. The way of God’s commandments is the way of Jesus’ commands. If we love Jesus we should be eager to run in it. Run the way of God’s commandments. Ask God to enlarge your heart. Expect an answer.

Clinging to Testimonies

Posted by Emma on March 24, 2010 | Filed under: Bible,Christianity,Psalm 119,Studying the Word

“I have stuck unto thy testimonies: O Lord, put me not to shame.” -Psalm 119:31

This is another verse that speaks volumes and would be a good verse for us all to be able to pray and truly mean. I suspect that few people can honestly state the first part of the verse. We should all work to be in that group.

The first word in this verse is דבקתי (davakity). דבקתי (davakity) is a verb meaning to cling or cleave. It is holding onto something hard. It is to be grasping something so as not to let it good.

The word בעדותיך (be’adivutycha) is made up of a ב (beit) which is a preposition denoting proximity. The main part of the word means testimonies. These are the testimonies of God. They are written for us in the Bible. We should cling onto them. They should always be near us.

The next word יהוה (yud-hey-vav-hey) is the proper name of the God of the universe. It is a very holy name. The pronunciation has been lost, because the Jews would only say it in the temple so that it would not be taken in vain. After the temple was destroyed the second time, the pronunciation of the word was lost. This name is to be regarded as holy and not just used whenever.

אל (al) is an adverb of negation. It is followed by  תבישני (tevishany), which is a form of a verb meaning put to shame, to humiliate, disgrace, cause to feel shame. That is not something we want to happen to us.

I wonder how many of us could make the statement in the first part of the verse and mean it, or even want to be able to say it and mean it. I think most of us would like to pray the latter part of the verse. We do not like being put to shame. We should ask God not to put us to shame. If we really want that, we should work to be able to honestly say the first part, “I have clung unto thy testimonies”. God’s testimonies should be close to us. We should love them dearly and treasure them. As we do them we will be able to pray, put me not to shame, O Lord. Cling to God’s testimonies. Desire as treasure. Pray this verse and mean it.

The Way We Should Walk

Posted by Emma on March 23, 2010 | Filed under: Bible,Christianity,Psalm 119,Studying the Word

“I have chosen the way of truth: thy judgements have I  laid before me.” -Psalm 119:30

This verse connects with the previous one, which talked about removing your way far from the way of deceit and lying. Now the Psalmist is talking about where our way should be. We should follow the Psalmist and make sure we are walking the right path.

The first word of this verse is דרך (Derecha) which you may remember means way, road, distance, journey, or manner. It is talking about the manner of life that we live. It is used in a good sense of the word. This is a way we should want to live. The path of life should be along this way. What is this way?

The word אמונה (emunah) means faithfulness, trust or firmness. It is being faithful to God’s commands. Living a life that is trustworthy and true. Honesty is required to be trustworthy. If people cannot believe your word they will not trust you and you will not be faithful. The way of faithfulness, trust, and truth is far from the way of deceit. You cannot walk in both ways. If you are in one you are far from the other.

בחרתי (vacharity) is a verb meaning choose. The Psalmist is talking about choosing the way of truth. He asks God to remove the way of lying from him, but he, himself, chooses to walk in the way of truth and faithfulness. We must all make that choice. The way of faithfulness and truth is the way we want to walk. The other one is not worth walking. Even if you tread it for a short time, you will reap the consequences for a long time.

The word משפטיך (mishiphatecha) means judgements. Here it is talking about the judgements of God. His ordinances and what He determines to be right and wrong. We should do the things that God says are right. We know those things because they are recorded for us in the Bible. The Bible is a book that can tell us exactly how we are to live.

The final word in this verse is שויתי (shinity). This is a verb meaning hence, to be like, resemble. The form of the verb used in this verse seems to indicate that it means hence. Not being an expert on Hebrew, I am not positive. But hence would fit the context of the verse.

The Psalmist has chosen the way of faithfulness and truth, hence he is going to focus on God’s judgements. God’s judgements will teach us what is true and how to live faithfully. It is necessary to be living God’s way to truly live in the way of faithfulness and truth. At least to live there any length of time. We must focus on God’s judgements and keep them ever before us to guide us in the way of truth. Walk in the way of truth. Stay far from deceit. Keep God’s judgements ever before you.

What To Flee and What to Pursue

Posted by Emma on March 22, 2010 | Filed under: Bible,Christianity,Psalm 119,Studying the Word

“Remove from me the way of lying: and grant me thy law graciously.” -Psalm 119:29

Each verse in Psalm 119 has left me with something to ponder. They have all brought out a good point. This one does too. Lying is a sin, but one that people often think of as a “little” sin. No sin is little, they are all very serious. No matter how small a lie maybe, it is still a sin, one we must flee. We should pray as the Psalmist does, “remove from me the way of lying.”

The first word of this verse is דרך (derecha) which means way, road, distance, journey, manner. Here is talking about a way of life, the way of lying. This is not a good way. It is not a path we should want to walk in. Our lives should go far from the way of lying. We should be in the way of truth.

The next word is שקר (sheker) which means, deception, disappointment, falsehood. So the Psalmist is asking for more to be removed from him then just lying. He is asking that any deception be removed from him. Deception is the same as lying. It does not matter whether you say something or not. If what you do or say (or don’t do, or don’t say) leads someone to believe something that is not true, that is lying. Satan will deceive us and say that it is different, but it is not. Deception is lying. We must be very careful never to lead anyone to believe something is true when it really is not.

The word הסר (haseer) is a verb meaning turn aside. It is followed by the word ממני (mimeeny) which is a preposition expressing the idea of separation or removal. In can be removal from a place, person, or from guilt or calamity. Here it is talking about removal from the way of lying. The Psalmist is asking God to turn aside the way of deceit from him, to separate him from it.

ותורתך (vetoratecha) is made up of a root word and the conjunction marked with a ו (vav). The conjunction means, and. The root word means, instruction or direction. These are the teachings of God. Primarily those found in the first five books of the Bible, but can be all the instructions and teachings in the Bible. This word is typically translated into Greek and English as law, but that is a poor translation. It is more than just regulations we are to live by. It is all of God’s instructions and teachings to us. He has let us know His divine will and we should treasure it. It is no harsh law to be rejected. It is a book of love and mercy to be cherished.

The last word in this verse is חנני (chanany) which means to show favor, to be gracious to. It talks of God’s bestowal of favors on us. The Psalmist is asking God to do him a favor, to graciously give him the Bible, especially the first five books of it. How many of us could ask that?

It would be good for each of us to reach a point where we could honestly and earnestly pray this verse. To really desire that the way of deceit and lying be removed far from us. That our path would not intersect it at all. We also should ask God to be favorable and gracious to us by giving us His law and making us understand His teachings. If you are earnest in your prayer and really mean it, He will show you wonderful things out of His word. It does not come easy, you must want it and seek those things out. God is truth. As we grow more like Him, the way of lying will be further and further from us but we must be careful never to tread in it. Take a challenge from the Psalmist.  Flee deceit. Pursue the Word. Seek God.


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