"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

A Definition of a Good Friend

Posted by Emma on February 2, 2011 | Filed under: Christianity,Friendship,Psalm 119,Studying the Word

“Let those that fear thee turn unto me, and those that have known thy testimonies.” Psalm 119:79

The first word in this Psalm is ישובו (yasuvu) which is a verb meaning turn back, return. In this verse it is talking about human relations, returning to someone. The next word is לי (ly). I could not find a definition for this word. The word יראיך (yere’echa) is a verb meaning fear. In this verse it means to reverence or honor someone. It is a holy, proper fear.  The form of the word shows that means to fear You, that you being God. The word וידעו (veyade’u) is also a verb meaning know. The ו (vav) at the beginning of the word means and. The final word in this verse is עדתיך (edotecha) which means thy testimonies. These are God’s testimonies, His words in the Bible and those things He would have us do.

The Psalmist is asking that godly people return unto Him. I do not know why they had left him or if he is just asking for godly people to come to him for the first time. It is important for us to be surrounded by godly people. The people who are your friends, especially your close friends, will affect your character. It cannot be escaped. We must have good friends, godly friends who will build us up and push us closer to God. We should ask that these people come to us.

There are two characteristics that make up the people the psalmist wants around him. First, they fear God. To fear God is to honor and reverence Him. It is to be in relationship with Him and have HIm above all else. Much as been written about the fear of God and much is said about it in the Bible. It is being focused on God and always remembering that He is the highest authority and treating HIm as such. The second characteristic of these people is that they know God’s testimonies. If they know them and fear God, we can assume they are doing them. It does little good to have a mental knowledge of God’s testimonies. If we do not have experiential knowledge and heart knowledge they are next to worthless to us. We must do God’s testimonies, study His words and know what they mean so that we can really know God. As you do what God tells you, you better understand the character of God.

This verse defines what a good friend looks like. There is a lot more to a good friend then what is addressed in this verse, but fearing God and knowing His words is the basis for a good friend. It is important to have God-fearing people who know God’s testimonies around you, but it is also important that you are that type of person for others. Know God’s testimonies. Fear God. Encourage others.

A Warning and a Charge

Posted by Emma on February 1, 2011 | Filed under: Christianity,Psalm 119,Studying the Word

“Let the proud be ashamed; for they dealt perversely with me without a cause: but I will meditate in thy precepts.” Psalm 119:78

This verse starts out with the word יבשו (yevoshu) which is a verb meaning be ashamed. The next word is זדים  (zeedim) which means insolent, haughty. In the King James Version it is translated as proud. The Psalmist wants these people to be ashamed. But who are these זדים  (zeedim), insolent ones? This word has appeared three times before in this Psalm. In verse 21 the write says that they are cursed and have erred from God’s commandments. In verse 51 we are informed that they had the Psalmist in great derision, and in verse 61 we are told that they have forged a lie against the Psalmist. These proud, haughty, insolent people are not afraid of God. They are not afraid to live in direct disobedience to God and to attack those who follow God. These are ungodly people to be avoided.

The next word in this verse is a conjunction, כי (ci), which means that or for. The Psalmist is about to give the reason that these insolent people should be ashamed. The word שקר (seker) means deception or falsehood. Here it seems to mean deceit, fraud, wrong. They have deceived the Psalmist and acted wrongly towards him.

The word עותוני (yutuny) is a verb meaning be bent, crooked. It is to deprive of justice, falsify, make crooked. These insolent ones have acted falsely and crookedly toward the Psalmist.

The word אני (ani) is a pronoun meaning I. The Psalmist is about to make a statement regarding himself, his intentions. The word אשיח (ashicha) is a verb meaning muse, meditate upon, study. What is the Psalmist going to mediate on? בפקודיך (bephikudecha) means thy precepts. These are God’s precepts. The Psalmist states that he will meditate on God’s precepts.

In a lot of ways this verse is very similar to verse 69, “The proud have forged a lie against me: but I will keep thy precepts with my whole heart.” The proud, haughty, insolent people are creating falsehood against the psalmist but the psalmist is keeping and meditating on God’s precepts. This verse goes farther than the other one and states a consequence to come upon these insolent ones. The psalmist says, let them be ashamed. Shame is not something any human wants to experience. When someone is ashamed they are often humiliated or at least knocked down a few pegs in the perspective of others. It is not something that we want to have happen to us.

This verse carries a warning for us and a charge. The warning is to not be like the insolent ones who will be ashamed, but rather to trust and follow the Lord. We should not deceive others or wrong them with falsehoods. We should be known for the truth. To be known as a person of truth, you have to stay far away from lies or anything that is not true. Often falsehood sneaks in on us under the disguise of fun, teasing, sarcasm, and joking, but it is still lies and untruths and should be avoid. Be known as a person of truth and avoid insolent, untruthful folks.

The charge is to meditate on God’s precepts. When you fill your mind with the words and commands of God it is a lot easier to stay clear of falsehood and live a life to a higher purpose. We should follow God and fill our minds with His word, meditating and musing on it always. It will help us, save us, and protect us. Determine as the psalmist did to meditate on God’s precepts!

Delighting and Compassion

Posted by Emma on January 27, 2011 | Filed under: Christianity,Psalm 119,Studying the Word

“Let thy tender mercies come unto me, that I may live: for thy law is my delight.” Psalm 119:77

The first word in this verse is יבאוני (yevo’uny) which means come. The next word is רחמיך (rachamecha) which means thy compassion, talking about God’s compassion. The word ואחיה (ve’acheyeh) starts with a ו (vav) which means and. The root of the word is a verb meaning live.

The conjunction כי (cy) means that, for or when. The word following it is תורתך(toratecha) which means thy direction, instruction, or law. These are God’s directions, His instructions for us. These are the things that we are suppose to do and they make up the whole Bible. The final word in this verse is  שעשעי (sa’asu’a) which means delight.

The Psalmist is asking God to let His compassion come on Him. We all need God’s compassion on us, without we shall end up a failure and spending eternity in hell. God allows His compassion to come on us through the person of His Son, but even after salvation, we should ask God each day to send His compassion on us. We need it every hour of every day.

The Psalmist feels he can make this request of God because he delights in God’s law, His instructions. The word delights means a high degree of gratification of mind; an extreme satisfaction; joy. The Psalmist is satisfied by God’s law and has joy in it. Are you satisfied in God’s law? Do take joy in the direction God has given us in the Bible? How do you show God that you are thankful for His compassion? We do not delight in God’s word to become worthy of God’s compassion, nothing we do could make us worthy, it is only through Christ that we can dare ask for it. We delight in God’s words and instruction to show our appreciate for God’s compassion which He has given us in the form of salvation and countless other blessings.

Do delight in God’s law as a way of showing Him thanks?

God’s lovingkindness as our Comfort

Posted by Emma on January 26, 2011 | Filed under: Christianity,Love,Psalm 119,Studying the Word

“Let, I pray thee, thy merciful kindness be for my comfort, according to thy word unto thy servant.” Psalm 119:76

The first word in this verse is יהי. I could not find a definition for this word, but I am guessing based on the different translations of this verse that it must have to do with the word let. The next word in this verse is נא (na) which means pray or entreat.

The word חסדך (chasedecha) means thy goodness or thy kindness. It is talking about God’s lovingkindness towards humans. It is amazing that a Lord as big as our God would love us enough to care about each of us. God’s lovingkindness is an incredible thing.

The word לנחמני (lenachameeny) begins with a ל (lamed) which means for or to. The root word is a verb meaning comfort or console. The root of the word כאמרתך (ce’imeratecha) means utterances or words. The כ (caph) at the beginning of the word means according to. The final word in this verse is (take out later) לעבדך (le’avedacha). This word also begins with a ל (lamed) meaning to or for. The root word means servant or salve.

The Psalmist is entreating God to let His lovingkindness be for a comfort to Him. Why? Because of the words God said to His servant. It appears that God spoke with the Psalmist, His servant, and told him that His lovingkindness would be a comfort. God’s lovingkindness can be a comfort for us. It has been a comfort for me many times. When you are needing to be comforted or are going through hard times, pray and ask God to let his kindness be your comfort according to His word. His lovingkindness is seen throughout the Bible as a comfort for people, make it your comfort.

I Know. Do You Know?

Posted by Emma on January 25, 2011 | Filed under: Christianity,Psalm 119,Studying the Word

“I know, O Lord, that thy judgements are right, and that thou in faithfulness hast afflicted me.” Psalm 119:75

The first word in this verse is ידעתי (yada’ity) which is a verb meaning know. The Psalmist is saying I know. He has knowledge about what he is going to speak of and it sounds like experiential knowledge. He knows these facts for himself, personally, not just because someone else told him.

The next word is יהוה (yud-hey-vah-hey), the holy name of God. You may remember that the pronunciation of the name of God was lost with the second temple. The Jews felt God’s name was so holy and they were so careful not to desecrate it that it was never said outside the temple. Are we that careful with the name of God today?

כי (ciy) is a conjunction meaning that, for, or when. In this verse it seems to mean that. It is followed by the word צדק (tzedek) which means righteous or righteousness. The word משפטיך (mmishephatecha) means thy judgements. These are God’s judgements, his ordinances or rules that we are to live by. They are righteous as the Psalmist says.

The word ואמונה (ve’emunah) starts with a ו (vav) which means and. The main word means faithfulness, steadfastness. God is faithful. The final word in this verse is עניתני (ineetany) which means afflicted.

The Psalmist is stating two facts he knows about God, two things in which he is confident. As we live each day seeking to draw closer to the Father we will also know these things to be true. We will know them from our experiences and not have to rely on the Psalmist to tell us.

The first fact is that God’s judgements or rules are righteous. There is nothing bad in all of what God has told us to do in the Bible, it is all right. As we live in Christ and do what God tells us we will show the world that God is righteous.

The second fact is that God in faithfulness afflicts us. Revelations 3:19 says “As many as I love, I rebuke and chasten: be zealous therefore and repent.” God sometimes afflicts us to bring us back to Him. He is faithful when He afflicts us and does it to draw us closer to Him. I know this from experience. Recently, God afflicted me. I went through some really rough times but I came out of it closer to God and with a greater desire to know Him. God was faithful in afflicting me and during that affliction.

Do you know these two facts to be true? I do. I know that God’s way is righteous. I know that obeying Him and the guidelines He has laid out in the Bible is the only right way to walk. I know this from experience. I also know that God is faithful when He afflicts me and does it out of love. Often times I am afflict to bring me back to the righteous way of God. Next time you are afflicted, ponder where you might have stray. You are not always afflicted because you are sinning, but often that is the case. For whatever reason you are being afflicted seek God during that time and know that He is faithful.

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