The Longest Chapter – Part 7 Feb. 23, 2016

Maybe you’re old enough to remember when memorizing passages of Scripture was a common practice.  We don’t hear so much about that anymore but it’s a worthwhile effort that should be revived.  A subscriber wrote in to say she’s doing that week by week with this study – memorizing the section of the week.  Want to join her?

Biblestudy

Psalm 119: 49 – 56

Remember Your promise to me; it is my only hope

Your promise revives me; it comforts me in all my troubles.

The proud hold me in utter contempt but I do not turn away from Your instructions.

I meditate on Your age-old regulations; O Lord, they comfort me.

I become furious with the wicked because they reject Your instructions.

Your decrees have been the theme of my songs wherever I have lived.

I reflect at night on who You are, O Lord; therefore I obey Your instructions.

This is how I spend my life: obeying Your commandments.

Wow – what a magnificent section!  A great way to wake up each morning is to remember God’s promise – His covenant – for truly it is our only hope.  He is a covenant-keeping God, faithful to us because of His own integrity, not based on what we have or have not done.

On good days and difficult days, what keeps us steady in our faith is this: Your promise revives me; it comforts me in all my troubles.  That verse reminds me of another psalm which I love:

The Lord is my shepherd. I have all that I need….

Surely Your goodness and unfailing love pursue me all the days of my life and

I will live in the house of the Lord forever. (Psalm 23: 1, 6)

God loves you with an everlasting love; His desire is for relationship with you. This theme is consistently repeated to us in the pages of Scripture from cover to cover.  It is such a dominant theme that one cannot avoid recognizing that God is determined that we should know His love for us.

What about our love for Him in return?  Is it enough to just say occasionally, ‘I love you, my God’?

Love is more than a feeling; love is something that you do.  Love for God prompts you to want to know His Word; love for God draws you to meditate and study what He desires of you.  Love for God motivates you to want to obey His instructions.  It is the personal, heartfelt love for God that makes the difference between religion and relationship.  The commandments of God were never intended to be a cold and formal set of regulations to be followed mechanically as if we were robots!  Perish the thought!

Once you and I recognize that the instructions (commandments) He has given us come from His heart of love, only then does godly obedience follow.  Commandments are not ‘restrictions’; they are guidelines for blessed, happy and successful living which is precisely what the love of God wants for each of us.  And, my friends, obedience to His ways is the highest expression of our love for Him.  Love is expressed in the action of obedience to the One you love.

The psalmist knew this so well which is why the closing verse of this week’s section says:

This is how I spend my life, obeying Your commandments.

May these words be our song of love to the Father as well.

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Check out our weekly Torah commentary as well at InTuneWithTorah

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