Today we will look at the 3rd stanza of Psalm 119, the “Bet” stanza, verses 9-16, the 2nd letter of the Hebrew alphabet, each stanza corresponding to each letter of the Hebrew alphabet. The images created in my mind as I read this text is an image of a human heart. The author seeks God with his whole heart. He hides God’s Word within his heart. What does it really mean to hide something in your heart? What does it mean when Christians state that “Jesus lives in my heart”?
Paul does a beautiful job explaining this in Ephesians 3:14-17. God grants us the power through his spirit in our inner being, so that Christ may dwell in our hearts through faith, then we have strength to comprehend what is the breadth and length and height and depth to know the love of Christ that surpasses knowledge and experience the fullness of God. (paraphrased) Only with Christ can we truly experience the fullness of God, and I think that’s what the author of Psalm 119 was seeking. We are so lucky to now have complete fulfillment of these words.
In verse 10, the psalmist writes “Do not let me wander from your commandments”. Gillaspie writes that the Hebrew root word for wander is shagah and indicates a sin that is committed inadvertently, the same term used when referring to sheep when they “nibble their way to lostness”. How often I inadvertently sin, beginning as the translation states in the ESV of the Bible, “I tried hard, but then I wandered”. We start out with good intentions, then quickly wander, easily distracted. But thankfully, the psalmist has the key to this solution. I will meditate on Your precepts. I will meditate on you Jesus.
The Bible study leading our discussion this week believes that mediation is a cure for spiritual paralysis. Our psalmist believes it’s a cure for our wandering. How does the Christian meditate? Recently I heard a woman interviewed on the radio discussing her prior life as a psychic. She thought that God had given her the gift of hearing spirits. Her teachers even taught her that what she was doing was from God, they would even recite the Lord’s Prayer during teaching sessions, but she later realized that what was happening was not from God, it was demon powered. During her interview she beautifully described the definition of eastern culture mediation and the ultimate goal of emptying the mind, but she warned that this is not what we want to do, if we empty our minds then their is room for powers that are not from God to fill the crevices of our thoughts. Instead we are to fill our minds with the living Word of God. That’s the true meaning of Christian meditation.
Today, pick out a verse from this stanza, meditate on it until it reaches your inner being, so you too can experience the fullness of God. Allow God to take you back to this week in time when Christ first came to Jerusalem knowing that this would be his last week hear on earth, picturing his ultimate fate.
Today I share with you a playlist from Spotify; I’m currently listetning as I write. It is an instrumental version, more like the music that you imagine at a spa or when you hear the term meditate. More often than not, I prefer acoustic type music shared with you the last two days, when I’m meditating. However, during immersive bible study, when writing, this playlist is perfect.