Teach me. Give me. Direct me. Turn me. Fulfill me. The psalmist has suddenly become more direct in his verses in 33-40 (psalm 119) I wonder if something has changed? As you read todays verses, circle each action verb. Are there others you found in the text? His change in tone remind me of the disciples request to Jesus, “Increase our Faith” (Luke 17:5) No longer the polite request, a directive. I cannot do this Lord unless you increase my faith.
Let’s get a little philosophical. Words are complicated. Words in the English language mean so many different things. One word can mean variable things. But the phrase used for the term “word” by our psalmist was the word dāḇār. One of the first time this word was used in the history of the world was with Abraham. “After these things the word of the LORD came unto Abram in a vision, saying, Fear not, Abram: I am thy shield, and thy exceeding great reward.” The word dāḇār was used. Interestingly the text states the “word of the Lord came into Abram”. It’s so fasinicating. The term in the New Testament is logos. Jesus’s words he uses the word logos, the greek form of this word. “Whoever does not love me does not keep my words. And the word that you hear is not mine but the Father’s who sent me.”
Have I blown your mind? Hold tight and let’s apply this to us. Consider the following, words from philosopher Rowan Williams, Archbishop of Canterbuy, in the book Silence and Honey Cakes. (Allow me to paraphrase a few of his words). ” What if being a believer manifests in how we talk, in what we think of language. What if we could recognize people of faith by how they spoke? And what if conversion meant not just taking on a new vocabulary and new ideas but a new style of talking?” He moves on to this very important point, “If communities of faith took language this seriously, they would be extraordinary sign of transformation”.
God takes words very seriously. The word of the Lord came “into” Abram. Allow his words to come into you today. Our psalmists’ words have changed in our text today. His words are more direct. He needs his father to teach him. Direct him. Give him understanding. Our words today should be used in the same capacity. We must shield them, allow God to restore our words to give Him praise. Use your words to proceed in the world with patience and present attentiveness to Him and the community in with you live.
If you have questions go to the blueletterbible.org and explore the words used in our Psalm. This is an inductive bible study, remember? We read it. We learn it, and we apply it. I hope I have given you a good example for applying His living words into your life today.