Reflecting on Easter should be one of the most important times of our year. Some call it Holy Week but often it’s drowned out with spring break plans, Easter traditions, family dinner’s, and vacations. We forget to take time to reflect on the Easter sacrifice and resurrection. This week we will focus on one verse of the Bible, Psalm 119, exploring a little deeper each day until Easter. It’s a long verse. The longest verse in scripture. Scholars are not really sure who wrote it. There are hints in the text. One thing we do know for sure, the author of these verses loved the Word of God.
One personal goal for myself this year is to hide more of God’s Word in my heart, meditate on the verses I learn, and share them with you. During “Thy Word Thursdays” , posts created and placed on social media, I have been sharing verses from the Psalms collected by King Hezekiah. The last of this collection is Psalms 119 and this is the text we will study in depth this week. Assisting us with our study is a study guide created by Pam Gillaspie called “Sweeter than Chocolate” published in 2009. An appropriate name for a Easter study, don’t you think? 2009 was a tumultuous time in my life. I remember vividly, studying this Bible study soon after God had figurately saved my life, I started a new job, and spent a lot of time soul searching God’s plan for my life. So, this week it’s only fitting that we dive deep again into these verses of the Bible.
Sweeter Than Chocolate is an inductive study of Psalm 119. I had to google this term. My current knowledge of the word inductive includes “inductive reasoning” or an inductive stove top, which I own the latter and highly recommend. But what is an inductive bible study? There are three basic steps of an Inductive Bible Study— read, understand, and apply. (2) The first step is to read. So for today, let’s read. Take about fifteen minutes to read Psalm 119; it’s 4 and half pages in my ESV version of the Bible. Circle the words that the Holy Spirit impresses upon your heart. Often while doing an inductive bible study, it’s custom to have a journal along side of you. Jot down those words and create a list.
The word I circled while reading was meditate. During Lent this year, I’ve spent a good bit of time studying Christian meditation and rewriting a few of the Psalms as meditations. Many of the Psalms are very descriptive enabling one to focus one’s thoughts on the written words and guide yourself to images in your mind. These words or phrases can anchor us in prayer, and the mantra can help still our minds. Try it. Pick out a verse and use it as a type of mantra throughout your day. In verse 97 it states “Oh how I love your law! It is my meditation all the day.” Isaac was the first character in the bible where the word meditate was used. He was meditating in the fields when they brought Rebecca from her home to be his bride. I’m sure he was a nervous wreck, meeting the woman that would soon be his wife. (Genesis 24) And there he was in the fields, when life got hard and anxieties prevailed, he was meditating on God’s Word. I’m ready to hide more of God’s Word in my heart. How about you?
This week I will share a few of my favorite songs, easy listening songs for meditation. Music is an important way to refocus our thoughts, be still with God, and focus our mind on Christ and his sacrifice. Today’s song by Bethel Music, a beautiful rendition of a favorite. Below are links to spotify and Apple Music.