Friday, March 11, 2016

A Tour Through Psalms 119: Beth

Posted by Lisa Laree to Beer Lahai Roi

Today, we're looking at verses 9 - 16 of Ps. 119, which, in the Hebrew, all begin with the letter 'Beth'

NIV '84:

How can a young man keep his way pure?  By living according to your word.
I seek you with all my heart; do not let me stray from your commands.
I have hidden your word in my heart that I might not sin against you.
Praise be to you, O  LORD; teach me your decrees.
With my lips I recount all the laws that come from your mouth.
I rejoice in following your statutes as one rejoices in great riches.
I meditate on your precepts and consider your ways.
I delight in your decrees; I will not neglect your word.

Working with the Word Study Bible/Hebrew Dictionary/online sources is a little tricky; not all of the English words are matched up to Hebrew words.  In many cases, the subject of the sentence is not explicitly stated in the Hebrew I can actually reference; where I have had to specify something to make the English make sense I've bracketed it; basically going on what is implied or understood from the scholarly work of previous translations.  With that caveat, here's what I've pieced together from the Hebrew dictionaries:

How [can your] servant cleanse [the self and] keep pure? Hedge about,  protect and take heed to the word [of God] - the sayings, utterance and matter.

[With] The whole [of the] inner man: mind, will, heart and understanding  resort to, seek with care, inquire of God; never go astray [from] the commandment of God.

The word of God [is] treasured and stored up [in the] inner man: mind, will, heart and understanding in order to  never miss the way, go wrong, incur guilt, lose oneself.

You are blessed, Yahweh! Teach statute, ordinance, decree and prescribed boundary.

Language and speech [regularly] recount, rehearse and declare the whole judgement and justice spoken [from God's] mouth.

[The]Way and manner of moral character rejoices [in God's] testimony over and above wealth and riches.

[Upon God's] Precept and statute  ponder, meditate, muse and study; regard, pay attention to, and consider  [God's] way of living.

Delight oneself  in [God's] statute, ordinance and limit; never  forget [or] ignore [God's] speech, sayings, words.

Verse nine states a question (How can a young man  - servant is an alternative translation-  keep his way pure?) and answers it (By living according to your word)...and the other 7 verses describe the intentional actions to fulfill that answer...what it is to 'live according to [God's] word'.

Here's a short to-do list:

Seek God with one's whole being
Store up and treasure the Word of God in one's inner self
Speak out loud the righteousness of God - often
Value God's word above riches
Ponder, study, consider God's instructions
Find delight in God's decrees

AND...a shorter DON'T-do list:

Wander off of the way God has described
Miss the way,  go wrong, incur guilt, lose one's self
Forget and/or ignore God's  instruction

Basically, the Psalmist says that God's word needs to be the standard by which life is lived. But notice...buried in the middle of the list of dos and don'ts is a prayer...Teach us!  We can't learn it on our own! is the overall thought for the day: if we truly value God's word, He Himself will teach us how to live by it.

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