Friday, April 15, 2016

A Tour Through Ps. 119: He

Posted by Lisa Laree to Beer Lahai Roi

Somehow I skipped another week...oh, yeah; we spent last Friday buying a car. Who woulda thought that it would take most of the day to buy, finance, insure and license a new car? should get somewhat less hectic now that The Actor can  use the clunker without having to worry about my schedule.  I never thought we'd be a 3 car family again, but, well, you do what you gotta do.

2012 Hyundai Santa Fe. I'm no longer driving the mom van.  My Sweet Babboo has it because he can haul camping gear.  When it is ready for trade, he'll get a pickup truck.  But that's a few years away yet.

So!  Back to Psalms 119!  This is actually Week 5:  Verses 33 - 40, which all begin with the Hebrew letter 'He'.

NIV 84 renders it thusly:

Teach me, O LORD, to follow your decrees;  then I will keep them to the end.
Give me understanding, and I will keep your law and obey it with all my heart.
Direct me in the path of your commands, for there I find delight.
Turn my heart toward your statutes and not toward selfish gain.
Turn my eyes away from worthless things;  preserve my life according to your word.
Fulfill your promise to your servant, so that you may be feared.
Take away the disgrace I dread, for your laws are good.
How I long for your precepts! Preserve my life in your righteousness.

Now, to see what comes of the Hebrew, courtesy of Mr.Zodhiates and Bible Study Tools dot Com:

Instruct me, Yahweh, [in] the prescribed course of life and consequently [I will] guard it.
[I shall] guard your instruction and protect it, understanding with my inner man: mind, will and heart.
Cause me to  tread your path of commandments, for therein I take delight.
Influence my conscience towards your testimonies and not toward unjust profit.
Cause my two eyes to pass by giv[ing] attention to worthlessness; preserve me alive in your ways.
Establish your word to your servant, who [is in] reverence of you.
Good thing you cause me to pass over the disgrace due me, which I dread, by your judgements.
Behold, I continually long for your precepts! Preserve me alive in your righteousness.

I have actually read this passage over in the NIV several times in the, um, three weeks since the last Ps. 119 post. What impressed me was that the Psalmist asked God to do what we would normally consider to be in the area of personal discipline:
Teach me
Give me understanding
Direct me
Turn my heart towards...
Turn my eyes away...  

I wondered how much my personal determination to study, understand, choose the right path,  focus my heart and eyes on the right stuff is taking on to myself more than I can handle.

Maybe my studying, understanding, choices, etc, are more a matter of submitting to God than strict personal discipline?    Hmmm...

As usual, though, digging through the Hebrew dictionary shines a little different light.  Now, I have to admit, some of those verses (especially verse 39) were really tricky, considering the grammar of them in the Hebrew.  I really tried to leave the sentence structure as it was...or as best as I could tell...and to leave verbs as verbs and nouns as nouns and paying attention to the tenses.  But a few times I had to move things around to get them to make sense.

I thought verses 33 and 34 were particularly interesting in the Hebrew... the idea that the psalmist is going to guard, protect, oversee the course God has laid out.  That's a little stronger than simply keeping to the way.  Not just learning, but understanding and putting into practice.

That's a challenge for today!