Friday, May 13, 2016

A Tour through Ps. 119: Heth

Posted by Lisa Laree to Beer Lahai Roi
Today's passage is Ps. 119:57-64; and each verse, in Hebrew, begins with the Hebrew letter 'Heth'.  NIV 84:

You are my portion, O LORD;  I have promised to obey your words.
I have sought your face with all my heart; be gracious to me according to your promise.
I have considered my ways and have turned my steps to your statutes.
I will hasten and not delay to obey your commands.
Though the wicked bind me with ropes, I will not forget your law.
At midnight I rise to give you thanks for your righteous laws.
I am a friend to all who fear you, to all who follow your precepts.
The earth is filled with your love, O LORD;  teach me your decrees.

Do you see the intentionality in this passage? (Ok, I may have just made up the word 'intentionality'...the spell checker doesn't like it, but it is exactly what I want to say so work with me).

I promised to obey...I sought you...I considered my ways and turned my steps...I will hasten and not delay to obey...I rise at midnight to give thanks...

Not a lick of just going along with the flow there.  Seeking, considering, turning, moving quickly, rising from slumber...all of which are characteristics that I may desire but not push myself to actually walk  out with consistency. 

Intentional pursuit of God.  Why why why don't I keep that in the forefront of my daily activities???

Let's see how it breaks down in the the look-it-up-in-Hebrew paraphrase:

My portion, Yahweh: [I] have commanded myself to keep watch over your word.
[I] cause myself to be weak, entreating your face [with] the entirety of my inner man (mind, will, heart and understanding); be gracious to me according your word.
[I] consider my ways, returning my feet to your divine testimonies.
[I] made haste and did not delay to keep your commandments.
[A] company of the wicked surrounding me, your instruction I have not forgotten.
[Your] righteousness in the midst of the darkness establishes my thanksgiving for your judgements.
I am united with all who revere you and guard your precepts.
Your goodness, Yahweh, fills the earth; teach me my portion [of it].

Y'all, I wish I could convey the undercurrents of all of this that I encounter as I dig though the dictionary and consider the intricacies of the verb tenses. I mean, I'm really swimming in waters waaaayyy over my head, but I get such a sense of ongoing, continual action.

He didn't consider God's ways in the past and adjust his directions; if I'm understanding correctly it is an ongoing, continual action of evaluating whether or not he is consistent with God's word and making adjustments;  he immediately makes a correction if it's needed.  He does not forget God's instruction, even when he is surrounded by evil in a very dark place...God's judgements can be trusted.

It's interesting that I found 'portion' in both the beginning and ending of this section...and the sense that I had is that the Psalmist  states that it IS his portion, his assignment, his territory to command himself to guard over God's word...both to observe it and to maintain it...and then he comes back around to ask God to teach to him the portion of God's earth-filling goodness that falls to him.

That's a good entreaty...

God, continually teach me to walk continually in the portion of your goodness that you have assigned to me.

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