Sunday, March 23, 2008

Day 84: Psalm 19

SCRIPTURE: Psalm 19

BACKGROUND:

Poetry is the heart of language and is closely tied its language of origin, which can make it difficult to translate. Hebrew poetry, from what I’ve been able to learn, uses simple structure and figures of speech, is compressed and connotative, and relies on repeated sounds and balanced phrases for rhythm. As I’ve meditated on Psalms, I’ve often wished I understood Hebrew! (I’ve wished it so much I’m seriously considering learning it.)

Psalm 19 speaks of two witnesses of God. Verses 1 - 6 tell of the first witness, the heavens. Both the daytime sky with its sun and clouds and the nighttime’s swirling, orderly dance of stars tell of God’s greatness and honor without using words. Yet their language is understood by everyone on earth. Think about that paradox. God uses a language that isn’t a language to communicate His glory. At the end of that passage, one specific part of the sky, the sun, is focused on. Look at the metaphors, the figurative language, used there. I love the image of the nighttime tent for the sun. That huge light goes into a tent at night and comes out, the one mighty hero of the day, to trace his route in a circuit over the sky.

Psalm 19: 7 – 11 tell of a second witness to God. These are words! God has given us instructions: laws, rules, precepts, ordinances, and commands. These valuable words guide us and give sweetness to life. They give us discernment. More on this section later in the reflection part of this entry…

The last few verses of the psalm are a prayer. Two kinds of sins are mentioned here: those that are hidden and hard to discern, and those that are willful and arrogant and presume on God’s goodness. That word “blameless” in verse 13 doesn’t mean sinless, but rather completed or finished.

I love this last verse:

“May the words of my mouth and the meditation of my heart
be pleasing in your sight,
O LORD, my Rock and my Redeemer.”

My Rock and my Redeemer! So much in that phrase. He gives a foundation and stability and He rescues us, ransoms us, buys us back. David didn’t know the specifics about Jesus, but he knew that God is our Redeemer. Don’t you love how God reveals Himself here, even before He came in the flesh to buy us back from the power of sin?

“Redeemed, how I love to proclaim it! Redeemed by the blood of the Lamb; Redeemed through His infinite mercy, His child and forever I am!

REFLECTION:

My husband had to work yesterday so I had time to meditate on this psalm and ended up writing another poem meditation. I went a little crazy with it, especially at the end, but had such a good time doing it!

Meditation on Psalm 19

God’s perfect laws
Reveal flaws,
Yet souls renew.
His faithful word
Gives wisdom true.

His tools do school this fool.

His precepts fair
That stand upright,
Light hearts with joy.
His bright commands
Illumine sight.

His sight to light the right.
His right to light my sight.
His light to right my sight.

His judgments all
Stand strong and tall,
Support me sure.
His fear is pure
And will endure.

So I’ll persevere and revere
The sphere’s Premiere.
To this dear Engineer
I will steer and adhere,
And draw near to fear.

That dear fear

Though severe
Sears my tears,
Clears my ears.

Enables me
To hear while here.


(Okay, so I may have overdone the rhyme a bit! LOL! I wrote the verses in the plain text first and then got carried away and wrote the parts in italics.)

APPLICATION AND PRAYER:

Think through this prayer and then pray it if you mean it.

“Forgive my hidden faults.

Keep your servant also from willful sins;
may they not rule over me.
Then will I be blameless,
innocent of great transgression

May the words of my mouth and the meditation of my heart
Be pleasing in your sight,
O LORD, my Rock and my Redeemer”.

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