Monday, March 05, 2007

Psalm 119

Psalm 119 has been where I've been "residing" since Fall. It has been home to my journey. I was challenged at Family Camp to read a passage thirty-five times to truly bring it into your heart and life. Considering this Psalm has 176 verses I'm sure that by now I have read it at least that many times ... maybe more. I've read it in many different versions -- NIV, Amplified, New Living, and The Message each allowing me to understand a passage worded a bit differently -- expanding my understanding.
I am a visual/object-lesson learner ... I can relate much easier to things I can identify with. The Message uses the illustration of a blessed/joyful life -- one listening to God and His Word -- to a journey. Descriptive words include those related to travel:
stay on course
walking steadily on the road
following His directions
taking steady steps
read the map of your Word
don't miss the road signs posted
keeping your eyes on the Lord
give me clear directions
barricade the road that goes to Nowhere
choosing the road that goes Somewhere
road signs at every curve and corner
guiding us down the road of your commandments
love traveling this freeway
formerly wandered all over the place. Now I'm in step with your Word
watch my step. Avoiding ditches and ruts of evil
never detouring from the route
God gives good directions
by your Word -- can see where I'm going -- throws a beam of light on my dark path
I don't swerve an inch from your course
steady my steps with your Word of promise

This is the longest Psalm and chapter in the Bible. Breaking each portion into twenty-two parts … would it be possible to take the next step and memorize it? Several years ago I memorized Psalm 91 that contains only 16 verses so even though difficult, not totally impossible. Here’s a story I read online:
“Perhaps the most unusual story of the benefit to memorizing this psalm is the story of George Wishart, Bishop of Edinburgh in the 18th century. It seems that he found himself in a difficult spot after being condemned to death. He was confident of a pardon that had not yet arrived even at the moment he stood on the scaffold to meet his fate. Taking advantage of the time honored tradition of allowing the condemned man to pray a Psalm, Wishart chose to recite in prayer the text of the 119th psalm. Before he was finished praying the delayed pardon arrived and his life was spared. One can only imagine his ill fortune had he not memorized this psalm.” –From

I find myself eager to start something new after the Women's Retreat over the weekend. Feel free to share your favorite passages, memorized verses or suggestions. It's always encouraging to know where others have journeyed!

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