12.09.2011

A Short Post on The Longest Chapter in the Bible




I think I have a special place in my heart for the Book of Psalms. It has not always been so, as I remember early on in my Christian life reading them and thinking, wow, this guy is asking God to just take out his enemies in no uncertain terms- what kind of spirituality are we talking about here? Yet as I studied, and searched scripture and began to understand the context, I fell in love with the raw honesty and emotion that permeates these poetic songs. Not to mention the fact that the model seemed to give some credence to to the reality that it was OK to ask God to kick some butt when treated unfairly; with the understanding that ultimately, He is the final authority. The example set forth from my perspective is, bring it, as opposed to hide, lie or suppress it. God knows anyway.

I am no Biblical Scholar, just a chick who loves God and His Word. This is the biggest reason that Psalm 119 stands as my favorite Chapter in the Bible as well as favorite Psalm. I think it appeals to the teacher, student and child within me because it was written for the purpose of instruction, is broken down logically into sections and  the original language it was written in may have served to teach it's students in both the educational and spiritual realms. No compartmentalizing here, folks! No secular and spiritual division. The purpose of education fueled the spiritual and the spiritual served the purpose of education. God's people were and are the prime example of the effectiveness of the marriage of the two. Why are we so dull that we would need to remove such amazingly rich, effective and powerful tools for building ethical integrity and moral character into the foundation of education for children? Oh, my I digressed. Here I am, I am back now! Did you really believe this would be a short post? Ha!

Back to Psalm 119

This Psalm is what is known as an alphabetical acrostic and is broken down into 22 sections of 8 verses (stanzas or strophes). Each strophe starts off with a letter of the Hebrew alphabet and continues in order to completion, checking in at 176 verses in all! The chart below shows each character, which is also at the break of each part in our own Bible, today. There is a traditional view that David authored this Psalm, however there is also strong support for other possibilities. While researching the topic I found that both Jeremiah and Ezra potentially could have authored this Psalm. Although I am a fan of Jeremiah, after all he is the Weeping Prophet ( I so relate), the two camps hold strongest for Ezra or David in Rabbinical teaching. I became fascinated with Ezra as I dug into my little project and believe that this scribe and teacher of God's word may be the author, but I am no expert- so just sharing my thoughts. David was a man after God's own heart, loved the Law and is credited with a majority of the Psalms, and it is believed by some that he taught Solomon through Psalm 119. Now there is an intriguing picture.

http://www.biblicalhebrew.com/alphabet.htm
Years ago, it was suggested as an exercise, that I record my own voice reading scripture, to help memorize and root it in my heart. I chose Psalm 119. It was rather amusing, as at the time as I was using the King James Version. I remember laying on my bed, with my cat watching me, as I read through the Psalm. A few times I giggled and had to start over. I mean really, who does stuff like this? But, it planted a love for this Psalm and God's Word in me that continues to grow and bloom to this day.

Long ago I learned from your statutes 

   that you established them to last forever.
Psalm 119:152

Please join me on a journey of discovering and exploring  this Psalm. I am posting the verses regularly here and you can join in and be encouraged, share your favorite verses, and creative displays from Psalm 119! 

I like to take the 8 verses and write them out for my little Scripture Stand!












2 comments:

  1. Hello there! Thanks so much for stopping by my blog and commenting :) Means so much! It's beautiful here - you've done a great job, and I love reading your heart in your posts. Be blessed,
    Debbie

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  2. Dawn, I love this so much! The Psalms are and always have been my fav too. (Surprise, surprise!) I love them because they are like a journal of David's, so full of honesty, doubt and love for God even when he did not "get it".
    Thanks for reminding me.

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