Saturday, September 10, 2011

I Thought I Loved the Bible

I put my strut on and brag, "Oh, yeah, I love the Bible. I read it...a lot. I mean, I really love the Bible."

I read Psalms 119 today...Let's just say that any remaining pride I possessed about "loving the Bible" is completely gone. I knew before I began to read it that I was going to need a serious attention span to get through it - and for those of you who don't know me well, I have a short span anyway. I put my hands on the Bible and prayed that God would give me attention and that I would learn.

Twenty verses. Good so far. Verses 21-99 proved a problem. I read about twenty of them twice because I realized I read them and couldn't repeat one thing they said. Around verse 100, I finally got in the groove and finished strong.

I love the Bible.

Pft!

While fighting to pay attention, I actually did pick up what it David was writing about and it really shed some light on my intellectual thicket. It was about loving the Law of the Lord. Here I am, struggling along, thinking I love the Bible, while I'm reading about loving the precepts of the Lord. Lemme just say that it was a get-to-know-Ashley-and-her-pride moment.

I was astounded by the sheer passion for the Word of God. It was crazy. I was thinking, "Okay, this dude doesn't just love the Law, he is OBSESSED with it." David goes on and on for 176 verses about God's Law, precepts, testimonies, Word, and commandments. He talks about the benefits of knowing them, keeping them, and delighting in them. He says that God is merciful towards those who keep His commandments.

Here is a verse that stuck out to me: "Establish Your word to Your servant, Who is devoted to fearing You." (38) I think that sometimes I get this crazy idea that I can be God's #1 fan and #1 servant without reading His Word. I can be favored in His eyes and follow Him into the depths of despair but I don't really have to know everything about Him. What on earth would give me that idea? This verse tells me that because David is devoted to God, He wants God (and in fact, begs Him) to establish every Word in his heart. I brought this harebrained idea of mine into a earthly view and it's pretty ridiculous - people try it and well, it doesn't work. Say, I fall in love with (lets pick a general name) Kenny. I know ZIP about him. I know he loves the color purple and is obsessed with monkeys (automatic turn-off for me, btw) and really really really likes playing call of duty. I decide to marry Kenny but I don't want to learn anything else about him. I try to ask him a few questions now and then, but I get bored. So, Kenny is basically a stranger to me, but I want him to satisfy my needs.
Uhm. How ridiculous would that be? Yet, I suppose thats what I'm doing. Isn't it? How can I call it different?

 Verse 92 reads, "Unless Your law had been my delight, I would have perished in my affliction." Ouch. Most of you guys know that I've been seriously struggling in my life right now - really facing some obstacles and I kinda feel like I'm on the losing side. This was what I needed to hear. I feel depressed and stuff, but I know now that part of it (or most of it?) is because my delight is NOT in the Law of the Lord. I have become infatuated with worldly things and haven't meditated and studied the Word enough (if there is a technical "enough").

Verse 98-99: Another great passage for me in this particular time of my life. "You, through Your commandments, make me wiser than all my enemies; for they are ever with me. I have more understanding than all my teachers, For your testimonies are my meditation." Just dwell on that one for a while. God's commandments make me wise. Wiser than my enemies? I have a few enemies right now, I could use some wisdom - I've been looking in all the wrong places.

I could go on and on. David did. And I'm sure a preacher could preach 50 sermons off that one chapter; or a blogger blog just as many, but I'll spare you guys. The last verses I want to share are verses 131 and 161. For some reason, the zeal and imagery in these verses really struck me. Can I one day, hopefully, be like that? "I opened my mouth and panted, for I longed for Your commandments" and, "Princes persecute me without a cause, but my heart stands in awe of Your word."

In awe of His Word. 

Resolution: Meditate on His Word. Be in awe.

1 comment:

Kaylin Waldrop said...

Ashley I love this! Not because I'm glad you feel slapped in the face, but because God's Word is coming alive for you. And to me, that's exciting!

I actually blogged about this very same chapter last month much the same way you just did if you want to check it out on learning to fly. What really stuck out to me was that David equates freedom with obedience to God's law. Sounds ironic, right? But then it makes perfect sense.

V. 129: "Your statutes are wonderful; therefore I obey then"
V.167 "I obey your statutes, for I love them greatly"

Love leads to obedience and obedience leads to true freedom.

The other major point I picked up on you have already hit ;)