THE WONDERFUL 119th PSALM
Psalm 119 is a wonderful composition that should delight the believer. It is the longest chapter in the Bible at 176 verses. Although no name is ascribed to the author we tend to agree with Spurgeon who called it “David’s pocket book” [Treasury of David, Vol. 3, p 130].
It has a unique structure being an “alphabetic Psalm” consisting of twenty-two stanzas of eight verses each. Each stanza is preceded by a letter of the Hebrew alphabet, and each verse starts with that letter.
Psalm 119 has but one subject – the Word of God. Almost every verse contains reference to the Word. There are nine synonyms for the law starting with the law itself – “Torah.” Then the words for “testimonies,” “judgments,” “statutes,” “commandments,” “God’s word,” “precepts,” “promises,” and “ways.” The excellence of the law is considered in almost every aspect.
Some have suggested that a poem of this length with only one subject would be monotonous to read. That is far from the truth. Those who take time to meditate on its precepts will be greatly blessed.
Spurgeon called “this sacred ode a little Bible, the Scriptures condensed……This Psalm, like the whole Scripture which it praises, is a pearl island, or, better still, a garden of sweet flowers”
HE WARRING WASPS
One of the downsides of cultivating a flower garden is that it attracts flying insects. The bees we tolerate for their usefulness in promoting flower growth. The wasps are another matter. The Bible dictionary describes them as possessing “a severe sting, a pugnacious spirit, and fast flight thus making them a formidable opponent from which to flee.”
A nest of wasps decided to take up residence in the wall at our back door. They got in through a small hole between two bricks. Once discovered we had to set about getting rid of them, but with their “pugnacious spirit” that is easier said than done.
It struck me that they are like the devil and sin. He attacks the Christian and especially wants us to commit the “sin that doth so easily beset us” [Hebrews 12:1]. Each of us has such a weakness and the devil knows it and will seek the tiniest opening to get into our lives and damage our testimony. Let us recognize what a “pugnacious” opponent he is.
With the wasps we used every stratagem possible to get rid of them. But they did not give up easily and sought every tiny flaw in the brickwork to gain another entrance. Just like the devil. Don’t expect him to give up easily. But we will get the victory because “we are more than conquerors through Him that loved us” [Romans 8:37]. The Lord has told us, “sin shall not have dominion over you” [Romans 6:14].
HOW DOES ONE BECOME A CHRISTIAN?
The word ‘Christian’ simply means ‘a Christ-one’, one who belongs to Christ by reason of His saving work. Evangelist R.A. Torrey said there were two things to know, and one thing to do in order to become a Christian.
Firstly, we must know that we are sinners and therefore in need of God’s salvation [Romans 3:10 & 23]. Only a person who realises he is drowning will call for help. If we are not aware of the danger we will never see the need for salvation.
Secondly, we need to know there is One who can save us from our sin, and the only One who can do that is Jesus Christ [Acts 4:12]. The whole Bible is ‘His-Story’ foretelling and recording that “Christ Jesus came into the world to save sinners” – even the very chiefest of them [1 Timothy 1:15].
Thirdly, what we must do is admit our guilt and call upon His name. He, who cannot lie will honour His word and save the sinking soul. [Romans 10:13]. Peter, sinking in the Sea of Galilee, cried desperately, “Lord, save me.” Jesus reached out His mighty arm and plucked him from a watery grave [Matthew 14:30]. He can do it for you too.
“Whosoever shall call upon the name of the Lord shall be saved” [Romans 10:13].
REMEMBER THE SABBATH
World-renowned Swedish soprano Jenny Lind (1820-1887), was invited by the king to sing in the royal palace at a festival that was to be held on a Sunday. Her conscience would not allow her to perform on the Lord’s day and she respectfully refused.
The king visited her in person, and pleaded with her to change her mind. She responded, “There is a higher King, your majesty. I owe my first allegiance to Him.” [The Daily Calendar].
An obedient Christian lives his life amid the things of earth but sets his love on the things of heaven. [A. Simpson].