Day #76 (Psalm 119a)
THE CALL | Mark 11:7-10
And they brought the colt to Jesus and threw their cloaks on it, and he sat on it. And many spread their cloaks on the road, and others spread leafy branches that they had cut from the fields. And those who went before and those who followed were shouting, “Hosanna! Blessed is he who comes in the name of the Lord! Blessed is the coming kingdom of our father David! Hosanna in the highest!”
O God, what house could contain you, that you should dwell there? All of creation is not vast enough. And yet you desire for your Spirit to make its home in our hearts. Forgive us that we so often shutter our hearts to you. For the sake of your Son, the greater Son of David, do not turn your face away. Clothe us in your righteousness and clothe our adversary in shame; let him not hinder your coming. Open our hearts to welcome you in as our King! Cause us to shout for joy for your salvation, yours alone, we pray.
ASSURANCE | Hebrews 9:11-12
But when Christ appeared as a high priest of the good things that have come, then through the greater and more perfect tent (not made with hands, that is, not of this creation) he entered once for all into the holy places, not by means of the blood of goats and calves but by means of his own blood, thus securing an eternal redemption.
SING: Gloria Patri
Glory be to the Father
And to the Son and to the Holy Ghost
As it was in the beginning
Is now and ever shall be world without end
First reading: Psalm 119:1-24
Second reading: Psalm 119:25-32
Psalm 119 is the longest chapter in the Bible; we’ll look at it over several days. It is essentially one long hymn about the Word of God, and in particular, the Torah, the first five books in our Bible, which was the whole Bible for many believers up to the time of David. Psalm 119 has an acrostic structure, which means that in each section, every verse starts with the same letter of the Hebrew alphabet, from the first letter all the way through the last. There were 22 letters in the Hebrew alphabet, so there are 22 sections. This structure essentially says, “Let me praise the Word from A to Z, in every way possible!”
This psalm also sits exactly in the center of the modern Bible including the New Testament. Many parallel words and phrases are used to refer to God’s written word: “law,” “testimonies,” “statutes,” “rules,” “precepts,” “your word,” and more. It is clear that the psalmist is talking about words that are written down in Scripture, not just nice thoughts. (Some Christians have tried to separate the concept of Word of God from the written Bible, but that is a very un-biblical way of thinking.) The passage from Hebrews 8:10-12, given above, does not teach that Christians will not read their Bibles, but that it will find resonance in their hearts, and not be an alien, dead document to them.
Can you relate to this psalmist, when he says things such as, “My soul is consumed with longing for your rules,” (119:20), “your testimonies are my delight” (119:24). Why or why not? If not, is it because it is often hard work to understand the Scriptures? The psalmist says that he “meditates” on God’s precepts (119:15), and asks God to “open his eyes” to see wondrous things (119:18). The sense of this psalm is not that the Word is full of nice thoughts and greeting-card sentiments, but that it challenges us and changes us. As we study it more and more, which could include reading the work of Bible scholars to understand the context, we will find it more and more apt and life-giving. The psalmist also encourages memorizing Scripture: “I have stored up your word in my heart, that I might not sin against you.” (119:11) Consider memorizing a short passage of Scripture this week, and making Scripture memorization something you do often. (Dave Snoke)
THURSDAY-MEMORIZE | Psalm 132
- Spend time memorizing the words of the Psalm as best you can -
Revelation 21:3 [ESV]
And I heard a loud voice from the throne saying, “Behold, the dwelling place of God is with man. He will dwell with them, and they will be his people, and God himself will be with them as their God.”
(If you are in a group, you can end with the following call and response:)
The Spirit and the Bride say,
And let the one who hears say,
And let the one who is thirsty come; let the one who desires take the water of life without price.
He who testifies to these things says, “Surely I am coming soon.”
Amen. Come, Lord Jesus!
The grace of the Lord Jesus be with all.
(based on Revelation 22:17,20-21)
City Reformed Presbyterian Church
The 90 Days project is a collaborative effort of many church leaders. Matt Koerber and Daniel Snoke have taken lead roles, with others helping to write daily devotionals.