Psalm 119:17-24 All 8 verses of each of the 22 sections of this Psalm begin with the next sequential letter of the Hebrew alphabet. It wasn’t until I decided to visually verify that for myself that I realized Hebrew is read from right to left. It’s become an interesting truth-finding exercise for me to explore the impact of reading the verses forward and then backward. The bold verses are directly copied from the ESV version. Read them as a unit. Then read and consider the same verses composed by reading them right to left. God’s Word has endured all these centuries because it’s truth is more than information. The Word still uses time, translation, and even reading words and phrases right to left, to refresh timeless truth from information into enduring application for followers of Jesus Christ.
17 Deal bountifully with your servant, that I may live and keep your word.
18 Open my eyes, that I may behold wondrous things out of your law.
19 I am a sojourner on the earth; hide not your commandments from me!
20 My soul is consumed with longing for your rules at all times.
21 You rebuke the insolent, accursed ones, who wander from your commandments.
22 Take away from me scorn and contempt, for I have kept your testimonies.
23 Even though princes sit plotting against me, your servant will meditate on your statutes.
24 Your testimonies are my delight; they are my counselors.
17 I live and keep your word because you deal bountifully with your servant
18 Out of your law my eyes may behold wondrous things
19 Do not hide your commandments from me while I am a sojourner on the earth
20 Longing for your rules at all times consumes my soul
21 Your commandments rebuke those insolent, accursed ones who wander from them
22 I have kept your testimonies, take scorn and contempt away from me
23 Your servant will meditate on your statutes even though princes sit plotting against me.
24 My counselors are my delight in your testimonies
This link is to a previous post about Psalm 119:17-24 written from the perspective of the meaning of Gimel – Soul
Jeremiah 29:11 For I know the plans I have for you, declares the Lord, plans for welfare [peace] and not for evil, to give you a future and a hope. 12 Then you will call upon me and come and pray to me, and I will hear you.
“I don’t know.” That’s probably the most consistent thought in many of our minds these days. We must act on the advice of experts but we are dealing with unknown risk levels. No matter how much information we consume about mitigating the danger of our exposure to Corona virus it’s not enough to ease our minds completely when the time comes for one of those essential trips out of the safety of the exile of self-isolation. Jeremiah reminds us God has a plan and Corona virus is not the only danger of our exile.
“A people in such a position as the Jews in Babylon were in danger in two ways: either to be buoyed up with false hopes, and so to fall into foolish expectations; or, to fall into despair, and have no hope at all, and so become a sullen and degraded people, who would be unfit for restoration, and unable to play the part which God ordained for them in the history of mankind.” (Spurgeon 1887).
God knows the plan even if I haven’t a clue what it is. Exile from the familiarity of daily life has given me a new awareness I need to be equipped to play the part God has set for my restoration. He’s given me expert advice about the one part of my future and hope I am in charge of. I can do this one thing to be prepared even in the exile of self-isolation! “…Call upon me and come and pray to me, and I will hear you.”
Hosea 4:1 Hear the word of the Lord, you Israelites, because the Lord has a charge to bring against you who live in the land: “There is no faithfulness, no love, no acknowledgment of God in the land…”6…my people are destroyed from lack of knowledge…14…a people without understanding will come to ruin!
Hosea 5:”… I will carry them off, with no one to rescue them.
15 Then I will return to my lair until they have borne their guilt and seek my face—in their misery they will earnestly seek me.”
There’s no way to avoid the message in Chapters 4 and 5. They’re heading for trouble. The Israelites did not lack information. They lacked making what they knew about God their priority. The charges that the Lord says are their downfall seem like a Cause and Effect story to me. The Cause?..”lack of knowledge.” The Effect? “…no faithfulness, no love, no acknowledgment of God in the land.”
That repeated “no” the prophet uses is a record of proof for us today that information about God doesn’t automatically convert to knowledge and understanding. Information is good but it’s really just ideas to consider, it doesn’t save us. Hosea reminds us of the most important of our priorities…to earnestly seek the Lord that can save us.