Remember your word to your servant,
in which you have made me hope.
This is my comfort in my affliction,
that your promise gives me life.
The insolent utterly deride me,
but I do not turn away from your law.
When I think of your rules from of old,
I take comfort, O Lord.
Hot indignation seizes me because of the wicked,
who forsake your law.
Your statutes have been my songs
in the house of my sojourning.
I remember your name in the night, O Lord,
and keep your law.
This blessing has fallen to me,
that I have kept your precepts.
If you've seen FB, you probably know by now Psalm 119 is the longest Chapter in the Bible and is considered to be the exact middle. Twenty-two stanzas in the Hebrew alphabet and for Psalm 119. One stanza for each letter. This is elaborate framework for... prayer.
It's said (just Zayin) David used Psalm 119 to teach Solomon the alphabet and to write. Not just the alphabet - the alphabet of the spiritual life.
Remember your word to your servant, in which you have made me hope.
If only. If only Abram had this Psalm of prayer. And that treasured son, Isaac. Why didn't God say upon Isaac He would be named Israel. Makes sense Abram became Abraham. Isaac to Israel. But no dice. Isaac was a good faithful man. He married the blessing Abraham and Sarah sought - their kin Rebecca. It was a miraculous occurrence. There was a marriage only to one woman. Surely one man could create the nation Yahweh told Abram about. That makes such sense. Isaac wasn't handed servant women. Didn't marry sisters. And Isaac was certainly willing to believe he carried Abraham's great blessing to be given to the next generation.
There was just one small hitch. Isaac adhered to the law. And grew blind. Spiritually blind. He believed only one of his children would be blessed of God. And only for birth order as a tradition in culture. People are funny, what they believe.
I've heard people, entire large, significant congregations bustling with people say - Jesus made rock soup. Surely you've heard the children's book about Rock Soup. A man is hungry and starts with clean stones in vat of water promising soup. One by one people put in leeks, potatoes, tomatoes, corn, etc. And at the end of the book - voila - it takes a village and we have soup. Soup is also a slang term for chemical glop.
Now, if Jesus made rock soup instead of - loaves and fishes feeding the multitudes on several occasions... why did He hide out and say the crowd was only there for the blessing. And if people were contributing their picnic supplies - why do we see only left over loaves and fish. Why not a basket filled with figs, cheese, dates, nuts, pomegranates, herring, cod, olives, and grains? Instead only the food Jesus started with is left over. The people were fed by Jesus. Who is God's incarnate Word. How do we know? Remember your word to your servant, in which you have made me hope. Hope - God is who He says He is and His promises are sure. Faith - Those promises are for me. Love - have strength to comprehend the breadth, length, height and depth, the love of Christ surpassing knowledge and filling us with all the fullness of God.
How do we Know? Remember your word to your servant, in which you have made me hope. The Work God gives man is to believe.
Jacob believed something larger was possible in God. Something as vast as the Universe. More like C.S. Lewis. God is not a tame Lion.
Bring the full tithe into the storehouse, that there may be food in my house. And thereby put me to the test, says the LORD of hosts, if I will not open the windows of heaven for you and pour down for you a blessing until there is no more need.
Jacob was indeed all in. Willing to let the Wind of God push him. To fight God for a blessing until dawn believing even in the fight God would want to bless. Believing mere words were a blessing. Words. Words of God. And at the end of his life, he never was asked by his sons to forgive their deceit, but Jacob, who had become Israel, wanted his sons and Joseph's sons to be included in the Blessings of God.
Jacob was cheated in marriage. Indignation seized Jacob a lot. Actually he was treated badly in his marriages. Treated badly by distant family, his father, his mother, and his brother. Jacob knew the death of the woman he treasured, who brought trouble upon them. His family knew favoritism. Encountered rape. They warred over justice. His son slept with one of his wives. And his own children conspired to say his son was dead. He left the promised land and still believed as he died - God was in Charge. And blessings were to be - bestowed - gifted - given - lovingly adopting Joseph's children. And saying, with belief, amazing things were still to come.
Remember your word to your servant, in which you have made me hope. Abraham believed and this is credited to him as righteousness. Blessings were increased as Jacob displayed the greatest of these is Love.
Jesus created awe and wonder as He walked along this life. He saw the futility in law bearing above Love. He saw the sadness in easy breezy pleasy and unkindness of lack of law and structure. Speaking His Word:
9 He also told this parable to some who trusted in themselves that they were righteous, and treated others with contempt: 10 “Two men went up into the temple to pray, one a Pharisee and the other a tax collector. 11 The Pharisee, standing by himself, prayed thus: ‘God, I thank you that I am not like other men, extortioners, unjust, adulterers, or even like this tax collector. 12 I fast twice a week; I give tithes of all that I get.’ 13 But the tax collector, standing far off, would not even lift up his eyes to heaven, but beat his breast, saying, ‘God, be merciful to me, a sinner!"
Father God, help me to be one of that number. In the name of Jesus. Amen