May 29th - Psalm 119

This devotional is penned by Daniel.

Eeek! When you looked at the daily reading and saw it was only one chapter you'd be forgiven for thinking it would be a short read. This is the longest chapter in the Bible.

Long story short, each stanza uses a letter in the Hebrew alphabet to start each line with. As it works through the whole alphabet the Psalm points to the greatness of the Word of God.

Can you remember, or have you ever played with children the supermarket game? The first player would say 'I went to the shops and I bought...' then you would name something beginning with the letter 'a'. The next player would recite all that had come before then name something with the proceeding letter. The idea was to get all the way to 'z' while remembering what was said before.

The consistent order of the alphabet helps make it easier to remember what was coming up next and it was the same with this Psalm. The Jewish people are very big advocates of committing Scripture to memory.

Read this extract from Deuteronomy 6:4-9

Hear, O Israel: TheLordour God, theLord is one. LovetheLordyour God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your strength.These commandments that I give you today are to be on your hearts.Impress them on your children. Talk about them when you sit at home and when you walk along the road, when you lie down and when you get up.Tie them as symbols on your hands and bind them on your foreheads.Write them on the doorframes of your houses and on your gates.

I think this is a much-neglected tradition amongst Christians today.

Verse 9 gives us a great reason to memorize Scripture:

"I have hidden your word in my heart

that I might not sin against you".

Reading, remembering, and meditating over Scripture keeps us from sin. C.S Lewis once said; “If you want to get warm you must stand near the fire: if you want to be wet you must get into the water. If you want joy, power, peace, eternal life, you must get close to, or even into, the thing that has them.”

As you go into today think about what other reasons you feel memorizing Scripture is worthwhile.

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