Wednesday, September 2, 2015

Devotional from Psalm 119:65-72

In continuing our devotional walk through the longest chapter in the Bible, it was my turn again to write thoughts in response to the following stanza:

65You have dealt well with your servant,
    O Lord, according to your word.
66Teach me good judgment and knowledge,
    for I believe in your commandments.
67Before I was afflicted I went astray,
    but now I keep your word.
68You are good and do good;
    teach me your statutes.
69The insolent smear me with lies,
    but with my whole heart I keep your precepts;
70their heart is unfeeling like fat,
    but I delight in your law.
71It is good for me that I was afflicted,
    that I might learn your statutes.
72The law of your mouth is better to me
    than thousands of gold and silver pieces.

The first verse that jumped out to me when I read today’s stanza of Psalm 119 (vv. 65-72), is the last one:

72The law of your mouth is better to me
    than thousands of gold and silver pieces.

It reminds me of Psalm 19:10 that tells us that God’s words are to be desired more than much fine gold and are sweeter than honey. Here the psalmist doesn’t suggest that they should be desired, here he says that he actually considers God’s word to be better than thousands of gold and silver pieces. 

The Bible is better than money?

As I think about that, I wonder if I really feel that way. 

Although it is hard to know the worth of a single “gold piece” when Psalm 119 was written in today’s dollars, a solid-gold coin can be worth $500-2500. Just think what “thousands” of them would be worth! We’re talking at least $1 million!

Hmmm. Think of what you could do with that kind of money. Pay off your house, buy another house…or two, cars, vacations…or manage it well and you could be set for life! Early retirement! Or (if I want to think more spiritually) if God gave me that kind of wealth, I could bless so many people. I could help our church accomplish her mission. I could do so much!!

I can start day-dreaming about this pretty easily. Can you? Have you?

But the psalmist says that God’s word is better.

In the preceding verses of this stanza, he explains why: 

God deals well with me (v. 65).
He teaches me good judgment and knowledge (v. 66).
He keeps me from going astray (v. 67).
He shows me his goodness and does good to me (v. 68).
And even when people treat me wrongly, I understand the good in it and grow (v. 69-71).

All this happens when I believe, keep, delight in, and learn from God’s word.

I think I understand now. These are things that money really can’t buy. Things much more valuable. 

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