Thursday, November 3, 2016

Finding great riches

Step into the shoes of someone finding great riches: A surprising find, an unexpected check, maybe even a fabulous sale. I can imagine the excitement about receiving something more – even much more – than I was looking for. That is a great description and a wonderful way to think about scripture. I have been rolling that thought around for several days, since reading this verse:
I will rejoice in following your statutes like one rejoices in finding great riches. (Psalm 119:14)

Rather than thinking about God’s Word as restrictive, the psalmist finds pure joy in following God’s gracious guidance. Whoever wrote Psalm 119 (presumably David) took a great deal of time of examining the Word and reflecting on many different ways to express appreciation for it. He meditates on it, seeks it, trusts it, obeys it, delights in it, keeps it, hopes in it, follows it, dwells in it and ponders it.
This psalm – the longest one – is thoughtfully written as an acrostic, using each of the 22 letters of the Hebrew alphabet, in order. Eight stanzas are devoted to each letter. A beautiful poetic work. It centers on exalting the written revelation of God, taking joy in His Word. All but a few of the 176 verses follow that same pattern. In it, the scriptures are referred to as God’s Word, His law, statutes, precepts, commandments, testimonies, judgments, decrees or promises.
 “This wonderful psalm helps us to wonder at the immensity of Scripture,” said Charles Spurgeon. “From its keeping to one subject it helps us to adore the unity of Scripture, for it is but one. Yet, from the many turns it gives to the same thought, it helps to see the variety of Scripture… Its variety is that of a kaleidoscope: from a few objects a boundless variation is produced. In the kaleidoscope you look once, and there is a strangely beautiful form. You shift the glass a very little and another shape, equally delicate and beautiful, is before your eyes. So it is here.”

How rich we would be if we could treasure the Bible that way – to dwell in it and let it make its home in us. What a gift we have been given. Let’s read it, remember it, reflect on it, rejoice in it…!