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Wednesday, October 5, 2011

Before the Throne Wednesday

Welcome!  We are returning today to praying through Psalm 119 on behalf of our children/grandchildren.  Here's our passage found in Psalm 119:9-16
"How can a young man keep his way pure?  By living according to your word.  I seek you with all my heart; do not let me stray from your commands.  I have hidden your word in my heart that I might not sin against you.  Praise be to you O LORD; teach me your decrees.  With my lips I recount all the laws that come from your mouth.  I rejoice in following your statutes as one rejoices in great riches.  I meditate on your precepts and consider your ways.  I delight in your decrees; I will not neglect your word."
There are several important words that are used in this passage:
  • word - "living according to your word"..."I have hidden your word"..."I will not neglect your word"...Hebrew translation is "dabar" and means to say, speak, word, matter, thing.  Refers to the essential content of God's revelation.  In the phrase, "I have hidden your word", the Hebrew word "Imrah" is used and means utterance, promise and is always employed in the Psalms to signify the Word of God.
  • commands - Hebrew translation is "miswah" and means to command, order.  Law, precept, ordinance; the Law of Moses.  
  • decrees - Hebrew translation is "Hoq" and means to cut, engrave, mark out.  Decree, statute, regulation, law, custom, limit, boundary.  Denotes precepts and rules which must be strictly obeyed.
  • statute - Hebrew translation is "Edut" and means witness, testimony.  Stipulation, warning.  Always used in reference to the testimony of God.  It is most frequently connected with the tabernacle, but is also closely associated with the ark of the covenant.
  • precepts - Hebrew translation is "piqqudiym" and means to count, call into account.  Always appears in the plural form and refers to God's precepts.  According to John Calvin's commentary, "denotes matters relating to natural justice...The precepts of the law are defined as judgments and righteousness, informing us that all God commands are right and just, the only rule of living for the perfecting of holiness".
  • ways - Again referring to Calvin's commentary, "The expression 'the ways of the Lord' is almost synonymous with 'precepts of the law' for those who follow those 'ways' are in no danger of going astray".
On those crazy and chaotic days, I often think and too often say out loud to my children, "Why can't you guys just mind me and do what I say!"  I wonder if God thinks the same thing about His children sometimes?  In our focal passage today a question is asked:  "How can a young man keep his way pure?"  That word "pure" in the original Hebrew language means "transparent, clear, innocent; to cleanse, signifies purity of conduct".  The rest of the passage above answers that question with crystal clear clarity.  And did you notice the question was how can a young man keep his way pure?

Calvin, in his commentary on this verse, says, "Those who delay too long in such submission to God's word will attempt to reform themselves too late.  Note also that because carnal passions are powerful in our early years, God's law is needed to restrain sinful desires.  Those who learn this lesson in their youth will also profit from it in their mature years.  Much evil prevails in this world because so many yield to their desires rather than to the heavenly instruction."

It is very easy to get sidetracked with desiring a change in external behavior when it comes to our children.  Yes, we all want obedient and well behaved kids, but the greater concern should be with what is going on in their hearts.  The real work in parenting comes with standing back, taking a deep breath and doing the work of drilling down to the heart of our children and partnering with God in shaping and molding what we find there.

Only God's word, commands, decrees, precepts statutes, and ways will transform the hearts of our children and help them to counter the world's indifference towards God's truth.  I encourage you to pray that your children/grandchildren will fix the eyes of their heart on God's ways and that His laws will be deeply seated in their hearts and minds.  Ask God to help them and give them a desire for His ways; to rejoice in, meditate on and delight in His Word.  "The greater our delight in His statutes, the greater will be our benefit, for the path to a good life begins with God wooing us by His Word's sweetness, love for His truth being the antidote to the corruption of our minds."  (Calvin)

Then we will have, not little rule keepers or perfect children, but rather disciples of Almighty God with transformed hearts in step with the Lover of their souls.

My rewards:
  Cecily (13) and JennaBeth (2)
Bentley (6) after a recent fishing trip with his daddy.  His story:  "Mama, I caught four fish and daddy caught the last one making it five fish we caught."  Mike's story:  "I think we really caught 6 or 7.  A couple of them must have gotten away from us.  Bentley, I think I really caught 4 and you caught two of them."
Who knows!
*I'm linking this post to Raising Homemakers.  Be sure and check them out!  I'm also linking the post to
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Blessings,

2 comments:

Angela @ Refresh My Soul Blog said...

Love Psalm 119! Cute family you have! I wanted to let you know you won a book! Just send me your address at angela@refreshmysoul.com and I will send it right out! Congrats!!

Proverbial Homemaker said...

You said a few things here that especially resonated with me.

"The real work in parenting comes with standing back, taking a deep breath and doing the work of drilling down to the heart of our children and partnering with God in shaping and molding what we find there."

This is exactly what it's like in the middle of the day with life happening and little hearts needing careful, intentional tending. A good mental picture for me to remember in those moments!

"Then we will have, not little rule keepers or perfect children, but rather disciples of Almighty God with transformed hearts in step with the Lover of their souls."

This is beautiful, and so true, and so very much what I desire for my children.

Thank you for the excellent encouragement!

Tauna