In my daily Bible reading, I've come around again to Psalm 119, and as usual, I have mixed feelings. On the one hand, I love the Psalms, and I enjoy the many golden nuggets to be found in each chapter. On the other hand, I know that I have a tendency to get bogged down in those 176 verses and also to be convicted by them.
The theme of Psalm 119, if you don't know or couldn't guess, is the Word of God. In fact, the Scriptures are referred to in one word form or another (precepts, testimonies, commandments, etc.) in all but four verses of the entire chapter. But it's what the psalmist has to say about the Word that's so convicting.
As I read through the chapter this week, one thought kept coming to mind--if all God's people felt this way about God's Word, how different would things be? When was the last time we craved the Bible? Have we rejoiced in it? Have we meditated on it? Have we delighted in it? Have we memorized it, shared it or fallen in love with it? When was the last time we chose the Word of God over riches, fame or selfish desires? The psalmist said multiple times within chapter 119 alone that the Scriptures made him alive, but if that's the case today, why are so many of us walking around with our heads down and shoulders slumped?
Yes, when I read this chapter, I'm both humbled and ashamed. It is a glaring reminder that I don't love and respect the Bible as I should. I take it for granted and fail to treat it with the glory and honor that it deserves. I fear that if I were to ask, many of you would say the same thing. Could that be why we do not see revival like we used to? Could that be why our churches are not on fire like they once were? Could that be why we're so complacent to just "live and let live"?
May I be blunt with you? Today is Independence Day here in America, and as a nation, we celebrate how far we've come. Unfortunately, many of us also cringe at how far we've fallen. Our Christian nation is Christian no more. We are being destroyed from within, and I fear it will only get worse unless the Lord comes back very soon.
That being said, the reason our country is in such a mess is because our churches, as a whole, are in a mess. They're more concerned with rules and guidelines, dress codes and ceremonies, tickling ears and making friends than they are about standing up for the truth. And the reason the churches have slipped so far is that the people who make up those churches have lost all love and reverence for the Word of God. Perhaps if we had a few attitude adjustments and started taking God seriously, we would see a change in our lives, our churches and our country.
If you're unsure how exactly you should feel about and treat the Scriptures, turn to Psalm 119 and read a while. Pay attention to each verse. Meditate on what it's saying. Then ask yourself, "Am I as devoted to the Word of God as I should be?" Then say with the psalmist,
O that my ways were directed to keep thy statutes! Then shall I not be ashamed, when I have respect unto all thy commandments. (vs.5-6)
What difference does it make? All the difference in the world!