The amazing Psalm 119 uses more than a dozen expressions for the word of God. Each one gives you a slightly different flavour. Each one tells you something else about the beauty, wonder and power of what God says to us. Here, in the eleventh verse we have the ninth new word; it means ‘sayings, spoken words’. What the psalmist is saying is this: ‘Lord, everything that you’ve said to me, however You’ve said it, has been stored in my heart’.
When we moved to a smaller house nearly ten years ago, we found we had too much stuff. But there were things we didn’t want to get rid of because we valued them. So, we put them up in the loft. And there they stayed, some of them still in their packing boxes and largely forgotten.
But when the psalmist says that God’s sayings have been hidden in his heart, it’s not like that at all. Hebrews 4:11 says, ‘the word of God is alive and active’. Like a sharp sword, it penetrates into the very depths of our inner being. And, if we receive it and allow it to do its work, it will bring about change. It will touch our conscience, making it sensitive to the will of God. It will mould our mind, so that our thinking becomes more and more aligned to how God sees things. It will influence our will so that it becomes responsive to the will of God, and it will cleanse our feelings, so that ungodly emotions are corrected.
At the end of Luke’s account of the birth and childhood of Jesus, he says that
Has God spoken to you recently? Maybe, as you’ve read the bible, perhaps through something someone has said, perhaps through an event (something that happened, as it was for Mary), you knew it was God speaking. I wonder what you did with it.
Prayer: Thank You that You love to talk to me. Please forgive me for the times I’ve heard what You’re saying but haven’t treasured it where it will become fruitful in my life. Today, I commit myself to allow what You are saying to me to shape my conscience, to transform my thinking, to purify my emotions and to direct my will. Amen.
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