2252.) Psalm 119:97-112

December 19, 2017

p119 lamp to my feet

Psalm 119:97-112   (NIV)

מ Mem

“This is a pure song of praise. It contains no single petition, but is just one glad outpouring of the heart.” 

–G. Campbell Morgan

97 Oh, how I love your law!
I meditate on it all day long.

If one wants to, they can increase their love for God’s word. You can’t make yourself love something or someone; but you can cultivate love towards someone or something.

– Give it your time; set it before you constantly.
– Give it your attention and care; look after the word of God (it is my meditation all the day).
– Give it a truly listening ear.
– Give it your honor and your obedience.
– Give it your appreciation; value it for all the good it has done for you and be thankful for all that good.
– Give it your dependence and trust; let it care for you.
– Give it your praise; speak highly of it before others.

–David Guzik

98 Your commands are always with me
and make me wiser than my enemies.
99 I have more insight than all my teachers,
for I meditate on your statutes.

There is a story about the life of Harry Ironside, the pastor and author and Bible commentator. Ironside went to visit a man near death, suffering from tuberculosis. The man was almost dead and could barely speak. As Ironside spoke to him the sick man asked, “Young man, are you trying to preach Christ, are you not?” Ironside said that he was, and the man replied, “Well, sit down a little, and let us talk together about the Word of God.” Then the man opened his Bible and spoke with Ironside until his strength was gone; he shared insights from the Bible that Ironside had not appreciated or even seen before. 

Ironside was stunned and asked the man, “Where did you get these things? Can you tell me where I can find a book that will open them up to me? Did you get them in seminary or college?” 

The old man replied, “My dear young man, I learned these things on my knees on the mud floor of a little sod cottage in the north of Ireland. There with my open Bible before me, I used to kneel for hours at a time and ask the Spirit of God to reveal Christ to my soul and to open the Word to my heart. He taught me more on my knees on that mud floor than I ever could have learned in all the seminaries or colleges in the world.”

Ironside became a Bible teacher, preacher, theologian, pastor, and author of more than 100 books, booklets and pamphlets. He pastored Moody Church in Chicago from 1929 to 1948. And in 1930, Wheaton College presented Ironside, who quit school after eighth grade, with an honorary Doctorate of Letters degree.

100 I have more understanding than the elders,
for I obey your precepts.
101 I have kept my feet from every evil path
so that I might obey your word.
102 I have not departed from your laws,
for you yourself have taught me.

P119 honey

103 How sweet are your words to my taste,
sweeter than honey to my mouth!

104 I gain understanding from your precepts;
therefore I hate every wrong path.

נ Nun

P119 oil lamp

105 Your word is a lamp for my feet,
a light on my path.

How are we as Christians to walk?

Ephesians 4:1-3  (NASB)

Therefore I, the prisoner of the Lord, implore you to walk in a manner worthy of the calling with which you have been called, with all humility and gentleness, with patience, showing tolerance for one another in love, being diligent to preserve the unity of the Spirit in the bond of peace.

Isaiah 57:1-2  (NASB)

The righteous man perishes, and no man takes it to heart;
And devout men are taken away, while no one understands.
For the righteous man is taken away from evil,
He enters into peace;
They rest in their beds,
Each one who walked in his upright way.

1 John 1:7   (NASB)

If we walk in the Light as He Himself is in the Light,
we have fellowship with one another,
and the blood of Jesus His Son cleanses us from all sin.

Micah 6:8   (NASB)

He has told you, O man, what is good;
And what does the Lord require of you
But to do justice, to love kindness,
And to walk humbly with your God?

106 I have taken an oath and confirmed it,
that I will follow your righteous laws.
107 I have suffered much;
preserve my life, Lord, according to your word.
108 Accept, Lord, the willing praise of my mouth,
and teach me your laws.
109 Though I constantly take my life in my hands,
I will not forget your law.
110 The wicked have set a snare for me,
but I have not strayed from your precepts.
111 Your statutes are my heritage forever;
they are the joy of my heart.

“What is the psalmist’s spiritual heritage, that is, what is he looking toward and working for? Some heavenly reward? A word of praise from God? Surprisingly, he says that his heritage is what he has been speaking about all along: God’s Word itself.”

–James Montgomery Boice

112 My heart is set on keeping your decrees
to the very end.

_________________________

Music:

Can you hear it even before the music starts? Amy Grant and “Thy Word.” Click  HERE  to listen!

_________________________

Images courtesy of:
Psalm 119:105.   https://dwellingintheword.files.wordpress.com/2013/01/lamptomyfeet.jpg
Harry Ironside.   http://www.harryironside.com/ironside.jpg
honey.   https://dwellingintheword.files.wordpress.com/2013/01/p119-honey.jpg?w=450&h=315
Psalm 119:105 with oil lamp.   http://www.emblibrary.com/el/Product_images/E3592.jpg
Matthew 28:20.    https://dwellingintheword.files.wordpress.com/2017/12/887ca-1467374092627.jpg
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2243.) Psalm 119:81-96

December 6, 2017

Psalm 119:81-96   (NIV)

כ Kaph

81 My soul faints with longing for your salvation,
    but I have put my hope in your word.

This verse brings to mind Paul’s similar affirmation of being desperate but not despairing in 2 Corinthians 4:8-9 —  We are hard pressed on every side, yet not crushed; we are perplexed, but not in despair; persecuted, but not forsaken; struck down, but not destroyed. In it all, Paul could say, “we have the same spirit of faith” (2 Corinthians 4:13).

82 My eyes fail, looking for your promise;
    I say, “When will you comfort me?”
83 Though I am like a wineskin in the smoke,
    I do not forget your decrees.

What can I do to help myself remember the Lord’s decrees? Here are some ideas:

– reading the Bible regularly
– learning Scripture by heart and repeating it 
– hanging Bible verse plaques up around your house
– keeping devotionals in convenient places
– singing hymns and spiritual songs

– carrying Scripture with you (easy now on our phones)

What are other things that you have found helpful?

84 How long must your servant wait?
    When will you punish my persecutors?
85 The arrogant dig pits to trap me,
    contrary to your law.

86 All your commands are trustworthy;
    help me, for I am being persecuted without cause.

87 They almost wiped me from the earth,
    but I have not forsaken your precepts.
88 In your unfailing love preserve my life,
    that I may obey the statutes of your mouth.

ל Lamedh

89 Your word, Lord, is eternal;
it stands firm in the heavens.
90 Your faithfulness continues through all generations;
you established the earth, and it endures.

P119 Genesis1_1

The word of God itself is what establishes the earth and causes it to abide. The earth and all of creation began with a word from God (Genesis 1); it is no surprise that they are also sustained and endure according to the word of God.

This gives new understanding to some wonderful statements of Scripture:

The grass withers, the flower fades, but the word of our God stands forever (Isaiah 40:8)

Heaven and earth will pass away, but My words will by no means pass away (Matthew 24:35)

These passages put the word of God outside the created world and indicate that the word of God is more permanent and enduring that creation itself. Since the created world came into being by God’s word and is sustained by His word, this makes perfect sense.

–David Guzik

91 Your laws endure to this day,
for all things serve you.
92 If your law had not been my delight,
I would have perished in my affliction.
93 I will never forget your precepts,
for by them you have preserved my life.
94 Save me, for I am yours;
I have sought out your precepts.

This speaks of the wonderful relationship between the Psalmist and His God, flowing from the word of God. With the Psalmist, we can affirm
– that God is our God!
– that salvation is not in ourselves!
– that God hears and answers prayer!
– that God will indeed save us!
– that God’s word is valuable and necessary for us!

95 The wicked are waiting to destroy me,
but I will ponder your statutes.
96 To all perfection I see a limit,
but your commands are boundless.

I like how this verse is phrased in The Message:

I see the limits to everything human,
    but the horizons can’t contain your commands!

_________________________

Music:

HERE is a song to feed your heart!  “Speak, O Lord,” by Keith Getty and Stuart Townend, and sung by Kristyn Getty.

_________________________

New International Version (NIV)

Holy Bible, New International Version®, NIV® Copyright ©1973, 1978, 1984, 2011 by Biblica, Inc.® Used by permission. All rights reserved worldwide.

Images courtesy of:
verse 81.   https://i.pinimg.com/originals/f7/ce/87/f7ce8747c0d93bc5a85da7120561219a.jpg
 help me.   https://d5wt70d4gnm1t.cloudfront.net/media/annika_strom/please_help_me_blue/annika_strom_5293_1024x768.jpg
Genesis 1:1.    http://wallpaper4god.com/en/wp-content/uploads/2011/11/genesis1_1.jpg

2235.) Psalm 119:65-80

November 24, 2017

Psalm 119:65-80

(Good News Translation)

The Value of the Law of the Lord

65 You have kept your promise, Lord,
and you are good to me, your servant.

We don’t think about it enough, but it is wonderfully true that “You have dealt well with Your servant, O LORD.” Think of all the ways God has dealt well with us. He loves us, He called us, He drew us to Himself. He rescued us, He declared us righteous, He forgave us, He put His Spirit with us, He adopted us into His family. He makes us kings and priests and co-workers with Him, and He rewards all our work for Him.

–David Guzik

66 Give me wisdom and knowledge,
because I trust in your commands.
67 Before you punished me, I used to go wrong,
but now I obey your word.

68 How good you are—how kind!
Teach me your commands.

Another translation of this verse goes, “You are good and you do good.” This is praise for who God is, and for what God does. Even afflictions work out to show God’s kindness. With that in mind, where is room for complaining?

“We talk of goodness, but yield to discontent. We do not profess to dislike trials in general — only the trial pressing upon us — any other cross than this; that is, my will and wisdom rather than God’s.”

–Charles Bridges

“I never,” said Martin Luther, “knew the meaning of God’s word, until I came into affliction. I have always found it one of my best schoolmasters.”

69 The proud have told lies about me,
but with all my heart I obey your instructions.
70 They have no understanding,
but I find pleasure in your law.
71 My punishment was good for me,
because it made me learn your commands.

P119 coins
72 The law that you gave means more to me
than all the money in the world.

The largest Bible in the world is in the Vatican. It is a manuscript Bible and written in Hebrew. The book weighs 320 pounds and there is a history connected with it. Some Italian Jews obtained a view of the precious volume, and told their co-religionists of Venice of it. The consequence was that a syndicate of Venetian Jews endeavored to purchase it, offering the Pope the weight of the book in gold as the price. Pope Julius II, however, refused the offer, even though the value of such a large amount of gold was enormous. The saving truth which the Bible contains, accessible to the poorest, is more valuable than all material wealth combined.

–Christian Science Journal

The Justice of the Law of the Lord

The reference to God forming him is a deliberate echo of Genesis 2, which says God ‘formed man from the dust of the ground’ (Genesis 2:7)

73 You created me, and you keep me safe;
give me understanding, so that I may learn your laws.

74 Those who honor you will be glad when they see me,
because I trust in your promise.
75 I know that your judgments are righteous, Lord,
and that you punished me because you are faithful.
76 Let your constant love comfort me,
as you have promised me, your servant.

P119 Hebrews
77 Have mercy on me, and I will live
because I take pleasure in your law.

78 May the proud be ashamed for falsely accusing me;
as for me, I will meditate on your instructions.
79 May those who honor you come to me—
all those who know your commands.

80 May I perfectly obey your commandments
and be spared the shame of defeat.

_________________________

Music:

“Beneath the Cross of Jesus” is a hymn that has long spoken to me. And particularly the line shown above: “My sinful self my only shame, my glory all the cross.”  So many things I have done which I am ashamed of or embarrassed by, so many foolish or unkind things — yet at the cross, all is forgiven.  HERE  is the hymn sung by The Hastings College Choir from Hastings, Nebraska.

_________________________

Good News Translation (GNT)   Copyright © 1992 by American Bible Society
Images courtesy of:
You have done many good things.   https://c1.staticflickr.com/5/4085/5064866654_738a306de9_b.jpg
coins.    https://dwellingintheword.files.wordpress.com/2012/12/psalm119-72.jpg
breath of life.   http://learn-biblical-hebrew.com/wp-content/uploads/2017/03/breath-of-life.jpg
Hebrews 4:16.    http://ih2.redbubble.net/image.11592695.2391/flat,550×550,075,f.jpg
my sinful self.   http://images.slideplayer.com/25/7969489/slides/slide_40.jpg

2234.) Psalm 145

November 23, 2017

Psalm 145   The Message

David’s Praise

A magnificent hymn reminding us of all that God has provided for us!  We sing praises to Him for his greatness, his goodness, his grace, and his glory!

Psalm 145 is an acrostic psalm that uses each of the letters of the Hebrew alphabet in order, almost like an ABC book. Today we alphabetize lots of things, but not usually our poetry. The Hebrews didn’t have books readily available, so much of their theology was memorized. Psalm 145 may have been written the way it was to make it easier to remember, since each verse starts with the next letter in the Hebrew alphabet.

–Robert J. and Laura Keeley

Psalm 145 is the last psalm attributed to David in the collection of Psalms.

(1-3) Learning from David’s example of a heart fully given to praise.

I lift you high in praise, my God, O my King!
    and I’ll bless your name into eternity.

· He did it with the direct address (You)

· He did it with the personal reference (my God)

· He did it with a surrendered heart (my King)

· He did it unending (forever and ever…every day)

–David Guzik

I’ll bless you every day,
    and keep it up from now to eternity.

God is magnificent; he can never be praised enough.
    There are no boundaries to his greatness.

(4-7) Passing the praise of God from one generation to another.

Ps145 future generations

Generation after generation stands in awe of your work;
    each one tells stories of your mighty acts.

Your beauty and splendor have everyone talking;
    I compose songs on your wonders.

Your marvelous doings are headline news;
    I could write a book full of the details of your greatness.

The fame of your goodness spreads across the country;
    your righteousness is on everyone’s lips.

(8-9) The memory and present experience of God’s goodness.

God is all mercy and grace—
    not quick to anger, is rich in love.

Ps145 steadfast love

God is good to one and all;
    everything he does is suffused with grace.

(10-13) All creation declares God’s praise.

10-11 Creation and creatures applaud you, God;
    your holy people bless you.

They talk about the glories of your rule,
    they exclaim over your splendor,

12 Letting the world know of your power for good,
    the lavish splendor of your kingdom.

13 Your kingdom is a kingdom eternal;
    you never get voted out of office.

Psalm145_13 flowers

God always does what he says,
    and is gracious in everything he does.

(14-16) The kindness of God to those in need.

14 God gives a hand to those down on their luck,
    gives a fresh start to those ready to quit.

15 All eyes are on you, expectant;
    you give them their meals on time.

16 Generous to a fault,
    you lavish your favor on all creatures.

My family has often used the verses above as a grace at table.

(17-21) The love and righteousness of the Lord.

17 Everything God does is right—
    the trademark on all his works is love.

Ps145 pray

18 God’s there, listening for all who pray,
    for all who pray and mean it.

19 He does what’s best for those who fear him—
    hears them call out, and saves them.

20 God sticks by all who love him,
    but it’s all over for those who don’t.

21 My mouth is filled with God’s praise.
    Let everything living bless him,
    bless his holy name from now to eternity!

 “Whatever others may do, I will not be silent in the praise of the Lord, whatever others may speak upon, my topic is fixed once for all: I will speak the praise of Jehovah. I am doing it, and I will do it as long as I breathe.”

–Charles Haddon Spurgeon

“The last verse of Psalm 145 is the last word we have from David in the Bible. It is his last will and testament. If he had said nothing else in his long life, these words would be a fine legacy for future generations. In it he praises God and invites others to praise God also.”

–James Montgomery Boice

“So ends David’s contribution to the Psalter, on a note of praise which is wholly his own (v 21a), yet as wide as mankind and as unfading as eternity.”

–Derek Kidner

_________________________

Music:

Happy Thanksgiving, dear readers! And to my readers outside of the USA, may I say how thankful I am for your support of DWELLING!

HERE is “For the Beauty of the Earth,” sung by BarlowGirl (3 sisters from Elgin, IL).

HERE  is another version of the hymn, but a different tune, sung by Libera (English boys choir).

_________________________

The Message (MSG)   Copyright © 1993, 1994, 1995, 1996, 2000, 2001, 2002 by Eugene H. Peterson
Images courtesy of:
verse 1.   https://i.pinimg.com/originals/cd/47/f8/cd47f8c872facc0422bed0649a1b3f12.jpg
Imagine God’s future.    http://www.whitehousefumc.org/clientimages/57113/children/psalm22_30.jpg
steadfast love.    http://patriciawonders.files.wordpress.com/2012/11/hearts.jpg
Psalm 145:13.    https://dwellingintheword.files.wordpress.com/2014/07/63c1d-psalm145_13.jpg
verses 15-16.   https://cccooperagency.files.wordpress.com/2014/03/encouragement_psalm_145_15_16.jpg?w=394
The Lord is near to all.    https://dwellingintheword.files.wordpress.com/2014/07/c299c-psalms145_18.jpg
King David.   https://www.dcriggott.com/media/catalog/product/cache/1/thumbnail/0f396e8a55728e79b48334e699243c07/i/m/img_5832.jpg

2219.) Psalm 119:49-64

November 2, 2017

Psalm 119:49-64   (NIV)

Just for a bit of variety — we will be looking at sections of Psalm 119 while we are also reading through Jeremiah.

“Surely it is significant that this intricate, finely crafted, single-minded love poem—the longest in the Bible—is not about marriage or children or food or drink or mountains or sunsets or rivers or oceans, but about the Bible itself. . . . Psalm 119 is the explosion of praise made possible by an orthodox and evangelical doctrine of Scripture.” 
~Kevin DeYoung

The particular stanzas here follow very similar themes:

Zayin (verses 49-56) could be summarized,

“Remember me, Lord, as I remember you and your word”

 Heth (verses 57-64) could be summarized,

 “I am keeping my promise, Lord, please keep your promise.”

~Peter Wallace

ז Zayin

49 Remember your word to your servant,
    for you have given me hope.

50 My comfort in my suffering is this:
    Your promise preserves my life.

51 The arrogant mock me unmercifully,
    but I do not turn from your law.
52 I remember, Lord, your ancient laws,
    and I find comfort in them.
53 Indignation grips me because of the wicked,
    who have forsaken your law.
54 Your decrees are the theme of my song
    wherever I lodge.
55 In the night, Lord, I remember your name,
    that I may keep your law.

At night especially our sorrows press painfully upon the mind. The remembrance of the Lord’s “name” — i:e., His manifestation of Himself in acts as His people’s Deliverer–is at such seasons most consolatory. Of the time that others give to sleep, I gladly take a part to comfort myself with the remembrance of thy glorious name.

~commentary on Psalm 119 by Jamieson, Fausset, and Brown

56 This has been my practice:
    I obey your precepts.

ח Heth

57 You are my portion, Lord;
    I have promised to obey your words.
58 I have sought your face with all my heart;
    be gracious to me according to your promise.


59 I have considered my ways
    and have turned my steps to your statutes.

60 I will hasten and not delay
    to obey your commands.
61 Though the wicked bind me with ropes,
    I will not forget your law.
62 At midnight I rise to give you thanks
    for your righteous laws.
63 I am a friend to all who fear you,
    to all who follow your precepts.

The proverb says that “A man is known by the company he keeps.” We do well to choose friends who call us to live on the higher plane — more lovingly, more gracefully, more faithfully, more patiently, more joyfully. On the other hand, Jesus was known as “a friend of sinners.”But Jesus didn’t just hang out with drunks and loose women for the sake of a good party! Perhaps it is more accurate to say that sinners were drawn to Jesus, that Jesus gladly spent time with sinners who were open to his teaching, that Jesus forgave repentant sinners, and that Jesus embraced sinners who believed in him. Sinners like us can be known by the company we keep, especially if that company is our Savior, Jesus!

64 The earth is filled with your love, Lord;
    teach me your decrees.

_________________________

Music:

Verse 59  in three translations:

 I have considered my conduct,
and I promise to follow your instructions. (Good News)

I thought about my ways
and turned my feet toward your instruction. (CJB)

I thought very carefully about my life,
    and I decided to follow your rules.   (ERV)

They all are saying we should “direct our feet” and “turn” and “promise to follow” God’s Word. Here is Rich Mullins singing his “Step by Step.” I think it is a catchy number, so we could sing it all day long, thus directing our feet and turning our hearts to follow the Lord. Click  HERE  to listen and join in!

Sometimes the night was beautiful 
Sometimes the sky was so far away 
Sometimes it seemed to stoop so close 
You could touch it but your heart would break 
Sometimes the morning came too soon 
Sometimes the day could be so hot 
There was so much work left to do 
But so much You’d already done

Oh God, You are my God 
And I will ever praise You 
Oh God, You are my God 
And I will ever praise You 
I will seek You in the morning 
And I will learn to walk in Your ways 
And step by step You’ll lead me 
And I will follow You all of my days

Sometimes I think of Abraham 
How one star he saw had been lit for me 
He was a stranger in this land 
And I am that, no less than he 
And on this road to righteousness 
Sometimes the climb can be so steep 
I may falter in my steps 
But never beyond Your reach

And I will follow You all of my days 
And I will follow You all of my days 
And step by step You’ll lead me 
And I will follow You all of my days 
And I will follow You all of my days 
And I will follow You all of my days

_________________________

New International Version (NIV)Holy Bible, New International Version®, NIV® Copyright ©1973, 1978, 1984, 2011 by Biblica, Inc.® Used by permission. All rights reserved worldwide.

Images courtesy of:
I have thought about my life.    https://darlenecollazo.files.wordpress.com/2012/08/psalm-119-59.jpg
verse 50.    http://ourdailyblossom.com/wp-content/uploads/2010/12/101211-590×393.jpg
I thought on my ways.   https://dwellingintheword.files.wordpress.com/2017/11/b8144-ps2b119-592bturned2bmy2bfeet.jpg

2213.) Psalm 119:33-48

October 25, 2017

Psalm 119:33-48   The Message (MSG)

Just to keep things interesting — we will be looking at sections of Psalm 119 while we are also reading through Jeremiah.
.
In 1539, commenting on Psalm 119, Luther wrote, “In this psalm David always says that he will speak, think, talk, hear, read, day and night constantly—but about nothing else than God’s Word and Commandments. For God wants to give you His Spirit only through the external Word.” This phrase is extremely important. The “external Word” is the Book. And the saving, sanctifying, illuminating Spirit of God, he says, comes to us through this “external Word.”
~John Piper

33-40 God, teach me lessons for living
so I can stay the course.

P119 4 candles

Give me insight so I can do what you tell me—
my whole life one long, obedient response.

“There is a great market for religious experience in our world; there is little enthusiasm for the patient acquisition of virtue, little inclination to sign up for a long apprenticeship in what earlier generations of Christians called holiness.” 
~Eugene H. Peterson, A Long Obedience in the Same Direction: Discipleship in an Instant Society

Guide me down the road of your commandments;
I love traveling this freeway!
Give me a bent for your words of wisdom,
and not for piling up loot.

P119 worthless
Divert my eyes from toys and trinkets,
invigorate me on the pilgrim way.

Each of us wrestles with the problem of inward purity. We might be able to put on a good show outwardly, but inwardly we are sinners by nature and we wage war against wrong thoughts, desires, and attitudes. Psalm 119 shows us God’s Word is essential for becoming pure in heart. 
~Steven J. Cole

Affirm your promises to me—
promises made to all who fear you.
Deflect the harsh words of my critics—
but what you say is always so good.
See how hungry I am for your counsel;
preserve my life through your righteous ways!

41-48 Let your love, God, shape my life
with salvation, exactly as you promised;
Then I’ll be able to stand up to mockery
because I trusted your Word.
Don’t ever deprive me of truth, not ever—
your commandments are what I depend on.
Oh, I’ll guard with my life what you’ve revealed to me,
guard it now, guard it ever;
And I’ll stride freely through wide open spaces
as I look for your truth and your wisdom;
Then I’ll tell the world what I find,
speak out boldly in public, unembarrassed.

P119 I reach

I cherish your commandments—oh, how I love them!—
relishing every fragment of your counsel.

“The more we read the Bible, the stronger our faith becomes.
~Pope Pius X

_________________________

Music:

The NIV has verse 34 as “Give me understanding, and I will keep your law / and obey it with all my heart.”  Here is the Oslo Gospel Choir singing “I give you my heart.”  Click  HERE  to listen.  Lord, have Your way in me.

_________________________


2207.) Psalm 119:17-32

October 17, 2017

Open my eyes, that I may see glimpses of truth thou hast for me . . .

Psalm 119:17-32   (NIV)

Just to keep things interesting — we will be looking at sections of Psalm 119 while we are also reading through Jeremiah.  

George Wishart was the Bishop of Edinburgh in the 17th century (not to be confused with another Scot by the same name who was martyred a century earlier). Wishart was condemned to death and would have been executed. But when he was on the scaffold he made use of a custom that allowed the condemned person to choose one psalm to be sung, and he chose Psalm 119. Before two-thirds of the psalm was sung, his pardon arrived and his life was spared!
~David Guzik

ג Gimel

17 Be good to your servant while I live,
that I may obey your word.
18 Open my eyes that I may see
wonderful things in your law.

“Blinding ignorance does mislead us. O! Wretched mortals, open your eyes!”
~Leonardo da Vinci

“In these times you have to be an optimist to open your eyes when you awake in the morning.”
~Carl Sandburg

“Light only benefits one whose eyes are open.” 
~Matshona Dhliwavo

19 I am a stranger on earth;
do not hide your commands from me.
20 My soul is consumed with longing
for your laws at all times.
21 You rebuke the arrogant, who are accursed,
those who stray from your commands.
22 Remove from me their scorn and contempt,
for I keep your statutes.
23 Though rulers sit together and slander me,
your servant will meditate on your decrees.

“The best way to deal with slander is to pray about it: God will either remove it, or remove the sting from it. Our own attempts at clearing ourselves are usually failures.”
~Charles Haddon Spurgeon

24 Your statutes are my delight;
they are my counselors.

ד Daleth

25 I am laid low in the dust;
    preserve my life according to your word.
26 I gave an account of my ways and you answered me;
    teach me your decrees.
27 Cause me to understand the way of your precepts,
    that I may meditate on your wonderful deeds.
28 My soul is weary with sorrow;
    strengthen me according to your word.
29 Keep me from deceitful ways;
    be gracious to me and teach me your law.
30 I have chosen the way of faithfulness;
    I have set my heart on your laws.

I like how Eugene Peterson puts verses 29-30 in The Message:

Barricade the road that goes Nowhere;
grace me with your clear revelation.
I choose the true road to Somewhere,

I post your road signs at every curve and corner.

31 I hold fast to your statutes, Lord;
    do not let me be put to shame.
32 I run in the path of your commands,
    for you have broadened my understanding.

In the beginning of the section he is clinging to the dust (verse 25); by the end he is clinging to God’s word. In the beginning he is laid low; now he is joyfully running with all his strength in the race God’s word sets before him.
~David Guzik

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Music:

HERE  is an old one — “Open My Eyes, that I May See,” by Clara M. Scott. Scott was born in Illinois in 1841 and died in Iowa in 1897. In 1856, Scott attended the first Music Institute held by C.M. Cady in Chicago, Ill. By 1859, she was teaching music at the Ladies’ Seminary, Lyons, Iowa. She married Henry Clay Scott in 1861, and published in 1882 the Royal Anthem Book, the first volume of choir anthems published by a woman.

Horatio R. Palmer, an influential church musician in Chicago and later New York City, was a source of encouragement for Scott, and helped her publish many of her songs. Three collections were issued before her untimely death, when a runaway horse caused a buggy accident in Dubuque, Iowa.

  1. Open my eyes, that I may see
    Glimpses of truth Thou hast for me;
    Place in my hands the wonderful key
    That shall unclasp and set me free.
              Refrain
              Silently now I wait for Thee,
              Ready my God, Thy will to see,
              Open my eyes, illumine me,
              Spirit divine!
  2. Open my ears, that I may hear
    Voices of truth Thou sendest clear;
    And while the wave notes fall on my ear,
    Everything false will disappear.
              Refrain 
  3. Open my mind, that I may read
    More of Thy love in word and deed;
    What shall I fear while yet Thou dost lead?
    Only for light from Thee I plead.
              Refrain 
  4. Open my mouth, and let me bear,
    Gladly the warm truth everywhere;
    Open my heart and let me prepare
    Love with Thy children thus to share.
              Refrain 

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New International Version (NIV)   Holy Bible, New International Version®, NIV® Copyright © 1973, 1978, 1984, 2011 by Biblica, Inc.® Used by permission. All rights reserved worldwide.

Images courtesy of:
open eye.   http://c559477.r77.cf2.rackcdn.com/images/articles/restorers-of-the-breach/open-mine-eyes.jpg
verse 18. Calligraphy by Tim Botts.   http://www.prestoimages.net/store30/rd183/183_pd2678828_1_psalm_119_18_timbotts.jpg
Truth.   https://dwellingintheword.files.wordpress.com/2012/12/psalm119_30.jpg