Wednesday, July 26, 2006

Vacational Verse of the Last Week

"You are good and do good.
Teach me your statutes." Psalm 119:68

One of the highlights I forgot to mention was that I started Psalm 119 Tuesday morning. Reading 24 verses a day, 32 on one, it takes almost a week to read. Therefore for most of my vacation I was hearing about the goodness of God's word. That's a good thing to hear, sweeter than honey on a dosa. It's an acrostic psalm of 22 stanzas of 8 verses each. Each verse of a stanza starts with the same Hebrew letter. For instance my verse of the day is from the Teth stanza and starts with the Hebrew word "tov," "good." Something I enjoy doing when I read this psalm is to try to guess which English word translates the Hebrew word that started the verse. Obviously it helps that I've studied Hebrew but I think someone who hasn't could do it some. When you read a stanza look for recurring English words. This works better for some letters than others. For instance in the Teth stanza, vv. 64-71, the word "good" or "better" predominates because there aren't many words in Hebrew that start with teth. It's harder for Aleph or Pe but when you're reading the psalm someday give it a shot. It might be fun. Even if you don't try to guess the words, try to enjoy the interplay of the different words for God's law and the psalmist's delight in them. Sweeter than honey and better than thousands of gold and silver.

1 comment:

ann said...

I love Psalm 119!! My friend Robert (the tall skinny white boy in the wedding) taught me that it was all about God's Word one day, and I've loved it ever since. One of my very favorite verses in the whole Bible is in that book:

I run in the path of your commands, for you have set my heart free. (Psalm 119:32)

I just love knowing that God's laws are like a giant field meant for frolicking in. Don't you?