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Tuesday, May 27, 2008

Red geraniums in barrel

Red geraniums on an Amish farm in eastern Lancaster County

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"Understanding God's Statutes"

"I am Your servant; give me discernment that I may understand Your statutes" (Psalm 119:125).

Among the issues our daughter, Ester, has to overcome is hearing loss. We are told her hearing loss is a result of medication she received as a baby for her heart condition that was later determined to cause hearing problems when given to infants. She has profound hearing loss in the high frequency range which means, although she hears volume at a normal level, she misses a part of the range that is necessary to understand properly.  Thus, her speech can become unclear at times.

I really came to understand this when we consulted with an audiologist at Children's Hospital in Boston several years ago.  She explained that certain speech sounds in the upper frequencies are confused with other sounds to her.  For instance we may say "they", but she might hear it as "day".  You can imagine how confusing this can be in certain instances! She wore hear aids as a child but they were of only minimal help. Thankfully, as she's gotten older, she is able to process more and more due to lip reading, gestures, context and her ability to read.  But it is among the issues that has slowed her development.

There is certainly a spiritual parallel to this physical condition. 

Psalm 119 is well-known as the longest chapter in the Bible with 176 verses. What is not quite as familiar is that each verse, in one way or another, has a reference to God's Word; His laws and statutes, etc.  I believe the various Scriptural expressions are used synonymously and all reveal the heart's desire of the writer; to live according to God's revelation.

Another interesting feature in this long Psalm is that it consists of 22 parts, according to the number of the letters in the Hebrew alphabet, with the names of which these letters stand for between each part. Each part consists of eight verses, all of which begin with the same letter in the Hebrew: thus, for instance, the first eight verses begin with the letter a, "aleph," and the second eight verses begin with the letter b, "beth," and so on throughout; hence the Masorah calls this Psalm the Great Alphabet. *

In today's Scripture the Psalmist prays in humility: "I am your servant."  I find blessing in the Psalmist's humble approach to God. We must always remember who's in control; Who is the Master and who is the servant.

The nature of his request is so needed by those who live by faith today.  "Give me discernment that I may understand your statutes."  The Hebrew word for discernment means "to separate mentally." We need to be clear-minded in properly discerning God's Word.

The specific request is to "understand Your statutes."  God's statutes; His laws and precepts are good and we need to understand them clearly.

We are barraged with information.  The "information superhighway" provides an abundance of information that can be helpful but also much that can confuse or sidetrack the more important message.  Not only life-giving truths but disastrous errors also crowd the superhighway. 

We do well to often repeat the Psalmist's prayer; "Give me discernment that I may understand Your statutes." May we not only read about God's statutes but understand their meaning and then implement them into our lives.

Be encouraged today,

Stephen & Brooksyne Weber

Daily prayer: Father, I ask for discernment that I may understand Your statutes.  I pray for understanding that I might know how to implement these truths into my life.  I also pray that I will grow to love and embrace Your laws so that it becomes a natural outflow of my commitment to following You.  Amen.

How sure the Scriptures are, God's vital urgent Word.
As true as steel and far more sharp than any sword,
So deep and fine at His control.
They pierce where soul and spirit join.

They test each human thought, refining like a fire.
They measure what we ought to do and to desire
For God knows all.  Exposed it lies
Before His eyes to whom we call.

Let those who hear His voice confronting them today,
Reject the tempting choice of doubting or delay.
For God speaks still, His word is clear.
So let us hear and do His will.

"How Sure The Scriptures Are" Idle, Christopher / Darwall, John
(to the tune of "Rejoice, the Lord is King")

* from John Gill's Exposition of the Bible

Brenda and Glenda, Val friends
Brooksyne was blessed by a visit from two friends, Brenda and Glenda, from Vallorbs - a company we serve as chaplains.  They brought with them 2 large boxes filled with gifts from the employees who were extending their well wishes for a speedy healing of her broken ankle. We have been amazed and greatly blessed by the loving acts of our many friends who have reached out to us in extraordinary ways over the past 2 1/2 weeks!

Today's Suggested Music  and Supplemental Resources

"Thy Word"  Video  A beautiful version sung by the Maranatha Singers.

"How Firm A Foundation"
 Video   Audio

"Word Of God Speak"  Audio

Info about multi-media files used on daily encouragement.

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Scripture references are from The Holy Bible: New International Version. © 1984 by International Bible Society; NEW AMERICAN STANDARD BIBLE®, Copyright © 1995 by The Lockman Foundation. Used by permission; and the King James Version.
Personal Mission Statement: "I am created by God to bring Him glory. Through God's Son Jesus Christ I have been redeemed and I make it my life's goal to please the Lord. My mission in life is to honor God through my faith and obedience and to prepare myself and all whom I may influence for eternity."

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