NT Connect: John 1:1-18
Weekly Reading: Psalm 119:1-96
God Is Always at Work
Psalm 119 is written as an acrostic, which means the Psalm is divided into 22 stanzas with each stanza corresponding to a letter of the Hebrew alphabet. The letters are indicated at the beginning of each stanza (e.g., ALEPH, BET, GIMEL, etc.), and each verse of that stanza begins with the corresponding letter. But this Psalm is much more than a mechanical way of writing poetry. The phrases reach past our heads and grab straight at our hearts. The author is showing us by his method of writing that in every conceivable way (that is, with every letter of the alphabet) we can praise God. It makes me wonder, “How many ways could I think of to give praise to God?” This flies in the face of the rote prayers we may be tempted to offer and calls us to slow down and take time to consider how worthy God is of praise.
The key theme of the Psalm is God’s word. The author will refer to this theme in different ways (i.e., the law of the Lord, his testimonies, his commandments, his statutes, God’s righteous judgments, his promises, his rules, etc.), but they are all captured in this one English term, “word.” Consider verse 81: “My soul longs for your salvation; I hope in your word.” In this verse, the author explains that God’s word is salvation to us. He wants nothing else than to hear from God and to know God, because to know God is to know salvation.
This is the theme that John the Apostle picks up at the beginning of his account of Jesus Christ. John starts, “In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God. . . . And the Word became flesh and dwelt among us, and we have seen his glory, glory as of the only Son from the Father, full of grace and truth” (John 1:1, 14). Jesus Christ, who is the Son of God and who is God, is the word of God for which the psalmist longed.
Jesus Christ is the word of God that we need the most. He came to our rescue. He revealed God to us. He saved us. In him we hope. In him we live and move and have our being. He is the light of God sent into the darkness to rescue us. Because of the work of Christ and our faith in him, we are made right with God, and because Christ sent us his Spirit we strive that our lives would be characterized by the words of the psalmist, “With my whole heart I seek you; let me not wander from your commandments! I have stored up your word in my heart that I might not sin against you. Blessed are you, O Lord; teach me your statutes!”
Thanks be to God for giving us his Word!