Show Me the Way
Scripture: Psalm 119:9-32 (NRSVue)
The wisdom literature of the Bible often speaks of two life paths or ways we can choose to take—the foolish path or the wise path. Is our path leading towards God or towards selfishness? Towards community or alienation? Wisdom or folly?
Sunday’s reading from Psalm 119 offers us a detailed topography of the wise path God lays out for us to walk in by his grace. This psalm is an alphabet of praise—literally from A to Z. Each eight-verse long stanza begins with a letter of the alphabet—starting with A, then B, then C, going all the way down to Z. It’s been said the Eskimo languages have numerous words for snow. In Psalm 119, the author uses eight different synonyms to talk about torah—God’s guidance or teaching. The psalmist holds up God’s Word like a diamond and looks at it from every possible angle. And in the process we become absorbed and immersed in not only God’s word, but God almighty. Psalm 119 is a guidebook for the journey of life—through the wilderness of discouragement, the refreshing springs of hope, the valley of sickness and suffering, and the mountaintops of celebration. We’re all sojourners and pilgrims along this very fragile and fleeting life and we need all the guidance we can get. Thank God that by his grace he reveals his purposes and our purpose in his creative and life-giving Word.
Bible Study Questions
- How would you describe the foolish path? The wise path?
- The psalmist asks in v. 9, “How can young people keep their way pure?” Does this passage also guide older adults on how to keep their way pure?
- Psalm 119 uses a total of eight words for torah (God’s guidance or teaching): law, precepts, statues, word, decrees, commands, judgments, and promise. Why do you think this is done? Is the law important for Christians, or only the gospel?
- Is the understanding of law in this Psalm different from Paul’s understanding of law in his letters in the New Testament?
- Does the psalmist think that salvation from God can be earned by following the law?
- God’s word speaks to our whole selves. How do you see it connected to: our hearts? Our minds? Our actions? Our prayers?
- What guidance is given for us in the difficult seasons of our lives?
- What does it mean to cling to God’s word and to run in the way of God’s commands?
May 7, 2023
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Sermon Art: “Road Less Traveled” by Carolyn Kinder
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Other Sermons In This Series
Persistence is a Virtue
October 16, 2022
May 14, 2023
Return to Give Thanks
October 08, 2022