ETL.024: Some Things You Probably Didn’t Know, But Should, About One of the Most Popular Psalms—119

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Psalm 119 is well known, but for an oddity rather than for what it should be known.  This Psalm is commonly recognized as not only the longest of the 150 Psalms, but also the longest chapter in the Bible.  It is 176 verses long.  But there is a reason a very specific reason for its length.  The structure of this Psalm makes it a literary marvel.

But not only is the structure of the Psalm an incredible fete, its message is delivered in a remarkable fashion as well.  Employing both repetition and variation, this Psalm essentially says the same thing 176 times and in 176 different ways.  Beginning with, “Blessed are those whose way is blameless, who walk in the law of the Lord!” this lengthy Psalm goes on to extoll the virtues of God’s word; it’s beauty, value, importance, and desirability.  Seven primary synonymous terms are used to refer to Scripture. These are law, testimonies, ways, precepts, statutes, commandments, and rules.  Two others are also used, but much more sparsely: promises and faithfulness.

 

Some of the best known and beloved statements from Psalm 119:

  • “I have stored up your word in my heart, that I might not sin against you” (11).
  • “Your testimonies are my delight; they are my counselors” (24).
  • “The law of your mouth is better to me than thousands of gold and silver pieces” (72).
  • “Forever, O Lord, you world is firmly fixed in the heavens” (89).
  • “How sweet are your words to my taste, sweeter than honey to my mouth!” (103).
  • “Through your precepts I get understanding; therefore I hate every false way” (104).
  • “Your word is a lamp to my feet and a light to my path” (105).
  • “Therefore I love your commandments above gold, above fine gold.  Therefore I consider all your precepts to be right; I hate every false way”  (127-128).

Links and email addresses for this show:

Jenkins Institute Podcast
http://thejenkinsinstitute.com/tji-podcast/

Contact us with comments, observations, or whatever you might like to say:
feedback@ireadtheword.com

 

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ETL.022: What You Don’t Know About the Most Beloved Book of the Bible: Psalms

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In our “Ordinary People, Extraordinary Faith” interviews the truth has been borne out that Scripture has played a vital role in handling not only the hardships and constant struggles of life, but the bombshells sometimes dropped on us.  That fact, coupled with a class that I recently began teaching brought my attention to a particular book of the Bible, the Old Testament book of Psalms.

The book is unique in the Bible in that its made up entirely of poetic material, the words of songs (roughly speaking), that were collected over long period of time in Israel’s history.  The fact that the content of this book are of this nature (as opposed to history or laws or doctrine) have led some to have an attitude that views the Psalms as somehow less valuable or less important.  What a mistake!

 

The Incomparable Value of Psalms

We most of think of things like poetry and praise and songs when we think about the book of Psalms; and that’s with good reason.  But there are some things about Psalms we may not know.

For instance that the book of Psalms is actually a collection of five smaller books.  Notice in your Bible before the title for Psalms 1, 42, 73, 90, and 107.  You’ll probably see the words Book 1, Book 2, and so on.  What is more each of these books ends with a “doxology” ( a word of praise). Notice Psalms 41:13 and 72:18-19 as examples.  We also discuss some other “collections” within the book as well.

Another feature of the book you may not know—I failed to cover this in the podcast, so this is bonus material in the show notes!—is that though the book is attributed to David, there are many other authors covering a very long time span.  The earliest Psalm was apparently written by Moses (see the heading for Psalm 90).  The latest that can be identified is Psalm 137 which obviously comes from the time of Babylonian captivity.

 

Historically valuable

• In the Bible itself—it’s the most quoted Old Testament book in the New Testament
• In the history of Christianity it has been cherished and valued
• Today as evidenced in it’s influence in our hymns (look at the Scripture index of a hymn book.

 

Teach us how to praise God

• Modern worshipers sometimes make a false distinction between worship and praise. They designate a certain worship assembly as a “praise service.”  All worship is praise, all praise is worship.
• We learn the language of praise from the Psalms. The very vocabulary and expressions we use to praise God ought to be heavily influenced by the Psalms.
• A common failing of modern praise songs is the lack reasons why God is to be praised.  The Psalms not only praise, but tell why God is to be praised.

 

Expressions of faith and praise from all perspectives of life

Perhaps one of the greatest reasons we love the Psalms is that they are expressions of faith and praise from all perspectives of life; even when things are difficult and we may be struggling.  In this way the Psalms can speak not only to us but for us as we go through all the highs and lows of life.

 

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Submit a Bible question

These questions will be answered in an upcoming podcast. Send an email to:
feedback@enjoytrueliving.com

 

Click here to subscribe to this podcast via: iTunes

Thank you for checking out this episode of The Enjoy True Living Podcast. Come back again to listen soon!

God bless!

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ETL 005: Two Bible Questions; 5 Tips for Making Your Bible Reading More Effective; Bible Word–“Holy”

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In this episodes we’ll be talking about: Reading Close up

Chapter 1: Bible Q & A

Today we’ll handle 2 questions:
1. What does it mean in Judges 3:24 when it says King Eglon “Surely he covereth his feet” (King James Version)?

This question comes directly from one of our recent Bible readings in the program we introduced in last week’s podcast (CLICK HERE) and is an example of why doing comparison readings in other translations can be very helpful.

2. What are the specific duties of elders in the church?
I’ve selected this question from my files as the news of the past couple of weeks has been dominated by the Catholic Church’s selection of a new pope.  The Bible does specifically address matters of church leadership and organization.  What we learn there may surprise some.
Scriptures referenced:

  • Acts 11:30; 14:23; 20:17, 28
  • 1 Timothy 3:1
  • Titus 1:5
  • 1 Peter 5:1-4

Chapter 2: 5 Tips for Making Bible Reading More Effective

1. Make it a habit

Same time

Same place

Same Bible

2. Write

Take notes
Write down questions
Write out reflections and observations

3. Think about it

Allow the Bible to shape our understanding and thinking, don’t impose our thoughts on the Bible.

4. Follow a reading plan
5. Get the big picture in mind
6. Bonus: Pray

Chapter 3: Bible Word

“Holy”
Related words: sanctify and saint
Scripture references:

  • Luke 1:49
  • Mark 8:38
  • Luke 1:70
  • Romans 1:2
  • 1 Peter 1:15
  • 1 Thessalonians 4:3
  • Hebrews 12:14
  • Ephesians 1:2
  • Colossians 1:2

 

Links and items mentioned in this podcast:

Bible reading website:
www.ireadtheword.com

Michal Hyatt’s blog post on “The Lost Art of Note Taking” (CLICK HERE)

 

Submit your own Bible question
These questions will be answered in an upcoming podcast. Send an email to:
feedback@enjoytrueliving.com

 

Click below to subscribe to this podcast via:
iTunes

 

Thank you for checking out this episode of The Enjoy True Living Podcast. Come back again to listen soon!

God bless!

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ETL 004: A Unique Bible Reading Program; Q&A–Why did God give an already occupied land to Israel?; Bible Word–“Scripture”

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bigstock-Bible-Study-5363901In this episodes we’ll be talking about:

Chapter 1: A Unique Bible Reading Program

Features:

  • Not reading the whole Bible, but following the Bible’s story line
  • Break the reading down into smaller parts
  • Written introductions to each month’s, week’s, and day’s reading to provide continuity throughout the reading process
  • On line access to introductions at:
    www.ireadtheword.com
  • Daily devotional thoughts from each day’s reading also available at:
    www.ireadtheword.com
  • Built in “catch-up day” during each week

Scripture reference:

  • Amos 8:11-12

Chapter 2: Q & A

“Why is God giving Israel as the “promised land” a land already occupied by other people?”

This question is came recently from a participant in the Bible reading program discussed in chapter 1.

Scripture references:

Leviticus 20:23; 18:24-25
Deuteronomy 18:12; 20:18; 9:4
Genesis 15:16
2 Kings 17:14-18

Chapter 3: Bible Word

“Scripture”

 Scripture references:

Luke 4:21
Acts 1:16
2 Timothy 3:16

Links and items mentioned in this podcast:

Mark Twain quote–“The man who does not read good books has no advantage over the man who cannot read them.”
Bible reading statistics:
http://askville.amazon.com/percentage-Christians-read-bible-daily-basis/AnswerViewer.do?requestId=33055548
http://www.barna.org/faith-spirituality/504-barna-examines-trends-in-14-religious-factors-over-20-years-1991-to-2011
http://godrunning.com/tag/bible-reading-statistics/

 

Book– Strength for the Journey: A Daily Devotional Guide  

SFTJ
To order this book CLICK HERE

• Bible reading website:

iread_logo1_300
www.ireadtheword.com

• Submit your own Bible question
These questions will be answered in an upcoming podcast. Send an email to:  feedback@enjoytrueliving.com

 

Click below to subscribe to this podcast via:

iTunes
RSS Feed (not iTunes)
Blackberry
Zune
Stitcher

Thank you for checking out this episode of The Enjoy True Living Podcast. Come back again to listen soon!

God bless!
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ETL 003: You Need to Read; Bible Word–Testament; Q&A–What Bible Translation do You Use?

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bigstock-Young-beautiful-girl-reading-a-14450870In this episode of The Enjoy True Living Podcast, episode #3, here’s what you’ll hear:

Chapter 1: Why is it some important to read the Bible?  Here are “Ten Reasons You Need to Read” (in David Letterman style).

10. For salvation

  • 2 Timothy 3:15
  • 1 Peter 2:2

9. To handle temptation and sin

  • 1 John 1:8; 2:1
  • Psalm 119:11; 19:11;
  • Matthew 4:1-11

8. To keep on course

  • Matthew 7:13-14
  • Proverbs 14:12
  • Psalm 119:24, 105

7. To get what we need

  • John 3:16
  • Jeremiah 29:1
  • Romans 8:28
  • Philippians 4:13
  • Psalm 19:12-13; 139:23-24

6. Provides a reality check

  • Romans 12:2
  • Matthew 16:26
  • Proverbs 31:30

5. Develop a genuine faith

  • Romans 10:17
  • Hebrews 11:6

4. Feeds my soul

  • Psalm 19:10
  • Proverbs 24:13-14
  • Deuteronomy 8:3
  • John 6:49-51

3. To grow

  • 2 Peter 1:8-9
  • 1 Peter 2:2
  • Acts 20:32

2. To know Christ

  • 2 Peter 1:2; 3:18
  • Philippians 3:8, 10

1. To know God

  • Hebrews 1:3
  • John 1:18
  • Romans 11:33
  • Philippians 4:7
  • Ephesians 3:18
  • Acts 17:26-27
  • Exodus 33:13
  • Psalm 27:8

Chapter 2: Here we’ll do two things: First another “Did You Know?” segment: the first major project printed on Guttenberg’s famous printing press was a Bible.

Second is this episode’s Bible word: “Testament” (as in Old and New Testaments).  In order to understand that word, we actually have to look at a second word, “covenant.”

Here are the Scriptures referenced in chapter 2:

  • Exodus 34:18
  • Jeremiah 31:31-33
  • Hebrews 8:7, 13

Chapter 3: This episode’s Bible question is “What Bible translation do you use?”  This is a question I’m frequently asked as it seems many people are interested in this business about different translations.  More than just answer the question, I’ll talk a little bit about why there are so many different translations.

I do reference 1 Corinthians 2:10-16 in this segment.

My present translation of choice is the English Standard Version (ESV) with its “essentially literal” translation philosophy.

[for further discussion on this matter you can go to a series of blog posts I wrote, the first of which can be found by clicking HERE]

 

Links to websites mentioned in this episode:
biblegateway.com
“The 100 Most Read Bible Verses at Bible Gateway” found HERE

 

To submit your own Bible questions to be answered in upcoming podcast episodes, send an email to:

feedback@enjoytruleliving.com.

 

Click below to subscribe to this podcast via:
iTunes
RSS Feed (not iTunes)
To find further episodes you can go directly to enjoytrueliving.com/podcast.  You will have the option of subscribing to the podcast through iTunes or by an RSS feed.   Also, please sign up on the email list as well. This will allow you to receive the latest updates and announcements from Enjoy True Living.

Thank you for checking out this episode of The Enjoy True Living Podcast. Come back again and listen again soon!

God bless!

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