Tuesday, June 14, 2016

Two Prayers for More and Better Bible Reading from Psalm 119

Psalm 119 has 176 verses! So, in one sense, I could write a blog of 176 prayers for more Bible reading from Psalm 119! But for today, I'll just stick with two. And I'm going to deal with them first in reverse order. 

1. Turn my eyes from looking at worthless things and give me life in your ways (v.37)

Would you start by praying that to God?

Now, consider, what is it that keeps you from reading the Bible more deeply than you do? Is it not because too often our eyes are fixed on worthless things?

Sports. Facebook. Games. Etc. 

These things aren't evil in and of themselves of course. But what travesty that our eyes are too often averted toward them instead of the Word! Our eyes do not find life in these things. We live in a distracted society. Even a society that detests boredom. We've always got to be entertained. You can't even ride an elevator without some background music! 

But, I think it faithful to the text to pray this morning that the Lord would take your eyes off of distraction and put them into His Word. It is where life is found (v.37b). 

Even good things become worthless if they keep one from seeing more of Jesus. And that's the ultimate point of being in the Bible isn't it? 

Too often our hearts are cold and feel little or no need for seeing more of Christ in Scripture. And so we get sucked into letting our eyes look at worthless things. To many people these worthless things become 'life'. But the Psalmist makes it clear: true life is found in God's ways. 

2. Open my eyes, that I might behold wondrous things out of your law (v.18)

Now that your eyes are pulled away from distraction, ask the Lord to truly help you see wondrous things in His Word. 

Seeing takes grace and discipline. Grace because the only One who can open your eyes is the One to whom this Psalm is written: YHWH. The Triune God of the Universe. Discipline because your brain has been trained to be entertained by short spurts of information illuminated from the backlight of a smartphone. In a way, you've got to untrain your brain! 

You don't have to make things appear in the Bible that aren't there. But you do have to have eyes to see what is there! What glorious things are found in the pages of Holy Writ. Consider that Holy God has spoken to lowly man. Might we not expect to find glorious treasure in the King's speech?

Behold wondrous things

Imagine walking by a painting and merely giving it a passing glance. You would not see all that was there. You would miss a lot of detail. You might even miss the whole point of the painting. Don't give the Bible a passing glance! Behold wondrous things! For sure, the Bible is of such nature that there is benefit even in the skimming. But there are wondrous things that are too often missed simply because we don't have eyes to see. And this leads directly back to v.37. It's because we don't behold wondrous things in the Word that our eyes are too often and too quickly turned to lesser things to behold. 

Mine. Dig. Labor. See. Behold. 

Will you pray these two prayers this morning? Father, would you turn my eyes from worthless things and open my eyes to behold wondrous things out of your law? Pray because the Lord is our source for turning and opening. The truth is, the eyes are connected to the heart aren't they? And it is the Lord who changes hearts. Even continually molding the hearts of Believers. 

By faith will you ask Him right now to help you cherish His Word more?

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