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Exploring Psalm 119 from a scientist’s perspective: Beth 

 Peter Gray-Read BSc MSc

 Aleph spoke of a Blessed state to be in… one of unbroken fellowship with Yahweh

Beth deals with how to get there – learn the word, speak and meditate the word, rejoice and delight in the word

beth - MENORAHbeth  Beth  
 

9  Wherewithal shall a young man cleanse his way? By taking heed thereto according to thy word
          
Genesis opens with the letter ‘Beth’.  Bereshit ‘In the beginning’.  This stanza opens with a question. Literally ‘In what shall keep pure…?’ or Wherewithal

It is a good question.  James 1:27 says:  Pure religion and undefiled before God and the Father is this, to visit the fatherless and widows in their affliction, and to keep himself unspotted from the world.   This is practical caring ministry protecting and supporting the vulnerable – serving

We can keep out the passions and corrupting influences in the world by being on fire for the LORD.  By taking heed according to the WORD not the WORLD.    Don’t be a Learner in the world… be a student of the word

10  With my whole heart have I sought thee: O let me not wander from thy commandments

Keeping on track needs whole-hearted diligence and prayer for the Lord’s help.
The rest of the stanza explains how David seeks God.  It is a 7 – branched ‘Menorah pattern’. The seven branches of the candlestick shed light on the way

11  Thy word have I hid in mine heart, that I might not sin against thee

Branch 1:  Storing / hiding God’s living word in your heart

This is spiritual protein, manna essential for strength.  When the heart is full of the word other desires don’t stand a chance. But if the heart is only half full you can be led astray as other things compete

12  Blessed art thou, O LORD: teach me thy statutes

This is a great prayer.  When we have stored up God’s word the LORD can teach us, the Holy Spirit can draw it out and use it as a sword.  Learning the word and refreshing it is vital.  I have not included this verse in the Menorah.  It is a prayer to Jesus.  In the letters to the Churches in Revelation we see Jesus walking among the candlesticks.  Here He is walking among the branches…teaching
 
13  With my lips have I declared all the judgments of thy mouth

Branch 2:  Put your lips to use!  Declare the judgements of the Lord.  Ask him which ones to declare – it may be personal but also public – it says ALL – we have work to do

14  I have rejoiced in the way of thy testimonies, as much as in all riches

Branch 3:  Rejoice!  Notice it says ‘thy’ testimonies.  We may have gone through the battle or the test, but was it your strength that gave you the victory?  God boasts about us – he sings over us Zephaniah 3:17 – they are His testimonies.  Money can’t buy them, they are more valuable

15  I will meditate in thy precepts

Branch 4 :  Meditation – speaking…muttering the word – chewing on it.  Let it change and renew you – thought patterns, attitudes... taking them captive to the obedience of Christ. This is the (central) servant candle of the Menorah it lights the others.  Meditation is not an optional exercise, it is essential.  Joshua was commanded to meditate on the book of the law day and night – to the end he would be prosperous and have good success in leading God’s people.  Leadership has to be ‘in God’ he has to be on board.  God’s leaders have to meditate
and have respect unto thy ways

Branch 5:  Respect – we have to always be conscious of whose presence we are in .  It’s not a tense anxious time but a state of joyful, attentive appreciation as for the ‘undefiled in the way’ in verse one.  We are moving into that circle – keep the respect. God knows what He is doing… it may well get bumpy, God’s ways are higher than our ways. We are still on the Earth.  Don’t try to steady the cart

16  I will delight myself in thy statutes:

Branch 6: God’s statutes are not burdensome.  It is not a grudging obedience – admittedly the ‘Law’ is hard work – but in the new covenant we can rejoice that the law has been fulfilled to the letter.  Now that is truly a delight.  Rejoice in the Lord always…
I will not forget thy word

 Branch 7:  James shows that the best way to remember the word is to DO the word. ‘Not a forgetful hearer, but a doer of the work.’   This is not an academic exercise but a discipleship programme.  We have to continually see the master and do what He did.   If we do mess up we must not allow ourselves to get into condemnation.  If we confess our sins, He is faithful and just to forgive our sins and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness.  The disciples had to let Jesus wash their feet

Hope you were blessed – keep in the light of the Beth Menorah (see picture above)

 


 
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