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Sunday, July 29, 2012

Nothing

Psalm 119 is one of my favorite places to spend some time in the Bible.  You probably know that in the Hebrew it is an acrostic following the Hebrew alphabet, each of the verses in the octet starting with the same letter.  This morning I was reading in 33 – 40.  Note what the Psalmist is asking God to do:
Apart from Him we can do nothing, including understanding and obeying His Word.
  • Teach me
  • Give me understanding
  • Make me walk
  • Incline my heart
  • Turn away my eyes
  • Establish Thy Word
  • Turn away my reproach
  • Revive me
Most of us would, if pressed, probably say that a lot of that is our responsibility.  After all we are supposed to follow and honor His commands.  But here the Psalmist is imploring God to enable the reactions that we would consider simple obedience.  Does that mean that we are not responsible for our own actions?

No.  The whole arc of Scripture indicates that God does hold us responsible not only for what we do, but what we think.

As I was thinking and praying this through John 15:5 came to mind.  You know the verse.  Most of us have heard multiple sermons, and may have eve studied the passage many times.  I was struck with the word “nothing.”  That concept seems to align really well with Psalm 119:33 – 40.  If we do not ask, if the Lord does not engage with us when we do, we can do nothing.  Seems pretty clear.  We are dependent on Him not only to understand the Word, but also to apply it to our lives.

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