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Monday, July 13, 2015

Revival

In Psalm 119:25 the word translated “revive” is חָיָה (chayah – if you are using a NIV, that committee translated the word “preserve”; the KJV, “quicken”; and the ESV “give…life” – for this post I will stick with “revive” – otherwise I would have to come up with a new title…).  The word shows up 283 times in the Old Testament of which 16 occurrences are in Psalm 119 (verses 17, 25, 37, 40, 50, 77, 88, 93, 107, 116, 144, 149, 154, 156, 159, 175).  I like the idea of being revived, especially in light of yesterday’s post.  So I spent some time looking at how David was asking God to revive him.

Revival

One of the literary devices in the Scripture, well for that matter any literature, is instrumentation.  Instrumentation declares the means as well as the end the means are to achieve.  So when it occurs both are present.  In this case the end is to be revived, revival.  Here are the means that David asks the Lord to use to bring revival, life to him.
Verse Means
25 Your word
37 Your ways
40 Your lovingkindness
50 Your word
77 Your compassion (in this verse the NASB translates our word as “that I may live” but I add it because it is basically the same idea)
88 Your lovingkindness
93 Your precepts
107 Your word
116 Your word (another instance similar to 77 above)
144 testimonies (again like 77)
149 ordinances
154 word
156 ordinances
159 Your lovingkindness (but note here that David substantiates his request on the basis of his love for the Lord’s precepts)

Of the sixteen instances only the first, 17, and the last, 175 are not David asking for the means of revival or life.  17 is a request for the ability to obey and 175 a request to live so David can praise the Lord.

The interesting thing to me in this list is that God’s word and all of the terms that David uses to describe that word, are requested as means for revival along with God’s lovingkindness and compassion.  In David’ view the word and nature of God are equal as means to revive him.

I am not sure that I think of the word of God with that level of reverence – no, I don’t.  David did.  David was described as a man after God’ heart, both before he was anointed king, 1 Samuel 13:14, and long after his failure with Bathsheba, Acts 13:22.

Perhaps I need to rethink my reverence for God’s word.

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