PRAYING THE PSALMS 020711
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Peace Mennonite Church of Columbia, MO
Meditation and thoughts follow the scripture.
M7 Psalm 119:105-112
2 Kings 22:3-20
105 Your word is a lamp to my feet
and a light to my path.
106 I have sworn an oath and confirmed it,
to observe your righteous ordinances.
107 I am severely afflicted;
give me life, O Lord, according to your word.
108 Accept my offerings of praise, O Lord,
and teach me your ordinances.
109 I hold my life in my hand continually,
but I do not forget your law.
110 The wicked have laid a snare for me,
but I do not stray from your precepts.
111 Your decrees are my heritage for ever;
they are the joy of my heart.
112 I incline my heart to perform your statutes
for ever, to the end.
2 Kings 22:3-20
Hilkiah Finds the Book of the Law
3 In the eighteenth year of King Josiah, the king sent Shaphan son of Azaliah, son of Meshullam, the secretary, to the house of the Lord, saying, 4‘Go up to the high priest Hilkiah, and have him count the entire sum of the money that has been brought into the house of the Lord, which the keepers of the threshold have collected from the people; 5let it be given into the hand of the workers who have the oversight of the house of the Lord; let them give it to the workers who are at the house of the Lord, repairing the house, 6that is, to the carpenters, to the builders, to the masons; and let them use it to buy timber and quarried stone to repair the house. 7But no account shall be asked from them for the money that is delivered into their hand, for they deal honestly.’
8 The high priest Hilkiah said to Shaphan the secretary, ‘I have found the book of the law in the house of the Lord.’ When Hilkiah gave the book to Shaphan, he read it. 9Then Shaphan the secretary came to the king, and reported to the king, ‘Your servants have emptied out the money that was found in the house, and have delivered it into the hand of the workers who have oversight of the house of the Lord.’ 10Shaphan the secretary informed the king, ‘The priest Hilkiah has given me a book.’ Shaphan then read it aloud to the king.
11 When the king heard the words of the book of the law, he tore his clothes. 12Then the king commanded the priest Hilkiah, Ahikam son of Shaphan, Achbor son of Micaiah, Shaphan the secretary, and the king’s servant Asaiah, saying, 13‘Go, inquire of the Lord for me, for the people, and for all Judah, concerning the words of this book that has been found; for great is the wrath of the Lord that is kindled against us, because our ancestors did not obey the words of this book, to do according to all that is written concerning us.’
14 So the priest Hilkiah, Ahikam, Achbor, Shaphan, and Asaiah went to the prophetess Huldah the wife of Shallum son of Tikvah, son of Harhas, keeper of the wardrobe; she resided in Jerusalem in the Second Quarter, where they consulted her. 15She declared to them, ‘Thus says the Lord, the God of Israel: Tell the man who sent you to me, 16Thus says the Lord, I will indeed bring disaster on this place and on its inhabitants—all the words of the book that the king of Judah has read. 17Because they have abandoned me and have made offerings to other gods, so that they have provoked me to anger with all the work of their hands, therefore my wrath will be kindled against this place, and it will not be quenched. 18But as to the king of Judah, who sent you to inquire of the Lord, thus shall you say to him, Thus says the Lord, the God of Israel: Regarding the words that you have heard, 19because your heart was penitent, and you humbled yourself before the Lord, when you heard how I spoke against this place, and against its inhabitants, that they should become a desolation and a curse, and because you have torn your clothes and wept before me, I also have heard you, says the Lord. 20Therefore, I will gather you to your ancestors, and you shall be gathered to your grave in peace; your eyes shall not see all the disaster that I will bring on this place.’ They took the message back to the king.
2God has not rejected his people whom he foreknew. Do you not know what the scripture says of Elijah, how he pleads with God against Israel? 3‘Lord, they have killed your prophets, they have demolished your altars; I alone am left, and they are seeking my life.’ 4But what is the divine reply to him? ‘I have kept for myself seven thousand who have not bowed the knee to Baal.’ 5So too at the present time there is a remnant, chosen by grace. 6But if it is by grace, it is no longer on the basis of works, otherwise grace would no longer be grace.*
7 What then? Israel failed to obtain what it was seeking. The elect obtained it, but the rest were hardened, 8as it is written,
‘God gave them a sluggish spirit,
eyes that would not see
and ears that would not hear,
down to this very day.’
9And David says,
‘Let their table become a snare and a trap,
a stumbling-block and a retribution for them;
10 let their eyes be darkened so that they cannot see,
and keep their backs for ever bent.’
The New Revised Standard Version (Anglicized Edition), copyright 1989, 1995 by the Division of Christian Education of the National Council of the Churches of Christ in the United States of America. Used by permission. All rights reserved.
PRAYING THE PSALMS 020711
One could think of no finer start to a winter work week, than this Psalm. It has been suggested that the beginning of learning about God should maybe be the praying of the Psalms. The wisdom, the calm, the peace one begins to live is the beginning effects of a relationship with God.
The lectionary always includes a Psalm, usually one for each week. After prayer or repeating or singing these poems outloud for a week each, and after the resulting three years it would take to read a new Psalm each week or so, we could have an excellent foundation for further growth and learning in a relationship with God.
Our church, Peace Mennonite Church of Columbia, MO has set as one of its visions the goal of teaching, encouraging and enabling personal spiritual growth, or spiritual formation as it is named.
Today is a good start. Pray this Psalm, or read it aloud, or even memorize as a daily spiritual discipline.