Psalm 119:62 At midnight I rise to give you thanks
for your righteous laws.
When I first read through today’s passage I wondered where the reference was to thanks, so then I read it again more carefully and I recognized this was in it. Too often we fail to allow the Word of God to soak into us, either glossing over it because it’s “too complicated,” or in my case, letting familiarity breed contempt, taking the words lightly because they’ve been read so many times before. Whatever the reason, failing to let God’s Word penetrate into our heart and mind is not just a waste, it is actually dangerous. Though translations can at times be suspect, the problem is not with the Bible. God’s Spirit is more than capable of straightening out twisted translations, if we will allow Him to do so. I know of people who have been gloriously born again from reading the deliberately twisted New World Translation used by the Jehovah’s Witnesses! Despite their denial of the divinity of Jesus, they couldn’t hide that glorious reality completely. Especially for long-term Christians, our attitude needs to be that of the writer of Psalm 119, completely dedicated to God and His Word, allowing that Word to soak into and percolate through us. It is more than worthy of such devotion. My seminary professor grandfather had a question he would often ask his students: “How big is your Bible?” He didn’t ask it in class, but in private conversations, and the answer was generally along the lines of, “Well, Dr. Carver, I think it’s about the same size as yours. Maybe a little bigger.” My grandfather’s response was, “I’m not talking about printed matter, I’m talking about what’s in your heart.” “Hiding God’s Word in our heart,” as this same writer wrote in verse 11 of this Psalm, isn’t a matter of memorization, though it might include it, but of letting the meaning permeate us, get into and under things, like the phobias and preconceptions that shape us. It is when that happens that we receive the healing, the transformation, that we need and we become the faithful children of God that He desires.
When I went back and re-read the passage so that I noticed this verse, my immediate reaction was, “He was like Cathy!” My wife, with a considerable litany of physical issues, sometimes has difficulty sleeping, and when that happens she will get up, as quietly as possible, and go into another room to pray and read the Bible. This morning she wasn’t in pain, but her mind was flooded with thoughts and she felt her restlessness was disturbing me (though I wasn’t aware of it that I remember) and she got up. Sometimes I worry about her getting enough rest! I don’t often get out of bed in such cases, but when I wake up in the night my thoughts are often of God and His Word, and I am deeply grateful. God never sleeps, and neither does His Word. Our physical bodies certainly need sleep, but I want His Word to keep working in me by His Spirit whether I am awake or asleep, to do His will in and through me for His glory.
Father, thank You for this reminder. Thank You also for the wife You have given me, who is my partner in faith as in everything else. I pray that today and every day I would be the husband to her that she needs and You intend, so that together we would be an effective testimony of Your love and grace, drawing many to repentance and faith for their salvation, for Your glory. Thank You. Praise God!