Thursday, May 29, 2008
An excellent exposition on Ps 119
I have found Dick Lucas' expository sessions so well done and enormously beneficial. In my efforts to understand the bible and put God's commands into practice, I find his sessions a joy to listen to, with many things to learn.
I was listening in these couple of days to his exposition on Psalm 119.
He reminded us that there are those who paints a picture of a Christian life or standards for the church that would be too ideal and unreal. What we can gain from Psalm 119 though is a realistic model of Christian spirituality for every age and every person - not something that is too ideal or unrealistic to be followed.
He gave a clue or key to the reading of Psalm 119. It is one, unlike most psalms, that has no logical flow, no argument that leads to a conclusion, no melodic line, and it even ends with a sad anti-climax. Refering to Alexan Alexander, he said that Psalm 119 is intended as a "storehouse of material for pious meditation rather than a discourse of continuous perusal".
The psalm is rich in covenantal language that shows us what a close relationship the psalmist has with the Almighty God. I also realised that the psalm is full of pain - I never saw that. The psalmist was very open about his emotions on the dismal condition of himself, on Israel and on humankind.
There are many changes required in me to attune my life to God's standard. We need a standard to level up our lives on, and that standard is nothing but the Word of God. No sooner had I wanted to include "and our Lord and Saviour" to the standard, I realised in amazement that He is the Word.
Dick also said that in fact, only a pulpit and a table is needed in our churches.
A pulpit that only preaches the Word; a table that only serves bread and wine, and only functions as how Christ has asked us to remember. If the pulpit and the table is being used otherwise, we have strayed from the standard and they no longer represent the Gospel of Christ.
I need to be reading the psalm again today.