Joy in the Word

I finished my exploration of Psalm 119 in early 2012, and periodically I return to look at 2 or 3 stanzas. I’m posting two verses today, and will post the last two verses on Friday.

John Wesley said in his notes on Psalm 119, ” The general scope and design of this psalm is, to magnify the law and make it honourable: to shew the excellency and usefulness of divine Revelation, and recommend it to us, by the psalmist’s own example, who speaks by experience of the benefits of it, for which he praises God, and earnestly prays for the continuance of God’s grace, to direct and quicken him in his way.” I see it also as a Chapter to teach about the whole Bible, and it is interesting to let the verses just pour on me. Wesley had observed that “the word of God is here called by the names of law, statutes, precepts or commandments, judgments, ordinances, righteousness, testimonies, way and word.” He thought that the Psalmist had used the Hebrew alphabet technique to avoid tediousness and to help us fix the directions in our mind. Having delved into this Psalm weekly for three months, I can understand some concern about tediousness, but overall, I have been astounded at what poured forth from these verses for me. Some mornings, I was surprised at what I had written the night before. It was an immersion experience for me.

In these stanzas, I remember being focused on the joy–even in the midst of crying out.  Joy was a recurring theme as I read and studied.   I have recently been to funerals for two dear men and models in my life; both studied and lived the Bible.  I am focused on the joy of their lives too–even as I think about the sadness of losing friends in our worldly lives.

Herewith, then, two more stanzas for your enjoyment and contemplation:

V. Voice of My New Life

Voiced with all my heart, I want so much to hear you.
I’ll keep obeying you always anyway. Can I?
Voice–plaintive, plennary voice! Hearing my voice, you give me

Words have a power all their own
Victory, new life.
Viewed before dawn, life looked so low, but I
vaulted from my bed to cry and call for you.
Viewing my hope, I am firm in your words:
Joyful in the word. Blessed!
Joy in your word! Teach me.
Vast is your mercy, God-of-grace. Hear my voice.
Voice of my new life, teach me these Scriptures.
Vying with me for all things, over all things,
volumes are heaped on me: volumes separate them–evil–from you.
Vexed, I try to understand, to make your reliable words mine.
You are close to me, near by me, Holy One.
Volumes ago, and eons ago, I learned from your words:
Teach me again to cry out like that.

W. Wicked Loss

Where do I find this suffering? How far do I go?
Wandering farther than I dreamed, I still hold your teachings in me.
Wind your words around me. Save me! Toss me your rope.
The Word always was, always will be: New life.
Wicked ones lose out; far from the word, they are lost.
Way, away from you, they are lost–weighed down, lawless.
Wonders surprise me regularly, Great God.
You gave me a new life whe I could scarcely imagine it.
Wicked ones still intrude in my life, and I seethe, but
Written deep in me are words that miraculously sustain me.
Wicked one disgust me, and then the
Wicked ones are losing. I see it and don’t see it.
Wayward sinners–all of us–but the ones who refuse to repent,
they are lost for good. They missed the words. They are set out to dry in the wind.
Willful still and open, I am joyfully blessed!
Joy in the Word! Blessed!
Joy in your Word.

© Tom Bolton, 03/02/2012

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About Tom Bolton

I'm a Husband and Dad, an Enterprise Systems Manager at the City of Milwaukee, and a Disciple and Lay Servant at First United Methodist of West Allis. I love working beside young people. As I study the Bible, sometimes I feel moved to work through my understanding by writing poetry. I also am going through a process to discern my calling, and to learn more about Christian Leadership. Sometimes I just feel like writing about something that grabs my attention too.
This entry was posted in Poetry, Reflecting on Scripture and tagged , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

4 Responses to Joy in the Word

  1. Tom- I am enjoying your posts. I love Psalm 119 so this post has inspired me to do my own study! Thank you!

  2. Pingback: On Word, Law and Life: stanza 6 | Hopeful

  3. Pingback: A Stanza on Psalm 119 | Hopeful

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