January 11, 2020

Living the Word

Psalm 119:73-80

May those who fear you rejoice when they see me, for I have put my hope in your word.

—  Psalm 119:74

All the verses in this section of Psalm 119 begin with yodh, the smallest letter in the Hebrew alphabet; it’s about the size of an apostrophe. When Jesus mentions “the smallest letter” in his discussion of God’s law (Matthew 5:17-18), he is referring to yodh. But this small letter introduces big ideas.

As in many other Bible passages, the writer of these verses in Scripture praises God for creating him. But he is not thinking only of how he has been made physically; he is specifically praising God for molding and shaping his soul through the teaching of God’s Word.

God wants to form his children spiritually, and that flows from his unfailing love and compassion. Because he loves us, God wants to see us grow in faith and love. Inspired by God’s love, the psalmist leans deeper and deeper into God’s Word.

The psalmist has mentioned his own spiritual growth repeatedly, but here he adds an important dimension. It’s not enough to simply let God’s Word shape him; the psalmist confesses that it is also his responsibility to reveal God’s Word to others. He commits to doing this by being a living testimony to the beauty and goodness of God’s Word and by sharing the importance of cherishing and following God’s Word.

Unlike the letter yodh, striving with all our heart to follow God by testifying to the power of his Word is no small thing.

May we wholeheartedly follow your Word, Lord, and teach others to do the same. Amen.

About the author — Kurt Selles

Kurt Selles is the director of ReFrame Ministries and serves as the Executive Editor of Today. He is a graduate of Calvin College and Seminary, and received his PhD from Vanderbilt University. Before coming to ReFrame, he served 19 years in Taiwan and China with CRC World Missions. Kurt later taught missions at Beeson Divinity School, where he also acted as the director of the school’s Global Center. Kurt and his wife, Vicki, reside in Grand Rapids and have three adult children.

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