If you’re Resting at the River’s Edge along with us, today you’ll read Psalm 119. And that’s all you’ll read! Usually we read about five chapters of the Bible, but today only one. That’s because Psalm 119 is the longest chapter of the Bible at 176 verses.

Reading Scripture in English, or any other modern language for that matter, sometimes things are lost in the translation. For example, sometimes the author uses words that sound like what they mean in the original Greek or Hebrew. When they’re translated, however, the beauty and sometimes impact of the passage is lost because the word no longer carries the sound as well as the meaning.

Why do I bring that up today? Because Psalm 119 is a classic example of an acrostic poem. Its 176 verses are divided into 22 stanzas, each corresponding to a letter in the Hebrew alphabet. You’ll notice that each stanza has eight verses. What you won’t be able to see is that all the verses in each stanza begin with the same letter of the Hebrew alphabet and the letters are arranged alphabetically. In other words, it’s as if we wrote a poem about God where the first eight verses all began with the letter “A,” the second eight verses began with the letter “B,” et cetera until you reached the letter “Z.” Wow!

That’s a pretty impressive feat for the author! It’s also a great exercise to challenge your ability to praise God! The author of Psalm 119 made the overriding topic of his psalm the Word of God. Nearly every verse extols the virtues of God’s laws. I’m giving you a challenge today, friends

— pick a topic (for me, it’s going to be a very broad topic – the goodness of God),
and spend the next few days (weeks?) trying to write a poem (or song) about that topic as an acrostic –

If you’re not a poet (as I’m not), don’t be overly concerned with meter and rhyme – simply set out to write a short sentence or two about your God-topic beginning each sentence with the letter appropriate letter of the alphabet.

The exercise may come across as silly or a waste of time. It’s not. It will challenge you to think of new ways to declare God’s truths. Here, I’ll get you started:

Alleluia! My God is good!
All knowing is He.

Beyond my imagination are His plans for me.Better than I could ever hope for.
Blessed be His name.

Can I praise Him enough for His goodness?

…Now I’m off to find a dictionary and look for another “C” word!

Be blessed, friends.

Oh, and by the way…I’d love to read some of your writing and perhaps include them in a future blog. You can share some of your verses by commenting below, or e-mail me your poetry. Include the subject line “Psalm 119” when you e-mail me at Sandy@ApprehendingGrace.com.

Comments are closed.

© copyright 2009-2013, Data Designs Publishing and Sandra J. Hovatter