Tuesday, June 2, 2009

Thy Word is Like a Garden, Lord

I've been meditating on Psalm 119 lately. That, combined with seeing all the plants and flowers bloom this spring, made me think of this gem of a hymn.

I really appreciate the way the writer compares God's word to the garden, a mine, a starry host, an armory. These are all very vivid word pictures as we think about the Scriptures, how we use them, and how to apply them in our lives.

You have ordained Your precepts, that we should keep them diligently. Oh that my ways may be established to keep Your statutes! Psalm 119:4-5

God's word has something for us, every single time we open it. Whether you have two minutes or two hours, the Holy Spirit will use that time to inspire, encourage, challenge and exhort you as you read and study the truth.

I will meditate on Your precepts and regard Your ways. I shall delight in Your statutes; I shall not forget Your word.
Psalm 119:15-16

God's word was written for our instruction.

For whatever was written in earlier times was written for our instruction, so that through perseverance and the encouragement of the Scriptures we might have hope. Romans 15:4

The Scriptures provide a guidebook for our lives - instruction on how to live in obedience to Him so that we will bring Him glory, and be light to those around us who don't know the Savior. His word truly lights our way.

Your word is a lamp to my feet and a light to my path.
Psalm 119:105

His word also provides us with the weapons we need to face each day as we live as aliens on this earth. He has told us that our battle isn't a battle against other flesh, but against other-wordly forces.

For our struggle is not against flesh and blood, but against the rulers, against the powers, against the world forces of this darkness, against the spiritual forces of wickedness in the heavenly places. Ephesians 6:12

How fortunate it is that in this same passage, He gives us what we need to fight the battle!

Therefore, take up the full armor of God, so that you will be able to resist in the evil day, and having done everything, to stand firm. Ephesians 6:13

The full armor of God includes the Sword of the Spirit, which is the word of God (v. 17). Knowing His word gives us the knowledge, strength and ability to ward off the forces of darkness.

My life is continually in my hand, yet I do not forget Your law. The wicked have laid a snare for me, yet I have not gone astray from Your precepts. Psalm 119:109-110

Oh, may each of us come to love the precious word of God! May we explore the mine, glean fragrant flowers and find our trusty armor there.

O how I love Your law! It is my meditation all the day. Your commandments make me wiser than my enemies, for they are ever mine. I have more insight than all my teachers, for Your testimonies are my meditation. I understand more than the aged, because I have observed Your precepts. I have restrained my feet from every evil way, that I may keep Your word. I have not turned aside from Your ordinances, for You Yourself have taught me. How sweet are Your words to my taste! Yes, sweeter than honey to my mouth! From Your precepts I get understanding; therefore I hate every false way. Psalm 119:97-104

Thy Word is Like a Garden, Lord
Words by Edwin Hodder

Thy Word is like a garden, Lord, with flowers bright and fair;
And every one who seeks may pluck a lovely cluster there.
Thy Word is like a deep, deep mine; and jewels rich and rare
Are hidden in its mighty depths for every searcher there.

Thy Word is like a starry host: a thousand rays of light
Are seen to guide the traveler and make his pathway bright.
Thy Word is like an armory, where soldiers may repair;
And find, for life’s long battle day, all needful weapons there.

O may I love Thy precious Word, may I explore the mine,
May I its fragrant flowers glean, may light upon me shine!
O may I find my armor there! Thy Word my trusty sword,
I’ll learn to fight with every foe the battle of the Lord.

1 comment:

Robert said...

Thanks for the thoughtful analysis of Edwin Hodder's fine hymn. (Today is the 106th anniversary of his death.) To learn more about him and his song, check out my blog for today at Wordwise Hymns.