Psalm 119:130-132 - The unfolding of Your words gives light; it imparts understanding to the simple. I open my mouth and pant, because I long for Your commandments. Turn to me and be gracious to me, as is Your way with those who love Your Name.
We know what it is to thirst for a cool drink of water on a hot day, to long for daylight after a sleepless night, or to wait with joyful longing for a friend or family member after a long absence. The psalmist is longing, panting with open mouth, not for water or daylight or his family, but for the Word of God. For him, the Lord's teachings were as refreshing as cool, still waters in a green pasture.
As the Word of God unfolds in our eyes, ears, hearts, and minds, the Holy Spirit enlightens us and gives us understanding. Across the centuries, the unfolding Word revealed God's promise to send the Messiah. Through the prophets, God unveiled "the mystery of His will ... a plan for the fullness of time," to unite all things in Christ (Ephesians 1:9b, 10a). When Jesus the Messiah came, the mystery was revealed in and through Him as He fulfilled His saving purpose at the cross and empty tomb. In Jesus, the Word was unfolded and understanding was imparted as never before.
On the first Easter Day, the crucified and risen Lord joined two disciples on the way to the village of Emmaus. As His fellow travelers discussed Jesus' crucifixion and the news of His resurrection, the risen (and unrecognized) Lord interpreted "in all the Scriptures the things concerning Himself" (Luke 24:27b). Jesus then came to all of His disciples, proving that He was alive. "Then He opened their minds to understand the Scriptures" (Luke 24:45). It had been written in the Old Testament Scriptures that the Messiah must suffer, die, and rise on the third day. Now repentance and forgiveness must be proclaimed in His Name to all nations as the Holy Spirit works through the Gospel Word to enlighten our hearts and minds.
Those who opposed Jesus searched the Old Testament Scriptures, hoping to find eternal life in its words, but they rejected Jesus, the Word made flesh, to whom the Scriptures testified. From beginning to end, the Word of God for which we thirst testifies to Jesus. He is the Alpha and the Omega, the beginning and the end, the "A to Z" by whom and for whom Scripture is written (see Revelation 21:6). The Spirit-breathed words of Holy Scripture "are written so that you may believe that Jesus is the Christ, the Son of God, and that by believing you may have life in His Name" (John 20:31b). The unfolding, light-imparting Word of God, the Word for which we thirst, points to Jesus our Savior. In Christ Jesus, God has been gracious to us, because that is His way with those who love in His Name.
THE PRAYER: Lord, lead me by Your Spirit to love and study Your Word. Amen.
This Daily Devotion was written by Dr. Carol Geisler.
1. When was the last time something in Scripture jumped out at you?
2. Have you ever longed for God's commandments to guide you and direct your steps?
3. Do you feel like God has opened your eyes to understand the Scriptures? If not, how does something like that happen?
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