A meditation on the experience of the psalmist in Psalm 119, esp vv. 1-16. I take the key idea of this psalm to be absorption. I see this in three directions:
First, the psalmist is absorbed in the Torah as communication from God so that the psalmist is absorbed in God. Over and over the focus is on “Your” word, statutes, precepts, laws, regulations, and teachings. The psalmist delights in God, in hearing from God, and in knowing that God communicates through the Torah to God’s people.
Second, the psalmist is absorbed by the Torah. Not only is the Torah the object in which the psalmist delights; the Torah is the subject that overwhelms the psalmist so that one is caught up in and by the wordy presence of God. Not only is the psalmist studying to learn, but the psalmist is being studied by the Torah so that it becomes the “other” that addresses the psalmist.
And, third, the psalmist is absorbed toward others. This wordy presence of God in Torah, the authority of God that comes to the psalmist in the Torah, directs the psalmist’s life toward others. That means, the psalmist speaks about others, to others, and for others. The psalmist summons others to the Torah, to listen and learn.
Why? Because the Torah, this wordy presence of God, is not just words on a paper and not just propositions to be analyzed, but the missio Dei — it is the atoning presence of God among us. As we hear and listen and receive and observe and do and share and summon, we are caught up into the missio Dei in this world. Word is missio Dei, so if we are absorbed in it and by it, we will be caught into its fundamental missional direction of speaking to us so that we might hear God and speak to God and speak to others on behalf of God.
The least read of my posts are those on the Bible; if you have read this far, you can learn that it is my birthday. I’m 53.