Evaluation of Desperate Dependency – Aleph
Back to school time arouses emotions from excitement to terror. Interacting with friends may elicit excitement, whereas tests may spark terror. Like so many facets of life, the things that we perceive as difficult are the very things that help us grow and mature. We tell our kids, “it’s good for you.” But how often do we like to emerge from our comfort zone?
In the coming weeks, challenge yourself to move beyond the status quo to evaluate your relationship with God and His Word. Prayerfully process through the Evaluation of Desperate Dependency as you take inventory of your spiritual maturity. This exercise is not designed to create a monument to your success or failure as a Christian. Rather, allow it to serve as a compass that establishes a “true north” so you may align your path to arrive at the ultimate destination of Christlikeness.
About Psalm 119
Warren Wiersbe notes these interesting points about Psalm 119:
- Psalm 119 is the longest psalm (176 verses).
- It is an acrostic psalm.
- Psalm 119 follows the letters of the Hebrew alphabet.
- In most editions of the Bible, the twenty-two sections of this psalm are headed by the successive letters of the Hebrew alphabet (Aleph, Beth, Gimel, etc.).
- In the Hebrew Bible, each verse in a section begins with that Hebrew letter. For example, all the verses in the “aleph” section (vv. 1–8) begin with the Hebrew letter “aleph.”
- The Jews wrote in this fashion to help them memorize the Scriptures so they could meditate on God’s Word.
- We do not know who wrote this psalm, although the writer refers to himself many times.
- The writer was suffering for his love for God’s Law (vv. 22, 50–53, 95, 98, 115), yet he had determined to obey the Word regardless of the cost.
- All but five verses of Psalm 119 mention the Word of God in one way or another.
- God is referred to in every verse.
- Each section has eight verses. The word “eight” in Hebrew literally means “abundance, more than enough”; it is the number of new beginnings. It is as though the writer is saying, “God’s Word is enough. If you have the Scriptures, that is all you need for life and godliness.” Indeed the Bible points us to Christ: He is the Living Word about whom the written Word speaks.1
The author of this psalm testifies to the paths he has taken along his course of relating to God. Therefore, this instrument may also offer guidance for your direction as you attempt to follow the way to godliness.
Let’s start by reading the Aleph section of Psalm 119.
1 Joyful are people of integrity,
who follow the instructions of the Lord.
2 Joyful are those who obey his laws
and search for him with all their hearts.
3 They do not compromise with evil,
and they walk only in his paths.
4 You have charged us
to keep your commandments carefully.
5 Oh, that my actions would consistently
reflect your decrees!
6 Then I will not be ashamed
when I compare my life with your commands.
7 As I learn your righteous regulations,
I will thank you by living as I should!
8 I will obey your decrees.
Please don’t give up on me! (NLT)
Could You Have Written Psalm 119:1–8?
Are these statements true of you? Mark the statements that currently and consistently (more often than not) describe you. Take your time, and prayerfully consider your status as an individual who is desperately dependent on God.
❏ I am joyful, have integrity, and follow the instructions of the Lord.
❏ I obey the laws of the Lord, am joyful, and search for the Lord with all of my heart.
❏ I do not compromise with evil and walk only in the Lord’s paths.
❏ I keep the Lord’s commandments carefully.
❏ I wish that my actions would consistently reflect the decrees of the Lord!
❏ I am not ashamed when I compare my life with the commands of the Lord.
❏ I learn the righteous regulations of the Lord and thank the Lord by living as I should.
❏ I obey the decrees of the Lord.
So, were those statements true of you? Yes? No? Maybe so? As you continue to challenge your status quo in the coming weeks, truthfully, you should realize that you are incapable of arriving at the various milestones! In and of yourself you are powerless to accomplish His purposes in your life! It is only through His divine enablement that we can be personally empowered to live as Christ lived and desires us to live. Remember, God has supplied everything that is necessary for life and godliness, but we must allow Him to accomplish His purposes in our lives.
Follow along as we journey through Psalm 119 to evaluate our desperate dependency. Don’t write this exercise off as something that reminds you of your failures, but engage in the evaluation to determine where you need to more completely allow Christ to live through you.
If you are really brave and want to know more about yourself, you might consider asking someone close to you to complete the Evaluation of Desperate Dependency with you in mind. God does place people in our lives to assist us in our growth process. But if you are resistant to another’s assessment and feedback, there is the potential that your relationship will be scarred as a result. However, if someone completes the exercise on your behalf, your relationship may be strengthened because of the authentication of their commitment to your maturity.
Leave a Comment and let us know your experience with the Evaluation of Desperate Dependency.
May you grow in desperate dependency!
1 Warren W. Wiersbe, Wiersbe’s Expository Outlines on the Old Testament (Wheaton, IL: Victor Books, 1993), Ps 119:1.
(excerpts from Desperate Dependency by J. Kirk & Melanie D. Lewis)
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