Inside Psalm 119 and the Poetry Project
(My son inspired me to keep working on a project I thought of a couple of years ago. The idea is to write a poem of personal reflection for each Psalm in the psalter. If you search on the word “Poetry” or “Poetry and Prayers” inside the blog you can find some of them.) You can see one of my son’s youtube videos at this link. He’s good and I am not biased.)
Here’s a quandary for my soul.
Why am I only able to write moving (to me), significant poetry when I am in agony over sin, usually, my own? I’m not talking about poetry that moves anyone else or that any one beyond me would appreciate. I’m talking about scratching out a few lines that speak powerfully to my own spirit about truth, goodness, sin, salvation, eternity, forgiveness, life?
Why does it always seem to take pain to produce any beauty and insight in my life? And as I ask the question, Lord, Your Spirit reminds me of Your own poetry. Ps. 119:65-72.
Before I was afflicted I went astray,
but now I keep your word. (Ps. 119:67)
It is good for me that I was afflicted
that I might learn your statutes. (Ps. 119:71)
I know, O Lord, that your rules are righteous
and that in faithfulness you have afflicted me. (Ps. 119:75)
Afflict Me Oh God
Afflict me Oh God;
Treat me as a son.
Keep me from straying;
Chasten me and teach me
That my faithless heart
Would know your faithfulness.
Teach my heart
that words breathed by you
than the applause of men
than thousands of gold and silver pieces.
Cf. also Psalm 19