What Is The Bible Saying?
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ConnectUs Church Audio Podcast
ConnectUs Church Audio Podcast

Episode 89 · 7 months ago

What Is The Bible Saying?

ABOUT THIS EPISODE

There are many ways you could study the Bible but not all of them are the best. What even is the Bible? Can you trust it?

Welcome to three ways not to study your Bible. Three ways not to study your Bible. Here we go. Way Number one, the blindfolded flip. You know, you've seen the blindfolded flip happen before. You've done it before. We're going to do it right now. So here we go. You never know, connect US church, what we're going to do. I'm coming for you. I need you can grab your bibles, if you have it, and I want you to flip open your Bible to something random and just read it. Whatever it is. The blindfolded flip, John, did we have this? Might gone here? One second, not yet. Three. Yes, then Jesus Judas through the silver coins down in the temple and went out and hanged himself. Matthew, twenty seven five, wait, is are you reading the Bible? Yes, Oh, what kind of is that? That's in the Bible. I thought the Bible was supposed to be a good book. You know what good things that like. But I mean that is yeah, that's kind of me, like, I don't know. We should be reading that in church. Were like anywhere? Okay, well, that didn't really work out too well. Let's try another one. WHO's got another random verse over here. They want to participate in the sermon. This guy's looking like he's got something over here, Luke thirty seven. Then Jesus said, yes, now I'll go and do the same. Wait, so this is getting strange. We gotta we got as a verse about Judas doing something that nobody wants to talk about. And now you're saying Jesus is saying, go and do that. Oh Man, why did I come back here? This is weird. This is weird. I thought the Bible was supposed to be helpful, helpful. I need who's got a good one, because like this as I've been good so far. All right, how about this? This guy down here look like he's got something. This is a really good one, John One, thus three twenty seven, the new living translation. Then Jesus told him hurry and do what you're going to do. No, no, no, that is not okay. We're not doing that anymore. That is not what we're doing. The blind folded flip open the Bible and God, speak to me something important from your word doesn't always lead to the best places. And let me just say, could we mute that MIC real quick? I forgot to turn it off. There we go. I don't want to make light of taking your own life. We talked about that last week in our Monday night series, and I like that's a very serious thing, like God's will for your life is to live absolutely and so like that's we're not I'm not trying to make light of that, but I do think it's a great way to illustrate the point that, like, if we just open the Bible just randomly to a verse and say Hey, God, this is your word, let it say something to me, we might get a completely wrong understanding of what that is. And No, I did not I set that up. This example of these verses was put together of attributed to...

...this guy named Gee Campbell Morgan. So it's like a famous kind of thing about how not to read your Bible. And so this little, is silly illustration gives us the lesson of context really matters when it comes to reading your Bible. Like, yes, there is something very important about like hey, I open my email up and I get the verse of the day or or the verse of the Day shows up on my phone and hey, that's a cool, cool thing, like that's a cool verse. Now I'm thinking about God now, you know, in a good space or whatever, like that's a that's a good thing, but that verse is situated amongst many other verses, and so context, like what's around it, what's before it, really really matters, or else you might be reading some things that you'll be very confused about what God's trying to tell you. So don't think versus, think paragraphs, think ideas, complete thoughts, because pulling something out of the middle of nowhere will lead you into some pretty strange places. Like did you know that there is a verse in the Bible that proves the existence of Santa? Did you know? Look at this like when you want to show your kids biblical proof of Santa Clause, you turn your to Zachariah, to six and you say Ho, Ho, Ho, come forth and flee from the land of the north. That even rhymes, says the Lord, for I have spread you abroad as the four winds of Heaven, says the Lord, and I might have added another Ho, Ho Ho in there right, but that's what happens when you pull a verse just randomly out of the thin air. So the first way to not read or study your Bible is to just flip it open and take whatever God gives you there's a second way, the secret meaning. Who the secret meaning? I want to turn our attention to a very well known parable, a parable of Jesus, a story that Jesus told called the Good Samaritan. It's in Luke, chapter ten. You can follow along on the screen. Actually, you'll probably be helpful if you do that and you'll see why. In a second Jesus replied with a story Luke thirty goes a Jewish man was traveling from Jerusalem down to Jericho and he was attacked by bandits and they stripped him of his clothes and beat him up and left him half dead beside the road. So Jesus replied to these religious teachers of the law that they were asking questions about what this means, what you're supposed to do, and they're like love your neighbor, and they're like well, who's my neighbor? And so Jesus replies with this story about WHO's this guy's neighbor, and it's a amazing story. Hospitals are named after it even today. Right, but what if there was a deeper meaning, like what if there was something that secret behind it, that was deeper, that was like Whoa? That's very spiritual. That's amazing. Well, what if? What if, in Luke, chapter ten, verse thirty, what if a Jewish man wasn't just like a random Jewish man, what if it was Adam, and Adam was traveling from Jerusalem, which, I mean it's a story, it's a good story, but, like this is a deep there's a deeper meaning here. Jerusalem's The heavenly city of peace from which, blessedness, Adam fell. He fell from this perfect place and he fell down to Jericho, and the Hebrew where Jericho sort of kind of looks like it means the moon, and the moon signifies our mortality, because while the moon is born, at waxes, at wanes and it dies. Seems to make sense right. Adam was traveling from this holy, you know, perfect place and he became...

...a person and he was attacked by bandits, which represents the devil and his angels, and they they stripped him, namely of his immortality, because when he was created, you never died. So they took away that from him and they beat him up, like they persuaded him to sin, and then they left them half dead because in so far as man can understand and know God, he lives, but in so far as he is wasted and oppressed by sin, he is dead. Right. So he's like, we're kind of alive, we're kind of thinking, we're kind of here reading our bibles, but at the same time we're sinful, we're separated from God, and so you're half dead, you're half alive. The story continues. By chance, a priest came along and when he saw the man lying there, he crossed to the other side of the road and passed by him. A temple assistant walked over and looked at him lying there and he also passed by on the other side. So the priesthood and the Temple Assistant to the Ministry of the Old Testament, they could profit nothing for salvation. Right, these guys were not going to help the guy who is injured, the Jewish man who is injured. Right, they're not going to save you. These things aren't going to help you. Then a despised Samaritan, and that word sort of kind of means Guardian, which definitely means that. It means the Lord himself, Jesus, is signified by the Good Samaritan. He's good nonetheless. Right, he came along and when he saw the man, he felt compassion for him and going over to him, the Samaritan soothed his wounds with olive oil, or the comfort of good hope and and wine, which really means the exhortation to work with a fervent spirit. I don't know, for you know fervent play on words there. And bandage them, which like the restraint of sin. You know, you're bandaging the sin up and you're keeping it all together and or restraining in it. And then he put the man on his own donkey. And now donkey is like an animal, it's made out of flesh and bones. And so the flash which is deigned to come to US belief in the incarnation of Christ, like he was putting him on his own donkey, which is this idea of belief in the incarnation of Christ. And it took him to and in, which so obviously, is the church where the travelers returned to their heavenly country, are refreshed after pilgrimage, where he took care of him him like, is this ever going to end? It continues the next day, which definitely means that day after the resurrection of the Lord, he handed the Innkeeper, who was the apostle, possibly Paul, two silver coins, which represents either the two precepts of love or the promise of this life and that which is to come. And so he telled him. Take care of this man, and if this bill runs higher than this, I'll pay you the next time I'm here. And this superrogatory payment is either his counsel of Celibacy or the fact that he worked with his own hands lest he should be a burden to any of the weaker brethren. When the Gospel was new, though, it was lawful for him to live by the Gospel. You got it. Doesn't that sound awesome? I've never read that before in the Good Samaritan store, you might be thinking. And aren't we? Aren't we supposed to see Jesus in the pages of scripture? Right? These are all about Jesus. It's plain as day, right, like there's Adam and there's sin and there salvation and there's resurrection. Like that's good stuff, isn't it? Like what is he doing? I didn't make this up, of course. It was written in a text called the questions of the Gospels by a church father named Augustine in about four hundred ish a d. that's what he thought and wrote that he thought the Good Samaritan meant that.

And Augustine isn't a crazy person, right, he has good thoughts, he has these normal normal person but in his interpretation of scripture he thought and wrote this thing that still survived all these years, that the Good Samaritan really was a story about all that stuff. And so this little illustration illustrates the idea that we don't want to look for a secret meaning in the text. You know, we don't want to read between the lines and connect this and that and the other thing, and certainly don't want to like allegorize that's what that is. You know, look at this word and well, that's what that says, but it really means something else, because, I mean you can make it means something good, you can make it mean about Adam and sin in Jesus and Resurrection, and but you can make make it about something else too. Like what's stopping you? What's stopping you from making it relate to anything? And so the lesson to be learned in this is that grammar and history is important, like words have meaning, words in context have meaning. You can't just make it up and decide whatever you want to it to say, for it to say like there was a specific time in a specific place where this story was told and it had to have meant something in that moment. Or else what else? What else does it mean? I mean, you could be a million different things. It's a grammar and history is important, and so you could look at a text like eggs exodus thirteen and be like, the Lord went ahead of them, he guided them during the day with a pillar of cloud and he provided light at night with a pillar of fire, and this allowed them to travel by day or by night. And the Lord did not remove the pillar of cloud or pillar of fire from its place in front of the people. And this text is definitely about Ufos, isn't it? The pillar of fire and the pillar of cloud, leading the Nation of Israel through the Wilderness, through, you know, into the promised land. Like it. He split the red season and here it is, you know, it's just floating right in front of them, leading the way, guiding them. So Grammar and history are very important. There's not a secret meaning that nobody knows about. The Third Way that you should not study your Bible is, I call it the only Bible study question, because this one isn't really that crazy on the surface, because if you've ever attended a Bible study, you know the ones where you go to somebody's house and you sit on the couch and you're eating a snack and a drink and you know you have a Bible and you read something from the Bible. You know you've been the one of those before. Then you've heard this question asked. I know you have, because it's the only Bible study question. And so you read the text like Matthew Forty Five. This is a verse that we talked about last week, for he gives his sunlight to both the evil and the good and he sends rain on the just and the unjust alike. You read it and then the inevitable question comes up. Right here's the question. What does this passage mean to you? You've heard that before. It is a great question, but who actually cares what it means to you, because who gave you or me any authority to determine what it means or to decide what it means? Like you, you really get to decide that really and like you know, you know you want to look at more than just one verse. There's one verse on the screen and and you don't want to like make...

...up something crazy and make it relate and allegorize it to everything at that this, that and the other thing. And but this question. What do you think it means? What does it mean to you? Kind of opens the door for some crazy stuff, because WHO's to say you're wrong? Like, to me it means that he gives his sunlight to both the evil and the good. The sunlight is certainly God's love and he, his reign, is grace on the just and the unjust alike. And so like one day it doesn't matter if your just or unjust. You Got Love, you got grace and one day we're going to be in heaven all together. That's what it means to me. Of course that's not what it means to me. There was a whole message just last week about death and hell, which you could check that one out, and it's definitely not what Matthew Forty five is about, right. But this shows us that it's not the only Bible study question. You know, what does this mean to you? It's it shows us that there needs to be a meaning that comes from somewhere else, somewhere better. The author, the one who wrote it, the one who infused whatever was written with meaning, and so a better question to ask, then, what does this mean to you? Is What do you think the writer meant when he wrote these words? Like that is a Great Bible study question to ask. What do you think the writer meant when he wrote these words? Because now you're thinking, okay, Matthew, five hundred and forty five. It was written by a guy named Matthew, he's quoting a guy named Jesus, he's talking to a specific audience. There's versus before it and after it, and you're trying to get it all in context. You're looking at the grammar, you're looking at the history, you're looking at even the genre, because you don't read the newspaper the same way you do a love letter. You don't read you know it depends. The apocryphile like the end of the world. Stuff is different than like the poetry or the history of the Old Testament. When you're going down through you know the genres of the text matter because you're writing at someone's writing, at the author is writing it for a specific reason in the specific time in a specific place. Like, for example, I've written some love letters to my wife, Felicia, and they're fun to write. I get to write whatever I want right, and I get to express my love and commitment and and a dormant and she's so beautiful and all this stuff. And then let's say you get my letter, you steal it from me. Oh, do you get to decide what I meant when I wrote it to her? Do you get to tell me what you actually meant this really, because I wrote it with a specific reason, with a specific purpose in mind, to share something specific to my wife. You don't get to tell me what I tried to say right. But we do that all the time with the Bible. So what did the author mean? Is a great, great question. So, if you haven't figured it out by now, our sermon today is about what is the Bible saying? What is the Bible saying? How do we understand the Bible? How do we interpret the Bible and how do we study the Bible? These are some awesome questions. But I just want us to pause for a second and just consider something very interesting and very unique in a sense, is, do you know how...

...many books have been written? Like, how many books exist today? Like, if you were to just throw out a number like. What are we talking books? Anybody got a guess? Ballpark billion. Okay, that's that's I guess a little high. But how about this number? What is that number on the screen? Hundred seventy million. That's the number of books that have been taken by Google and digitally put so that people can access it on the Internet. So hundred and seventy million books. Have you ever wondered why, out of the A hundred and seventy million books that exist, that you come to a place like this and we only ever really look at one? I mean, wouldn't the other a hundred and seventy million books have something important to say or something unique and special to say? It's really mindboggling when you wrap your head around that. It's we could be opening up any book if you wanted to write. There's nothing stopping us. But there's something special, something unique about the Bible that's different than any other book. And certainly some are fun and helpful, but they're not the word of God. So what is the Bible? Right, we take that for granted sometime. What is the Bible? There's a picture of the Bible, the Holy Bible. You know that the Bible wasn't given to us by God like this. You know, God wasn't sitting in Heaven and had this at the end of a fishing line and lowered it down the earth and said here's my word. Right, like. It didn't come like this. It the Bible looked a lot more like like this. This is a picture of an ancient Greek manuscript and every time I look at this is incredible because, like, there aren't even spaces between the letters, between the words, right, there's no verses, it's just letters, lines of letters. And then these things, these parchment things, had to be put together, gathered together, and one day they had to decide, like which of these are going to go in the Bible and which of the mark? And there's a whole process called canonicity. It's a fancy word that means a rule or a standard, and you can look into that a little bit more. And so the first the Bible, like the you might have pictured, the one in the picture, was put together, excuse me, in about the fourth century, in about three hundred ish a d and so tomorrow night we're going to look at this particular question. Many Christians believe that the Bible is in arrant and God breathe. How do we weigh that against the fact that the four gospels themselves were written by several men telling the same story with different facts and viewpoints? Then throw into the mix the fact that many translations were made over thousands of years, making it so that we don't know what the original text was? That is a lot of stuff in that question. It is a really good question, and so, and it's going to comment on it a little bit here today, is that we don't have the original text. Did you know that we don't have the original text that like Paul wrote or that Peter wrote? And it's probably a...

...good thing that we don't because it would probably be worshiped over Jesus, right. I mean this thing is amazing, right, but the scriptures aren't to be worship the scriptures point to the one who is to be worshiped. The scriptures point to Jesus. The Bible doesn't save you, Jesus Save you. The Bible didn't die for you to pay the penalty for your sin. Jesus did that. The scriptures point to Jesus. And so then you might be aware that there's other books, there's other ancient documents that were written that didn't make it into the sixty six books that we would consider the the Bible the Protestant mainly use, like the Gospel of Thomas or the book of Enoch. And what happened was is that these particular writings didn't live through the cannoning canonicity process. They didn't measure up, and so you might ask, well, how did they measure how do they know? And so really you look at it, and I think the first thing is that these texts were inspired by God. When you read Matthew and mark and Luke and first Corinthian, these texts were inspired by God. God breathed through the people as they wrote it. And then the second thing that happened was that the writings were then recognized just as such by men of God. They were inspired, they were written, people recognized it. And then, thirdly, the writings were reckoned that were recognized as inspired were collected and preserved by the people. So it's important to get that order right. Right, you have inspired, you have recognized as inspired and then you have collected as inspired, because what some people think is that well, because these people in three hundred four hundred, three hundred ishu AD decided that this particular book was to be in the Bible. So therefore it must be true and it must be inspired by God. Now you're putting it in the hands of the people making those decisions. But they were inspired first, then they were recognized as such and then they were collected afterwards. So there's a lot that you can look into this. It's a whole study, it's a whole it's a whole thing. So some of the books didn't make it in, some of them have weird things in it that didn't work. They had to be written by an apostle, specifically the new testament, right, or somebody who had immediate contact with the apostles. And then they were looking at was this document like widespread, like we're churches and communities using these documents. And so the people that put together the first the Bible, they didn't necessarily what. They didn't choose the books. They were like, I like this one, I don't like that one, I don't you know, they weren't doing that. They had basically the books had already like chosen themselves and what they were doing was putting it together for the first time. And a lot of them, there was a lot of these manuscripts that they had to figure out. You know, they were looking at all these different things and they were all a little bit different and some were in Greek and others were translated, you know, into other languages like Latin later, and you know, and of course today we're reading from an English Bible which is a translation of the other text. And did you know that there's some variations between the Greek manuscripts, like not every single one of those parchments is exactly the same, and that's scared some people because then you're like, well, how do I know that what is true? How do I know what Peter and Paul really wrote, because they're all a little bit different? It's good question. Did you know that in your Bible, if you look, and you've seen this before, at the bottom sometimes, if you're especially if you have a study Bible, it tells you all of those variations. I...

...guess not a secret. You know, it'll tell you a specific word is different in this particular manuscript. Then is the one that the translators chose to use. And so it's not like it's hidden or anything like that. You can always look to see and there might be you know, there's there's many, many manuscripts. So there are many variations, but none of the variations make a significant difference in any doctrine, and that's incredible. That's amazing. I mean sometimes it's a change in like did they forget to put an s or not? Because literally, right, people wrote this, they copied it by hand and they might have forgotten a letter, they might have forgotten an ass, so they might have mixed up the words as they're copying. They put one before the other or the other before the one, and so it has to go through this process of transmission. That's what that's called, a copying process before the invention of the printing press, right. And then, of course, the translation process is taking it from the original language and translating it into the text that we all can understand. And so, speaking of original manuscripts, right, how many are there? How many are there? How many ancient documents are there? I love, I love teaching this point because it gives me, and I think it should give you, such confidence in the word of God. Like what we have in the New Testament is amazing. It is so special, it is so unique, it is so worth it to build your life on it, to trust it, like two thousand years later. That's incredible. But yet everyone questions it, doesn't they? Everybody likes to ask the questions. Do you know anybody that stays up late at night wondering if the guy who wrote the words in this book was real? Plato? I read him in college. Do you think anyone's in their bed like wondering? I wonder if Plato really existed. We just kind of assumed that he did. Right, Plato and Socrates and we read all this stuff and it's like you know, but yet when it comes to the Bible, we got questions, we wonder and so I want to show you this because it's pretty amazing. HOMER's Iliad, you know, the story of the Trojan Horse. Their oldest manuscript we have is from five hundred years after it would have been written. Okay, so homer's Iliad was written five Hundred Years Pass and this is the manuscript that we have that you could read the homer's Iliad today, five hundred years after the event took place, after it was written. How about some of these other ancient works, like Julius Caesar's Gaelic Wars? A thousand years okay, so Julius Caesar wrote his thing and thousand years later is when they have the document. Today, you know, we have the document and at that it's a thousand years after the fact. Or pliny's history. That's another Roman guy. Seven hundred fifty years. There's some Greek guys. They wrote it in one thirteen hundred years later. That's the text that they have. So what about the New Testament? Right, these are all written around sort of the same time period. Ish, you know, it's twenty five years. Like we today have a manuscript written by Paul that was dated twenty five years or they think, you know, was day to twenty five years after Paul would have written the original version. Compared...

...to the other ones, which nobody questions. It's incredible. They might not have the original, but it's really close, really close in time. And then you might ask, well, like how many of them are there, like is there just one or is there like a lot? So for homer's Iliad, there's a lot. There's six hundred and forty three of these old things. I don't know where they are. Somebody does. Right, these old writings of parchment somewhere four hund or six hundred and forty three of them. That's a lot. Julius Caesar has ten planings, history has seven, the Greek guys have eight. Do you know the number for the New Testament that we have today? Over ewenty four thousand documents from the ancient world. You can trust? You can trust. Now you might say that's the New Testament, Pastor Kevin, to which I would say yes, you're right, but the Bible has a lot in it that is in the Old Testament. What about that? It's a good question and for a long time, almost two thousand years, the oldest document that we had was from thirty five a D so, a thousand years after, which would have put you in the category of like Julius Caesar's Gallic Wars, right thousand years after the events. That's the that's the document that we had. But there was a day in one thousand nine hundred and forty seven where a boy was tending his sheep in the country of Israel and he was out there and he got a rock and he just threw the rock and he heard some pots break. It's like, this is weird. I'm in the middle of the desert, the camera on area like, well, I don't you know what's going on. And so he kind of followed the sound and he went in and he found all of these pots and inside those jars as pots, were what's called today the Dead Sea Scrolls, and inside all of those scrolls were documents, ancient documents of the Old Testament, and I had the privilege of seeing some of these in the exhibit in Salt Lake City like five or six years ago, which is just amazing to see what they found. And so here's a picture of a guy in like one thousand nine hundred and fifty or so translating these ancient documents that they found after the rocket, the pots in the middle of the desert. I just love it. He's smoking a cigarette, he's got no gloves on, like these people back in the day. They don't look I mean they figured that stuff out without any of like the safety stuff that we do today. It's a credible you're smart and what they found was absolutely astounding. So remember the oldest document that we had was nine hundred thirty five, a d okay, the pot. The stuff that they were finding in the pots was from two hundred BC to like fifty ap, you know see, or a D so it's like right around that time of Jesus twozero years ago, and basically what was found in the caves was basically the same as what they had in that Docu from nine, thirty five and eighty. That's a thousand...

...years of transmitting the text faithfully and almost perfectly. It's amazing. It's incredible, and so the scriptures is amazing. It's God's word. You can trust it. There's so many reasons to trust it and I hope today I've given you a couple reasons to trust it. But I as I was thinking of how that I want to end this today, I don't want this to just be head knowledge. I mean that's helpful, right. That's helpful to be able to stand against the attacks. You question. You know, is this real? Is this true? Like a lot of smart people have done a lot of really smart things to figure it out and you can base your life on it. I believe it, but I want you to love it like this isn't just an instruction manual of how to live your life. It's a love letter from your Creator saying I love you. This is for you, this is about me. I'm revealing myself to you like spend time with it, understand its soaked in it like this is amazing stuff. And there was a guy in the Old Testament who wrote Psalm one hundred and nineteen. It's a special chapter in the Bible. It's a longest chapter in the Bible, and and he took the Hebrew alphabet and just started with, you know, ABC, and wrote like stanzas, like songs for each of the letters. And these, all of these, are about the Bible. All these are about the word of God, and I thought I'd close our service today by reading some of these. Worship Team, you could come up like while I read these, and then when I'm finished, you guys can finish with your song and then we'll close our service that way. So I'm going to take a seat down here and I'm going to read this and because I want you to think about not just like the head knowledge, but like do you really love the word of God, because this is God's way of revealing himself to us. So here we go, says Lord, give me your unfailing love, the salvation that you promised me. Then I can answer those who taught me, for I trust in your word. Do Not Snatch your word of truth from me, for your regulations are my only hope. I will keep on obeying your instructions forever and ever. I will walk in freedom, for I have devoted myself to your commandments. I will speak to kings about your laws, and I will not be ashamed how I delight in your commands, how I love them. I honor and love your commands. I met a hat on your decrees. Remember your promise to me. It is my only hope. Your promise revives me, it comforts me and all my troubles. The proud hold me an utter contempt, but I do not turn away from your instructions. I meditate on your age old regulations, Oh Lord, they comfort me. I become furious with the wicked because they reject your instructions. Your decrees have been the theme of my songs wherever I have lived. I reflect that night on who you are, oh Lord. Therefore, I obey your instructions. This is how I spend my life, obeying Your Commandments. Lord, you are mine. I promised to obey your words with all my heart. I Want Your blessings be merciful, as you promised. I pondered the direction of my life and I turned to follow your laws. I will hurry without delay to obey your commands. Evil people try to drag me into...

...sin, but I am firmly anchored to your instructions. I rise at midnight to thank you for your just regulations. I am a friend to anyone who fears you, anyone who obeys your commands. Oh Lord, your unfailing love fills the earth. Teach me your decrees. You have done many good things for me. Lord, just as you promised, I believe in your commands. Now teach me good judgment and knowledge. I used to wander off until you discipline me, but now I closely follow your word. You are good and do only good. Teach me your decrees. Arrogant people smear me with lies, but in truth, I obey your commands with all my heart. Their hearts are dull and stupid, but I delight in your instructions. My suffering was good for me, for it taught me to pay attention to your decrees. Your instructions are more valuable to me than millions in gold and silver. You made me, you created me. Now give me the sense to follow your commands. May All who fear you find in me a cause for joy, for I have put my hope in your word. I know, a Lord, that your regulations are fair. You discipline me because I needed it. Now let your unfailing Love Comfort me, just as you promise me, your servant. Surround me with your tender mercy so that I may live, for your instructions are my delight. Bring disgrace upon the arrogant people who lied about me. Meanwhile, I will concentrate on your commandments. Let me be united with all who fear you, with those who know your laws. May I be blameless in keeping your decrees. Then I will never be ashamed. Oh how I love your instructions. How I think about them all day long.

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