Psalm 119 is a beast–it is 176 verses long and divided into 22 sections (one for each letter of the Hebrew alphabet). So I’m going to divide it up, and write about my observations from each section, and see how each can help me continue to walk the road less traveled. Today, the “Tsadhe” section:
While I was watching the NFC championship game last week, I noticed that Cardinals offensive coordinator Todd Haley got an earful early in the first quarter from QB Kurt Warner. Toward the end of the game, Haley got another earful from receiver Anquan Boldin. We’re not talking a little rolling of the eyes–these were full intensity shouting matches. The Cardinals have played them off, saying that its nothing more than two intense players trying to communicate what they saw with an intense coach trying to call the game.
Intensity. Why are we so intense about the wrong things?
I’m an intense football fan, but I also know its just a game. This isn’t the Roman coliseum, gladiator, fight to the death type stuff. It’s grown men wearing tight pants throwing around an odd shaped leather ball. But some fans are absolutely rabid! They almost live and die by their teams’ victories and defeats. They bleed Carolina blue or Duke blue or whatever their college colors are. They’ll argue a bad call from the refs for years. They mourn when their favorite sports season ends (but they just pick up another sport that’s currently in season).
Politics is another intense subject. I’m glad that the election and inauguration of President Obama is now over. But there are some people who will spend the next four years trying to rip the guy a new one over every little thing he does, or doesn’t do.
We even get intense about church stuff. Some people will get all hung up over a particular doctrine that really isn’t that big a deal, but they’ll die for it. Stuff like the millennium, methods, and models of church are argued about all the time with such intensity that they soon drop their humility and quest to be like Christ, instead opting to put on verbal boxing gloves. The fact is this: those “m’s” and many other issues aren’t really that big of a deal.
The author of Psalm 119 writes this in Psalm 119:139,
My zeal has consumed me, because my adversaries have forgotten Your words. You word is very pure, therefore Your servant loves it.
God’s word. The Bible. When was the last time we were intense about it? About being consumed by it? Intense about the Holy Spirit transforming us with it? Intense about the Bible pointing us to Jesus?
Recently, my intensity has cooled a bit. I’m reading it regularly during the week, but not quite with the same intensity. It needs to be rekindled. If it isn’t, I’ll soon find myself getting intense about the wrong things–things that don’t really matter all that much.
I want to be intense about the right things. I want to be intense about the things of God.