This passage comes from the longest chapter in the Bible. I did a little digging to learn more about this chapter as a whole, and I found that it is a form of poetry called an acrostic. When you think of an acrostic poem you may think of one where the first letter of each line, when put together, spells a word of some sort. What makes this acrostic different than others is that there are 8 verses for each letter of the Hebrew alphabet. Since there are 22 letters in the Hebrew alphabet, with 8 verses per each letter, there are a total of 176 verses in this chapter. I’m sure some of you reading this can add a whole lot more to the story than me, but I never knew this before.
In verses 97-104, David describes his love for God’s law and how he dedicates himself to following the law every day. The law has guided him, and gives him more wisdom than any of the elders or any of his enemies.
God provides the Israelites with manna during their 40 year wander through the wilderness. The manna is sweet like honey. Every day, there is more than enough to feed everyone. When you realize that the number of Israelites that left Egypt with Moses was about 600,000 men, not including women and children, you realize just how many people are wandering and probably hungry. But still there was always enough manna. God provided for their NEEDS throughout their journey, even though they didn’t always realize it or appreciate it. Sound familiar? I think we do a whole lot of wandering here in 2020, and don’t always realize or appreciate what God provides for us. It takes slowing down, reflecting, meditating on exactly what God has done for us to realize how blessed we are.
Paul is closing out his letter to the Romans by sending his best regards to some of the people he has worked with over the years. As I read this, it reminded me of the “Acknowledgements” at the end of a book by it’s author. Those that write books rely on a lot of people around them to make the book possible from its first draft to its final edit and being published. The same is true for Paul’s ministry. From the first days of his ministry after his conversion, and then on through the founding of all of the churches he worked so hard to form throughout the Mediterranean region, he didn’t make it all happen alone.
And churches today also need many people working together to continue the ministry of the Gospel. It is one of the things that I love so much about First Pres; there are so many people willing to serve in some form or another. People seeking a new church look for a church that is alive and active. People that are in a church stay there for the same reason. We are THE CHURCH. I can picture if Paul was writing a letter to the churches of Joliet, he would have a long list of people he would be thanking at First Pres for their dedication to the One True Gospel, that is Jesus Christ. We still have plenty of work to continue doing, but I think we have done a great job so far.