“Xylophones I will use to praise your word”

What inspires poetry?  Most often it is romantic love.

The inspiration for the longest love song in Scripture is Scripture itself.  This particular song is also the longest prayer in the Bible, and the longest chapter.  Psalm 119.  176 verses singing the praises of God’s word.

There’s a reason for that number.  The psalm is an acrostic.  The first eight verses all start with the first Hebrew letter Aleph.  The next eight start with the 2nd Hebrew letter Bet, and so on.  There are 22 letters in the Hebrew alphabet.  22 x 8 = 176.

Acrostics are useful to help people memorize important things.  But they take a lot of work to construct.  There are many words that begin with some of the more common Hebrew letters, but it would difficult to find words that begin with the less common letters.  Can you imagine coming up with 8 verses that all begin with the letter “X”?

“Xylophones I will use to praise your word,”

“Xerox your commandments onto my heart,”

“X-ray me with the truth of your laws”.

Now, I’m stuck and I had to resort to a dictionary.  The psalmist was clearly in love with Scripture, but not just Scripture in general, God’s laws, commands, rules, ordinances, statutes, decrees and precepts.  For the psalmist, that meant Leviticus, Numbers, Deuteronomy (and Genesis and Exodus).  Is that how you feel about Leviticus?  Perhaps not.

I’m going to start a series of blogs on Psalm 119 on Sundays, one verse each week.  It should take over 3 years to finish.

 What Psalm 119-ish verses in English can you think of for X or Z? 

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