Dumpster Diving for the Divine?

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Dumpster Diving for the Divine?

A woman accidentally threw her wedding rings out with the trash.

Colleen Dyckman, from Long Island, New York, USA, accidentally swept her engagement ring and wedding band into the garbage can while cooking for her family at home on Sunday evening.

On Monday morning, when the 48-year-old realized what had happened, she chased the garbage truck to the local dump.

She tearfully told the driver what had happened and begged several workers to help her to search for the rings.

 

The rings, which she had had for almost 20 years, also had huge sentimental value and were worth $5,000.

Miraculously, after she, her husband, and eight other trash employees searched for the local garbage dump for four hours, she managed to find them.

Everybody was very relieved for the success, but, understandably, the wife, being the most relieved, broke into tears of joy and thankfulness.[1]

 

Interesting—but Gross—Story, But…So What?

Now you may be thinking to yourself, interesting and disgusting story, Omar. Thanks for sharing– but what does that have to do with me?

 

To answer that question, let me ask you one of my own: what if every day, you went to God’s Word, the Bible with that same intensity? How do you think it would affect you?

 

A Word about “The Word”

The Bible has a lot to say about…well, itself, but I can think of no place more clear and direct than Psalm 119. The Old Testament book of Psalms is referred to as one of the “Wisdom Books”, which leads me to believe that we should all be diving into it (pun totally intended) daily.

 

Interestingly enough, this specific Psalm is the longest in the entire Bible (at a whopping 176 verses!) and it’s no coincidence that its’ subject is the Bible.

 

There are some pretty cool things about this specific Psalm that I’d love to share with you. Psalm 119 is arranged in an acrostic pattern. That means that there are 22 letters in the Hebrew alphabet, and this psalm contains 22 units of 8 verses each. Each of the 22 sections is given a letter of the Hebrew alphabet, and each line in that section begins with that letter.[2]

 

Tradition states that Kind David wrote this Psalm, but he used it to specifically teach his son, King Solomon, the alphabet.

 

In this psalm there are eight basic words used to describe the Scriptures, God’s written revelation to us:

  • Law(torah, used 25 times in Psalm 119): “Its parent verb means ‘teach’ or ‘direct’; therefore coming from God it means both ‘law’ and ‘revelation.’ It can be used of a single command or of a whole body of law.” (Derek Kidner)
  • Word(dabar, used 24 times): The idea is of the spoken word, God’s revealed word to man. “Proceeding from his mouth and revealed by him to us…” (Matthew Poole)
  • Judgments(mispatim, used 23 times): “…from shaphat, to judge, determine, regulate, order, and discern, because they judge concerning our words and works; show the rules by which they should be regulated; and cause us to discern what is right and wrong, and decide” (Adam Clarke)
  • Testimonies(edut/edot, used 23 times): This word is related to the word for witness. To obey His testimonies “…signifies loyalty to the terms of the covenant made between the Lord and Israel.” (Willem VanGemeren)
  • Commandments(miswah/miswot, used 22 times): “This word emphasizes the straight authority of what is said…the right to give orders.” (Derek Kidner)
  • Statutes(huqqim, used 21 times): The noun is derived from the root verb “engrave” or “inscribe”; the idea is the written word of God and the authority of His written word: “…declaring his authority and power of giving us laws.” (Matthew Poole)
  • Precepts(piqqudim, used 21 times): “This is a word drawn from the sphere of an officer or overseer, a man who is responsible to look closely into a situation and take action…. So the word points to the particular instructions of the Lord, as of one who cares about detail.” (Derek Kidner)
  • Word(imrah, used 19 times): Imrah is similar in meaning to dabar, yet a different term. “The ‘word’ may denote anything God has spoken, commanded, or promised.” (Willem VanGemeren)[3]

 

 

Now, people who know me would readily admit that many time my elevator doesn’t always go to the top floor, but even I can’t ignore the glaring point that God’s trying to make in this psalm: the Bible is really, really important and you should treat it accordingly!

 

One famous—and dead–Bible commentator wrote this about the Bible:

 

The Bible is a field where are concealed heavenly treasures, and they will remain hidden until, by diligent mining, they are discovered and brought to light. The Bible is a casket containing jewels of inestimable value, which should be so presented as to be seen in their intrinsic luster. But the beauty and excellence of these diamonds of truth are not discerned by the natural eye. The lovely things of the material world are not seen until the sun, dispelling the darkness, floods them with its light. And so with the treasures of God’s word; they are not appreciated until they are revealed by the Sun of Righteousness. . . . God cares for us as intelligent beings, and He has given us His word as a lamp to our feet and a light to our path. Its teachings have a vital bearing upon our prosperity in all the relations of life. Even in our temporal affairs, it will be a wiser guide than any other counselor. Its divine instruction points to the only way to true success. There is no social position, no phase of human experience, for which the study of the Bible is not an essential preparation.[4]

 

 

Light in the Darkness

So, in light of what the Bible, this commentator, and just plain common sense dictate, I’d like to share some of my favorite verses from this key chapter of the Bible.

Mem

97 Oh, how I love your instructions!
I think about them all day long.
98 Your commands make me wiser than my enemies,
for they are my constant guide.
99 Yes, I have more insight than my teachers,
for I am always thinking of your laws.
100 I am even wiser than my elders,
for I have kept your commandments.
101 I have refused to walk on any evil path,
so that I may remain obedient to your word.
102 I haven’t turned away from your regulations,
for you have taught me well.
103 How sweet your words taste to me;
they are sweeter than honey.
104 Your commandments give me understanding;
no wonder I hate every false way of life.

Nun

105 Your word is a lamp to guide my feet
and a light for my path.
106 I’ve promised it once, and I’ll promise it again:
I will obey your righteous regulations.
107 I have suffered much, O Lord;
restore my life again as you promised.
108 Lord, accept my offering of praise,
and teach me your regulations.
109 My life constantly hangs in the balance,
but I will not stop obeying your instructions.
110 The wicked have set their traps for me,
but I will not turn from your commandments.
111 Your laws are my treasure;
they are my heart’s delight.
112 I am determined to keep your decrees
to the very end.  Psalms 119: 97-112, NLT

 

 

A Challenge To You

I don’t know about you, but 2020 has dished out some serious and awful stuff, and I want to challenge you to daily read your Bible, and start with this psalm! Think about this psalm as an energy drink for your soul.

 

Then, make it a daily habit to dig into the Bible, as if you were searching for a diamond—because, in reality, you are! Rest assured that your time searching for the divine in the dumpster of this world will bring you gems of truth, much more valuable than any physical diamond.

 

Plus, you’ll definitely smell a lot better.

 

Happy dumpster diving!

______

Notes.

[1] Downloaded on October 5, 2020 from https://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-3941904/Woman-miraculously-finds-wedding-rings-huge-pile-garbage-accidentally-threw-trash.html

[2] Downloaded on October 5, 2020 from https://enduringword.com/bible-commentary/psalm-119/

[3] Downloaded on October 5, 2020 from https://enduringword.com/bible-commentary/psalm-119/

[4] Downloaded on October 5, 2020 from https://whiteestate.org/message/treasure.asp

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Omar Miranda, a counselor for more than 20 years, specializes in the diagnosis and treatment of sexual and pornography addiction. He was the editor/director of Insight Ministries for Adventist teens and has written numerous articles and books. Omar lives in very unplain Plainville, Georgia, with his wife and two children. Check him out at omarmiranda4.wix.com/mirandawrites.