WHAT IS AN ACROSTIC, ANYWAY?…Psalm 25

What is an acrostic, anyway?  Some psalms are acrostics.  The most famous one is Psalm 119, where the entire psalm is separated into sections of 8 verses making up 22 stanzas.  Each of the 8 verses in each stanza begins with the next letter of the Hebrew alphabet.  I think I’ve lost you.  Let me explain further.  For example, the first 8 verses all begin with the first letter of the Hebrew alphabet, ‘aleph’.  The next 8 begin with the Hebrew letter ‘bet’.  And so on for the entire length of the psalm covering all 22 Hebrew letters using each letter 8 times in each of the 22 sections.   The Word of God from A to Z, its perfection represented in the acrostic pattern.

The word ‘psalmos’ is from the Greek,  which translates the Hebrew ‘mizmor’ meaning ‘song’.   The Hebrew title for the psalms is ‘Tehillim’, meaning  ‘praises’.  Praise and singing… from beginning to end.  But I thought I asked you to read Psalm 25?

Psalm 25 is another acrostic–each verse begins with the next letter of the Hebrew alphabet.  Unlike Psalm 119, this one is an irregular acrostic.  They don’t follow the A to Z pattern exactly.  Here the ‘w’ is missing, ‘r’ is where ‘q’ should be, 2 verses begin with the same letter ‘p’.  Irregular.  Far from perfect. Why?  Who knows?

Let me offer a couple of guesses.  David was a man after God’s own heart.  He loved the Lord… and the Lord was crazy about him!  He sought the Lord.  He poured out his heart to Him when his friends had forsaken him.  The Lord and David were close.  And yet…you know, David committed some horrible sins in his life.  Adultery, murder, lying to you-name-it.  His life in the Lord had many irregularities.   As imperfect as you can be, but lived for the Lord.  Like his acrostics.  Those poems he wrote to the Lord.

Their pattern was like the pattern of his life.  And my life.  Nothing worse than being around someone who is proud of how wonderful a Christian they are!  Who exudes their own self-righteousness.  Deliver me!

Anyone who knows me even for a few days will discover that I love the Lord, and genuinely want to serve Him.  But, I’m like David’s acrostic.  Imperfect as can be.  Surprisingly so, considering I’ve been a believer for over 50 years and a pastor almost as long.   I miss the mark of God’s standard every single day of my life.  Without exception.   Nothing to boast about.  I love Psalm 25:7–‘Remember not the sins of my youth or my transgressions; according to your steadfast love remember me, for the sake of your goodness’…

My sins make me imperfect,  but His forgiveness washes me as clean as new fallen snow.   And you too!

Prayer:  Lord, thank you that, as imperfect as I am, you love me just as I am.  In Jesus’ name.  Amen.

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