Thursday, July 26, 2012

Spoils of War

“I rejoice at Your word, as one who finds great spoil.” Psalm 119:162 NASB 

“I rejoice at Thy word, as one who finds great spoil.” RSV

“I am jubilant over thy promise, like a man carrying off much booty.” NEB

“I rejoice at your word like one who finds great spoil.” KJV

“I rejoice in your promise like one who finds great spoil.” NIV

“I rejoice in your laws like one who finds a great treasure.” The Living Bible

“I rejoice in your promise like on who finds great spoil.” TNIV

Do we really?

I don’t understand why this verse caught my attention, but it led me to look in almost all the versions of the Bible I have lying around the house. But as shown above, it seems to be unanimous that the person who penned this line in the longest Psalm, Psalm119, compares the study of God’s word to finding a spoil of war after a great battle.
Here in the 21st century we have no idea what that would be like.

But perhaps I can try to frame it for you: you are a solder with a sword and shield, and you have just survived multiple hand to hand battles, in the heat of the day, with sweat running down your back and in your eyes.  You are exhausted and dusty, your arm is aching, your shoulder hurts, an you are panting for breath; yet you revive as you hear victory shouts and realize the enemy is dropping their weapons and running away. Victory!  And you are grateful to think you are still alive.  You and your fellow solders gather together to collect what the foreign army has left behind: food, clothing, more weapons, and bags of gold and silver items looted from other settlements along their path into your land.  This will be passes out to each of your comrades to take home as a bonus.  What joy, for you know your life will be a little easier because God gave not only victory, but a gift for the sacrifice of leaving your farm and family to defend your country, beyond just your own saved life.

Can we look at learning the Word of God as worthy of the struggle in our stressed out lives to see knowledge of scripture, once gained, as if it is gold, silver, precious stones: war-booty?

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