Give Me a More Powerful Imagination! | Psalm 119
We’ve been looking through the frames of the word-brushed paintings of God’s life-creating power in Genesis 1-3 as we read Psalm 119.
Psalm 119 is the longest psalm and the longest chapter in the entire Bible, and every verse is a mediation or prayer about our need for the power of God’s word. So the longest psalm and the longest chapter in the Bible is about the Bible.
But it’s not just information. It’s art. It’s arranged as an acrostic poem where each of the 22 letters in the Hebrew alphabet has 8 stanzas (verses), and each stanza begins with that Hebrew letter. It looks quite artistic when you look at the actual Hebrew text.
Imagery and Imagination are essential if you’re going to desire God and want to live by his promises and his word. Advertisements appeal to your imagination because they know that imagination is more powerful than information in creating our desires. That’s why ads are heavy on image and usually absent of information. Almost all advertisements have this basic message: “Imagine having this or doing this or being this!” God created us as powerfully imaginative beings, and it’s why the word of God is filled with compelling imagery and imagination.
One of the most repeated prayers throughout Psalm 119 is for God to “give me life” through the life-creating power of his word. And the ancient imagery from Genesis 1-2 provides a compelling, imagination-filled meditation on how God’s word gives us life by his Spirit.
Genesis 1:1–3 NIV
1 In the beginning God created the heavens and the earth. 2 Now the earth was formless and empty, darkness was over the surface of the deep, and the Spirit of God was hovering over the waters. 3 And God said, “Let there be light,” and there was light.
Genesis 2:7 NIV
Then the LORD God formed a man from the dust of the ground and breathed into his nostrils the breath of life, and the man became a living being.
But in this episode, we will bring alongside our Genesis imagery another Spirit-brushed painting of God’s life-creating word in Ezekiel 37:1-14.
Ezekiel 37:1–14 NIV
1 The hand of the LORD was on me, and he brought me out by the Spirit of the LORD and set me in the middle of a valley; it was full of bones. 2 He led me back and forth among them, and I saw a great many bones on the floor of the valley, bones that were very dry. 3 He asked me, “Son of man, can these bones live?” I said, “Sovereign LORD, you alone know.” 4 Then he said to me, “Prophesy to these bones and say to them, ‘Dry bones, hear the word of the LORD! 5 This is what the Sovereign LORD says to these bones: I will make breath enter you, and you will come to life. 6 I will attach tendons to you and make flesh come upon you and cover you with skin; I will put breath in you, and you will come to life. Then you will know that I am the LORD.’ ” 7 So I prophesied as I was commanded. And as I was prophesying, there was a noise, a rattling sound, and the bones came together, bone to bone. 8 I looked, and tendons and flesh appeared on them and skin covered them, but there was no breath in them. 9 Then he said to me, “Prophesy to the breath; prophesy, son of man, and say to it, ‘This is what the Sovereign LORD says: Come, breath, from the four winds and breathe into these slain, that they may live.’ ” 10 So I prophesied as he commanded me, and breath entered them; they came to life and stood up on their feet—a vast army. 11 Then he said to me: “Son of man, these bones are the people of Israel. They say, ‘Our bones are dried up and our hope is gone; we are cut off.’ 12 Therefore prophesy and say to them: ‘This is what the Sovereign LORD says: My people, I am going to open your graves and bring you up from them; I will bring you back to the land of Israel. 13 Then you, my people, will know that I am the LORD, when I open your graves and bring you up from them. 14 I will put my Spirit in you and you will live, and I will settle you in your own land. Then you will...