Mar. 11, 2018

More On Psalm 119

In Bible College, about 20 years ago, we were blessed with a teaching on Psalm 119. It was fascinating! I don't recall who the professor was or I would give him or her credit. Prior to that time in my life I didn't know how to study the Bible. The lessons on Psalm 119 were a good introduction for me. I learned that a particular topic could be studied like peace, salvation, tithing or ministering to the poor. Or a word study could be done concerning the origin of the primary words used in a passage. Or a particular individual or family could be studied. It was all so intriguing!

One of the particulars that the professor mentioned about Psalm 119 concerned words. The entire Psalm is the longest chapter and expresses the deepest reverence for the Word of God. There are 10 words (in the King James Version) that are used repeatedly throughout the Psalm. One or more of the Words, which represents the Word of God, appears in nearly all of the 176 verses.  I believe there are only 3 verses that don't contain one or more of the 10 words. The 3 verses are 90, 122 and 132.

The 10 words (or variations of the words) representing the Word of God are Commandments, Judgments, Law, Ordinances, Precepts, Righteousness, Statutes, Testimonies, Way and Word.

There are numerous interesting studies that can be observed from this Psalm. One of them has to do with what the writer requests.

11 times he mentions being quickened or made alive or given life. The requests to be 'quickened' are generally according to the Lord's Word. The writer doesn't just want renewed life but he desires life that has its origin in the Word of God. Or he acknowledges that the Word of God has quickened him. Or he asks to be quickened according to or in the manner of one of the Lord's favorable attributes (We know the Lord doesn't have any charateristics that are unfavorable). These are the verses I noted where the author acknowledges the life-giving power of God's Word: 25, 37, 40, 50, 66, 93, 107, 149, 154, 156 and 159.

9 times the writer speaks of being taught in the Word. Many people don't understand the wisdom of God's Word. They look to so many other sources to gain knowledge. But through the Lord's Words Wisdom, Knowledge and Understanding are readily available.

4 times the writer asks to be delivered. For many folks that is the primary topic of their conversations with the Lord. "Oh Lord, please deliver me!" But in this Psalm I only see 4 times where deliverance is requested. The writer understands that to be given life through the Word and being taught in the Word are much more advantageous than just asking the Lord for yet another favor. The Lord delights in delivering His people but that should not be the main petition every time we approach Him.

In your study time, look at how often the author of Psalm 119 uses the word 'delight' or some form of it. To help you get started I will tell you the first one I noted and the last one. They are verse 16 and verse 174. The Psalmist found the Law of God to be a DELIGHT! Some people avoid God's commandments because they think He is going to tell them something they don't want to hear. But our Father is all wise and He is always right. So why wouldn't a person want to hear and heed whatever He has to say?

Wisdom listens and then acts positively on what was said. Be wise in the Word!