Psalm 119 is the longest chapter in the Bible. Every verse, except three, refer to the word of God. It is divided into 22 sections. Each section contains eight verses. Each section corresponds to one of the twenty-two letters in the Hebrew alphabet. There are many references to the word of God in this chapter. As we study this chapter, write down or highlight each reference.
We will be studying Psalm 119 for the month of January.
This week we will examine sections 7-12. We will see how the psalmist dealt with affliction and persecutions.
The goal is for each of us to have a greater appreciation for the word of God.
8) The earth, O Lord, is full of thy mercy (57-64)
57 Thou art my portion, O Lord: I have said that I would keep thy words.58 I intreated thy favor with my whole heart: be merciful unto me according to thy word.59 I thought on my ways, and turned my feet unto thy testimonies.60 I made haste, and delayed not to keep thy commandments.61 The bands of the wicked have robbed me: but I have not forgotten thy law.62 At midnight I will rise to give thanks unto thee because of thy righteous judgments.63 I am a companion of all them that fear thee, and of them that keep thy precepts.64 The earth, O Lord, is full of thy mercy: teach me thy statutes.
The psalmist acknowledges God’s mercy on his life and the earth’s. He states that he keeps, turns to, makes haste, has not forgotten, gives thanks for, fears, and desires to be taught God’s word. What a tremendous desire!
However, the wicked robbed him. Did he quit on God or His word? No! He stated he had not forgotten thy law.
When bad things happen to us, do we seek revenge, devise our own ways of rectifying the situation, or remember what God says to do. Then do it. Love, mercy, grace come to mind.
9) Teach me good judgment (65-72)
65 Thou hast dealt well with thy servant, O Lord, according unto thy word. 66 Teach me good judgment and knowledge: for I have believed thy commandments.67 Before I was afflicted I went astray: but now have I kept thy word.68 Thou art good, and doest good; teach me thy statutes. 69 The proud have forged a lie against me: but I will keep thy precepts with my whole heart.70 Their heart is as fat as grease; but I delight in thy law. 71 It is good for me that I have been afflicted; that I might learn thy statutes. 72 The law of thy mouth is better unto me than thousands of gold and silver.
How many of us would say that it is good to be afflicted? The psalmist did. Why? So that he could learn thy statutes. The psalmist wanted God to teach him good judgment and statutes. Through the trials, he continued to believe, keep, learn, and delight in God’s word. Nothing could keep him away.
What keeps us away? Why don’t we have a desire to daily search, keep, delight in, and learn the Scriptures?
Tom Stearns, WASI Chaplain, 907 715-4001 firstname.lastname@example.org