Today is going to be the first of a three or four part series on a study of Psalm 119. Known as the longest chapter in the entire Bible, it runs a full 176 verses and in the original language is an acrostic poem. An acrostic poem is one where each verse begins with a certain letter to create a pattern. This psalm is divided into twenty-two parts, one of each letter of the Hebrew language, and every verse in a particular section begins with the same letter. Translated into English, it doesn't have the same effect, because it doesn't keep the acrostic form, but even in my language, there is still a remarkable power in this psalm that is focused on keeping God's Word, which throughout are also referred to as: laws, commandments, regulations, commands, and decrees. The theme is that when we begin reading His Word, we will fall in love with it and Him.
While reading through Psalm 119 the other night, I was struck by all of the benefits God promises us will come from reading, studying, obeying, and meditating on His Word. I started taking notes, and that's what I want to share with you over the next few days.
First, go read the Psalm here. If the NLT isn't your version, feel free to change it to your chosen translation, but please go read it before going any farther...
Done? If not, seriously, go read it! If you are finished, great! Here we go!
The writer of this Psalm (we don't know just who it was) was deeply in love with God's Word, and he gives a wonderful list of benefits that come from reading it:
- It will make us joyful. This is the most popular promise, appearing in verses 2, 92, and 143.
- It will help us remain pure. Verse 9
- It will revive us. This promise also appears three times, in verses 25, 149, and 156.
- It will encourage us. Verse 28
- It will give us life. This is the last promise appearing three times: verses 37, 93, and 144
- It will make us free. Verse 45
- It gives comfort. Verse 52
- It will fill us with delight. This promise appears twice: verses 77 and 174
- It gives us understanding. Verse 104
- It will give us light. Verse 130
- It will give us great peace. Verse 165
- It will give us help. Verse 175
- It is where our happiness is found. Verse 35
- It will keep us from stumbling. Verse 105
- It will help us to answer those who seek to harm us. Verse 42
- It is our only hope. Verse 43
- It is our constant guide. Verse 98
- It will be a lamp for our feet and a light for our path. Verse 105
- It will be our treasure and heart's delight. Verse 111
- It is our source of hope. Verse 114
- It is a guide for our steps and will keep us from evil. Verse 133