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Psalm 119 – The Word of God

I am currently working on another blog entry called simply “Why I Believe the Bible.”  However, in my daily reading today, I came to Psalm 119 again.  It is the longer single chapter in the Bible and longer than several books of the Bible.  It is also the single greatest summary of the the attributes and benefits of God’s word.  So, before I get into Why I Believe the Bible, it makes sense to take a couple of minutes to look at God’s word.

Psalm 119 says numerous times that we should meditate on God’s Word and store it in our hearts.  Part of that includes examining what this Psalm says about God’s Word.

Psalm 119 uses several different terms for God’s word.  My ESV Study Bible (which is an excellent resource which I highly recommend) includes a nifty little table which distinguishes the meaning of each:

English Hebrew Meaning
Law torah Instruction
Testimonies ‘edot What God solemnly testifies to be his will
Precepts piqqudim What God had appointed to be done
Statutes khuqqim; khuqqot What the divine lawgiver has laid down
Commandments mitswot What God has commanded
Rules mishpatim What the divine judge has ruled to be right
Word ‘imrah; dabar What God has spoken

A while back I did another post called “God’s Word….” (Http://waynestocks.com/2008/10/15/gods-word/) in which I listed out 100 different attributes or descriptions of God’s Word with scriptural references.  Many of them were from Psalm 119, but I thought it would be good to lis just the descriptions of God’s Word found in this Psalm.  It is described as:

  • My delight [v. 24]
  • A counselor [v. 24]
  • Good [v. 39]
  • Truth [v. 43, 142, 151, 160]
  • Comfort [v. 50]
  • Better than gold and silver [v. 72]
  • Righteous [v. 75, 144, 160, 164]
  • Sure [v. 86]
  • Eternal [v. 89, 152]
  • Life giving [v. 93]
  • Sweeter than honey [v. 103]
  • A lamp to our feet [v. 105]
  • A light to our path [v. 105]
  • Right [v. 128, 137, 172]
  • Wonderful [v. 129]
  • Illuminating [v. 130]
  • Well tried [v. 129]

I particularly like “well tried.”  The Bible has been “tried” for thousands of years by millions and millions of people and never found wanting or inadequate.

So, now that we know a little about the terms for God’s Word, and what God’s word is, what does Psalm 119 say we should do about it?  This Psalm says we should:

  • Keep it [v. 4, 8, 22, 33, 34, 67, 69, 87, 88, 100, 101, 102, 106, 110, 115, 129, 134, 146, 157, 158, 166, 167, 168]
  • Learn it [v. 7, 73, 108, 124, 135, 171]
  • Memorize and remember it [v. 11, 16, 61, 83, 93, 98, 109, 141, 153, 176]
  • Store it [v. 11]
  • Declare it [v. 13]
  • Delight in it [v. 14, 16, 24, 35, 47, 70, 77, 92, 143, 174]
  • Meditate on it [v. 15, 23, 27, 48, 78, 97, 99, 148]
  • Behold it [v. 18]
  • Long for it [v. 20, 40, 131]
  • Set it before us [v. 30]
  • Cling to it [v. 31]
  • Run in the way of it [v. 32]
  • Trust in it [v. 42]
  • Hope in it [v. 42, 49, 74, 81, 114, 147]
  • Seek it [v. 45, 94, 155]
  • Love it [v.47, 48, 113, 119, 127, 140, 159, 163, 167]
  • Lift up our hands towards it [v. 48]
  • Take comfort in it [v. 50, 52]
  • Turn your feet to it (act on it) [v.59]
  • Believe it [v. 66]
  • Consider it [v. 95, 128]
  • Live in it [v. 107]
  • Take joy in it [v. 111]
  • Have regard for it [v. 117]
  • Long for its fulfillment [v. 123]
  • Know it [v. 125]
  • Stand in awe of it [v. 161]
  • Rejoice in it [v. 162]
  • Give God praise for it [v. 164]
  • Have peace in it [v. 165]
  • Find understanding in it [v. 169]
  • Sing of it [v. 172]
  • Choose it [v. 173]

It is not enough just to read God’s Word, we must choose it and follow it.  We follow our Lord Jesus Christ, and the way we know him is through the Word of God.  We should always pray that God will use his word in our lives in the manner of Hebrews 4:12:

For the word of God is living and active, sharper than any two-edged sword, piercing to the division of soul and of spirit, of joints and of marrow, and discerning the thoughts and intentions of the heart. [Hebrews 4:12]

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3 Comments

  1. lonnie

    U got a lot out of psalm

  2. peggy

    This is great thank you -I am using these lists in my Bible class this morning!

    • Wayne Stocks

      I’m glad you found them useful!