Tuesday, May 29, 2018

The Greatness and Glory of God's Word

Psalm 119 refers to the revealed Word of God repeatedly and is mentioned in at least 171 of its 176 verses using different synonyms.

● Law
● Judgments
● Testimonies
● Commandments
● Statutes
● Precepts
● Word

Psalm 119 is an expansion of 

Psalm 19:7–9: “The law of the LORD is perfect, reviving the soul. The statutes of the LORD are trustworthy, making wise the simple. The precepts of the LORD are right, giving joy to the heart. The commands of the LORD are radiant, giving light to the eyes. The fear of the LORD is pure, enduring forever. The ordinances of the LORD are sure and altogether righteous.”

Psalm 119 refers to the revealed Word of God over and over again and is mentioned in at least 171 of its 176 verses using different synonyms.

There are 8 basic words used to describe the Word;

● Law (torah, used 25 times in Psalm 119)

● Word (dabar, used 24 times): The idea is of the spoken word, God’s revealed word to man.

● Judgments (mispatim, used 23 times): “From shaphat, to judge, determine, regulate, order, and discern, because they judge concerning our words and works; show the rules by which they should be regulated; and cause us to discern what is right and wrong, and decide accordingly.”

● Testimonies (edut/edot, used 23 times): This word is related to the word for witness. To obey His testimonies“signifies loyalty to the terms of the covenant made between the Lord and Israel.”

● Commandments (miswah/miswot, used 22 times): “This word emphasizes the straight authority of what is said . . . the right to give orders.”

● Statutes (huqqim, used 21 times): The noun is derived from the root verb “engrave” or “inscribe”; the idea is of the written word of God and the authority of His written word. “Declaring his authority and power of giving us laws.”

● Precepts (piqqudim, used 21 times): “This is a word drawn from the sphere of an officer or overseer, and man who is responsible to look closely into a situation and take action. . . . So the word points to the particular instructions of the Lord, as of one who cares about detail.”

● Word (imrah, used 19 times): Similar in meaning to dabar, yet a different term. “The ‘word’ may denote anything God has spoken, commanded, or promised.”

- From Enduring Word Bible Commentary

Psalm 119 is the longest chapter in the Bible. The author of Psalm 119 is unknown, but most scholars believe that David, Ezra, or Daniel wrote it. 

Psalm 119 affirms that God’s Word reflects the very character of God Himself.

1. Righteousness (verses 7, 62, 75, 106, 123, 138, 144, 160, 164, 172)

2. Trustworthiness (verse 42)

3. Truthfulness (verses 43, 142, 151, 160)

4. Faithfulness (verse 86)

5. Unchangeableness (verse 89)

6. Eternality (verses 90,152)

7. Light (verse 105)

8. Purity (verse 140)

The psalm is arranged in an acrostic pattern. Meaning that it is written so that each section is given a letter of the Hebrew alphabet and and each line in that section begins with that letter. There are 22 letters in the Hebrew alphabet, and this Psalm contains 22 sections of 8 verses each.

 1-8. The Blessing of Obedience.

Blessed... who walk in the law of the Lord. The theme of the psalm is here set forth clearly. Note that most of the ten synonyms for the law are used in this first strophe.

9-16. The Way of Cleansing.

Psalm 119:9 NIV
How can a young person stay on the path of purity? By living according to your word.

The answer to the problems of youth in any period of history is to heed God's Word by meditating on it and committing it to memory and by testifying concerning it to others.

Psalm 119:11, 13-13, 15 NIV I have hidden your word in my heart that I might not sin against you. With my lips I recount all the laws that come from your mouth. I meditate on your precepts and consider your ways.

17-24. The Delight of Experience.

Psalm 119:24 NIV
Your statutes are my delight; they are my counselors.

This delight is based upon his past experience with God in times of persecution. A note of sorrow and desire runs through this strophe, but the section ends in delight.

25-32. The Strength in Understanding.

Psalm 119:27 NIV
Cause me to understand the way of your precepts, that I may meditate on your wonderful deeds.

The peril confronting the psalmist makes him call for strength and comfort. He realizes that the quickening he desires comes from an understanding of God's teachings.

33-40. The Need for Guidance.

Psalm 119:33 NIV
Teach me, Lord , the way of your decrees, that I may follow it to the end.

In phrase after phrase, the speaker pleads for God's guidance in ordering his life and in refraining from folly.

41-48. The Courage for Witnessing.

Psalm 119:41-42 NIV
May your unfailing love come to me, Lord , your salvation, according to your promise; then I can answer anyone who taunts me, for I trust in your word.

This appeal for help is not selfish; it is inspired by a desire to have wherewith to answer him that reproached me. The speaker further declares that he will witness to kings without being ashamed.

49-56. The Source of Comfort.

Psalm 119:49-50 NIV
Remember your word to your servant, for you have given me hope. My comfort in my suffering is this: Your promise preserves my life.

In the time of affliction, God's teachings have been his stay and the songs in the house of my pilgrimage.

57-64. The Resolution of Faithfulness.

Psalm 119:57 NIV
You are my portion, Lord ; I have promised to obey your words.

Thinking upon his ways brought him to the point where he could turn his feet unto God's testimonies. His gratitude is evident in his promise to arise at midnight to thank God.

65-72. The Discipline of Affliction.

It is good for me that I have been afflicted. Having gone astray before his affliction, the psalmist now sees a beneficent purpose in his suffering.

73-80. The Justice of Retribution.

Psalm 119:78 NIV
May the arrogant be put to shame for wronging me without cause; but I will meditate on your precepts.

He pleads for God's blessings upon himself and shame upon his enemies. His end desire is that he may strengthen the faith of others.

81-88. The Hope in Darkness.

Psalm 119:81 NIV
My soul faints with longing for your salvation, but I have put my hope in your word.

In a succession of sobs, he expresses his hope and determination in his darkest hour. With each plea for comfort, he reiterates his desire to be faithful.

89-96. The Triumph of Faith.

Psalm 119:92 NIV
If your law had not been my delight, I would have perished in my affliction.

The hope of the preceding strophe becomes an assured victory here. He affirms that he will never forget God's precepts

Psalm 119:93 NIV I will never forget your precepts, for by them you have preserved my life.

Now the part that Pastor talked about on Sunday.

97-104. The Joy of Enlightenment.

Psalm 119:98-100 NIV
Your commands are always with me and make me wiser than my enemies. I have more insight than all my teachers, for I meditate on your statutes. I have more understanding than the elders, for I obey your precepts.

The psalmist describes how his study of the divine law has made him wiser and more understanding than his enemies, his teachers, and the aged. The emphasis is here upon the law itself, the source of knowledge rather than on native intelligence.

105-112. The Light of Life.

Psalm 119:105 NIV
Your word is a lamp for my feet, a light on my path.

His pilgrimage through life is under the guidance of God's teachings. He thus vows to follow the light wherever it may lead and whatever dangers may be involved.

113-120. The Inspiration of Loyalty.

Psalm 119:113-114 NIV
I hate double-minded people, but I love your law. You are my refuge and my shield; I have put my hope in your word.

This loyalty gives him a sense of safety and the inspiration to face the future.

121-128. The Time of Intervention.

Psalm 119:121-122, 126 NIV
I have done what is righteous and just; do not leave me to my oppressors. Ensure your servant’s well-being; do not let the arrogant oppress me. It is time for you to act, Lord ; your law is being broken.

After declaring that he has diligently followed the right, the psalmist appeals for action on God's part. So completely have his oppressors disregarded God's law that only divine judgment is left for them.

129-136. The Wonder of Illumination.

Psalm 119:129-130 NIV
Your statutes are wonderful; therefore I obey them. The unfolding of your words gives light; it gives understanding to the simple.

The greatest wonder is the inner light that gives understanding even to the unlearned man. The psalmist is brokenhearted over those who do not keep God's law.

137-144. The Challenge of Righteousness.

Psalm 119:137-138, 142, 144 NIV
You are righteous, Lord , and your laws are right. The statutes you have laid down are righteous; they are fully trustworthy. Your righteousness is everlasting and your law is true. Your statutes are always righteous; give me understanding that I may live.

Because the Lord is righteous, his judgments and testimonies, also, are everlastingly righteous.

145-152. Assurance from Prayer.

Psalm 119:145-146 NIV
I call with all my heart; answer me, Lord , and I will obey your decrees. I call out to you; save me and I will keep your statutes.

Recalling the many times he has prayed unceasingly for divine help, he cries again for God's quickening power. Then he reaffirms his faith in the Lord's nearness and the verity of His teaching.

153-160. Consciousness of Need.

Psalm 119:154, 156-156, 159 NIV Defend my cause and redeem me; preserve my life according to your promise. Your compassion, Lord , is great; preserve my life according to your laws. See how I love your precepts; preserve my life, Lord , in accordance with your love.

The severity of the speaker's affliction and his understanding of his personal need are clearly shown in the repetition of quicken me in verses 154, 156, and 159. The enduring nature of God's righteous judgments is his hope and assurance.

161-168. Peace in Love.

Psalm 119:165 NIV Great peace have those who love your law, and nothing can make them stumble.

Even in the presence of potent enemies, the psalmist has an inner peace that grows out of his love for God's way.

169-176. The Determination of Steadfastness.

Psalm 119:176 NIV I have strayed like a lost sheep. Seek your servant, for I have not forgotten your commands.

The psalmist sums up his message by pleading for further spiritual help, while declaring his intention to stand fast upon the foundation of God's teachings.

Throughout his affliction, the author clings to the truths he learns from the Scriptures

Psalm 119:89-91 (NKJV)89 Forever, O LORD, Your word is settled in heaven.90 Your faithfulness endures to all generations; You established the earth, and it abides.91 They continue this day according to Your ordinances, For all are Your servants.

His love for the Word of God and his dedication to remember it and live by it is a theme that is repeated over and over.

Psalm 119:11 (NKJV)11 Your word I have hidden in my heart, That I might not sin against You!

Psalm 119:15-16 (NKJV)15 I will meditate on Your precepts, And contemplate Your ways.16 I will delight myself in Your statutes; I will not forget Your word.

Psalm 119:24 (NKJV)24 Your testimonies also are my delight And my counselors.

Psalm 119:34 (NKJV)34 Give me understanding, and I shall keep Your law; Indeed, I shall observe it with my whole heart.

Psalm 119:44 (NKJV)44 So shall I keep Your law continually, Forever and ever.

Psalm 119:47 (NKJV)
47 And I will delight myself in Your commandments, Which I love.

Psalm 119:55 (NKJV)55 I remember Your name in the night, O LORD, And I keep Your law.

Psalm 119:60 (NKJV)60 I made haste, and did not delay To keep Your commandments.

These are the lessons for us in this great psalm. The Word of God is sufficient to make us wise, train us in righteousness, and equip us for every good work.

2 Timothy 3:15-17 (NKJV)15 and that from childhood you have known the Holy Scriptures, which are able to make you wise for salvation through faith which is in Christ Jesus.16 All Scripture is given by inspiration of God, and is profitable for doctrine, for reproof, for correction, for instruction in righteousness,17 that the man of God may be complete, thoroughly equipped for every good work.

The Scriptures are a reflection of God’s nature, and from them we learn that we can trust His character and His plan and purposes for mankind, even when those plans include affliction and persecution. Blessed indeed are we if our delight is in the law of the Lord, and on His law we meditate day and night

Psalm 1:1-2 (NKJV)1 Blessed is the man Who walks not in the counsel of the ungodly, Nor stands in the path of sinners, Nor sits in the seat of the scornful;2 But his delight is in the law of the LORD, And in His law he meditates day and night.

Bible Study Audio

No comments:

Post a Comment