The Word of God in Psalm 119

Psalm 119 is an Acrostic Psalm.  It consists of 176 verses, divided into 22 groups of eight verses each.  In the original Hebrew the eight verses of each group begin with the same letter of the Hebrew alphabet.  For example: the first eight verses each begin with the Aleph (A), the second eight with the Beth (B); and so on through the whole Psalm.

Acrostichion or Acrostic is a figure of speech of repetition of the same letter at the beginning of words or clauses used by God to draw our attention to the importance of a certain passage of Scripture.  In Psalm 119 our attention is drawn to the entire Psalm which focuses on the greatness of the Word of God.

Every verse in Psalm 119 (all 176 of them) mentions the Word of God.  A verse may refer to thy law, thy testimonies, thy precepts, thy statutes, thy commandments, thy judgments, or thy way; but every verse focuses on the Word.

The Whole Heart

Psalm 119:2
Blessed are they that keep his testimonies, and that seek him with the whole heart.

God blesses us when we keep His Word and seek Him with our whole heart.  God cannot be relegated to a small corner of our life such as "Sunday morning" or only at fellowship.  The heart is the inner most part of your being.  It is what makes you you.  It is your innermost thought:  The deepest part of you.  We must seek God and hold His Word with our whole heart.

We are to seek God's Word with our whole heart.  We are to keep God's Word with our whole being.  We ask God for His divine favor and we find it in His wonderful Word.  When the world around us is contrary, we focus our hearts on His Word.  And we cry unto God to help us understand His Word and to help us keep it with our whole heart.

God's Word is Very Valuable

Psalm 119:11
Thy word have I hid in mine heart, that I might not sin against thee.

We seek God's Word with our whole heart and then hide that Word deep in our souls.  We hide it as if it were a precious treasure.  We keep it close.  We hold it fast. We lock it deep in our hearts so that we are continually in fellowship with our loving heavenly father.

The Word of God is more valuable to us than all the riches in the world.  We love His word and rejoice in it as much as we would if we found a great treasure.  If we were to be given a great sum of money we would call all our friends and relatives and have a big party.  We would be so excited and thrilled that we would tell everyone we saw about our good fortune.  We must have that kind of attitude of rejoicing about the value of God's Word.

We Meditate in God's Word

Psalm 119:15
I will meditate in thy precepts, and have respect unto thy ways.

The word meditate in this verse means to murmur or ponder.  We continually run the Word of God through our thoughts.  We "murmur" it to ourselves.  As we hold the treasure of God's wonderful Word in our whole hearts we can meditate in that Word by continually reciting it quietly to ourselves throughout the day and into the night.

The princes and proud of this world may speak against us and deal perversely with us but our focus must remain on God's Word.  As we continually rehearse God's Word to ourselves day and night we will have "more understanding than all our teachers" and we will find ourselves holding the treasure of God's Word.

We Delight in God's Word

Psalm 119:16
I will delight myself in thy statues: I will not forget thy word.

The word delight in this verse means to look upon, to please yourself with, or to fondle.  The Word of God is so special to us that we want to hold it and look at it and handle it.  It is precious.  It is that which causes us great sensual delight.

A Longing Hunger for God's Word

To seek God's Word with our whole heart; To hide it like a treasure in our soul;  To meditate upon that Word day and night; To delight ourselves in that precious Word; all are ways to express the hunger with which we long for the food of God's Word.

Psalm 119:20
My soul breaketh for the longing that it hath unto thy judgments at all times.

When our desire (longing) for a knowledge of God and His wonderful Word is so great that it hurts; when we want His Word that much, we can be assured that our hunger will be satisfied by the nourishment God's Word supplies.

Psalm 119:40
Behold, I have longed after thy precepts: quicken me in thy righteousness.

The old English word quicken means to make alive.  Our longing hunger is filled by the knowledge of God's Word which gives us life.  God's Word is the necessary food needed by our souls to have the kind of full satisfying life that God planned for us.

Psalm 119:131
I opened my mouth, and panted: for I longed for thy commandments.

Just as a dog pants in anticipation of its meal, we, with great longing, open our mouth in anticipation of God's wonderful Word.

Psalm 119:103
How sweet are thy words unto my taste! yea, sweeter than honey to my mouth!

 God's Help is Needed
Our attitude toward God's Word will determine our spirituality.  We must seek a knowledge of His Word with our whole heart.  We must hide it like a treasure in our heart.  That means we must read it!  We must study it.  We must put it in our mind.  We meditate upon His Word running it continually through our thoughts.  We delight in handling His Word.  It is precious to us.  We hunger to be filled with the food of God's Word.

Finally, we must have God's help if we are to truly know His Word.  We have the written Word and we have the ability to read and study it.  With God's help we can know that which He has given us.  SO ASK HIM to help.  Go to God with humility and seek His help in understanding His Word.  He authored it.  He will help you to learn it.  If David, who wrote this great psalm needed God's help to gain a knowledge of God, then maybe we do too.

This study barely scratches the surface of the wonderful truths recorded in Psalm 119.  Read it.  Study it. Rejoice in God's Word.  And may God order your steps in His life giving Word.

As cold waters to a thirsty soul, so is good news from a far country. Proverbs 25:25
August, 1997
Michael Cortright