Psalm 119 concentrates on the perfection of God's law. This psalm proclaims the magnificence of God's word in nearly every verse! The overall theme seems to be a prayer for steadfastness and deliverance--through God's word--from struggles and the ungodly.
In our prior feature lesson, we summarized the first half of Psalm 119 as follows: Psalm 119 concentrates on the perfection of God's law. This psalm proclaims the magnificence of God's word in nearly every verse! The overall theme seems to be a prayer for steadfastness and deliverance--through God's word--from struggles and the ungodly.
In our prior feature lesson, we summarized the first half of Psalm 119 as follows:
Let us continue our consideration of this acrostic psalm at this time. Again, when I read the text below I will also read the corresponding Hebrew letter that begins each paragraph. Additionally, I have again marked certain terms in bold to illustrate the great emphasis (in almost every verse) upon God's revealed word.
LAMED - Psalm 119:89-96:
"Forever, O LORD, Your word is settled in heaven. Your faithfulness endures to all generations; You established the earth and it abides. They continue this day according to Your ordinances, for all are Your servants. Unless Your law had been my delight, I would then have perished in my affliction. I will never forget Your precepts, for by them You have given me life. I am Yours, save me; for I have sought Your precepts. The wicked wait for me to destroy me, but I will consider Your testimonies. I have seen the consummation of all perfection, but Your commandment is exceedingly broad."
MEM - Psalm 119:97-104:
"Oh, how I love Your law! It is my meditation all the day. You, through Your commandments, make me wiser than my enemies; for they are ever with me. I have more understanding than all my teachers, for Your testimonies are my meditation. I understand more than the ancients. Because I keep Your precepts. I have restrained my feet from every evil way, that I may keep Your word. I have not departed from Your judgments, for You Yourself have taught me. How sweet are Your words to my taste, sweeter than honey to my mouth! Through Your precepts I get understanding; therefore I hate every false way."
NUN - Psalm 119:105-112:
"Your word is a lamp to my feet and a light to my path. I have sworn and confirmed that I will keep Your righteous judgments. I am afflicted very much; revive me, O LORD, according to Your word. Accept, I pray, the freewill offerings of my mouth, O LORD, and teach me Your judgments. My life is continually in my hand, yet I do not forget Your law. The wicked have laid a snare for me, yet I have not strayed from Your precepts. Your testimonies I have taken as a heritage forever, for they are the rejoicing of my heart. I have inclined my heart to perform Your statutes forever, to the very end."
SAMEK - Psalm 119:113-120:
"I hate the double-minded, but I love Your law. You are my hiding place and my shield; I hope in Your word. Depart from me, you evildoers, for I will keep the commandments of my God! Uphold me according to Your word, that I may live; and do not let me be ashamed of my hope. Hold me up, and I shall be safe, and I shall observe Your statutes continually. You reject all those who stray from Your statutes, for their deceit is falsehood. You put away all the wicked of the earth like dross; therefore I love Your testimonies. My flesh trembles for fear of You, and I am afraid of Your judgments."
AYIN - Psalm 119:121-128:
"I have done justice and righteousness; do not leave me to my oppressors. Be surety for Your servant for good; do not let the proud oppress me. My eyes fail from seeking Your salvation and Your righteous word. Deal with Your servant according to Your mercy, and teach me Your statutes. I am Your servant; give me understanding, that I may know Your testimonies. It is time for You to act, O LORD, for they have regarded Your law as void. Therefore I love Your commandments more than gold, yes, than fine gold! Therefore all Your precepts concerning all things I consider to be right; I hate every false way."
PE - Psalm 119:129-136:
"Your testimonies are wonderful; therefore my soul keeps them. The entrance of Your words gives light; it gives understanding to the simple. I opened my mouth and panted, for I longed for Your commandments. Look upon me and be merciful to me, as Your custom is toward those who love Your name. Direct my steps by Your word. And let no iniquity have dominion over me. Redeem me from the oppression of man, that I may keep Your precepts. Make Your face shine upon Your servant, and teach me Your statutes. Rivers of water run down from my eyes, because men do not keep Your law."
TSADDE - Psalm 119:137-144:
"Righteous are You, O LORD, and upright are Your judgments. Your testimonies, which You have commanded, are righteous and very faithful. My zeal has consumed me, because my enemies have forgotten Your words. Your word is very pure; therefore Your servant loves it. I am small and despised, yet I do not forget Your precepts. Your righteousness is an everlasting righteousness, and Your law is truth. Trouble and anguish have overtaken me, yet Your commandments are my delights. The righteousness of Your testimonies is everlasting; give me understanding, and I shall live."
QOPH - Psalm 119:145-152:
"I cry with my whole heart; hear me, O LORD! I will keep Your statutes. I cry out to You; save me, and I will keep Your testimonies. I rise before the dawning of the morning, and cry for help; I hope in Your word. My eyes are awake through the night watches, that I may meditate on Your word. Hear my voice according to Your lovingkindness; O LORD, revive me according to Your justice. They draw near who follow after wickedness; they are far from Your law. You are near, O LORD, and all Your commandments are truth. Concerning Your testimonies, I have known of old that You have founded them forever."
RESH - Psalm 119:153-160:
"Consider my affliction and deliver me, for I do not forget Your law. Plead my cause and redeem me; revive me according to Your word. Salvation is far from the wicked, for they do not seek Your statutes. Great are Your tender mercies, O LORD; revive me according to Your judgments. Many are my persecutors and my enemies, yet I do not turn from Your testimonies. I see the treacherous, and am disgusted, because they do not keep Your word. Consider how I love Your precepts; revive me, O LORD, according to Your lovingkindness. The entirety of Your word is truth, and every one of Your righteous judgments endures forever."
SHIN - Psalm 119:161-168:
"Princes persecute me without a cause, but my heart stands in awe of Your word. I rejoice at Your word as one who finds great treasure. I hate and abhor lying, but I love Your law. Seven times a day I praise You, because of Your righteous judgments. Great peace have those who love Your law, and nothing causes them to stumble. LORD, I hope for Your salvation, and I do Your commandments. My soul keeps Your testimonies, and I love them exceedingly. I keep Your precepts and Your testimonies, for all my ways are before You."
TAU - Psalm 119:169-176:
"Let my cry come before You, O LORD; give me understanding according to Your word. Let my supplication come before You; deliver me according to Your word. My lips shall utter praise, for You teach me Your statutes. My tongue shall speak of Your word, for all Your commandments are righteousness. Let Your hand become my help, for I have chosen Your precepts. I long for Your salvation, O LORD, and Your law is my delight. Let my soul live, and it shall praise You; and let Your judgments help me. I have gone astray like a lost sheep; seek Your servant, for I do not forget Your commandments."
What a powerful psalm! The last eleven sections of Psalm 119 can be summarized as follows:
The inspired writer certainly does a masterful job in Psalm 119 in extolling the excellence of the word of God. God's word helps keep us from sin. It encourages us, produces reverence, and provides hope. It promotes gratitude as it gives wisdom, direction, and life. The psalmist viewed God's word as perfect, and indeed it is! Followers of Christ today must adopt this attitude toward the inspired word of Almighty God.
Thank you for listening, and may the Lord bless you as you strive to do His will.