Psalm 119 – In praise of simplicity

Today’s Reading:  Psalm 119

Ok, if you have been reading through the Bible with me in Chronological order you should know that I was supposed to read Psalm 119 on July 12th, two days ago.  I have to admit, the pressures of the day, a heavier workload at work and other concerns have distracted me from my routine of reading first thing in the morning.  That failure to read first thing in the morning has set me back a few days.  I am trying to catch up and should do so in another day or so.  How are you doing on your reading?  Are you still with us?

Psalm 119 – some odds and ends

  • Psalm 119 is an interesting psalm for a few reasons:
  • it is often cited as being right near the middle of the Bible. Psalm 117 is the middle with 594 chapters before and after it. 
  • Psalm 117 is the shortest chapter with only two verses while Psalm 119 is the longest chapter in the Bible with over 176 verses.
  • The psalm is broken up into 22 stanzas of 8 verses each.  Each stanza starts with a different letter of the Hebrew alphabet.
  • Nearly every verse in Psalm 119 mention God’s Word. (exception vs. 122 and 132)
  • The author of Psalm 119 is not clear.  Jewish tradition and rabbinical teaching mostly ascribes authorship to David with a few dissenting to say that Ezra was the author.
  • Psalm 119 is sometimes analyzed to study its numerology content.  By some, it is believed that the number of words used and the formation of the sentences holds a deeper meaning. Here is a very complex example
  • Psalm 119 is sometime analyzed for its literary content.  Is it a poem or a psalm or wisdom?
  • Some have tied Psalm 119 to 9/11

I don’t care about the odds and ends

To be honest with you I care very little about all the information in the list above.  I don’t care if you can calculate dates or time or if Psalm 119 is 9/11 backwards.  I don’t even care who wrote it.  Sure it is mildly interesting that it is the longest chapter in the Bible.  Sure the use of the Hebrew alphabet gives it an interesting structure.  Nonetheless, for me the interesting aspect is the truth that contained there.  174 of the 176 verses sing praises of God’s Word, Precepts, Laws, Truths, Statutes, Ways, Decrees, Commands, Laws etc.

Let’s just look at the first 8 verses of Psalm 119:

ʾ Aleph

    1 Blessed are they whose ways are blameless,
       who walk according to the law of the LORD.

    2 Blessed are they who keep his statutes
       and seek him with all their heart.

    3 They do nothing wrong;
       they walk in his ways.

    4 You have laid down precepts
       that are to be fully obeyed.

    5 Oh, that my ways were steadfast
       in obeying your decrees!

    6 Then I would not be put to shame
       when I consider all your commands.

    7 I will praise you with an upright heart
       as I learn your righteous laws.

    8 I will obey your decrees;
       do not utterly forsake me

By following the teaching of God’s Word we learn the following:

  • vs 1 – we are blameless
  • vs. 2 – we are blessed
  • vs. 3 – we can do nothing wrong

We learn about God’s Word the following

  • vs. 4 – God’s Word is to be fully obeyed

We learn of the author’s response to these truths

  • vs. 5 – 6 – He desires to obey all the words of the Lord
  • vs 7 – He desires to use his obedience to God’s word as a form of praise
  • vs. 8 – He desires to obey as a means to seek favor with God.

Take some time today to go through the other 168 verses of Psalm 119 and learn how this author (whoever he was) simply wants to celebrate the truth of God’s word.  He wants to celebrate the wonder of God’s law.  He wants to so much demonstrate his love for God through obedience to His word. 

Hasn’t this been our goal this whole year as we read through the Bible?  Haven’t wanted to learn his Word and apply it to our life?

From the beginning of our adventure I have used this verse to motivate me as I read through the Bible this year.

2 Timothy 3:16 (NASB)

All Scripture is inspired by God and profitable for teaching, for reproof, for correction, for training in righteousness

About plimtuna

I am just an average guy trying to find his way along this journey of life. I am definitely middle aged. I am definitely happily married with a wife and two children. Personally, I have a passion for things eternal. Professionally, I have a passion for things that are securely in control.
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