I. Read Psalm 119:1-16, 169-176
Psalm 119 from the Holman Christian Standard Bible (HCSB)
1 How[a] happy are those whose way is blameless,
who live according to the Lord’s instruction!
2 Happy are those who keep His decrees
and seek Him with all their heart.
3 They do nothing wrong;
they follow His ways.
4 You have commanded that Your precepts
be diligently kept.
5 If only my ways were committed
to keeping Your statutes!
6 Then I would not be ashamed
when I think about all Your commands.
7 I will praise You with a sincere heart
when I learn Your righteous judgments.
8 I will keep Your statutes;
never abandon me.
9 How can a young man keep his way pure?
By keeping Your[b] word.
10 I have sought You with all my heart;
don’t let me wander from Your commands.
11 I have treasured Your word in my heart
so that I may not sin against You.
12 Lord, may You be praised;
teach me Your statutes.
13 With my lips I proclaim
all the judgments from Your mouth.
14 I rejoice in the way revealed by Your decrees
as much as in all riches.
15 I will meditate on Your precepts
and think about Your ways.
16 I will delight in Your statutes;
I will not forget Your word.
169 Let my cry reach You, Lord;
give me understanding according to Your word.
170 Let my plea reach You;
rescue me according to Your promise.
171 My lips pour out praise,
for You teach me Your statutes.
172 My tongue sings about Your promise,
for all Your commands are righteous.
173 May Your hand be ready to help me,
for I have chosen Your precepts.
174 I long for Your salvation, Lord,
and Your instruction is my delight.
175 Let me live, and I will praise You;
may Your judgments help me.
176 I wander like a lost sheep;
seek Your servant,
for I do not forget Your commands.
Introduction – Have you ever personally seen a great work of art, a masterpiece? Dozens of books and hundreds more chapters and articles describe and portray Leonardo Da Vinci’s, “Mona Lisa.” One can study a great work of art from many perspectives, looking for every angle, contour, and hue. This Psalm takes as it’s subject just such a work of art: God’s revealed Word. The Psalm expresses the many excellencies of the verbal revelation of God to us. It is the longest Psalm, by far. The value of God’s Word is praised in 176 verses. It is arranged in an acrostic, moving through each letter of the 22 letters of the Hebrew alphabet in eight stanzas. The first eight verses begin with the letter Aleph, the second (verses 9-16) begin with the letter Beth, etc. This is to say that from A to Z God’s Word is beautiful and amazing. Even more, the Word changes us because through it we know the Triune God as He is revealed in Scripture. Many people upon viewing a great work of art in person express that it “speaks to them” differently than a replica or photograph of the same work. Because of God’s Spirit present in believers, God speaks to us through His Word as we open our lives to Him.
In your own words, respond to the questions.
- The first description of the person who walks in the Word is “happy.” List a few ways you could be happier if you spent more time growing in the masterpiece of God’s Word.
- In verses 9-11 the writer explains a way of overcoming sin. How does treasuring the Word (verse 11) in your heart help you avoid sin?
- Like the colors refracted by a diamond, even these few verses of the Psalm show many hues. Paraphrase the verse that speaks most clearly to your current experience.
- Despite all the glories of God’s revealed Word expressed by the Psalmist, the last verse of this Psalm acknowledges going astray (verse 176). Write down a few failures in your recent experience and seek forgiveness from God.
II. Pray Psalm 119:1-16, 169-176. Write out a short prayer using the text and ideas of these verses in the Psalm. Express your heart to God, believe in His promises, and commit to be faithful.