Friday, April 29, 2011

Psalm 119:1-8

An Acrostic in Praise of the Scriptures

Just two days ago we mediated on Psalm 117, the shortest psalm.  Today we begin our study of Psalm 119, the longest psalm.  Our study will cover several days as we consider all the truths in this beautiful psalm.

As poetry, Psalm 119 is an acrostic with 22 stanzas, and each verse within a given stanza begins with the same letter of the Hebrew alphabet.

Matthew Henry makes this beautiful description of Psalm 119:

This is a psalm by itself, like none of the rest; it excels them all . . . there is seldom any coherence between the verses, but like Solomon's proverbs, it is a chest of gold rings, not a chain of gold links. 

The general scope and design of it is to magnify the law and make it honourable; to set forth the excellency and usefulness of divine revelation, and to recommend it to us for the government of ourselves, by the psalmist's own example, who speaks by experience to the benefit of it.  He earnestly prays, from first to last, for the continuance of God's grace with him.

The great esteem and affection David had for the word of God is the more admirable considering how little he had of it, in comparisons with what we have. 

Many are the instructions which we here find about a religious life.  Many are the sweet experiences of one that lived such a life.  Here is something or other to suit the case of every Christian.
Today's verses of Psalm 119 show that godly people are happy people.  These people make the will of God the rule of all their actions.  A good plumb line for us to examine our lives by, isn't it!

Oh, that my ways were directed
To keep Your statutes!
Then I would not be ashamed.
~ Ps. 119:5-6
Verses 5-6 is a great exclamation, and one to which I can relate personally.  Can you think of regrets in your own life that you could've avoided if you had only kept God's statutes?  I can!

  • God's judgments are righteous
  • God blesses obedience to His precepts & statutes, His "ways"
  • I praise the Lord for His Word that He has given us - He did not leave us without guidance
  • I praise God that His statutes and precepts are designed for my good, for the very best for me
PRAYER:  I love this prayer-poem by Ruth Harms Calkin, and I think it goes along so well with the verses we studied today - how "blessed" are those who surrender to God's ways!

I am tingling with joy
Of a glorious discovery:
Continuous surrender
Brings continuous freedom.
Lord, I love being free!

~ Ruth Harms Calkin

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