Today we begin Psalm 119, the longest chapter in the Bible and one of my favorite psalms because all 176 verses are unified on two subjects, the glory of God and His word. God’s written revelation, His word is mentioned at least 171 times in 176 verses. Yet this psalm never feels boring or repetitive, because the word of God is ever new and to love it is to never tire of it.
To read 176 verses on a variation of any singular subject would be mind numbing, but according to Derek Kidner, because “every reference here to Scripture, without exception, relates to its Author; indeed, every verse from 4 to the end is a prayer for affirmation addressed to Him. This is true piety: a love of God not desiccated by study but refreshed, informed and nourished by it” (Enduring Word Commentary on the Introduction to Psalm 119). That is my prayer as we take the next 8 days to journal our way through this psalm, that we would be refreshed, informed and nourished by it. I might add, that we would become more in love with the word of God and with the reading and study of it as well. Another major theme of this psalm is obedience, that it’s not enough to just read the word of God but we need to work diligently to obey it as well. Psalm 119 repeatedly reminds us of the blessings that follow obedience, which is why it’s a great psalm to pray for your children and for family and friends who don’t know Jesus as their Savior.
And for those of you looking for an even deeper way to engage with the wealth within this psalm, consider this story of 18th century bible commentator, Matthew Henry:
“Matthew Henry… was introduced to Psalm 119 as a child. His father, Philip Henry, told his children to take one verse of Psalm 119 every morning to meditate on, and thereby go through the entire psalm twice in the year. Philip said to his children, ‘That will bring you to be in love with all the rest of the Scriptures.’ Perhaps that practice was why Matthew Henry loved the Bible so much that he wrote commentary that is used still today.”
“… to be in love with all the rest of the Scriptures…” what a promise, what a blessing! I’m praying that for myself and for all of you too!