Reading the Word
Psalm 119:1–8 (ESV)
1 Blessed are those whose way is blameless, who walk in the law of the Lord! 2 Blessed are those who keep his testimonies, who seek him with their whole heart, 3 who also do no wrong, but walk in his ways! 4 You have commanded your precepts to be kept diligently. 5 Oh that my ways may be steadfast in keeping your statutes! 6 Then I shall not be put to shame, having my eyes fixed on all your commandments. 7 I will praise you with an upright heart, when I learn your righteous rules. 8 I will keep your statutes; do not utterly forsake me!
Understanding and Applying the Word
Psalm 119 is the longest of the psalms, stretching 176 verses. The psalm is organized as an acrostic based on the Hebrew alphabet with the first eight lines beginning with the first letter of the Hebrew alphabet (aleph), the second eight lines with the second letter (beth), and so on. The focus of the entire psalm is on the goodness of God’s instruction (i.e. God’s law). Every line of the psalm uses the word “law” or a synonym for it to express the greatness of God’s word to mankind.
How wonderful is the word of God! It brings goodness and life to those who study it and obey it. Yet, for many of us, we neglect it and choose to live life our own way. This is only to our detriment as it is the Lord who created us and knows what is best for us. The good and loving God who sent his Son into the world to save us from our sin has also given us his word to guide our lives. How could we neglect the words of one who has shown us such great affection? Let us turn to his word again and again as we seek to understand this world and how to live in it.
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