Read Psalm 119 F (v. 161 - 176)
ש Sin and Shin
161 Rulers persecute me without cause,
but my heart trembles at your word.
162 I rejoice in your promise
like one who finds great spoil.
163 I hate and detest falsehood
but I love your law.
164 Seven times a day I praise you
for your righteous laws.
165 Great peace have those who love your law,
and nothing can make them stumble.
166 I wait for your salvation, Lord,
and I follow your commands.
167 I obey your statutes,
for I love them greatly.
168 I obey your precepts and your statutes,
for all my ways are known to you.
169 May my cry come before you, Lord;
give me understanding according to your word.
170 May my supplication come before you;
deliver me according to your promise.
171 May my lips overflow with praise,
for you teach me your decrees.
172 May my tongue sing of your word,
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 law gives me delight.
175 Let me live that I may praise you,
and may your laws sustain me.
176 I have strayed like a lost sheep.
Seek your servant,
for I have not forgotten your commands.
This week, we’re changing our rhythm. Normally we read one chapter a day, but this week we’re going to spread out this one chapter over the next six days. Psalm 119 is the longest chapter in all of Scripture, so squeezing it all into one day could make it hard to absorb. While we don’t know who wrote this psalm, we do know that it was written as a collection of thoughts and prayers largely focused on one main idea: God’s Word. Today, we’ll read verses 161-176. Thanks for reading along!
We have come to the final stanzas of what ended up being the longest chapter in the Bible, and the Psalmist eloquently sums up how much he loves God’s Word. Verse 161 says, “…but my heart stands in awe of your words.” Verse 167 says, “My soul keeps your testimonies; I love them exceedingly.” Verse 174 proclaims, “I long for your salvation, O Lord, and your law is my delight.” These statements should cause all of us to think about, “What do we stand in awe of?”; “What do we love exceedingly?”; “What do we long for?” Is it the Word of God?
We also get a glimpse into where the Psalmist’s awe, exceeding love, and longing stems from. The beginning of Psalm 119:165 says, “Great peace have those who love your law.” This is a simple cause and effect equation: IF you love God’s Word, THEN you will have great peace. The writer of this passage has adoration for the Word of God because amidst persecution, it is where he has found refuge. We know from earlier verses in this chapter that the Psalmist was literally on the verge of death, yet despite fear, he found hope in the promises of God. All 176 verses of this psalm are a personal testimony to us that no matter what we are facing, we can find refuge, hope, and peace by loving God’s Word.
The entirety of Psalm 119:165 reads “Great peace have those who love your law; nothing can make them stumble.” The second half of the verse has also been translated as “…and nothing shall offend them (KJV)” or “…and nothing can defeat them (NCV).” In a world full of stumbling blocks, offensive topics, and situations to feel defeated by, we are given the promise that God’s Word will protect us and give us peace.
So as we come to a close on our study of this chapter, we can reflect on what we have learned from the whole: the Word of God is true; the Word of God is sufficient; and the Word of God is powerful. This is a chapter that we can refer back to and learn from when we need to be reminded of these truths. As a team, we are grateful that you have taken the step to join us in the Bible Reading Plan. It is our prayer that as you continue reading God’s Word with us you will stand in awe of God’s promises, your love of God and His Word will grow exceedingly, and that you will long to know more of our gracious Father’s testimonies.
- List a few things that you love exceedingly. Compare that with your love for the word of God.
- When you find yourself fearful, persecuted, or hopeless, what do you turn to?
- Are you easily offended or often irritated? Commit Psalm 119:165 to memory and repeat it to yourself when you find yourself in those situations.
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