Read Psalm 119 A (v. 1-32)
1 Blessed are those whose ways are blameless,
who walk according to the law of the Lord.
2 Blessed are those who keep his statutes
and seek him with all their heart—
3 they do no wrong
but follow his ways.
4 You have laid down precepts
that are to be fully obeyed.
5 Oh, that my ways were steadfast
in obeying your decrees!
6 Then I would not be put to shame
when I consider all your commands.
7 I will praise you with an upright heart
as I learn your righteous laws.
8 I will obey your decrees;
do not utterly forsake me.
9 How can a young person stay on the path of purity?
By living according to your word.
10 I seek you with all my heart;
do not let me stray from your commands.
11 I have hidden your word in my heart
that I might not sin against you.
12 Praise be to you, Lord;
teach me your decrees.
13 With my lips I recount
all the laws that come from your mouth.
14 I rejoice in following your statutes
as one rejoices in great riches.
15 I meditate on your precepts
and consider your ways.
16 I delight in your decrees;
I will not neglect your word.
17 Be good to your servant while I live,
that I may obey your word.
18 Open my eyes that I may see
wonderful things in your law.
19 I am a stranger on earth;
do not hide your commands from me.
20 My soul is consumed with longing
for your laws at all times.
21 You rebuke the arrogant, who are accursed,
those who stray from your commands.
22 Remove from me their scorn and contempt,
for I keep your statutes.
23 Though rulers sit together and slander me,
your servant will meditate on your decrees.
24 Your statutes are my delight;
they are my counselors.
25 I am laid low in the dust;
preserve my life according to your word.
26 I gave an account of my ways and you answered me;
teach me your decrees.
27 Cause me to understand the way of your precepts,
that I may meditate on your wonderful deeds.
28 My soul is weary with sorrow;
strengthen me according to your word.
29 Keep me from deceitful ways;
be gracious to me and teach me your law.
30 I have chosen the way of faithfulness;
I have set my heart on your laws.
31 I hold fast to your statutes, Lord;
do not let me be put to shame.
32 I run in the path of your commands,
for you have broadened my understanding.
Editors Note/ Go Deeper
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 1-32. Thanks for reading along!
If you were blindfolded and dropped off in the middle of nowhere and told to find your way home, one thing can make or break your journey: a map. We have been given a roadmap to help guide us through life. We can either study it, learn from it, and let it become part of us or we can ignore it, keep it in our pocket, and just try and figure it out on our own.
The first section of this chapter sets the table for what this entire psalm is about: God’s Word is the foundation for all who follow Him. It is all we need—like spiritual oxygen. The author of this psalm uses several different words when talking about God’s instructions: law, commands, precepts, decrees, and more. While each of these words has a slightly different meaning, they convey the same message: following God’s Word always leads to life. Sin and disobedience, however, always leads to death. So, if it’s that simple, why does it feel so difficult sometimes?
When we rely on our own hearts, we allow ourselves to be deceived by our own wants and desires. Psalm 119:11 says, “I have hidden your word in my heart that I might not sin against you.” That’s the psalmist’s answer to his own question regarding how to stay on the path of purity. Meditating on God’s Word and burying it deep inside our hearts changes everything. Jesus, in Luke 6:45, tells us that the mouth speaks what the heart is full of. If our hearts are full of Scripture, we will speak Scripture and life into the people around us. And if they aren’t, we won’t.
If we believe that Scripture is inspired by God and was preserved for thousands of years, we would be foolish to not learn from each and every page of it. Whether the passage is descriptive (describing something that happened) or prescriptive (teaching or commanding something that should happen), all of Scripture is useful as we try to know and understand the character of God.
- Which word for God’s instructions stuck out to you the most? Why?
- What are some practical ways to hide God’s Word in your heart? How can you tell if you have been doing that or not?
- Which of these first 32 verses can you memorize, or “hide in your heart” this week? Why did you pick the one that you did?
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