I got this book in the summer while I was a counsellor at Camp YES. I must say, it's been a huge blessing in my life since I started it. For more info on "My Biography of God" click here. Basically, the book is set up as a personalized Bible study about the character of God. Each week there's a passage to read on a specific topic, questions to answer about the passage, and a memory verse. It's amazing how much I've been learning by spending a week on one passage and really dissecting it in regards to what it's saying about God. I would HIGHLY recommend this study. I'm doing it as a personal study, but it would work well as group Bible study, a Sunday school class, youth group, or even as a church wide study.
There are too many blessings from this study to share in one post, but this past week I've been studying Psalm 119. I've always loved this Psalm. I think it's so cool that every verse in it is about the Word of God. Not only is every verse about God's Word, but the Word that the Psalmist is referencing is the first five books of the Old Testament, or what we often call "The Law." Most of the other parts of the Bible hadn't even been written when this Psalm was penned. As you read through the Psalm it's absolutely astounding the reverence, love, respect, awe, and devotion that is given to the Word. If only Christians today would love God's Word half as much as the Psalmist did!
I just wanted to share a few verses that stood out to me as I was reading them last week. If you're at all familiar with the Bible, you know that Psalm 119 is the longest chapter in the Bible. Last week's study was just on verses 1-56, so that is the passage I'm referencing here.
Vs 31. I have stuck unto thy testimonies: O LORD, put me not to shame.
The word that got me in this verse was "stuck." I just thought it was kind of an interesting choice. I have "stuck" unto the testimonies. When something sticks it stays. It's hard to get away from it. It's permanent. It's hard to forget. It's stuck. It's not going anywhere. I wonder if we are stuck to the Bible? Is it a permanent fixture in our lives? Or do we forget about it sometimes....
Vs. 20 My soul breaketh for the longing that it hath unto thy judgements at all times.
Think about a heart break. Think about the longing and the emotion attached with that. It's the same kind of feeling here being described for God's Word. Not that your heart is broken in a sad way, but that the soul is breaking and longing to be in God's Word. That's powerful, but I'm afraid that many of us (including myself many times) don't have that kind of longing for God's Word. We should! But we don't.
Vs. 38 Stablish thy word unto thy servant, who is devoted to thy fear.
The part about this verse that stood out to me was being devoted to the fear of the Lord. Being devoted to something means that you spend all your time doing that thing. It consumes you. You live for it. I often picture devotion as bowing down and being totally submitted to someone or something. People have all kinds of things they are devoted too: money, sports, jobs, friends, approval of men. I wonder how many of us are that devoted to the fear of the Lord? One thing I've noticed recently is the astounding lack of discernment amongst so-called Christians. Many Christians participate in all kinds of worldly activities without even a thought of how God might feel about it. It's not like they are trying to be bad on purpose they just DON'T THINK about the fear of God. How does the fear of God relate to things like the TV programs we watch and the movies we go to? What about the words we say? What about the way we worship in our churches? What about the way we act when we're out with our friends? What about the fear of God in relation to what we wear? What about fearing God in how we relate to the world around us? Do we LOVE the world and long to be in it, or are we repulsed by sin and worldliness? With a proper fear of God our lives will change. When the fear of God is first, then EVERYTHING we do is weighed in the balance of God's opinion of it, not what other people think about it. When I fear God, I love Him so much that I try my hardest and my best not to do anything that would displease Him or cause Him grief. Having the fear of God in our lives is the best way to be a testimony to the unsaved world.
Vs. 53 Horror hath taken hold upon me because of the wicked that forsake thy law.
This kind of goes along with what I was saying before. I can understand the Psalmist's feeling here. Sometimes it's outright shocking the wickedness of mankind. It disturbs us, and so it should. We should be repulsed by wickedness and sin that is around us so much that we have no desire to be part of it. Instead, we should strive to show these wicked people the love of God and the gospel that will save them from their sin!
Vs 17, 25, 37, 40, 50
Each of these verses has the word "quicken" or "live" in them. Quicken means to be made alive. It stood out to me in this passage how often the Psalmist said it was God's Word that quickened him. Life comes from the Word of God because it is a book that is alive. It is powerful.
You can't help but notice when you read Psalm 119 how much power is in the Word of God. The more I read the Bible, the more I see how God cares about how we live as Christians. He cares about what we DO! He cares about our actions, thoughts, and words. Living the Christian life and DOING the Christian life is often perceived as legalism. I really just don't get that line of thought at all!!! What about James 1:22 where we are to be DOERS of the word? Here's a bit of a personal testimony. I've found in my own life that the more I DO for God the happier I am. The more I DO for God the more I want to read my Bible. The more I DO for God the better my attitude is (heart). Maybe that's because when it comes to living the Christian life the heart and the actions are connected. The more I DO for God the easier it is to DO things for Him. The more I DO for God the more blessed I am. It's interesting that God promises just that. Blessed are the undefiled in the way, who walk in the law of the LORD. Blessed are they that keep his testimonies, and that seek him with the whole heart. Guess where these verses are found :)? Psalm 119:1-2. This is how the Psalm starts!!! And again we see the connection in verse to between the heart and the action.
There are many, many jewels in Psalm 119. Every time I read it, I get something different out of it. It is truly a passage of Scripture that is a blessing :)!