Psalm 119: 1-40

‘ Aleph
Blessed are they whose ways are blameless,  who walk according to the law of the LORD.
Blessed are they who keep his statutes and seek him with all their heart.
They do nothing wrong; they walk in his ways.
You have laid down precepts that are to be fully obeyed.
Oh, that my ways were steadfast in obeying your decrees!
Then I would not be put to shame when I consider all your commands.
I will praise you with an upright heart as I learn your righteous laws.
I will obey your decrees; do not utterly forsake me.

b Beth
How can a young man keep his way pure? By living according to your word.
I seek you with all my heart; do not let me stray from your commands.
I have hidden your word in my heart that I might not sin against you.
Praise be to you, O LORD; teach me your decrees.
With my lips I recount all the laws that come from your mouth.
I rejoice in following your statutes as one rejoices in great riches.
I meditate on your precepts and consider your ways.
I delight in your decrees; I will not neglect your word.

g Gimel
Do good to your servant, and I will live; I will obey your word.
Open my eyes that I may see wonderful things in your law.
I am a stranger on earth; do not hide your commands from me.
My soul is consumed with longing for your laws at all times.
You rebuke the arrogant, who are cursed and who stray from your commands.
Remove from me scorn and contempt, for I keep your statutes.
Though rulers sit together and slander me, your servant will meditate on your decrees.
Your statutes are my delight; they are my counselors.

d Daleth
I am laid low in the dust; preserve my life according to your word.
I recounted my ways and you answered me; teach me your decrees.
Let me understand the teaching of your precepts; then I will meditate on your wonders.
My soul is weary with sorrow; strengthen me according to your word.
Keep me from deceitful ways; be gracious to me through your law.
I have chosen the way of truth; I have set my heart on your laws.
I hold fast to your statutes, O LORD; do not let me be put to shame.
I run in the path of your commands, for you have set my heart free.

h He
Teach me, O LORD, to follow your decrees; then I will keep them to the end.
Give me understanding, and I will keep your law and obey it with all my heart.
Direct me in the path of your commands, for there I find delight.
Turn my heart toward your statutes and not toward selfish gain.
Turn my eyes away from worthless things; preserve my life according to your word.
Fulfill your promise to your servant, so that you may be feared.
Take away the disgrace I dread, for your laws are good.
How I long for your precepts! Preserve my life in your righteousness.

Psalm 119 is the longest of all the Psalms with 176 verses.  That makes it the longest chapter in the Bible as well.  It’s an acrostic poem which means that each of its stanzas begins with one of the 22 letters of the Hebrew alphabet starting with the aleph and continuing in order through the tau. Within a stanza each verse begins with the same letter.  Stanzas are titled with the letter they feature.  Every one of the psalm’s verses mentions the Word of the Lord.  Because of its length I’m going to separate it into four parts.

It’s been said that the laver or wash basin that stood between the Altar and the Temple represents God’s word.  It was the only piece of furniture that had no specified dimensions.  (There’s no limit to what you can take from God’s word.)  King Solomon made it 15 feet across and had it mounted  upon the life sized statues of 12 oxen.  Before the priests could approach the  Holy Place they had to wash in it.  In the New Testament the Lord makes us holy by washing us through the water of His word. (Ephesians 5:26)  This wash basin was sometimes called The Sea (2 Chron.4:2) because it was a model of the Glassy Sea before God’s throne. (Rev. 4:6)  That means the Glassy Sea represents God’s word as well. Here on Earth we’re immersed in His Word.  In Heaven we stand on it.    

 

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