It is fitting that the greatest tribute to the Word of God is IN the Word of God, itself, and is in the longest chapter of the Word of God! This Psalm has no author’s name, historical incident, or other distraction from its theme. It is divided into 22 sections (one for every letter in the Hebrew alphabet), each consisting of 8 lines, each line beginning with the alphabet letter of that section (aleph is the first letter of each line under the aleph section, for instance). The chapter uses some 8-10 different words to describe the Word of God, each bringing something extra to the total picture of the Word of Truth. In order to savor the depth and richness of teaching in this Psalm, we will examine each portion as if it were its own chapter.
Psalm 119:97-104 Mem What “I Have” From The Word
Verse 97 expresses total devotion to God’s Word;
Verses 98-102 give advantages from learning God’s Word;
Verses 103-104 show the blessings keep coming.
Verse 97: The love of our life cannot be shunted aside. “Oh, how I love” (the extent of love); God’s “law” (words showing the right way)—object of love; it has become our “meditation” (main thought)—evidence of love. The “love of the truth” saves our soul (2 Thessalonians 2:9-12).
Verses 98-102: (Verse 98) God’s “commandments” (words to obey) “make me wiser than my enemies” because obeying God shows a greater grasp of what life should be. (Verse 99) “Meditating” (thinking through) upon God’s “testimonies” (words witnessing God’s character) gives more “understanding” (practical explanation) than “all my teachers.” Jesus had it (Luke 2:41-47). Teachers may convey information; God’s Word explains how that impacts our own hearts. (Verse 100) God’s “precepts” (instructions to govern conduct) can guide us better than “ancients” (older people) can with their experiences. We may learn from others’ mistakes, but God’s Word can help us see those mistakes coming up in our lives. (Verse 101) To “keep” (obey) God’s “word” (expressions of His Will), we steer clear away from “every evil way.” “I have restrained” shows that it is a personal decision of will to avoid sin, hence, John wrote: “We know that whoever is born of God does not sin; but he who has been born of God keeps himself, and the wicked one does not touch him” (1 John 5:18). (Verse 102) God’s “judgments” (decisions about right and wrong) are so impressive, that one who loves them would not want to depart from them. “Finally then, brethren, we urge and exhort in the Lord Jesus that you should abound more and more, just as you received from us how you ought to walk and to please God; for you know what commandments we gave you through the Lord Jesus” (1 Thessalonians 4:1-2).
Verses 103-104: (Verse 103) To know, understand, and obey God’s Word, is to know, understand, and accept the sweetest flavor that can be given to a life. It’s sweeter to a soul than honey is to the mouth! (Verse 104) It is through (and only through) God’s “precepts” (words that point out, highlight, the right way) we gain “understanding” (a grasp of life, breath, all things), and that no “false way” is for good. One cannot love God’s Word without hating everything that would adversely affect that love.
Thought: By thoroughly immersing oneself into the Word of God (the Bible), one has more: understanding than one’s enemies, teachers, or elders; control over sin(s); and the greatest happiness life can give. Nothing known to mankind offers better.
All Scriptures and comments are based upon the New King James Version, unless otherwise noted.