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.
Daleth Psalm 119:25-32 Receiving New Life
Verse 25 shows how low we fall on our own;
Verses 26-29 give the determination it will take to change;
Verses 30-32 give the will to live.
Verse 25: When our life (“soul”) bottoms out (“clings to the dust”), if we are looking for a remedy, we should look up to God’s “word” (instruction, explanation). Sinners who try every way but God’s way either end up in prison, rehab, court, suicide, or slavery, and eventually—Hell! But that’s what it takes before we hurt so much we can’t take it anymore. How many people, and how often, have their lives turned around that have “crashed” first. It’s those who realize they have a “soul” who know their lives must be changed, not only for life here but hereafter. “Do not let your heart envy sinners, But be zealous for the fear of the LORD all the day; For surely there is a hereafter, And your hope will not be cut off” (Proverbs 23:17-18). “Revival” occurs only by a sinner’s acceptance of the Word of God, as Jesus said, “It is the Spirit who gives life; the flesh profits nothing. The words that I speak to you are spirit, and they are life” (John 6:63).
Verses 26-29: (Verse 26) To “declare my ways” is prayerful confession of the life-style that brought one down to dirt, morally, but God’s answers were in His Bible all along. Such a person becomes “teachable” to God’s “statutes” (lines marking limits). (Verse 27) “Make me” is not asking God to force faith into a person’s heart, for He never has, but is an expression that shows the determination in the person’s heart to “understand” God’s “precepts” (things to notice). Since it is from “out of the abundance of the heart the mouth speaks (Matthew 12:34), there is little difference in “meditating” or “speaking” about God’s “wonderful works” recorded in the Bible. (Verse 28) The Gospel of Christ is God’s invitation to all who would be “conformed to the image of His Son” (Romans 8:29), and the “melting” process stems from “heaviness,” as life fills with “sorrows” (Job 14:1), then we need the “strength” that can only come from faith produced by and with the Word of God. (Verse 29) God truthfully speaks, and so must someone who would learn from God’s “law.” Lying to ourselves, others, or especially to God, fools no one, but destroys ourselves now and forever (Ephesians 4:20-25).
Verses 30-32: Notice the will to live: “I have chosen;” “I cling to;” “I will run;” AND notice the new rules that will make it so: “the way of truth;” “Your judgments;” “Your testimonies;” “Your commandments.” AND notice how much better the servant of God becomes, “You shall enlarge my heart.” People whose heart has become embittered, hateful, spiteful, twisted, deceitful, perverse, and coldly calculating have so shrunk their heart’s capacity that it cannot live life to the fullest. As one obeys God, that stretching sound may be scary, but when love for God tumbles in, the poison is driven out. No one ever died from this kind of “enlarged heart” (2 Corinthians 6:11). “We love Him because He first loved us” (1 John 4:19).
All Scriptures and comments are based upon the New King James Version, unless otherwise noted.