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On reading the Word of God


Each year in January we have a couple of sermons from the Psalms. I love these. The other week Paul Dale did Psalm 119:1-40 and the Word of God. I thought it was so simply good, I am going to write up the basics of it here, for future reference (was it tedious adding all the links and verses! – but I put them all in eventually). You can listen to an audio version of it here.

Psalm 119

Almost every one of its 176 verses refers to the word of God – statutes, commands, ordinances.

The writer is devoted to God and delights in the word of God. It’s a cycle that goes around and around.

Delighting in God’s word

This is how God has claimed to reveal himself to us, so devour it.

Psalm 119:14 – In the way of your testimonies I delight as much as in all riches.

Psalm 119:16 – I will delight in your statutes; I will not forget your word.

Psalm 119:24 – Your testimonies are my delight; they are my counselors.

Psalm 119:72 – The law of your mouth is better to me than thousands of gold and silver pieces.

Psalm 119:97 – Oh how I love your law! It is my meditation all the day.

Psalm 119:103 – How sweet are your words to my taste, sweeter than honey to my mouth!

Why delight in God’s word?

a) Sin stopping

In our daily battle, it will help us resist.

Psalm 119:9 – How can a young man keep his way pure? By guarding it according to your word.

Psalm 119:11 – I have stored up your word in my heart, that I might not sin against you.

Psalm 119:133 – Keep steady my steps according to your promise, and let no iniquity get dominion over me.

b) Guidance giving

“Lamp” here is not a spotlight, but enough light for the next step.

Psalm 119:66 – Teach me good judgment and knowledge, for I believe in your commandments.

Psalm 119:98 – Your commandment makes me wiser than my enemies, for it is ever with me.

Psalm 119:105 – Your word is a lamp to my feet and a light to my path.

c) Comfort channelling

We don’t want pious platitudes in times of difficulty but truth.

Psalm 119:50 – This is my comfort in my affliction, that your promise gives me life.

Psalm 119:52 – When I think of your rules from of old, I take comfort, O Lord.

Psalm 119:76 – Let your steadfast love comfort me according to your promise to your servant.

Psalm 119:92 – If your law had not been my delight, I would have perished in my affliction.

d) Soul satisfying

Psalm 119:32 – I will run in the way of your commandments when you enlarge my heart!

Psalm 119:36-37 – Incline my heart to your testimonies, and not to selfish gain! Turn my eyes from looking at worthless things; and give me life in your ways.

Psalm 119:147 – I rise before dawn and cry for help; I hope in your words.

Psalm 119:165 – Great peace have those who love your law; nothing can make them stumble.

So how do we do it? 

Nobody drifts into delighting in God’s word. Make sure you receive it regularly and put yourself quietly under the Word.

a) Receive the Word

Psalm 119:94 – I am yours; save me, for I have sought your precepts.

Psalm 119:33-37 – Teach me, O Lord, the way of your statutes; and I will keep it to the end.
Give me understanding, that I may keep your law and observe it with my whole heart.
Lead me in the path of your commandments, for I delight in it.
Incline my heart to your testimonies, and not to selfish gain!
Turn my eyes from looking at worthless things; and give me life in your ways.

With others (at church and bible study) and privately (this requires discipline). Pray that God would make himself known. We need the spirit to illuminate our hearts (119:18).

b) Meditate on the Word

Psalm 119:11 – I have stored up your word in my heart, that I might not sin against you.

Psalm 119:97 – Oh how I love your law! It is my meditation all the day.

It’s about knowing and treasuring it. Memorise it!

c) Apply the word of God

Psalm 119:1 – Blessed are those whose way is blameless, who walk in the law of the Lord!

Psalm 119:14 – In the way of your testimonies I delight as much as in all riches.

Psalm 119:17 – Deal bountifully with your servant, that I may live and keep your word.

Psalm 119:34 – Give me understanding, that I may keep your law and observe it with my whole heart.

Psalm 119:129 – Your testimonies are wonderful; therefore my soul keeps them.

Sit with a journal and write down the promises, instructions and rebukes.

The more you read, the more you love God, the more you read …

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