One of the first bits of Bible trivia that one learns is that Psalm 119 is the longest chapter in the Bible. It is also the longest Psalm. Some even learn that it is a psalm all about the importance of the Word of God--to God and to the Psalmist and to any believer in their right mind.
It is a pity that so many Christians do not read through Psalm 119 over and over again. It is full of encouragement, challenge, rebuke, reality and hope. It is a long psalm about ultimate reality. God rules His world by His Word which is an extension of Himself. To honor God's Word is to honor God; to dishonor God's Word is to dishonor God.
I have just completed my third trawling study through this longest and most amazing psalm. I take notes and comment on each verse. Yes there is much repetition--but any good teacher knows that repetition aids learning. We need to be reminded because we forget. As a master teacher, the author of Psalm 119 set his psalm in the format of an acrostic. An "acrostic" means that each successive stanza of this long psalm begins with the successive letters of the Hebrew alphabet. Modern Bibles show that name of each stanza by printing the Hebrew letter above the stanza.
For example, stanza one has each line begin with the Hebrew letter "Aleph". The next stanza has each begin with the letter "Beth" and so forth. It took a genius to pack such profound and edifying thought into this rigorous structure. Make no mistake, Psalm 119 is a treasure trove of good things for the patient and persevering soul.
There are a number of good helps to have at your side as you read and meditate upon Psalm 119. May I recommend the following?
Charles Spurgeon, THE GOLDEN ALPHABET;
Evangelical Press--first place goes to the Prince of
Preachers because he sees Christ so well in his
Bible and displays Him always for his readers to
see. This is Spurgeon at his best.
Charles Bridges, PSALM 119; Banner of Truth--what
a wealth of good things is in this wonderful hard
back study of the prince of psalms. Charles Bridges
was a most spiritually minded man and it shows in
this most helpful treatment
Hwyel Jones, PSALM 119 FOR LIFE; Evangelical Press
Professor Jones, long time scholar/pastor gives us
his mature reflections on how Psalm 119 relates
to everyday life.
Christopher Ash, BIBLE DELIGHT; Christian Focus--
the most recent but not to be despised treatment
of Psalm 119 and all that it has to teach us on
God's Word. Ash is a master teacher and
In a different category, the Journibles series of note taking guides has one devoted exclusively to Psalm 119. It is by Rob Wynalda and is a real help.
May our Lord renew your mind and strengthen your soul as you take the time to read, reflect and note the riches of Psalm 119.
Your Book Servant,
Pastor Steve Martin