This post is the last in a series about Psalm 119. To view part one, select Is God’s Law A Burden? (Part 1 of 4).
Psalm 119 is the longest chapter in the Bible. It was written originally in Hebrew in a literary style that begins one section after another, each with the next letter of the aleph bet (Hebrew alphabet). It is beautiful and passionate. It focuses on the law of God. Read and digest all that it claims about the Law of God and then ask yourself, does it describe the law as burdensome? difficult? harsh? or does it describe it as quite different than that? Put aside what you think you know about the law from those who do not understand it and listen to how it is described by one who understood it well and loved our heavenly Father very deeply.
Meditations and Prayers Relating to the Law of God.
137Righteous are You, O LORD,
And upright are Your judgments.
138You have commanded Your testimonies in righteousness
And exceeding faithfulness.
139My zeal has consumed me,
Because my adversaries have forgotten Your words.
140Your word is very pure,
Therefore Your servant loves it.
141I am small and despised,
Yet I do not forget Your precepts.
142Your righteousness is an everlasting righteousness,
And Your law is truth.
143Trouble and anguish have come upon me,
Yet Your commandments are my delight.
144Your testimonies are righteous forever;
Give me understanding that I may live.
145I cried with all my heart; answer me, O LORD!
I will observe Your statutes.
146I cried to You; save me
And I shall keep Your testimonies.
147I rise before dawn and cry for help;
I wait for Your words.
148My eyes anticipate the night watches,
That I may meditate on Your word.
149Hear my voice according to Your lovingkindness;
Revive me, O LORD, according to Your ordinances.
150Those who follow after wickedness draw near;
They are far from Your law.
151You are near, O LORD,
And all Your commandments are truth.
152Of old I have known from Your testimonies
That You have founded them forever.
153Look upon my affliction and rescue me,
For I do not forget Your law.
154Plead my cause and redeem me;
Revive me according to Your word.
155Salvation is far from the wicked,
For they do not seek Your statutes.
156Great are Your mercies, O LORD;
Revive me according to Your ordinances.
157Many are my persecutors and my adversaries,
Yet I do not turn aside from Your testimonies.
158I behold the treacherous and loathe them,
Because they do not keep Your word.
159Consider how I love Your precepts;
Revive me, O LORD, according to Your lovingkindness.
160The sum of Your word is truth,
And every one of Your righteous ordinances is everlasting.
161Princes persecute me without cause,
But my heart stands in awe of Your words.
162I rejoice at Your word,
As one who finds great spoil.
163I hate and despise falsehood,
But I love Your law.
164Seven times a day I praise You,
Because of Your righteous ordinances.
165Those who love Your law have great peace,
And nothing causes them to stumble.
166I hope for Your salvation, O LORD,
And do Your commandments.
167My soul keeps Your testimonies,
And I love them exceedingly.
168I keep Your precepts and Your testimonies,
For all my ways are before You.
169Let my cry come before You, O LORD;
Give me understanding according to Your word.
170Let my supplication come before You;
Deliver me according to Your word.
171Let my lips utter praise,
For You teach me Your statutes.
172Let my tongue sing of Your word,
For all Your commandments are righteousness.
173Let Your hand be ready to help me,
For I have chosen Your precepts.
174I long for Your salvation, O LORD,
And Your law is my delight.
175Let my soul live that it may praise You,
And let Your ordinances help me.
176I have gone astray like a lost sheep; seek Your servant,
For I do not forget Your commandments.
Just to reflect on a few of the things God’s word says about the law in today’s scripture: Your word is very pure and therefore your servant loves it, Your law is truth, Your commandments are my delight, I will observe Your statutes, I meditate on Your precepts, the wicked are far from Your law, revive me according to Your ordinances, every one of Your righteous ordinances is everlasting, I love Your law, I praise You because of Your ordinances, those who love Your law have great peace and do not stumble, all Your commandments are righteousness, Your law is my delight, Your ordinances help me
None of this sounds like the description of a burden, or something I can’t wait to get rid of, which is how many Christians describe or talk about following the law. It sounds like a beautiful set of instructions from the Lord, which I want to understand more… both in their original context and with regards to how they still apply to my life today. Psalm 119, if we let it, can really be a testimony for the law of God as a wonderful gift and guide that helps us to know how God thinks we should live and what He values. Obviously to fully understand the depths of what is in the law and how it may still apply, we need to study the Torah (1st 5 books of the Bible). Some of the elements of the law (e.g. ceremonial law) can no longer be carried out as God specified while there is no temple and no Levitical priesthood, but that should not discourage us from understanding and following God’s law as much as we can. Should we walk away from doing as Christ taught just because we can’t do it perfectly? If we do, what then will be our standard?
The Torah is a great place to start for any Christian, many of whom have been taught to really focus only on the New Testament. Spoiler alert… if the New Testament is the building, the Old Testament is the foundation that holds it up. They are not contradictory, but rather complementary.
Pray with me that our Creator and Father would open our eyes, and the eyes of His followers around the world, that we may behold wonderful things from His law. Give us understanding, that we may observe His law and keep it with all our heart.
To learn more:
Do you know for sure if you will go to heaven or hell when you die? Are you experiencing in your life the peace and joy of a personal relationship with our Creator and Father? Learn more about salvation through The Message of the Cross.