Hello everybody and welcome in to episode #307 of the Bible 2021 podcast. We are reading Psalm 119:129-160 today and our focus is on The Benefits of Loving and Studying The Word of God.   We are a daily 10ish minute podcast, where we will dig in to the truth of the Word of God by reading one Bible chapter a day and discussing it. Welcome to new listeners in   Our goal is to encourage DAILY Bible reading, so you can jump in at any time and join with us. We want to invite as many people as possible to join us in daily Bible reading, so help spread the word and share the podcast! Don’t forget about our web-page, Bible2021.com – contact page, show notes, transcript and more– Click here for our Bible 2021 reading plan\

Psalm 119 is pretty much a love poem or an ode to the Word of God. The Psalmist’s love of and trust in God’s Word just drips out of every section of this Psalm, and I suppose it is quite fitting that the longest chapter in the Bible is focused on the blessings and benefits of God’s Word. Consider these 10 statements on the benefits of God’s Word in just our small little section of the chapter today:

  1. 129 Your decrees are wondrous;
    therefore I obey them.
  2. 130 The revelation of your words brings light
    and gives understanding to the inexperienced.
  3. 133 Make my steps steady through your promise;
    don’t let any sin dominate me.
  4. 137 You are righteous, Lord,
    and your judgments are just.
  5. 138 The decrees you issue are righteous
    and altogether trustworthy.
  6. 140 Your word is completely pure,
    and your servant loves it.
  7. 143 Trouble and distress have overtaken me,
    but your commands are my delight.
  8. 144 Your decrees are righteous forever.
    Give me understanding, and I will live.
  9. 155 Salvation is far from the wicked
    because they do not study your statutes.
  10. 160 The entirety of your word is truth,
    each of your righteous judgments endures forever.

If this were a poem written to a woman, I’d say the poet was smitten – head over heels in love, and that’s pretty much what we have here, except the object of affection isn’t a romantic interest, it is the Word of God, and the Psalmist is telling us both how much He loves the Word and how much He benefits and is blessed by loving the Word. Through the wondrous Word of God, we have light and understanding – our steps are steadied by the just and trustworthy judgments of God. His Word is completely trustworthy and pure – fully righteous and worthy of our delight, even when in distress. The wicked will not be saved because they don’t care for the Word of God and they do not love the truth.

I am particularly struck by the sharp desire for God’s Word that we see in vs. 131, “I open my mouth and pant
because I long for your commands.”  May we also long for His Words and commands in the same way that we long for a cold glass of water when we are parched and thirsty! I love what theologian and author J.I. Packer says about this verse:

So animated was his desire that he looked into the animal world to find a picture of it. He was filled with an intense longing, and was not ashamed to describe it by a most expressive, natural, and yet singular symbol. Like a stag that has been hunted in the chase, and is hard pressed, and therefore pants for breath, so did the psalmist pant for the entrance of God’s Word into his soul. Nothing else could content him. All that the world could yield him left him still panting. For I longed for thy commandments. Longed to know them, longed to obey them, longed to be conformed to their spirit, longed to teach them to others. He was a servant of God, and his industrious mind longed to receive orders; he was a learner in the school of grace, and his eager spirit longed to be taught of the Lord.

J. I. PACKER, “Introduction,” in Psalms, Crossway Classic Commentaries (Wheaton, IL: Crossway Books, 1993), 233.

And pastor Thomas Manton writes, “A metaphor taken from men scorched and sweltered with heat, or from those that have run themselves out of breath in following the thing which they would overtake. The former metaphor expressed the vehemency of his love; the other the earnestness of his pursuit; he was like a man gasping for breath, and sucking in the cool air.—Thomas Manton.

C. H. Spurgeon, The Treasury of David: Psalms 111-119, vol. 5 (London; Edinburgh; New York: Marshall Brothers, n.d.), 385.

and Hymnodist William Cowper colorfully says:

So he expresseth it: “My heart burns with so ardent a longing for thy commandments, that I am forced ever and anon to gasp by reason of my painful breathing.”However it be, it lets us see how the hearing, reading, or meditating of God’s word wakened in David a most earnest affection to have the light, joy, grace, and comfort thereof communicated to his own heart. For in the godly, knowledge of good increaseth desires; and it cannot be expressed how vehemently their souls long to feel that power and comfort which they know is in the word; and how sore they are grieved and troubled when they find it not.
And happy were we, if we could meet the Lord with this like affection; that when he opens his mouth, we could also open our heart to hear, as David here doth. Christus aperit os, ut daret aliis spiritum; David aperuit ut acciperet; offering his heart to receive the spirit of grace, when God openeth his mouth in his word to give it. For it is his promise to us all—“Open thy mouth wide, and I will fill it.” Let us turn it into a prayer, that the Lord, who opened the heart of Lydia, would open our heart to receive grace when he offers by his word to give it.

C. H. Spurgeon, The Treasury of David: Psalms 111-119, vol. 5 (London; Edinburgh; New York: Marshall Brothers, n.d.), 385.

Let’s read our passage.


Bible Memory passage for the month of November:  John 14:6 “Jesus told him, “I am the way, the truth, and the life. No one comes to the Father except through me.”

The Bible 2021 Podcast Is a ministry of Valley Baptist Church A Baptist Church in Salinas, California.

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