This psalm is the longest psalm and the longest chapter in the Bible. It focuses on the Word of God and its importance in the life of the believer. It is to be obeyed, shared, followed, kept, observed, used as a judgment between right and wrong, our authority for living, and looked to for promises!
It is written in an acrostic form with the first line of each eight sentence paragraph beginning with one of the 22 letters of the Hebrew alphabet. 22 letters x 8 verses per paragraph = 176 total verses.
The anonymous psalmist uses many ways to describe God's Word (each a little different in the different translations we all may be reading from):
Law - tôrâh
Testimony - ‘ēḏâh
Way(s) - darak, derek
Path - ’ōraḥ
Precepts - piqqûḏîm (found only in the psalms and always plural)
Statutes - ḥūqqîm (in the psalms, it is always plural)
Commandment(s) - miṣwâh
Judgment(s)/Ordinances - mišpoṭ
Word - dāḇār
Saying/Promise - ’imrâh
(Some do not count "ways" as a synonym for God's Word, but I have included it in the list)All of the synonyms for God's Word are mentioned in one form or another in all but seven verses of this wonderful psalm: 84, 90, 121, 122, and 132.
If you were not convinced of the importance of immersing yourself in the Word of God before reading Psalm 119, I hope you are now!
I memorized and took to heart Psalm 119:9, 11 many years ago:
How can a young man keep his way pure?
By keeping it according to Your word.
Your word I have treasured in my heart,
That I may not sin against You.
I prayed through this psalm for the first time in 1980. I did not know that all those different words were about one thing: God's Word. I hope my list helped you. I was a young believer wanting to really learn to love God's Word. I am still learning.
I have prayed many times through each line of Psalm 119 for myself and for those God have given me to help grow in Christ since that first time in 1980. The Word of God is ESSENTIAL for growth. We need to treasure it in our hearts and take it in every day.
How important is God's Word to you? It is my prayer that God will establish His Word in you, and He will bear fruit through you as a result!
Over the next three days, pray through this psalm and plead with God like the psalmist did! This is about 59 verses a day.PRAYER
Lord, Establish Your word to Your servant, as that which produces reverence for You (119:38). Amen.