TEXTS AND APPLICATION: Today’s reading is the first eleven sections (stanzas) of the longest chapter in the Bible — a psalm so focused on the Word of God that almost every verse includes a word that refers to the Scriptures (e.g., testimonies, precepts, statutes, commandments, rules, word). So weighty is this reading that it’s hard to narrow this devotion to one focus.
1. Amazingly, God makes Himself known to us through His Word.
In these 88 verses are at least 83 references to Your decrees, Your commands, Your statutes, etc. This chapter is about God’s choosing to reveal Himself to us. In fact, one author describes it as "a literary festival of prayer and praise held in honor of Yahweh’s self-revelation to Israel” (Word Biblical Commentary). In the ancient world — and in fact, in our modern world — filled with idols who have mouths but can’t speak, the God of the Bible has chosen to speak to us. Further, in a world with 2 billion+ people who have little or no access to the gospel, God has chosen to grant us access to His Word in our language. That’s amazing, humbling, and convicting. How can I take the Word of God lightly?
2. I must evaluate my affection for the Word in the light of the Word.
The psalmist’s words about his commitment to the Word recurrently challenge me. The psalmist trusted God through His Word even in times of difficulty and lament. Can I say these words with integrity?
119:11 I have treasured Your word in my heart so that I may not sin against You.
119:16 I will delight in Your statutes; I will not forget Your word.
119:24 Your decrees are my delight and my counselors.
119:30-31a I have chosen the way of truth; I have set Your ordinances before me. I cling to Your decrees . . .
119:34 Help me understand Your instruction, and I will obey it and follow it with all my heart.
119:40 How I long for Your precepts!
119:47-48 I delight in Your commands, which I love. I will lift up my hands to Your commands, which I love, and will meditate on Your statutes.
119:54 Your statutes are the theme of my song during my earthly life.
119:62 I rise at midnight to thank You for Your righteous judgments.
119:72 Instruction from Your lips is better for me than thousands of gold and silver pieces.
119:77 Your instruction is my delight.
PRAYER: I have loved reading the Word and writing these short devotions this year. I wonder, though, if I have longed for hearing God through His Word. Pray with me that we will long for Him.
TOMORROW’S READING: 1 Kings 3-4, 2 Chronicles 1, Psalm 72