A Study in Psalm 119 the Power of the Word

Psalm 119 Bible Study #1 Power of the Word

In this Psalm 119 Bible Study we will see the Power of the Word of God. Psalm 119 is the longest Psalm in the Bible and the study is divided into six blogs. Prayers and other study guides will be included. The Psalm 119 Bible Study will be available Blog 6 as an EBook you can purchase to continue your own Psalm 119 Bible Study.

The first section of Psalm 119 that we’ll look at is verses 1-32. I’ve broken this study up into sections because there is so much to learn in Psalm 119. It is truly a masterpiece displaying the power of the Word of God.

Psalm 119 Bible Study – The Power of the Word of God

The power of the word of God is an incredible subject. Did you know that the Bible describes itself? Read the verses below:

For the word of God is alive and active. Sharper than any double-edged sword, it penetrates even to dividing soul and spirit, joints and marrow; it judges the thoughts and attitudes of the heart.Hebrews 4:12 NIV

“God’s word is alive and working and is sharper than a double-edged sword. It cuts all the way into us, where the soul and the spirit are joined, to the center of our joints and bones. And it judges the thoughts and feelings in our hearts..” Hebrews 4:12 NCV
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God’s Word is sharper than any two-edged sword and can pierce more deeply. In fact, it can even divide the soul from the spirit! Who or what can claim that? While my mind agrees to the concept, I really don’t understand it and could not imagine being able to separate the two. It can divide joints from marrow – penetrating to the very core of our being. There is no one and nothing other than God and His Word which hold this power, and, for those of us who have experienced it, we know the truth of it.

The Word Has Unrivaled Power

The Word of God interprets and reveals the true thoughts and secret motives of our hearts! That is incredible and a little intimidating, but is exactly why we should be totally honest with God when we speak to Him and listen to Him. We must be totally honest with ourselves as well because – God knows!

Psalm 119, the longest Psalm, extols the Word. Over and over it recounts what the word, law, testimonies, and commandments do for us and to us and how we should view them and live them. While it may seem repetitive, it isn’t because it each section shines a slightly different light revealing a new facet of our relationship to the Word of God and its power. 171 of the 176 verses mention Scripture referring to it as:

Psalm 119 Extols the Word

No one knows who wrote Psalm 119. Many believe it was David. Others believe it was a compilation of various writers. The only real theme is that of the Word of God in its various forms. The Psalm is an acrostic using the 22 letters of the Hebrew alphabet. Each line in a section starts with the letter for that section. Only a few other Scriptures use this acrostic pattern. It is the longest Psalm and throughout extols, praises, lifts up, and glorifies the beauty and power of the Word.

A Study in Psalm 119 the Power of the Word

For those of us who live under grace rather than law, it can be a source of wonder that the Law could bring such joy to people. However, this was God’s word to these people and they treasured it. Of course, they had the ten commandments and then they had the Mosaic law. But to them, all of it was God’s guidance for life and they revered it as originating from their creator.

Psalm 119: 1-8 – א Aleph

  1. Blessed are those whose ways are blameless, who walk according to the law of the Lord.
  2. Blessed are those who keep his statutes and seek him with all their heart—
  3. they do no wrong but follow his ways.
  4. You have laid down precepts that are to be fully obeyed.
  5. Oh, that my ways were steadfast in obeying your decrees!
  6. Then I would not be put to shame when I consider all your commands.
  7. I will praise you with an upright heart as I learn your righteous laws.
  8. I will obey your decrees; do not utterly forsake me. Psalm 119:1-8 NIV

Here you see how the Word is the primary focus. There is so much to talk about in each section that it would require a book to contain all of it. It speaks of being blessed, blameless, seeking with all your heart, doing no wrong, fully obeying, being steadfast, not being put to shame, praise, an upright heart, obedience, and cry to not be forsaken. All in 8 short verses.

Psalm 119:9-16 – ב Beth

  1. How can a young person stay on the path of purity? By living according to your word.
  2. I seek you with all my heart; do not let me stray from your commands.
  3. I have hidden your word in my heart that I might not sin against you.
  4. Praise be to you, Lord; teach me your decrees.
  5. With my lips I recount all the laws that come from your mouth.
  6. I rejoice in following your statutes as one rejoices in great riches.
  7. I meditate on your precepts and consider your ways.
  8. I delight in your decrees; I will not neglect your word. Psalm 119:9-16 NIV

How can a young man stay pure? By living according to God’s Word, There is power in the Word to keep us pure! Then the psalm tells us from a first-person perspective, how to live.

  • Verse 10 – Seek God with your whole heart.
  • Verse 11 – Hide the Word in your heart.
  • Verse 12 – Learn God’s decrees.
  • Verse 13 – Recount God’s laws.
  • Verse 14 – Rejoice as you would in great riches.
  • Verse 15 – Meditate on God’s precepts and consider His ways.
  • Verse 16 – Delight in His decrees and don’t neglect His Word.

Again, a wealth of instruction in eight short verses giving us a blueprint for living as a lover of God by living according to His Word, seeking Him, making His word part of you, learning from Him, reminding yourself of His laws, rejoicing in Him, meditating on His precepts, considering His ways, delighting in His decrees, and never neglecting His Word.

All of those words are action words. We don’t just idly wait for Him to do something. Instead, we take action. We have personal responsibility to act the way God created us to. We are meant to be active participants in our relationship with God, applying it, speaking it, living it and never neglecting it.

Psalm 119:17-24 – ג Gimel

  1. Verse 17 – Be good to your servant while I live, that I may obey your word.
  2. Verse 18 – Open my eyes that I may see wonderful things in your law.
  3. Verse 19 – I am a stranger on earth; do not hide your commands from me.
  4. Verse 20 – My soul is consumed with longing for your laws at all times.
  5. Verse 21 – You rebuke the arrogant, who are accursed, those who stray from your commands.
  6. Verse 22 – Remove from me their scorn and contempt, for I keep your statutes.
  7. Verse 23 – Though rulers sit together and slander me, your servant will meditate on your decrees.
  8. Verse 24 – Your statutes are my delight; they are my counselors.

Here, the writer asks God to be good to him or her, knowing that God’s goodness will assist in obedience. I have never thought God’s goodness helping me to be obedient! What a wonderful insight on God’s goodness.

There is also a request for our eyes to be opened so that we can see all the wonderful things in God’s law. For me, the ‘law’ consists of the Ten Commandments and the example of Jesus. Jesus’ new commandment  – to love others as He loved us – is the Ten Commandments all wrapped up in one! This is the ‘law’ of grace and love that Jesus gave us. If we are seeking Him, I believe He will continually reveal more and more wonderful things to us.

Psalm 119 Bible Study

Consumed With Longing

The writer says he is consumed with longing for God’s law at all times. What a powerful statement and challenge to us to do the same. We are given another set of guidelines in this section:

  • Obey God’s Word
  • See wonderful things in His word
  • Ask Him to show you His commands and ways.
  • Be consumed with longing for His Word at all times
  • Do not stray from His commands
  • Keep His statutes
  • Meditate on His decrees even when you are being slandered
  • Delight in His statutes – let them be your counselors.

Psalm 119:25-32 – ד Daleth

  1. Verse 25 – I am laid low in the dust; preserve my life according to your word.
  2. Verse 26 – I gave an account of my ways and you answered me; teach me your decrees.
  3. Verse 27 – Cause me to understand the way of your precepts, that I may meditate on your wonderful deeds.
  4. Verse 28 – My soul is weary with sorrow; strengthen me according to your word.
  5. Verse 29 – Keep me from deceitful ways; be gracious to me and teach me your law.
  6. Verse 30 – I have chosen the way of faithfulness; I have set my heart on your laws.
  7. Verse 31 – I hold fast to your statutes, Lord; do not let me be put to shame.
  8. Verse 32. –I run in the path of your commands, for you have broadened my understanding.

I have put some of the verbs of each section in bold because I want to emphasize the action that is brought out in Psalm 119. Some are requests for God’s action in our lives and others are our actions in response to God’s actions or Word because of the power of the Word of God.

Constant Movement and Action

There is a series of requests and vows. The person is praying for God to do certain things and then promising a response to God. Again, we see action from both sides and personal responsibility.

  • The writer says he/she is laid low or humbled and then asks that, from this position of humility, God would preserve his/her life according to the Word.
  • The writer is giving an account of his/her ways, asking God to teach him/her. Giving an account implies honesty to which God replies.
  • He asks God for understanding so that he/she can meditate on God’s wonderful deeds.
  • In his/her weariness, he/she asks God to strengthen him/her with the Word.
  • He/she prays for protection from deceitful ways, for grace on his/her life and for God to continue to teach him/her God’s law.
  • Here, he/she pledges to choose the way of faithfulness and to set his/her heart on God’s laws.
  • He/she determines to hold fast to those statutes and asks not to be put to shame.
  • Then he/she runs in God’s path because his/her understanding has been expanded.
Psalm 119 Bible Study

Here is. a personalized prayer you can use:

Father, as I humble myself before you, keep my life pure in Your Word. You see my ways, the ones which are right in your sight and the ones which are not. You answer me with grace and forgiveness as I am honest in Your presence. Teach me everything about your Word and Your ways. I ask for a deeper understanding of your precepts as I meditate on all Your wonderful deeds. In those areas where my soul is weary or there is sorrow, please strengthen me with Your Word.

Keep me away from paths that are not true to Your Word. Don’t let me be deceived. Instead, shower Your grace on me and teach me Your way. I will hold fast to Your commandments and conform myself to the image of Christ, my Savior, and Lord. Keep me from being put to shame as I choose the path of Faithfulness. Father, I set my heart on your laws of grace and mercy. Now, I will run the path of your commands, knowing You have enlarged and expanded my understanding of You. I ask in Jesus precious name, Amen.”

Click Here to download the steps of action contained in Psalm 119:1-32. The steps of action can also be used as a Psalm 119 Study Guide and you can make them part of your prayer time.

You might also enjoy reading – Praying the Scriptures for Strength w/Free EBook

Inspiration For Life Today uses verses from different Bible translations. To see more information about the copyright for each one, please visit this page – Scripture Citations.

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