In Praise of God’s Word
by Impact Church
Thy word is a lamp unto my feet, and a light unto my path. Psalms 119:105
In the very heart of your Bible stands one of the most enduring and passionate tributes on any subject in all of literature. The longest chapter of the longest book in the sacred canon – Psalm 119 – towers like a mighty redwood extolling the glorious beauty of the written Word of God in language found nowhere else.
The Psalmist easily drains his inkwell for 176 verses (double the length of the next longest Bible chapter, Numbers 7),…and his subject is hardly exhausted. In fact, if you are a student of God’s Word you will know that perhaps the only reason the writer brought the ode to an end was because there were no more letters left in the alphabet!
The 119th Psalm is an abecedarian, or alphabetical, acrostic based on the 22 letters of the Hebrew alphabet. Many Bibles will have the first letter “ALEPH” as a heading over the first eight verses, “BETH” over the second set and so on. Each of the eight verses in the respective sections begins with that Hebrew letter; and many Jewish families used the beloved psalm to teach children their “ABCs.”
God’s Word is represented by a host of designations: law, ordinances, commandments, precepts, testimonies, statutes, way, etc. Only four of the 176 verses do not contain such a synonym.
Of course, with a psalm of this length and the gravity and radiance of its content, there are many ways one can mine it for the depth of its treasures. One of our favorite ways is to examine the verbs used in relation to the Truth. We are told to walk in it,…keep it,…respect it,…learn it,…take heed to it,…not wander from it,…hide it in our hearts,…declare it,…delight in it,…behold wondrous things in it,…understand it,…choose it,…cling to it,…long after it,…trust in it,…and hope in it,…just to name a few.
We can do no justice here to the eloquence of the Psalmist or the majestic grandeur of the Word. Our only intent is to whet your appetite, dear saint, to delve into Psalm 119 and discover the entire Bible’s relevance and supreme value afresh for yourself. Maybe a simple acrostic of our own will suffice using the key word “LAMP” in one of the most familiar verses (105): “Thy word is a lamp unto my feet, and a light unto my path.”
- L – Love … Do you love the Word? “With my whole heart have I sought Thee; oh, let me not wander from Thy commandments” (v. 10). “I have rejoiced in the way of Thy testimonies, as much as in all riches” (v. 14) “I will delight myself in Thy statutes…” (v. 16). “My soul breaketh for the longing that it hath unto Thy judgments at all times” (v. 20). “Behold, I have longed after Thy precepts…” (v. 40). “And I will delight myself in Thy commandments, which I have loved” (v. 47). “I rejoice at Thy word, as one that findeth great spoil” (v. 162). “Great peace have they who love Thy law, and nothing shall offend them” (v. 165). Lord, restore to Your people such a love for and delight in Your Word!
- A – Articulate … Are you able to speak the Word over your life and the lives of others? “I will praise Thee with uprightness of heart, when I shall have learned Thy righteous judgments” (v. 7). “With my lips have I declared all the judgments of Thy mouth (v. 13). “…So shall I talk of Thy wondrous works” (v. 27). “And take not the word of truth utterly out of my mouth…” (v. 43). “I will speak of Thy testimonies also before kings, and will not be ashamed” (v. 46). “At midnight I will rise to give thanks unto Thee, because of Thy righteous judgments” (v. 62). “Seven times a day do I praise Thee, because of Thy righteous judgments” (v. 164).
- M – Meditate … Do we take the time not just to scan a few verses or a chapter on any given day, but to pause and ponder carefully over the life-changing truths of God’s Word? “I will meditate in thy precepts, and have respect unto thy ways” (v. 15). “My hands also will I lift up unto thy commandments, which I have loved; and I will meditate in thy statutes” (v. 48). “Mine eyes prevent thenight watches, that I might meditate in thy word” (v. 148).
- P – Practice … Of course, the Bible is not just a book to be read, memorized or even declared. It is Truth to be followed and walked out in the everyday life of a believer. “Oh, that my ways were directed to keep Thy statutes!” (v. 5). “Wherewithal shall a young man cleanse his way? By taking heed thereto according to Thy word” (v. 9). “Thy word have I hidden in mine heart, that I might not sin against Thee” (v. 11). “Order my steps in Thy word, and let not any iniquity have dominion over me” (v. 133).
The leadership of Impact Church is in agreement that the Word of God – embodied in the Incarnate Word, Jesus Christ – will be at the forefront of everything we do as a body of believers. We invite you to read, study and apply the Word along with us in our weekend services, in our midweek gatherings and in your private devotional times. We promise – on the authority of God’s Word, no less – that it will be time well spent!