Recall the things from the introductory lesson that you wanted to keep in mind as you study the text of Psalm 119.
Don’t forget to read in complete sentences instead of stopping at the end of each verse.
Recall the themes you’ve been noticing in Psalm 119. Watch for those themes to be repeated in today’s and future passages. You may wish to make a list of those themes to refer to throughout this study.
Questions to Consider
1. Review your notes from last week’s lesson. Does that passage relate to this week’s passage? How? Do you notice any repeated words, thoughts, or themes?
2. Describe the psalmist’s posture towards evildoers (113, 115, 118, 119, 126). When you think of people who live in unrepentant rebellion against God, do you tend to have the same posture toward them as the psalmist – righteous anger that they are enemies of God, and, consequently, your enemies as well? Or do you tend to have compassion and a “there, but for the grace of God, go I” posture toward them? Explain why both of these postures are biblical at their appropriate times. Why is it important – for our own hearts and when dealing with and witnessing to the lost – to have a biblically healthy, and appropriate to the situation and individual, balance between those two postures? What could be some of the negative results of having too much compassion for the lost? Of having too much of an “enemies of God” posture toward the lost? How would it impact a church that adopts an out of balance “compassion” posture or “enemies” posture toward sinners?
3. What does double-minded mean in 113? How does the psalmist contrast double-mindedness with God’s stable, secure, and sure law? How does the stability of God’s Word bring us hope? (114) What does the New Testament say about being double-minded? Sometimes we think of the full-throated atheist as the greatest danger to God’s people, but how might a double-minded “Christian” be even more of a threat to the church from within?
How can the double-minded and evildoers pull us away from our hope that’s a result of abiding in Christ and His Word (115-117), and how can they be a distraction and a discouragement from obedience?
4. In 118-120, how does the psalmist describe the way God will deal with evildoers? How does this create a healthy and biblically appropriate fear of God in the psalmist? What is the difference between being afraid of God as some sort of mean monster of indiscriminate wrath, and having a healthy and biblically appropriate fear of God? Considering everything you’ve studied in Psalm 119 so far, does the psalmist’s “obsession” with obeying God’s law seem to be motivated by love for God or being afraid of God? How does an appropriate fear and reverence for God’s power, holiness, wrath, etc., grow our love for Him?
5. Describe what is happening in the psalmist’s life in 121-125, and how he pleads with God. What does he ask God to do to help him? Why? Have you ever been in a situation like the psalmist’s in which you pled with God to intervene over a protracted period of time, and it seemed like He just wouldn’t budge? How does the psalmist’s statement in 126, “It is time for the Lord to act,” resonate with you? Why, in the second half of 126, does he say it is time for the Lord to act? Is it for selfish or personal reasons? Explain how the psalmist is reflecting God’s attribute of justice in this statement. When someone treats you unjustly (actual injustice, not just “I don’t like what you did”) are you more concerned with the pain or problems she is causing you, or the fact that she’s sinning against God by breaking His law?
How is the psalmist’s reflection of the justice of God a result of his loving, studying, and obeying God’s Word? Which godly character traits is God growing in you as you love, study, and obey God’s Word?
6. The psalmist has talked about suffering and being afflicted many times so far in Psalm 119. How is being the victim of injustice (121-125) another form of suffering? Name some godly character traits God grows us in as a result of suffering through injustice. How might growing us in those godly character traits be more important to God, and better for us, than rectifying the unjust situation right away?
7. What are the “therefores” in 127 and 128 “there for”? What do they refer back to? Explain 126-128 in your own words.
Praying Psalm 119
Have you ever tried praying the psalms? I want to encourage you to try praying part of Psalm 119 back to God each week of this study. (If you’re familiar with my other studies, this will take the place of the weekly “Homework” section.)
The psalms are uniquely suited for praying back to God, both verbatim and conceptually, because they are often written as prayers – as though the psalmist is talking to God. Did you notice that about today’s passage? In which verses?
What is a concept or thought for your own life that the Holy Spirit impressed on your heart or convicted you about from today’s passage? Is there a particular verse(s), or maybe the whole passage, that you would like to pray back to God verbatim? Whatever your “prayer point” from today’s lesson, pray it at least daily until we get to the next lesson.