TOMORROW will be our wrap up lesson for Psalm 119. Don’t miss it!
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. Write down each phrase in 161-164, 167 that follows the general pattern: “I / my [heart attitude] at Your Word, law, etc.”. Compare the posture of your heart toward God’s Word with that of the psalmist’s. Take a moment to ask God to help you stand in awe, rejoice at, etc., His Word.
Second Corinthians 13:5 tells us to test ourselves to see if we are, indeed, in the faith. The book of 1 John emphasizes the tests of obedience to the Word and love for the brethren. John 10 shows us the test of rejecting false teachers. Could the phrases you wrote down from 161-164, 167, help you test yourself regarding your love for God’s Word? Since even the finest Christian will never love God’s Word perfectly 100% of the time, what would passing the test of loving God’s Word look like? What role does God play in your ability to love His Word?
Once you’re done with this question, you might enjoy reading my article The Mailbag: I love the Bible, but I have to force myself to read it (Don’t think the psalmist didn’t feel that way sometimes, too.)
3. What kinds of things would the psalmist have considered to be “great spoil”? (162). When you get right down to it, aren’t money, jewels, gold, and silver essentially just paper, rocks, and metal? Why do they have value? Who assigns them their value? Is it ultimately our place to assign value to things? Why or why not? Do we incorrectly over or under value certain things?
Consider this statement: “It’s not our place to assign value to things. It’s God’s place. It’s our place to agree with Him and value the things to which He has assigned value.” Agree of disagree? Why? Does Scripture have intrinsic, ontological value, or assigned value, or both? Explain your answer.
4. Verse 165 is the only verse in Psalm 119 in which the psalmist uses the word “peace”. How does loving God’s Word give Believers peace? Can an unbeliever truly love God’s Word or derive real peace from it? Why not?
5. What does the psalmist mean by “all my ways are before you” (168), and why does this fact lead him to keep God’s precepts and testimonies? Ponder for a moment that all your ways are before God. In what ways does this realization make you want to better keep God’s precepts and testimonies in your own life?
6. Revisit lesson 11 (link above), question 4, and compare 169-170 to the “Give me _____ according to your_____,” verses there. What similarities do you see? Differences?
7. In question 2, the verses we looked at all dealt with the internal response of the heart toward God’s Word. How would you characterize the response to God’s word in 171-172? For a Believer, why is it; a) natural, and b) important that God’s word evokes both an internal and external response in us? How, and why, should pondering God’s Word move us to worship Him?
8. Compare the sheep motif of 176 to these passages. What is the perspective from which each of these passages is written? Is the focus of each of these passages on the individual sheep, the flock, the shepherd, etc.? Are any of these passages (or any other “sheep” or “shepherd” motif passages you can think of) written from the perspective of an individual “sheep” saying “I have gone astray” as 176 is? What does the psalmist mean when he says he has gone astray like a lost sheep, and then asks the “Good Shepherd” to seek him? How does he know he has gone astray? If he knows he has gone astray, why doesn’t he just go back? Why does he need the shepherd to seek him? What does “I do not forget Your commandments” mean in relationship to all of this? How does the Lord restore us to Himself after we sin?
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.