Psalm 119 and Loving God's Word

The longest chapter in the Bible is Psalm 119. For a long time all I knew about this particular Psalm was its length. I skimmed over it in my devotion time because the amount of verses in one sitting scared me. They were intimidating. But God is so kind to change hearts, and he sure did with mine. A closer reading of this Psalm reveals the pleasure of treasuring God’s word and the sufficiency of his word for our daily lives.

The entire Psalm is a meditation on God’s Law—the Torah. And it is clear from this passage that God’s word, his commandments to his people, is the theme of this Psalm. But it is more than a Psalm about God’s word. It is a Psalm about treasuring God’s word. His truths are life to the Psalmist.

“My soul clings to the dust; give me life according to your word!”—verse 25

“Your testimonies are my heritage forever, for they are the joy of my heart.”—verse 111

The list could go on. The thing that struck me most as I thought through what the Psalmist was saying is how much he knew God’s word. You don’t delight in something unless you know it, study it, and understand it. I love my husband, and the more I know him and study him the more my love for him grows. If I didn’t work hard to know him, then my love for him would fade away. He would be distant from me.

So it is with God’s word. If we do not do the hard work of studying, then we will not reap the fruit of delight and pleasure. But we cannot do this on our own. Left to myself I am lazy, unorganized, and unmotivated. I need the Holy Spirit daily (actually, every second) to give me desire and drive to want to know God more deeply through his word.

But even more than this, I need the Holy Spirit daily to reveal to me in greater measure what is already true about my soul. God has bought me with Christ’s blood. I am his child. He wants me to know him, and it is this truth about my redeemed condition that should motivate me to action.
The Psalmist loved God’s word because he loved God. God’s word was food to his soul because it showed him who God is. And knowing God is what allows him to speak so candidly about his own life. He trusts wholeheartedly because he did the hard work of knowing God and found God to be faithful to his promises. It is only then that we will be able to say with the Psalmist, “I long for your salvation, O Lord, and your law is my delight” (verse 174).