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Psalm 119 Part 1 Psalm 119:1-24 Introduction The longest chapter in the Bible –Intimidating at 176 verses –Perhaps you’ve read the whole psalm But have.

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Presentation on theme: "Psalm 119 Part 1 Psalm 119:1-24 Introduction The longest chapter in the Bible –Intimidating at 176 verses –Perhaps you’ve read the whole psalm But have."— Presentation transcript:

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2 Psalm 119 Part 1 Psalm 119:1-24

3 Introduction The longest chapter in the Bible –Intimidating at 176 verses –Perhaps you’ve read the whole psalm But have you spent time trying to understand what the psalm teaches? A psalm about God’s word –Although the specifics of God’s law have changed from the OT to the NT Our need for learning His law and obeying it has not changed (2 Tim 3:13-17) –A study of this psalm should help us to have a deeper appreciation for God’s word

4 Acrostic poetry In our lesson on Prov 31, we mentioned “acrostic poetry” An “acrostic poem” is one where each line or verse begins with a specific letter of the alphabet to make a pattern or phrase –In Prov 31:10-31, the pattern formed is the entire Hebrew alphabet in order (one letter per verse) The same pattern is found in Ps 25, 34, and 145 Ps 111 and 112 have the same pattern but with one letter per line Ps 9, 10, and 37 have the alphabetical order, but with each letter repeated twice Ps 119 is also in alphabetical order, but with each letter repeated 8 times

5 Psalm 119 Look at Ps 119 –Notice it is divided into 8 verse groupings –Notice that each 8 verse group is headed by a Hebrew word (aleph, beth, gimel, etc) Each word is the name of the Hebrew letter that begins each of the following 8 verses But each word is also a Hebrew word with a meaning of its own –(“aleph” means “ox” and is a prefix meaning “strong, mighty”, “beth” means “house”, etc) –Understanding the meaning of the word may help us better appreciate and understand each grouping

6 Aleph “ox” The first 8 verses are grouped under the word “aleph” and each verse begins with the letter aleph, א “Aleph” is the Hebrew word for an “ox”, it can also be used as a verb “to tame or learn” –When attached to another word as a prefix, it means “strong, mighty” –Oxen were used for plowing and hauling Very strong, steady (not over-excitable), but not very fast –How will that help us appreciate and understand verses 1-8?

7 Learning God’s Word Ps 119:1-8 –If you walk the way without being defiled The way is “the law of the LORD” To be undefiled is to be obedient and seek God with your whole heart (v2) (Jms 1:27) To walk the way is to not sin (v3) (1Jn 2:1-7) –Knowing what is right does not mean it is easy The psalmist wishes God would direct his steps –Keep him on the right path until he learns to do right and stay on the path To remember the group: picture an ox being trained by a strong hand to follow a given path

8 Beth “house” The second 8 verses are grouped under the word “beth” and each verse begins with the letter beth, ב “Beth” is the Hebrew word for “house” –Familiar in place names like “Bethel” (‘house of God’) and “Bethlehem” (‘house of bread’) –A house is a place of security and protection For children a place to prepare for the world before taking on all the challenges

9 The house of God’s word Ps 119:9-16 –How can a child be prepared for life? Not just any life, but a pure, cleansed, secure life –The only answer is by spending a lot of time in God’s word (Prov 6:20-24) Learning and loving God’s laws, making a home for them in our hearts (Dt 6:1-9) –Not only taking them in, but sharing them –Valuing them, rejoicing in them, meditating on them »All made easier with the active participation of others (like parents, church members) To remember this group: picture a child at home studying in preparation for growing up and going forth

10 Gimel “camel” The third 8 verses are grouped under the word “gimel” and each verse begins with the letter gimel, ג “Gimel” is the Hebrew word for “camel”; it can also be used as a verb “to treat well” –The English word is just a corrupt transliteration –Camels were used for travel through unfriendly environs

11 Journeying with God’s word Ps 119:17-24 –Starts “gimel” as a verb “deal bountifully” or “treat well” God has promised blessings for those who follow Him (Eph 1:3-6) (the oasis) –If we’ll travel God’s way (live by His word; ride His camel), we need to look at all the wonders Realize life is a journey, long for the destination –Yes, heaven is the last destination, but also long for the nearer destination of knowing and doing God’s will »Heb 11:13-16; 1Pet 2:11, 1:17 –Stay on course no matter who or what (the desert of sin) Remember this grouping: picture yourself riding a camel through a desert

12 Conclusion God’s word contains so much to help us through life –We need to be trained and guided by it –We need to be protected and prepared by it –We need to journey through life letting it carry us in the right way and past the dangers And as we go, we need to open our eyes and see all the wonderful things God has prepared for us

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