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Meditating on Psalm 119

When I first started studying the Word of God, I was amazed by the length and depth of Psalm 91. It it was instrumental in enhancing my love for God’s word.

I was puzzled, though, by the strange sub-headings, for each of the twenty-two sections, even in English translations. So, I set out to find clarity for those foreign sounding sub-headings. I found out that those strange sub-headings are the names of the Hebrew alphabet. There are twenty-two characters in the Hebrew alphabet—thus each of the twenty-two sections or stanzas of this acrostic psalm represent one of the Hebrew alphabets. Each section or a Hebrew alphabet contains eight verses.

  • ALEPH. Verses 1-8
  • BETH. Verses 9-16
  • GIMEL. Verses 17-24
  • DALETH. Verses 25-32
  • HE. Verses 33-40
  • VAU. Verses 41-48
  • ZAIN. Verses 49-56
  • CHETH. Verses 57-64
  • TETH. Verses 65-72
  • JOD. Verses. 73-80
  • CAPH. Verses 81-88
  • LAMED. Verses 89-96
  • MEM. Verses 97-104
  • NUN. Verses 105-112
  • SAMECH. Verses 113-120
  • PE. Verses 129-136
  • TZADDI. Verses 137-144
  • KOPH. Verses 145-152
  • RESH. Verses 153-160
  • SCHIN. Verses 161-168
  • TAU. Verses 169-176

Psalm 119’s author is unknown—some believe it was written by Ezra. It was probably one of the new psalms that was composed when the Jewish people rebuilt the temple after returning from exile. It was a prayer and meditation in the Old Testament of one who lived by the Torah—God’s sacred law. In Hebrew culture, the word was memorized and passed down to successive generations. This psalm was often set to music. Psalm 119 is believed to have been written over a period of time and later placed together.

There are several special words used throughout Psalm 119: God’s word, sayings, statutes (decrees), judgements, law, commandments, precepts, testimonies, ways (path), truth/faithfulness, righteousness and promises.

Psalm 119 was a celebration in song of God’s Word and his laws, reflected in his faithfulness to his people. It can be a daily guide and encouragement for us to keep our focus on the Word, which is our firm foundation in the midst of a troubling world. Oh! How we can use a spiritual guide in this tumultuous time of the COVID-19 pandemic, racial injustice, et al. The theme is the truth of God’s Word no matter what the situation. Psalm 119 helps us to stay true to God’s laws and his Word for it is where we will find peace and direction in the midst of the storms.

Be blessed and stay safe.

Scripture References:

Psalm 119:105 Your word is a lamp to my feet and a light for my path. Psalm 119:105

Psalm 119:9. I have hidden your word in my heart that I might not sin against you.

Psalm 110: 165 Great peace have they who love your law, and nothing can make them stumble. study

Published inCultivating a Devotional Life

One Comment

  1. Audrey Biddersingh Audrey Biddersingh

    Very Very Encouraging. These are Words of Life and comfort to strengthen our faith.

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