“Blessed are the undefiled [blameless] in the way, who walk in the law of the Lord! Blessed are those who keep His testimonies, who seek Him with the whole heart!” Psalm 119:1-2.
“Open my eyes, that I may see wondrous things from Your law. I am a stranger in the earth; do not hide Your commandments from me.” Psalm 119:18-19.
Psalm 119 is what is known as an alphabetic acrostic, it is divided into 22 parts, or stanzas, each consisting of 8 verses; 22 times 8 equals 176 verses total, so Psalm 119 begins at verse 1 and ends at 176.
Each stanza consisting of 8 verses begins with the next letter of the alphabet, which is not the English abc, rather it is the Hebrew 22 letter alphabet.
For instance Psalm 119:1-8 seen in part in our opening verses above, begins with the first letter, aleph and continues in order on through to verse 169 which begins with tau, the last letter in their alphabet.
For those who are curious, the Hebrew alphabet is shown in order here: aleph, beth, gimel, daleth, he, waw, zayin, heth, teth, yod, kaph, lamed, mem, nun, samek, ayin, pe, tsadde, qoph, resh, shin, and tau.
While the spelling of the names of these letters may vary according to your source the order remains the same. One example would be the sixth letter shown above, waw, is spelled vau in another source so do not let this throw you.
Having said all this, let us continue. The problem with long psalms like this is that the repetition and length tend to make us zone out and not really see the value of the things being said because everything begins to bleed together.
As a result, it would be a good idea to take long passages like this and read just parts at a time and then meditate on them. Perhaps two or three verses at a time, or even in this case since they are eight verse blocs, consider eight verses at a time.
At any rate, as long as you do not lose the context, break down large chunks into smaller ones, and consider them one at a time. Never forget the context of a passage. It has been said that, “A text taken out of context is a pretext.”
A friend used to give an example of how Scripture taken out of context could be misused by quoting two different passages, “And Judas went out and hung himself” “Go thou and do likewise.” Cults have started with Bible passages which have been isolated then misinterpreted.
It is, by the way, a good idea to study the Proverbs in this manner too, since they also tend to run together after a while. Read or study Proverbs in small blocs or by subject for the best results.
It is not my intention to start a study of Psalm 119 in its entirety; rather it will be just on a few verses at a time over time. All of this information has been given for your benefit and perhaps to help you study it for yourself if you wish. Whatever you do, may God richly bless you in it.
“Open my eyes, that I may see wondrous things from Your law.” Psalm 119:18.
There is the story of a preacher who preached a hell-fire and brimstone sermon one Sunday, and afterward he was standing at the church entrance talking to members of his congregation as they were leaving. When he spoke to one man he asked what the man thought of his message, the man replied, “Oh, same as always, be good and do good.”
This is a good example of someone whose eyes were not open; in fact, his ignorance showed that he had never accepted Christ as his Savior at all.
“But even if our gospel is veiled, it is veiled to those who are perishing, whose minds the god of this age has blinded, who do not believe, lest the light of the gospel of the glory of Christ, who is the image of God, should shine on them.” 2 Corinthians 4:3-4.
Too many people believe that the Bible is a book of be good and do good, and this without reading it. Scripture tells us just the opposite; man cannot be good and do good at all until he receives the new nature which is given when one accepts Christ as their Savior.
“But we are all like an unclean thing, and all our righteousnesses are like filthy rags; we all fade as a leaf, and our iniquities, like the wind, have taken us away.” Isaiah 64:6.
Even for the Christian, many spend their lives with only a superficial reading of the Bible. For those who find themselves doing this, do not stop, it is a good thing to sit down and read through a book like the gospel of John over a few days, this is a good way to get an overview of God’s word.
Read through the New Testament then the Old, be consistent, write down anything that does not make sense, and then ask your pastor or a Bible teacher.
If their answers do not satisfy you, just continue reading, often the Scriptures will answer their own questions. Some of my questions have taken years for answers to come.
Eventually, if you are consistent, you will start to study the Scriptures which is what God wants all of us to do. If you are not good at studying the word, and many are not, join a good Bible study group, or take some Christian school classes, but do not give up.
Many Christians make one grave mistake though, they believe that because they are Christians God is going to give them the answers to everything, do not fall into this trap. God is God and He has chosen to keep many things to Himself.
Every once and a while you will hit the wall, it is then that you will have to remember that He is still in control, answer or no answer.
“All Scripture is given by inspiration of God, and is profitable for doctrine, for reproof, for correction, for instruction in righteousness, that the man of God may be complete, thoroughly equipped for every good work.” 2 Timothy 3:16-17.
“Be diligent to present yourself approved to God, a worker who does not need to be ashamed, rightly dividing the word of truth. But shun profane and idle babblings, for they will increase [lead] to more ungodliness.” 2 Timothy 2:15-16.
If a man, or woman, is to be complete and thoroughly equipped for every good work, they must study. If they are to present themselves approved to God, a worker who does not need to be ashamed, able to rightly divide the word of truth, they will be useful to God.
That the Bible is more than a be good and do good book is indicated by the psalmist’s call to God, “Open my eyes, that I may see wondrous things”. Why does the Apostle Paul pray for us to have these things?
“Therefore I also, after I heard of your faith in the Lord Jesus and your love for all the saints, do not cease to give thanks for you, making mention of you in my prayers: that the God of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Father of glory, may give to you the spirit of wisdom and revelation in the knowledge of Him, the eyes of your understanding being enlightened; that you may know what is the hope of His calling, what are the riches of the glory of His inheritance in the saints, and what is the exceeding greatness of His power toward us who believe, according to the working of His mighty power which He worked in Christ when He raised Him from the dead and seated Him at His right hand in the heavenly places…” Ephesians 1:15-20.
“Oh, the depth of the riches both of the wisdom and knowledge of God! How unsearchable are His judgments and His ways past finding out! ‘For who has known the mind of the Lord? Or who has become His counselor?’ ‘Or who has first given to Him and it shall be repaid to him?’ For of Him and through Him and to Him are all things, to whom be glory forever. Amen.” Romans 11:33-36.
“Open my eyes…” means, the eyes of my heart, or understanding, as you can see from the two previous passages there is a lot to understand.
In fact let us see from the entire verse what the source is of these wondrous things spoken of here.
“Open my eyes, that I may see wondrous things from Your law.” Psalm 119:18.
The word law above is not the Ten Commandments, or even the entire Mosaic Law, though it does include it. The wondrous things are the various doctrines found in the Old Testament and New Testament.
For instance here in Psalm 119:90 we are told:
“Your faithfulness endures to all generations; You established the earth, and it abides [stands].”
What does that tell you about a faithful God caring for the earth and its inhabitants? If God established the earth, and He made it to be inhabited, what does that tell you about the global warming hysteria?
By studying the Scriptures men have found numerous Old Testament prophecies about the Christ; Isaiah 52:13 through chapter 53 are about the Christ, Isaiah 9:6-7 speaks of the Christ child and takes us on into His future millennial reign. Jesus Himself tells us of His Second Advent and reign in Matthew 25:31-46.
The tabernacle in the wilderness is a picture of Christ, as are the various sacrifices described in Leviticus. Jesus is not only the sacrifice portrayed in the law, He is the fulfillment of the law.
“Do not think that I came to destroy the Law or the Prophets. I did not come to destroy but to fulfill.” Matthew 5:17.
Jesus not only fulfilled the Law by keeping it in its entirety, He also became the perfect sinless sacrifice for sin which it looked forward to.
“For Christ is the end of the law for righteousness to everyone who believes.” Romans 10:4.
“…if you confess with your mouth the Lord Jesus and believe in your heart that God has raised Him from the dead, you will be saved. For with the heart one believes unto righteousness, and with the mouth confession is made unto salvation. For the Scripture says, ‘Whoever believes on Him will not be put to shame.’ For there is no distinction between Jew and Greek, for the same Lord over all is rich to all who call upon Him. For ‘whoever calls on the name of the Lord shall be saved.’” Romans 10:9-13.
“But the natural man does not receive the things of the Spirit of God, for they are foolishness to him; nor can he know them, because they are spiritually discerned. But he who is spiritual judges all things, yet he himself is rightly judged by no one. For ‘who has known the mind of the Lord that he may instruct Him?’ But we have the mind of Christ.” 1 Corinthians 2:14-16.
It is a real privilege to be able to enter in to the secret things which God has revealed to us. No matter what your opinion of yourself or your abilities, do not fail to reach out and take the things which God has freely given you.
“I am a stranger in the earth; do not hide Your commandments from me.” Psalm 119:19.
God’s commandments here are judgments, or ordinances. Ordinances are an authoritative rule or law; also a decree or command. It can also be an established rite or ceremony.
As strangers and pilgrims in the earth we have to obey man’s laws for a good testimony to those around us and for our own good. Yet as sojourners on this earth we must know and obey the commandments of our heavenly country which we see by faith.
“By faith he [Abraham] dwelt in the land of promise as in a foreign country, dwelling in tents with Isaac and Jacob, the heirs with him of the same promise; for he waited for the city which has foundations, whose builder and maker is God.” Hebrews 11:9-10.
“These all died in faith, not having received the promises, but having seen them afar off were assured of them, embraced them and confessed that they were strangers and pilgrims on the earth. For those who say such things declare plainly that they seek a homeland. And truly if they had called to mind that country from which they had come out, they would have had opportunity to return. But now they desire a better, that is, a heavenly country. Therefore God is not ashamed to be called their God, for He has prepared a city for them.” Hebrews 11:13-16.
“But you have come to Mount Zion and to the city of the living God, the heavenly Jerusalem, to an innumerable company of angels, to the general assembly and church of the firstborn who are registered in heaven, to God the Judge of all, to the spirits of just men made perfect, to Jesus the Mediator of the new covenant, and to the blood of sprinkling that speaks better things than that of Abel. See that you do not refuse Him who speaks. For if they did not escape who refused Him who spoke on earth, much more shall we not escape if we turn away from Him who speaks from heaven, whose voice then shook the earth; but now He has promised, saying, ‘Yet once more I shake not only the earth, but also heaven.’ Now this, ‘Yet once more,’ indicates the removal of those things that are being shaken, as of things that are made, that the things which cannot be shaken may remain. Therefore, since we are receiving a kingdom which cannot be shaken, let us have grace, by which we may serve God acceptably with reverence and godly fear. For our God is a consuming fire.” Hebrews 12:22-29.
Father, open our eyes that we may see the wondrous things that You have prepared for those of us who have embraced Your Son Jesus as their Savior; open the eyes of the readers here who have not come to Christ yet. Give us eyes to see that heavenly city as we journey onward. Amen.
“But as it is written: ‘Eye has not seen, nor ear heard, nor have entered into the heart of man the things which God has prepared for those who love Him.’” 1 Corinthians 2:9.
Psalm 119:18-19 taken from godisrevealed.com
Scripture taken from the New King James version. Copyright 1982 by Thomas Nelson, Inc. Used by permission. All rights reserved.