The Longest Psalm
By Aaron Smith UR Dallas Youth Pastor
If you relate to me, anytime you take a look into the book of Psalms you overlook ch. 119 solely because of its length. When I get into the Word, my first peek is normally into the gospels; for it's in the gospels that we see the life, miracles and character of Jesus.
If not the Gospels, I'll look at the stories of the men of old. Joshua the Warrior. David the King. Elijah the Prophet. It's in these stories of history that you see the wonder of God come forth from men and women who made God their strength.
But... If my book of choice is the Psalms, my goal is probably to connect my heart. I cannot relate to the stories of the warriors, the kings, the prophets or even the Son of man if my heart is not connected. In Psalms you see David, and other writers, author poem after poem that relates to every emotion a human experiences. Normally it doesn't take but the first few lines for my heart to jump and ride along the wave of emotion coming forth from the heart connected author.
I love the Psalms because its easy to get a full chapter read in just moments. Which is why I believe its such a favored book in the Bible. Most are short, sweet and to the point while inviting you to connect your heart to the Father and find yourself full of faith and awareness of Him.
However, '119' at first glance is intimidating. It is the longest Psalm by far and it's a full 5 pages. It is broken into 22 sections of 8 verses. Each section is given a different letter from the Hebrew alphabet at the start of the section which reveals something about the nature of God and all 176 verses pointing to one thing. The power of His word.
In fact the title to the chapter is: Meditations on the Excellencies of the Word. (NKJV)
Isn't it interesting that the longest Psalm is not a poem on the Good shepherd, its not about the Lord strong in battle or even about Him making his enemies his footstool.
But when you open up to the longest Psalm in the Bible it is on the Power, significance and benefits of the Word in effect in our lives.
According to Psalms 119 the Word:
Gives Language. Is sweet to my lips. Is a lamp.
Is a light. Cleanses me. Keeps me from sin. Prunes me.
Revives me. Strengthens me. Is established. Is settled in Heaven.
Brings mercy. Brings Salvation. Delivers me. Rejoices.
Entirety is Truth. Brings Hope. Gives life. Upholds me.
Keeps me from going astray. Is pure. Brings wonder and awe to my heart.
WOW. A lot of benefits. A lot of life. And a big impact on the ones life who opens their word and let's it be an influence to their being. It is as if the writer knows of the struggles of life and is pointing towards the answer.
My favorite is out of verse 105: 'Your Word is a lamp to my feet and light to my path.' (NKJV)
Have you ever waken up in the middle of the night and you are so parched that it feels as if you haven't had water in days? You slowly roll out of bed and start for the kitchen and just before reaching your destination, WAHM! You run into the wall. You frantically feel around the wall looking for the light switch knocking knees, elbows and toes along the way. Finally you find the switch and flip it from 'off' to 'on'.
What once was dark, confusing, and frustrating is now a clear path to your glass of ice water.
So it is when you read your word. From flipping open the pages and reading just a single verse it's like flipping the light switch to 'on' in the hallways of your heart. Where your life seemed dark, confusing and even frustrating there is now light pointing towards Jesus who, like the glass of water, brings refreshment, life, hope and joy to your soul.
Psalms 119, the longest psalm in the bible. Even it's length boasts of the value of the Word. It's the Word speaking, convincing your soul of itself. It guides you. It upholds you. It restores you.
It is our daily bread, our life source and to the christian, the Word should be like oxygen to ones lungs.
Wherever you're at, and whatever life seems to be throwing your way, the Word will be a light to your feet and a lamp to your path. The simple action of flipping the switch 'on' is opening the pages and reading it's words and responding to it's invitation.
Day after day, week after week, until you realize what you've been responding to is actually the Fathers heart..