By Eric Taylor
Pastor, Cedar Hill Baptist Church, Cedar Hill
Focal Passage: Psalm 119:17-24
In May of 2010, the Kimyal people of West Papua, Indonesia received the first ever copies of the New Testament in their own language.
If you have never watched the actual video of the people receiving the Word of God, it is worth your time. I was convicted at how the people were genuinely overcome with emotion as they saw those copies of God’s Word being unloaded from a plane. There was dancing, shouting, and literal tears of joy over the long-awaited arrival of the Word of God in their heart language.
In our text for this week, I see a similar kind of emotion by the psalmist as he describes his desire for the Word of God to the God of the Word.
In other words, it seems as though the psalmist is pouring out his heart to God about His Holy Scriptures. And while he may not have been receiving the Word from people from a distant land, he was confessing how he needed the Word of God to help him live as though a stranger in a distant land. So, let’s see how we apply his words about the Word of God to our own lives.
First, we need to live by the Word (Psalm 119:17-19).
The psalmist pleaded with the Lord to “deal generously” with him, not so that he would have a good or easy life, but that God would provide him with His Word for living.
He prayed that God would give him spiritual eyesight to know and understand the Scriptures so that he could “keep” the Word. The psalmist was surrounded by people who were blind and did not see the Word of God, and therefore would not live by it, but he desired to see the “wondrous things from Your law,” and that they would not be hidden.
Second, we need to have a longing for the Word of God if we are going to know the God of the Word. As aliens and strangers on this earth, we should be “continually overcome with longing” for the Word of God more than anything this world offers.
The NKJV says, “My soul breaks with longing for Your judgment at all times.” Do we have that kind of attitude for the Bible today?
If we were told we had to give up all our worldly belongings but one thing, would our Bible be the one thing we keep?
Third, we must have a love for the Word of God. In verse 24, the psalmist says, “Your decrees are my delight … .” In other words, do we delight in the Word of God. Matter of fact, to “delight” in the word of God is a recurring theme in Psalm 119.
You see, the psalmist was not worried about his enemies, and what they could do to him or say about him. He was confident he had “kept” the “testimonies” of the Lord, because he was a man who “meditates” on the “commands” or “statutes” of God.
It is said that it is one thing to know the Word of God, yet it is another thing altogether to know the God of the Word. In our text for this week, the psalmist has connected these two ideas, into one inseparable statement. To know God is to know His Word, and to know His Word is to know Him. So, do we know Him?