Posted November 16, 2014
In the way of your testimonies I delight as much as in all riches.I will meditate on your precepts and fix my eyes on your ways.I will delight in your statutes; I will not forget your word.
Psalm 119 is by far the longest chapter in the Bible; it’s nearly the length of 22 normal individual psalms, and is a remarkable celebration of multifaceted-ness of God’s Word. It combines incredible honesty and longing for God, His ways and His Word, all within a memorable acrostic pattern. While at first glance this chapter appears highly repetitious, Spurgeon pointed out, “Many superficial readers have imagined that it harps upon one string, and abounds in pious repetitions and redundancies; but this arises from the shallowness of the reader's own mind: those who have studied this divine hymn, and carefully noted each line of it, are amazed at the variety and profundity of the thought. Using only a few words, the writer has produced permutations and combinations of meaning which display his holy familiarity with his subject, and the sanctified ingenuity of his mind. He never repeats himself; for if the same sentiment recurs it is placed in a fresh connection, and so exhibits another interesting shade of meaning. The more one studies it the fresher it becomes.”
Psalm 119:14-16 highlights the deep and beautiful connection between delighting and meditating on Scripture, described here as testimonies, precepts, ways, statutes, and His word. The Bible teaches us that we were created for joy in God; we were born to delight in God and all he is. How do we delight in God? Psalm 119 reminds us that one of the ways is through meditating on His Word. Meditating can often be seen as a joyless monastic activity, but biblical meditating is far from that! On the pages of Scripture, God’s truth is spread out before us like a full banqueting table, and meditation is the discipline of taking up and savoring of each word laid out for us. Like a man who delights in all the riches of the world, so the Christian is to recognize the great riches given him by God in His Word. God, in His wisdom, has chosen to work through the discipline (and often hard mental work) of meditation to stir and awaken delight in us. In his book “More Precious Than Gold”, Sam Storms commented, “The psalmist is… determined to undertake the discipline of meditation. He often speaks of ‘fixing’ his eyes on the commandments of God and laboring ‘never to forget’ them. This is a healthy and much-needed reminder that God does not operate on us in an intellectual or spiritual vacuum. In other words, if he is going to illumine our minds and incline our wills, his Word must first take root in our hearts.”
Friends, may we delight in God through delighting in His Word. Meditate on it; fix our eyes upon it. May we never ever forget it! If you're interested in exploring the importance of meditating on Scripture and its connection to our delight, check out chapters 7 and 8 of John Piper’s book “When I Don’t Desire God” (http://www.amazon.com/When-Dont-Desire-God-Redesign/dp/1433543176/ref=sr_1_1_twi_2?ie=UTF8&qid=1416163726&sr=8-1&keywords=when+i+don%27t+desire+god ).