On Sunday our senior pastor challenged the church to read and study Psalm 119 during the coming week. For me, it is an exciting assignment. Psalm 119 (along with Psalm 19) are like love letters with Scripture as the object of the writer’s affection and devotion.
At 176 verses, it is the longest Psalm (and the longest chapter from a verse perspective). So for me personally, the first step in preparing for the week’s study was determining how to split it up for each days study.
So I pulled out my NASB Bible (seems like I am almost always using digital versions instead of the tried and true leather-bound). In looking at Psalm 119, I found that throughout the 176 verses it was broken into 22 subsections of 8 verses each. I’m sure I’m supposed to remember what that’s all about … but memory fails me.
So enlisting the aid of my every comprehensive assistant google, I seek out the answer. Found my answers at SweeterThanChocolateStudy.com … and actually I kinda get that name … the love connection and all that …
Apparently Psalm 119 is what is known as an acrostic psalm … something we would have gotten a much greater sense of in the Hebrew Psalter than we do in an English Bible. Each of the 22 sections of 8 verses … or stanzas … is represented/associated with one of the 22 Hebrew consonants … with the stanzas being in alphabetical order by those Hebrew consonants.
Not only that but the first word of each verse in a stanza also began with the same consonant the stanza was known for.
We lose a sense of all this in English … except for the evidence left in some Bible translations where each 8 verse stanza has a heading of the Hebrew consonant. For example, the heading for the first eight verses is Aleph in the NASB.
Not sure how this will impact my study this week … but it seems like something good to know.
Anybody have any tips or advice for studying Psalm 119?
Heading out the door for Chemotherapy treatment #2 momentarily. Prayers appreciated.
Hope to study and journal on the first three stanzas later today … will be interesting to see what the Lord has to reveal through the Scripture and teaching of the Holy Spirit.
Have an incredibly blessed day in the Lord my friends!