Thursday, January 26, 2012

Psalm 119:9-32

Our writing group is studying Psalm 119. Last night we focused on verses 9-32. We didn't have enough time to get through all the questions, so I'm going to post the lesson here. Read the Psalm verses, then answer the questions. Please leave feedback in Comments Section.




Psalm 119:9-32 (courtesy Bible Gateway)

English Standard Version (ESV)
 9 How can a young man keep his way pure?
   By guarding it according to your word.
10 With my whole heart I seek you;
   let me not wander from your commandments!
11 I have stored up your word in my heart,
   that I might not sin against you.
12 Blessed are you, O LORD;
   teach me your statutes!
13 With my lips I declare
   all the rules of your mouth.
14 In the way of your testimonies I delight
   as much as in all riches.
15 I will meditate on your precepts
   and fix my eyes on your ways.
16 I will delight in your statutes;
   I will not forget your word.
 17 Deal bountifully with your servant,
   that I may live and keep your word.
18 Open my eyes, that I may behold
   wondrous things out of your law.
19 I am a sojourner on the earth;
   hide not your commandments from me!
20 My soul is consumed with longing
   for your rules at all times.
21 You rebuke the insolent, accursed ones,
   who wander from your commandments.
22 Take away from me scorn and contempt,
   for I have kept your testimonies.
23 Even though princes sit plotting against me,
   your servant will meditate on your statutes.
24 Your testimonies are my delight;
   they are my counselors. 

 25 My soul clings to the dust;
   give me life according to your word!
26 When I told of my ways, you answered me;
   teach me your statutes!
27 Make me understand the way of your precepts,
   and I will meditate on your wondrous works.
28 My soul melts away for sorrow;
   strengthen me according to your word!
29 Put false ways far from me
   and graciously teach me your law!
30 I have chosen the way of faithfulness;
   I set your rules before me.
31 I cling to your testimonies, O LORD;
   let me not be put to shame!
32 I will run in the way of your commandments
   when you enlarge my heart!


1. Words like "decrees", "laws", "statutes", "precepts", and "commands" jump out at me. What do you think of the use of these words? Why did the Psalmist use these words? In our writing, what can we learn about word choice?

2. Read verses 25 and 28 outloud. What are some other scriptures you can think of that talk about God's promise to preserve your life and strengthen you? Personally, how has God preserved or strengthened you?

3. Read verse 18. What part of the Holy Trinity (Father, Son, and Holy Spirit) do we need to call on so that we can "see"?

4. Read verse 19. What does this verse imply? 

5. Read verses 23 and 27. Why are we doing this study? How do you meditate?

6. Read verse 29. What does this mean?

7. Read verses 24, 31, and 32. What does this say about God and his Word? What does it say about the written word in general and about your writing?


  1. 1. I think the Psalmist chose to use words like these to show that God's statutes are not based on opinion, but on what God wants for His people and what is best for us, and they aren't optional. Word choice is important because it clarifies our message and purpose for writing.

    2. Makes me think of this verse: For I know the plans I have for you,” declares the LORD, “plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future. (Jeremiah 29:11)

    3. The Holy Spirit.

    4. That our life here on earth is temporary, that storing up treasures in heaven is much more valuable and important than living for this world.

    5. There are different ways to meditate on God's Word that are suitable for different personalities. My favorite way is to choose a passage and read it slowly, repeating it to myself in a quiet place, and pray about it to God, and try to embody it, to apply it to my current life situation.

    6. This means to be aware that there are false teachings and false ways and to cling to what God has said in his Word.

    7. To me, specifically verse 32 shows that it is necessary to ask God to help us when reading his Word to apply it well, that when God enlarges our heart, then we can live by his commandments. So, this suggests that our writing at its best is God and us together, Immanuel (God with us)

  2. Jade,
    Thank you so much for sharing your answers! I especially like your answer to 7. Our writing can be so powerful if we only allow God to be a part of it.