Psalms 119 pt I

Dr. Steve Viars November 20, 1993 Psalms 119:

- this morning we're going to move into the last Psalm we're
  going to study--Psalm 119--the great Psalm on the Word of
- of course this is by far the longest Psalm in the book--176
  verses, so we're planning to take several weeks on it.

- it's impossible to know exactly who wrote this Psalm, but
  there are some "internal clues" as we read the Psalm that
  give us some indication about at least the writer's
  situation in general.
   - we're definitely talking about a person who was willing
     to speak out about the fact that he was living according
     to the Word of God.  - cf. verse 13

   - it's also apparent that he's faced difficulty because of
     his stand for the Word of God.
      - cf. 22-23
      - cf. 42
      - cf. 46

   - one author (Franz Delitzsch) said of the writer of this
      Psalm, "He is derided, oppressed, persecuted, and that
      by those who despise the divine Word...the whole Psalm
      is a prayer for steadfastness in the midst of an
      ungodly, degenerate race, and in the midst of trouble."

- let's take a minute and think about his situation and ours
  is similar.
    - INPUT - what are some examples of how the world we live
       in is in opposition to the Scripture itself, and to
       those who believe the Bible or live by the Bible?

    - INPUT - how might a Psalm like this be a help to us?

- for each of these lessons, we're going to break the class
   into groups to study certain sections of the Psalm--but
   before we do that we need to talk about some:

I. Important Keys To Understanding Psalm 119

    - there are three important ideas we need to keep in
      order to get the most benefit out of this Psalm.

    A. Acrostic

        - this Psalm is written so that the first letter of
          each set of 8 verses begins with the same letter.
        - it goes this way throughout the entire Hebrew
        - since the alphabet has 22 letters, there are a
           total of 176 verses.

        - Flash Transparency of Hebrew page from this Psalm

        - INPUT - can you think of a reason why the author
            may have done this? (to make it easier to
    B. Uses different synonyms to describe the Bible

        - we're not going to take time this morning to study
          the meaning of each synonym (perhaps we'll do that
          next week) -- but you'll notice that the Psalmist
          uses different words to describe the Scripture:
             - law, word, saying, commandment, statute,
               ordinance, precept, testimony, way, and path.

- a third uniqueness of the Psalm is that he:

    C. Addresses the Lord in (practically) every verse

       - after the first three verses, the writer speaks to
         the Lord all but a verse of two of the remainder of
         the Psalm.

II. Survey

- with those thoughts in mind, we're going to "turn you
  loose" to do some study of these verses in smaller groups."

III. Main Ideas From Each Section of Verses

    A. Verses 1-8 - The joy of walking in God's Word
         (outline from Leupold)

         - INPUT - answers to ques. 2?

         - This first section praises the Lord for the
           advantage(s) the Lord gives to those who walk in
           the Word.

         - let's think about that for a minute.  INPUT - How
           is this true?  What are some of the advantages
           that come from walking in the Word?

         - INPUT - how important is it that our children have
             this view and how can we help them develop it?

    B. Verses 9-16 - the resolve to keep God's ordinances

        - INPUT to ques. 2, 3, 8

        - INPUT - what hindrances do you see in these verses
            to remain resolved?

            1) impure conduct - v. 9

            2) wandering - v. 10

            3) not having the Word stored - v. 11

            4) covetousness - v. 14

- the question that each of us would need to ask from this
   section is, how resolved am I to keep God's ordinances
   faithfully, and am I fighting against the hindrances that
   would prevent me from doing so?

C. Verses 17-24 -  The faithful adherence to God's law
    affords strength in persecution.

    INPUT - What evidence is there in these verses that the
      Psalmist is experiencing difficulty (persecution) as a
      result of believing in//living by the Word?

    - INPUT - what does he ask for in verse 18, and how does
         this fit into the subject of persecution?

           - asks for ever new insights
           - the problem isn't the Scripture, the problem is
               with his eyes
           - he prays for insight into the Word

D. Verses 25-32 - In the middle of difficulty, God's people
    stand committed to the Word.

   INPUT - question #8?

   INPUT - what do you make of verse 32?  (we're talking
          about more than an apathetic following.

E. Verses 33-40 - Prayer for understanding and guidance

    INPUT - questions 2, 3, 5?

    INPUT - how does verse 36 fit into stewardship month?

F. Verses 41-48 - Prayer for grace and courage

    INPUT - questions 2, 3, 5?

Dr. Steve Viars


Senior Pastor - Faith Church

Director - Faith Legacy Foundation


B.S.: Pre-Seminary & Bible, Baptist Bible College (Now Clarks Summit University)
M.Div.: Grace Theological Seminary
D.Min.: Biblical Counseling, Westminster Theological Seminary

Dr. Steve Viars has served at Faith Church in Lafayette, IN since 1987. Pastor Viars leads and equips Faith Church as Senior Pastor with a focus on preaching and teaching God’s Word and using his organizational skills in guiding the implementation of the Faith Church mission and vision. He oversees the staff, deacons, and all Faith Church ministries. Dr. Viars serves on the boards of the Association of Certified Biblical Counselors, Biblical Counseling Coalition, Vision of Hope, and the Faith Community Development Corporation. Steve is the author, co-author, or contributor to six books and numerous booklets. He and his wife, Kris, were married in 1982 and have two married daughters, a son, and three grandchildren.

Read Steve Viars’ Journey to Faith for the full account of how the Lord led Pastor Viars to Faith Church.

View Pastor Viars' Salvation Testimony Video