As we take this 21-day journey through the longest chapter in the Bible, our hope is that you will fall in love with the Word of God and the God of the Word. That you will see it as a sacred text worthy of your honor. That you will entrust your life to its truth and promises. That you will bring your life in compliance to its standards and values. That the Holy Spirit will quicken your heart and mind and reveal to you the wonders of God’s Word. In essence, our hope is that you will learn to cherish God’s Word in your heart. In Cherish, Gary Rohrmayer introduces you to the spiritual discipline of daily reading, memorizing, studying, and meditating on God’s Word. Our hope is that this 21-day journey will teach you how to study the Bible for yourself and turn it into a 365-day spiritual habit.
Text: Psalm 119:47-48, 97, 113, 119, 127, 140, 159, 163, 165, 167,
Summary: To cherish someone means to treat with great affection, to lovingly protect and care for someone or to devote yourself to them with a great level of respect.
When the psalmist says “Oh, how I love your law!” (Psalm 119:97) He is declaring his deep affection for God’s word. In essence, he is saying, “I cherish everything about God’s word.”
Eleven times in Psalm 119 the psalmist declares his love for God’s word. Let’s take a quick survey of these simple yet profound declarations..
Psalm 119:47-48, 97, 113, 119, 127, 140, 159, 163, 165, 167.
When you cherish someone or something you treat them differently:
Application: Our hope for this 21-day journey is that you will fall in love with the word of God and the God of the word. That you will see it as a sacred text worthy of your honor. That you will devote time to reading, studying and mediating on God’s word. That you will entrust your life to its truth and promises. That you will bring your life in compliance to its standards and values. That the Holy Spirit will quicken your heart and mind and reveal to you the wonders of God’s word. That your heart will be filled with worship and praises to its Author. In essence, our hope is that you will never forget to cherish God’s word in your heart.
Invitation: Join us on this 21 day adventure of learning how to Cherish God’s word.
Text: Psalm 119:1-8
Summary: There is one common thread through all of humanity, we are all seeking happiness. Yet the problem is that God does not promise happiness but promises blessedness.
Happiness is a pleasant or even euphoretic emotion based on our external circumstances. Yet blessedness is deeper, it is a state of being that lifts us beyond the circumstances of life. It does not ignore the harsh realities of the world with a naive cheerfulness but instead embraces the sadness of this world with supernatural confidence.
Where does this confidence come from? It comes from cherishing God’s word and aligning our hearts with God’s ways. He illustrates this by using the word “blameless” this does not mean perfection but is means a holy desire to please God. The next three words are ‘walk’, ‘keep’ and ‘follow’. These are words alignment and obedience.
What drove the psalmist to live an obedient lifestyle? His wholehearted desire is to commune with God intimately. He declares that the blessed ones seek God “with all their heart” (vs 3). There is nothing halfhearted about it. He wanted more and more of God.
He also recognizes that obedience is not an option for the true follower of Jesus. “You have laid down precepts that are to be fully obeyed” (vs 4). God’s word is designed to be obeyed completely. The main reason we miss God’s blessings is we live in opposition towards His word. This leads him to a humble confession, “Oh, that my ways were steadfast in obeying your decrees!” (vs 5). He confesses his short fallings. I don’t know about you but this gives me hope, knowing I can walk in blessedness without being perfect.
Finally, the psalmist ends by embracing the rewards of obedience. Freedom for shame (vs6). Pure unhindered worship (vs7). Confidence in God’s unending presence. (vs8).
Jesus sums it up this way, “Blessed are those who hunger and thirst for righteousness, for they will be filled” (Matthew 5:6).
Application: Are you hungering for happiness or blessedness?
Text: Psalm 119:149-156
Summary: All of us have seen the frightening outcomes of red-hot anger burning inside someone. This fiery rage, if not contained will engulfs one’s soul and will burn out of control devastating everything in its path. The psalmist writes, “Indignation grips me because of the wicked, who have forsaken your law” (vs. 53).
So how do we deal with the anger boiling up inside us?
In this stanza, we see how the psalmist deals with his inner rage in the midst of these merciless attacks upon his character (vs. 51).
He does so by clinging to God and his promises thus finding comfort in God’s word. Three times he uses the word ‘remember’.
How do we pray through the promises of God? Richard Sibbes offers this insight, “When we hear any promise in the word of God, let us turn it into a prayer. God’s promises are his bonds. He loves that we should wrestle with him by his promises.”
In the midst of great anguish, it is easy to forget who God is and the promises He makes.
The psalmist prays, “Lord, remember your promises”. Then declares, “Lord, I recall your word.” And he appeals to God’s character, “Lord, I will not forget who you are.”
Application: It is only in remembering God’s promises that we can know hope (vs 49), experience life-giving strength (vs. 50), discover relentless focus (vs. 51), find lasting comfort (vs. 52), sing songs of joy (vs 54), experience intimacy with God (vs. 55) and learn the habits that please God (vs. 56).
We are a forgetful people. When we forget the promises of God we will turn to other things to comfort us, work, success, money, adventure, friends, family, food, alcohol, drugs or our own anger. Yet none of these will bring lasting comfort but only temporary relief.
“I remember, Lord, your ancient laws, and I find comfort in them” (vs. 52).
Text: Psalm 119:161-168
Summary: If you have ever gone into a court of law, you will have to admit that it creates uneasy feelings fear, awe, and even a sense of dread, because the courts judgment have the power of a nation behind them. This is the same feeling that the psalmist is expressing towards God’s word.
These uneasy feelings of fear, awe, dread that can be summed up in the word trembling. He trembled before God’s word because in them the full nature of God is found and revealed.
What is the evidence that the psalmist trembled at God’s word?
His heart trembles his confidence in God’s word. He rejoices in God’s promises like one who has struck in rich (vs. 162). He is preoccupied 24/7 with praising God for his righteous laws (vs. 164) and he waits expectantly for God’s salvation as he keeps his heart in line with God’s word (vs. 166).
His heart trembles with love for God’s word. Three times he declares his intense affection for God’s word (vs 163, 165, 167). Do you remember the first time you fell in love? Your palms sweeting, heart pounding and your body trembling. This is the kind of love the psalmist speaks of a life altering affection. This type of devotion to God’s word provides supernatural peace (Philippians 4:7) and a rock-solid foundation for life (Matthew 7:24-29).
He trembles in obedience to God’s word. He aligns his life in following God’s desires (vs. 166). He commits his inner being, his secret life, depths of his soul to treasure God’s word (vs 167). This is all done consciously in full view of an all-knowing and all-consuming God (vs. 168).
Application: In all this, we see the psalmist fears God’s word more than his fears attacks from powerful leaders (Psalm 119:161). What about us do we really fear God more than people?
The Lord said, “These are the ones I look on with favor: those who are humble and contrite in spirit, and who tremble at my word” (Isaiah 66:2).