Psalm 119.129-136 (2)
Pray Psalm 119.130, 131.
The entrance of Your words gives light;
It gives understanding to the simple.
I opened my mouth and panted,
For I longed for Your commandments.
Sing Psalm 119.129-131.
(No Other Plea: My Faith Has Found a Resting Place)
Your testimonies, Lord are sweet; I hide them in my soul.
Your words give light unto my feet, and make my thinking whole.
I open wide my mouth to You: Lord, feed me with Your Word!
I vow that all You say I’ll do: I love Your precepts, Lord.
Read Psalm 119.129-136; meditate on verses 130, 131.
1. How did the psalmist describe his time in God’s Word?
2. What was his attitude toward the Word?
In this stanza the psalmist pours out his heart toward God and His wonderful Word. We glimpse here, perhaps more than any other stanza of Psalm 119, what it means to delight in the Scriptures. He uses two images in verses 130 and 131 to describe his relationship to the Word. First, He imagines the Word like an army, marching into the simple and humble dwelling of his soul, bringing liberation, light, and understanding. The poet John Donne expressed his longing for this in his “Holy Sonnet XIV”. He needs God to “batter” His way into his soul, because he can’t make it happen by reason alone:
Batter my heart, three-person’d God…
I, like an usurp’d town to another due,
Labor to admit you, but oh, to no end;
Reason, your viceroy in me, me should defend,
But is captiv’d, and proves weak or untrue.
In the second image, the psalmist envisions his time in the Word like a starving man feeding on that for which he has most longed. When this is our attitude to the Word it can have powerful effects in our soul, as C. S. Lewis wrote in his poem, “On a Theme From Nicholas of Cusa”, which brings both of these images into focus:
But when the soul partakes of good
Or truth, which are her savoury food,
By some far subtler chemistry
It is not they that change, but she,
Who feels them enter with the state
Of conquerors her opened gate,
Or, mirror-like, digests their ray
By turning luminous as they.
Such poems – as well as many hymns and spiritual songs – can help to express the longing of our hearts for God, with the result that that longing increases, and we love God and His Word more. Every true believer will seek such an attitude and disposition of the soul.
Treasures Old and New: Matthew 13.52; Psalm 119.162
Our attitude and disposition toward the Word should be one of essential need and desperation:
“As the deer pants for the water brooks, so pants my soul for You, O God.
My soul thirsts for God, for the living God” (Ps. 42.1).
And what is God’s response when we come to Him with this dire need?
“He split the rocks in the wilderness, and gave them drink in abundance like the depths.
He also brought streams out of the rock, and caused waters to run down like rivers” (Ps. 78.15, 16).
Jesus has promised to give us “living water” (Jn. 4.10). He told the Samaritan woman at the well, “Whoever drinks of this water will thirst again, but whoever drinks of the water that I shall give him will never thirst. But the water that I shall give him will become in him a fountain of water springing up into everlasting life” (Jn. 4.13, 14).
When we long exceedingly for this living, everlasting water which is Christ Jesus, and seek Him diligently in His Word, then God gives understanding even to we simple, and lights our pathway by the torch of His commandments (Ps. 119.130, 131). “For the commandment is a lamp, and the law a light…” (Prov. 6.23).
We who live in His wonderland of mercy, grace, redemption, justification, and good works have seen and experienced things that others would not or could not see. But with this blessing comes great responsibility. We are the recipients of these words from the mouth of our Savior and Lord Jesus Christ: “Blessed are the eyes which see the things you see; for I tell you that many prophets and kings have desired to see what you see, and have not seen it, and to hear what you hear, and have not heard it” (Lk. 10.23, 24).
Because we have hungered and thirsted for His Word—His Law—and have sought the Light to enter our heart, conscience, and life, we have found peace. “Great peace have those who love Your law, and nothing causes them to stumble” (Ps. 119.165).
Yes, “Batter my heart, three-person’d God” to enable the Light to enter my life, to “mirror-like” digest the rays of this Light “by turning luminous as they.” And thus, bless my Personal Mission Field.
1. How would you explain to a new believer the importance of regularly feeding on the Word of God?
2. What are some things that can keep you from hungering and longing for God and His Word?
3. How can believers encourage one another in nurturing a heart for the Lord?
The Scriptures show us what we were, what we are, and what we shall be. They show us the mercy and the justice of the Lord, the joys of heaven, and the pains of hell. Thus they give to the simple, in a few days, understanding of those matters, which philosophers for ages sought in vain. Matthew Henry (1662-1714), Commentary on Psalm 119.130, 131
Pray Psalm 119.132, 133.
It’s always appropriate to seek mercy and grace from the Lord, to help us in all our times of need. As you do, tell the Lord how much you love Him, and call on Him to direct your steps today.
Sing Psalm 119.132, 133.
(No Other Plea: My Faith Has Found a Resting Place)
Look on me, Lord, with mercy as on all who love Your Name.
Direct my steps to keep Your paths, and all Your Word proclaim.
Yes, let Your Word my shelter be; rule over all my soul,
and keep me from iniquity; my every way control.
T. M. and Susie Moore
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Except as indicated, all Scriptures are taken from the New King James Version. © Copyright 1982 by Thomas Nelson, Inc. Used by permission. All rights reserved. For sources of all quotations, see the weekly PDF of this study. All psalms for singing are from The Ailbe Psalter (Williston: Waxed Tablet Publications, 2006), available by clicking here.