One of the many books by C.S. Lewis is called, “Reflections on the Psalms.”
I guess you could consider this some of my reflections on one of the psalms — Psalm 119, which is the longest of the psalms, as well as the longest chapter of the Bible.
It’s an inspiring psalm. If you’ve never read it, you should. If you have read it, you should read it again.
We don’t know who wrote Psalm 119. Some have thought it was David, who certainly did write many of the psalms. Daniel is another possible author. But I like the suggestion given in the Life Application Study Bible: “It may have been written by Ezra.”
We know that Ezra had a strong interest in the God’s word. As it says in the book that bears his name: “For Ezra had devoted himself to the study and observance of the Law of the Lord, and to teaching its decrees and laws in Israel” (Ezra 7:10 NIV).
And the author of Psalm 119 certainly had a strong interest in God’s word. So maybe he was Ezra.
Since we really don’t know who the author was, I’ll just refer to the author as “the psalmist.” Notice a few things with me about this psalmist from Psalm 119.
First, notice the “treasure” of the psalmist. The psalmist says to God, “I treasure your word in my heart, so that I may not sin against you” (verse 11 NRSV). This really is the main theme of the entire psalm — the value the psalmist places on God’s word.
Later in the psalm he says to God, “Your instructions are more valuable to me than millions in gold and silver” (verse 72 NLT).
And he says, “I love your commands more than the purest gold” (verse 127 NCV). And he says, “I have rejoiced in your laws as much as in riches” (verse 14 NLT).
Undoubtedly, the psalmist’ treasure was God’s word.
Second, notice the “eyes” of the psalmist. He says to God, “Open my eyes that I may see wonderful things in your law” (verse 18 NIV). He also says, “My eyes shed streams of tears, because people do not keep your law” (verse 136 ESV).
That last statement reminds me of these words from the apostle Paul: “For many walk, of whom I often told you, and now tell you even weeping, that they are enemies of the cross of Christ, whose end is destruction, whose god is their appetite, and whose glory is in their shame, who set their minds on earthly things” (Philippians 3:18-19 NASB).
Finally, notice the “choice” of the psalmist. He says, “I have chosen to be faithful” (verse 30 NLT). And he says, “My heart is set on keeping your decrees to the very end” (verse 112 NIV).
These statements remind me of what Christ told the Christians in Smyrna, “Be faithful until death, and I will give you the crown of life” (Revelation 2:10 NASB).
By Jake King
(Jake King is the preacher at Seneca Church of Christ. He can be reached at (417) 776-3077.)