A number of churches just finished an in-depth study of Psalm 119, the longest Psalm and the longest chapter in the entire Bible. There are a total of 176 verses which are divided into 22 sections. Each section begins with a word that starts with one of the 22 letters of the Hebrew alphabet. It is a poetic masterpiece.
My favorite verse in Psalm 119 is verse 103 which say
How sweet are Your words to my taste! Sweeter than honey to my mouth!
This is a sweet verse that summarizes the writer’s thought throughout this chapter. There are many more sweet verses like this. Unfortunately, I missed them when I read through it about a month ago because they contained words like commandments, ordinances, statutes, precepts, testimonies, and worst of all, law. These words were not sweet unto my taste. Rather, they were a little bitter until…
I read in the Life-Study of Psalms, message 40 entitled, CHRIST—THE REALITY OF THE LAW AS THE TESTIMONY AND THE WORD OF GOD. This message points out that the word for “ten commandments” in Exodus 34:28 is literally translated “ten words.”
Now, when I read Psalm 119, I consider the commandments as the psalmist did, as God’s word which is God’s breath. He chose, believed, loved, tasted, rejoiced in, sang, regarded, sought, longed for, hoped in, mused on, considered, esteemed, learned, treasured, remembered, clung to, kept, observed, did, walked and ran the way of God’s Word.
Also this week, I went to visit a buddy of mine, Peter Derrick, and brought him a big, 3 pound jar of honey. While we were in his room looking for something to eat with it, he pulled out a bag of salt and vinegar chips. I really don’t like salt and vinegar chips even though they are probably healthier than others. I was worried he would taint the pure honey we were about to enjoy. As he dipped in a chip, I cringed as I imagined what it would taste like. He had nothing but a huge smile on his face as he munched down. He then offered me one so I tried it. It was very flavorful! I also got all the benefits from the salt and vinegar which act together as flavor enhancers. They were sweet to my taste!
Many times when we read the Word, it can be bitter if we don’t apply the sweetness of the Spirit of Jesus Christ. This had been my experience when I read the Bible as a book of laws and commandments. Galations 3:24 says that the law should bring us to Christ, just like the chip bringing me honey. Without the Spirit, the law is not only bitter but even deadly (1 Corinthians 3:6). After seeing the psalmist munch down and enjoy these “other” verses, I tried it. They were sweet to my taste!