“Your word is a lamp to my feet and a light to my path” (Psalm 119:105).
Psalm 119, the longest psalm and the longest chapter in the Bible, is an ode to the beauty of God’s word. In it, the anonymous psalmist glories in the law of the LORD, praising its instruction and correction. Most of all, he rejoices in the God Who gave the law, knowing that His word is an accurate reflection of His character.
The psalm begins with an overview of the benefits of obeying God’s law. “Blessed are those whose way is blameless,” the psalmist writes, “who walk in the law of the LORD!” Those who keep His testimonies shall not be put to shame, but instead they shall walk in righteousness, meditating on God’s word and learning more and more about Him. His law is fitting in every situation; no fear is too great for His word to overcome. His testimonies give counsel. When sorrow comes, His word is strength.
The psalmist longs above all else to know God’s law, to let it be his all-consuming passion day and night. “This is my comfort in my affliction,” he declares, “that your promise gives me life” (v. 50). He rises at midnight and well before dawn to praise God and ponder some portion of His law. Nothing gives him greater joy than studying the word of God and hiding it in his heart. Even his hardships serve to give him a deeper understanding of the law, and therefore he is grateful even for his trials. “Before I was afflicted I went astray,” he muses, “but now I keep your word” (v. 67). He knows that God’s word endures forever, illuminating his path and teaching him the way in which he should walk. His zeal for the law encompasses his entire being, to the extent that he is angry with those who disregard it. “I rejoice at your word like one who finds great spoil,” he proclaims (v. 162). God’s word is his treasure; nothing can compare with it.
This picture of honest, passionate love for the law of God is humbling. We claim to love God’s word, but how often do we pore over it as if it were a priceless treasure? When we wake up in the middle of the night, do we rejoice in the unexpected opportunity to meditate on a passage of Scripture? Does the fact that no one seems to love God’s word anger us? The majority of us cannot honestly give an affirmative answer to all of these questions. But our love for the Scriptures must be just like this. The Bible is far more than ancient words on a page; it is God-breathed, every part profitable for teaching, rebuking, correcting, and training in righteousness (2 Timothy 3:16). We ought to love it—and not just because of what we can get out of it, but because it is the very word of our Lord.