It has been said that studying your Bible is like brushing your teeth. Everyone except you can tell you haven’t been doing it. That’s why Psalm 119:2 says, “Blessed are those who keep his testimonies, who seek him with their whole heart” (ESV). The word translated “blessed” here is a Hebrew word used 26 times in the Psalms. “God approved” is a great way to think of it. We are approved by God when we seek God and keep His testimonies, one of many words used to describe the word of God in this psalm.

Psalm 119 is the longest of the Psalms and the longest chapter in the Bible. It is a poetic praise of God’s word. Only three of the 176 verses do not mention God’s word. An interesting study is to go through the psalm and note all the different terms used for the Bible.

Of the ones used most frequently, “testimonies” is translated from a word used the second most of the “Bible Words” in this psalm alone (23 times). This Hebrew word refers to the written copy that functions as a witness between the parties that made a covenant. Such is the case with what the psalmist points to the laws that made up the covenant between God and Israel, written by Moses.

Those who keep these testimonies are blessed or approved of by God because they keep their part of the covenant. But the Lord wants more than His people to keep the rules. He wants them to follow the covenant because they want a relationship with Him. The Almighty wants their hearts. If we give Him our hearts, He gets both relationships and obedience.

So, note what the psalmist says in 119 about the way the God-approved man handles His testimonies:

  • He delights in them (14, 24, 111).
  • He has and wants to keep them (22, 88, 146, 167, 168).
  • He clings to them (31).
  • He prays his heart (desires) and feet (actions) would be turned toward them (36, 46, 59).
  • He will tell them to rulers (46).
  • He wants all to know them (79).
  • He studies them to build faith and courage (95).
  • They make him wise (99, 125).
  • He loves them (119, 167).
  • He knows they are wonderful (129).
  • He knows they are righteous (138, 144).
  • He knows them (152).
  • He will not turn from them (157).

It highlights a unique and wonderful way to study. Take a word and trace how an author uses it in the book (or, in this case, the psalm) he writes. Here, we find that if we love God, we will love His word. If we love God, we will obey his word. He wants us to love and obey Him. And in his beautiful word, we find what we should and must do: strength, faith, encouragement, and confidence based on the testimonies the Almighty has given us.

Today, take the time to read Psalm 119 and appreciate the beauty of God’s testimonies! I love you, and God does, too!

Corey Sawyers
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Corey Sawyers is the preaching minister at the Martin (TN) Church of Christ and an adjunct instructor with Bear Valley Bible Institute. He began preaching at the age of 15, filling in throughout Northwest Tennessee. He has been in full-time ministry since 1998 and has served with congregations in Tennessee and Colorado. He and his wife, Melody, married in 1996, and both are graduates of Bear Valley Bible Institute. They have three sons. Garrett is the youth minister at the Greenfield (TN) Church of Christ and is soon to be married to Bailey Jones. Gordon is the preacher for the Knob Creek Church of Christ in Dukedom, TN, and is soon to be married to Lauren Kelly. Gannon is still at home and wants to go into ministry when he grows up. Corey loves his family, ministry, the Tennessee Vols, the Andy Griffith Show, drinking coffee, and banana pudding.