"How can a young man cleanse his way? By taking heed according to Your Word. With my whole heart I have sought You; Oh, let me not wander from Your commandments! Your Word I have hidden in my heart, that I might not sin against You. Blessed are You, O Lord! Teach me Your statutes . With my lips I have declared all the judgments of Your mouth. I have rejoiced in the way of Your testimonies, as much as in all riches. I will meditate on Your precepts, and contemplate Your ways. I will delight myself in Your statutes; I will not forget Your Word."
Have you ever felt like reading the Bible was dry?
You know, those times when you pick it up and you read part of Leviticus and you're wondering how it even relates to you. Or you read a few chapters and nothing feels...alive...to you. It feels dry, as if you're desiring to hear from God but you don't really feel connected in His Word.
A few years ago I led a memory challenge to memorize all of Psalm 119 in a predetermined amount of time. In the process of leading this challenge and memorizing these words, something came alive to me.
Something that I think a lot of us miss.
Have you ever felt like reading your Bible was just another chore to check off your list?
Like, wash the dishes, check. Clean the closet, check. Read my Bible, check. Pray, check.
And it just blends in with all the other responsibilities piling up on your plate that you're not even sure you'll get it done for the day.
I work in an environment where I'm surrounded by Bibles daily. I write Christian non-fiction and for my Bible study posts I have a Bible in my hand almost all the time. And the truth is that with the Bible so easily available to me....sometimes I take it for granted.
It hurts to admit that, but I'd also venture to say that you have done the same.
You see, Psalm 119 isn't just a beautiful psalm in the Bible. It isn't just words that we are to put in our hearts or read through every now and then. It isn't just something to marvel at.
Psalm 119 paints a glorious picture of the Word of God.
Every verse includes a reference to God's Word. Every verse reminds us and re-awakens us to the realization that the Bible--the very breath and Word of God (2 Timothy 3:16)--is a gift to be treasured, and not a task to be completed.
My hope through this study is to awaken your heart to the treasure found in God's Word and awaken your desire to know Him more through His Word.
The Bible is a love letter. A love letter for you! What could be more beautiful than that.
I've broken down Psalm 119 in four sections and each week I will draw out one aspect of the Word. Something that I want to remind you of.
This week I want to remind you that...
The Word of God is a gift to delight in.
If you read Psalm 119:1-48 (and really throughout the whole psalm), you can't help but take notice of how many times the Psalmist makes mention of the Word of God being his delight, and rejoicing in those words.
I wish I could include it all here, but since I can't, I hope you will take the time to read it for yourself.
My favorites however from the whole psalm are right here in verses 14-16:
"I have rejoiced in the way of Your testimonies, as much as in all riches. I will meditate on Your precepts, and contemplate Your ways. I will delight myself in Your statutes; I will not forget Your Word."
The writer is saying that he rejoices more in God's words than in any riches that the world could offer him. He would rather have God's Word than gold or silver or the latest fashions or the biggest house. What dedication. He then says that he delights in the words of God and will not forget them. They bring him so much joy.
Here's the thing: the Word of God is a gift from the One who created you. It's a gift meant to bring joy, conviction, teaching, encouragement, and salvation.
When did we stop treating it like such?
When we're sad, when did we stop going to God's Word to bring us joy and comfort in His presence? When we're fighting temptation, when did we stop going to the Bible to encourage us to stand strong and fight? When we've sinned, when did we stop going to the Bible to convict us and bring us to repentance?
The Bible should be our go-to for all of these things.
But what about those times when reading your Bible does feel a little bit like reading in a desert? What about the times when you really don't feel like delighting in His Word?
Well, here are my suggestions for those times:
Don't base your obedience off of your feelings.
If you desire to obey Christ and spend time in His Word, meditating on it, delighting in it, and studying it to know Him, you can't always base that obedience off your feelings. Feelings change so fast. Girls especially know this to be true. Whether or not you feel like studying God's Word or spending time with Him in it, you should do it anyway. This is where your true delight will come from. You will learn to truly, unconditionally delight in His words, regardless of what your feelings tell you.
Write a love letter to Jesus, remembering how He redeemed you.
A great way to ignite your desire for God's Word again and delight in Him is to remember. Remember your love story with your King and remember what He has done for you, all the ways He has been faithful and loved you. So write it all out. Tell Him. Tell someone else. Remember.
Memorize your favorite parts.
We all have parts of the Bible that we go to in times of sadness or in times when we need encouragement. We all have our "favorite" verses that bring such comfort to our lives. When you're lacking delight in God's Word, go in and memorize your favorite parts. This will encourage you to keep on loving all of the Word and not just the parts you especially like.
The devil's greatest plan is to keep you out of the Word of God. If he can do that, he can tempt you, deceive you, and break you. Don't let him win. Pray for a desire for the Word of God. Pray for God to help you delight in His words. Fight this battle on your knees.
When you're given a gift on your birthday, you don't put it aside and come back to it later or treat it like just another chore you have to accomplish. No, a gift is something you delight in and are excited for.
So is His Word.
What a gift. What a delight. Thank You, God, for Your Word.
What are your thoughts on delighting in God's Word? Do you remember a specific time when the Word of God came alive to you and you treasured the words you read? What is one of your most favorite passages of Scripture? Share in the comments! <3