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Rev. Ronald C. Purkey, an ordained Baptist minister, claims no originality for the contents
of these Bible study outlines. However, every Bible study posted on this website has been
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July 21, 2024

SCRIPTURE: Psalm 119:73-80

KEY VERSE: “Thy hands have made me and fashioned me: give me understanding, that I may learn thy commandments” (Psalm 119:73).

INTRODUCTION: Psalm 119 is special in several ways.

First, It is the longest psalm (176 verses), and it is an acrostic psalm, following the letters of the Hebrew alphabet.

In most editions of the Bible, the twenty-two sections of this psalm are headed by the successive letters of the Hebrew alphabet (Aleph, Beth, Gimel, etc.). In the Hebrew Bible, each verse in a section begins with that Hebrew letter. For example, all the verses in the “aleph” section (verses 1–8) begin with the Hebrew letter “aleph.” Look at the “teth” section (verses 65–72) and start verse 67 with “Til” and verse 71 with “Tis,” and you will have each line starting with the English letter “T” (which is the same as the Hebrew “teth”). The Jews wrote in this fashion to help them memorize the Scriptures so they could meditate on God’s Word.

Second, We do not know who wrote this psalm, although the writer refers to himself many times.

He was suffering for his love for God’s Law (verses 22, 50–53, 95, 98, 115), yet he had determined to obey the Word regardless of the cost. All but five verses mention the Word of God in one way or another. The exceptions are verses 84, 90, 121, 122, and 132. God is referred to in every verse. The number eight is stamped all over this psalm. Each section has eight verses; there are eight special names for God’s Word listed; there are eight symbols of the Word given; the believer has eight responsibilities to the Word. The word “eight” in Hebrew literally means “abundance, more than enough;” it is the number of new beginnings. It is as though the writer is saying, “God’s Word is enough. If you have the Scriptures, that is all you need for life and godliness.” Indeed the Bible points us to Christ: He is the Living Word about whom the written Word speaks. In one sense, Ps. 119 is an expansion of Ps. 19:7–11. Notice the eight basic titles of the Bible in the first nine verses of the psalm: law of the Lord, testimonies, ways, precepts, statutes, commandments, judgments, and word. These are repeated many times throughout the psalm.

I. WHAT IS THE BIBLE? (Psalm 119).

A. Water for cleansing (verse 9). This whole section (verses 9–16) deals with victory over sin. Young people in particular need to learn to heed and hide the Word that they might overcome temptation. As you read the Word and meditate on it, it cleanses your inner being, just as water cleanses the body. See John 15:3 and Eph. 5:25–27.

B. Wealth and treasure (verses 14, 72, 127, 162). Many people do not know the difference between prices and values. Your Bible may cost but a few dollars, but what a treasure it is. How would you feel if you lost God’s Word and could not replace it?

C. A companion and friend (verse 24). The writer was a stranger (verse 19), rejected by the proud (verse 21) and by princes (verse 23), but he always had the Word to be his counselor. Read Proverbs 6:20–22.

D. A song to sing (verse 54). Imagine making a song out of statutes—laws! Life is a pilgrimage; we are “tourists” and not residents. The songs of the world mean nothing to us, but God’s Word is a song to our hearts.

E. Honey (verse 103). The sweetness of the Word is like honey to the taste. It is sad when the Christian must have the “honey” of this world to be satisfied. See Ps. 34:8 and Job 23:12.

F. A lamp (verses 105, 130). This is a dark world and the only dependable light is the Word of God (2 Peter 1:19–21). It leads us a step at a time, as we walk in obedience. First John 1:5–10 tells us we walk in the light as we obey His Word.

G. Great spoil (verse 162). Poor soldiers were made rich from the spoil left by the defeated enemy. The riches of the Word do not come easy; there must first be that spiritual battle against Satan and the flesh. But it is worth it. Read Luke 11:14–23.

H. A heritage (verse 111). What a precious inheritance is the Bible! And think of those who had to suffer and die that we might have this inheritance.


A. It blesses (verses 1–2). It is the book with a blessing (Ps. 1:1–3). We are blessed in reading the Word, understanding the Word, and obeying the Word. We are also blessed when we share the Word with others.

B. It gives life (verses 25, 37, 40, 50, 88, 93). “Quicken” means “to give life.” The Word gives us eternal life when we believe (1 Peter 1:23). It is the living Word (Heb. 4:12). But the Word also quickens us when we are weak, discouraged, and defeated. Revival comes when we yield to God’s Word.

C. It gives strength (verse 28). Trusting the Word encourages us (Matt. 4:4). God’s Word has power (Heb. 4:12) and can empower us when we believe and obey.

D. It gives liberty (verse 45). A law that gives liberty—what a paradox! Sin would have dominion over us (verse 133), but the Word sets us free (John 8:32). True liberty comes in obeying God’s will. His Word is “the perfect law of liberty” (James 1:25).

E. It imparts wisdom (verses 66, 97–104). We may get knowledge and facts in other books, but true spiritual wisdom is found in the Bible. Notice in verses 97–104 that there are various ways to discover truth—from your enemies, from your teachers, from your older friends—and all of these are good. But above them all is a knowledge of the Bible. Teachers may know from books, and elders may know from experience (both deserving respect), but these without the Bible are not sufficient.

F. It creates friends (verse 63). Knowing and obeying the Bible will bring into your life the very finest friends. Those who love God’s Word are friends indeed. There are false friends who may dazzle you with their worldly wisdom and wealth, but their friendship will lead you astray. Stick with those who “stick” with the Bible (verse 31).

G. It gives comfort (verses 50, 76, 82, 92). More than sixty verses in this psalm mention trial and persecution (verses 22, 50–53, 95, 98, 115, etc.). The believer who obeys the Word will have trials in this world, but the Bible gives him lasting comfort. The Comforter, the Spirit of God, takes the Word of God and applies it to our hearts to comfort us.

H. It gives direction (verse 133). The Christian life is a “walk,” a day at a time and a step at a time (verses 1, 3, 45). The Word directs our steps, both for walking and for running (verse 32). Note the prayers in verses 35 and 116–117. As we pray for guidance, the Lord answers through His Word.


A. Love it (verses 97, 159). The way you treat your Bible is the way you treat the Lord Christ. To love Him is to love His Word. The Word is a delight (verses 16, 24, 35, 47, 70) and not a disappointment; we rejoice to read it (verses 14, 162).

B. Prize it (verses 72, 128). To hold the Bible in high esteem is the mark of a true saint. It should be more precious to us than any earthly treasure.

C. Study it (verses 7, 12, 18, 26–27). At least twelve times the psalmist prays, “Teach me.” The Christian who daily studies his Bible will be blessed of God. Bible study is not always easy, for it takes the “whole heart” (verses 2, 10, 34, 69, 145).

D. Memorize it (verse 11). “The best Book, in the best place, for the best purpose!” is the way Campbell Morgan explained this verse. All ages need to memorize the Word, not children and young people alone. Joshua was not a youth when God commanded him to memorize the Law (Josh. 1:8). Jesus was able to quote Scripture when He faced Satan in the wilderness (Matt. 4:1–11).

E. Meditate on it (verses 15, 23, 48, 78, 97, 99, 148). Meditation is to the soul what digestion is to the body. To meditate means to “turn over” God’s Word in the mind and heart, to examine it, to compare Scripture with Scripture, to “feed on” its wonderful truths. In this day of noise and confusion, such meditation is rare but so needful. Meditation is impossible without memorization.

F. Trust it (verse 42). We trust the Bible about everything, because it is right about everything (verse 128). It is true and can be trusted wholly. To argue with the Bible is to argue with God. We test every other book by what God says in His Word.

G. Obey it (verses 1–8). To keep the Word is to obey it, to walk in its commandments. Satan knows the Word, but he cannot obey it. If we know God’s truth and fail to obey it, we are only fooling ourselves.

H. Declare it (verses 13, 26). As we obey, we should also witness to others about the Word and tell them what the Lord has done for us.


Thy hands have made me and fashioned me: give me understanding, that I may learn thy commandments. 74 They that fear thee will be glad when they see me; because I have hoped in thy word. 75 I know, O Lord, that thy judgments are right, and that thou in faithfulness hast afflicted me. 76 Let, I pray thee, thy merciful kindness be for my comfort, according to thy word unto thy servant. 77 Let thy tender mercies come unto me, that I may live: for thy law is my delight. 78 Let the proud be ashamed; for they dealt perversely with me without a cause: but I will meditate in thy precepts. 79 Let those that fear thee turn unto me, and those that have known thy testimonies. 80 Let my heart be sound in thy statutes; that I be not ashamed. (Psalm 119:73-80).

INSIGHT: The Psalmist was experiencing some persisting type of affliction (which he attributes to the hand of God). While he has been promised some great blessing, he as yet has not realized full inner blessing or outward prosperity. Yet he hangs in there and “waits for God’s word” and for the fulfillment of God’s promises.

(1) The battle with himself — questioning whether God will really deliver on His promises.

(2) The battle of others looking at his afflicted condition and questioning his spirituality.

(1) Private shame and embarrassment — in his own heart.

(2) Public shame and embarrassment — in the eyes of others: (other believers who fear God) and other non-believers (his arrogant enemies).

1 Peter 4:19 “Therefore, let those also who suffer according to the will of God entrust their souls to a faithful Creator in doing what is right.”

(3) The Starting Point: Realize God’s Purpose Based on Design (Psalm 119:73).

(4) God Fearers Rejoice – Internal Application (Psalm 119:74).

(5) Divine Agent of Affliction (Psalm 119:75).

(6) Lovingkindness and Compassion: the Grace of God  (see Psalm 119:76-77).

(7) A Human Agent of Affliction (Psalm 119:78).

(8) God Fearers Renew Fellowship – External Application (Psalm 119:79).

(7) The Goal Accomplishes God’s Purpose of Holiness and Integrity (see Psalm 119:80).


Psalm 119 contains ten different names for the Word of God: word, law, saying, statutes, way, commandments, path, testimonies, precepts, and judgments. Each name indicates what the Word is and how we should respond to it. The writer pictured the Word of God as water (verse 9), treasure (verses 14, 72, 127, 162), a companion and counselor (verse 24), a song (verse 54), honey (verse 103), light (verses 105, 130), and a heritage (verse 111). Meditate on these pictures and see what they mean to your personal life of faith. – Adapted from Warren W. Wiersbe, With The Word Commentary.

CONCLUSION: What have we learned from our study of Psalm 119 today?

First, We learned that the theme of this unique psalm is the Word of God.

Every verse except five (84, 90, 121, 122, 132) refers to God’s Word, what it is and what it can do in your life if you let it. The arrangement is also unique. There are twenty-two sections of eight lines each, and the lines in each individual section begin with the same letter of the Hebrew alphabet. The first eight lines begin with Aleph, the next eight with Beth, and so on through all twenty-two letters. This may have been a device to help people memorize the psalm.

Second, We learned that the writer had a great love for the Word of God and was persecuted because he obeyed God and opposed sin.

Most of the verses are either prayers for God’s help or affirmations of the writer’s faith in God’s truth despite his difficulties. Meditating on this psalm ought to make you love and treasure the Word of God more and obey it more willingly.

Third, We learned that our approach will be to emphasize in each section one special ministry of the Word to your life.

The hands of God formed the psalmist. Therefore, he trusts his Maker’s word. He desires understanding so that he could learn God’s commands, and he desires compassion so that God’s instruction would be his delight (Psalm 119:73, 77). The psalmist trusts God to bring shame on the arrogant and, simultaneously, to keep him from shame through a heart that was blameless regarding God’s statutes (Psalm 119:78, 80).

THOUGHT TO REMEMBER: “The Bible is the Word of God; it has all the answers for your life.”

REFERENCES: References used in these Bible studies are the Moody Bible Commentary, J. Vernon McGee’s Thru the Bible Commentary: (www.ttb.org), the Scofield Study Bible, the Believer’s Bible Commentary, Dr. Charles J. Woodbridge Bible Outlines, Dr. Lee Roberson’s Sermons, Dr. Charles Stanley: (http://www.intouch.org/), Don Robinson’s Bible Outlines, Women’s Study Bible, The Bible Reader’s Companion Ed. 3, The Nelson Study Bible: New King James Version, Dr. Tony Evans (https://tonyevans.org/), KJV Bible Commentary, Wiersbe’s Expository Outlines of the New Testament ed. 4, Dr. David Jeremiah: (http://www.davidjeremiah.org/site/), Dr. Cliff Robinson’s Bible Outlines, Dr. Robert Jeffress’ Pathway to Victory (https://ptv.org/), Wiersbe’s Expository Outlines of the Old Testament, Dr. Alan Carr’s The Sermon Notebook (www.sermonnotebook.org), With the Word Bible Commentary, Wiersbe’s “Be” Series: Old & New Testaments, Radio Bible Class Ministries (http://rbc.org/), selected illustrations and other references.



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