Are you looking for a simple way to jumpstart your Bible reading efforts? If you ever struggle to find the desire or the energy to sit down and spend quality time in God’s Word, please consider this approach – read Psalm 119 and you are likely to see an increase in your appetite for God’s truth.
Psalm 119 is one of the most unique chapters in the Bible. It is certainly the longest chapter, having 176 verses. This psalm is divided into 22 eight-verse stanzas. Now notice that each stanza has a title. Stanza 1 (verses 1-8) is labeled “Aleph”; stanza 2 (verses 9-16) is entitled “Beth”; and so forth.
Each of these stanza titles is one of the 22 letters of the Hebrew alphabet. And each verse in all 22 stanzas begins with that particular Hebrew letter. So, all the verses of stanza 1 begin with the first letter in the Hebrew alphabet, “Aleph”. This is known as an acrostic psalm, similar to the assignment your teacher gave you in school to take the letters of the word “thanksgiving” and write down 12 words about this holiday that begin with “t”, “h”, “a”, etc.
Now, here’s the most amazing thing about Psalm 119 – virtually every verse is about the Bible. So you’ll find many synonyms for the Bible here. Take a look at the first stanza and you’ll find “law” (verse 1), “statutes” (verse 2), “precepts” (verse 4), “decrees” (verse 5), and “commands” (verse 6).
Let’s focus on the task at hand – how to cultivate a love for the Word: for the next 22 days, read one eight-verse stanza from Psalm 119. Then start a journal and write down your answers to the following questions each day: 1) Of the eight verses, which one is your favorite? Write out the verse by hand. 2) Why did you pick that particular verse? Be specific and write down why this verse speaks to you more than the others. What do you like about this verse? What does it teach you about God and/or His Word? 3) Now write out a prayer that expresses thanksgiving to God for what He just taught you, or perhaps you’ll want to ask for help to put a new teaching into practice in some way.
If you are new to Bible reading, this will be a wonderful way to get intimately acquainted with the treasure chest of truth to be found in these pages. Reading Psalm 119 will stimulate your hunger for God as you interact and meditate and think and write and pray.
And if you’ve been reading the Bible for years and are eager to take your love for the Word to a new level, this exercise will draw you closer to the One whose love for you is unending, and whose truth is inexhaustible.