Summary: The Christian and the Bible. (PowerPoint slides to accompany this talk are available on request – email: firstname.lastname@example.org)
(A). What the Bible Is:
(1). Water for cleansing (vs 9).
(2). Wealth and treasure (vs 14, 72, 127, 162).
(3). A companion and friend (vs 24).
(4). A song to sing (vs 54).
(5). Honey (vs 103).
(B). What the Bible Does:
(1). It blesses (vs 1-2).
(2). It gives life (vs 25, 37, 40, 50, 88, 93).
(3). It gives strength (vs 28).
(4). It gives freedom (vs 45).
(5). It imparts wisdom (vs 66, 97-104).
(6). It gives comfort (vs 50, 76, 82, 92).
(7). It gives direction (vs 133).
(C) What We Must Do with the Bible:
(1). Love it (vs 97, 159).
(2). Prize it (vs 72, 128).
(3). Study it (vs 7, 12, 26-27).
(4). Memorize it (vs 11).
(5). Meditate on it (vs 15, 23, 48, 78, 97, 99, 148).
(6). Trust it (vs 42).
(7). Obey it (vs 1-8).
(8). Declare it (verses 13, 26).
• I was given two books for Christmas by a member of our Church fellowship:
• One is called; “10 Second Sermons”.
• The other is called: “Even more concise 10 Second Sermons”.
• I like to believe I received them as a present because I like the author;
• Who is the comedian Milton Jones;
• And not because I am a longwinded preacher.
• Joke: I guess you know what an optimist is:
• It is someone who thinks the preacher is about to finish when he says; “and finally”
• Now Psalm 119 is of course a long psalm;
• The longest psalm and the ,longest chapter in the whole of the Bible
• David Livingstone, the intrepid explorer & missionary to Africa;
• Memorised this entire Psalm when he was 9 years old,
• His reward was a New Testament from his Sunday School teacher.
• Another who memorised this psalm was William Wilberforce;
• Who as a politician played a major role;
• For the abolition of the slave trade throughout the British Empire;
• Wrote these words in his diary (1819):
• “Walked to day from Hyde Park Corner repeating the 119th Psalm in great comfort”.
• Another who memorised the entire Psalm was John Ruskin;
• Ruskin was a brilliant writer and art critic of the nineteenth century.
• Later he admitted;
• “It is strange that of all the pieces of the Bible that my mother taught me,
• That which cost me most to learn,
• And which was to my child’s mind most repulsive, the 119th Psalm.
• Has now become, of all, the most precious to me”
If we are honest:
• Many of us have the same sentiment as the seventeenth-century;
• British minister Thomas Fuller, who confessed:
“Lord, I discover an errant laziness in my soul. For when I read a chapter in the Bible, before I begin it, I look where it endeth, and if it endeth not on the same side, I cannot keep my hand from turning over the leaf to measure the length thereof……”
A Special psalm:
• As mentioned already;
• It is the longest Psalm (176 verses), & not surprising that it is the longest chapter in the Bible.
• It is also an acrostic Psalm;
• That means it follows the letters of the Hebrew alphabet.
• If it were written in English each section would start ‘A, B, C, D…..etc until Z.’
• Because it is Hebrew it reads ‘Aleph, Beth, Gimel…..until Taw’.
• In most editions of the English Bible,
• The twenty-two sections (which each has eight verses) of this psalm
• Are headed by the successive letters of the Hebrew alphabet;
• e.g. ‘Aleph, Beth, Gimel, etc’.
• In the Hebrew Bible, not the English;
• Each verse in each section also begins with the same Hebrew letter.
• e.g. All the verses in the "aleph" section (verses 1-8);
• Also begin with the Hebrew letter "aleph."
• This was probably done to help the readers memorize and meditate on God's Word.
• e.g. Preachers today often use alliteration (i.e. person, place & problem).
(c). All but five verses mention the Word of God in one way or another.
• So if you get bored you can scan the passage and try to figure them out.
• Although if you really want know see me afterwards (84, 90, 121, 122, and 132)
• In fact ten different words are used to describe the word of God;
• ‘Word, law, saying, statutes, way, commandments, path, testimonies, precepts, judgements’
• Each of those ten names indicates what the word is;
• And how we should respond to it.
(d). God is referred to in every verse.
• If you scan the psalm just note how many times the words ‘you’ or ‘your’ are used.