Why I’m Glad I didn’t Skip the Longest Chapter of the Bible
Setting out to read Psalm 119 in the Bible is kind of like boarding a flight from Los Angeles to New York. You know it’s going to take a while.
Honestly, I thought about skipping it. After I finished chapter 118, I sort of dreaded the thought of diving into chapter 119, because it’s so long. But instead of going around it, I decided to break it up into four or five bite-sized readings.
I’m glad I did.
Not only did reading all of Psalm 119 give me a sense of accomplishment, it also reminded me of something – the Bible is enjoyable. I’m afraid sometimes I miss this part. I see the Word as necessary, yes, but enjoyable? Not so much.
From the sounds of it, the ancient writer actually enjoyed God’s word. With a purposeful redundancy, the psalmist talks about how much he appreciates the written Word and its various benefits. For example, he says:
“As pressure and stress bear down on me, I find joy in your commands. Your laws are always right; help me to understand them so I may live.” v. 143-144 (NLT)
This perspective is refreshing because it doesn’t relate to Scripture as sheer drudgery or as a list of obligations to be met. Rather, the psalmist energetically compares the word of God to something helpful, like a light in the darkness (v. 105), and to something sweet, like honey (v. 103).
Admittedly, some parts of the Bible are challenging. There’s no denying that. But if we take each part in context with a sincere desire to understand, God helps us to see how it all fits together. Since all of the Bible ultimately points to Jesus (either by anticipation or by remembrance), even a long and involved chapter like Psalm 119 can stimulate our faith and encourage us along in our spiritual journey.
It may have taken me four or five days, but I finally finished…good thing I didn’t skip it. If I had, I would have missed a real blessing and not gotten a reminder that I sorely needed – the Bible is enjoyable.
It’s a new day with God. Run with it.