The 119th Psalm is an enormous acrostic. It is divided into twenty-two stanzas, each containing eight verses and each beginning with the letters of the Hebrew alphabet arranged in successive, alphabetical order. It is an extraordinary piece of literature in which the author meditates upon the Word of God.

In verse 160, after examining the Divine Word in its entirety, and after estimating the individual value of its several parts, the psalmist concludes that it is the SUM of God’s Word that is Truth—pure, absolute Truth. In other words, no single part of God’s Word can be defined out of the context of the whole of that Word.

In his letter to the churches of Galatia, Paul proves that human beings are justified by faith and not by works. He emphatically asserts that Abraham was justified by his faith and NOT by his works. James, on the other hand, says that Abraham was justified by his works and NOT only by faith! (James 2:21, 24). In my opinion, this is an excellent illustration of what the psalmist is getting at in his assertion that it is the SUM of God’s Word that must be considered.

Investing less than three hours per week to the exegesis and exposition of God’s Word, it is often difficult to maintain the balance that is required. We must resist the temptation of focusing so narrowly on one portion of the Word that we neglect another portion that is equally authoritative. However, we must also resist the temptation of refusing to exegete one passage for fear that we will be misunderstood unless we also exegete the rest of the Bible in the same sitting. The ideal is balance; yet, the ideal is time-consuming and often difficult to attain.

With the Lord’s help, fifty years from now we will look back and say, “We have finally exposed the SUM of God’s Word in our Bible classes and in our preaching.” Along that journey, however, we must trust the maturity of God’s people as we take each paragraph of the Word in order.

In addition, perhaps we can each work at making some time outside of the formal assemblies each week in which to obtain a deeper understanding of the SUM of God’s Word!

Advertisements