Why Write the W.O.R.D
I started writing out God’s word in 2017 a few months before my son was born. I came across a blog called The Felicity Bee now called A symphony of praise ran by Erika Michelle. There I found a bible study method she created called W.O.R.D and she herself had Inscribe the W.O.R.D plans on her website and I started doing them. The W.O.R.D bible study method allows you to approach God’s word in four different ways- write- observe- relevant- declare… First, you write out the scripture passage. Next, you make observations about the scripture passage. Then, you write out the thoughts that are relevant for you. Finally, you declare or pray that passage of scripture. Studies show that we RETAIN what we write! So we write God’s word so that we REMEMBER it! In April of this year, I decided that I wanted to share this method with you all because it has been such a blessing to me as I seek to grow in understanding God’s Word.
Writing out Psalm 119
For the next seven weeks, we will be reading and writing out Psalm 119. If you’re joining me, we just finished week 1. Every Saturday, you can expect to see my reflections posted here. Before I share my reflections for this week I wanted to share some background information on this passage! Psalm 119 is the longest chapter in Psalm. The author of this chapter is unnamed, but most commentators believe King David wrote Psalm 119. The theme that flows through this passage is “the greatness and glory of God’s word”. Psalm 119 is arranged in an acrostic pattern using the Hebrew alphabet to divide each section. David Guzik described Psalm 119 best below:
Since this is a psalm glorifying God and His word, it refers to Scripture over and over again.….
In this psalm there are eight basic words used to describe the Scriptures, God’s written revelation to us:
Law (torah, used 25 times in Psalm 119): “Its parent verb means ‘teach’ or ‘direct’; therefore coming from God it means both ‘law’ and ‘revelation.’ It can be used of a single command or of a whole body of law.” (Derek Kidner)
Word (dabar, used 24 times): The idea is of the spoken word, God’s revealed word to man. “Proceeding from his mouth and revealed by him to us…” (Matthew Poole)
Judgments (mispatim, used 23 times): “…from shaphat, to judge, determine, regulate, order, and discern, because they judge concerning our words and works; show the rules by which they should be regulated; and cause us to discern what is right and wrong, and decide accordingly.” (Adam Clarke)
Testimonies (edut/edot, used 23 times): This word is related to the word for witness. To obey His testimonies “…signifies loyalty to the terms of the covenant made between the Lord and Israel.” (Willem VanGemeren)
Commandments (miswah/miswot, used 22 times): “This word emphasizes the straight authority of what is said…the right to give orders.” (Derek Kidner)
Statutes (huqqim, used 21 times): The noun is derived from the root verb “engrave” or “inscribe”; the idea is the written word of God and the authority of His written word: “…declaring his authority and power of giving us laws.” (Matthew Poole)
Precepts (piqqudim, used 21 times): “This is a word drawn from the sphere of an officer or overseer, a man who is responsible to look closely into a situation and take action…. So the word points to the particular instructions of the Lord, as of one who cares about detail.” (Derek Kidner)
Word (imrah, used 19 times): Imrah is similar in meaning to dabar, yet a different term. “The ‘word’ may denote anything God has spoken, commanded, or promised.” (Willem VanGemeren)Enduring Word Bible Commentary
Observations on Psalm 119:1-24
In gaining understanding of this passage of scripture, I used the “Enduring Word Bible Commentary. In this passage the Psalmist recognizes that those who walk in God’s word are BLESSED. Psalm 119:1-3 “Blessed are those whose way is blameless,
who walk in the law of the Lord! 2 Blessed are those who keep his testimonies,
who seek him with their whole heart, 3 who also do no wrong, but walk in his ways!” Psalm 119: 4-8 expresses a desire for those blessings. David Guzik says “the Psalmist connects commanded obedience with the blessings to the obedient.” While he recognizes the blessing in being obedient to God’s word, the psalmist also recognizes his need to have the ability to be obedient to God’s word which is accomplished by relying on the help of the Holy Spirit. In Psalm 119: 9-16, the psalmist acknowledges that God purifies him through his word. So his response is to- take heed of God’s word, humbly ask for instruction and be committed to God’s word. In Psalms 119: 17-24 we find as the Psalmist did, that God’s word is our REFUGE in the hardest of times, so he longs for God’s Word and he asks for insight and blessing to obey God’s word.
As I read this passage this week I asked myself the following questions and I ask you the same:
- Do I recognize the blessing in living an obedient life to God in light of what his word says?
- Do I desire to be obedient to God’s Word and do I recognize my need for Christ as the authority in my life?
- Do I like the Psalmist acknowledge the cleansing power of God’s word?
- Is my heart’s response to take heed and be committed to God’s word
- And finally do I long to be in God’s word? Do I take refuge in it?
I hope that the first week of our scripture writing plan has been a blessing! Feel free to share your thoughts and what you’ve learned this week!