The longest chapter in the Bible is Psalm 119. This acrostic psalm exalts God’s law. It uses many synonyms — word, precept, testimony, commandment, etc. — to describe its greatness. It is not by chance that the psalm begins with a blessing upon those who obey it.

How blessed are those whose actions are blameless,
who obey the law of the Lord.
Psalm 119.1 NET

Moses understood how great was the blessing of the people of Israel, contained in the divine law. “And what other great nation has statutes and ordinances as just as this whole law that I am about to share with you today? Deuteronomy 4.8. The law was a sign of God’s blessing, and not (as many denominations insist) a burden. Only when the people tried to make the law a proof of their goodness before God did it become an unbearable weight, as Peter said in Acts 15.10-11.

There’s more:

  • The blessing is not for one only, but for all of the community of the people of God: “those whose …
  • In this psalm it is not a single blessing, but doubled, v. 2. Occurring at the beginning and doubled this way, it is emphatic.
  • The blessing falls, not on knowing God’s word, but on its practice.

Thank you, our God who speaks, that your word brings life and blessing.

Hold this idea: Blessed he who follows God’s ways, / Who knows his word and always obeys.

3 thoughts on “The double blessing of Psalm 119

  1. Excellent! Glad to see a post. Made your intro point about 119 in a funeral sermon yesterday. Longest “chapter,” veneration for God’s word, coincidence? I think not 😉

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