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The Fourth 8 Reasons for Reading the Bible


Don Ruhl • Savage Street, Grants Pass, Oregon • December 31, In the year of our Lord, 2017


  1. Psalm 119 is a prayer,
    1. making it the longest prayer in the Bible, and
    2. it is a long prayer about the Bible.
      1. Have you prayed to God about the Bible?
      2. What would you say to Him about His word?
  2. If you do not know what to say to God about His word,
    1. let me lead you in a prayer
    2. that is just 1/22 the length of the prayer that is Psalm 119,

      Dear Heavenly Father,

      Our souls cling to the dust;
      Revive us according to Your word.

      We have declared our ways, and You answered us;
      Teach us Your statutes.

      Make us understand the way of Your precepts;
      So shall we meditate on Your wonderful works.

      Our souls melt from heaviness;
      Strengthen us according to Your word.

      Remove from us the way of lying,
      And grant us Your law graciously.

      We have chosen the way of truth;
      Your judgments we have laid before us.

      We cling to Your testimonies;
      O LORD, do not put us to shame!

      We will run the course of Your commandments,
      For You shall enlarge our hearts.

      Through Jesus we pray. Amen!

  3. For those who may not have been here the past three years,
    1. I determined that for a new year,
      1. starting in 2014,
      2. I would do a sermon on reading the Bible annually.
    2. For my text, I would use Psalm 119,
      1. which has 176 verses.
      2. Divide that by 22 and you get 8.
        1. Why divide it by 22?
        2. There are 22 letters in the Hebrew alphabet.
          1. Each of the first 8 verses begins with the first letter in Hebrew.
          2. Each of the second 8 verses begins with the second letter, etc.
    3. The section that comprises verses 25–32
      1. begins with the Hebrew letter Daleth,
      2. which is equivalent to our D.
        1. Translating the verses with that in mind
        2. we can get a sense of how Hebrew-reading people see it,

          Depressed to the dust is my soul: quicken thou me according to thy word.
          Declared have I (to thee) my ways, and thou heardest me: teach me thy statutes.
          Declare thou to me the way of thy precepts: so shall I talk of thy wondrous works.
          Dropping is my soul for heaviness: strengthen thou me according unto thy word.
          Deceitful ways remove from me; and grant me thy law graciously.
          Determined have I upon the way of truth; thy judgments have I laid before me.
          Deliberately I have stuck unto thy testimonies: O Lord, put me not to shame.
          Day by day I will run the way of thy commandments, when thou shalt enlarge my heart.

          (Theodore Kübler in: Charles Haddon Spurgeon, The Treasury of David, Volume II, Psalm 119, page 194).

    4. Since I started in 2014,
      1. that means I will complete this project in the year 2035,
      2. if I make it that long.
        1. Of course that depends upon
          1. you and I tolerating one another for that long, and
          2. me living that long, and
        2. most of all, the Lord’s will.
  4. Keep in mind that the psalmist
    1. spoke of his relationship
      1. to the Lord and
      2. to His word.
    2. He asked the Lord to help him accomplish the things of verses 25–32.


  1. Psalm 119.25 | Revive Me

    My soul clings to the dust;
    Revive me according to Your word.

    1. When your soul clings to dust,
      1. when you are failing in spirit,
      2. when you cannot see hope,
      3. when you need revival,
        1. let the word of God fire you back up.
        2. He who thinks the thoughts of God always comes back stronger.
    2. Revival comes from the Lord’s word.
      1. The best word is the word of God.
      2. Make it a habit to spend a little daily time in the word.
  2. Psalm 119.26 | Teach Me

    I have declared my ways, and You answered me;
    Teach me Your statutes.

    1. When you declare your ways,
      1. when you have countless issues in life,
      2. speak to Him of those issues in your life.
        1. Open your heart and
        2. tell Him what is going on in your life.
    2. He answers your prayers when you open your life up to Him.
      1. Declare to Him your struggles with sin and temptation.
      2. Declare to Him your plans.
    3. Ask Him to teach you His statutes.
      1. Who better to teach us than our Creator?
      2. Do you believe that the Bible is the perfect guide for life?
  3. Psalm 119.27 | Make Me Understand

    Make me understand the way of Your precepts;
    So shall I meditate on Your wonderful works.

    1. When you need understanding,
      1. His precepts will guide you.
      2. Let Him teach you from His word.
        1. Open His word everyday and
        2. let Him instruct you on the issues of life.
      3. Ask Him for help in
        1. knowing the Scriptures and
        2. understanding them.
    2. Meditate on His wonderful works.
      1. When He shows you His precepts,
      2. even as you see the wonders of the body and how it all works together,
        1. so see the wonders of His word and
        2. how it all works together, and
          1. meditate upon those things.
          2. The Old Testament has many inspiring stories and declarations.
  4. Psalm 119.28 | Strengthen Me

    My soul melts from heaviness;
    Strengthen me according to Your word.

    1. When your soul melts from heaviness,
      1. when life loads you with heavy burdens and
      2. your soul cannot bear the weight,
    2. find strength according to God’s word.
      1. If you read and meditate in His word,
      2. you will find the strength you need to endure the burdens of life.
    3. Your habit of daily reading will open wisdom to you that you never imagined.
  5. Psalm 119.29 | Remove Me From Lying

    Remove from me the way of lying,
    And grant me Your law graciously.

    1. When people lie about you,
    2. you will want the law of the Lord
      1. given to you graciously.
      2. The Lord speaks
        1. the truth to us and
        2. speaks the truth about us.
      3. He never speaks that truth to harm us.
  6. Psalm 119.30 | I Choose Truth

    I have chosen the way of truth;
    Your judgments I have laid before me.

    1. When you have a choice to make,
      1. choose the way of truth.
      2. Having the thinking that you want truth will bring success.
    2. Do not fear to lay the judgments of the Lord before your eyes.
  7. O LORD, do not put me to shame!

    1. When you determine to live by God’s testimonies,
      1. you do not want Him to let you down.
      2. You do not want to be shamed because He was not there.
    2. Speak to Him that He not let you experience shame
      1. for living as He teaches you to live.
      2. Tell Him that reading His word
        1. has persuaded you
        2. that it is the truth.
          1. Yet, people will doubt it or challenge you.
          2. Ask Him to be there when you cling to His teachings.
  8. For You shall enlarge my heart.

    1. You have made a commitment to run the course of His word.
      1. You are going to live as He teaches,
      2. not as the world teaches.
        1. The Lord wants to hear you say it.
        2. Tell Him what you intend to do as the psalmist did.
    2. Also, tell Him that you know
      1. that doing such will enlarge your heart.
      2. We want to have
        1. a larger heart toward Him
        2. that we might accommodate His ways, and
      3. we want to have
        1. a larger heart toward our neighbor
        2. that we might accommodate them.


  1. What has this section of Psalm 119 taught us?
  2. For the reasons stated in Psalm 119.25–32,
    1. I strongly urge you to have a Bible reading plan.
    2. I recommend reading through the entire Bible annually.
      1. Today, I will pass out schedules like I do every year.
      2. However, use whatever works for you.
        1. I put in the bulletin on the first and second pages,
        2. another method.
  3. When you read the Bible,
    1. The Father speaks to you,
    2. Jesus speaks to you, and
    3. The Holy Spirit speaks to you.
      1. He who made you,
      2. knows the absolute way of success for living on this earth,
        1. which He also created.
        2. He knows the way of success because
          1. He created us
          2. to live on this earth He created.
  4. He encourages us to read His word,

    34 And afterward he read all the words of the law, the blessings and the cursings, according to all that is written in the Book of the Law. 35 There was not a word of all that Moses had commanded which Joshua did not read before all the assembly of Israel, with the women, the little ones, and the strangers who were living among them (Joshua 8.34–35).

    “Blessed are those who hear the word of God and keep it!” (Luke 11.28).

    13 Till I come, give attention to reading… 15 Meditate on these things; give yourself entirely to them, that your progress may be evident to all (1 Timothy 4.13, 15).

    1. Why then miss spending time with your Creator in His word daily?
    2. What else could you possibly be doing
      1. that is so important
      2. it keeps you from reading
      3. the word of the one you shall meet after you die?
  5. Let these eight verses show you
    1. that God lifts your soul out of the dust,
    2. that God hears your prayers and answers then,
    3. that God gives you instructions in the ways of life,
    4. that God stands by you when you stand by Him,
    5. that God keeps you from shame,
    6. that God enlarges your heart.
  6. Be like the psalmist in dealing with the layout of your life. Let it be said
    1. that you declare your ways to Him in prayer,
    2. that you meditate on His wonderful works,
    3. that you chose the way of truth,
    4. that you laid the Lord’s judgments before you,
    5. that you cling to His testimonies, and
    6. that you run the course of His commandments.