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The Fifth 8 Reasons for Reading the Bible

Psalm 119.33–40

Don Ruhl • Savage Street, Grants Pass, Oregon • December 30, In the year of our Lord Christ, 2018


  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 Scriptures?
      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,

      Teach us, O LORD, the way of Your statutes,
      And we shall keep it to the end.

      Give us understanding, and we shall keep Your law;
      Indeed, we shall observe it with the whole heart.

      Make us walk in the path of Your commandments,
      For we delight in it.

      Incline our hearts to Your testimonies,
      And not to covetousness.

      Turn away our eyes from looking at worthless things,
      And revive us in Your way.

      Establish Your word to Your servants,
      Who are devoted to fearing You.

      Turn away our reproach which we dread,
      For Your judgments are good.

      Behold, we long for Your precepts;
      Revive us in Your righteousness.

      Through Jesus we pray. Amen!

  3. For those who have not been here the past four 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. We are now in the fifth section that comprises verses 33–40,
      1. which begin with the Hebrew letter He,
      2. which is equivalent to our H.
    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, because
        1. it 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. The psalmist spoke of his relationship
    1. to the Lord and
    2. to His word, because
      1. you cannot separate the Lord from His word, but
      2. as you cherish Him so you cherish everything that He says.


  1. Psalm 119.33 | Read for Teaching

    33 Teach me, O LORD, the way of Your statutes,
    And I shall keep it to the end.

    1. The Lord is many things to us, and
      1. one of those things is our Teacher.
    2. When we listen to His teaching,
      1. we will keep His statutes to the end of our lives, and
      2. if we keep His teachings to the end,
        1. we shall be the kind of people
        2. that He wants us to be, and
          1. if we are the kind of people
          2. that He wants us to be,
            1. what do you think that means for our lives now and
            2. what do you think that means for our eternity?
    3. The Lord created us.
      1. Do you think He knows how we operate best?
      2. I know with all confidence that He does.
        1. Therefore, listen to what He says about living life successfully!
        2. He knows the questions and He knows the answers.
    4. The Lord teaches us
      1. when we read His word.
      2. Think about the Lord
        1. sitting down with you in your home for 15 minutes everyday and
        2. He just teaches you the way of life.
          1. Would that not be an awesome moment?
          2. That is what you are doing when you open His word and read it.
  2. Psalm 119.34 | Read for Understanding

    34 Give me understanding, and I shall keep Your law;
    Indeed, I shall observe it with my whole heart.

    1. Proverbs 4.7 urges us to seeking understanding:

      7 Wisdom is the principal thing;
      Therefore get wisdom.
      And in all your getting, get understanding.
      (Proverbs 4.7)

      1. The Bible equates understanding with wisdom.
      2. If you want to know what wisdom is, see it as understanding.
        1. Understanding is the principal thing.
        2. Who do you think owns the treasure house of understanding?
    2. When we gain understanding,
      1. we can keep the Law of the Lord.
      2. To see how this is the case,
        1. consider how unbelievers read the Scriptures, but
        2. they do not get it.
          1. It does not make sense to them.
          2. They might even mock it.
    3. However, you have undoubtedly noticed in yourself or others
      1. that as understanding increases,
      2. so did the desire to keep the Law of the Lord.
        1. You had discovered the truth and
        2. you decided to observe the Law of the Lord with your whole heart.
    4. You discovered the truth by reading.
      1. Do you not discover more every time you read?
      2. Therefore, read through the Bible annually by reading it daily.
  3. Psalm 119.35 | Read for Obeying

    35 Make me walk in the path of Your commandments,
    For I delight in it.

    1. If the Lord does not expect us to obey His commandments,
      1. what is the purpose of Scripture?
      2. You know
        1. that you should be an obedient child of our heavenly Father, and
        2. that you should be an obedient disciple of the Lord Jesus Christ.
          1. You want to obey because
          2. you delight in the things that you discover in the Bible.
            1. You see that it is not only the best way to live,
            2. you see that it is the only way to live.
    2. We learn to walk in His commandments
      1. when we read and
      2. when we meditate upon His word:

        7 “Only be strong and very courageous, that you may observe to do according to all the law which Moses My servant commanded you; do not turn from it to the right hand or to the left, that you may prosper wherever you go. 8 This Book of the Law shall not depart from your mouth, but you shall meditate in it day and night, that you may observe to do according to all that is written in it. For then you will make your way prosperous, and then you will have good success” (Joshua 1.7–8).
  4. Psalm 119.36 | Read to Incline Your Heart

    36 Incline my heart to Your testimonies,
    And not to covetousness.

    1. Coveting is wanting something that belongs to another person.
    2. We want to make sure
      1. that instead of coveting what belongs to our neighbor
      2. that we earnestly desire the Lord’s testimonies instead.
    3. Therefore, we want the Lord to incline our hearts
      1. toward His testimonies and
      2. not toward covetousness.
        1. You incline your heart
          1. toward His testimonies and
          2. away from covetousness
        2. when you read His word without ceasing.
  5. Psalm 119.37 | Read for Revival

    37 Turn away my eyes from looking at worthless things,
    And revive me in Your way.

    1. The world is full of temptations toward the lust of the eye,
      1. that they draw us away from where we should be looking.
      2. What appeals to the eye pulls us with great power.
        1. That was one of Eve’s problems.
        2. She saw that the fruit of the tree of the knowledge of good and evil
          1. “was pleasant to the eyes.”
          2. She took of that fruit and you know the rest of the story.
    2. However, if we seek the Lord and His word daily,
      1. that experience shall revive us in His way daily
      2. rather than in the way of the lust of the eye.
  6. Psalm 119.38 | Read for Establishing God’s Word

    38 Establish Your word to Your servant,
    Who is devoted to fearing You.

    1. And how important is fearing the Lord?

      13 Let us hear the conclusion of the whole matter:
      Fear God and keep His commandments,
      For this is man’s all.
      14 For God will bring every work into judgment,
      Including every secret thing,
      Whether good or evil.
      (Ecclesiastes 12.13–14)
    2. Therefore, we want to be established in His word.
      1. We want His word established to us as the truth.
      2. We want His word established in our lives as the way to live.
    3. The more you read and think upon His word,
      1. the more you will find His word established.
      2. Your fear of God will then increase.
  7. Turn away my reproach which I dread,
    For Your judgments are good.

    1. Do you want to be reproached?
      1. Do you want to be reproached for not keeping His word?
      2. If you knew a way of avoiding reproach, would you take it?
    2. The psalmist knew that the judgments of the Lord are good and
      1. by the Lord’s judgments the psalmist could escape reproach.
      2. It is not that people would not reproach him, but
        1. there is a difference between men reproaching us and
        2. the Lord reproaching us.
      3. There is a difference between
        1. reproach being true and
        2. reproach being false.
    3. Spend time everyday
      1. in the Book of the One who created the universe, and
      2. eventually all reproaches with which man reproaches you
        1. shall be false.
        2. Everyone will see that you are a man or woman of integrity, because
          1. the Lord’s judgments are good and
          2. you will find yourself walking in His judgments.
  8. Behold, I long for Your precepts;
    Revive me in Your righteousness.

    1. The psalmist wanted the Lord’s precepts for life,
      1. which is obvious from the writing of Psalm 119.
      2. Picture yourself either
        1. praying as long a prayer as Psalm 119 or
        2. writing your thoughts about the word of God as long as Psalm 119.
    2. If you read His word everyday,
      1. you will find yourself longing for that time of day, and
      2. when you miss that time, you will feel empty.
    3. The psalmist had experienced enough of the Lord’s precepts
      1. that he knew that revival comes from the Lord’s righteousness.
      2. Who does not need revival from time to time?
        1. I need it about as often as I need to eat food!
        2. Satan and the world pull me down constantly.


  1. Perhaps we reason that we cannot find the time to read.
    1. I have discovered other the years
    2. that people find a way to do what they want to do.
      1. If they want to watch TV, they find a way to do it.
      2. If they want to be on their smartphone, they will do it right in this service.
      3. If they want to play, they will make time for it.
      4. If they want to read the Bible, they will make it happen.
  2. Paul told Timothy:

    13 Till I come, give attention to reading, to exhortation, to doctrine (1 Timothy 4.13).

    1. You can do it.
    2. You want to do it.
      1. Make the decision today for the rest of your life
      2. to read the Scriptures daily.
        1. Even as Jesus gave His life to the Father for us,
        2. so give your life to Jesus to save your soul.