Scripture reading – Psalm 94; Psalm 119

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Today’s Scripture reading continues our study of the Psalms. Psalm 94 is an appeal to the LORD to take vengeance on the enemies of Israel. We do not know the occasion or the author, but it seemed to have been penned at a time of calamity when God’s people were oppressed by adversaries who desired to destroy the nation. In contrast, Psalm 119 celebrated the excellence and effect of the written Law of God. It is the longest of the Psalms and the longest chapter in the Bible (176 verses in length). I will briefly outline both of the Psalms.

Psalm 94


A Cry for Justice (94:1-11)

Psalm 94 was a cry for vengeance against the foes of Israel. Oppressed by adversaries, the psalmist questioned, “3Lord, How long shall the wicked, How long shall the wicked triumph? 4How long shall they utter and speak hard things? And all the workers of iniquity boast themselves?” (94:3-4) The author then pointed out the injustices Israel suffered (94:5-6) and how the wicked mocked the LORD and asserted He was indifferent to the afflictions of His people (94:7).

The psalmist rebuked some in Israel whom he pronounced as brutish and fools (94:8). They were not intellectually deficient; however, they were morally stupid (i.e., brutish) and insolent regarding God’s Word (i.e., fools). Though they had the Truth, they rejected it and continued in their ignorance. The psalmist asked, “9He that planted [made] the ear, shall he not hear? He that formed the eye, shall he not see? 10He that chastiseth [rebukes] the heathen, shall not he correct? He that teacheth man knowledge, shall not he know?” (94:9-10) 

The writer warned, “The Lord knoweth the thoughts [intent; plans; plots] of man, That they are vanity [empty; meaningless]” (94:11). Reject God’s revelation of Himself as Creator and the most intellectual and gifted of humanity diminish as fools.


A Promise of Comfort and Rest (94:12-19)

Psalm 94 concluded with the promise that the LORD hears and answers the cries and prayers of His people (94:12-23). He chastens and instructs His people in His law (94:12; Hebrews 12:5-7). He is just; the wicked will not go unpunished (94:13), and the righteous shall be justified (94:14-15).

When he was tempted to despair, the psalmist experienced the salvation of the LORD, who heard his prayers and came to his aid (94:17). When his faith began to slip, the LORD upheld him with His mercy and kept him from falling (94:18). When his thoughts were racing (anxious and confused), God’s promises brought “delight” and encouraged his soul (94:19).

The Certainty of Divine Judgment (94:20-23)

Our study of Psalm 94 concludes with the reminder that God is just and His judgment is sure. The wicked plot, plan, and oppose the righteous (94:20) “and condemn the innocent blood” (i.e., guiltless; 94:21). God’s people can be sure the LORD is their “defense…rock…[and] refuge” (94:22). Though the wicked oppress the righteous and prosper, we can be sure their time is short-lived, and “the LORD our God shall cut them off” (94:23).


Psalm 119


Psalm 119 has been numbered among the favorite psalms of the saints down through the ages. Yet, many 21st-century preachers have neglected its eternal truths. While zealous for teaching grace, many fail to preach the Law and Commandments of the LORD. As you read Psalm 119, I pray that you will be reminded that God’s Word, Law, and Commandments are timeless and eternal.

The length and breadth of Psalm 119 make writing an expository daily Bible study impossible. For the sake of brevity, allow me to suggest a three-point outline for the first 72 verses of Psalm 119.

1) The Supremacy of God’s Word (119:1-24)

2) The Study of God’s Word (119:25-48)

3) The Sufficiency of God’s Word (119:49-72)

As you read Psalm 119, you will notice a repetition of nouns that define the Scriptures. Consider seven words that describe the whole body of Scripture.

The “Word” is God’s spoken Word and Commandments (119: 49, 50, 57, 58, 65, 67).

The “Law” (119: 51, 53, 55, 61, 70, 72) refers to the Hebrew “Torah” (meaning the laws, teachings, and doctrines) or the “Pentateuch” (the first five books of the Old Testament).  

There are also the “Judgments” of God, meaning His ordinances, commands, and rulings (119:52, 62).

The “Statutes” (119:54, 64, 68, 71) and “Precepts” (119:56, 63, 69) embody the commandments, decrees, and divine mandates.

The “Commandments” (119:60, 66) are God’s Law (Exodus 20:1-17), ordinances, and law that give insight and discernment.

Finally, there are the “Testimonies” (119:59), which witness God’s divine laws.

Closing thoughts –

Psalm 119 is an inexhaustible chapter of truths whose spiritual riches can never be thoroughly mined. Its 176 verses could inspire volumes of books and be the basis of a series of year-long messages, yet its exposition would still be incomplete. Therefore, I encourage you to read this chapter and pray that your love for God’s Word, Law, and Commandments will be quickened into a perpetual flame.

Psalm 119:129Thy testimonies [witness; admonitions; ordinances] are wonderful [marvelous; astonishing]: therefore doth my soul [life; person] keep [preserve; guard] them.

Copyright © 2023 – Travis D. Smith

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