Summer Reading Plan

PSALM 119 INTRODUCTION

Psalm 119 is a work of Art, the “Mona Lisa” of classic, Semitic Poetry. Undetectable in our English translation, this is an “Acrostic Psalm” (meaning that each “stanza” [section] is dedicated to a letter of the Hebrew Alphabet [22]), where each line [verse] of that stanza is initiated by a word beginning with that letter. Each of the stanzas has eight lines (verses) which translates into the largest “chapter” of the Bible with 176 verses. It is skillfully crafted and constructed as a miraculous work under the direction of the Holy Spirit.

This Psalm is intended to be sung, metered out and in two-part harmony (duet). Two-part harmony is a way of expressing another characteristic of Semitic Poetry in that, rather that rhyming the end of lines (a characteristic of Poetry in English), there is an “echo” between couplets or phrases either: repeating the same idea in different words, repeating the opposite idea in different words or the second line completing the original idea or thought. 

Also, this is a song of “lament” of a young man far from home, in a foreign land and most probably in chains or feeling tied to his work (vs61, vs83, vs109). It is like an exceedingly long Country Music song, Mid-Eastern Soul Music, Jerusalem Blues. It is a bringing to God our sorrows: not unlike a song about a young man driving an eighteen- wheeler hauling pigs to the market someplace in Oregon [“a stinky job, but, somebody gots to do it”].

This Psalm is a personal testimony of a soul under duress; yet, sustained and strengthened by the text of Scripture. At first blush it seems to the modern reader as redundant or monotonous that the writer expresses a synonym for the Word of God in each verse, save one (vs175…near the end): way, judgment, precept, commandment, law, statute, truth, etc…eleven in all. But, think of it as a daily Journal of a person after God’s own heart, that Scripture is their source of blessing and right conduct and that they are grounded in the Word of God (God’s self-revelation) which is sufficient in their time of need, their balance [our balance].

WEEK 01

  • June 3 | Psalm 119:1-8
  • June 4 | Psalm 119:9-16
  • June 5 | Psalm 119:17-24
  • June 6 | Psalm 119:25-32
  • June 7 | Psalm 119:33-40

WEEK 02

  • June 10 | Psalm 119:41-48
  • June 11 | Psalm 119:49-56
  • June 12 | Psalm 119:57-64
  • June 13 | Psalm 119:65-72
  • June 14 | Psalm 119:73-80

WEEK 03

  • June 17 | Psalm 119:81-88
  • June 18 | Psalm 119:89-96
  • June 19 | Psalm 119:97-104
  • June 20 | Psalm 119:105-112
  • June 21 | Psalm 119:113-120

WEEK 04

  • June 24 | Psalm 119:121-128
  • June 25 | Psalm 119:129-136
  • June 26 | Psalm 119:137-144
  • June 27 | Psalm 119:145-160
  • June 28 | Psalm 119:160-176