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Those who love Your law have great peace
Psalm 119:165 A single verse from the longest chapter of the Bible speaks volumes
“Those who love Your law have great peace, And nothing causes them to stumble.”
Psalms 119:165 NASB1995
In August of 2022, I took a look at Psalm 119:1 and was amazed at what I found. This Psalm is at the literal center of the Bible, so you could think of it as the heart of Scripture. There are 176 verses in this Psalm; one could dive deeply into each verse for two days, and would almost make it through a full year of study in just a single Psalm.
The author of Psalm 119 is unknown; many Biblical scholars believe it was written by David throughout his lifetime, while some think it was compiled at a later date by others. Regardless of authorship, it is a masterpiece of both glorying God and His word, and of inspired writing. Enduring Word says:
Psalm 119 is arranged in an acrostic pattern. There are 22 letters in the Hebrew alphabet, and this psalm contains 22 units of 8 verses each. Each of the 22 sections is given a letter of the Hebrew alphabet, and each line in that section begins with that letter. The closest parallel to this pattern in Scripture is found in Lamentations 3, which is also divided into 22 sections, and a few other passages in the Hebrew Scriptures use an acrostic pattern.
Since this is a psalm glorifying God and His word, it refers to Scripture over and over again. Psalm 119 is remarkable for how often it refers to God’s written revelation, His word. It is referred to in almost every verse.
This verse is in section “U” — the Hebrew ש (shin). In Hebrew, it appears like this:
שָׁלוֹם רָב לְאֹהֲבֵי תוֹרָתֶךָ וְאֵין־לָמוֹ מִכְשׁוֹל
beginning (on the right, as Hebrew is read right to left) with the word שָׁלוֹם (šālôm, pronounced shaw-lome) or as we’re familiar with it, shalom — peace. The word has other definitions, all positive: completeness, soundness, safety, health, prosperity, and friendship both with God and with other humans.
Shalom is a perfect word to describe God’s goodness to those He loves! The verse tells us that there is great peace and tranquility in the hearts of those who not only do God’s will, but those who find joy in doing it. Bible commentator George Horne described this feeling of peace as having several layers of depth:
“They are at peace with God, by the blood of reconciliation; at peace with themselves, by the answer of a good conscience, and the subjection of those desires which war against the soul; at peace with all men, by the spirit of charity; and the whole creation is at peace with them, and all things work together for their good.”1
Having the peace of heart, mind, and soul that comes from loving God’s Law brings a great stability to your life, a solid foundation on which one can walk assuredly and not stumble.
Another commentator, James Montgomery Boice, said of this verse:
“This verse does not promise peace to those who perfectly keep God’s Law, for who can keep it? It promises peace to those who ‘love’ God’s Law.”2
Loving and living God’s Law keeps us steady on our walk with the Lord. Staying constantly connected with God through prayer and daily study of His Word are two of the most important steps every Christian must take. Without a daily reminder of His truth, we can forget it and start to fall. God’s Word keeps us in line with His ways, instead of allowing our ideas and those of the world to influence our lives.
Heaven On Wheels Daily Prayer:
Father in Heaven, thank You for the gift of Your Word, which gives me peace and keeps me from stumbling. I pray that You help me to keep my love for You and Your Law in my mind, heart, and soul at all times. In Jesus’ name I pray, AMEN.
Horne, George "Commentary on the Psalms" (Audubon, New Jersey: Old Paths Publications, 1997 of a 1771 edition)
Boice, James Montgomery "Psalms: An Expostional Commentary" Volume 3 (Psalms 107-150) (Grand Rapids, Michigan: Baker Books, 1998)