Longing for God’s Word

Jarrod Jacobs

Psalm 119:20 and 40 state very interesting thoughts that I think are worth studying. In verse 20 we read, “My soul is consumed with longing for your rules at all times.” Verse 40 says, “Behold, I long for your precepts; in your righteousness give me life.”

Go back and read these verses again, for they reveal much. Notice that David did not merely say he longed for God’s word. He longed for it “at all times” (v. 20). This verse is similar to Psalm 1:2 which tells us that the wise man meditates upon God’s word “day and night”! Verse 40 says he recognizes that it is God’’s word that has life-giving power. On seven other occasions in Psalm 119 alone, David repeats his praise for the life-giving power of God’s word.

As I read those statements, I thought about myself. Can I say that I truly long for God’s word? Can I say that my soul is “consumed” for longing for His word, and that I want to hear it “at all times”? Friends, do we see what a high priority David placed upon God’s word? What priority do we give God’s word? Within the Bible, we find the instructions for salvation from sin (i.e., new life). We also find sustaining power within the Scripture, for the Bible is our soul’s sustenance (I Peter 2:2; Hebrews 5:14).

In our society, we recognize our dependence upon food. We know that eating a proper diet has life-sustaining power for our bodies. But, are we ready to admit that the Bible has life-giving and sustaining power for our souls? David, the king of Israel, recognized it! Though a mighty king, a great warrior, and though he had power over a nation, he readily confessed his dependence upon the word of God. Jesus stated this as well when He said, “Man shall not live by bread alone, but by every word that comes from the mouth of God” (Matthew 4:4). How much more ought we to confess such when we understand that we are in need of that life-sustaining power today?

When we appreciate God’s word the way David did, we will not want to hear the experiences, philosophies, and creeds of men. We will only want to hear the pure, unadulterated, complete, and simple word of God (Acts 10:33). We will readily say as Paul did, “Preach the word” (2 Timothy 4:2)! When we humble ourselves as David, we will understand the words of Job who said, “I have treasured the words of his mouth more than my portion of food” (Job 23:12). Let us read the Bible again “for the first time” and glean the blessings!