How happy are those whose way is blameless, who walk according to the Lord’s instruction! Happy are those who keep his decrees and seek him with all their heart. – Psalm 119:1-2
Delighting in God’s Instruction.
Psalm 119 is often skipped or skimmed by people because of it’s daunting size and its seemingly repetitive nature. This psalm is the largest psalm (and chapter) in the Bible, At 172 verses, it is longer than several of the smaller books of the Bible. It is a “love song” to the law and uses terms like precepts, instructions, commandments, and more as synonyms throughout.
Overview of this course:
Each week, on our own, each person will read, write, process, meditate, and listen to a podcast on the week’s assigned stanza from this Psalm on their own. Once a week we will meet together share our insights on the Psalm and what God is teaching us through this experience.
We will meet Tuesday nights at 6:30 on Zoom.
Zoom Access Information:
Meeting ID: 838 9680 5692
Bible, a translation of your choosing. I would suggest a physical book that you can mark up, and not a digital copy.
Pen, pencil, colored pencils, highlighters.
Journal or sketchpad.
Podcast access: a podcast app (subscribe to First Fifteen), the Word of Prayer website, or at the bottom of this page.
A quiet place to pray and reflect.
About Psalm 119:
Psalm 119 is an acrostic poem. It contains 22 stanza, one for each letter of the Hebrew alphabet. Each stanza is 8 verses long. and each line begins with that Hebrew letter. This provided a wonderful poetic challenge for the author, but is impossible to express in the translation.
Nearly every verse contains one of eight words for God’s revelation: instruction, decree, precept, statute, command, judgment, promise, or word (according to the CSB translation).
Each week will have an assigned 3-4 stanzas of Psalm 119. Throughout the week you should take some time to interact with theses stanzas. Interaction consists of five steps; read, write, engage, meditate, and listen.
- Read. Read through the assigned stanza in whichever translation you choose.
- Write. Write the entire stanza out in your handwriting.
- Engage. Highlight repeated words or phrases. Underline sections that resonate with you. Draw pictures.
- Meditate. Choose a word, phrase or verse to meditate on during the day.
- Listen. Listen to the podcast episode that corresponds with the stanza. Not all stanza have podcasts.
Don’t stress out: Break your interactions into chunks that are manageable for you. These five steps do not need to happen in a specific order or in one sitting. Space it out in a way that works for you.
Each week we will meet and discuss what God has taught us during our time in Psalm 119. This time will not be a time of group study or teaching. We will all share our experiences in the Psalm, encourage each other, and grow from each other.
We will answer questions like:
- How did this weeks stanzas offer you guidance or direction this week?
- What words or phrases stood out to you from the stanzas?
- What insights did you gain from the podcast episodes?
- What might God be trying to teach or tell you?
Week 1: Tuesday, February 2 – Introduction
- Homework: Engage with stanzas Aleph (1-8), Beth (9-16) & Gimel (17-24)
- Listen: Podacst episodes – Delight In God’s Word (Psalm 119:1-16) & Open My Eyes (Psalm 119:17-24)
Week 2: Tuesday, February 9 – Discuss Aleph, Beth & Gimel.
- Homework: Engage with stanzas Daleth (25-32), He (33-40) & Waw (41-48)
- Listen: Podcast Episodes – Running Wild and Free (Psalms 119:25-32) & Learning to Love (Psalm 119:33-48).
Week 3: Tuesday, February 16 – Discuss Daleth, He & Waw.
- Homework: Engage with stanzas Zayin (49-56), Cheth (57-64) & Teth (65-72),
- Listen: Podcast Episodes – Remember and Comfort (Psalm 119:49-56) & God is Good (Psalm 119:65-72)
Week 4: Tuesday, February 23 – Discuss Zayin, Cheth, Teth.
- Homework: Engage with stanzas Yod (73-80), Kaph (81-88) Lamed (89-96),
- Listen: Podcast Episodes Let it Be (Psalm 119:73-80) & Even If (Psalm 119:81-88)
Week 5: Tuesday, March 2 – Discuss Lamed Yod & Kaph
- Homework: Engage with stanzas Lamed (89-96), Mem (97-104), Nun (105-112),
- Listen: Podcast Episodes Forever (Psalm 119:89-96) & Teach Me (Psalm 119:97-112)
Spring Break: No class on Tuesday, March 9
- Homework: Engage with stanzas Samek (113-120) Ayin (121-128) & Pe (129-136),
- Listen: Podcast Episodes Done Deal (Psalm 119:121-136)
Week 6: Tuesday, March 16 – Discuss Lamed, Mem, Nun, Samek, Ayin & Pe
- Homework: Engage with stanzas Tsade (137-144), Qoph (145-152)
- Listen: Podcast Episode Psalm 119: A Special Conversation
Week 7: Tuesday, March 23 – Discuss Tsade & Qoph
- Homework: Engage with stanzas Resh (153-160), Shin (161-168) & Taw (169-176)
- Listen: Podcast Episodes Revive Me (Psalm 119:153-168) & The Final Word (Psalm 119:169-176)
Week 8: Tuesday, March 29 – Discuss Resh, Shin, Taw & Wrap-up
- Homework: Read and review entire Psalm
- Listen: Podcast Episode Psalm 119: A Look Back & A reading of the entire psalm in an alternate translation
First Fifteen Podcast
Each week you are invited to listen to episodes of the First Fifteen Podcast by Ron Oltmanns. Ron will guide us through selected sections of this Psalm providing insights and applications along our journey.
Here you have access to his 15 part series on Psalm 119. Listening to these podcast will enhance your interaction with God’s word.
- Delight in God’s Word (Psalm 119:1-16)
- Open My Eyes (Psalm 119:17-24)
- Running Wild and Free (Psalms 119:25-32)
- Learning to Love (Psalm 119:33-48)
- Remember and Comfort (Psalm 119:49-56)
- God is Good (Psalm 119:65-72)
- Let it Be (Psalm 119:73-80)
- Even If (Psalm 119:81-88)
- Forever (Psalm 119:89-96)
- Teach Me (Psalm 119:97-112)
- Do It (Psalm 119:121-128)
- Psalm 119: A Special Conversation (bonus episode)
- Revive Me (Psalm 119:153-168)
- The Final Word (Psalm 119:169-176)
- Psalm 119: A Look Back