This is NOT a
commentary on the whole of Psalm 119!
One night back in
December I was setting in a church while the choir was singing.
The Pastor was soon to ask me to come to the pulpit to preach.
Then it happened! The Lord laid a thought on my heart.
It seemed like He
prompted me to select a few verses from Psalm 119 that dealt
powerfully (at least to my heart) with the Word of God.
I did and the results
went on our "Bible Nuggets" page.
I have conserved them
here for you.
If you are a fellow
Bible lover you will enjoy these articles.
--- Dr. Mike Bagwell
A Preacher in his Study
PSALM 119, VERSE 18 ...
I've long thought that Psalm 119:18 was one
of the greatest verses in the Bible for a believer in Christ!
It records one of the most powerful prayers
of Scripture. Let's look at it today in some detail.
Psalm 119:18 ---
"Open thou mine eyes, that I may behold wondrous things out of
Of course the "law" is the dear Word of God.
David is hungry to learn from the Scripture ... and He asks for
the Lord's help!
In a way this prayer is identical to simply
asking God for wisdom. For the Bible indeed is the Book of
The verb "open" is written in a Hebrew form
that shows INTENSE DESIRE! The Psalmist here is diligent
with his request. Also I noticed that the verb is in the
imperative mood. While this is "hard-to-explain" for Bible
teachers ... we must accept it as written! An imperative verb
expresses a command! (You can't COMMAND God and tell Him what
to do!) I believe what is being shown us here is that David is
so earnest in wanting to understand Scripture that he strongly
urges the Lord to freely reveal Truth to him! In its most
precise sense the verb means "to uncover!" When used in its
basic meaning of "uncover" or "reveal" (or that general thought)
the verb appears about 109 times.
But here's something unusual, the verb is
also translated "carry away" or "captive" or "captivity" another
61 times! (This is so dramatic that some Bible scholars believe
these vastly different definitions must indicate somehow 2
different words!) But clearly in the "spelling" at least, they
are NOT different words --- just very different definitions for
the same word! But, wait a minute, let's not wrestle with our
human logic ... let's just "plug in" the definitions the Holy
Spirit uses to our verb and see what happens!
"Open" would also mean "take me away
captive!" (Is that not exactly what happens when we get "into"
the Word of God and really begin to enjoy its truths? We are so
delighted and consumed by the Scriptures that we seem to be
spiritually "captivated" by it! I'm telling you right now ---
the Word of God is gloriously addictive. (I've never had any
booze or any cocaine or even marijuana --- but NOTHING could
possibly make me "feel" and "delight" and "thrill" to reality
itself as can the Word
of God! You fall in love with it ... and that
relationship will last for a lifetime!
The secondary verb "behold" means "to scan"
then "to look at intently" with the implication of "regarding
with favor, pleasure or care!" (Exactly!) It's used 95 times
in the Old Testament, beginning in Genesis 15:5 where God told
Abraham to go outside and LOOK at the stars and count them ...
for his seed would would be innumerable (like those stars)! The
Hiphil stem means there's a "cause" that propels the looking!
The cause is undoubtedly the magnetic drawing power that the
Word of God has in the lives of real Christians! It's
translated: "look, behold, consider, regard, see and respect!"
"Wondrous" is a Hebrew adjective. It is
first used in Scripture in Genesis 18:14 where it is translated
"too hard!" (Is anything "too hard for
the Lord?) In its literal "root" meaning the word
derives from a verbal form: "to separate, to distinguish!" (To
be different!) That just may be the idea here: God's Word is
DIFFERENT (marvelously so) from any other writing ever! It is a
living Book! ("Quick, powerful!
Hebrews 4:12) In Psalm 131:1 it's "things too high!" The
Psalmist well may be asking the Lord to reveal to him the "hard
things" of Scripture!
I have known of a number of preachers of the
past who ... before opening their Bible to study, worship or
prepare sermons ... would ALWAYS bow their heads, close their
eyes, and ask the Lord God Almighty to open their eyes to the
beauty and truth of the Bible ... and cause them to "see"
wondrous things therein!
That's a pretty good idea!
The Holy Spirit" still does "wondrously!"
That's today's "nugget."
PSALM 119, VERSE 147 ...
In Psalm 119:147 the Psalmist says:
prevented the dawning of the morning, and cried: I hoped in thy
I want us to notice a couple of things about
this great verse in today's "Bible Nuggets" column.
First of all, see his attitude toward the
Word of God! (The noun for "Word" is dabar and emphasizes the
"thing spoken" with particular reference to its power! There is
POWER in the Word of God! Hebrews 4:12)
This godly man "hoped" in God's Word! This
Hebrew (yachal) verb means "to wait or to expect!" It's in the
Piel stem ... meaning the action is intensive! He vigorously,
vehemently hopes in the Word of God! It is used in THIS VERY
FORM five times in Psalm 119! (verses 43, 74, 81, 114 and 147)
We MUST fully learn what it means! Here are some ways our verb
is used in the Bible! (Perhaps the best
way to learn the Bible definition of a word is to study how the
Holy Spirit used it in His writings, the Scriptures themselves!)
It is translated "wait" 12 times and "tarry" 3 times
during its word "career!" For example in Genesis 8:12 (its
first use) after Noah sent the dove out of the ark the first
time ... he "stayed" (yachal --- used in the sense of waiting)
seven more days and sent forth the dove yet again. THERE MUST
BE TIMES WHEN (BEFORE AN ESPECIALLY DIFFICULT PASSAGE OF
SCRIPTURE) WE MUST STAY/WAIT/TARRY UNTIL GOD GIVES US THE
MEANING! I've heard of preachers who studied a text for months
(some even years) before feeling that they had enough of its
precious "meaning" to preach it!
Another use of the verb is simply "to
trust!" In Job 13:15 old Job says "Though
He slay me, yet will I TRUST (yachal) in Him!" It's all
right to TRUST in the Word of God!
By the way, to those of you who truly "hope"
in the Lord God, --- "The LORD taketh
pleasure in them that fear Him, in those that hope (yachal) in
His mercy." Psalm 147:11 (The more you trust the Word of
God --- the more God delights in you!)
But secondly notice when this hoping in the
Word of God is done! The verb "prevented" simply means "to go
before." David came before God and His Word prior to the
dawning of the day! The "dawning of the morning" is just one
word in Hebrew. It means "twilight" --- just as the darkness of
night yields into the first rays of light even before the sun
rises! David is "at it" early! Often with these web-pages I am
typing God's Word to you folks at 5 or 6 in the morning! I sure
want to think of this verse as I do so! (It's 3:28 this
Saturday morning as I type these particular words ... and I
assure you I have "prevented" the dawn!) How sweet it is to
study the Bible is the early hours of the day! (But most of you
know that already!)
Lastly, the verb "cried" is to be noted. "Shava"
is only used 21 times in the Bible! It is in the Piel
(intensive) stem! This is crying heartily and diligently! Now
watch this carefully. The root of the verb means "to be free."
It has the connotation of being "free from trouble!" The
Psalmist actually thought the Word of God could free him from
his troubles! (Know what? I do too! I believe it has the
answers to every problem we face!)
But furthermore concerning our verb "crieth"
(shava) ... in Job 36:19 it (spelled the same but "pointed" ...
vowel points ... differently) is translated "riches" and in
Isaiah 32:5 it's "bountiful!" The Psalmist waits before the
Word of God as a hungry soul ... knowing the bountiful and
wealthy and plenteous table of God is spread before him! (Talk
about a buffet!)
Then in Lamentations 3:8 the verb is
translated "shout!" The verb (remember, it is intensive or "Piel"
stem) has a definite element of emotion in it! He gets so
excited about the Word of God he is shouting aloud!
What reactions to the Scriptures of Truth!
(That's what Daniel 10:21 calls the Bible ... the SCRIPTURE OF
I pray you can find "Nugget" material in
today's verse! The Lord knows I sure have!
By the way, I know of a preacher who studied
all the "early in the morning" experiences in Scripture! Times
when people met God early! He has published those sermons. If
anyone is interested, e-mail me and I'll gladly give you the
book Title and author. I believe it is still in print and
--- Dr. Mike Bagwell
PSALM 119, VERSE 148
Yesterday we looked at Psalm 119:147 ---
"I prevented the dawning of the morning,
and cried: I hoped in Thy Word."
Today I've found a "nugget" in the very next
verse, Psalm 119:148 ---
prevent the night watches, that I might meditate in thy
You see the antithetical thoughts don't you?
At first he's up early in the morning to hope in God's Word!
Then ... he's up in the middle of the night meditating on
Scripture! (When does he sleep? He's ALWAYS "in" the Bible!)
Let's examine verse 148 a bit (with verse 147
handy also). Both verses use the same word for "prevent." It
just means to "go before." He was hoping in God's Word BEFORE
dawn and meditating in it AFTER midnight!
"Night watches" is an interesting Hebrew
term. It's spelled "ashmurah" and means (only found 7 times in
the Bible) "watch --- as a period of time in which to guard
something." Five times it is translated "watch" and twice
"night watch." It comes from a root verb that means "to hedge
about!' (To guard, to protect, to tend to!)
Lesson: In the "night" seasons of life
(like the one in which we're now living spiritually) we should
be especially vigilant to guard the things that are precious!
But the Psalmist's point is that he's found something so great
... that he just can't sleep. He believes it (God's Word) is
more important that that night watchman's sword or spear or bow
and arrow, etc.!
What's he doing with the Bible this hour of
the night? He is "meditating" in the truths of Scripture! Our
verb here is a different Hebrew verb altogether from the word
for "meditate" in Psalm one! (Or Psalms 63, 77, or 143!) It is
used in Psalm 119 five times as a verb and twice more as a
noun! ("siyach") What does it mean? The
root idea is "to ponder." (From a Latin verb that means "to
weigh!" It also gives us the word "pendant" --- something heavy
that hangs around a person's neck and goes with them
everywhere) I guess we had better PONDER God's Word!
But the verb comes to mean (after
"pondering") "to converse or to talk." The Psalmist is
apparently speaking God's Word out loud through the dark hours
of the night! Of the 20 times the verb is used in Scripture, it
is translated: "talk" (5 times), and "speak" (4 times) ... and
"meditate" (5 times), even "complain" (2 times) and once each
for "Pray, commune, muse, and declare." (Deep thought that
becomes deep speech!) The "root" (also called a "radical") of
our word is also used a number of times in Scripture for a
"bush, shrub, or plant!" (Can God be
saying that each time we "meditate" in His Word we are planting
a spiritual shrub ... no doubt an "evergreen" ... in our lives
that can grow and refresh our us day by day?) It is also
translated "pray," as if our very prayers are to consist of
Scripture! (Glory!) But ... 9 times in the various forms of
our "root" word it is translated "complaint or complain!" (Are
our very "complaints" to God to be housed in Scripture! If you
don't believe me, check the word as it's used in Job and Psalms
But here's maybe the most "beautiful" point
of all! In Proverbs 6:22 the Wisdom (Word) from God can "talk"
(siyach) to us! See this: We are to "talk, meditate, utter the
Word of God through our lips ... AND IT TALKS RIGHT BACK TO US
WITH WISDOM, STRENGTH, LOVE, ETC! (We talk it ... it talks back
I have found some "nuggets" today! Have you?
--- Dr. Mike Bagwell
119, VERSE 133 ...
Today I've just got to talk with you about
Psalm 119:133! It has taken hold of my heart this morning as I
write. It is a prayer the Psalmist prays for himself unto the
my steps in thy word: and let not any iniquity have dominion
(Again we see the "link" between purity and
being "in" the Word of God!) You can't have one without the
The first "surprise" of the verse is found in
the opening verb. "Order" is in the imperative mood! David (or
the "Psalmist" if he isn't specifically David) is here TELLING
the Lord what to do! (Imperative mood equals a command!) That's
pretty strong! It is not written disrespectfully ... but
confidently! You can approach God BOLDLY even in our age of
Grace! (Hebrews 4:16) Also I remind you that in Old Testament
terminology God clearly says in Isaiah 45:11 ---
"Thus saith the LORD, the Holy One of
Israel, and his Maker, Ask me of things to come concerning my
sons, and concerning the work of my hands
command ye me."
The verb "order" means to confirm or to set
up (root verb = to be erect). It's translated: "established"
(58 times), "prepared" (85 times), "fixed" (5 times), "firm" (2
times) and "confirmed" (2 times). Being firmly established,
firmly anchored! It's in the Hebrew Hiphil stem ... indicating
"causative" action. There is a "cause" or a reason or a drive
behind God's doing this for the Psalmist! In the context of our
lone verse the CAUSE is victory over sin! (Our method of
victory over sin to this very day remains the Word of God as
empowered by the Spirit of God!) "IT IS WRITTEN" Jesus
"Steps" is a noun that's rendered "feet" more
times than "steps" in the King James Version. It comes from a
root verb that means "to tap!" It's the sound of one's feet
hitting the ground again and again as they walk across the
path. (The main idea: the ways of life! Our habitual
actions!) It's translated "goings" in Psalm 140:4. I've just
noticed something else about this word. The first time it's
used in Scripture (Genesis 2:23) it is translated "now!" (It
has a TIME element in it!) I've just further discovered that
it's translated "once" 14 times! And expressed as "time or
times" on 58 different occasions in Scripture! So the Psalmist
is really asking God to order his TIME in the Word of God!
We additionally have a different noun for
WORD here! It is "imrah" and means something said. (It's a
synonym for the Scriptures of Truth!) This particular word is
only found 37 times in all the Bible.
"Dominion" (or to have dominion) is Hebrew "shalat,"
implying rule or power --- to "dominate" or to "govern"! (only
8 uses in the whole Old Testament) It's another causative
active (Hiphil imperfect) verb, the second in our verse. What's
the "cause" that allows sins to rule over us? The lack of being
in God's Word! (When pointed differently ... same spelling but
different vowel marks, the word means "shields" and is so used
seven times in the King James Old Testament. Once sin is
embedded within someone, does it have "shield" capability that
can only be overcome and uprooted by the power of the Word of
Lastly, the word "iniquity" must be studied.
"Aven" (Hebrew) means empty or nothingness! The verbal
background means "to pant," to breath heavily as in hard labor
... accomplishing nothing! (That's a GOOD picture of sin! Big
cost ... little return!) It's found about 78 times in the
Bible. (Another lexicon says it can also mean "to be strong."
Sin certainly can become stronger and stronger in one's life ...
especially IF the Word of God is not applied daily in
mega-doses!) It is not extremely unusual to find different
lexicons or dictionaries giving different etymologies on a
word. Words go through developmental histories just as people
I hope today's "nugget" is not too long for
you. I think you will find it's worth the time (and effort) to
"dig it out" on this Friday after Christmas.
--- Dr. Mike Bagwell
VERSE 101 ...
I believe there is a direct link between the
purity of our lives and how well we learn Scripture. (I don't
believe the HOLY Spirit will teach a filthy vessel much of the
Word of God!)
In Peter's "pattern" of spiritual growth (2
Peter 1:5-8), he tells us that first comes FAITH! Next comes
VIRTUE (moral purity and cleanness) ... and only then comes
KNOWLEDGE (being taught by God)!!! (Of course five other things
follow knowledge before "maturity" arrives!) See what I mean!
Purity precedes knowledge.
That leads me to our "Nugget" verse for
Psalm 119: 101 says:
have refrained my feet from every evil way, that I might keep
Thy Word." The Psalmist apparently knew well that
the Word of God would never properly impact his life ... unless
he refrained himself from sin! (Of course, it is also true that
the MORE we're "in" God's Word ... the MORE victory over sin we
will enjoy! Jesus Himself said, "Now ye
are clean through the Word which I have spoken unto you."
Let's examine the Psalm 119 verse.
The opening verb "to refrain" means to
restrict! The Hebrew verb is
alk (kala) and is only used 18 times
in the Old Testament. It has this idea: "to shut up, to
restrain, to keep back, to withhold or to forbid!" In its first
use, Genesis 8:2, it is translated "restrained." And in 1
Samuel 6:10 it's used when the men of Philistia "shut up" two
calves in a pen! (With different vowel points the word means a
place where one is imprisoned! 1 Kings 22:7) By the way, God
Himself can keep you from sinning as well! I base that
statement upon a text in Genesis where God would NOT let
Abimelech sin concerning Abraham's wife Sarah. Listen to
Genesis 20:6 --- "And God said unto him
(Abimelech) in a dream, Yea, I know
that thou didst this in the integrity of thy heart; for
I also withheld thee
from sinning against me: therefore suffered I thee
not to touch her (Sarah)."
This thought gives new meaning to that phrase in the Lord's
Prayer "Deliver us from evil!"
And the verb "might keep"
is Hebrew rmc
(shamar) and means literally to guard, to
observe, or to give heed! In some of its 468 uses in
Scripture, it is rendered as follows: "observe" (46 times),
"heed" (35 times), "beware (9 times), "mark" (8 times), "regard"
(5 times), and even "watchman" (8 times)! According to one of
my computer programs, it is an IMPERATIVE verb, giving a
requirement! The Psalmist has placed himself under a "command"
... to KEEP God's Word! A valid word picture is that of
"hedging about" something in order to protect it. It is "to
tend" something as Adam was to tend the Garden in Genesis 2:15.
(Wow!) Then we preachers are Bible "gardeners" too! We tend
the precious plants of Scripture, picking their luscious
"fruits" and feeding them to the people of God!
And the noun for "Word"
here is rbd
(dabar) which emphasizes the spoken word ...
as to its content! (Not the act of speaking ... but the thing
said!) There is power in the very words of God!
Put this all back together
... and you will see a shining little "nugget" or two!
Plus... it makes one great
prayer for the new year coming!
us to refrain our feet from every evil way! And dear Savior,
please keep us in Thy Word!
--- Dr. Mike Bagwell
PSALM 119, VERSE
Glance with me today at Psalm 119:80. It is
a powerful verse. Also it is a prayer to the Lord God! It
heart be sound in Thy Statutes; that I be not ashamed."
Let's examine the words of this short verse
The Hebrew word for "statutes" (meaning the
Word of God) is "choq." It's root meaning is "to cut, to hack,
or to engrave!" God's statutes are those sayings of His that He
wishes to "cut" into our very hearts. (Just as He engraved in
stone the very Ten Commandments!)
The Psalmist's desire is that his heart be
"sound" in God's Word! That adjective "sound" (tamiym) means
"complete or entire!" (It is exactly the opposite of our
expression "half-hearted!") It means "with my WHOLE heart!"
Even Christmas would not have removed this Psalmist's heart from
the Word of God! In the King James Bible this word "sound" is
translated: "without blemish" (44 times), "perfect" (18 times),
"upright" (8 times), "without spot" (6 times), "whole" (4 times)
and once each "complete" and "full." You get the idea. (The
English word "integrity" carries this idea of wholeness too!)
And what is the result of a person being
whole-heartedly in the Word of God? Well, one result is that he
will not be "ashamed!" It is the continual state of
being unashamed (Qal imperfect verb) that is happening here.
The root verb means "to pale" and from that it came to mean "be
ashamed." One source says that the word has overtones of
"feeling worthless!" (It's interesting that with all today's
religious "psycho-babble," it's really the Bible that furnishes
us all the self-esteem we can possibly handle!) In our Bibles
the word also is translated "confounded" (21 times)! God can
keep us from being confused! It's even translated "dry" one
time (in Hosea 13:15)! The word picture there is a dry river
bed! The Word of God can even keep us from becoming dry!
Maybe today our verse should have been about
the Virgin Birth or some other Christmas event. But somehow
this morning I feel that the Word of God is ALWAYS an
appropriate subject for his children.
That's today's "nugget."
(I personally got more than one "nugget" out
of today's passage!)
--- Dr. Mike Bagwell
119, VERSE 10 ...
In today's verse the Psalmist prays to the
Lord. His prayer concerns Scripture. Let me show you what I
mean. (I have really learned to love these great verses in the
"With my whole
heart have I sought thee: O let me not wander from thy
Let's make it our life goal to seek the Lord
God with our "whole" heart!
What does it mean to have "sought" the Lord?
The Hebrew verb here is "darash" and implies to search or
enquire. The picture behind the "root" word is that of
"treading" or "frequenting" a place! It means to go somewhere
(or to someone) again and again. That is, making it a habit to
"visit" them! (Seek the Lord every morning ... and every
evening!) In Genesis 25:22 our verb is used of Rebekah when she
"went to ENQUIRE of the Lord." To seek is to "enquire." The
verb well may have in it the idea of prayer also. It can be
rendered "to require," meaning to ask for something.
Now on to the the actual request in the
verse. "Let me not wander from Thy
commandments." His "commandments" are His Words in Psalm
119. Here in the longest chapter in the Bible he uses terms
like precepts, statutes, law, truth, etc. to represent the
The verb "wander" is Hebrews "shagah" and
means "to err, to go astray, to be deceived, or even to make a
mistake." It's a Hiphil imperfect verb indicating a cause has
come along that tempts him to go astray! (Causative active
verb) This is another way of praying that part of the Lord's
prayer that asks, "Lead us not into
temptation but deliver us from evil!" In the verb's
first Bible use (Leviticus 4:13) it is translated by three
words: "sin through ignorance!" For further examples: it is
translated (of its 21 times in the whole Bible) "err" (11 times)
and "wander" (3 times) and "go astray" (1 time).
Let's put the verse back together and pray it
for each other now.
Lord, incline us to
seek Thee (pray to Thee, frequent Thy Presence) with all our
being! We ask of Thee to NOT let us stray (or err or be
deceived or be tempted) from Thy precious Word. Keep us in the
Scriptures! May our hunger for the Word be a life-long
pursuit! In Jesus' Name we pray, Amen!
There's today's "nugget!"
I feel like I have just worshipped the Lord!
PSALM 119, VERSE
I've read this verse again and again, even
preaching on it a few times. But I've never seen it just like
the Lord showed it to me this morning! It's found in Psalm
"Seven times a day do I praise thee
because of thy righteous judgments."
This seems to be a promise from the Psalmist
to the Lord. But what has given this dear brother such an
attitude of praise?
The verb "praise" (HALAL) means "to
celebrate, to rave, to boast, or to shine!" It's an intensive
verb (Piel stem) ... indicating vigorous action! It's first use
is in Genesis 12:15 where Sarah was "commended" for her
"Judgments" is one of the synonyms in Psalm
119 that represents the whole Word of God! The praise of this
man of God centers around Scripture! (Which he calls
"righteous." Historical word searches say this noun has
backgrounds in different Semitic languages. Meanings discovered
include: merciful, loyal and truthful!) I'd say that all 3
apply to the Word of God. It is truthful! It is loyal (to the
Lord God Almighty)! And it is a merciful book to those who
accept the shed Blood of Jesus!
But what I rally want to suggest to you is
the meaning behind the little term "because of." It's used here
as a preposition. It is the Hebrew word "AL." It most often
means "above, over, upon, etc." But in some cases it can mean
"for" or "concerning!" THE PSALMIST IS HERE ACTUALLY PRAISING
GOD 7 TIMES A DAY FOR THE DEAR WORD
Why can't I follow his example? I don't know
if I'll hit 7 times a day every day ... but I sure can thank and
glorify Him for the Bible He has so graciously given me!
Have you ever thought about just stopping
from time to time and thanking God for the Word? Let's start
doing so today!
I sure do praise God for Psalm 119:164!
(Oops! I've already started!)
--- Dr. Mike Bagwell
PSALM 119, VERSE
We are all well aware of the emphasis Psalm
119 places on the Word of God! Its 176 verses focus on
Today's "nugget" verse gives us a glimpse of
just how much the Psalmist really appreciates God's Word.
Psalm 119:20 My soul
breaketh for the longing that it hath unto thy judgments
at all times.
Now we know that the word "judgments" is a
synonym in the Psalm for the Scriptures. (As are the words
"law, precepts, statutes," etc.)
The word "longing" we have studied before. It means to crave
or desire strongly. The amazing thing about this particular
verb is that in Hebrew it also can mean to loathe or to hate!
(I guess the Word of God is one of those things that if you
don't LOVE it, in the Eyes of the Lord, you loathe it!)
But the "nugget" today is found in the little verb "breaketh."
Our Psalmist is "addicted" to Scripture! His very inner being
falls apart if he doesn't get the Word of God often throughout
the day! The opposite of "breaking" is getting "fixed!" Get
it? He had to have a daily (maybe even an hourly) "fix" of the
precious Scriptures of Truth!
"Breaketh" literally means ("garac" in Hebrew) "to be
crushed!" (Its only other Bible use is Lamentations 3:16 ---
"He hath also broken my teeth with
gravel stones, he hath covered me with ashes.") This Psalmist
is in "bad shape" if he doesn't get the Bible regularly.
Lord, increase his number!
That's today "nugget."
--- Dr. Mike Bagwell
PSALM 119, VERSE 131 ...
Today our verse is found in Psalm 119:131.
It reads: "I opened my mouth, and panted:
for I longed for thy commandments." It is an amazing
I wonder if any of us love the Word of God to
that extent! No wonder the Psalmist so enjoyed the blessings of
He here pictures himself as a deer or some
little animal thirsting for the Word of God!
Let's literally examine these precious
words! (Remember that the Bible is verbally inspired! That
means every word!)
"Opened" means to open WIDE! (As when one
yawns!) In Job 29:23 our word is used when one who is dying of
thirst opens wide his mouth to receive falling rain! (In Isaiah
55 the Word of God is called exactly that --- falling rain!)
That verse in Isaiah 5:14 where hell hath enlarged herself says
she "opened" her mouth without measure. And again in Job 16:10
it is translated "gaped" when people gaped upon Job with their
mouths (opening wide their mouths in astonishment at his
"Panteth" is elsewhere translated in
Scripture as swallowed up (6 times), snuffed up (2 times),
devoured (1 time) and desired or earnestly desired (1 time
each). It means "to inhale eagerly!" If someone asks you if
you inhaled ... answer "very deeply!" (The Word of God)
"Longed" is a verb that is only used once in
Scripture. (When this occurs it is called a "hapax legomenon.")
Obviously it means "to desire." Both the first and last verbs
in this verse are Qal perfects. Their sense of timing is that
of completed action. The decision to OPEN his mouth and to LONG
for God's Word was made in the past and is NOT going to change!
However (interestingly) the middle verb (PANTED) is a Qal
imperfect, meaning that the panting will continue indefinitely!
His hunger for the Word is decided ... the symptoms that go with
that hunger are still developing! (Wow!)
And the last word in our verse,
"commandments" is the Hebrew noun ...
MITSVAH ... and means precepts or law. It is an Old Testament
term that usually refers to the whole Word of God! We hear the
word often today on the news when they talk of a Jewish bar
mitzvah ceremony. That's when a boy has reached age 13 and
becomes a "son of the law."
This is a great verse!
Go back now and put it all
together! As you do bunch of Bible "nuggets" will fall out all
over the place! I plan to spend some time meditating on this
today! Anyone wish to join me?
--- Dr. Mike Bagwell
119, VERSE 97 ...
Let me show you something enthralling today!
It is found in the book of Psalms. "O how
love I thy law! it is my meditation all the day."
That's a short verse ... especially if one is
looking for a "nugget!" But there's one in there, for sure!
I think I just might have found it a few
minutes ago (about 5:30 this morning). Early morning times with
the Lord sure are sweet.
Our verb for "love" here means "to have
affection for!" It's used some 250 times in the Old Testament
and pictures "strong emotional attachment to something or
someone with these 2 particularities: to possess the object
loved! or to be in the presence of the object (or person)
loved! The tense of the verb indicates this love is a settled
issue! It was decided long ago and remains fixed or constant!
"Law" is the Hebrew word Torah! (They still
use this noun today!) It's a term used in the Old Testament to
indicate the whole of Scripture. It initially and literally
means "to drip or to pour!" (Something God's Word does when one
studies it carefully! It drips sweetness and strength all over
its student!) Additionally the word came to mean "to shoot ...
as one does an arrow!" Once the Scripture has flowed all over
you ... it becomes an "arrow" to use to shoot (in witnessing and
teaching and preaching) into the hearts of those you love!
(These Hebrew word pictures are astounding!)
But the word that strikes me most is the noun
here "meditation." It is a unique Hebrew term used only 3 times
in the whole Bible! (That alone makes it unique!) It means
"reflection or contemplation" ... then comes to mean "an
utterance." It is something one thinks deeply about ... then
speaks out loud to his or her friends!
But that's not all! Of the 3 times we find
the word, twice it is translated "meditation" (Psalm 119: 97 and
99). And once it is translated (King James Version) "prayer"
(Job 15:4)! Then ... here is a Bible example of Scripture (our
meditation) being used as prayer! Give God's Word back to Him
in prayer. I guarantee you ... He loves it!
Now just one last thing. WHEN is the Word of
God to be our subject of meditation? "All the day" is our
answer! Those words "all the day" as a "string" (in that exact
order) are found 27 times in the Bible! Sounds like God wants
us to be full-time Christians, doesn't it?
I thought you just might find a nugget or two
in this little verse this Friday, the 19th of December! I pray
you have done so.
--- Dr. Mike Bagwell
VERSE 47 ...
Look at the verse the Lord has
shown me today! (I try to keep a "reservoir" of verses handy
... then pick the one as the Lord leads for a given day on the
In Psalm 119:47 the Psalmist
I will delight myself in thy commandments, which I have loved."
The Hebrew word "commandments"
is a synonym for the whole Word of God! This man is excited
about the Scriptures!
Notice the verbs he uses! To
a Hebrew verb (SHAA) and means "to look upon, to fondle, to
please oneself, to stare!" What a word! To add to its
mystique, the Holy Spirit only used the word 9 times in the
whole Bible! It is a reflexive verb ... meaning that the action
is directed or turned back upon oneself! (Hence ... to delight
oneself!) The verb action is "imperfect," which indicates that
the action is ongoing or habitual!
Now let's see how the verb appears elsewhere
in Scripture. Four times in the Psalms the verb is used! Here
are the references: Psalm 94:19 and Psalm 119:16, 47, and 70.
In the first use (Ps 94:19) God's "comforts" delight the
Psalmist's soul! (Glory to God!) All three of the uses in
Psalm 119 deal with the Word of God! There are still other
interesting places too!
One shade of meaning for the verb "to
delight" is to fondle or to rub or to be stroked! In the
upcoming Isaiah verse one has been so stroked, that the Hand has
covered his eyes and they are blinded! (To be "all over"
something!) See Isaiah 6:10 where SHAA is translated "shut"
And in Isaiah 66:12 the word is translated
"dandled," something God is going to do to Israel in the days of
the millennium ahead! "For thus saith the
LORD, Behold, I will extend peace to her like a river, and the
glory of the Gentiles like a flowing stream: then shall ye suck,
ye shall be borne upon her sides, and
upon her knees." Let's get some Scripture today
and "dandle" it on our minds! The dictionary says that "dandle"
means: to move a baby up and down in one's arms or on one's
knees in affectionate play.
Lastly, the word "love" is used to express
another of this Psalmist's desires toward the Word of God! This
verb is Hebrew "AHAB" and means to have affection for! It
suggests strong emotional attachment! It also presumes being in
the presence of the object loved! (Have your Bible WITH you!)
I guess I got a little wordy today. But this
verse has thrilled my soul!
I don't know how you will respond to it ...
but to me it is a "nugget!"
--- Dr. Mike Bagwell
VERSE 28 ...
Today I'd like to look at
another verse in Psalm 119. It shares with us another blessed
by-product of having the Word of God in our lives!
Psalm 119:28 --- "My
soul melteth for heaviness: strengthen thou me according unto
Notice the condition of the Psalmist in this
verse. He is in "heaviness." This is a Hebrew noun which means
"grief or sorrow." It's only used 4 times in the whole Bible!
(Three times it is translated "heaviness" and once it is
rendered "sorrow.") Here is a "depressed" believer!
Look at how this heaviness affects the
follower of the Lord. It causes his soul to "melt." This verb
has a root meaning "to drip" then (by implication) "to weep."
(It is a simple active verb with a "completed" sense of action.)
This sorrow has impacted the Psalmist and he is weak. Here are
all Bible references where this verb is used ("pour out, melt,
drop through"): Job 16:20, Prov 19:13, Prov 27:25, Ecc 10:18 and
our text here.
Next, observe what David believes the Word of
God can do for him! He looks to it for "strength!" He is
obviously praying here. He asks the Lord to use the Word of God
to impart to him strength in his hour of heaviness. (THE BIBLE
DOES INFUSE US WITH STRENGTH!) The verb here is a Piel
imperative of "qum." (pronounced kum, or koom) This means that
the action is intensive. He's asking God to REALLY grant him
strength through the Scriptures! (With great power and vigor!)
The "root" idea behind the word is "to rise up" to to be
"erect." It is picturing a limp weak soul ... weighted down with
sorrow and grief ... being strengthened with the Word of God ...
and therefore rising up in power and force. In the King James
Version it (among its 628 uses) is variously translated: stand
up, rise up, confirm, establish, perform, continue, etc.!
There you have it. Another one of the
hundreds (if not thousands) of things the Bible can do for those
who meditate in it day and night!
Someone reading this today is discouraged.
Don't go get a pill and take it. Don't call for an appointment
with some specialist. Don't worry and fret all day! GET YOUR
BIBLE! START READING THE PSALMS (OR ANYWHERE ELSE GOD LEADS YOU)
... AND JUST SEE IF YOU DON'T GAIN STRENGTH AS YOU HEAR PROMISE
AFTER PROMISE FROM THE SCRIPTURES OF TRUTH!
What was it Paul said? He in
Romans 15:4 clearly mentioned ..."
that we through patience
and comfort of the scriptures might have hope." Did you
see that? The Scriptures give comfort and hope! (... and
That's today's "nugget!"
--- Dr. Mike Bagwell
VERSE 50 ...
Today we complete what has become a little
"series" in Psalm 119 about the Word of God!
The verse that has arrested my attention is
found in Psalm 119:50.
my comfort in my affliction: for thy word hath quickened
Notice that the Psalmist is under
"affliction" as he writes! The noun affliction comes from a
family of words meaning "to look down upon" ... then meaning "to
depress." He has PRESSURE on him! It wouldn't surprise me
that today somebody reading these lines also has "pressure"
being heavily exerted upon them! (Our word is translated
"trouble" three times in the Old Testament!) What do you do
when the trials of life are so burdensome? When "depression"
comes? Do what the Psalmist did! Go to the Word of God!
What can the Scripture do for you when you're
under such "pressure?"
David here found "comfort" in the dear Word
of God! (A Hebrew word only used twice in the whole Bible, the
other place being Job 6:10.) The verbal background of the word
means "to sign, to breathe strongly, to feel sorry for, to pity
or to console! Wow! Remember that Paul also mentions the
"comfort" of the "Scriptures" in Romans 15:4! (The Bible calms
and soothes and speaks sweetly to the believer's troubled
soul!) Hebrews 4:12 reminds us that Scripture is "quick and
But ... what specifically did the Scriptures
do for the Psalmist? They "quickened" him! The verb means "to
live!" It is so translated 153 times in the Bible! It's
"revived" 12 times! And "recovered" 8 times! Our verb here is
in the Piel stem --- meaning that the action is INTENSIVE! The
Scriptures are hyper-active in quickening and reviving us! (A
lot more study needs to be done on the Bible usage of this
little verb --- but what we've done here is enough to convince
me afresh of the POWER of the Word of God!)
Hand me my Bible, please!
--- Dr. Mike Bagwell
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