Bible Studies For Life

God’s Word Fills My Heart                        Session 2                     11 DEC 16

PS 119:9 This Psalm is by an unknown author who put eight verses to each letter of the old Hebrew alphabet, much like our ABCs. Section 1 of 22 dealt with the ideal goals for a saved person. And remember that Hebrew rhyme is not like English rhyme. Section 2 addresses how to achieve them. Note that the relationship of the Old Testament saved to Yahweh was not an Abba-Father relationship that a Christian has.

            Note “(Psa 119:9a RSV) "How can a young man keep his way pure?" This is a WRONG translation. This Psalm verse is an example of Bible translators’ bias versus translating the idea of the Hebrew into English. This is true for the KJV, NKJV, RSV and most others for this verse. The KJV always translates the word (wherever it is used) as boy or child.

The Hebrew for “young man” is 5288. na'ar, nah'-ar; from H5287; (concr.) a boy (as active), from the age of infancy to adolescence; by impl. a servant; also (by interch. of sex), a girl (of similar latitude in age):--babe, boy, child, damsel [from the marg.], lad, servant, young (man). Note a boy OR a girl! Male bias makes it boy.

Therefore the translation should be “How can a young person keep the way pure?” or similar. A few translations have it correct such as the Psalm 119:9 (NLT) How can a young person stay pure? By obeying your word.” and Psalm 119:9 (TNIV) [9] “How can those who are young keep their way pure? By living according to your word.”

            We must now go to verse 11 to find how to do this.

PS 119:11 “I have laid up thy word in my heart that I might not sin against thee.” This means personal and structured Bible study. Today we have the Process in which to do this. Peter defines this in his Growth Process in (2 Pet 1:5-7 RSV) "For this very reason make every effort to supplement your faith with virtue, and virtue with knowledge, and knowledge with self-control, and self-control with steadfastness, and steadfastness with godliness, and godliness with brotherly affection, and brotherly affection with love."

            Peter states that the gaining of Bible knowledge in order to be able to have “laid up thy word in my heart” must start with a saving faith. ONLY a Christian can achieve keeping his/her way pure. The start toward a pure way is provided by the Holy Spirit when He transforms a lost person (who has done ACTS 20:21) into an adopted child of the Father. Then Peter states the new babe in Christ is not to stay a babe, but work with intent to be a mature person through “virtue”, which in the Greek is 703. arete, ar-et'-ay; from the same as G730; prop. manliness (valor), i.e. excellence (intrinsic or attributed):--praise, virtue. This means an active effort toward being mature in Christ.

PS 119:10 So this verse is really a statement of virtue: “With my whole heart I seek thee!” Not a partial or lazy heart, but the whole heart as Peter meant. The author makes this a salvation statement: "With my whole heart have I seek thee…" That is the requirement of the Law in (Deu 10:12-13 KJV) “And now, Israel, what doth the LORD thy God require of thee, but to fear the LORD thy God, to walk in all his ways, and to love him, and to serve the LORD thy God with all thy heart and with all thy soul, {13} To keep the commandments of the LORD, and his statutes, which I command thee this day for thy good?”

            Look at what Jesus said: (John 14:15 RSV) ""If you love me, you will keep my commandments." (John 14:21 RSV) "He who has my commandments and keeps them, he it is who loves me; and he who loves me will be loved by my Father, and I will love him and manifest myself to him."" These commandments are known to us as (1 Cor 9:21 RSV)  "To those outside the law I became as one outside the law-- not being without law toward God but under the law of Christ-- that I might win those outside the law." (Gal 6:2 RSV) "Bear one another's burdens, and so fulfil the law of Christ."

            Jesus’s law replaces completely the Law of Moses. (Gal 5:18 RSV) "But if you are led by the Spirit you are not under the law." When Jesus lived He was the only human to keep all of the Law of Moses. This is what He meant when He said (Mat 5:17 RSV) ""Think not that I have come to abolish the law and the prophets; I have come not to abolish them but to fulfil them." The Greek is 4137. pleroo, play-ro'-o; from G4134; to make replete, i.e. (lit.) to finish (a period or task), verify (or coincide with a prediction), etc.:--accomplish, X after, (be) complete, end, expire, fill (up), fulfil, (be, make) full (come), fully preach, perfect, supply.

He did this while He was alive. After His death and Resurrection the Law of Moses was eliminated by God. (Heb 10:9 RSV) "then he added, "Lo, I have come to do thy will." He abolishes the first in order to establish the second." (Gal 3:24-25 RSV) "So that the law was our custodian until Christ came, that we might be justified by faith. But now that faith has come, we are no longer under a custodian;" i.e. not under Law.

The author’s next thought is not a Christian thought: "O let me not wander from your commandments." To wander or not wander is not under God's control. All Christians are free from the law of sin and death. [Eternal Security!] God does not control his children! The relationship is one of Abba Father. Read Ephesians and Galatians carefully. But the author did not have the knowledge of Peter or Paul. But both state as Paul did that the Christian is responsible for not wandering, not God. (Eph 4:22-24 RSV) "Put off your old nature which belongs to your former manner of life and is corrupt through deceitful lusts, and be renewed in the spirit of your minds, and put on the new nature, created after the likeness of God in true righteousness and holiness."

            The fact is PSALM 119 is one of the best passages in the Bible to refute the idea that God controls a saved person. All the verses point to individual action and not God-action. God will help but God will not force a person to do it. The action and responsibility for not wandering is upon the saved person. Jesus does not live his life out in us. We are responsible for what is in our lives and will be judged for it. If it were Jesus' life, He would have to be judged. The correct saying is we are to live like Jesus. (Eph 5:1 RSV)  "Therefore be imitators of God, as beloved children." So what he asks is not possible, then or now. So let us not waste the Father's time by such improper prayer and religious sounding but incorrect thinking.

More on PS 119:11 The author makes a good statement that he hid God's word in his heart in order not to "sin against thee." This involves more than just memorizing Bible verses. Memorizing Bible verses is well and good for all ages, but ONLY if the verse context is also memorized. Isolating verses from their context is what all cults do and is the cause of most denominational error. Knowing the Bible is the only way to gain the facts about what is God's definition of sin. Therefore the author dedicated him/herself to Bible study. In the Old Testament, there are eight different words, referring to the God's word that is used in the Psalms and the Old Testament. They are often used are parallelisms as in Duet 10. What the churches need today is for Christians to get serious about Bible study. Today families claim to be too busy to make Sunday a Worship DAY. So Discipleship Training is rarely attended and far too many churches have dropped it. Most that still have it pay only lip service to DT. Therefore the vast majority of Christians today do not "delight myself in" God's word and certainly cannot claim "I will not forget thy word" because they don't know the word in the first place.

PS 119:12 This was not a certain happening then since the Holy Spirit did not indwell saved people, except in special cases. Today we do not have to pray this because we are indwelt with the Holy Spirit and teaching is one of His prime functions. (John 14:26 RSV) "But the Counselor, the Holy Spirit, whom the Father will send in my name, he will teach you all things, and bring to your remembrance all that I have said to you."

PS 119:13-14 The thought is of active and daily living of the Law.

PS 119:15 “I will meditate on thy precepts, and fix my eyes on thy ways.” This is a Hebrew parallelism. The Hebrew for meditate is 7878. siyach, see'-akh; a prim. root; to ponder, i.e. (by impl.) converse (with oneself, and hence aloud) or (trans.) utter:--commune, complain, declare, meditate, muse, pray, speak, talk (with).

PS 119:16 It is a fact the mote you know correctly about the content of the Bible, the more you want to know and live it. But this is a personal action and not God-forced.

Dr. Herschel H. Hobbs had a major theme after his retirement: What the SBC needs are strong doctrinal studies. Most pastors will nod their heads and do nothing to make it happen. Discipleship Training is the Doctrinal Study place. Discipleship Training is the spiritual measure of the application of this Psalm. But not many SBC churches have Discipleship Training anymore. Often we are lucky to have evening worship.

            Dr. Hobbs is even more right today than when he dedicated himself to try and get churches to do strong doctrinal studies.

            The Session title is the way it should be but it is not achieved just by affirming it. 2 PET 1:5-7.


Marvin Ganote, Hobbs Study Class, Adult Teacher. Home Page: