Psalm 119:92, “If your law had not been my delight, I would have perished in my affliction.” (ESV)

With these words, the psalmist provides a wonderful example of how the sufficiency of God’s Word meets the needs of afflictions. In previous posts, we have laid the groundwork of affliction as it is understood in this psalm. Additionally, we have seen how God’s Word provides comfort, encouragement, and direction during those difficult times.

In this verse, the psalmist describes how believers can endure in trying circumstances: delight in God’s Word. The word “delight” is an interesting word. It conveys the idea of rapture, of utter and unmatchable delight (for a similar usage, see Psalm 119:24; Isaiah 5:7; and Jeremiah 31:20). Interestingly, the word is plural. It could (and probably should) be translated delights. In other words, it is a multifaceted delight. Like the delights brought about by a child, or a loved one, the Word of God provides boundless enjoyment and pleasure.


The Scriptures speak frequently of the delightfulness of God’s Word. Consider Psalm 119:24, “Your testimonies are my delight; they are my counselors.” (ESV) Or consider Psalm 119:72, “The law of your mouth is better to me than thousands of gold and silver pieces.” (ESV) The written and revealed truth of God’s Word is unimaginably delightful. Christians find comfort in the beauty of God’s Word. Passages like Psalm 23 and Romans 8:28 are pregnant with comforting truth that enables a believer to endure overwhelming situations.


Because the Scripture declares God’s Word is the psalmist’s delights, we see a hint of the multifaceted sweetness of the Bible. It gives encouragement when we are discouraged. It provides correction when we need discipline. It reorients our view of God to match the Scripture, and not our sin-marred view or experience-based picture of Who He is. Search the Scriptures, for they are a limitless treasure chest of many delights.


Without the sacred Word of God, the Christian could not endure the afflictions this life has to offer. There are afflictions within, resulting from sinful choices to living in a fallen world. There are afflictions without, again, resulting from our own choices or from the will of others.

The believer, while not free from those afflictions, is nevertheless encouraged because God’s Word anchors his view of reality within the framework of a sovereign, loving God who works all things out for God’s glory and our good.  And lest we depart from the biblical definition of good, we must remember that in Romans 8:28 the good to which God works is the conformity of His children to Jesus Christ (Romans 8:29).


What a glorious God we serve! His Word is indeed our delights! It is boundless, endless, and matchless. Oh, what a precious treasure He has given to His Church!

One thought on “A Study in Affliction: The Sufficiency of God’s Word in Psalm 119 for the Believer’s Affliction (Part 6)

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