Hywel R. Jones takes us through the Bible's longest psalm, also called the “Great Psalm,” in his study Psalm 119 For Life. Taking the psalm and breaking it into eight verses at a time, Jones helps us to understand this acrostic poem better. We view the psalm first in the context of an Israelite king in his kingdom, then with regard to the Lord and his church and subjects. Not only does Jones present an explanation of the psalm, but also other Scriptures that are intermingled with it. Each of this book’s 22 chapters is divided into various subjects. Most open by talking about the language of the psalm: the deeper meanings of specific words. Then, the study continues by presenting a few headings for the study of the selected verses, followed by an explanation of those headings that make up the study. At the beginning of each chapter are the verses to be studied in that particular section.
Dr. Hywel R. Jones became a professor of Practical Theology at Westminster Seminary in California in 2000. Before that, he was editor of the Banner of Truth Trust and principal of London Theology Seminary from 1985-1996. He was also a pastor at Grove Chapel, London, and Borras Park in Wrexham.
I would recommend this book be read as a study as it was intended. It would help to be in a setting with the reader's Bible open nearby while reading. Anyone wanting a greater understanding for Psalm 119 as a personal study will benefit from this book, but it could also be a good discussion starter for small group Bible studies. – Mindy T. Kreilein, www.ChristianBookPreviews.com
Jonathan Edwards, the well-known preacher of the eighteenth-century ‘Great Awakening', wrote, ‘I know of no part of the Holy Scriptures where the nature and evidences of true and sincere godliness are so fully and largely insisted on and delineated as in the 119th Psalm.'
The sufficiency of the Word of God for the whole life of the church of the Lord Jesus Christ and of the individual Christian believer is a vital matter, and never more so than today. In many strands of contemporary Christianity the wide gap between God's revealed truth and man's religions is being rapidly closed. This convergence is traceable in no small measure to the way in which the church (unlike the psalmist) has moved Holy Scripture to the margins of its own confession and proclamation, worship and witness.
The message of this psalm is therefore one of pressing relevance and every Christian should give it serious and regular attention. The truths and convictions which formed the mind-set of the psalmist, as he looked upward to the Lord and forward to the coming of the Messiah, should characterize every Christian as he or she looks back to the first coming of Jesus Christ and forward to his return.