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Psalm 119 Mathematical Masterpiece

From someone who once ‘achieved’ zero in a secondary school test on Pythagoras Theorem, it will come as no surprise to you that mathematics was my worst subject. I loathed and feared those classes. Maths made zero sense to me and I was convinced it would never have any use or application in my future. Amazingly then, I recently discovered the poetic beauty of maths within Psalm 119.  

Psalm 119 is an acrostic, mathematical masterpiece in its original Hebrew format.  Having 176 verses it is the largest Psalm because it is arranged in iambic tetrameter. It involves exponentiation which is a number to the power of another number, i.e., multiplying a base number by itself a certain number of times. The exponent is the number of times to multiple the base number by itself.  Two examples are: 

23 looks like 2 x 2 x 2 = 8   


88 = 16,777,216

Do you see the extraordinary difference exponential power makes? In Ephesians 3:20 we read that God is able to do exceedingly, abundantly above all that we could ask or think according to the power that works in us. Our prayer is the base number and God’s power is the exponentiation.  The Holy Spirit is God’s power working in us to live a perfect and fruitful life (Matthew 5:48).

Back to the mathematical genius of Psalm 119. It reads in 22 stanzas of 8 lines. Each stanza begins with the same Hebrew letter at the beginning of its 8 lines, starting at alef, and continuing in perfect geometry to tav, the last letter of the Hebrew alphabet. This poetic pattern makes an equation of 22 x 8 = 176.  

Amazingly again, in the Greek alphabet and ordinal numbers, the name of the Lord Jesus sums up to 176.  The Lord Jesus is the perfect Word of God (Ephesians 4:12).

Psalm 119:96 declares, “I’ve learned that there is nothing perfect in this imperfect world except Your words, for they bring such fantastic freedom into my life” (TPT). Jesus is the perfect Word of God who brings perfect freedom into our lives (John 1:1).  

Psalm 119:160 declares, “The sum total of all Your words adds up to absolute truth, and every one of Your righteous decrees is everlasting.” (TPT).  It is our right and destiny to discover all the treasures of wisdom and knowledge in the Father and the Lord Jesus (Colossians 2:2-3).

Psalm 119:149 cries, “Lord, listen to my heart’s cry, for I know Your love is real for me; breathe life into me again by the revelation of Your justice” (TPT). The Lord sees your heartache and hears your heart’s cry (John 14:1). He will strengthen and help you. Trust Him to bring justice to your situation. Go carefully but keep going and keep trusting in His tender love for you.

Psalm 119:102 determines, “I refuse to turn away from difficult truths, for You Yourself have taught me to love your words” (TPT). We too must determine that we will love all of God’s words and not get offended at truths we find difficult to understand (John 6:60-64). If God said it, it is true.  He won’t adjust His truth, so we must adjust ours to His.

Psalm 119:112 decides, “I have determined in my heart to obey whatever You say, fully and forever” (TPT). We must understand and embrace the truth that God wants our small daily obediences more than our occasional big sacrifices. (1 Samuel 15:22)

Psalm 119 concludes, “I’ll never forget what You’ve taught me, Lord, but when I wander off and lose my way, please come after me, for I am Your beloved!” Let that be our prayer too.

Love and blessings



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