Since the invention of streaming television, binge watching, viewing multiple episodes in one sitting, has become a national pastime. Instead of waiting for next week’s episode, the viewer can watch their favorite show, uninterrupted, for hours on end. Going overboard on things we love is just a thing humans do. Psalm 119, the longest Psalm, is actually about binging on God’s Word.
A binge watcher runs home after a hard day, plops on the couch with a cozy blanket, turns on the TV and seeks comfort from a beloved show. King David, the author of Psalm 119, was no different, but he turned to Scripture for this comfort. “This is my comfort in affliction, that your promises give me life.” (v. 50) “When I think of your rules from of old, I take comfort, O Lord.” (v. 52) “You are my hiding place and my shield; I hope in your word.” (v. 114) In fact, David was addicted to God’s Word, just like we get wrapped up in a particular series on TV. “My soul is consumed with longing for Your rules at all times.” (v. 20) In the same way we go to work the next day asking everyone if they’ve watched the most recent episodes, David spoke of the the Word constantly, “With my lips I declare all the rules of Your mouth.” (v. 13) “I will also speak of your testimonies before kings, and shall not be put to shame.” (v. 46) David was like the heavy TV watchers who lose all track of time. “I rise before dawn and cry for help; I hope in your words. My eyes are awake before the watches of the night, that I may meditate on your promise.” (v. 147-148) Was this passion for the Word the reason David was known to God as “a man after his own heart?” (1 Samuel 13:14)
Hardcore binge watchers are in it for pure entertainment, but David dug deep into God’s Word for personal and professional advantages. “Your testimonies are my delight; they are my counselors.” (v. 24) “The unfolding of your words gives light; it imparts understanding to the simple.” (v. 130) “Your commandment makes me wiser than my enemies, for it is ever with me. I have more understanding than all my teachers, for your testimonies are my meditation. I understand more than the aged, for I keep your precepts.” (v. 98-100) Many of us binge watch to kill time, but David’s commitment to Scripture helped him as a man and was his secret weapon as King of Israel.
Most of us are going to binge on something: food, TV, sports, hobbies, etc. What do we gain by consuming enormous amounts of all that? David found the one thing worthy to binge on – the Word of God – and why not? For it’s by God’s Word that we live. “I will never forget your precepts, for by them you have given me life.” (v. 93)