The Center of the Word

Have you ever wondered what and where is the center of God’s Word—literally? Have you ever pondered what message God deems important enough to tuck safely in the deepest section of His Word? Or, for that matter, why it might hold a unique value? Then join us below as we discover the beauty of God’s Word and how nothing He does is by chance!

Why should we care about what chapter or verse is at the heart of God’s Word?

God does nothing by accident. From the very creation of the world and His children—made in His image—to the words He gave to men to write down so we could know and follow Him more readily.

Because we believe the truth that God is perfect, then we must also believe that the Word He has given us is therefore perfect; after all, the Word has been since the beginning, it was with God and is God (John 1:1). And since His Word is perfect, then surely God designed every letter, every dot and tittle, in every language, to be perfect… to teach us as only God can.

“Be perfect, therefore, as your heavenly Father is perfect.”—Matthew 5:48 

“In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God.”—John 1:1 

“And the Word became flesh and dwelt among us…”—John 1:14 

“So shall My word be that goes forth from My mouth; it shall not return to Me void, but it shall accomplish what I please, and it shall prosper in the thing for which I sent it.”—Isaiah 55:11 

What is at the center of the Word?

There are countless and differing ideas by many scholars and leaders of where the exact center of the Word is located within the various versions of today’s Bible. However, after much research, we have chosen to expound on the center chapter of the Word as Psalm 118. 

It is both interesting and important to note that Psalm 118 is surrounded by both the shortest AND the longest chapters of the Word; Psalm 117 being the shortest and Psalm 119 being the longest. 

There are 594 chapters before Psalm 118, and 594 chapters after it—in the NKJV, NIV, and others—and when added together they equal 1188. Yet, why is this important? 

Well, because Psalm 118:8 equals 1188.

“It is better to trust in the Lord than to put confidence in man.”—Psalm 118:8 

Does this verse say something significant about God’s perfect will for our lives? Or is it just a coincidence that those numbers equal 1188?

This goes back to God doing nothing by chance, as well as, His being perfect, just as His Word is perfect—for He is the Word. Therefore, since God is perfect and everything He does is for a unique and perfect reason, then surely there is a special importance to that verse, as well as, to the three chapters of Psalm 117, 118, and 119.

The main theme of 117 focuses on the importance of ALL peoples praising God. In fact, the first verse begins by saying, “Praise the Lord, all you Gentiles!” 

At the time The Book of Psalms was written, very few Gentiles praised God. Jesus had not yet come to bring us alongside our Jewish brothers and sisters into His household. Therefore, at that point in time, Psalm 117 was not yet close to the center of God’s Word—for all its books, chapters, and verses were not yet given to us on earth. This is almost a prophetic message that lay hidden, as such, until the time of Jesus and the completion of the Word; that Jesus would come, the Word made flesh, bringing the fullness of His Word and grafting-in the Gentile peoples!

With Psalm 117 being the shortest chapter of the Word, we can enjoy its fullness here:

“Praise the Lord, all you Gentiles!
Laud Him, all you peoples!
For His merciful kindness is great toward us,
and the truth of the Lord endures forever.
Praise the Lord!”

prayer request

Psalm 118, as the center chapter of the Word, has a similar theme as 117, however, there are some variations. The focus of praise in 118 is on the mercy of the Lord—mercy which is mentioned in 117 but is less of a central theme. 

“Oh, give thanks to the Lord, for He is good!
For His mercy endures forever.
Let Israel now say,
‘His mercy endures forever.’”
—Psalm 118:1-2

Further, instead of focusing on all peoples or the Gentiles, 118 focuses on the Jewish people—Israel—God’s first love. This is a reminder to all of us that God created the Jewish people to be the root of Believers, not above Gentile Believers, but as Romans 11:16-18 speaks, “For if the firstfruit is holy, the lump is also holy; and if the root is holy, so are the branches. And if some of the branches were broken off, and you, being a wild olive tree, were grafted in among them, and with them became a partaker of the root and fatness of the olive tree, do not boast against the branches. But if you do boast, remember that you do not support the root, but the root supports you(emphasis added).

Additionally, Psalm 118, as seen in Psalm 118:8, reminds us—all of us—of the importance of placing our trust in the Lord above all others.

“It is better to trust in the Lord than to put confidence in man.”—Psalm 118:8

Meanwhile, Psalm 119, the longest chapter in the Word, has a theme which ties the other two chapters together; reminding us of the truth and importance of both chapters, along with ALL of God’s Word. 

“With my whole heart I have sought You;
Oh, let me not wander from Your commandments!
Your word I have hidden in my heart,
that I might not sin against You.
Blessed are You, O Lord!
Teach me Your statutes.”
—Psalm 119:10-12

Psalm 119 focuses on the excellence of God’s Word. Further, it takes us through the Hebrew alphabet—an established alphabet of God’s Word—and teaches us of the truth and greatness of His Word, and therefore, God Himself. It reminds us not only of the importance of God—His worthiness of praise—but also of the importance of trusting and following God in all ways—in His truth.


  • The shortest chapter in the Word is Psalm 117
  • The longest chapter in the Word is Psalm 119
  • The center chapter of the Word is Psalm 118
  • There are 594 chapters before Psalm 118
  • There are 594 chapters after Psalm 118
  • The chapters together equal 1188
  • 1188 leads us to Psalm 118:8

While there is not room enough here to include all of Psalm 118, let alone the longest chapter of the Word, Psalm 119, their importance cannot be understated. God does nothing by chance, and therefore, for Him to sandwich the center chapter of His Word between the shortest and longest chapters must have special significance for all of us.

Therefore, let us each study them. Let us find ourselves at the center of His Word, and therefore, likely, at the center of His will. Let us walk with our God and enjoy the blessings of His Word, placing our trust in Him.

“The next time someone says they would like to find God’s perfect will for their lives and that they want to be in the center of His will, just send them to the center of His Word!”—Curt Landry

“It is better to trust in the Lord than to put confidence in man.”—Psalm 118:8