Psalm 119:9-16

Every verse starts with the Hebrew letter beth.

Inexperienced and faced with many temptations, a young man may find it hard to follow the right course. To keep his way pure, not defiling himself through wrong conduct, he would need to guard it according to the direction God’s word provided.

The psalmist continued to seek God with all his heart. His inner and outer life were in full harmony, with his objective being to remain in God’s favor. So he prayed that God would not let him stray from his commandments, as any waywardness would have damaged his relationship with him. The psalmist’s words suggest that he recognized his weaknesses and wanted help to avoid yielding to them and experiencing the resultant adverse consequences.

In his heart or his inmost self, the psalmist had “hidden” or deposited God’s word (primarily meaning God’s law) like a precious treasure that was dear to him. He highly valued this “word” as a dependable guide so that he might not sin against God.

It appears that the psalmist’s expression of blessing or praise (“Blessed be you, O YHWH”) was prompted by his appreciation for divine guidance. He wanted God to teach him his statutes, doubtless because of his desire to understand and come to value them to an ever greater degree.

Besides treasuring God’s commands in his inmost self and wanting to continue to learn about them, the psalmist used his lips to tell about the divine judgments to others. These judgments were “ordinances of [God’s] mouth,” for they were expressions of his will.

The psalmist experienced delight in the “way of [God’s] testimonies” as much as would one would find pleasure in “all riches.” His greatest joy came from conducting himself in harmony with the God’s solemn charges. Others might rejoice in having wealth, but the psalmist delighted in heeding God’s commands and making them the object of his appreciative reflection.

He would meditate on divine precepts. His attention would be focused on YHWH’s ways, always seeking to follow his direction.

In God’s statutes, he would find delight (“meditate,” LXX), not allowing anything or anyone to rob him of the joy he found in conducting himself according to them. The psalmist resolved not to forget God’s word. This indicates that he would not neglect to heed God’s law but would strive to follow it faithfully.