Psalm 119:153-160

Submitted by admin on Wed, 2008-03-05 11:09.

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Every verse starts with the Hebrew letter resh.

The psalmist asked YHWH to look upon his afflicted state and to deliver him. He had not forgotten God’s law, suggesting that his faithful adherence to it was the basis for making his plea with the expectation of receiving a favorable response.

In view of the unjust treatment he experienced, the psalmist petitioned YHWH to take up his cause and administer justice, redeeming him or rescuing him from his perilous situation. On the basis of God’s “word” or the promise to his servants, the psalmist requested to be “quickened.” This could be an appeal to be preserved alive or to be revived and strengthened upon experiencing relief from his distressing situation.

The psalmist recognized that the wicked (“sinners,” LXX) could not expect YHWH to deliver them in time of peril. Deliverance was far from them, for they did not seek God’s statutes. They had no desire to follow them but defiantly disregarded them.

After acknowledging YHWH’s great mercies, the psalmist pleaded to be “quickened.” He made his appeal on the basis of God’s “judgment” or just dealings. YHWH’s justice is absolutely trustworthy. Therefore, the psalmist linked his petition to be preserved alive or revived and strengthened with divine “judgment,” which is always an expression of ultimate justice.

Although having to contend with many persecutors and foes, the psalmist did not deviate from God’s “testimonies.” He continued conducting himself in harmony with God’s solemn charges.

When the psalmist observed the treacherous or faithless ones, he felt a loathing (“wasted away,” LXX). They were abhorrent to him or, according to the Septuagint, made him feel as though he was wasting away from some dreadful disease, for they did not keep God’s “word.” They chose to disregard YHWH’s law.

Unlike the ungodly, the psalmist, with an introductory “see,” called attention to his great love for YHWH’s precepts. He then pleaded to be “quickened” (preserved alive or revived and refreshed) according to God’s abiding love, compassionate care, or “mercy” (LXX).

The Hebrew word rosh, basically meaning “head” or “beginning,” has commonly been translated to signify “sum” or “essence.” In all respects, God’s word, from its very start, is “truth,” dependable, or trustworthy. For all time to come, all of God’s “judgments” or decrees, which are an expression of his righteousness or justice, will endure.