Psalm 119:161-168

Submitted by admin on Thu, 2008-03-06 10:14.

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Every verse starts with the Hebrew letter sin or shin.

Although having no cause for doing so, princes, rulers, or prominent ones persecuted the psalmist. Nevertheless, his heart or he, in his inmost self, remained in awe of God’s words. He maintained a wholesome respect for God’s expressed will, staying ever mindful of not wanting to disregard divine guidelines.

God’s word, the expression of his promises and will, provided the psalmist with reason for rejoicing. His great joy compared to that of a warrior who shared in a victory and found much spoil or booty.

The psalmist hated and abhorred deception, falsehood, or “injustice” (LXX). His hatred and loathing of all badness were coupled with a deep love for God’s law. It brought him joy to live in harmony with divine direction.

He greatly appreciated God’s judgments or decrees, which expressed the highest standard of righteousness or justice, moving him to praise YHWH for them “seven” times in the day. The number “seven” is probably to be understood as meaning a full number of times. Expressions of praise and thanksgiving flowed spontaneously from the psalmist throughout the day.

Those who love God’s law enjoy great “peace” or an inner sense of contentment and well-being. Aware of God’s abiding love and care for them, they experience an inner calm and are infused with hope in their time of need. Their love for God’s law protects them from yielding to wrong desires. Therefore, in their case, no “stumbling” exists. They do not lead a life of sin and avoid the kind of conduct that would induce others to sin or give them occasion for offense.

The psalmist confidently waited or hoped for YHWH to deliver him from distress. He had acted according to God’s commandments, and this gave him the confidence that he would be granted help in his time of need.

His “soul” (or the psalmist himself) kept God’s testimonies, and he very much loved these solemn charges. The psalmist valued the guidance they provided and found joy in living in harmony with them.

He repeated the thought about his upright life, his keeping God’s precepts and testimonies or solemn charges. The psalmist recognized that all his ways, everything he thought, said, and did, were before YHWH. Aware of the Most High’s watchful care and knowledge of everything about him, the psalmist earnestly desired to be found conducting himself aright.