Psalm 119:169-174

Submitted by admin on Thu, 2008-03-06 10:16.

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Every verse starts with the Hebrew letter taw.

The psalmist wanted his cry to come near before YHWH, for he longed for a favorable response. In keeping with God’s word or promise, he asked to be given understanding. This understanding may relate to his being able to discern the right course for him to take while experiencing distress. There is also a possibility that, as expressed in other parts of this psalm, he wanted to understand God’s law in order to maintain upright conduct.

He repeated the thought about being heard, asking that his supplication come before YHWH. The psalmist then appealed to be delivered from his perilous circumstances, basing his plea on God’s word or the promise to his servants to provide aid in their time of need.

As one whom YHWH taught his statutes, the psalmist grew in appreciation for them. This motivated him to praise YHWH. He referred to his praise as being poured forth from his lips, suggestive of many expressions of laudation.

Recognizing that all of YHWH’s commandments are right or just, the psalmist would use his tongue to sing about God’s word or the expressions of his promises and will. That word provided the psalmist with dependable guidance.

He asked for YHWH’s hand or power to help him in his time of need, basing his appeal on his having chosen the divine precepts. This indicates that the psalmist had made the personal choice to live up to God’s commands.

In view of the difficult circumstances he faced, he yearned for deliverance from affliction. Still, he found delight in YHWH’s law, for he experienced joy from conducting himself in harmony therewith. According to the Septuagint, God’s law was the object of his meditation.

The psalmist wanted life for his “soul” or himself, making it possible for him to praise YHWH. For God’s “judgments” to help him would mean that he would be benefited by the guidance these divine decrees provided.

Knowing that he did not live up to God’s commands flawlessly, the psalmist referred to himself as one having gone astray like a lost sheep and asked YHWH to “seek” him as his servant, guiding him in the path he should follow. He wanted to do what is right, for he did not forget God’s commandments. The psalmist did not deliberately stray. His earnest desire was to do God’s will.