Today we begin our reading of Psalm 119 with the first 8 verses. It is the longest chapter in the Bible (176 verses), and it is one of a few acrostics in the Bible, employing all 22 letters of the Hebrew alphabet in its structure. We will have more to say about this incredible structure in this weekends preview of the coming week. But for now we’ll focus on the Scripture itself. These eight verses are brought to you by the letter “Aleph.”
As with the other 21 stanzas, these eight verses employ different synonyms for the word “law” (testimonies, precepts, statutes, commandments, rules). These verses declare not only that God wants us to be diligent in keeping His commandments (verse 4), but also that by doing so our lives are blessed, and we can worship Him with our hearts in the right place. It doesn’t mean that we can ever be truly blameless, but our intentions to live according to His word will give us an “upright heart” (verses 5-7).
Psalm 1 begins in the first verse speaking instead on the path that the righteous do not take. Two kinds of people are spoken of throughout the Bible – the servants of God and the enemies of the Lord. It is the heart that chooses which of those paths one will not take that makes him part of the other group. There is no middle ground. Those who choose not to take the advice and example of the wicked are happy living under God’s law (verse 2). Their lives endure the test of time by choosing righteousness (verse 3), but evil will not triumph in the long course of time (verses 4-6).
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Please note: I did not design the reading plan that I am following in my blog. All of my comments in this blog, however, are solely my responsibility. When reading ANY commentary, you should ALWAYS refer first to the scripture, which is God’s unchanging and unfailing word. Reading schedules, as well as a link to the site where you can get the reading plan that I’m currently following for yourself can be found on the “Bible Reading Schedules” page of my website at http://graceofourlord.com. For questions and help, please see the “FAQ” and “Summaries” pages there.