Today’s reading of Psalm 119 is brought to you by the 5th letter of the Hebrew Aleph-Bet, “He” or “Hei.” The numeric value is of course, five. The pictograph for Hey looks like a man with his arms raised (). The meaning of the name “Hey” is “look,” or “behold!”
This stanza, or strophe, brings to us a thought which stands apart from the other eight verses – verse 37 “Turn my eyes from looking at worthless things,” which points to the lust of the eyes that has been the ruin of men (and women) for all time. Proverbs 23:31 warns of looking at wine “when it is red, when it sparkles in the cup and goes down smoothly.” Isaiah 33:15 reminds that a righteous man “shuts his eyes from looking on evil.”
Verse 36 is cited in 1 Kings 8:58, where Solomon gives his benediction prior to sacrifice before the new temple, and verse 38 may well be pointing to the Davidic promise of 2 Samuel 7:25.
Psalm 14 is almost identical to Psalm 53, and is a “wisdom” psalm in every sense of the word. The way of the fool, who today would term himself an atheist, is what Coffman referred to when he wrote of the “judicial hardening of man.” What happens when men are hardened? (1) They are blinded (2 Corinthians 4:4), meaning that they are incapable of seeing or understanding the plainest truth. (2) ‘Their foolish heart (the scriptural heart is the mind) is darkened (Romans 1:21), with the meaning that an essential element of human intelligence has been judiciously removed by God Himself. (3) They become vain in their reasonings (Romans 1:21). (4) They become fools (Romans 1:22), and (5) God gives them up (Romans 1:22,26,28).
Read or listen to audio of ESV version of this selection from this link.
some images © V. Gilbert & Arlisle F. Beers
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