Today’s stanza of Psalm 119 is brought to you by the seventh letter of the Aleph-Bet, Zayin. The pictograph is sometimes represented as a sword with a crown or sometimes as a plow or a sickle . It is interesting that in light of the fact that most commentators disagree on the time frame for authorship of this psalm, some cannot even agree with their own assessment. Adam Clarke, for example, was convinced at one point that it was written during Babylonian captivity, yet at other times thought that it may well have come from David’s hand after all. Both views have merit especially in this stanza, or strophe. Verses 49-50 certainly hint at one who is eagerly looking forward to the promised return from captivity, which is his comfort in this time of affliction.
It is better in our case to apply it to ourselves as was no doubt the intent in the first place. We take comfort in the promises that God has made to us all in His Son, Jesus Christ. It is His victory over death that should make the promise of eternal life a burning fire within our souls. And our love for the Lord should give us righteous indignation at a wicked world that ignores His commandments and glorifies sin as if it were something to be admired.
Psalm 26 is sometimes thought to be written by David when he was accused of treachery against then king, Saul. He prays to the Lord for vindication against his accusers, and declares his adherence to God’s rule and to his own integrity, which he refers to again in verse 11. He humbly pleads with the Lord to “Prove me, O Lord, and try me; test my heart and my mind.” Integrity is a watchword for David in many of his psalms, and it comes through loud and clear in this one, as he expresses his confidence in his commitment to it, all made possible by the faithfulness of the Lord and His graciousness to his servant.
some images © V. Gilbert & Arlisle F. Beers
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