Psalm 119 is a long acrostic, 176 verses permeated by love for God’s teaching. The medium is the message: God’s teaching leads to an ordered life. In hearing the Psalm, the rhythm of short phrases and repeated words comes through. And quite remarkably, no phrase is repeated. The Psalmist speaks directly to God. The Psalm is a prayer for God’s protection against enemies and temptation and the ability to understand God’s teachings and to fulfill them. The last verse has the Psalmist use a unique image: that he is a lost sheep. His vulnerability can be read back into the Psalm, adding context to his heartfelt prayer. For God’s teachings are seen as the path to God and as the assurance of a life of safety, goodness, and justice. On Friday to convey the rhythmic power and length of the Psalm, I read it in its entirety (which can be found on our website). To do justice to the richness of the poetry, I am adding a session next week.
Please join me for commentaries on key verses of Psalm 119, which is dedicated to my brother-in-law, Dov Lesel.