Jesus Creed

Jesus Creed


Thinking it through

posted by xscot mcknight

Commentaries on Psalm 119 fade. That is, they treat each paragraph in sum and make only brief comments. I suppose this saves space because Psalm 119 can be treated as 22 individual psalms. Today I’ll look at the flow of the first “letter” (vv. 1-8).
It begins with a blessing on those who listen and learn from the Torah, then it reminds everyone that, after all, the Torah is the law of God to be kept. Then the one who utters this psalm expresses the wisdom of this psalm: “would that my ways were firm in keeping your commands (chaqim).” This leads to a resolution on the part of the psalmist: “I will praise you … as I learn your just rules (mishpat). I will keep your laws.”
Then the dark word: “do not utterly forsake me.”
Think it through: the Torah is God’s gift to guide God’s people; God’s people is wise when it listens and heeds; this leads to God’s blessing. It is foolish to avoid the Torah.



Advertisement
Comments read comments(6)
post a comment
John Frye

posted October 31, 2006 at 7:12 am


Scot,
I think you mean verses 1-8, not verse 108.
Good observations of the first letter (aleph).



report abuse
 

Clay Knick

posted October 31, 2006 at 8:52 am


“It is foolish to avoid the Torah.” I like
that.



report abuse
 

RJS

posted October 31, 2006 at 10:20 am


What strikes me in this passage is that it is all action – not meditation (kind of like the end of the Sermon on the Mount in Matthew 7).
But were does the emphatic last sentence fit into the flow (NASB uses an exclamation point: “Do not forsake me utterly!”)? Is it a prayer? A petition in the face of a real danger of being forsaken despite keeping the law? A theological statement?



report abuse
 

Matt

posted October 31, 2006 at 11:55 am


Just a side-note, Scot: I’ve always been a night-owl, and not much of a morning person. The result has been that some of my friends have always chided me about practicing spiritual disciplines LATE AT NIGHT, rather than in the morning.
I know, I know. My friends have the example of Jesus himself to support their cause. But…
I’ve always been fascinated by the psalms that speak of prayer and meditation on the law of God during the night hours. 119 seems to be full of that sort-of talk.
I would eagerly welcome any encouragement along those lines that you might want to throw our way as you work through this psalm…



report abuse
 

Dana Ames

posted October 31, 2006 at 12:39 pm


Matt, you might be interested in Phyllis Tickle’s new book, “The Night Offices”.
Dana



report abuse
 

David Johnson

posted October 31, 2006 at 2:03 pm


“It is foolish to avoid the Torah.” As Jesus indicated in Matthew 5:17-48.



report abuse
 

Post a Comment

By submitting these comments, I agree to the beliefnet.com terms of service, rules of conduct and privacy policy (the "agreements"). I understand and agree that any content I post is licensed to beliefnet.com and may be used by beliefnet.com in accordance with the agreements.



Previous Posts

More Blogs To Enjoy!!!
Thank you for visiting Jesus Creed. This blog is no longer being updated. Please enjoy the archives. Here are some other blogs you may also enjoy: Red Letters with Tom Davis Recent prayer post on Prayables Most Recent Inspiration blog post Happy Reading!  

posted 11:15:58am Aug. 16, 2012 | read full post »

Our Common Prayerbook 30 - 3
Psalm 30 thanks God (vv. 1-3, 11-12) and exhorts others to thank God (vv. 4-5). Both emerge from the concrete reality of David's own experience. Here is what that experience looks like:Step one: David was set on high and was flourishing at the hand of God's bounty (v. 7a).Step two: David became too

posted 12:15:30pm Aug. 31, 2010 | read full post »

Theology After Darwin 1 (RJS)
One of the more important and more difficult pieces of the puzzle as we feel our way forward at the interface of science and faith is the theological implications of discoveries in modern science. A comment on my post Evolution in the Key of D: Deity or Deism noted: ...this reminds me of why I get a

posted 6:01:52am Aug. 31, 2010 | read full post »

Almost Christian 4
Who does well when it comes to passing on the faith to the youth? Studies show two groups do really well: conservative Protestants and Mormons; two groups that don't do well are mainline Protestants and Roman Catholics. Kenda Dean's new book is called Almost Christian: What the Faith of Ou

posted 12:01:53am Aug. 31, 2010 | read full post »

Let's Get Neanderthal!
The Cave Man Diet, or Paleo Diet, is getting attention. (Nothing is said about Culver's at all.) The big omission, I have to admit, is that those folks were hunters -- using spears or smacking some rabbit upside the conk or grabbing a fish or two with their hands ... but that's what makes this diet

posted 2:05:48pm Aug. 30, 2010 | read full post »




Report as Inappropriate

You are reporting this content because it violates the Terms of Service.

All reported content is logged for investigation.