Jesus Creed

When we combine the Reformation (e.g, esp Lutheran) antithesis of law and gospel with pietism’s and Liberalism’s and the Western democracy’s sense of individual freedom, it is not hard to predict that many will find “rules” difficult expressions for genuine spirituality. And here (Ps. 119:43) the psalmist claims he “puts his hope in” or “rests himself in” God’s ordinances, rules, or mishpatim.
I am reminded of Isa 42:4: “In his teaching (torah) the islands will put their hope.”
Isa 51:5: those same islands hope in God’s “arm”.
Mic 7:7: “But as for me, I watch in hope for the LORD, I wait for God my Savior; my God will hear me.
Psalms are rich in hoping in God and in God’s communicative rules with humans: “But the eyes of the LORD are on those who fear him, on those whose hope is in his unfailing love” (33:18; see 43:5). And in 119, vv. 74, 81, 114, 147.
My point: there is a delicate interplay here between God and God’s expression in words so that the word becomes the expression of God’s personal presence. It is not that the psalmist trusts in word but in the words of the Torah/mishpatim as God’s words.
His hope is in that kind of wordiness, that kind of expressiveness from God to him. He believes the very words of the Torah are God’s communicative event and he has put his hope in those words.

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