The last verse of Psalm 119, which marks the end of this series, surprises:
I have gone astray like a lost sheep; seek out your servant,
for I do not forget your commandments (119:176).
For the first time in the entire psalm — that I recall — the psalmist admits that he’s messed up. Or does he? Samson Raphael Hirsch, a rabbinic commentator, translates like this: “If I have strayed.” Not “I have gone astray” but if I have strayed.
Even if we make the last verse conditional, the central themes continue to emerge: “seek out your servant, for I do not forget your commandments.” Seek me out God — the psalmist seems to be saying — when I wander away. Why? Because, even if I wander, I have not intended to wander.
Perhaps there’s a better explanation: perhaps the wandering is not moral but geographical — that is, I’ve gotten myself caught in the middle of those who deny your Torah. Find me, God, and deliver me. Why? Because I’ve been faithful.