Jesus Creed

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.

Previous Posts
Join the Discussion
comments powered by Disqus