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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.”
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.