Note: Psalm 119 is an acrostic poem which means that each of its stanzas begins with one of the 22 letters of the Hebrew alphabet starting with the aleph and continuing in order through the tau. In Hebrew, each verse in a stanza begins with the letter by which the stanza is titled. Also, every one of the psalm’s 176 verses mentions the Word of the Lord. As we conclude this review of Psalm 119 we’ll look at Tsadhe through Tau, the closing stanzas.
Righteous are you, O LORD, and your laws are right. The statutes you have laid down are righteous; they are fully trustworthy.
My zeal wears me out, for my enemies ignore your words.
Your promises have been thoroughly tested, and your servant loves them.
Though I am lowly and despised, I do not forget your precepts.
Your righteousness is everlasting and your law is true.
Trouble and distress have come upon me, but your commands are my delight.
Your statutes are forever right; give me understanding that I may live.
I call with all my heart; answer me, O LORD, and I will obey your decrees.
I call out to you; save me and I will keep your statutes.
I rise before dawn and cry for help; I have put my hope in your word.
My eyes stay open through the watches of the night, that I may meditate on your promises.
Hear my voice in accordance with your love; preserve my life, O LORD, according to your laws.
Those who devise wicked schemes are near, but they are far from your law.
Yet you are near, O LORD, and all your commands are true.
Long ago I learned from your statutes that you established them to last forever.
Look upon my suffering and deliver me, for I have not forgotten your law.
Defend my cause and redeem me; preserve my life according to your promise.
Salvation is far from the wicked, for they do not seek out your decrees.
Your compassion is great, O LORD; preserve my life according to your laws.
Many are the foes who persecute me, but I have not turned from your statutes.
I look on the faithless with loathing, for they do not obey your word.
See how I love your precepts; preserve my life, O LORD, according to your love.
All your words are true; all your righteous laws are eternal.
S Sin and Shin
Rulers persecute me without cause, but my heart trembles at your word.
I rejoice in your promise like one who finds great spoil.
I hate and abhor falsehood but I love your law.
Seven times a day I praise you for your righteous laws.
Great peace have they who love your law, and nothing can make them stumble.
I wait for your salvation, O LORD, and I follow your commands.
I obey your statutes, for I love them greatly.
I obey your precepts and your statutes, for all my ways are known to you.
May my cry come before you, O LORD; give me understanding according to your word.
May my supplication come before you; deliver me according to your promise.
May my lips overflow with praise, for you teach me your decrees.
May my tongue sing of your word, for all your commands are righteous.
May your hand be ready to help me, for I have chosen your precepts.
I long for your salvation, O LORD, and your law is my delight.
Let me live that I may praise you, and may your laws sustain me.
I have strayed like a lost sheep. Seek your servant, for I have not forgotten your commands.
We’re seeing more and more signs of the world’s polarization. There’s talk of making films with Christian themes carry ratings that warn of violence or intolerance. Christian web sites are being blocked in the workplace. In some countries the Bible has already been labeled as hate speech. In the USA many believe the Hate Crimes Prevention Act of 2009 has exposed pastors and other Christian leaders to prosecution for teaching what the Bible says about homosexuality. Our President has said that we’re not a Christian country. The fastest growing component of organized religion avoids mentioning that we’re all sinners who need to be saved. The middle ground is rapidly disappearing as the world chooses up sides.
But above it all stands God’s Law, and like gravity we’re subject to it even if we deny it. Even those who fight most strongly against God’s Law do so with increasing irrationality, as if knowing at some level that it must be true. What this means is that the time is rapidly approaching when the Personification of the Law, the only one ever to keep it, will return to administer it with an iron scepter (Psalm 2:9) in a world that has gone mad with rebellion. And when He does, we’ll finally have peace. Maranatha!