PSALM 119 - Holy, Holy, Holy 29 Feb 2020
A Tabernacle covers the most Holy of Holies: the presence of God.
It is my impression that psalm 119 is a long litany covering the voice of the High Priest of high priests: Jesus my Redeemer.
He (and his mother Mary) are the only ones meeting the holiness expressed in psalm 119. I would not dare to pray every verse in the psalm (e.g. vs 44). But I can meditate on the holiness into which I am called by my Redeemer.
I would love to hear how Jewish people interpret the "I" form of the psalmist.
1 How blessed are those whose way is blameless,
who walk in the Law of Yahweh!
2 Blessed are those who observe his instructions,
who seek him with all their hearts,
3 and, doing no evil, who walk in his ways.
4 You lay down your precepts to be carefully kept.
5 May my ways be steady in doing your will.
6 Then I shall not be shamed,
if my gaze is fixed on your commandments.
7 I thank you with a sincere heart
for teaching me your upright judgements.
8 I shall do your will;
do not ever abandon me wholly.
9 How can a young man keep his way spotless?
By keeping your words.
10 With all my heart I seek you,
do not let me stray from your commandments.
11 In my heart I treasure your promises,
to avoid sinning against you.
12 Blessed are you, Yahweh,
teach me your will!
13 With my lips I have repeated all the judgements you have given.
14 In the way of your instructions lies my joy,
a joy beyond all wealth.
15 I will ponder your precepts
and fix my gaze on your paths.
16 I find my delight in your will,
I do not forget your words.
17 Be generous to your servant and I shall live,
and shall keep your words.
18 Open my eyes
and I shall fix my gaze on the wonders of your Law.
19 Wayfarer though I am on the earth,
do not hide your commandments from me.
20 My heart is pining away
with longing at all times for your judgements.
21 You have rebuked the arrogant, the accursed,
who stray from your commandments.
22 Set me free from taunts and contempt
since I observe your instructions.
23 Though princes sit plotting against me,
your servant keeps pondering your will.
24 Your instructions are my delight,
your wishes my counsellors.
25 Down in the dust I lie prostrate;
true to your word, revive me.
26 I tell you my ways and you answer me;
teach me your wishes.
27 Show me the way of your precepts,
that I may reflect on your wonders.
28 I am melting away for grief;
true to your word, raise me up.
29 Keep me far from the way of deceit,
grant me the grace of your Law.
30 I have chosen the way of constancy,
I have moulded myself to your judgements.
31 I cling to your instructions, Yahweh
do not disappoint me.
32 I run the way of your commandments,
for you have given me freedom of heart.
33 Teach me, Yahweh, the way of your will,
and I will observe it.
34 Give me understanding and I will observe your Law,
and keep it wholeheartedly.
35 Guide me in the way of your commandments,
for my delight is there.
36 Bend my heart to your instructions, not to selfish gain.
37 Avert my eyes from pointless images,
by your word give me life.
38 Keep your promise to your servant
so that all may hold you in awe.
39 Avert the taunts that I dread,
for your judgements are generous.
40 See how I yearn for your precepts;
in your saving justice give me life.
41 Let your faithful love come to me, Yahweh,
true to your promise, save me!
42 Give me an answer to the taunts against me,
since I rely on your word.
43 Do not deprive me of that faithful word,
since my hope lies in your judgements.
44 I shall keep your Law without fail for ever and ever.
45 I shall live in all freedom
because I have sought your precepts.
46 I shall speak of your instructions before kings and will not be shamed.
47 Your commandments fill me with delight,
I love them dearly.
48 I stretch out my hands to your commandments that I love,
and I ponder your judgements.
49 Keep in mind your promise to your servant
on which I have built my hope.
50 It is my comfort in distress,
that your promise gives me life.
51 Endlessly the arrogant have jeered at me,
but I have not swerved from your Law.
52 I have kept your age -- old judgements in mind,
Yahweh, and I am comforted.
53 Fury grips me when I see the wicked who abandon your Law.
54 Your judgements are my song where I live in exile.
55 All night, Yahweh, I hold your name in mind,
I keep your Law.
56 This is what it means to me,
observing your precepts.
57 My task, I have said, Yahweh,
is to keep your word.
58 Wholeheartedly I entreat your favour;
true to your promise, take pity on me!
59 I have reflected on my ways,
and I turn my steps to your instructions.
60 I hurry without delay to keep your commandments.
61 Though caught in the snares of the wicked,
I do not forget your Law.
62 At midnight I rise to praise you for your upright judgements.
63 I am a friend to all who fear you and keep your precepts.
64 Your faithful love fills the earth, Yahweh,
teach me your judgements.
65 You have been generous to your servant, Yahweh,
true to your promise.
66 Teach me judgement and knowledge,
for I rely on your commandments.
67 Before I was punished I used to go astray,
but now I keep to your promise.
68 You are generous and act generously,
teach me your will.
69 The arrogant blacken me with lies
though I wholeheartedly observe your precepts.
70 Their hearts are gross like rich fat,
but my delight is in your Law.
71 It was good for me that I had to suffer,
the better to learn your judgements.
72 The Law you have uttered
is more precious to me than all the wealth in the world.
73 Your hands have made me and held me firm,
give me understanding and I shall learn your commandments.
74 Those who fear you rejoice at the sight of me
since I put my hope in your word.
75 I know, Yahweh, that your judgements are upright,
and in punishing me you show your constancy.
76 Your faithful love must be my consolation,
as you have promised your servant.
77 Treat me with tenderness and I shall live,
for your Law is my delight.
78 Let the arrogant who tell lies against me be shamed,
while I ponder your precepts.
79 Let those who fear you rally to me,
those who understand your instructions.
80 My heart shall be faultless towards your will;
then I shall not be ashamed.
81 I shall wear myself out for your salvation,
for your word is my hope.
82 My eyes, too, are worn out waiting for your promise,
when will you have pity on me?
83 For I am like a smoked wineskin,
but I do not forget your will.
84 How long has your servant to live?
When will you bring my persecutors to judgement?
85 The arrogant have dug pitfalls for me
in defiance of your Law.
86 All your commandments show constancy.
Help me when they pursue me dishonestly.
87 They have almost annihilated me on earth,
but I have not deserted your precepts.
88 True to your faithful love, give me life,
and I shall keep the instructions you have laid down.
89 For ever, Yahweh, your word is planted firm in heaven.
90 Your constancy endures from age to age;
you established the earth and it stands firm.
91 Through your judgements all stands firm to this day,
for all creation is your servant.
92 Had your Law not been my delight,
I would have perished in my misery.
93 I shall never forget your precepts,
for by them you have given me life.
94 I am yours, save me, for I seek your precepts.
95 The wicked may hope to destroy me,
but all my thought is of your instructions.
96 I have seen that all perfection is finite,
but your commandment has no limit.
97 How I love your Law!
I ponder it all day long.
98 You make me wiser than my enemies
by your commandment which is mine for ever.
99 I am wiser than all my teachers
because I ponder your instructions.
100 I have more understanding than the aged
because I keep your precepts.
101 I restrain my foot from evil paths
to keep your word.
102 I do not turn aside from your judgements,
because you yourself have instructed me.
103 How pleasant your promise to my palate,
sweeter than honey in my mouth!
104 From your precepts I learn wisdom,
so I hate all deceptive ways.
105 Your word is a lamp for my feet,
a light on my path.
106 I have sworn -- and shall maintain it --
to keep your upright judgements.
107 I am utterly wretched, Yahweh;
true to your promise, give me life.
108 Accept, Yahweh, the tribute from my mouth,
and teach me your judgements.
109 My life is in your hands perpetually,
I do not forget your Law.
110 The wicked have laid out a snare for me,
but I have not strayed from your precepts.
111 Your instructions are my eternal heritage,
they are the joy of my heart.
112 I devote myself to obeying your statutes,
their recompense is eternal.
113 I hate a divided heart,
I love your Law.
114 You are my refuge and shield,
I put my hope in your word.
115 Leave me alone, you wicked,
I shall observe the commandments of my God.
116 True to your word, support me and I shall live;
do not disappoint me of my hope.
117 Uphold me and I shall be saved,
my gaze fixed on your will.
118 You shake off all who stray from your will;
deceit fills their horizon.
119 In your sight all the wicked of the earth are like rust,
so I love your instructions.
120 My whole body trembles before you,
your judgements fill me with fear.
121 All my conduct has been just and upright,
do not hand me over to my oppressors.
122 Guarantee the well-being of your servant,
do not let the proud oppress me.
123 My eyes are languishing for your salvation
and for the saving justice you have promised.
124 Show your faithful love to your servant,
teach me your judgements.
125 Your servant am I;
give me understanding and I shall know your instructions.
126 It is time to take action, Yahweh,
your Law is being broken.
127 So I love your commandments more than gold, purest gold.
128 So I rule my life by your precepts,
I hate all deceptive paths.
129 Wonderful are your instructions,
so I observe them.
130 As your word unfolds it gives light,
and even the simple understand.
131 I open wide my mouth,
panting eagerly for your commandments.
132 Turn to me, pity me;
those who love your name deserve it.
133 Keep my steps firm in your promise;
that no evil may triumph over me.
134 Rescue me from human oppression,
and I will observe your precepts.
135 Let your face shine on your servant,
teach me your will.
136 My eyes stream with tears
because your Law is disregarded.
137 You are upright, Yahweh,
and your judgements are honest.
138 You impose uprightness as a witness to yourself,
it is constancy itself.
139 My zeal is burning me up
because my oppressors forget your word.
140 Your promise is well tested,
your servant holds it dear.
141 Puny and despised as I am,
I do not forget your precepts.
142 Your saving justice is for ever just,
and your Law is trustworthy.
143 Though anguish and distress grip me
your commandments are my delight.
144 Your instructions are upright for ever,
give me understanding and I shall live.
145 I call with all my heart;
answer me, Yahweh,
and I will observe your judgements.
146 I call to you; save me,
and I will keep your instructions.
147 I am awake before dawn to cry for help,
I put my hope in your word.
148 My eyes are awake before each watch of the night,
to ponder your promise.
149 In your faithful love, Yahweh,
listen to my voice,
let your judgements give me life.
150 My pursuers are coming closer to their wicked designs,
and further from your Law.
151 You are close to me, Yahweh,
and all your commandments are true.
152 Long have I known
that your instructions were laid down to last for ever.
153 Look at my suffering and rescue me,
for I do not forget your Law.
154 Plead my cause and defend me;
as you promised, give me life.
155 Salvation is far from the wicked,
for they do not seek your will.
156 Your kindnesses to me are countless, Yahweh;
true to your judgements, give me life.
157 Though my enemies and oppressors are countless, I do not turn aside from your instructions.
158 The sight of these renegades appals me;
they do not observe your promise.
159 See how I love your precepts;
true to your faithful love, give me life.
160 Faithfulness is the essence of your word,
your upright judgements hold good for ever.
161 Though princes hound me unprovoked,
what fills me with awe is your word.
162 I rejoice in your promise
like one who finds a vast treasure.
163 Falsehood I hate and detest,
my love is for your Law.
164 Seven times a day
I praise you for your upright judgements.
165 Great peace for those who love your Law;
no stumbling-blocks for them!
166 I am waiting for your salvation, Yahweh,
I fulfil your commandments.
167 I observe your instructions,
I love them dearly.
168 I observe your precepts, your judgements,
for all my ways are before you.
169 May my cry approach your presence, Yahweh;
by your word give me understanding.
170 May my prayer come into your presence,
rescue me as you have promised.
171 May my lips proclaim your praise,
for you teach me your will.
172 May my tongue recite your promise,
for all your commandments are upright.
173 May your hand be there to help me,
since I have chosen your precepts.
174 I long for your salvation, Yahweh,
your Law is my delight.
175 May I live only to praise you,
may your judgements be my help.
176 I am wandering like a lost sheep,
come and look for your servant,
for I have not forgotten your commandments.
Excerpt from THE NEW JERUSALEM BIBLE, copyright (c) 1985 by
Darton, Longman & Todd, Ltd. and Doubleday, a division
of Penguin Random House, Inc. Reprinted by Permission.
Tabernacle holds the Most Holy