Psalm 119:169-176



169 Let my cry come before you, O Lord;
give me understanding according to your word!
170 Let my plea come before you;
deliver me according to your word.
171 My lips will pour forth praise,
for you teach me your statutes.
172 My tongue will sing of your word,
for all your commandments are right.
173 Let your hand be ready to help me,
for I have chosen your precepts.
174 I long for your salvation, O Lord,
and your law is my delight.
175 Let my soul live and praise you,
and let your rules help me.
176 I have gone astray like a lost sheep; seek your servant,
for I do not forget your commandments.

Why Taw as the heading of the Psalm?  Psalm 119 is an acrostic Psalm.  The first word in each line of each stanza begins with the same Hebrew letter.  Thus, each line in stanza one (vss. 1-8) begins with the Hebrew letter ALEPH, or in English “A.”  There are 22 stanzas ending with vss. 169 -176 where each line begins with the letter Taw, the last Hebrew letter.

The entire psalm is encouragement to walk in the law of the Lord (v.1). Blessing comes in keeping his testimonies (vs. 2).

In the final stanza, the psalmist pleads to be heard.  He requests understanding and deliverance according to God’s word or promise. He confesses (vs. 176) that he has gone astray like a lost sheep.  He requests that the Lord seek him out. (See the gospel lesson, Luke 15:1-10).

A variety of words describe God’s word.  God’s word are his promises, his statutes, his righteous commandments, his precepts, his law and his rules.

He longs “for your salvation.”  Though he has strayed God will save him so that he might live and praise the Lord and live a godly life through God’s helpful rules.


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