Psalm 119 is about loving God’s Torah, His statutes, commands and precepts. It is broken up into sections with strange looking words or letters which are the Hebrew alphabet. In the Hebrew Scriptures, each line of each section starts with a word beginning with this letter. This is called an acrostic poem. Each Hebrew letter also has a word picture associated with it giving greater meaning and symbolism to each line of the specific letter-ed section.
נ Nun – A Fish darting through water
“Your word is a lamp for my foot and light on my path. I have sworn an oath and confirmed it, that I will observe your righteous rulings. I am very much distressed; Adonai, give me life, in keeping with your word. Please accept my mouth’s voluntary offerings, Adonai; and teach me your rulings. I am continually taking my life in my hands, yet I haven’t forgotten your Torah. The wicked have set a trap for me, yet I haven’t strayed from your precepts. I take your instruction as a permanent heritage, because it is the joy of my heart. I have resolved to obey your laws forever, at every step.”
Whenever I read this verse, I hear the song, “Thy word is a lamp unto my feet and a light unto my path.” Most people have the lamp of God’s Word. It sits on a shelf or a table, but is rarely opened and used to light their path of life. If they do open it and read it, many have been taught that the first half of the Bible, full of God’s precepts and righteous rulings aren’t for them because ‘our righteousness is in Yeshua.’ Though there is truth in that thinking, it was Messiah who led us to the way of life, not just by dying and resurrecting, but by living out Torah as an example to us. We may all own a lamp, but only if we’re like the wise virgins will we put oil in it and let it burn to give direction to our life pathway (Matthew 25).
I love how David asks Adonai to give him LIFE ‘in keeping with your Word.’ The only ‘Word’ David had was Torah and its instructions for living. He saw the life-giving nourishment of God’s word given to Israel. David understood that life, and life to its fullest extent, can only be found in obeying God’s precepts. This is how Yeshua answered the rich young man –– eternal life is in obeying/guarding the commandments (Mark 10:17).
“As Yeshua started on his way, a man ran up to him and fell on his knees before him. “Good teacher,” he asked, “what must I do to inherit eternal life?”
“Why do you call me good?” Yeshua answered. “No one is good—except God alone. You know the commandments: ‘You shall not murder, you shall not commit adultery, you shall not steal, you shall not give false testimony, you shall not defraud, honor your father and mother.’”
David realized the importance of remembering God’s Torah because it was his ‘permanent heritage’ and the ‘joy of my heart.’ Is God’s Torah a ‘permanent heritage’ to you because you have been adopted into His family and have an eternal destiny in His Kingdom? Is Torah the ‘joy of your heart’ because you are thankful He has given you His instructions?
Every day each of us make resolutions to eat less fat, eat less sugar, exercise more, listen more, talk less, nap more, work harder, be more friendly, read our Bibles, even study the Scriptures, but David’s resolution was to take action, to obey God’s Torah every step of his life, forever.
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