Psalm 119:1-8 (NRSV)
Verse 1Happy are those whose way is blameless, who walk in the law of the Lord.
Verse 2Happy are those who keep his decrees, who seek him with their whole heart,
Verse 3who also do no wrong, but walk in his ways.
Verse 4You have commanded your precepts to be kept diligently.
Verse 5O that my ways may be steadfast in keeping your statutes!
Verse 6Then I shall not be put to shame, having my eyes fixed on all your commandments.
Verse 7I will praise you with an upright heart, when I learn your righteous ordinances.
Verse 8I will observe your statutes; do not utterly forsake me.
Psalm 119 is a psalm that celebrates God’s Torah. The psalm uses seven different words to fill out what God wants us to know about Torah. The text for today uses legal terms in half of these cases—law, statutes (twice) and ordinances. These make it sound like God is mostly all about rules and regulations that have consequences. Torah more importantly refers to God’s revelation of who God is, and how God intends to set healthy boundaries for all creation. “Statutes” can also be translated as “prescriptions,” which reminds me of a divine pharmacist who gives us words that heal and make our lives better. Celebrate with joy God’s beautiful and powerful words of life and care.
Thank you, God, for words that reveal your love and justice. Inspire us to take these to heart so that we and all creation will receive and share your prescriptions for life, grace, and justice. Amen.