Commentary on Psalm 119: 17-32

The third and fourth sets of verses in the longest Psalm in the Bible speak to many aspects of our lives. I (Jacob Fondrk) am in Honors Philosophy this semester (Spring ’16), and we are discussing the true meaning of “knowing”. Verse 18 in this Psalm gives a great insight on knowing – God must assist us. He must “open our eyes” and keep his commands from being hidden. Despite the great intellectual progress that we all feel we can make individually, we need God to reveal his creation to us. This is the way God designed us, and as the Psalmist writes, people long for God’s laws. It easy to recognize that we need His word, but it is more difficult to follow through with the necessary steps to know and follow His laws. Thankfully, we are not on our own; He is by our side. Psalm 17-24 ends with words of encouragement. If we rely on and follow God, He will relieve us from “scorn” and “contempt”. Others may speak negatively of us, but it is our responsibility to stay focused on God and His laws. We can find pleasure and peace through the Lord. As verse 25 starts, we see that although humans are “low in the dust”, God’s word preserves and strengthens us. However, it is up to each of us individually to choose God and follow the path of righteousness. The Psalmist writes that the Lord will keep us from shame if we follow him, and verse 32 comes full circle as it is described that God has “broadened” humankind’s understanding – again explaining that we need God’s help.

Jacob Fondrk

1/22/16

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