Meditations on the Psalms #269

Psalm 119 Part 1

I decided the only way to deal with this lengthy psalm is to ‘skip a stone’ across the highlights. The author is unknown and it appears to have been compiled because there is not a definite flow of thought from the beginning of the psalm to the end. The sections and verses are not like a chain, where one link is connected to the other, but more like a string of pearls where each pearl has equal, but independent value. The psalm is an acrostic poem based in the Hebrew alphabet and therefore has 22 sections, each letter assigned to a stanza, each of which has 8 verses.

Why 8? Numbers have meaning in astronomy, chemistry, physiology, music, colour, and in all other arts and sciences, and it would be strange if they had no significance in divine revelation because both the words and works of God are perfect. All the numbers from 1-13 also 24 and 40 run like threads through scripture from Genesis to Revelation. E.g., #7 is a golden thread that represents completeness. The Hebrew ‘sheba’ means to be full, satisfied, to have enough. The #8 from the Hebrew ‘sh’moneh’ means to make fat, to superabound, 7 is enough, 8 is more than enough. 7+1 goes beyond enough and is the beginning of a new series, era, or order. (c.f. 8 people saved in the ark.) 8 is the first cubic number (after 1) and is more than a square (4) it is the number of resurrection – Christ rose on the 1stday of the week which was the 8thday after his entry into Jerusalem on ‘Palm Sunday.’ Crucified on the 6thday (the number of sin), rested on the 7th day in the tomb; 7+1 is resurrection day.

Ps119 deals with the greatness and glory of God’s word. There is some reference to the law in every verse (see tomorrow’s meditation). The lord is also mentioned in every verse (300 references if you include pronouns). The psalmist refers to himself 325 times and 66 verses mention his affliction and persecution. The summary: Keep God’s instructions in any circumstance. 

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