Westerners get the impression the Hebrews weren’t too good at math, but that has more to do with a different attitude about when and where math matters. At 176 verses, this is the longest chapter in the Bible, and with few exceptions, each verse mentions the revelation of God directly. In English we see: law, testimony, statutes, ordinances, teaching, instructions, commandments, precepts, promises, ways and word, among others. It’s also an acrostic psalm in alphabetical order, 22 stanzas of 8 lines each, one for each letter, and each line in a stanza beginning with the same Hebrew letter of the alphabet.
Obviously the psalmist strives to get across his personal experience in devotion to God in terms of what we can know of God, what He allows us to see of Him through His self-disclosure. This is culturally challenging for us because Western Christians suffer the powerful influence of Hellenized Pharisaism and the resulting legalism. This is not a question of learning the Law as legislation, but as the manifestation of God’s personal character. The Law of God is not a mere record of statements and associated events, but the indicator of moral personality. The reason for the record is the Person behind it, so any obsessive legalistic focus on the record will never come up with the right answer. God’s revelation is also the very fundamental nature of reality itself. So we note that this psalm is an elongated celebration of Scripture as the tangible expression of God Himself.
We will examine this psalm one stanza at a time.
You can read the rest of this lesson by clicking this link to Kiln of the Soul blog.