(I’ve been reposting my Psalm 119 series here in full because they are short pieces; original post.)
The psalmist shows us the Path of Justice. It could also be seen as retribution if we understand the justice of being rescued from those who deny God’s revelation. We learn to be patient as God corrects us and makes us stronger through the evils other people commit, but in due time, His wrath falls on the unjust while His servants harvest blessings because God’s truth is how this world actually works.
God has made each of us; our place in this world is wholly His doing. If there is any source of wisdom about how we should live here, it is the One who made us and all things. This is the kind of life that cheers others seeking His truth. They rejoice in the confirmation of God’s promises coming true by example.
The psalmist claims to know — using a Hebrew word that covers awareness in all aspects — without any doubt that God’s justice is the very definition of righteousness. He presses upon us His discipline according to His promises to keep us in His mercy. It’s a genuine blessing He does not lightly allow us to escape His love. So he prays to be driven out sin into the place where God’s shalom stands waiting and he can breathe a sigh of relief.
And when he is too weak, the psalmist prays that God will permit His compassion to come find him wherever he has wandered. The God who bears the shepherd’s rod is a delightful sight to a lost lamb, even when the rod corrects, for the same rod defends us as well. All the more so when we came into that sorrow because of arrogant men who deny God’s Word. God’s Presence shames them, but brings the psalmist to peaceful meditation on that Word.
So if any others have lost their way and cannot see God clearly, let them turn to the freshly resolved psalmist who now has a clear vision. They’ll recognize him because they already know at least something about God’s revelation. And while the fleshly mind will surely fail him at times, he knows that God will speak consistently through his heart. He knows that giving heed to his conscience will never leave him ashamed.