This is the longest of the Psalms. It is a Psalm that praises God's word and extols it as the guide for living. On the technical side the Psalmist arranges this into 22 stanzas or sections with each one sequentially beginning with a letter of the Hebrew alphabet. Our current arrangement of verses has divided these 22 sections into 8 verses each. In the Hebrew, within each stanza, each sentence or verse begins with the same Hebrew letter that began that section. A lot of thought and editing went into the writing of this Psalm. Of course there is no way of translating this so that such technical aspects show up in English.
The writer speaks of God's word in many different ways. He calls it 'law' in verse 1. This is the Hebrew word 'torah' which means instruction. In verse 2 it is called 'testimonies'. These words are God's testifying of His will for the people. Verse 4 refers to it as 'precepts' and means what God has appointed to be done. He calls them 'statutes' because they are mandated by the supreme law giver. Hence they are called 'commandments' in vs. 6 for God has commanded them. They are God's 'rules' according to vs. 7. Thus as a collection they are God's WORD (vs. 9). They are what God has spoken to His people Israel.
God has revealed himself and His will unto men. This revelation is righteous, true and sure for these words are the words of God who is righteous, true and sure. Hence men should respond by 'keeping them diligently' (vs. 4) and attending unto them. The man of God would then:
- Seek them with your whole heart (10)
- Store up in your heart (11)
- Meditate upon them (15)
- Delight in them (16)
- Not forget them (16)
- Be consumed with longing for them (20)
- Observe them with the whole heart (34)
The respect, love and awe that should be produced by learning God's word is not about its literary wonder but its practical teaching on how man can walk with God. Such will provide instruction in righteousness and keep one from sin and evil (vs. 11). Learning them will bring about putting away false life styles (vs. 29). "How can a young man keep his way pure? By guarding it according to your word" (vs. 9).
While this specifically speaks of the covenant that God made with Israel, the principles would be applicable to the new covenant that God made through his Son. As Christians our covenant is different but our God is the same. Our attitude towards OUR covenant should also be the same. "Man does not live by bread alone but by every word that proceeds out of the mouth of God" (Matt. 4:4; Deut. 8:3). "All Scripture is breathed out by God and profitable for teaching, for reproof, for correction, and for training in righteousness, that the man of God may be competent, equipped for every good work" (2 Timothy 3:16-17). Let the Word of Christ dwell in you richly… (Col. 3:16)