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Psalm 119 is a really long chapter.
Have you ever read the chapter in one sitting?
If not, I would recommend you do so.
Does this Scripture seek to spread a curse on the Christian? I know that is an odd question to ask, but not when you consider that many (I debate on whether to say “most”) Christians have said something like this to me at one time or another, “Yeh, but that’s Old Testament.” Many people see the Old Testament as either done away with, nailed to the cross, or flat out blasphemy. Don’t laugh. It’s preached all over this world as such.
My purpose here is not to back and forth with you about Law vs. Grace (especially since they are not antonyms). I simply want you to incline your ears to the mega chapter which takes you from the Aleph to the Tav with one recurring theme. Don’t let me summarize it for you. Read it and don’t stop. I would offer a prize for completion, but it would be nothing compared to the reward within itself.
Oh, please just let me help you get started with this:
1 Blessed are those whose ways are blameless,
who walk according to Yahweh’s law.
2 Blessed are those who keep his statutes,
who seek him with their whole heart.
3 Yes, they do nothing wrong.
They walk in his ways.
4 You have commanded your precepts,
that we should fully obey them.
5 Oh that my ways were steadfast
to obey your statutes!
6 Then I wouldn’t be disappointed,
when I consider all of your commandments.
7 I will give thanks to you with uprightness of heart,
when I learn your righteous judgments.
8 I will observe your statutes.
Don’t utterly forsake me.
– Psalm 119:1-8 (Aleph) W.E.B.
OK, here is a mini 119. It is Psalm 19, in fact. Let me give you a portion.
7 Yahweh’s law is perfect, restoring the soul.
Yahweh’s testimony is sure, making wise the simple.
8 Yahweh’s precepts are right, rejoicing the heart.
Yahweh’s commandment is pure, enlightening the eyes.
9 The fear of Yahweh is clean, enduring forever.
Yahweh’s ordinances are true, and righteous altogether.
10 More to be desired are they than gold, yes, than much fine gold;
sweeter also than honey and the extract of the honeycomb.
11 Moreover by them is your servant warned.
In keeping them there is great reward.
12 Who can discern his errors?
Forgive me from hidden errors.
Psalm 19:7-12 WEB
With these (plus the remaining 168 verses in 119), we keep hearing that these instructions/laws are good. Again, that’s my summary, please read it yourself and conclude as you will.
But I keep hearing from Christian friends that they are bad. If this much scripture sings the praises of Yahweh’s laws, could it be that Paul, the Apostle who claimed that ALL scripture is inspired by God and profitable, did not not mean what we often think he means? (mild reference to a Princess Bride intended) Could his words in Galatians be misunderstood when they are used to craft a new theology or religion altogether? Or to beat up on Jewishness…
Beating up on Jewishness leads to beating up on Jews.
Don’t believe me. Please read the very important Historical work “Constantine’s Sword” By James Carroll. And please be humble enough to face the truth of History.
You do not have to believe me that you, or a great many Christians, have deep seated anti-Jewish bias. Just be aware that this is the reason almost all Christians have told me they do not believe in walking after Torah, celebrating Biblical feasts, and resting on Sabbath: “that is Jewish.”
I realize I can be perceived as a bit dramatic about this. So humor me if you are thinking this.
If you reject these and other perfectly Biblical things because of their Jewishness, what else will you reject? Who else will you reject because they are Jewish?
Will you reject me?
“even as our beloved brother Paul also, according to the wisdom given to him, wrote to you; 16 as also in all of his letters, speaking in them of these things. In those, there are some things that are hard to understand, which the ignorant and unsettled twist, as they also do to the other Scriptures, to their own destruction.” 2 Peter 3:15 (WEB)