Psalm 119:1-8 in biblical-theological perspective, by Pastor Jim Brooks
I know Pastor Brooks via the net alone. We have “known” each other for several years. Below is a piece he sent me on Ps. 119:1-8. With his permission, I am posting it for your enjoyment. I really like how he connects the Psalm to Christ!
Psalm 119:1-8 Aleph. How blessed are those whose way is blameless, Who walk in the law of the LORD. 2 How blessed are those who observe His testimonies, Who seek Him with all their heart. 3 They also do no unrighteousness; They walk in His ways. 4 You have ordained Your precepts, That we should keep them diligently. 5 Oh that my ways may be established To keep Your statutes! 6 Then I shall not be ashamed When I look upon all Your commandments. 7 I shall give thanks to You with uprightness of heart, When I learn Your righteous judgments. 8 I shall keep Your statutes; Do not forsake me utterly! Beth.
Jesus is the fulfillment of the blessed man of this section of Psalm 119. It is significant that the first synonym used in this Psalm referring to God’s Word is torah (law). Torah is a term that broadly refers to the Mosaic Law which was handed down to Moses on Mt. Sinai. Jesus is greater than Moses (Heb. 3:3) and came to fulfill Torah (Matt. 5:17). The word used for blameless in verse 1 was also used to describe the sacrifices God required of sinners (e.g. Lev. 1:10), animals that were spotless and without blemish. Jesus, who satisfied all the OT sacrifices, was spotless and without blemish (1 Pet. 1:19). As such, the Father was well-pleased with His Son (Matt. 3:16-17). Jesus asked His accusers, “Which one of you convicts me of sin?” (Jn. 8:46). There was no reply and no charges made because He perfectly walked in the law, kept the testimonies, and did no wrong. God commanded His precepts to be kept and obeyed. Jesus spoke of His commandments which are to be obeyed (Jn. 14:15, 21; 15:10, 12).
Although deity in the flesh, Jesus was still flesh and tempted as we are (Heb. 4:15). Thus verses 5-6 would have been a prayer on Jesus’ lips as He battled temptation and Satan. Now, as our great High Priest, He intercedes for us and prays for the sanctification of those whom He has redeemed (Jn. 17:15-17). Even though He was God’s Son, Jesus learned obedience through His suffering (Heb. 5:8).
Through the life, death, and resurrection of Jesus, the redeemed are blameless before the Father (Rom. 8:1; Eph. 1:4). Through Jesus we are able to walk in the ways of the Lord because He is The Way (Jn. 14:6). All those who are in Christ will not be put to shame for we are clothed with the righteousness of Christ (Rom. 3:21-22). Because Christ inaugurated the New Covenant (Lk. 22:20), we have the Law of God written on our hearts (Jer. 31:33; Ezek. 36:27) so that, through the indwelling ministry of the Holy Spirit, we can keep His Word. We have the confidence that Jesus will never forsake us (Matt. 28:20; Jn. 14:18-23).
Dr. Richard Barcellos is associate professor of New Testament Studies. He received a B.S. from California State University, Fresno, an M.Div. from The Master’s Seminary, and a Th.M. and Ph.D. from Whitefield Theological Seminary. Dr. Barcellos is pastor of Grace Reformed Baptist Church, Palmdale, CA. He is author of Trinity & Creation, The Covenant of Works, and Getting the Garden Right. He has contributed articles to various journals and is a member of ETS.
Courses taught for CBTS: New Testament Introduction, Biblical Hermeneutics, Biblical Theology I, Biblical Theology II.