Today begins our reading of the longest chapter of the Bible, Psalm 119. It is divided into 22 sections, based upon the 22 letters of the Hebrew alphabet. And, in the original Hebrew text this psalm is an acrostic, meaning that each of the first eight verses of each section begins with the letter designating that section. As you read this first section denoted by “Aleph” the first letter of the Hebrew alphabet, note the beautiful literary quality of this Psalm. This is understandable, after all the theme of Psalm 119 is “The Word of God”!
1 Blessed are those whose ways are blameless,
who walk according to the law of the Lord.
2 Blessed are those who keep his statutes
and seek him with all their heart—
3 they do no wrong
but follow his ways.
4 You have laid down precepts
that are to be fully obeyed.
5 Oh, that my ways were steadfast
in obeying your decrees!
6 Then I would not be put to shame
when I consider all your commands.
7 I will praise you with an upright heart
as I learn your righteous laws.
8 I will obey your decrees;
do not utterly forsake me.