Psalm 119:113-120

Psalm 119:113-120

to obey is better than sacrifice / obedience is better than sacrifice

August 02, 2019 – Friday

Psalm 119:113-120    NIV

ס Samekh/Samek/Samech

113 I hate double-minded people, but I love Your law.
114 You are my refuge and my shield; I have put my hope in Your word.
115 Away from me, you evildoers, that I may keep the commands of my God!
116 Sustain me, my God, according to Your promise, and I will live; do not let my hopes be dashed.
117 Uphold me, and I will be delivered; I will always have regard for Your decrees.
118 You reject all who stray from Your decrees, for their delusions come to nothing.
119 All the wicked of the earth You discard like dross; therefore I love Your statutes.
120 My flesh trembles in fear of You; I stand in awe of Your laws.


It’s Friday and today we cover the fifteen letter of the Hebrew alphabet samek which also represents the number sixty. In script it very closely resembles the English O, but is drawn specifically from the top in a  clockwise direction as shown here. There is disagreement about what the original pictograph represents. Here the pictograph is said to represent a shield while here the same pictograph is said to represent a thorn. Both may be correct as thorn bushes were often used to build a corral to keep the flock inside and other animals outside. Of course a corral would be in the shape of a circle as well. If you go to the interlinear bible again, it will show each verse from 113-120 begins with the letter samek which is a stylized circle with a squared off top and a slight overhang on the top left as shown here.

Looking at the eight samek verses for today the first verse (113) has a thought also reflected in 1 Kings 18:21

Elijah went before the people and said, “How long will you waver between two opinions? If the Lord is God, follow him; but if Baal is God, follow him.” But the people said nothing.

David was not a fence sitter, he loved God’s law.

In the second verse (114) David seems to be making a play on the original meaning of the pictograph as a shield when he says You are my refuge and my shield as well as stating where he puts his hope. In fact the first three verses (113-115) shows David taking the side of God’s word while the next two (116-117) show his faith in God’s word to sustain and hold him up through the trials of life he has gone through. What happens to those who turn away from God’s word is addressed in the following two verses (118-119) where they are rejected and discarded. This may sound harsh, but they have the same knowledge and choice that David had and either chose sin or were double-minded and tried to please both worlds which does not please God, but does please Satan. Paul makes it clear in 1 Corinthians 6:12-20 you cannot please God by living in both worlds or more specifically

16 Do you not know that he who unites himself with a prostitute is one with her in body? For it is said, “The two will become one flesh.” 17 But whoever is united with the Lord is one with him in spirit.   NIV

David in the last verse (120) addresses what he, and all of us should have, when we admit our awareness of God. First he notes his fear of our Creator and his awe of God’s word. Guzik states

The Psalmist didn’t celebrate over the judgment on the wicked; it made him tremble in holy fear himself.

“The presence of God is so real for the psalmist that he responds to his God in spirit and body. His life of obedience is lived in the presence of the living God, whereas the wicked act as if God does not see or care.”   (VanGemeren)

So how do we choose to live? As double minded fence sitters or in fear and awe of God? Will we go to church this weekend for fellowship and to worship God or to try to look good to God and failing that?

RileyD, nwJ
(to obey is better than sacrifice / obedience is better than sacrifice)