Psalm 119:137-144

Psalm 119:137-144

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

August 07, 2019 – Wednesday

Psalm 119:137-144    NIV

צ Tsadhe/Tsade

137 You are righteous, Lord, and Your laws are right.
138 The statutes You have laid down are righteous; they are fully trustworthy.
139 My zeal wears me out, for my enemies ignore Your words.
140 Your promises have been thoroughly tested, and your servant loves them.
141 Though I am lowly and despised, I do not forget Your precepts.
142 Your righteousness is everlasting and Your law is true.
143 Trouble and distress have come upon me, but Your commands give me delight.
144 Your statutes are always righteous; give me understanding that I may live.


The eighteenth letter of the Hebrew alphabet tsadhe also represents the number ninety. Tsadhe like the letter pe has a sofit, that is a different shape if it is the last letter in a word. You may read about it on the tsade pageabout one third the way down. The original pictograph for the letter tsade may be found here along with all the pictographs for all the Hebrew consonants. The pictograph is said to represent a man on his side in a state of need or desire for food or water. A different related more recent pictograph is presented here representing a climb (to a stronghold) or a journey or a hunt or chase. If you wish to know how to properly draw tsade check out this short video. Many believe tsade represents Jesus as a humble and faithful servant or the Savior to come as discussed in this video.

Are you curious if the eight verses today carry any of the meanings of tsade? I am, so let’s take a look. David Guzik quotes Charles Spurgeon saying The initial letter with which every verse commences sounds like the Hebrew word for righteousness: our keynote is righteousness.”  Certainly this is correct and spot on for our first two verses (137-138) where David speaks to God’s righteousness and the righteousness of His laws.

In the very next verse (139) David compares his zeal for God’s word versus that of his foes who ignore God’s words. Then in the next two verses (140-141) David’s position as a servant of God is made clear while God’s promises and precepts are loved and remembered – put into practice. He does not remember (not forget) just to be able to quote God’s law, but to live His law out in his own life.

In the last three verses (142-144) we return to righteousness twice (142, 144) with David’s delight in God’s laws and righteousness between the two. The first is how God’s righteousness is eternal and the latter is how God’s statutes are always (everlasting) in their righteousness. It is no wonder even during times of trouble and distress David takes delight in them.

We know of The Word became flesh and made his dwelling among us (John 1:14a). We know He died on the cross for our sins, paid the ransom for our sins. Do we love Him as David loved God’s word? Do we think at least daily of the wonderful Gift of Grace from the Father through His Son that we have received. Do we have a zeal or passion for this Gift of Grace as David had for the word of God? Do we delight that we have been reconciled to God or do we daily take it all for granted? Except maybe on Sundays. Every day we should be excited about the Grace we have received and pray for others to receive it as well.

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