Psalm 119:65-72 ט Teth – Serpent, Snake
65 Do good to your servant
according to your word, Lord.
66 Teach me knowledge and good judgment,
for I trust your commands.
67 Before I was afflicted I went astray,
but now I obey your word.
68 You are good, and what you do is good;
teach me your decrees.
69 Though the arrogant have smeared me with lies,
I keep your precepts with all my heart.
70 Their hearts are callous and unfeeling,
but I delight in your law.
71 It was good for me to be afflicted
so that I might learn your decrees.
72 The law from your mouth is more precious to me
than thousands of pieces of silver and gold.
Let’s assume the Psalmists’ intention with these mysterious titles is to add another layer of meaning to the words he writes. That layering idea has kept me interested, even looking forward to the next eight verses.
His words are obviously written to let God know what he has learned. “Before I was afflicted I went astray…It was good for me to be afflicted…so that I might learn your decrees…but now I obey your word.”
There had been a “before” in the Psalmists’ life but it’s the “after” he writes about. That’s what brought him to this place of longing to trust, obey and value what God had in mind. Teth could be his subtle reminder that in between that before and after there may “still” be the danger of a serpent hiding in the garden.