Psalm 119 צ Tsadhe – fish hook?
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.
Right >§§§> Left
Your laws are right. You are righteous Lord! Fully trustworthy are the righteous statutes you have laid down. My enemies ignore your words and my zeal wears me out. Your servant loves your thoroughly tested promises. I do not forget your precepts though I am lowly and despised. Your law is true. Your righteousness is everlasting. Your commands give me delight when trouble and distress come upon me. Give me understanding that I may live your always righteous statutes.
Obviously there isn’t much efficiency in working on two sections of the Psalm at a time if you end up having to say “sorry this section is posted out of order.” I have been “caught being human too.”
The Psalmist had his own reasons for choosing Tsadhe – fish hook as his title. Today it’s a stepping stone, a mental path, to find truth that makes old words real for contemporary life. Fish hook is only one step away from the idea of being “caught.” Is the Psalmist caught thinking his zeal for God is what changes his enemies? Is that what’s wearing him out? Is he caught by his own perception of what others think of him? Is he caught by his own trouble and distress? Is he caught being human? The answers to all of the above may well be yes.
That’s why his words seem familiar – they’re still struggles of being human today. Maybe Tsadhe – fish hook – is the Psalmists’ way of remembering being “caught” is also what makes it possible for him to find a positive response to those negatives.
He’s “caught on” that despite thorough testing, he still loves the promises of God. He’s “caught on” that God’s righteousness is everlasting but his circumstances aren’t. He’s hooked by these truths that allow him to live, to believe, to be faithful…even though he’s caught being human too. He’s been caught and firmly hooked by a righteous and trustworthy God.a
aReposted from September, 2016