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.
There is a “before and after” story here in Teth that relates to affliction; where it comes from and how does it relate to a serpent/snake? Teth is a not-so-subtle reminder of an old “before” story; there really was a serpent hiding in the garden whose purpose was to call into question the absolute truth God had spoken. Affliction might be the mask of temptation that serpent wears today as he repeats his original question asked long before the Psalmist wrote: “did God really say…?”
The Psalmist’s words are obviously written to let God know he’s aware there has been a “before and after” in his life. “Before” I was afflicted I went astray…The “after” is “It was good for me to be afflicted…so that I might learn your decrees…but now I obey your word.” The Psalmist has shown us the imagery of an “after” we can recognize. God has built a house [us] and filled it with light [the Word], protected by a strong door [Jesus]and a hedge [the Holy Spirit] around it. A place where affliction and even the possibility of a serpent hiding in the garden no longer has the power to silence the absolute truth of what God really did say.