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Featured Christians: What does Psalm 119 mean to you?

Discussion in 'Interfaith Discussion' started by Harel13, Aug 9, 2020.

  1. Harel13

    Harel13 Am Yisrael Chai
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    Psalm 119 is considered by Jews to be a psalm entirely about the love of Torah, that is, the divine law. Clearly the Psalmist, who some say is David (though it is anonymously written), was very much enthralled with the law of God. While not that many Jews may remember the entire chapter by heart, quite a few will recognize several verses, in particular those that were made into songs; songs about loving Torah. As the Torah as a book of law has essentially been nullified in Christianity, I'm therefore curious to know what meaning Christians place in this particular psalm.
     
  2. robocop (actually)

    robocop (actually) Well-Known Member
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    I don't know; I don't understand the Torah that well (and I've spent years researching/studying it).
     
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  3. Harel13

    Harel13 Am Yisrael Chai
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    Would you say that this psalm in the Christian Bible is redundant?
     
  4. Brickjectivity

    Brickjectivity Veteran Member
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    I think that the seminarians will have to answer your question. Think of Catholics and Protestants as liturgical and non-liturgical. Liturgical churches will have some kind of tradition-accepting approach and non-liturgical ones will have a tradition exception.

    I considered your argument when I was about seventeen years of age...so about 30 years have passed. I started to memorize 119 but stopped. This Psalm says that the law of the L-RD is perfect, converting the soul or reviving the soul, making wise the sinful. That's the English. As a non liturgical church goer I found this challenging, because we had in our bibles some statements by Paul about being divorced from the law (Romans 7). Paul's letters began to be a puzzle. After so much time has passed I don't think Christians have to consider the Torah nullified, but there are two major camps of Christians and those have further opinions within them.

    A word about Paul. He's got multiple letters going to different places. Some of them seem to praise the Torah and some seem to denigrate. To me its unclear what he thinks.
     
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  5. Harel13

    Harel13 Am Yisrael Chai
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    If I understood you correctly...a liturgical approach would be to say it/read it/sing it "because it's there" (in the famous words of George Mallory)?
     
  6. robocop (actually)

    robocop (actually) Well-Known Member
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    I don't know.
     
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  7. Brickjectivity

    Brickjectivity Veteran Member
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    I'm not sure, because I'm originally charismatic on the protestant non-denominational side. I've been to a Christian liturgical service about five times in my life. Its a little alien to me.

    I also visited a Jewish synagogue one Friday night as a teenager. A messianic person took me, and so I experienced a liturgy. It was almost unintelligible but there was a translation in the prayer book, which was still mostly unintelligible. Awesome desserts were served though. I probably should have made a donation to help cover the desserts I ate.
     
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  8. Eyes to See

    Eyes to See Active Member

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    Greets Harel.

    Out of all the Pslams, the 119th has a special place in my heart. It is the longest chapter of a book in the Bible (although it is called a Pslam, it is a chapter as well). It is interesting that you say some think it was David that wrote it. My dad says he thinks it was Manasseh who wrote the Psalm. Some Jehovah's Witnesses speculate it may have been king Hezekiah. It is written by a servant of Jehovah who had strayed like a lost sheep, and then returned to Jehovah.

    The first seven verses tell us about 5 things we find in the law of Jehovah. His reminders, orders, regulations, commandments, and judgements:

    Happy are those who are blameless in their way,
    Who walk in the law of Jehovah.
    2 Happy are those who observe his reminders,
    Who search for him with all their heart.
    3 They practice no unrighteousness;
    They walk in his ways.
    4 You have commanded
    That your orders be carefully kept.
    5 If only I could remain steadfast
    So as to observe your regulations!
    6 Then I would not be put to shame
    When I consider all your commandments.
    7 I will praise you with an upright heart
    When I learn your righteous judgments.


    A person is happy by observing Jehovah's commandments. They are found written in the Bible. We see Jehovah's thinking on things, peer into his mind, as it were, by reading the Bible. It only gives us a glimpse of how he thinks, but by means of his word, the entire Bible, we are corrected by God's word.

    I respect what you say as a Jew and how Jews view the Psalm. And it is not wrong to view it that way. It does carry more meaning than just the law of Moses though. I wish to convey this to you with compassion for you and how you believe, and perhaps help to open your mind to see a broader picture of things.

    How can I put it in terms you can understand? Jehovah is a God of principle. Righteous principles. And he is a God of love. So all of his actions and the laws he gives us are motivated by love.

    Laws can change according to circumstances. But the principle will always remain the same. Take for example a town that has a small rural road. Out of the principle of traffic safety they may put up a stop sign on the less trafficked road. As the town grows and the amount of traffic increases the stop signs might be replaced by an all-way or 4-way stop sign. And later on as the town grows even more and there is even more traffic the sign may be replaced altogether by a traffic light. The laws of a traffic light are different than those of a stop sign. But the principle remains.


    When Jesus came to earth he fulfilled all of the law of Moses to the letter. But he did more than just that. He taught the people that his Father, Jehovah was not the cold, aloof, and harsh God the religious leaders of the day had them to believe he was. The Pharisees depicted Jehovah as harsh, demanding, distant, merciless. Jesus showed them that Jehovah is reasonable, patient, loving, and forgiving. He also showed it by his actions.

    A Christian is governed by the "law of the Christ."- Galatians 6:2. The laws given to a Christian are also found in God's word. God's word is more ample than just the Torah, or even just the Hebrew portions of Scripture. They include the Christian Greek Scriptures.

    And Bible prophecy tells us that in the future new world, in the near future, even more scrolls will be opened. At that time when the dead are resurrected to life on earth, they will be judged, not based on the law to Moses but on the law that God will give to all humankind at that time. Then there will only be one world-wide government with Jesus Christ as king. And everyone, the living and the dead who are brought back to life will be judged by the laws given in the scrolls that will be opened. No doubt the faithful servants of Jehovah in pre-Christian times will be raised to life. And perhaps it will be some of them, perhaps Jeremiah, or Daniel, or Isiah, that will be given those new rolls to be written to humankind.

    And I saw the dead, the great and the small, standing before the throne, and scrolls were opened. But another scroll was opened; it is the scroll of life. The dead were judged out of those things written in the scrolls according to their deeds.-Revelation 20:12.

    Harel,

    This old system in Satan's hands is full of deceit and falsely called knowledge. But the word of God is water that leads to everlasting life. And obeying God's word, and the reminders, orders, regulations, commandments, and judgements found in it opens our eyes to see ourselves for what we are. It corrects us, it guides us to be righteous, good people. Clean and holy before Jehovah God.

    Remember my dad said he thought that maybe the wicked king Manasseh had written the 119th Psalm? He was indeed extremely wicked. Well he was taken into captivity to Assyria. and there in prison he humbled himself and repented and returned to Jehovah. It reminds me much of the final words of the 119th Psalm:

    May my request for favor come before you.
    Save me, as you have promised.
    171 May my lips overflow with praise,
    For you teach me your regulations.
    172 May my tongue sing about your saying,
    For all your commandments are righteous.
    173 May your hand be ready to help me,
    Because I choose to obey your orders.
    174 I long for your salvation, O Jehovah,
    And I am fond of your law.
    175 Let me live so that I may praise you;
    May your judgments be my help.
    176 I have strayed like a lost sheep. Search for your servant,

    For I have not forgotten your commandments.


    I was disfellowshipped from the Christian congregation. And returning to Jehovah I read through the Bible, and upon coming on Psalm 119 I read it over and over and meditated on its words. I knew they fit me perfectly. Especially these last words. If it was Manasseh who prayed those words, he also understood God's loving-kindness and forgiveness. And came to appreciate the surpassing value of God's word. And his laws that he gives us because of his great love for us.

    We had a movie come out last year about Josiah. In the beginning of it it shows Manasseh teaching his grandson Josiah about loving Jehovah and praying to him to ask for forgiveness when you sin, even greatly, or many times against Jehovah. I took that little exert and share it here with you. It touched my heart, hopefully it may touch yours as well. It is less than a minute but very profound.

     
    #8 Eyes to See, Aug 9, 2020
    Last edited: Aug 9, 2020
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  9. Terry Sampson

    Terry Sampson Well-Known Member

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    LOL! If you have the money now, perhaps you could send a check or money order?
     
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  10. stvdv

    stvdv Veteran Member

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    I am not a Christian

    I see this verse as a gift of God, not just for Christians, but for all humans
    I follow Sanathana Dharma, and this Psalm feels like devotion
    Devotion to God is not meant for one Religion or race

    Strange if Christians nullify this
     
    #10 stvdv, Aug 9, 2020
    Last edited: Aug 9, 2020
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  11. Nova2216

    Nova2216 Active Member

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    What is doing righteousness? (1Jn 3:7)

    Doing righteousness is obeying the commandments of the Lord according to (Ps. 119) (Mt. 28:18-20) (Jn 14:15 ; 15:14)

    Ps 119:160 ¶ Thy word is true from the beginning: and every one of thy righteous judgments endureth for ever. (Ps.119:160)
     
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  12. Nova2216

    Nova2216 Active Member

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    The word of God says God hears not sinners? (Jn 9:31)
     
  13. Eyes to See

    Eyes to See Active Member

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    It is true God does not listen to all prayers. God reads the heart of a person. If they are truly repentant over wrong-doing and supplicate Jehovah for his mercy and forgiveness he will listen. Manasseh is a good example of such:

    So Jehovah brought against them the army chiefs of the king of As·syrʹi·a, and they captured Ma·nasʹseh with hooks and bound him with two copper fetters and took him to Babylon. 12 In his distress, he begged Jehovah his God for favor and kept humbling himself greatly before the God of his forefathers. 13 He kept praying to Him, and He was moved by his entreaty and heard his request for favor, and He restored him to Jerusalem to his kingship. Then Ma·nasʹseh came to know that Jehovah is the true God.-2 Chronicles 33:11-13.

    This reveals that God is not harsh or cruel. He is not despondent or distant. He is in fact very affectionate, full of love, patience, and is very merciful.

    Just as a wrongdoer that may be brought before a judge in the judicial system shows remorse and repentance over a crime may be shown more leniency, than one who shows no remorse or care over their crimes. If a sinful and wicked human judge can be merciful, surely our God Jehovah is much much more so.
     
  14. Nova2216

    Nova2216 Active Member

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    The OT Law ended with Christ. (Rom. 10:4) (Luke 16:16)

    No one after the death and Ress. of Christ is initially forgiven of their sins by saying a prayer.

    Believe + Baptism = Saved (Mark 16:16)

    Paul had to "DO SOMETHING" to be forgiven in (Acts 22:16).

    1. Arise
    2. Be baptized (Acts 2:38,47 ; 8:5,12,13,26-40)
    3. Wash Away Your Sins
    4. Calling on the Lord
     
  15. Harel13

    Harel13 Am Yisrael Chai
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    I hear what you're saying. But wouldn't it have been helpful had the psalmist himself written something along the lines of the Biblical equivalent of "Oh, FYI, the most important thing here is the principle of law, not the law itself"?
    I do not believe anything you stated here is historically true, but I won't argue here, as this is not a debate thread. I'm raising my objection as a note.
     
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  16. Harel13

    Harel13 Am Yisrael Chai
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    So anything talking about actual law in the psalm, according to you, is redundant?
     
  17. Harel13

    Harel13 Am Yisrael Chai
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    Was it a Jewish synagogue or a Messianic Jewish synagogue?
     
  18. Brickjectivity

    Brickjectivity Veteran Member
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    It was Conservative. It was Friday night, and I was sixteen feeling a little bummed. I just wanted to hang with somebody, so I rode along with this friend wherever he was going. I had no idea why we appeared at a synagogue and was a little surprised that the people didn't seem to have a problem with it and even lent me a hat. The service was orderly and had a prayer book as I said, absolutely nothing like what I was used to. I overheard someone talking to my friend afterwards something about he couldn't be a Christian and a Jew, but it was over my head. The two disagreed, and I headed for the dessert table.
     
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  19. Harel13

    Harel13 Am Yisrael Chai
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    When in doubt, eat. :D
     
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  20. Jedster

    Jedster Well-Known Member

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    Quote from an old deceased friend of mine(RIP):
    "A meeting without eating is cheating" :)
     
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