“How blessed are those whose way is blameless, who walk in the law of the Lord. How blessed are those who observe His testimonies, who seek Him with all their heart” (Psalm 119:1-2 NASB).
The writers of the Bible, especially the psalmists and prophets, often used parallelism in their writing. It enabled them to state something, then either restate it, expand it, or state its opposite. This literary device is common within Hebrew writing.
In Psalm 119, the psalmist begins with such parallelism: “How blessed are those whose way is blameless.” The second clause explains whose way is blameless—those who walk according to the law of the Lord, i.e., obeying His instruction.
Blamelessness, then, for the psalmist, doesn’t mean completely living without error; it means walking in the instruction of the Lord. This is how a person’s way can be blameless. When one bases his or her life on pursuing God’s ways, then they are truly blessed.
He continues His blessings by identifying “those who observe His testimonies” as those who “seek Him with all their heart.” So, seeking God with all of one’s heart means pursuing His ways, and the person who lives like this will be blessed.
Studying Scripture means that we have to read it as its authors intended, which requires us to learn how the biblical texts were written. Doing so adds so much value to how we read and understand the Bible and its message.
Embedded within these redundant and expanded clauses in this passage lie insights into how the biblical authors described God and His people. We often find that they view their world, even their relationship with God, so much differently than we do today.
The psalmist gives us profound insight into how God expects His people to live. If you want your way to be blameless, walk according to His law and instruction. Seek Him with all of your heart by aligning your life with His ways. When you live like this, you will be blessed.
Father, today may we walk in accordance with Your law and instruction, so that our way may truly be blameless. Let us seek you with all our heart by pursuing Your ways. Amen.
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