A Look at Psalm 119:8

Posted by Emma on February 9, 2010 at 1:30 pm | Filed under:Bible,Christianity,Daily Thought,Psalm 119,Studying the Word

“I will keep thy statues: O forsake me not utterly.” -Psalm 119:8

I am not fluent in Hebrew; I only know the basics of the language. This can sometimes make it a challenge when studying. It was a challenge with this verse. Although I could come up with definitions for all the main words, and thus can understand the gist of the verse, I could not find definitions for two of the small words. So I’m not sure what they mean. The first word of this verse,  את (et), is one of those words. If you know what it means, please tell me.

The next word, חקיך (chukeychah) is a noun meaning something prescribed, a statue or due. Here it is clearly talking about God’s statues. These we find throughout the Bible, but primarily in the first five books. There are several more in the New Testament which the writer of this Psalm would not have had, although if you really study them you will find that most of those are really just a repeat of what was already in the Bible or clarification on part of it. We must take all the words of the Bible as equally important and do them.

The word אשמר (eshemor) we have seen a few times before in this passage. As you may remember it means, keep, guard or observe. Here it means to keep commands. We keep commands by doing them and thinking about them. We must keep them from being spotted by sin. When we do what God commands us, we should stay far from sin. Of course we should always being staying far from sin and doing what God commands us.

The following word, אל (al) which is a preposition denoting motion to or direction toward. In this verse it is connected with the word  תעזבני (ta’azivini). תעזבני comes from the root עזב which is a verb meaning leave, forsake, loose. Here it seems to be talking about leaving or forsaking. The Psalmist is asking God not to leave Him.

Now we find another small word,  עד (ad) which I could not come up with a definition for. It is connect to the final word in the verse מאד (mi’od). It seems that when the word עד (ad) is connected with מאד (mi’od) it means up to abundance, to  a great degree, exceedingly. Perpetually or utterly are both words that I think fit what this word is trying to communicate. The Psalmist does not what God to forsake him at all, ever and He is begging God not to do that even in a little way.

This verse starts out with a statement about what the Psalmist intends to do then turns to a plea, begging God not to do something. The statement is “I will keep thy statues.” The Psalmist intends to do God’s statues, His commands. He is prepared to follow God all the time and He tells God that. Then he pleads with God not to forsake him at all, but to be with Him all the way. This is a very worthy cry. We cannot fully keep God’s commands without God’s assistance. If we truly intend to keep God’s commands and do what He would have us do, we should be begging God not to forsake us utterly,  not to forsake us at all. We need His help every minute of every day.

Do you plead with God not to leave you? Have you ever committed to do His will fully? Could you pray this verse? It is a verse every Christian should be willing to pray, yet it is not something to be prayed lightly or without thinking about what it really means.

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