Psalm 119 Nun, 12 July 2020

A crossword clue came up a few days ago that said something like: ‘Light on the feet’. I immediately thought it might be ‘LAMP’:

Your word is a lamp unto my feet and a light upon my path. (Ps 119:105)

Nowhere near right. It meant fleet of foot, tippy-toe and fancy footwork. However, if you ever went to Sunday School — and perhaps you had to be fleet of foot to avoid it — then this verse was bound to feature somewhere. It encapsulates the central message of this longest psalm.

Psalm 119 has 22 sections of eight verses, each identified by a letter of the Hebrew alphabet. Each verse in a section begins with that letter. This Sunday we hear Nun starting at verse 105.

Throughout, the song affirms the importance of God’s word — sometime translated as ‘law’ or ‘decrees’. More than just a tablet of stone and a bunch of rules, it signifies all the writings which collectively describe the divine spiritual and ethical framework under which humankind should proceed. The psalmist hopes it will illuminate path and steps.

Image: Libby O’Loghlin

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Again, Together in Song is most likely to hand during isolation. TiS 75 covers most of the set verses. The refrain runs along nicely and many will recall the tune. The verses are set to a double tone. While they will not be so familiar, they are easily mastered and open to interpretation or improvisation.

Another good alternative is the refrain in The Emergent Psalter, with a nicely paraphrased text:

Mindful of your truth inside me, meditate with every breath / needing only you to guide me, never turning from your path.

6 thoughts on “Psalm 119 Nun, 12 July 2020

  1. Well you know I don’t actually remember, and it’s gone into the recycling – which I think at present, regrettably, is another name for landfill.

    1. One was Mr Tumnus and the little one Lucy. We know what both were thinking from their conversation.
      He, “if only I had worked harder at geography when I was a little Fawn….And I have pretended to be your friend..”
      She, “O, but you won’t, MrTumnus,” said Lucy. “You won’t will you? Indeed, indeed you really mustn’t.”

      1. John, you may well be perfectly correct. I have no evidence to the contrary. However, a little niggle of doubt arises when I see that, while there is indeed a nice lamp post, there is no forrest. Blessings.

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