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In Praise of the Law of the Lord

119 Our Lord, you bless everyone
    who lives right
    and obeys your Law.
You bless all of those
who follow your commands
    from deep in their hearts
    and who never do wrong
    or turn from you.
You have ordered us always
    to obey your teachings;
    I don’t ever want to stray
    from your laws.
Thinking about your commands
    will keep me from doing
    some foolish thing.
I will do right and praise you
    by learning to respect
    your perfect laws.
I will obey all of them!
    Don’t turn your back on me.

Young people can live
a clean life
    by obeying your word.
10 I worship you
    with all my heart.
    Don’t let me walk away
    from your commands.
11 I treasure your word
    above all else;
    it keeps me from sinning
    against you.
12 I praise you, Lord!
    Teach me your laws.
13 With my own mouth,
    I tell others the laws
    that you have spoken.
14 Obeying your instructions
brings as much happiness
    as being rich.
15 I will study your teachings
    and follow your footsteps.
16 I will take pleasure
in your laws
    and remember your words.

17 Treat me with kindness, Lord,
    so that I may live
    and do what you say.
18 Open my mind
    and let me discover
    the wonders of your Law.
19 I live here as a stranger.
    Don’t keep me from knowing
    your commands.
20 What I want most of all
and at all times
    is to honor your laws.
21 You punish those boastful,
worthless nobodies
    who turn
    from your commands.
22 Don’t let them sneer
and insult me
    for following you.
23 I keep thinking about
    your teachings, Lord,
    even if rulers plot
    against me.
24 Your laws are my greatest joy!
    I follow their advice.

25 I am at the point of death.
    Let your teachings
    breathe new life into me.
26 When I told you my troubles,
you answered my prayers.
    Now teach me your laws.
27 Help me to understand
    your teachings,
    and I will think about
    your marvelous deeds.
28 I am overcome with sorrow.
    Encourage me,
    as you have promised to do.
29 Keep me from being deceitful,
    and be kind enough
    to teach me your Law.
30 I am determined to be faithful
    and to respect your laws.
31     I follow your rules, Lord.
    Don’t let me be ashamed.
32 I am eager to learn all
    that you want me to do;
    help me to understand
    more and more.

33 Point out your rules to me,
    and I won’t disobey
    even one of them.
34 Help me to understand your Law;
    I promise to obey it
    with all my heart.
35 Direct me by your commands!
    I love to do what you say.
36 Make me want to obey you,
    rather than to be rich.
37 Take away my foolish desires,
    and let me find life
    by walking with you.
38 I am your servant!
    Do for me what you promised
    to those who worship you.
39 Your wonderful teachings
protect me from the insults
    that I hate so much.
40 I long for your teachings.
    Be true to yourself
    and let me live.

41 Show me your love
and save me, Lord,
    as you have promised.
42 Then I will have an answer
for everyone
    who insults me
    for trusting your word.
43 I rely on your laws!
    Don’t take away my chance
    to speak your truth.
44 I will keep obeying your Law
    forever and ever.
45 I have gained perfect freedom
    by following your teachings,
46     and I trust them so much
    that I tell them to kings.
47 I love your commands!
    They bring me happiness.
48 I love and respect them
    and will keep them in mind.

49 Don’t forget your promise
to me, your servant.
    I depend on it.
50 When I am hurting,
    I find comfort in your promise
    that leads to life.
51 Conceited people sneer at me,
    but I obey your Law.
52 I find true comfort, Lord,
    because your laws have stood
    the test of time.
53 I get furious when evil people
    turn against your Law.
54 No matter where I am,
    your teachings
    fill me with songs.
55 Even in the night
I think about you, Lord,
    and I obey your Law.
56 You have blessed me
    because I have always followed
    your teachings.

57 You, Lord, are my choice,
    and I will obey you.
58 With all my heart
I beg you to be kind to me,
    just as you have promised.
59 I pay careful attention
as you lead me,
    and I follow closely.
60 As soon as you command,
    I do what you say.
61     Evil people may set a trap,
    but I obey your Law.
62 Your laws are so fair
that I wake up
    and praise you
    in the middle of the night.
63 I choose as my friends
everyone who worships you
    and follows your teachings.
64 Our Lord, your love is seen
all over the world.
    Teach me your laws.

65 I am your servant, Lord,
and you have kept your promise
    to treat me with kindness.
66 Give me wisdom and good sense.
    I trust your commands.
67 Once you corrected me
for not obeying you,
    but now I obey.
68 You are kindhearted,
and you do good things,
    so teach me your laws.
69 My reputation is being ruined
    by conceited liars,
    but with all my heart
    I follow your teachings.
70 Those liars have no sense,
    but I find happiness
    in your Law.
71 When you corrected me,
    it did me good
    because it taught me
    to study your laws.
72 I would rather obey you
    than to have a thousand pieces
    of silver and gold.

73 You created me
    and put me together.
Make me wise enough to learn
    what you have commanded.
74 Your worshipers will see me,
    and they will be glad
    that I trust your word.
75 Your decisions are correct,
    and you were right
    to punish me.
76 I serve you, Lord.
Comfort me with your love,
    just as you have promised.
77 I love to obey your Law!
    Have mercy and let me live.
78 Put down those proud people
    who hurt me with their lies,
    because I have chosen
    to study your teachings.
79 Let your worshipers come to me,
    so they will learn
    to obey your rules.
80 Let me truly respect your laws,
    so I won’t be ashamed.

81 I long for you to rescue me!
    Your word is my only hope.
82 I am worn out from waiting
for you to keep your word.
    When will you have mercy?
83 My life is wasting away
    like a dried-up wineskin,[a]
    but I have not forgotten
    your teachings.
84 I am your servant!
    How long must I suffer?
    When will you punish
    those troublemakers?
85 Those proud people reject
    your teachings,
    and they dig pits
    for me to fall in.
86 Your laws can be trusted!
    Protect me from cruel liars.
87 They have almost killed me,
    but I have been faithful
    to your teachings.
88 Show that you love me
    and let me live,
    so that I may obey all
    of your commands.

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Footnotes

  1. 119.83 a dried-up wineskin: The Hebrew text has “a wineskin in the smoke.” In ancient times bags were made from animal skins to hold wine, but when the bags dried up they cracked and could no longer be used.

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