Do no wrong? (Psalm 119:3)

…who also do no wrong, but walk in his ways (Psalm 119:3).

I shouldn’t cut this sentence in half, but I’ve committed to only focus on one verse per blog and since I’m only on the third verse of Psalm 119 I didn’t think I should break my rules so soon.  But I guess it’s  OK to briefly explain how verse 3 relates to verse 2.

The previous verse spoke of how happy or blessed the person is who keeps YHWH’s decrees and seeks YHWH whole-heartedly.  So, divine blessing “also” (the Hebrew word ap means “also”, it begins with the letter Aleph and is the first word in this verse, which is still in the Aleph section of the psalm) applies to the does no wrong and walks in God’s ways.

“Do no wrong”– is that possible?  While Psalm 119:3 doesn’t seem to fit other teachings of Scripture since it seems to describe a “perfect” person, this idea is repeated twice in 1 John (3:9; 5:18), which argues that the ones that are “born of God” do not sin because they are “born of God”.  Yes, that does sound circular, but it’s still true.

Similarly in Psalm 119, the person who does no wrong walks in the ways of God.  They are focused on God, God’s words, God’s laws and God’s ways.  If that is what characterizes you, you can’t go wrong.

What do you think it means to “do no wrong”?

One comment

  1. It certainly is interesting that “being righteous” seems to be very different in the OT than in the NT: In the NT it seems to be unattainable, yet in the OT it seems not only attainable, but actually expected.

    I have only just recently started explore this topic, so I don’t have any answers at this point, only guesses. The guess is that it has to do with the difference between being moral and being justified and welcomed into God’s family (pulling from NT Wright).

    In other words, the Bible (as a whole) say there is nothing we can do to “justify” us being his, but it is at the same time expects that we will be righteous in actions.

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