Blessed are the undefiled in the way,
Who walk in the law of the LORD! Psalm 119:1 NKJV
Blessed are those whose ways are blameless, who walk according to the law of the LORD. Psalm 119:1 NIV
Joyful are people of integrity,
who follow the instructions of the LORD. Psalm 119:1 NLT
In an attempt to get a better understanding of this passage, I consulted the Strong’s concordance about the word (from the Hebrew), “way” which revealed the intent–a path or journey.
Using the path or journey as a foundation for continued study of this Psalm, the very first verse would be interpreted, “Happy, highly favored by God, are those who keep themselves pure (honorable) on the journey/path who walk (live) according to God’s Word.”
This then is what I perceived from my meditation of this verse. I’ve used comparative verses from other translations for the sake of conversation. Not every translation of the Bible is an accurate translation. In fact, I can say without fear of refutation that every translation of the Bible was composed from the perspective of either individual or collective beliefs that people hold that do not necessarily represent a right relationship with God.
To further corroborate this point, I could cite other translations, The New World Translation, The Queen James Bible, The Living Bible, and there are so many more. And like the King James Version which was composed by a number of scholars--approved by the king--the words on a page do not adequately reflect God’s intent for all of mankind since the words are “biased” because of man’s perception of things and how things appear to be.
This is not to discount the original text given to man in the Aramaic or Hebrew languages, but even that is biased because of gender roles that existed at that time and limited understanding of how the world works. I am not saying what was written was wrong; I’m saying it was biased because of beliefs–about a number of things.
Here’s what important to note about this verse–those who choose to live according to God’s Word as they journey through life are blessed and will experience His favor while they live.
What is God’s favor? His grace (acceptance from the Hebrew, goodwill, loving kindness, reward, favor, from the Greek)–unmerited favor–favor we could not earn, demonstrated by His love for us in coming down from heaven, taking upon Himself our sins, and choosing to hang on a cross for us, that we might be saved!
Notice that the original intent is not about a man’s ways that are blameless, but about a person’s willingness to live according to God’s Word, while journeying on their way through life. Man’s ways and on the way (journey through life) have two contextually different meanings and they should not be confused. And while I generally use the New International Version, because of the contemporary language, I must admit that contextualization is often skewed in an attempt to be more appealing than the King James Version.
In doing research over the last twenty-five years and comparing various versions of the Bible, I tend to use the one that most closely states what God reveals to me. For that reason, I use a number of translations in my studies after praying for revelation. Therefore, in all my blog posts, I have used different versions to support what God has shown to me. For I know, that what He reveals to one, He has revealed to others.
Are you blessed as you journey through life, living according to God’s Word? No matter what happens–how many fiery darts to enemy launches my way, I can still say–I am highly favored by God–and will live according to His Word.