"I will ponder the way that is blameless. Oh when will you come to me?" (ESV)
"I will study the way that is blameless. When shall I attain it?" (NRSV)
Several years ago, I chose the New Revised Standard Version to read during the year. None of the other translations I had read used this wording. Most translate the second sentence in a similar way to the ESV. For years, I thought David was saying "I am going to study the way to live correctly. God, when will you come to help me?" It seems the question is to what does the pronoun "you" in the ESV refer? For some time I thought it referred to God, but reading the NRSV forced me to re-examine the verse. It seems "you" is "the blameless way". I believe my first thought was wrong. It seems David is asking "When will I attain blamelessness?".
When I read this verse in the NRSV, it made me laugh because I could empathize with David. I still chuckle because I am in total agreement with David's question. I continue to study the way of the blameless, but when will I attain it?
The Hebrew word for "I will ponder" means to understand, comprehend, have insight, make wise, and to achieve success. "Blameless" is used most often in Leviticus and Numbers and is translated as "without blemish." I am sure your immediate thought was "Oh, just like the requirement of the sacrifice offered to God." You are exactly right. In those two books, this word is used approximately forty times almost always as "without blemish." Once in Leviticus 22:21, it is translated as "perfect."
Understanding what we are working to attain adds to the humor, doesn't it? David or Roy described as "without blemish" or "perfect," who would think that of either of us?
That is exactly what Ephesians 5:25-27 says about the bride of Christ. "Husbands, love your wives, as Christ loved the church and gave himself up for her, that he might sanctify her, having cleansed her by the washing of water with the word, so that he might present the church to himself in splendor, without spot or wrinkle or any such thing, that she might be holy and without blemish." Those who are in Christ Jesus fulfill the requirement demanded in Leviticus and Deuteronomy of the sacrifice offered to God. Jesus has given Himself for us. He has set us apart for Himself and cleansed us by the washing of His word. He has done this amazing thing so that He may present the Church to Himself in splendor!
So you might ask "Since I am perfect in Christ, all that is left for me to do is wait to be presented, right?" No, just like David stated "I will ponder," we too must ponder to understand, comprehend, have insight, be wise, and to achieve success.
Paul says it this way in 2 Timothy 2:15, "Do your best to present yourself to God as one approved, a worker who has no need to be ashamed, rightly handling the word of truth."
Thank you for reading and studying God's truths with me this year. I pray you are daily being washed in His Word. My desire for myself and you is that 2 Timothy 2:15 would be true of us.
Christ Jesus, thank You for Your perfection. We are unworthy of such a gift, but we want to do everything we are capable of to present ourselves to the Father as those who are not ashamed. We want to not only know Your word but to use it correctly in governing our lives and in speaking Your truth to others.