Once again, the Psalms I recommend.
For this morning (Saturday), the 16th and 17th kathismata were appointed. The 17th kathisma is entirely comprised of Psalm 118 (119 in the protestant arrangement).
For most of my youth I avoided this particular Psalm as I thought it way too long. And looking deeper, my unease was really due to the overwhelming reference to the "Law" in every acrostic section, and in most of the verses.
As a protestant, I did not like the Law. I do not blame my protestant teachers for this, but I usually dismissed the "Law" as something made obsolete by the New Testament. I used St Paul's hard description of the Law as a "witness of death" as a support for my unease.
So when I read the constant utterance of the Law in this long Psalm, I merely assumed it was the meditation of some poor Israelite seminarian, centuries before Christ, who was bashing his head against an impossible set of expectations.
And, to be sure, if the Law is understand as a "means" of salvation (preferred, insanely, over theosis -- mainly to avoid kenosis, which the real Law legislates), then yes, the Law certainly does witness to death, and confirms the prosecutorial judgment of sin.
The Law generally becomes misunderstood (and denatured) when it is studied under the common rubrics of sola scriptura -- when it is isolated from the greater apostolic tradition of Trinity and Christology.
Under these more beautiful and expansive rubrics of exegesis, that are liberated from the scientistic chains of mere linguistic analysis, the Law of Psalm 118 is understood as all the "words" from the Word Himself. The young man who is speaking in this long Psalm is me, and it is you -- individually, and corporately. And the One to Whom we are speaking is Christ.
The Logos, Christ, articulated the Law in the Old Israel of the Old Testament: He articulates the higher, "royal law of love" in the New Israel of the New Testament. The Old is not cancelled, but is fulfilled in Christ -- as is the New Law. Outside of Christ there is no fulfillment, nor understanding.
The young man of Psalm 118 is speaking to Christ -- and the "light unto his path" is the uncreated light of Mt Tabor (and Mt Sinai).
This is how the apostolic christians read the Psalms. The Psalms grew into their memory that was completely structured by the Holy Spirit to recognize and receive Christ, as He -- the Good Shepherd -- led them all the way back to the Father in thanksgiving and praise.
As I've said before, every moment in the Gospels is predicated upon and anticipated by the Psalms. Jesus prayed the Psalms completely. So did Peter and John and all the apostles and the disciples -- Psalmody was what they were doing in the Upper Room while they waited for Pentecost: and after Pentecost, they exegeted -- with immediacy -- christologically, AND triadologically.
It used to be that bishops would recite the entire Psalmody by heart, because it was in their heart.
In these next years, it will not only be bishops who need to do that, but presbyters and seminarians.
"Thy Law ('nomos,' not 'logos') is a lamp unto my feet, and a light unto my path" (Psalm 118.105)