118 But you have rejected all who reject your laws. They are only fooling themselves.
119 The wicked are the scum you skim off and throw away; no wonder I love to obey your laws!
120 I tremble in fear of you; I fear your punishments. [The Living Bible]
Well this is a sort of theological “kick in the pants,” isn’t it. I cannot think of anything to say about these verses that I haven’t already said in prior posts on the 119th psalm. Using Lutheran lingo, this is Works Righteous in its purist form. Or alternatively, it demonstrates the “mad dog on a leash” side of the Law while completely ignoring the “holding up a mirror” side.
I have tried reading and re-reading these four verses repeatedly, looking at different translations. The only positive thing I can come up with is that the psalmist is probably being completely honest about the reason for his “love” of the Lord. He is afraid not to be. Sounds sort of like an abusive relationship, no?