"Though thou seem to forsake me, and threaten to forsake me, and dost, for a time, withdraw from me, yet let not the desertion be total and final; for that is hell. 73. How blessed are those whose way is blameless, Who walk in the law of the LORD. Here we have them fixed aright in David. Many think that once a week will serve, or once or twice a day, but David would praise God seven times a day at least. He dreaded the consequences of it both to the sinners themselves (and cried out, O gather not my soul with sinners! All thy commandments are truth. Life is therefore a choice mercy, because it is an opportunity of obeying God in this world, where there are so few that do glorify him; and this David had in his eye: "Not that I may live and grow rich, live and be merry, but that I may live and keep thy word, may observe it myself and transmit it to those that shall come after, which the longer I live the better I shall do.’’. David reckoned those his enemies who forgot the words of God because they were enemies to religion, which he had entered into a league with, offensive and defensive. Verse 67 David here tells us what he had experienced, 1. which--rather, "who," that is, "the proud"; "pits" is not the antecedent. See the double obligation we are under to be governed by the word of God. Or it may be taken more generally; good people are glad to see one another; they are especially pleased with those who are eminent for their hope in God’s word. 8. This intimates that they lay upon him, and that neither his greatness nor his goodness could secure him from being libelled and lampooned. Though we are not kept from affliction, yet, if we are kept from perishing in our affliction, we have no reason to say, We have cleansed our hands in vain; or, What profit is it that we have served God? He pleads the goodness of God’s judgments: "Lord, thou sittest in the throne, and thy judgments are right and good, just and kind, to those that are wronged, and therefore to thee I appeal from the unjust and unkind censures of men.’’ It is a small thing to be judged of man’s judgment, while he that judges us is the Lord. God’s judgments are all righteous, and therefore it is desirable not only to learn them, but to be learned in them, mighty in the scriptures. It is godly sorrow. 4:14 . Thus he knew of old, from the days of his youth, ever since he began to look towards God, that the word of God is what one may venture one’s all upon. 2 Blessed are they that keep his testimonies, and that seek him with the whole heart. 154. A constant adherence to the ways of God in trying times will be a good evidence of our integrity. (2.) The psalmist acknowledges the unchangeableness of the word of God and of all his counsels: "For ever, O Lord! God’s statutes were as familiar to him as the songs which a man is accustomed to sing; and he conversed with them in his pilgrimage-solitudes. We ought to meditate much and often upon the equity and the eternity of the word of God. Thus, there are 22 stanzas, each containing eight verses beginning with the same Hebrew letter. Therefore as a means of his consolation when he was in affliction and needed something to support him: "Because thy word has quickened my at other times, it has comforted me then.’’ The word of God has much in it that speaks comfort in affliction; but those only may apply it to themselves who have experienced in some measure the quickening power of the word. Heaviness in the heart of man makes it to melt, to drop away like a candle that wastes. 49-51. 6:5 . O let the days of my trouble be shortened; I am thy servant; and therefore, as the eyes of a servant are to the hand of his master, so are mine to thee, until thou have mercy on me.’’. 5:14 . That he should be free and easy in his duty: "I will walk at liberty, freed from that which is evil, not hampered with the fetters of my own corruptions, and free to that which is good, doing it not by constraint, but willingly.’’ The service of sin is perfect slavery; the service of God is perfect liberty. Reproach and contempt may humble us and do us good and then it shall be removed. He treads them all down. He cried with his whole heart; all the powers of his soul were not only engaged and employed, but exerted to the utmost, in his prayers. 2. He prays, "Be merciful to me, in the forgiveness of what I have done amiss, and in giving me grace to do better for the future.’’ 2. And his care was universal; he shunned every evil way. This is a psalm by itself, like none of the rest; it excels them all, and shines brightest in this constellation. We must never be weary of well-doing. 17:15 . CAPH. 2. By thy providence put life into my affairs, by thy grace put life into my affections; cure me of my spiritual deadness and make me lively in my devotion.’’ Note, When we find ourselves dull we must go to God and beg of him to quicken us; he has an eye to God’s word as a means of quickening (for the words which God speaks, they are spirit and they are life to those that receive them), and as an encouragement to hope that God would quicken him, having promised grace and comfort to all the saints, and to David in particular. (3.) If God would teach him, he was sure he should learn to good purpose: "I shall keep thy law, which I shall never do unless I be taught of God, and therefore I earnestly desire that I may be taught.’’ If God, by his Spirit, give us a right and good understanding, we shall be, 1. 31:1 ), so we ought to pray that God by his providence would keep vanity out of our sight and that by his grace he would keep us from being enamoured with the sight of it. Article Images Copyright © 2020 Getty Images unless otherwise indicated. A weighty question asked. 63. NASB E-Prime R.S.V. 26:19 . Its effects upon the consciences of men, both for conviction and comfort, are wonderful; and it is a sign that we are not acquainted with God’s testimonies, or do not understand them, if we do not admire them. The lamp is fed with the oil of the Spirit. The lectionary simplifies that by using only 56 verses (7 stanzas of 8 verses each)––still quite lengthy. This is following the Lord fully.15. But writing the commentary for this passage was a challenge due to the length of the psalm––176 verses in all––the longest psalm in the psalter. His tender mercies are over all his works. 90. thou hast established the earth, and it abideth--( Psalms 33:9 ). 140. very pure--literally, "refined," shown pure by trial. We cannot conceive how much good our God does every day, much less can we conceive how good he is. The best saints count this their best plea for any blessing, "Let me have it according to thy mercy;’’ for we deserve no favour from God, nor can we claim any as a debt, but we are most likely to be easy when we cast ourselves upon God’s mercy and refer ourselves to it. 1. 2. Verse 95 Here, 1. 2. This celebrated Psalm has several peculiarities. It admirably answers the end; for, (1.) 1. 132. The entrance--literally, "opening"; God's words, as an open door, let in light, or knowledge. Those who may have thought his afflictions an evidence of God's rejection will then be led to return to Him; as the friends of Job did on his restoration, having been previously led through his afflictions to doubt the reality of his religion. His pleas to enforce this petition. We should always make the word of God the governor of our discourse, so as never to transgress it by sinful speaking or sinful silence; and we should often make it the subject-matter of our discourse, that it may feed many and minister grace to the hearers. Key Verse- 119:2 Key Words- blessed, blameless, walk, law, testimonies, all their heart, ways, precepts, diligently, statutes, ashamed, commandments, thanks, judgments Ten things this passage says- I am blessed if my ways are blameless. We need not desire to be quickened any further than God’s lovingkindness will quicken us. Now God was both these to him, a hiding-place to preserve him from danger and a shield to preserve him in danger, his life from death and his soul from sin. All departure from God’s statutes is certainly an error, and will prove a fatal one. 33:25 ), As thy days so shall thy strength be.’’ (2.) yea, sweeter than honey to my mouth! God accepts only the praises of the upright. He pleads his dependence upon the word of God and his obedient regard to its directions: Quicken and deliver me according to thy word of promise, for I do not forget thy precepts. By studying and practising God’s commandments, and making them his rule, he learnt to behave himself wisely in all his ways, 1 Sa. He longs for the salvation of the Lord and for his word, that is, salvation according to the word. David had found it so, both by a work of God’s grace upon his heart (begetting in him a full persuasion of the truth of God’s word and enabling him to rely upon it with a full satisfaction) and by the works of his providence on his behalf, fulfilling the promise beyond what he expected. Consideration must end in a sound conversion. That he was inward with God in prayer; he prayed with his heart, and prayer is acceptable no further than the heart goes along with it. Now observe the characters of the happy people. He prays, 1. David, being a public person, had many enemies, but withal he had many friends, who loved him and wished him well; let him set the one over-against the other. (1.) It is a great sorrow, to such a degree that he weeps rivers of tears. It helped him to a good heart: "Therefore, because I have got understanding of the truth, I hate every false way, and am stedfastly resolved not to turn aside into it.’’ Observe here, [1.] 2. make me lively, make me cheerful; quicken me by afflictions to greater diligence in my work. The confidence of this good man in the hope of God’s salvation: "I have hoped in thy word; and I have not found it in vain to do so; it has not failed me, nor have I been disappointed in my expectations from it. He puts them all away like dross. This psalm containeth sundry prayers, praises, and professions … . Archbishop Tillotson says, It seems to have more of poetical skill and number in it than we at this distance can easily understand. God’s care of David to protect and defend him, which he comforted himself with when his enemies were very malicious against him: Thou art my hiding-place and my shield. When the eyes fail yet the faith must not; for the vision is for an appointed time, and at the end it shall speak and shall not lie. That those who stick to the word of God may in faith expect and pray for acceptance with God; for David means this when he begs, "Lord, put me not to shame; that is, never leave me to do that by which I shall shame myself, and do thou not reject my services, which will put me to the greatest confusion.’’V. . Few young people do themselves enquire by what means they may recover and preserve their purity; and therefore David asks the question for them. If God do not plead his people’s cause, who will? 159. He loved his Bible better than he loved his money—above gold, yea, above fine gold. See how the desire and prayer of a good man exactly agree with the will and command of a good God: "Thou wouldest have me keep thy precepts, and, Lord, I fain would keep them.’’ This is the will of God, even our sanctification; and it should be our will. This he did, not only as a king in making orders, and giving judgment, according to the word of God, nor only as a prophet by his psalms, but in his common discourse. The honours, pleasures, and profits of the world are the vanities, the aspect and prospect of which draw multitudes away from the paths of religion and godliness. The wretched character of wicked people. 28:9 . Be surety--Stand for me against my oppressors ( Genesis 43:9 , Isaiah 38:14 ). shield--( Psalms 3:3 , 7:10 ). 3. Wine bottles of skin used to be hung up in smoke to dry them, before the wine was put in them [MAURER]. "Lord, thou doest good to all, art the bountiful benefactor of all the creatures; this is the good I beg thou wilt do to me,—Instruct me in my duty, incline me to it, and enable me to do it. The word of God comforted him, and was his delight, more his delight than any of the pleasures either of court or camp, of city or country. Though the wicked are near to injure, because far from God's law, He is near to help, and faithful to His word, which abides for ever. They do not seek themselves and their own things, but God only; this is that which they aim at, that God may be glorified in their obedience and that they may be happy in God’s acceptance. [and] Therefore (repeated)--All its precepts, on all subjects, are estimable for their purity, and lead one imbued with their spirit to hate all evil ( Psalms 19:10 ). But David saw that the word of God answers all purposes better than money does, for it enriches the soul towards God; and therefore he loved it better than gold, for it had done that for him which gold could not do, and would stand him in stead when the wealth of the world would fail him. We then run the way of our duty, when we are ready to it, and pleasant in it, and lay aside every weight, Heb. We must praise God at every meal, praise him upon all occasions, in every thing give thanks. His love to the word of God. 5:11 . (4.) 119:121-128 Happy is the man, who, acting upon gospel principles, does justice to all around. His dread of the consequences of hypocrisy: That I be not ashamed. Psalms 119. David claims relation to God: "I am thine, devoted to thee and owned by thee, thine in covenant.’’ He does not say, Thou art mine (as Dr. Manton observes), though that follows of course, because that were a higher challenge; but, I am thine, expressing himself in a more humble and dutiful way of resignation; nor does he say, I am thus, but, I am thine, not pleading his own good property or qualification, but God’s propriety in him: "I am thine, not my own, not the world’s.’’ 2. But, besides the pleasure and honour of a conquest, there is great advantage gained by the plunder of the field, which adds much to the joy. 33:21 . It requires the heart of a good man to see his portion in the promise of God and not in the possessions of this world.II. And the surest way of keeping up our communion with God is by learning his statutes and walking intelligently in the way of his precepts. . With full consent and complacency: "I have, by the grace of God, inclined my heart to it, and conquered the aversion I had to it.’’ A good man brings his heart to his work and then it is done well. Psalm 119 - ALEPH. Psalm 119 – The Greatness and Glory of God’s Word This long psalm deserves a long introduction. Sincere desires for God's favor, penitence, and activity in a new obedience, truly evince the sincerity of those who profess to find God a portion ( Numbers 18:20 , Psalms 16:5 , Lamentations 3:24 ). 4:20 . The days of my life are but few’’ (so some); "therefore let them not all be miserable, and therefore make haste to appear for me against my enemies, before I go hence and shall be seen no more.’’ Or rather, "The days of my affliction are many; thou seest, Lord, how many they be; when wilt thou return in mercy to me? 2. Waters of a full cup are wrung out to God’s people, Ps. Sanctified afflictions humble us for sin and show us the vanity of the world; they soften the heart, and open the ear to discipline. They were very cruel, and aimed at no less than his destruction; they were very crafty, and sought all opportunities to do him a mischief; and they were confident (they expected, so some read it), that they should destroy him; they thought themselves sure of their prey. Therefore God visited him with affliction, that he might learn God’s statutes; and the intention was answered: the afflictions had contributed to the improvement of his knowledge and grace. Thus he showed how full he was of the word of God, and what a holy delight he took in his acquaintance with it; for it is out of the abundance of the heart that the mouth speaks. The great use for which the word of God was intended, to give light, that is, to give understanding, to give us to understand that which will be of use to us in our travels through this world; and it is the outward and ordinary means by which the Spirit of God enlightens the understanding of all that are sanctified. They are proud; they magnify themselves above others. In order to adhere to His word, we must seek deliverance from temptations to sin as well as from despondency. They were unjust: They persecuted him wrongfully; so far was he from giving them any provocation that he had studied to oblige them; but for his love they were his adversaries. 73:7 ); they roll themselves in the pleasures of sense, and take up with them as their chief good; and much good may it do them. 4-6. precepts--are those directions which relate to special conduct, from a word meaning "to inspect." 172. 2. 6. How he showed his love to them: He was a companion of them. have respect unto--or regard carefully as to their whole purport. 139:16 . He is safe, and therefore he is easy, under the divine protection: "I hope in thy word, which has acquainted me with thee and assured me of thy kindness to me.’’ Those who depend on God’s promise shall have the benefit of his power and be taken under his special protection. How much God’s hand was eyed in his thanksgivings. How he was kept to his duty, notwithstanding, by the fear of God: "They would make me stand in awe of them and their word, and do as they bid me; but my heart stands in awe of thy word, and I am resolved to please God, and keep in with him, whoever is displeased and falls out with me.’’ Every gracious soul stands in awe of the word of God, of the authority of its precepts and the terror of its threatenings; and to those that do so nothing appears, in the power and wrath of man, at all formidable. If our first thoughts in the morning be of God they will help to keep us in his fear all the day long. Great and good thoughts kept him awake, and refreshed him, instead of sleep; and so zealous was he for the honour of God that when others were in their beds he was upon his knees at his devotions. That was better to him, yielded him better pleasures, and better maintenance, and a better inheritance, than all the treasures he was master of. Verses 9-16 all begin with beth. We do not meditate on God’s precepts to good purpose unless we have respect to them as our rule and our good thoughts produce good works and good intentions in them. It is through much opposition that a soul comes to this, to rejoice in God’s word. It has often been the lot of those that do well to be ill-spoken of. Verse 22 Here, 1. I have chosen them, and therefore I have stuck to them.’’ Note, The choosing Christian is likely to be the steady Christian; while those that are Christians by chance tack about if the wind turn.IV. Bodily exercise profits little in religion; we must make heart-work of it or we make nothing of it. God’s word must be our guide and plea in every prayer. Verses 76-77 Here is, 1. Let us acknowledge it with admiration and with holy love and thankfulness. Their doom: Salvation is far from them. 97. 22:15 ), and his soul clave inseparably to it.II. It is not for a season that he rejoices in this light, but "I will still, I will for ever, delight myself in thy statutes, not only think of them, but do them with delight,’’ v. 16. Undefiled in the earth ( Psalms 33:9 ) this Psalm is actually written as an open door let. And rescue their company is an everlasting covenant, and that seek him with the whole heart. holy God! 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