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C. H. Spurgeon :: Psalm 119 Verses 41-48

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Psalm 119 Verse 41-48


EXPOSITION VERSE 41

In these verses holy fear is apparent and prominent. The man of God trembles lest in any way or degree the Lord should remove his favour from him. The eight verses are one continued pleading for the abiding of grace in his soul, and it is supported by such holy arguments as would only suggest themselves to a spirit burning with love to God.

Verse 41.—"Let thy mercies come also unto me, O LORD" He desires mercy as well as teaching, for he was guilty as well as ignorant. He needed much mercy and varied mercy, hence the request is in the plural. He needed mercy from God rather than from man, and so he asks for "thy mercies." The way sometimes seemed blocked, and therefore he begs that the mercies may have their way cleared by God, and may "come" to him. He who said, "Let there be light," can also say, "Let there be mercy." It may be that under a sense of unworthiness the writer feared lest mercy should be given to others, and not to himself; he therefore cries, "Bless me, even me also, O my Father." Viewed in this light the words are tantamount to our well known verse

Lord, I hear of showers of blessing
Thou art scattering, full and free;
Showers, the thirsty land refreshing;
Let some droppings fall on me,
Even me.

Elizabeth Codner, 1860.

Lord, thine enemies come to me to reproach me, let thy mercies come to defend me; trials and troubles abound, and labours and sufferings not a few approach me; Lord, let thy mercies in great number enter by the same gate, and at the same hour; for art thou not the God of my mercy?

"Even thy salvation." This is the sum and crown of all mercies—deliverance from all evil, both now and for ever. Here is the first mention of salvation in the Psalm, and it is joined with mercy: "By grace are ye saved"…Salvation is styled "thy salvation," thus ascribing it wholly to the Lord: "He that is our God is the God of salvation." What a mass of mercies are heaped together in the one salvation of our Lord Jesus! It includes the mercies which spare us before our conversion, and lead up to it. Then comes calling mercy, regenerating mercy, converting mercy, justifying mercy, pardoning mercy. Nor can we exclude from complete salvation any of those many mercies which are needed to conduct the believer safe to glory. Salvation is an aggregate of mercies incalculable in number, priceless in value, incessant in application, eternal in endurance. To the God of our mercies be glory, world without end.

"According to thy word." The way of salvation is described in the word, salvation itself is promised in the word, and its inward manifestation is wrought by the word; so that in all respects the salvation which is in Christ Jesus is in accordance with the word. David loved the Scriptures, but he longed experimentally to know the salvation contained in them: he was not satisfied to read the word, he longed to experience its inner sense. He valued the field of Scripture for the sake of the treasure which he had discovered in it. He was not to be contented with chapter and verse, he wanted mercies and salvation.

Note that in the first verse of HE (Psa 119:33) the Psalmist prayed to be taught to keep God's word, and here in VAU he begs the Lord to keep his word. In the first case he longed to come to the God of mercies, and here he would have the Lord's mercies come to him: there he sought grace to persevere in faith, and here he seeks the end of his faith, even the salvation of the soul.

EXPLANATORY NOTES AND QUAINT SAYINGS

Verses 41-48.—This commences a new portion of the Psalm, in which each verse begins with the letter Vau, or v. There are almost no words in Hebrew that begin with this letter, which is properly a conjunction, and hence in each of the verses in this section the beginning of the verse is in the original a conjunction—vau.

Albert Barnes.

Verses 41-48.—This whole section consists of petitions and promises. The petitions are two; Psa 119:41, 43. The promises are six. This, among many, is a difference between godly men and others: all men seek good things from God, but the wicked so seek that they give him nothing back again, nor yet will promise any sort of return. Their prayers must be unprofitable, because they proceed from love of themselves, and not of the Lord. If so be they obtain that which is for their necessity, they care not to give to the Lord that which is for his glory: but the godly, as they seek good things, so they give praise to God when they have gotten them, and return the use of things received, to the glory of God who gave them. They love not themselves for themselves, but for the Lord; what they seek from him they seek it for this end, that they may be the more able to serve him. Let us take heed unto this; because it is a clear token whereby such as are truly religious are distinguished from counterfeit dissemblers.

William Cowper.

Verse 41.—"Let thy mercies come also unto me" The way was blocked up with sins and difficulties, yet mercy could clear all, and find access to him, or make its own way: "Let it come," that is, let it be performed or come to pass, as it is rendered: "Now let thy words come to pass" (Jdg 13:12)—Hebrew, "Let it come." Here we read, let it come home to me, for my comfort and deliverance. David elsewhere saith, "Goodness and mercy shall follow me all the days of my life" (Psa 23:6); go after him, find him out in his wanderings. So, "What shall I render to the Lord for all his benefits toward me?" (Psa 116:12). They found their way to him though shut up with sins and dangers.

Thomas Manton.

Verse 41.—"Let thy mercies come also unto me, O Lord." The mercies of God everywhere meet the man whom God quickens (Psa 119:40). David understood that God blesses the soul, the body, the household, the ordinances, and all things else that belong to his servants; the whole of which blessing is from mercy, without merit, bestowed largely, wonderfully, etc.

Martin Geier.

Verse 41.—"Let thy mercies come also unto me, O LORD," etc. Ministers of the Word and students of Theology are reminded by this prayer that they ought not only to preach to others the true way of attaining everlasting salvation, but that they should also with earnest prayers cry unto God that they might themselves be made partakers of the Divine mercies, and receive "the end of their faith, the salvation of their souls." Paul, indeed, was greatly anxious respecting this matter, and was constrained to write, that he kept his body under, and brought it into subjection, lest after preaching to others he should himself be a castaway.

Solomon Gesner.

Verse 41.—"Thy mercies. Thy word." We should consider here the way in which the Prophet seeks salvation from God. In this prayer he conjoins two things, as those which uphold his confidence, viz., the mercy of God and his Word. These are to the man of faith the two strongest pillars of his hope.

Wolfgang Musculus.

Verse 41.—"Even thy salvation," etc. It is not any sort of delivery by any means, which the servant of God being in straits doth call for, or desire, but such a deliverance as God will allow, and be pleased to give in a holy way. "Let thy salvation come." As the word of promise is the rule of our petition, so is it a pawn of the thing promised, and must be held fast till the performance come: "Let thy mercies come also unto me, O LORD, even thy salvation, according to thy word:" and this is one reason of the petition.

David Dickson.

HINTS TO PREACHERS

Verses 41-48.—Promised mercies.

Desired (Psa 119:41),

as an answer to "him that reproacheth" (Psa 119:42-43);

as a means of faithfulness (Psa 119:44);

liberty (Psa 119:45);

boldness (Psa 119:46);

delight (Psa 119:47), and

eager longing (Psa 119:48).

Outlines Upon Keywords of the Psalm, by Pastor C. A. Davis.

Verse 41.

—See "Spurgeon's Sermons," No. 1524; "Your Personal Salvation."

Verse 41.

1. God's mercies come to us unsought continually. His sparing mercies, temporal mercies, etc.

2. The chief outcome of God's mercies is his salvation. It is our greatest need; it is his greatest gift.

3. We should have a personal interest in this salvation: "Let thy mercies come also unto me."

4. When we seek God's salvation, we may plead his promise: "according to thy word.'

Horatio Wilkins, of Cheltenham, 1882.

Verse 41.—Even me.

1. In me there is need of mercy.

2. To me mercy can come.

3. Thy salvation suits me.

4. Special difficulties would daunt me.

5. Thy word encourages me.

Verse 41.

1. Salvation is all of mercy.

2. All mercies are in salvation.

3. All men should be anxious for salvation to come to them.

4. It can only come according to God's word.

W.W.

Verses 41-43.—A Comprehensive Prayer.

1. The possession of salvation, Psa 119:41.

2. Is the power for defence: Psa 119:42.

3. And the qualification for usefulness: Psa 119:43.

C. A. D.

EXPOSITION VERSE 42

Verse 42.—"So shall I have wherewith to answer him that reproacheth me." This is an unanswerable answer. When God, by granting us salvation, gives to our prayers an answer of peace, we are ready at once to answer the objections of the infidel, the quibbles of the sceptical, and the sneers of the contemptuous. It is most desirable that revilers should be answered, and hence we may expect the Lord to save his people in order that a weapon may be put into their hands with which to rout his adversaries. When those who reproach us are also reproaching God, we may ask him to help us to silence them by sure proofs of his mercy and faithfulness.

"For I trust in thy word." His faith was seen by his being trustful while under trial, and he pleads it as a reason why he should be helped to beat back reproaches by a happy experience. Faith is our argument when we seek mercies and salvation; faith in the Lord who has spoken to us in his word. "I trust in thy word" is a declaration more worth the making than any other; for he who can truly make it has received power to become a child of God, and so to be the heir of unnumbered mercies. God hath more respect to a man's trust than to all else that is in him; for the Lord hath chosen faith to be the hand into which he will place his mercies and his salvation. If any reproach us for trusting in God, we reply to them with arguments the most conclusive when we show that God has kept his promises, heard our prayers, and supplied our needs. Even the most sceptical are forced to bow before the logic of facts.

In this second verse of this eight the Psalmist makes a confession of faith, and a declaration of his belief and experience. Note that he does the same in the corresponding verses of the sections which follow. See Psa 119:50, "Thy word hath quickened me;" Psa 119:58, "I entreated thy favour;" Psa 119:66, "I have believed thy commandments;" Psa 119:74, "I have hoped in thy word." A wise preacher might find in these a series of experimental discourses.

EXPLANATORY NOTES AND QUAINT SAYINGS

Verse 42.—"So shall I have," etc. I shall have something by which I may reply to those who calumniate me. So the Saviour replied to the suggestions of the tempter almost wholly by passages of Scripture (Mat 4:4, 7, 10); and so, in many cases, the best answer that can be given to reproaches on the subject of religion will be found in the very words of Scripture. A man of little learning, except that which he has derived from the Bible, may often thus silence the cavils and reproaches of the learned sceptic; a man of simple hearted, pure piety, with no weapon but the word of God, may often thus be better armed than if he had all the arguments of the schools at his command. Comp. Eph 6:17.

Albert Barnes.

Verse 42.—"So shall I have wherewith to answer," etc. When the heart realizes assured salvation, it is supplied with abundant answers to those who sneer at the delights of faith.

Henry Law.

Verse 42.—"So shall I have wherewith to answer," etc. Hugo Cardinalis observeth that there are three sorts of blasphemers of the godly,—the devils, heretics, and slanderers. The devil must be answered by the internal word of humility; heretics by the external word of wisdom; slanderers by the active word of a good life.

Richard Greenham.

Verse 42.—"So shall I have," etc. For I should give them a short answer, and a true one,—that I trust in thy word; I put my confidence in thee, who canst make good thy promises, because thou art omnipotent; and wilt, because thou art merciful.

William Nicholson.

Verse 42.—"So shall I have wherewith to answer," etc. This follows the phrase, "according to thy word." Christians should learn from the example of David what to oppose to the reproaches and false accusations of the enemies of the truth. Nothing is done by railing; but weapons should be taken from the word of God; and these are strong through faith in God for the overturning of both the Devil himself and his instruments. For truly with weapons of this kind the Saviour himself discomfited Satan in the wilderness (Mat 4:1-11); and Paul (Eph 6:10-18) puts on himself, and commends to the Christian soldier, the girdle of Divine truth, the breastplate of righteousness, the shoes of the Gospel, the shield of faith, and the sword of the Spirit, which is the Word of God.

Solomon Gessler.

Verse 42.—"Wherewith to answer," etc. It is not forbidden to believers, modestly and fully, to answer those that reproach them, and to rebut the lie. See Pro 26:5; Pro 27:11. But to be able to answer them is received as a blessing from God.<.p>

Martin Geier.

Verses 42-43.—In Psa 119:42 there is a play upon the two senses of the term "word," thus: "and I will answer my revilers a word, for I have trusted in thy word." Having trusted in thy word of promise, I shall have a word of reply to make to them when thou shalt graciously hear this prayer. "Take not thy word of truth" (i.e., of promise) "out of my mouth;" let me have it still to speak of before my enemies and to rest upon for my own soul. If God were to fail in fulfilling his word of promise, it would, in the sense here contemplated, be quite taken out of his mouth.

Henry Cowles.

HINTS TO PREACHERS

Verse 42.—Faith's answer to reproach found in the fact that she trusts God's word.

Verses 42-43, 47.—Faith, hope, and love.

"I trust."

"I have hoped."

"I have loved."

Faith warring, hope testifying, love obeying.

EXPOSITION VERSE 43

Verse 43.—"And take not the word of truth utterly out of my mouth." Do not prevent my pleading for thee by leaving me without deliverance; for how could I continue to proclaim thy word if I found it fail me? such would seem to be the run of the meaning. The word of truth cannot be a joy to our mouths unless we have an experience of it in our lives, and it may be wise for us to be silent if we cannot support our testimonies by the verdict of our consciousness. This prayer may also refer to other modes by which we may be disabled from speaking in the name of the Lord: as, for instance, by our falling into open sin, by our becoming depressed and despairing, by our labouring under sickness or mental aberration, by our finding no door of utterance, or meeting with no willing audience. He who has once preached the gospel from his heart is filled with horror at the idea of being put out of the ministry; he will crave to be allowed a little share in the holy testimony, and will reckon his dumb Sabbaths to be days of banishment and punishment.

"For I have hoped in thy judgments."—He had expected God to appear and vindicate his cause, that so he might speak with confidence concerning his faithfulness. God is the author of our hopes, and we may most fittingly entreat him to fulfil them. The judgments of his providence are the outcome of his word; what he says in the Scriptures he actually performs in his government; we may therefore look for him to show himself strong on the behalf of his own threatenings and promises, and we shall not look in vain.

God's ministers are sometimes silenced through the sins of their people, and it becomes them to plead against such a judgment; better far that they should suffer sickness or poverty than that the candle of the gospel should be put out among them, and that thus they should be left to perish without remedy. The Lord save us, who are his ministers, from being made the instruments of inflicting such a penalty. Let us exhibit a cheerful hopefulness in God, that we may plead it in prayer with him when he threatens to close our lips.

In the close of this verse there is a declaration of what the Psalmist had done in reference to the word of the Lord, and in this the thirds of the octaves are often alike. See Psa 119:35, "therein do I delight;" Psa 119:43, "I have hoped in thy judgments;" Psa 119:51, "yet have I not declined from thy law;" Psa 119:59, "I turned my feet to thy testimonies;" and Psa 119:67, 83, 99, etc. These verses would furnish an admirable series of meditations.

EXPLANATORY NOTES AND QUAINT SAYINGS

Verse 43.—"Take not the word of truth," etc. It is well known that men do, when persecution threatens, either altogether deny the truth, or weakly and lukewarmly confess it; but lest this should happen to him, David therefore prays here, "O Lord, take not the word of truth utterly out of my mouth," i.e., make me, with an intrepid spirit, always to confess the avowed truth boldly and manfully. In the Hebrew text it is עִדמִאֹד, "very," "very much" or, as Augustine renders it, "wholly and altogether;" and he thinks that David prayed for this, that, if through human weakness it should happen to him to fall, and at some time or other not steadfastly to confess the word, yet that God would not allow him to continue in that sin, but again restore and establish him; and he illustrates this by the example of Peter. Further, David adds the reason which has impelled him thus to pray: "Because I hope for," and even with great desire, as the Hebrew verb יָחַל signifies, "thy judgments," with which in the last day thou wilt openly pass sentence on heretics, fanatics, and all tyrants.

Solomon Gesner.

Verse 43.—"Take not the word of truth utterly out of my mouth." The word is taken out of the mouth, when it is said to the sinner, "Wherefore dost thou declare thy statutes?" And eloquence itself becomes dumb if the conscience be evil. The birds of heaven come and take the word out of thy mouth, even as they took the seed of the word from off the rock lest it should bring forth fruit.

Ambrose.

Verse 43.—The word is also taken out of our mouth when in strong temptations all things, as it were, fail, neither can we discover where we may make a stand: Psa 69:2.

Martin Geier.

Verse 43.—"Take not the word of truth utterly out of my mouth." Sometimes we are afraid to speak for the Saviour, lest we should incur the charge of hypocrisy. At other times we are ashamed to speak, from the absence of that only constraining principle—"the love of Christ." And thus "the word of truth is taken out of our mouths." Often have we wanted a word to speak for the relief of the Lord's tempted people, and have not been able to find it; so that the recollection of precious lost opportunities may well give utterance to the prayer—"Take not the word of truth utterly out of my mouth." Not only do not take it out of my heart; but let it be ready in my mouth for a confession of my Master. Some of us know the painful trial of the indulgence of worldly habits and conversation, when a want of liberty of spirit has hindered us from standing up boldly for our God. We may perhaps allege the plea of bashfulness or judicious caution in excuse for silence; which however, in many instances, we must regard as a self deceptive covering for the real cause of restraint—the want of apprehension of the mercy of God to the soul.

Charles Bridges.

Verse 43.—"Take not the word of truth utterly out of my mouth." Oh, what service can a dumb body do in Christ's house! Oh, I think the word of God is imprisoned also! Oh, I am a dry tree! Alas, I can neither plant nor water! Oh, if my Lord would make but dung of me, to fatten and make fertile his own corn ridges in Mount Zion! Oh, if I might but speak to three or four herd boys of my worthy Master, I would be satisfied to be the meanest and most obscure of all the pastors in this land, and to live in any place, in any of Christ's basest out houses! But he saith, "Sirrah, I will not send you; I have no errands for you there away." My desire to serve him is sick of jealousy, lest he be unwilling to employ me… I am very well every way, all praise to him in whose books I must stand for ever as his debtor! Only my silence pains me. I had one joy out of heaven, next to Christ my Lord, and that was to preach him to this faithless generation; and they have taken that from me. It was to me as the poor man's one eye, and they have put out that eye.

Samuel Rutherford.

Verse 43.—"For I have hoped in thy judgments," the word משפמם, judgment, signifieth either the law, or the execution of the sentence thereof.

1. The law or whole word of God; so that, "I have hoped in thy judgments," is no more, but in thy word do I hope; as it is, "I wait for the Lord, my soul doth wait, and in his word do I hope" (Psa 130:5).

2. Answerable execution of the law, when the promise or threatening is fulfilled.

(1) When the promise is fulfilled: that is judgment in a sense when God accomplishes what he has promised for our salvation and deliverance. Thus God is said to judge his people, when he righteth and sayeth to them according to his word: "O Lord, thou hast seen my wrong: judge thou my cause" (Lam 3:59).

(2) But the more usual notion of judgment is the execution of the threatening on wicked men; which being a benefit to God's faithful servants, and done in their favour, David might well be said to hope for it. Their "judgment" is our obtaining the promise.

Thomas Manton.

Verses 43-44. Lord, let me have the word of truthin "my mouth" that I may commit that sacred depositum to the rising generation (2Ti 2:22), and by them it may be transmitted to succeeding ages; so shall "thy law" be kept "for ever and ever," i.e., from one generation to another, according to that promise (Isa 59:21): "My words in thy mouth shall not depart out of the mouth of thy seed, nor out of the mouth of thy seed's seed."

Matthew Henry.

HINTS TO PREACHERS

Verse 43.—How the true preacher could be silenced, and his plea that he may not be so.

EXPOSITION VERSE 44

Verse 44.—"So shall I keep thy law continually for ever and ever." Nothing more effectually binds a man to the way of the Lord than an experience of the truth of his word, embodied in the form of mercies and deliverances. Not only does the Lord's faithfulness open our mouths against his adversaries, but it also knits our hearts to his fear, and makes our union with him more and more intense. Great mercies lead us to feel an inexpressible gratitude which, falling to utter itself in time, promises to engross eternity with praises. To a heart on flame with thankfulness, the "always, unto eternity and perpetuity," of the text will not seem to be redundant; yea, the hyperbole of Addison in his famous verse will only appear to be solid sense:—

Through all eternity to thee
A joyful song I will raise;
But oh! eternity's too short
To utter all thy praise.

Addison.

God's grace alone can enable us to keep his commandments without break and without end; eternal love must grant us eternal life, and out of this will come everlasting obedience. There is no other way to ensure our perseverance in holiness but by the word of truth abiding in us, as David prayed it might abide with him.

The verse begins with "So," as did Psa 119:42. When God grants his salvation we are so favoured that we silence our worst enemy and glorify our best friend. Mercy answereth all things. If God doth but give us salvation we can conquer hell and commune with heaven, answering reproaches and keeping the law, and that to the end, world without end.

We may not overlook another sense which suggests itself here. David prayed that the word of truth might not be taken out of his mouth, and so would he keep God's law: that is to say, by public testimony as well as by personal life, he would fulfil the divine will, and confirm the bonds which bound him to his Lord for ever. Undoubtedly the grace which enables us to bear witness with the mouth is a great help to ourselves as well as to others: we feel that the vows of the Lord are upon us, and that we cannot run back.

EXPLANATORY NOTES AND QUAINT SAYINGS

Verse 44.—"So shall I keep thy law continually," etc. The Lord's keeping our heart in faith, and our mouth and outward man in the course of confession and obedience, is the cause of our perseverance.

David Dickson.

Verse 44.—"So shall I keep." Mark, the promise of obedience is brought in by way of argument; "So shall I keep," "so," that is, this will encourage me, this will enable me.

First, The granting of his requests would give him encouragement: when God answers our hope and expectation, gratitude should excite and quicken us to give all manner of obedience. If he will give us a heart, and a little liberty to confess his name, and serve him, we should not be backward or uncertain, but walk closely with him.

Secondly, This would give him assistance and strength. If God do daily give assistance, we shall stand; if not, we fall and falter; this will be a means of his perseverance, not only to engage and oblige him, but to help him to hold on to the end.

Then mark the consistency of this obedience, "Continually, and for ever and ever." David would not keep it for a fit, or for a few days, or a year, but always, even to the end of his life. Here are three words to the same sense: "continually," "for ever," "and ever." And the Septuagint expresses it thus: "I shall keep thy law always, and for ever, and for ever, and ever;" four words there. This heaping of words is not in vain.

1. It shows the difficulty of perseverance: unless believers do strongly persist in the resistance of temptation, they will soon be turned out of the way; therefore David binds his heart firmly: we must do it now, yea, always, unto the end.

2. He expresses his vehemence of affection: those that are deeply affected with anything are wont to express themselves as largely as they can. As Paul, who had a deep sense of God's power: "Exceeding greatness of his power, according to the working of his mighty power" (Eph 1:19). He heaps up several words, because his sense of them was so great: so David here doth heap up words—"continually, and for ever, and ever, and ever."

3. Some think the words are so many, that they may express not only this life, but that which is to come. I will keep them continually, and for ever, and ever; that is, all the days of my life, and in the other world. So Chrysostom, "I will keep them continually," etc., points out the other life, where there will be pure and exact keeping of the law of God. Here we are every hour in danger, but then we shall be put out of all danger, and without fear of sinning, we shall remain in a full and perfect righteousness; we hope for that which we have not attained unto, and this doth encourage us for the present: so would he make David express himself.

4. If we must distinguish these words, I suppose they imply the continuity and perpetuity of obedience; the continuity of obedience, that he would serve God continually, without intermission; and the perpetuity of obedience, that he would serve God for ever and ever, without defection or revolt, at all times, and to the end. Constancy and perseverance in obedience is the commendation of it.

Thomas Manton.

Verse 44.—"So shall I keep thy law continually." That is, if thou wilt not take the word of thy truth out of my mouth, "I will alway keep thy law." "Yea, unto age, and age of age:" he showeth what is meant by alway. For sometimes by "alway" is meant, as long as we live here; but this is not, "unto age, and age of age." For it is better thus translated than as some copies have, "to eternity, and to age of age," since they could not say, and to eternity of eternity. That law therefore should be understood, of which the apostle saith, "Love is the fulfilling of the law." For this will be kept by the saints, from whose mouth the word of truth is not taken, that is, by the church of Christ herself, not only during this world, that is, until this world is ended; but for another world which is styled world without end. For we shall not there receive the commandments of the law, as here, to keep them, but we shall keep the fulness of the law itself without any fear of sinning; for we shall love God the more fully when we shall have seen him; and our neighbour too; for "God will be all in all;" nor will there be room for any false suspicion concerning our neighbour, where no man will be hidden to any.

Augustine.

Verse 44.—"Continually, for ever and ever." The language of this verse is very emphatic. Perfect obedience will constitute a large proportion of heavenly happiness to all eternity; and the nearer we approach to it on earth, the more we anticipate the felicity of heaven.

Note in Bagster's Comprehensive Bible.

HINTS TO THE VILLAGE PREACHER.

Verse 44.—The perpetuity of gracious living.

On what it is conditioned: "So."

How entirely it is consistent with free agency: "I keep."

How continuous it is, and how eternal.

Verse 44.—Heaven begun below.

1. The present life of the believer—keeping God's law.

2. The continual care of the believer—to keep God's law.

3. The eternal prospect of the believer—keeping God's law for ever and ever.

C. A. D.

EXPOSITION VERSE 45

Verse 45.—"And I will walk at liberty: for I seek thy precepts." Saints find no bondage in sanctity. The Spirit of holiness is a free spirit; he sets men at liberty and enables them to resist every effort to bring them under subjection. The way of holiness is not a track for slaves, but the King's highway for freemen, who are joyfully journeying from the Egypt of bondage to the Canaan of rest. God's mercies and his salvation, by teaching us to love the precepts of the word, set us at a happy rest; and the more we seek after the perfection of our obedience the more shall we enjoy complete emancipation from every form of spiritual slavery. David at one time of his life was in great bondage through having followed a crooked policy. He deceived Achish so persistently that he was driven to acts of ferocity to conceal it, and must have felt very unhappy in his unnatural position as an ally of Philistines, and captain of the body guard of their king. He must have feared lest through his falling into the crooked ways of falsehood the truth would no longer be on his tongue, and he therefore prayed God in some way to work his deliverance, and set him at liberty from such slavery. By terrible things in righteousness did the Lord answer him at Ziklag: the snare was broken, and he escaped.

The verse is united to that which goes before, for it begins with the word "And," which acts as a hook to attach it to the preceding verses. It mentions another of the benefits expected from the coming of mercies from God. The man of God had mentioned the silencing of his enemies (Psa 119:42), power to proceed in testimony (Psa 119:43), and perseverance in holiness; now he dwells upon liberty, which next to life is dearest to all brave men. He says, "I shall walk," indicating his daily progress through life; "at liberty," as one who is out of prison, unimpeded by adversaries, unencumbered by burdens, unshackled, allowed a wide range, and roaming without fear. Such liberty would be dangerous if a man were seeking himself or his own lusts; but when the one object sought after is the will of God, there can be no need to restrain the searcher. We need not circumscribe the man who can say, "I seek thy precepts." Observe, in the preceding verse he said he would keep the law; but here he speaks of seeking it. Does he not mean that he will obey what he knows, and endeavour to know more? Is not this the way to the highest form of liberty,—to be always labouring to know the mind of God and to be conformed to it? Those who keep the law are sure to seek it, and bestir themselves to keep it more and more.

EXPLANATORY NOTES AND QUAINT SAYINGS

Verse 45.—"I will walk at liberty." Wherever God pardons sin, he subdues it (Mic 7:19). Then is the condemning power of sin taken away, when the commanding power of it is taken away. If a malefactor be in prison, how shall he know that his prince hath pardoned him? If a jailer come and knock off his chains and fetters, and lets him out of prison, then he may know he is pardoned: so, how shall we know God hath pardoned us? If the fetters of sin be broken off, and we walk at liberty in the ways of God, this is a blessed sign we are pardoned.

Thomas Watson.

Verse 45.—"I will walk at liberty: for I seek thy precepts." who departs from confessing of God's truth doth cast himself in straits, in danger and bonds; so he that beareth out the confession of the truth doth walk as a free man; the truth doth set him free.

David Dickson.

Verse 45.—"I will walk at liberty: for I seek thy precepts." Bible says that a man led by the Spirit is not under the law, it does not mean that he is free because he may sin without being punished for it; but it means that he is free because being taught by God's Spirit to love what his law commands he is no longer conscious of acting from restraint. The law does not drive him, because the Spirit leads him… There is a state, brethren, when we recognize God, but do not love God in Christ. It is that state when we admire what is excellent, but are not able to perform it. It is a state when the love of good comes to nothing, dying away in a mere desire. That is a state of nature, when we are under the law, and not converted to the love of Christ. And then there is another state, when God writes his law upon our hearts by love instead of fear. The one state is this, "I cannot do the things that I would;" the other state is this, "I will walk at liberty, for I seek thy commandments."

Frederick William Robertson, 1816-1853.

Verse 45.—"I will walk at liberty." 's mind takes in the enlargement of his position. A little while ago, and he felt like a man straitened—hemmed in by rocks, in a narrow dangerous pass who could not make his way out. You know the characteristics of Canaan, and you can easily conceive of the position of a traveller exploring his dreaded way through one of the mountain passes. The traveller before us has attained to tread upon secure ground. Now, all at once, favoured of the Most High, and conscious of being in his way, he finds himself in a spacious place, and he walks at large: "And I will walk at liberty; for I seek thy precepts." He had made diligent enquiry into all that the Lord had enjoined, and seeking conformity thereto, he felt that he could walk with comfort. He recreates himself in his spiritual emancipation. The secret evil doer of fair profession cannot know this spiritual liberty at all. As long as a man finds himself to be wrong, and especially a man of a tender conscience, he feels hampered on all sides, depressed in mind, and evilly circumstanced. To what expansion of mind does a man awake when he becomes conscious of being in the appointed way of God! And he is actually at liberty; for the good providence of God is around him, and his grace supports him.

John Stephen.

Verse 45.—He who goes the beaten and right path will have no brambles hit him across the eyes.

Saxon proverb.

Verse 45.—Five things David promises himself here in the strength of God's grace.

1. That he should be free and easy in his duty: "I will walk at liberty:" that which is evil, not hampered with the fetters of my own corruptions, and free to that which is good.

2. That he should be bold and courageous in his duty: "I will speak of thy testimonies before kings."

3. That he should be cheerful and pleasant in his duty: "I will delight myself in thy commandments," with them, in forming to them.

4. That he should be diligent and vigorous in his duty: "I will lift up my hands unto thy commandments;" not only a vehement desire towards them, but a close application of mind to the observance of them.

5. That he should be thoughtful and considerate in his duty: "I will meditate in thy statutes."

Matthew Henry.

Verses 45-48.—In these four verses he explains, seriatim, in what the observance of the law consists; a thing he promised, when he said in fourth verse of this division, that he would observe God's law in his words, in his mind, and in his acts; and the prophet seems all once, as having been heard, to have changed his mode of speaking, for says, "And I walked at large." When God's mercy visited me, I did walk in the narrow ways of fear, but in the wide one of love; that is to say, observed the law willingly, joyfully, with all the affections of my heart, "because I have sought after thy commandments" as a thing of great and most important to come at; "and I spoke" openly and fearlessly on the justice of his most holy law, even "before kings, and I was not ashamed" and I constantly turned the law in my mind, and made its mysteries the subject of my meditation, "and I lifted up my hands," to carry out his high and sublime commands; that is, his extremely perfect and arduous commands. Finally, in all manner of ways, in heart, mind, word, and "I was exercised in thy justifications."

Robert Bellarmine.

HINTS TO THE VILLAGE PREACHER.

Verses 45-47.

Liberty of walk.

Liberty of speech.

Liberty of heart.

Verses 45-48.—The true freeman enjoys—

1. Free walk with God.

2. Free talk about God.

3. Free love unto God.

4. Free exercise, of soul,

(a) in holy practice;

(b) in heavenly meditation.

W. Durban.

Verses 45-48.—Five things the Psalmist promises himself here in the strength of God's grace.

1. That he should be free and easy in his duty: "I will walk at liberty."

2. That he should be bold and courageous in his duty: "I will speak of thy testimonies also before kings."

3. That he should be cheerful and pleasant in his duty: "I will delight myself in thy commandments."

4. That he should be diligent and vigorous in his duty: "I will delight myself in thy commandments."

5. That he should be thoughtful and considerate in his duty: "I will meditate in thy statutes."

M. Henry.

EXPOSITION VERSE 46

Verse 46.—"I will speak of thy testimonies also before kings, and will not be ashamed." This is part of his liberty; he is free from fear of the greatest, proudest, and most tyrannical of men. David was called to stand before kings when he was an exile; and afterwards, when he was himself a monarch, he knew the tendency of men to sacrifice their religion to pomp and statecraft; but it was his resolve to do nothing of the kind. He would sanctify politics, and make cabinets know that the Lord alone is governor among the nations. As a king he would speak to kings concerning the King of kings. He says, "I will speak:" prudence might have suggested that his life and conduct would be enough, and that it would be better not to touch upon religion in the presence of royal personages who worshipped other gods, and claimed to be right in so doing. He had already most fittingly preceded this resolve by the declaration, "I will walk," but he does not make his personal conduct an excuse for sinful silence, for he adds, "I will speak." David claimed religious liberty, and took care to use it, for he spoke out what he believed, even when he was in the highest company. In what he said he took care to keep to God's own word, for he says, "I will speak of thy testimonies." No theme is like this, and there is no way of handling that theme like keeping close to the book, and using its thought and language. The great hindrance to our speaking upon holy topics in all companies is shame, but the Psalmist will "not be ashamed;" there is nothing to be ashamed of, and there is no excuse for being ashamed, and yet many are as quiet as the dead for fear some creature like themselves should be offended. When God gives grace, cowardice soon vanishes. He who speaks for God in God's power, will not be ashamed when beginning to speak, nor while speaking, nor after speaking; for his theme is one which is fit for kings, needful to kings, and beneficial to kings. If kings object, we may well be ashamed of them, but never of our Master who sent us, or of his message, or of his design in sending it.

EXPLANATORY NOTES AND QUAINT SAYINGS

Verse 46.—"I will speak of thy testimonies also before kings." In words he seems to believe that he is in possession of that which he formerly prayed for. He had said, "Take not the word of truth out of my mouth," and now, as if he had obtained what he requested, he rises up, and maintains that he would not be dumb, even were he called upon to speak in presence of kings. He affirms that he would willingly stand forward vindication of the glory of God in the face of the whole world.

John Calvin.

Verse 46.—"I will speak of thy testimonies also before kings." The terror of kings and of men in power is an ordinary hindrance of free confession God's truth in time of persecution; but faith in the truth sustained in heart by God is able to bring forth a confession at all hazards.

David Dickson.

Verse 46.—"I will speak of thy testimonies also before kings." Before he came to the crown kings were sometimes his judges, as Saul and Achish: but if he were called before them to give a reason of the hope that was in him, he would speak of God's testimonies, and profess to build his hope upon them, and make them his council, his guard, his crown, his all. We must never be afraid to own our religion, though it should expose us to the wrath of kings, but speak of it as that which we will live and die by, like the three children before Nebuchadnezzar, Dan 3:16; Act 4:20. After David came to the crown kings were sometimes his companions, they visited him, and he returned their visits; but he did not, in complaisance to them, talk of everything but religion for fear of affronting them, and making his converse uneasy to them: no, God's testimonies shall be the principal subject of his discourse with the kings, not only to show that he was not ashamed of his religion, but to instruct them in it, and bring them over to it. It is good for kings to hear of God's testimonies, and it will adorn the conversation of princes themselves to speak of them.

Matthew Henry.

Verse 46.—"I will speak of thy testimonies also before kings." Men of greatest holiness have been men of greatest boldness; witness Nehemiah, the three children, Daniel, and all the holy prophets and apostles: Pro 23:1, "The wicked flee when no man pursueth: but the righteous are bold as a lion," yea, as a young lion, as the Hebrew has it, one that is in his hot blood and fears no colours, and that is more bold than any others. Holiness made Daniel not only as bold as a lion, but also to daunt the lions with his boldness. Luther was a man of great holiness, and a man of great boldness: witness his standing out against all the world; and when the emperor sent for him to Worms, and his friends dissuaded him from going, as sometimes Paul's did him, "Go," said he, "I will surely go, since I am sent for, in the name of our Lord Jesus Christ; yea, though I knew that there were as many devils in Worms to resist me as there be tiles to cover the houses, yet I would go." And when the same author and his associates were threatened with many dangers from opposers on all hands, he lets fall this heroic and magnanimous speech: "Come, let us sing the 46th Psalm, and then let them do their worst." Latimer was a man of much holiness, counting the darkness and profaneness of those times wherein he lived, and a man of much courage and boldness; witness his presenting to King Henry the Eighth, for a New Year's gift, a New Testament, wrapped up in a napkin, with this posie or motto about it; "Whoremongers and adulterers God will judge."

Thomas Brooks.

Verse 46.—Note that in this verse we are taught to shun four vices;

First, overmuch silence: hence he says, "I will speak."

Secondly, useless talkativeness: "of thy testimonies." The Hebrew doctors say that ten measures of speaking had descended to the earth,—that nine had been carried off by the women, but one left for all the rest of the world. Hieronymus rightly exhorts all Christians: "Consecrate thy mouth to the Gospel: be unwilling to open it with trifles or fables."

Thirdly, we are taught to shun cowardice: "before kings." For, as it is said (Pro 29:25), "The fear of man bringeth a snare."

Fourthly, and lastly, we are taught to shun cowardly bashfulness: "and will not be ashamed."

Thomas Le Blanc.

Verse 46.—"I will not be ashamed." That is, I shall not be cast down from my position or my hope; I shall not be afraid; nor will I, from fear of danger or reproach, shun or renounce the confession; nor shall I be overcome by terrors or threats.

D. H. Mollerus.

Verses 46-48.—In these three last verses David promises a threefold duty of thankfulness;

First, the service of his tongue.

Next, the service of his affections.

Thirdly, the service of his actions.

A good conscience renders always great consolation; and an honest life makes great boldness to speak without fear or shame, as ye see in David towards Saul, in Elias to Ahab, in Paul to Agrippa, to Festus, and to Felix.

William Cowper.

HINTS TO PREACHERS

Verses 46-48.—Lips, heart, and hands.

1. Public profession of God's word ("I will speak," Psa 119:46) must be warranted by—

2. Private delight in God's word ("I will delight myself," Psa 119:47), which must result in—

3. Practical obedience to God's word ("I will lift up my hands," Psa 119:48).

Verse 46.

1. The truly earnest must speak.

2. They are at no loss for good subjects: "Thy testimonies." The range is boundless—the variety endless.

3. They never fear any audience: "before kings."

W.W.

EXPOSITION VERSE 47

Verse 47."And I will delight myself in thy commandments, which I have loved. Next to liberty and courage comes delight. When we have done our duty, we find a great reward in it. If David had not spoken for his Master before kings, he would have been afraid to think of the law which he had neglected; but after speaking up for his Lord he feels a sweet serenity of heart when musing upon the word. Obey the command, and you will love it; carry the yoke, and it will be easy, and rest will come by it. After speaking of the law the Psalmist was not wearied of his theme, but he retired to meditate upon it; he discoursed and then he delighted, he preached and then repaired to his study to renew his strength by feeding yet again upon the precious truth. Whether he delighted others or not when he was speaking, he never failed to delight himself when he was musing on the word of the Lord. He declares that he loved the Lord's commands, and by this avowal he unveils the reason for his delight in them: where our love is, there is our delight. David did not delight in the courts of kings, for there he found places of temptation to shame, but in the Scriptures he found himself at home; his heart was in them, and they yielded him supreme pleasure. No wonder that he spoke of keeping the law, which he loved; Jesus says, "If a man love me, he will keep my words." No wonder that he spoke of walking at liberty, and speaking boldly, for true love is ever free and fearless. Love is the fulfilling of the law; where love to the law of God reigns in the heart the life must be full of blessedness. Lord, let thy mercies come to us that we may love thy word and way, and find our whole delight therein.

The verse is in the future, and hence it sets forth, not only what David had done, but what he would do; he would in time to come delight in his Lord's command. He knew that they would neither alter, nor fail to yield him joy. He knew also that grace would keep him in the same condition of heart towards the precepts of the Lord, so that he should throughout his whole life take a supreme delight in holiness. His heart was so fixed in love to God's will that he was sure that grace would always hold him under its delightful influence.

All the Psalm is fragrant with love to the word, but here for the first time love is expressly spoken of. It is here coupled with delight, and in Psa 119:165 with "great peace." All the verses in which love declares itself in so many words are worthy of note. See Psa 119:47, 97, 113, 119, 127, 140, 159, 163, 165, 167.

EXPLANATORY NOTES AND QUAINT SAYINGS

Verse 47

—"I will delight myself in thy commandments." It is but poor comfort to the believer to be able to talk well to others upon the ways of God, and even to "bear the reproach" of his people, when his own heart is cold, insensible, and dull. He longs for "delight" in these ways; and he shall delight in them.

Charles Bridges.

Verse 47.—He who would preach boldly to others must himself "delight" in the practice of what he preacheth. If there be in us a new nature, it will "love the commandments of God" as being congenial to it; on that which we love we shall continually be "meditating," and our meditation will end in action; we shall "lift up the hands which hang down" (Heb 12:12), that they may "work the works of God whilst it is day, because the night cometh when no man can work" (John 9:4).

George Horne.

Verse 47.—"Thy commandments, which I have loved." On the word "loved," the Carmelite quotes two sayings of ancient philosophers, which he commends to the acceptance of those who have learnt the truer philosophy of the Gospel. The first is Aristotle's answer to the question of what profit he had derived from philosophy: "I have learnt to do without constraint that which others do from fear of the law." The second is a very similar saying of Aristippus: "If the laws were lost, all of us would live as we do now that they are in force." And for us the whole verse is summed up in the words of a greater Teacher than they: "If a man love me, he will keep my words:" John 14:23.

Neale and Littledale.

Verses 47-48.—What is in the word a law of precept, is in the heart a law of love; what is in the one a law of command, is in the other a law of liberty "Love is the fulfilling of the law," Gal 5:14. The law of love in the heart, is the fulfilling the law of God in the Spirit. It may well be said to be written in the heart, when a man doth love it. As we say, a beloved thing is in our hearts, not physically, but morally, as Calais was said to be in Queen Mary's heart. They might have looked long enough before they could have found there the map of the town; but grief for the loss of it killed her. It is a love that is inexpressible. David delights to mention it in two verses together: "I will delight myself in thy commandments, which I have loved. My hands also will I lift up unto thy commandments, which I have loved," and often in the Psalm resumes the assertion. Before the new creation, there was no affection to the law: it was not only a dead letter, but a devilish letter in the esteem of a man: he wished it razed out of the world, and another more pleasing to the flesh enacted. He would be a law unto himself; but when this is written within him, he is so pleased with the inscription, that he would not for all the world be without that law, and the love of it; whereas what obedience he paid to it before was out of fear, now out of affection; not only because of the authority of the lawgiver, but of the purity of the law itself. He would maintain it with all his might against the power of sin within, and the powers of darkness without him. He loves to view this law; regards every lineament of it, and dwells upon every feature with delightful ravishments. If his eye be off, or his foot go away, how doth he dissolve in tears, mourn and groan, till his former affection hath recovered breath, and stands upon its feet!

Stephen Charnock.

EXPOSITION VERSE 48

Verse 48.—"My hands also will I lift up unto thy commandments, which I have loved." He will stretch out towards perfection as far as he can, hoping to reach it one day; when his hands hang down he will cheer himself out of languor by the prospect of glorifying God by obedience; and he will give solemn sign of his hearty assent and consent to all that his God commands. The phrase "lift up my hands" is very full of meaning, and doubtless the sweet singer meant all that we can see in it, and a great deal more. Again he declares his love; for a true heart loves to express itself; it is a kind of fire which must send forth its flames. It was natural that he should reach out towards a law which he delighted in, even as a child holds out its hands to receive a gift which it longs for. When such a lovely object as holiness is set before us, we are bound to rise towards it with our whole nature, and till that is fully accomplished we should at least lift up our hands in prayer towards it. Where holy hands and holy hearts go, the whole man will one day follow.

"And I will meditate in thy statutes." He can never have enough of meditation upon the mind of God. Loving subjects wish to be familiar with their sovereign's statutes, for they are anxious that they may not offend through ignorance. Prayer with lifted hands, and meditation with upward glancing eyes will in happy union work out the best inward results. The prayer of Psa 119:41 is already fulfilled in the man who is thus struggling upward and studying deeply. The whole of this verse is in the future, and may be viewed not only as a determination of David's mind, but as a result which he knew would follow from the Lord's sending him his mercies and his salvation. When mercy comes down, our hands will be lifted up; when God in favour thinks upon us, we are sure to think of him. Happy is he who stands with hands uplifted both to receive the blessing and to obey the precept; he shall not wait upon the Lord in vain.

EXPLANATORY NOTES AND QUAINT SAYINGS

Verse 48.—"My hands also will I lift up unto thy commandments," etc. The duty that David promises God here, is the service of his actions, that he will lift up his hands to the practice of God's commandments. The kingdom of God is not in word, but in power; we are the disciples of that Master, who first began to do and then to teach. But now the world is full of mutilated Christians; either they want an ear and cannot hear God's word, or a tongue and cannot speak of it; or if they have both, they want hands and cannot practise it.

William Cowper.

Verse 48.—"My hands also will I lift up." To lift up the hands is taken variously, and it signifies:

1. To pray: as in Psa 28:2; Lam 2:19; Hab 3:10.

2. To bless others: as Lev 9:22; Psa 134:2.

3. To swear: as Gen 14:22; Exo 6:8.

4. To set about some important matter: as

Gen 41:44; "without thee shall no man lift up his hand;" i.e. shall attempt anything, or shall accomplish;

Psa 10:12; "lift up thine hand," viz., effectively, to bring help;

Heb 12:12; "lift up the hands," etc.; i.e. strongly stimulate Christians.

Perhaps all these may be accommodated to the present passage; for it is possible to be either,

1. Prayer for Divine grace for the doing of the precepts: or,

2. Blessing, i.e. praise of God because of them, and the advantages which have thence accrued to us: which the Syriac translator approves, who adds, "and I will glory in thy faithfulness:" or,

3. Vow, or oath of constant obedience, etc.,—or,

4. Active and earnest undertaking of them; which, also, appears to be here chiefly meant.

Henry Hammond in Synopsis Poli.

Verse 48.—"My hands also will I lift up unto thy commandments;" vowing obedience to them: Gen 14:22.

William Kay.

Verse 48.—"My hands also will I lift up." I will present every victim and sacrifice which the law requires. I will make prayer and supplication before thee, lifting up holy hands without wrath and doubting.

Adam Clarke.

Verse 48.—"My hands also will I lift up." Aben Ezra explains, (and perhaps rightly,) that the metaphor, in this place, is taken from the action of those who receive any one whom they are glad or proud to see.

Daniel Cresswell, 1776-1844.

Verse 48.—"I will lift up my hands" in admiration of "thy precepts, And meditate on thy statutes."

W. Green, in "A New Translation of the Psalms," 1762.

Verse 48.—To lift up the hand is a gesture importing readiness, and special intention in doing a thing. My hands (saith David) also will I lift up unto thy commandments; as a man that is willing to do a thing and addresses himself to the doing of it, lifts up his hand; so a godly man is described as lifting up his hand to fulfil the commands of God.

Joseph Caryl.

Verse 48.—"Thy commandments." By commandments he understandeth the word of God, yet it is more powerful than so; it is not, I have loved thy word; but, I have loved that part of thy word that is thy "commandments," the mandatory part. There are some parts of the will and word of God that even ungodly men will be content to love. There is the promissory part; all men gather and catch at the promises, and show love to these. The reason is clear; there is pleasure, and profit, and gain, and advantage in the promises; but a pious soul doth not only look to the promises, but to the commands. Piety looks on Christ as a Lawgiver, as well as a Saviour, and not only on him as a Mediator, but as a Lord and Master; it doth not only live by faith, but it liveth by rule; it makes indeed the promises the stay and staff of a Christian's life, but it makes the commandments of God the level. A pious heart knows that some command is implied in the qualification and condition of every promise; it knows that as for the fulfilling of the promises, it belongs to God; but the fulfilling of the commands belongs to us. Therefore it looks so, upon the enjoying of that which is promised that it will first do that which is commanded. There is no hope of attaining comfort in the promise but in keeping of the precept; therefore he pitches the emphasis, "I have loved thy word," that is true, and all thy word, and this part, the mandatory part: "I have loved thy commandments."

Observe the number, "thy commandments;" it is plural, that is, all thy commandments without exception; otherwise even ungodly men will be content to love some commandments, if they may choose them for themselves.

Richard Holdsworth (1590-1649), "in The Valley of Vision"

Verse 48.—"Which I love," or have loved, as in Psa 119:47, the terms of which are studiously repeated with a fine rhetorical effect, which is further heightened by the 'and' at the beginning, throwing both verses, as it were, into one sentence. As if he had said: 'I will derive my happiness from thy commandments, which I love and have loved, and to these commandments, which I love and have loved, I will lift up my hands and heart together.'

Joseph Addison Alexander.

Verse 48.—"I will meditate." It is in holy meditation on the word of God that all the graces of the Spirit are manifested. What is the principle of faith but the reliance of the soul upon the promises of the word? What is the sensation of godly fear but the soul trembling before the threatenings of God? What is the object of hope but the apprehended glory of God? What is the excitement of desire or love but longing, endearing contemplations of the Saviour, and of his unspeakable blessings? So that we can scarcely conceive of the influences of grace separated from spiritual meditation in the word.

Charles Bridges.

Verse 48.—The Syriac has an addition to Psa 119:48, which I am surprised has not been noticed. The addition is, "and I will glory in thy faithfulness." Dathe in a note says, THE SEVENTY seem to have read some such addition, although not exactly the same.

Edward Thomas Gibson, 1819-1880.

HINTS TO PREACHERS

Verse 48.

1. Love renewing its activity.

2. Love refreshing itself with spiritual food.

Verse 48.

1. Scripture in the hand for reading. Often in the hand.

2. In the mind for meditation: "I will meditate," etc.

3. In the heart for love: "Which I have loved."

G. R.

Verse 48.—Religion engaged the whole manhood of David: hands, heart, head.

1. The uplifted hands.

(a) Taking an oath of allegiance to God's word. Gen 14:22; Eze 20:28. To receive its doctrines, obey its precepts, regard its warnings, uphold its honour.

(b) Imploring a blessing upon God's word. Gen 48:14; Lev 9:22; Luk 24:50. That its light might spread: "Fly abroad, thou mighty gospel;" that its influence may become universal.

2. The loyal heart.

(a) This accounts for uplifted hands. He had loved the word himself. Religion is inward first, then outward. We must love it before we are anxious to spread it.

(b) But what accounts for the loyal heart? The word had brought him salvation, yielded him sustenance, afforded him guidance. We love the world for its joyous effects upon ourselves.

3. The studious mind.

(a) Devout meditation the best employment.

(b) The Word of God affords a grand field for it.

(c) To meditate in it learn to love it: "have loved;" "will meditate."

H. Wilson.

Verse 48.

1. God's commandments loved. We love the law when we love the Lawgiver. We love his will only when our hearts are reconciled and renewed. Hence the need of spiritual renewal.

2. God's commandments the subject of prayer: "My hands also will I lift up." Perowne says, "The expression denotes the act of prayer." We may pray for a fuller knowledge, a deeper experience, a readier and more perfect obedience.

3. A theme for meditation. Amidst the hurry of outward activities we must not forget the need of quiet meditation.

H. Wilson.




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