Psalm 119 Commentary

The unfolding of Thy Word gives light.
It gives understanding to the simple.
Psalm 119:130

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Psalm 119:1 Aleph. How blessed are those whose way is blameless, Who walk in the law of the LORD. 

  • Blessed Ps 1:1-3 32:1,2 112:1 128:1 Mt 5:3-12 Lu 11:28 Joh 13:17 Jas 1:25 Rev 22:14 
  • blameless, 2Ki 20:3 2Ch 31:20,21 Job 1:1,8 Joh 1:47 Ac 24:16 2Co 1:12 Tit 2:11,12 
  • walk Eze 11:20 Ho 14:9 Lu 1:6 1Th 4:1,2 


Note that in the Septuagint (Lxx) this verse begins with the great word ALLELOUIA which means "Praise Yahweh" hallelujah, praise the LORD. As you read these comments on Psalm 119 you will notice that there are frequent references to the Septuagint translation of the passage as the Greek words often add significant insights to the meaning of the verse. Therefore, in a sense, the Septuagint functions somewhat like a "commentary" on the Hebrew text. And remember that many (if not most) of the OT quotations by the writers of the NT are taken not from the Hebrew text but from the Greek text, the Septuagint.

How blessed are those whose way is blameless - The blessing of obedience. Way refers to one's way of life or conduct. Jesus declared "blessed are those who hear the word of God and observe it.” (Luke 11:28+) Obedience is the key to blessing in both the Old and New Testament. God desires to bless His children because they are, so to speak, His trophies of redemption, His re-creations in Christ, and as such He desires the lost world to see His glory through His believing, obedient children. This begs the question -- Are you shining for Jesus? (cf Mt 5:16+, Phil 2:15+, 2 Pe 3:11, 12+

Psalm 1:1+ is the key to blessing - "How blessed (HEBREW LITERALLY "BLESSED, BLESSED" = EMPHASIS) is the man who does not walk (conduct himself) in the counsel of the wicked, Nor stand in the path of sinners, Nor sit in the seat of scoffers!" In fact, if we fail to carry out Psalm 1:1+, we will hardly have a holy desire to carry out verse 2 and the indescribable blessing associated with it. Psalm 1:2-3+ says "But (WHAT IS THE CONTRAST? WALKING...STANDING..SITTING...IN SIN!)  his delight (IF WE ARE "DELIGHTING" IN THE TEMPORAL DELICACIES OF THIS FALLEN UNGODLY WORLD OUR APPETITE GOD'S ETERNAL, HOLY WORD WILL BE NIL!) is in the law of the LORD, And in His law he meditates (Hebrew - hagah; Lxx - meletao = carefully think about, cultivate, meditate - see invaluable value of meditation) day and night (HOW OFTEN?). He will be like a tree firmly planted by streams of water, Which yields its fruit in its season And its leaf does not wither; And in whatever he does, he prospers."

Blessed (0835)('esher/'eser related to the verb 'ashar = to go or be straight, to go on, to advance, to be right) and always refers to people but never to God. Vine writes that "Basically, this word connotes the state of “prosperity” or “happiness” that comes when a superior bestows his favor (blessing) on one. In most passages, the one bestowing favor is God Himself = Dt. 33:29. Used twice in Psalm 119 - Ps. 119:1; Ps. 119:2.

Septuagint Blessed (3107)(makarios from root makar, but others say from mak = large or lengthy) means to be happy, but not in the usual sense of happiness based on positive circumstances. From the Biblical perspective Makarios describes the person who is free from daily cares and worries because his every breath and circumstance is in the hands of His Maker Who gives him such an assurance (such a "blessing"). As discussed below makarios was used to describe the kind of happiness that comes from receiving divine favor. Used in both Ps 119:1,2.

Blameless (without defect or blemish, perfect, integrity) (08549)(tamim from the verb tamam = to be complete, entire or whole literal sense in Lev 3:9, Ezek 15:5, refers to a action which is completed) has both physical (without defect) and spiritual (blameless, devout, upright) significance. Tamim has the fundamental idea of completeness or wholeness. Tamim deals primarily with a state of moral or ceremonial purity

Septuagint Above reproach (beyond reproach, blameless, faultless, unblemished) (299)(amomos from a = without, not + momos = spot, blemish in physical sense or moral sense, blot, flaw, shame or disgrace {as a moral disgrace}) is literally without spot or blemish (blot, blight). It was used literally of the absence of defects in sacrificial animals. Figuratively, it means morally (spiritually) blameless, unblemished by the marring of sin, a perfect description of the Lamb of God. How incredibly incomprehensible that sinners such as we can be described with the same adjective (amomos) used to describe our incomparable, sinless Lord! O the wonder of the "cleansing power" of the Lamb's precious blood, which washes us Whiter than the Snow (Isa 1:18-note). Hallelujah. Thank You Jesus!

Who walk in the law of the LORD - Walk is the verb corresponding to noun way for our walk describes the way we continually (poreuomai in present tense = continually, middle voice = reflexive = initiate the action and participate in results thereof) conduct ourselves. Blameless is who we are to be within, in our heart, and walking blamelessly shows who we really are. Our walk will ultimately reveal our heart. The reward for a walk of integrity is being blessed by the Almighty God! 

THOUGHT - When we walk in the law of the LORD the idea is that we conduct ourselves in the sphere of the God's law. Think of a fish in a bowl. What keeps the fish alive? Water of course. The fish lives or conducts itself in the sphere or atmosphere of the water. No water, no life! By analogy the law of the LORD is our "water," our source of true spiritual life (as energized of course by the Holy Spirit - cf 2 Cor 3:5,6+, Jn 6:63, Jn 7:37,38,39+)

Moses said it this way...

"Take (not a suggestion but a command) to your heart (NOT JUST YOUR HEAD BUT YOUR HEART!) all (OT AND NT!) the words (MEMORIZE THEM SO YOU CAN MEDITATE ON THEM!) with which I am warning you today, which you shall command your sons to observe carefully, even all the words of this law. 47 “For (TERM OF EXPLANATIONIT (THE WORD OF GOD) is not an idle (EMPTY, VAIN, USELESS) WORD for you; indeed IT IS YOUR LIFE (COULD GOD HAVE BEEN ANY CLEARER REGARDING HOW IMPORTANT THE WORD IS TO OUR LIFE!). And by this word you will prolong your days in the land, which you are about to cross the Jordan to possess.” (Deuteronomy 32:46-47)

Jesus said it this way...


Do you really believe the words of Moses and the words of Jesus? If you do, then you will show it by your daily choice (under grace, not law - cf Gal 3:3+) to read, memorize and meditate on the Word! If you really believe Moses and Jesus then you will immerse yourself (like a fish), by the washing of the water with the Word (Eph 5:26+), in the living and active Word of God (Heb 4:12+), so that you will be able (enabled by the Spirit - Php 2:13NLT+) to walk in the law of the LORD! Let it be true in each of our lives LORD God, that by Your Word, energized by Your Spirit, we would be enabled to walk for Your Glory (Mt 5:16+), in the Name of Jesus, the ever living Word of God (Rev 19:13+). Amen

Charles Bridges - This most interesting and instructive Psalm, like the Psalter itself, "opens with a Beatitude for our comfort and encouragement, directing us immediately to that happiness, which all mankind in different ways are seeking and inquiring after. All would secure themselves from the incursions of misery; but all do not consider that misery is the offspring of sin, from which therefore it is necessary to be delivered and preserved, in order to become happy or blessed." (Bishop Horne)
The undefiled character described in this verse marks, in an evangelical sense, "an Israelite indeed, in whom is no deceit", not one who is without sin, but one who in the sincerity of his heart can say, "I do not understand what I do. For what I want to do I do not do, but what I hate I do." 
As his way is, so is his "walk", "in the law of the Lord." He is "strengthened in the Lord, and he walks up and down in His name;" his "ears hearing a word behind him, saying, This is the way—walk in it"—when he is "turning to the right hand or to the left." And if the pardon of sin, imputation of righteousness, the communion of saints, and a sense of acceptance with God; if protection in providence and grace; and—finally and forever, the beatific vision, are the sealed privileges of His upright people, then there can be no doubt, that "blessed are the undefiled in the way." And if temporal prosperity, spiritual renovation and fruitfulness, increasing illumination, fellowship with the Savior, peace within, and—throughout eternity—a right to the tree of life, are privileges of incalculable value; then surely "the walk in the law of the Lord" is "the path of pleasantness and peace." "Truly"—indeed may we say, "God is good to Israel, even to such as are of a clean heart."
But let each of us ask—What is the "way" of my heart with God? Is it always an "undefiled way?" Is "iniquity" never "regarded in the heart?" Is all that God hates habitually lamented, abhorred, forsaken? "Search me, O God, and know my heart: try me, and know my thoughts; and see if there be any wicked way in me, and lead me in the way everlasting."
Again—What is my "walk?" Is it from the living principle of union with Christ? This is the direct—the only source of spiritual life. We are first quickened in Him. Then we walk in Him and after Him. Oh! that this my walk may be steady, consistent, advancing! Oh! that I may be ever listening to my Father's voice, "I am the Almighty God; walk before me, and be perfect!"
Is there not enough of defilement in the most "undefiled way," and enough of inconsistency in the most consistent "walk" to endear to us the gracious declaration of the gospel, "If any man sins, we have an advocate with the Father, Jesus Christ the Righteous?"

Wiersbe - The Bible’s ABCs

WHAT WOULD YOUR CHRISTIAN LIFE BE LIKE IF YOU HAD NO BIBLE? Would that make any difference? After all, what is the Bible supposed to do for our lives? God gives us some answers to those questions in this psalm. Almost every verse in this long psalm in some way refers to the Word of God. The psalm is arranged according to the Hebrew alphabet. The first eight verses all begin with the Hebrew letter aleph; the next eight verses start with beth; the next eight, gimel; and so on. It’s as though God were saying, “Here are the ABCs of how to use the Word of God in your life.” “Blessed are the undefiled in the way, who walk in the law of the LORD!” (Ps 119:1). Undefiled means “people who are blameless, those who have integrity.” Integrity is the opposite of duplicity and hypocrisy, which is the pretense to be something we are not. If we have integrity, our whole lives are built around the Word of God. The psalmist says, “Blessed are those who keep His testimonies, who seek Him with the whole heart!” (Ps 119:2). Are you wholeheartedly into the Word of God? In the Bible, heart refers to the inner person, and that includes the mind. “I will praise You with uprightness of heart, when I learn Your righteous judgments” (Ps 119:7). It also includes the will. “I will keep Your statutes” (Ps 119:8). In other words, when you give your whole heart, mind, and will to the Word of God, it starts to put your life together. Is your life or your home “falling apart” today? Turn to the Word of God. The Bible has one Author—God. It has one theme—Jesus Christ. It has one message—the salvation of your soul. And it has one blessing to bring—a life of integrity. The Word of God is a powerful spiritual resource. Its truth feeds your soul. As you walk in the life of faith, the Holy Spirit uses the Bible to minister to you. Get into the Word and allow it to make you whole and build integrity into your life. (Prayer, Praise and Promises)

God's Word - Psalm 119:1–6

God’s Word gives us happiness, holiness, success, worship, cleansing, and joy. There is no substitute for God’s Word. His Word should be a part of our everyday life. His Word will guide and direct us.

  1.      THE PERSON—vv. 1–4
  2.      THE PRECEPTS—vv. 5–8
  3.      THE PURGING—vv. 9–11
  4.      THE PRAISING—vv. 12–16

Psalm 119:2 How blessed are those who observe His testimonies, Who seek Him with all their heart.  

  • Observe Ps 119:22,146 25:10 105:45 De 6:17 1Ki 2:3 Pr 23:26 Eze 36:27 Joh 14:23 1Jn 3:20 
  • seek Ps 119:10 De 4:29 2Ch 31:21 Jer 29:13 


How blessed are those who observe His testimonies

Observe (preserve, keep, watch, guard) (05341natsar means to guard, keep, observe, hide, preserve, hide. Many of the uses of natsar are nuanced by the object that is being watched or guarded. Natsar is close syn to more common verb shamar "keep, tend." guard, protect, conceal, observe, preserve, watchman. First use is by God: sense of "keeping with faithfulness" in Ex 34:7 Who KEEPS lovingkindness for thousands. Watching the mouth (Pr 13:3 Ps 141:3), one's path in life (Pr 16:17), one's heart (Pr 4:23). 

Cowper Blessed... Blessed, in the first verse and second, is to let us see the certainty of the blessing belonging to the godly.

Manton - In the former verse a blessed man is described by the course of his actions, "Blessed are the undefiled in the way": in this verse he is described by the frame of his heart. 

Obedience to God’s Word results in: being treasured by God (Ex 19:5); blessedness (happiness) in life (Ps 119:2); not being ashamed (Ps. 119:4-6); understanding (Ps 119:100); avoidance of evil (Ps 119:101); guidance for life (Ps 119:105); safety and freedom from anxiety (Pr 1:33); life (Pr 19:16; Eze 18:19; Jn 8:51); God’s blessing (Isa1:19); greatness in the kingdom of heaven (Mt 5:19); bearing fruit for God (Mt 13:23); manifesting love for God (Jn 14:23; 1Jn 2:5); promise of God’s presence (Jn 14:23; 2Jn 9); abiding in the love of God (Jn 15:10); evidence of the doctrine that has been taught (Ro 6:17); assurance of salvation (1Jn 2:3); eternal life (1 Jn 2:17); dwelling in God (1Jn 3:24); love of God’s children (1Jn5:2); and entrance into heaven (Rev 22:7).

Thomas Manton on testimonies - The notion by which the word of God is expressed is "testimonies"; whereby is intended the whole declaration of God's will in doctrines, commands, examples, threatenings, promises. The whole word is the testimony which God hath deposed for the satisfaction of the world about the way of their salvation. Now because the word of God branches itself into two parts, the law and the gospel, this notion may be applied to both. First, to the law, in regard whereof the ark was called "the ark of the testimony" (Exodus 25:16), because the two tables were laid up in it. The gospel is also called the testimony, "the testimony of God concerning his Son." "To the law, and to the testimony" (Isaiah 8:20); where testimony seems to be distinguished from the law. The gospel is so called, because therein God hath testified how a man shall be pardoned, reconciled to God, and obtain a right to eternal life. We need a testimony in this case, because it is more unknown to us. The law was written upon the heart, but the gospel is a stranger. Natural light will discern something of the law, and pry into matters which are of a moral strain and concernment; but evangelical truths are a mystery, and depend upon the mere testimony of God concerning his Son. 

Cowper on testimonies - The word of God is called his testimony, not only because it testifies his will concerning his service, but also his favour and goodwill concerning his own in Christ Jesus. If God's word were no more than a law, yet were we bound to obey it, because we are his creatures; but since it is also a testimony of his love, wherein as a father he witnesseth his favour towards his children, we are doubly inexcusable if we do not most joyfully embrace it.

Spurgeon - Blessed are they that keep his testimonies. What! A second blessing? Yes, they are doubly blessed whose outward life is supported by an inward zeal for God's glory. In the first verse we had an undefiled way, and it was taken for granted that the purity in the way was not mere surface work, but was attended by the inward truth and life which comes of divine grace. Here that which was implied is expressed. Blessedness is ascribed to those who treasure up the testimonies of the Lord: in which is implied that they search the Scriptures, that they come to an understanding of them, that they love them, and then that they continue in the practice of them. We must first get a thing before we can keep it. In order to keep it well we must get a firm grip of it: we cannot keep in the heart that which we have not heartily embraced by the affections. God's word is his witness or testimony to grand and important truths which concern himself and our relation to him: this we should desire to know; knowing it, we should believe it; believing it, we should love it; and loving it, we should hold it fast against all comers. There is a doctrinal keeping of the word when we are ready to die for its defence, and a practical keeping of it when we actually live under its power. Revealed truth is precious as diamonds, and should be kept or treasured up in the memory and in the heart as jewels in a casket, or as the law was kept in the ark; this however is not enough, for it is meant for practical use, and therefore it must be kept or followed, as men keep to a path, or to a line of business. If we keep God's testimonies they will keep us; they will keep us right in opinion, comfortable in spirit, holy in conversation, and hopeful in expectation. If they were ever worth having, and no thoughtful person will question that, then they are worth keeping; their designed effect does not come through a temporary seizure of them, but by a persevering keeping of them: "in keeping of them there is great reward."

We are bound to keep with all care the word of God, because it is his testimonies. He gave them to us, but they are still his own. We are to keep them as a watchman guards his master's house, as a steward husbands his lord's goods, as a shepherd keeps his employer's flock. We shall have to give an account, for we are put in trust with the gospel, and woe to us if we be found unfaithful. We cannot fight a good fight, nor finish our course, unless we keep the faith. To this end the Lord must keep us: only those who are kept by the power of God unto salvation will ever be able to keep his testimonies. What a blessedness is therefore evidenced and testified by a careful belief in God's word, and a continual obedience thereunto. God has blessed them, is blessing them, and will bless them for ever. That blessedness which David saw in others he realized for himself, for in Psalms 119:168 he says, "I have kept thy precepts and thy testimonies, "and in Psalms 119:54-56 he traces his joyful songs and happy memories to this same keeping of the law, and he confesses, "This I had because I kept thy precepts." Doctrines which we teach to others we should experience for ourselves.

Who seek Him with all their heart - The opposite of a whole heart is a divided heart. The idea is FULL SURRENDER...seeking Christ with ALL my heart. Not a mite would I withhold. I have been bought with a price. Present yourself as living and holy sacrifice.“Heart” refers to intellect, volition, and emotion (cf. Ps 119:7, 10, 11, 32, 34, 36, 58, 69, 70, 80, 111, 112, 145, 161). Complete commitment or “whole heart” appears 6 times (Ps 119:2, 10, 34, 58, 69, 145).

Spurgeon - And that seek him with the whole heart. Those who keep the Lord's testimonies are sure to seek after himself. If his word is precious we may be sure that he himself is still more so. Personal dealing with a personal God is the longing of all those who have allowed the word of the Lord to have its full effect upon them. If we once really know the power of the gospel we must seek the God of the gospel. "O that I knew where I might find HIM, "will be our wholehearted cry. See the growth which these sentences indicate: first, in the way, then walking in it, then finding and keeping the treasure of truth, and to crown all, seeking after the Lord of the way himself. Note also that the further a soul advances in grace the more spiritual and divine are its longings: an outward walk does not content the gracious soul, nor even the treasured testimonies; it reaches out in due time after God himself, and when it in a measure finds him, still yearns for more of him, and seeks him still.

Seeking after God signifies a desire to commune with him more closely, to follow him more fully, to enter into more perfect union with his mind and will, to promote his glory, and to realize completely all that he is to holy hearts. The blessed man has God already, and for this reason he seeks him. This may seem a contradiction: it is only a paradox.

God is not truly sought by the cold researches of the brain: we must seek him with the heart. Love reveals itself to love: God manifests his heart to the heart of his people. It is in vain that we endeavour to comprehend him by reason; we must apprehend him by affection. But the heart must not be divided with many objects if the Lord is to be sought by us. God is one, and we shall not know him till our heart is one. A broken heart need not be distressed at this, for no heart is so whole in its seeking after God as a heart which is broken, whereof every fragment sighs and cries after the great Father's face. It is the divided heart which the doctrine of the text censures, and strange to say, in scriptural phraseology, a heart may be divided and not broken, and it may be broken but not divided; and yet again it may be broken and be whole, and it never can be whole until it is broken. When our whole heart seeks the holy God in Christ Jesus it has come to him of whom it is written, "as many as touched Him were made perfectly whole."

That which the Psalmist admires in this verse he claims in the tenth, where he says, "With my whole heart have I sought thee." It is well when admiration of a virtue leads to the attainment of it. Those who do not believe in the blessedness of seeking the Lord will not be likely to arouse their hearts to the pursuit, but he who calls another blessed because of the grace which he sees in him is on the way to gaining the same grace for himself.

If those who seek the Lord are blessed, what shall be said of those who actually dwell with him and know that he is theirs?

"To those who fall, how kind thou art!
How good to those who seek
But what to those who find? Ah! this
Nor tongue nor pen can show:
The love of Jesus— what it is,
None but his loved ones know."

Building On The Bible

Blessed are those who keep His testimonies, who seek Him with the whole heart. — Psalm 119:2

Today's Scripture: Psalm 119:1-8

What can be done to improve society? An MTV political correspondent had this unexpected but praiseworthy suggestion: “No matter how secular our culture becomes, it will remain drenched in the Bible. Since we will be haunted by the Bible even if we don’t know it, doesn’t it make sense to read it?”

Our culture is indeed “drenched in the Bible.” Whether or not the majority of people realize it, the principles on which the United States was founded, and the values which still permeate our national life, were based on the Holy Scriptures.

Yet God’s Word no longer occupies the commanding place it held in the past. Its ethics are sometimes still praised even though biblical morality is flagrantly violated. So I agree with the political correspondent’s urging that people read the Bible.

We need to do more, however, than just read the Word of God. We need to believe the Bible and put its inspired teachings into practice. The psalmist reminded us that we are to walk in God’s ways, to keep His precepts diligently, and to seek Him with our whole heart (Ps. 119:2-4).

If we obey the Bible, we’ll build on our good foundation and improve our society—one person at a time.By:  Vernon Grounds (Our Daily Bread, Copyright RBC Ministries, Grand Rapids, MI. — Reprinted by permission. All rights reserved)

For Your Holy Book we thank You;
May its message be our guide,
May we understand the wisdom
Of the truth Your laws provide.

The Bible: read it, believe it, obey it!

Charles Bridges - The "testimony," in the singular number, usually denotes the whole canon of the inspired writings—the revelation of the will of God to mankind—the standard of their faith. "Testimonies" appear, chiefly, to mark the preceptive part of Scripture; that part, in which this man of God always found his spiritual delight and perfect freedom. Mark his language: "I have rejoiced in the way of Your testimonies, as much us in all riches. Your testimonies have I taken as a heritage forever; for they are the rejoicing of my heart." Not, however, that this blessedness belongs to the mere outward act of obedience; but rather to that practical habit of mind, which seeks to know the will of God in order to "keep" it. This habit is under the influence of the promise of God, "I will put my Spirit within you, and cause you to walk in my statutes, and you shall keep my judgments, and do them." And in thus "keeping the testimonies of God," the believer maintains the character of one, that "seeks Him with the whole heart."
Oh! how many seek, and seek in vain, for no other reason, than because they do not "seek Him with the whole heart!" The worldling's "heart is divided; now shall he be found faulty." The professor "with his mouth shows much love; but his heart goes after his covetousness." The backslider "has not turned unto Me with his whole heart, but feignedly, says the Lord." The faithful, upright believer alone brings his heart, his whole heart, to the Lord: "When You said, Seek my face, my heart said unto You, Your face, Lord, will I seek." For he alone has found an object, that attracts and fills his whole heart, and, if he had a thousand hearts, would attract and fill them all. He has found his way to God by faith in Jesus. In that way he continues to seek. His whole heart is engaged to know and love more and more. Here alone the blessing is enjoyed, and the promise made good: "You shall seek Me, and find Me, when you shall search for Me with all your heart."
But let me not shrink from the question, Do I "keep His testimonies" from constraint, or from love? Surely when I consider my own natural aversion and enmity to the law of God, and the danger of self-deception in the external service of the Lord, I have much need to pray, "Incline my heart to Your testimonies. Give me understanding—save me, and I shall keep Your testimonies." And if they are blessed, who seek the Lord with their whole heart, how am I seeking Him? Alas! with how much distraction! with how little heart-work! Oh! let me "seek His strength" in order to "seek His face."
Lord! search—teach—incline—uphold me. Help me to plead Your gracious promise, "I will give them a heart to know Me, that I am the Lord; and they shall be my people, and I will be their God; for they shall return unto Me with their whole heart."

Psalm 119:3 They also do no unrighteousness; They walk in His ways.  

  • 1Jn 3:9 5:18 

They also do no unrighteousness

Spurgeon -  They also do no iniquity. Blessed indeed would those men be of whom this could be asserted without reserve and without explanation: we shall have reached the region of pure blessedness when we altogether cease from sin. Those who follow the word of God do no iniquity, the rule is perfect, and if it be constantly followed no fault will arise. Life, to the outward observer, at any rate, lies much in doing, and he who in his doings never swerves from equity, both towards God and man, has hit upon the way of perfection, and we may be sure that his heart is right. See how a whole heart leads to the avoidance of evil, for the Psalmist says, "That seek him with the whole heart. They also do no iniquity." We fear that no man can claim to be absolutely without sin, and yet we trust there are many who do not designedly, wilfully, knowingly, and continuously do anything that is wicked, ungodly, or unjust. Grace keeps the life righteous as to act even when the Christian has to bemoan the transgressions of the heart. Judged as men should be judged by their fellows, according to such just rules as men make for men, the true people of God do no iniquity: they are honest, upright, and chaste, and touching justice and morality they are blameless. Therefore are they happy.

They walk in His ways.  

Spurgeon - They walk in his ways. They attend not only to the great main highway of the law, but to the smaller paths of the particular precepts. As they will perpetrate no sin of commission, so do they labour to be free from every sin of omission. It is not enough to them to be blameless, they wish also to be actively righteous. A hermit may escape into solitude that he may do no iniquity, but a saint lives in society that he may serve his God by walking in his ways. We must be positively as well as negatively right: we shall not long keep the second unless we attend to the first, for men will be walking one way or another, and if they do not follow the path of God's law they will soon do iniquity. The surest way to abstain from evil is to be fully occupied in doing good. This verse describes believers as they exist among us: although they have their faults and infirmities, yet they hate evil, and will not permit themselves to do it; they love the ways of truth, right and true godliness, and habitually they walk therein. They do not claim to be absolutely perfect except in their desires, and there they are pure indeed, for they pant to be kept from all sin, and to be led into all holiness.

Charles Bridges - Ps 119:3. They also do no iniquity; they walk in His ways.
This was not their character from their birth. Once they were doing nothing but iniquity. It was iniquity without mixture, without cessation—from the fountain-head. Now it is written of them, "they do no iniquity." Once they walked, even as others, in the way of their own hearts, "enemies to God by wicked works." Now "they walk in His ways." They are "new creatures in Christ; old things are passed away; behold! all things are become new." This is their highly-privileged state, "Sin shall have no dominion over them: for they are not under the law, but under grace." They are "born of God, and they cannot practice sin: for his seed remains in them, and they cannot sin, because they are born of God." Their hatred and resistance to sin are therefore now as instinctive, as was their former enmity and opposition to God. Not, indeed, that the people of God are as "the saints made perfect," who "do no iniquity." This is a dream of perfection—unscriptural and self-deluding. The unceasing advocacy of their Heavenly Friend evidently supposes the indwelling power of sin, to the termination of our earthly pilgrimage. The supplication, also, in the prayer of our Lord teaches them to ask for daily pardon and deliverance from "temptation," as for "daily bread." Yes—to our shame be it spoken—we are sinners still; yet—praised be God!—not "walking after the course," not "fulfilling the desires," of sin. The acting of sin is now like the motion of a stone upward, violent and unnatural. If sin is not cast out, it is dethroned. We are not, as before, "its willing people," but its reluctant, struggling captives. It is not "the day of its power."
And here lies the holy liberty of the Gospel—not, as some have imagined—a liberty to "continue in sin, that grace may abound"; but a deliverance from the guilt and condemnation of abhorred, resisted, yet still indwelling, sin. When our better will has cast it off—when we can say in the sight of a heart-searching God, "What we hate, that do we"—the responsibility is not ours: "It is not we who do it, but sin which dwells in us." 
Still let us inquire, is the promise of deliverance from sin sweet to us? And does our successful resistance in the spiritual conflict realize the pledge of its complete fulfillment? Blessed Jesus! what do, we owe to Your cross for the present redemption from its guilt and curse, and much more for the blissful prospect of the glorified state, when this hated sin shall be an inhabitant no more forever! Oh, let us take the very print of Your death into our souls in the daily crucifixion of sin. Let us know the "power of Your resurrection," in a habitual "walk in newness of life."

Psalm 119:4 You have ordained Your precepts, That we should keep them diligently.  

  • De 4:1,9 5:29-33 6:17 11:13,22 12:32 28:1-14 30:16 Jos 1:7 Jer 7:23 Mt 28:20 Joh 14:15,21 Php 4:8,9 1Jn 5:3 

You have ordained Your precepts,

That we should keep them diligently.  

Spurgeon - Thou hast commanded us to keep thy precepts diligently. So that when we have done all we are unprofitable servants, we have done only that which it was our duty to have done, seeing we have our Lord's command for it. God's precepts require careful obedience: there is no keeping them by accident. Some give to God a careless service, a sort of hit or miss obedience, but the Lord has not commanded such service, nor will he accept it. His law demands the love of all our heart, soul, mind, and strength; and a careless religion has none of these. We are also called to zealous obedience. We are to keep the precepts abundantly: the vessels of obedience should be filled to the brim, and the command carried out to the full of its meaning. As a man diligent in business arouses himself to do as much trade as he can, so must we be eager to serve the Lord as much as possible. Nor must we spare pains to do so, for a diligent obedience will also be laborious and self denying. Those who are diligent in business rise up early and sit up late, and deny themselves much of comfort and repose. They are not soon tired, or if they are they persevere even with aching brow and weary eye. So should we serve the Lord. Such a Master deserves diligent servants; such service he demands, and will be content with nothing less. How seldom do men render it, and hence many through their negligence miss the double blessing spoken of in this Psalm.

Some are diligent in superstition and will worship; be it ours to be diligent in keeping God's precepts. It is of no use travelling fast if we are not in the right road. Men have been diligent in a losing business, and the more they have traded the more they have lost: this is bad enough in commerce, we cannot afford to have it so in our religion.

God has not commanded us to be diligent in making precepts, but in keeping them. Some bind yokes upon their own necks, and make bonds and rules for others: but the wise course is to be satisfied with the rules of holy Scripture, and to strive to keep them all, in all places, towards all men, and in all respects. If we do not this, we may become eminent in our own religion, but we shall not have kept the command of God; nor shall we be accepted of him.

The Psalmist began with the third person: he is now coming near home, and has already reached the first person plural, according to our version; we shall soon hear him crying out personally and for himself. As the heart glows with love to holiness, we long to have a personal interest in it. The word of God is a heart affecting book, and when we begin to sing its praises it soon comes home to us, and sets us praying to be ourselves conformed to its teachings.

Charles Bridges - Ps 119:4. You have commanded us to keep Your precepts diligently.
We have seen the character of the Man of God. Let us mark the authority of God, commanding him to a diligent obedience. The very sight of the command is enough for him. He obeys for the command's sake, however contrary it may be to his own will. But has he any reason to complain of the yoke? Even under the dispensation, which "genders unto bondage" most encouraging were the obligations to obedience, "that it may be well with them, and with their children forever." Much more, then, we, under a dispensation of love, can never lack a motive for obedience! Let the daily mercies of Providence stir up the question, "What shall I render to the Lord?" Let the far richer mercies of grace produce "a living sacrifice" to be "presented to the Lord." Let "the love of Christ constrain us." Let the recollection of the "price with which we were bought," remind us of the Lord's ownership in us, and of our obligations to "glorify Him in our body, and in our spirit, which are His." Let us only "behold the Lamb of God;" let us hear His wrestling supplications, His deserted cry, His expiring agonies—the price of our redemption; and then let us ask ourselves—Can we lack a motive?
But what is the scriptural character of evangelical obedience? It is the work of the Spirit, enabling us to "obey the truth." It is the end of the purpose of God, who "has chosen us in Christ before the foundation of the world, that we should be holy and without blame before Him in love." It is the only satisfactory test of our profession.
Then let me begin my morning with the inquiry, "Lord, what will You have me to do?" "Teach me Your way, O Lord; I will walk in Your truth; unite my heart to fear Your name." Let me trade with all my talents for You: ever watchful, that I may be employed in Your work; setting a guard upon my thoughts, my lips, my tempers, my pursuits, that nothing may hinder, but rather everything may help me, in keeping Your precepts diligently.
But why do I ever find the precepts to be "grievous" to me? Is it not that some indolence is indulged; or some "iniquity regarded in my heart;" or some principle of unfaithfulness divides my services with two masters, when I ought to be "following the Lord fully?" Oh! for the spirit of "simplicity and godly sincerity" in the precepts of God. Oh! for that warm and constant love, which is the main-spring of devoted diligence in the service of God. Oh! for a larger supply of that "wisdom which is from above," and which is "without partiality and without hypocrisy!"

Psalm 119:5 Oh that my ways may be established To keep Your statutes!  

  • Ps 119:32,36,44,45,131,159,173 51:10 Jer 31:33 Ro 7:22-24 2Th 3:5 Heb 13:21 


Oh that my ways may be established To keep Your statutes!  

Spurgeon - O that my ways were directed to keep thy statutes! Divine commands should direct us in the subject of our prayers. We cannot of ourselves keep God's statutes as he would have them kept, and yet we long to do so: what resort have we but prayer? We must ask the Lord to work our works in us, or we shall never work out his commandments. This verse is a sigh of regret because the Psalmist feels that he has not kept the precepts diligently, it is a cry of weakness appealing for help to one who can aid, it is a request of bewilderment from one who has lost his way and would fain be directed in it, and it is a petition of faith from one who loves God and trusts in him for grace.

Our ways are by nature opposed to the way of God, and must be turned by the Lord's direction in another direction from that which they originally take or they will lead us down to destruction. God can direct the mind and will without violating our free agency, and he will do so in answer to prayer; in fact, he has begun the work already in those who are heartily praying after the fashion of this verse. It is for present holiness that the desire arises in the heart. O that it were so now with me: but future persevering holiness is also meant, for he longs for grace to keep henceforth and for ever the statutes of the Lord.

The sigh of the text is really a prayer, though it does not exactly take that form. Desires and longings are of the essence of supplication, and it little matters what shape they take. "O that" is as acceptable a prayer as "Our Father."

One would hardly have expected a prayer for direction; rather should we have looked for a petition for enabling. Can we not direct ourselves? What if we cannot row, we can steer. The Psalmist herein confesses that even for the smallest part of his duty he felt unable without grace. He longed for the Lord to influence his will, as well as to strengthen his hands. We want a rod to point out the way as much as a staff to support us in it.

The longing of the text is prompted by admiration of the blessedness of holiness, by a contemplation of the righteous man's beauty of character, and by a reverent awe of the command of God. It is a personal application to the writer's own case of the truths which he had been considering. "O that my ways, "etc. It were well if all who hear and read the word would copy this example and turn all that they hear into prayer. We should have more keepers of the statutes if we had more who sighed and cried after the grace to do so.

Charles Bridges - Ps 119:5. Oh that my ways were directed to keep Your statutes!
The Lord has indeed "commanded us to keep His precepts." But, alas! where is our power? Satan would make the sense of our weakness an excuse for indolence. The Spirit of God convinces us of it, as an incitement to prayer, and an exercise of faith. If, Reader, your heart is right with God, you "consent to the law that it is good;" you "delight in it after the inner man;" you would not have one jot or tittle altered, mitigated, or repealed, that it might be more conformed to your own will, or allow you more liberty or self-indulgence in the ways of sin. But do you not sigh to think, that, when you aim at the perfect standard of holiness, you should, at your best moments, and in your highest attainments, fall so far below it; seeing indeed the way before you, but feeling yourself without ability to walk in it? Then let a sense of your helplessness for the work of the Lord lead you to the throne of grace, to pray, and watch, and wait, for the strengthening and refreshing influences of the Spirit of grace. Here let your faith realize at one and the same view your utter insufficiency, and your complete All-sufficiency. Here behold Him, who is ever presenting Himself before God as our glorious Head, receiving in Himself, according to the good pleasure of the Father, the full supply for this and every successive moment of inexpressible need. Our work is not therefore left upon our own hands, or wrought out at our "own charges." So long as he has the "Spirit of grace" he will be found "sufficient"—Divine "strength will be made perfect in weakness." "Without Him we can do nothing;" "through Him, all things." Even the "worm Jacob shall thresh the mountains," when the Lord says, "Fear not, I will help you."
In connecting this verse with the preceding, how accurately is the middle path preserved, equally distant from the idea of self-sufficiency to "keep the Lord's statutes," and self justification in neglecting them! The first attempt to render spiritual obedience will quickly convince us of our utter helplessness. We might as soon create a world, as create in our hearts one pulse of spiritual life. And yet our inability does not cancel our obligation. Shall God lose His right, because sin has palsied our ability? Is not a drunken servant still under his master's law? and is not the sin which prevents him from performing his duty, not his excuse, but his aggravation? Thus our weakness is that of a heart, which "cannot be subject to the law of God," only because it is carnal, "enmity against God." The obligation therefore remains in full force. Our inability is our sin, our guilt, and condemnation.
What then remains for us, but to return the mandate to heaven, accompanied with an earnest prayer, that the Lord would write upon our hearts those statutes, to which He requires obedience in His word?, "You have commanded us to keep Your statutes diligently." We acknowledge, Lord, our obligation; but we feel our impotency. Lord, help us: we look unto You. "Oh that our ways were directed to keep Your statutes!" "Give what You command—and then command what You will." (Augustine.) 
Now, as if to exhibit the fullness and suitableness of the promises of the gospel, the commands and prayers are returned back again from heaven with promises of quickening and directing grace. Thus does the Lord fully answer His end with us. He did not issue the commands, expecting that we could turn our own hearts to them; but that the conviction of our entire helplessness might cast us upon Him, who loves to be sought, and never will be thus sought in vain. And indeed this is a part of the "mystery of godliness," that in proportion as we depend upon Him who is alike, "the Lord our righteousness," and our strength; our desire after holiness will increase, and our prayers become more fervent. He who commands our duty, perfectly knows our weakness; and he who feels his own weakness is fully encouraged to depend upon the power of his Savior. 
Faith is then the principle of evangelical obedience, and the promises of His grace enable us for duty, at the very time that we are commanded to it. In this view are brought together the supreme authority of the Lawgiver, the total insufficiency of the creature, the full provisions of the Savior, and the all-sufficiency of "the God of grace." We pray for what we lack; we are thankful for what we have; we trust for what is promised. Thus "all is of God." Christ "is the Alpha and the Omega, the beginning and the end, the first and the last." Thus "grace reigns" triumphant. The foundation is laid in grace, and the headstone will be brought forth with shoutings, crying, "Grace, grace unto it!" The Savior's work is finished, and Jesus is crowned Lord of all forever.

Psalm 119:6 Then I shall not be ashamed When I look upon all Your commandments.  

  • shall I Ps 119:31,80 Job 22:26 Da 12:2,3 1Jn 2:28 3:20,21 
  • I have Ps 119:128 Joh 15:14 Jas 2:10 

Then I shall not be ashamed  Then shall I not be ashamed. He had known shame, and here he rejoices in the prospect of being freed from it. Sin brings shame, and when sin is gone, the reason for being ashamed is banished. What a deliverance this is, for to some men death is preferable to shame!

When I look upon all Your commandments - NLT is interesting = "when I compare my life with your commands." 

Look upon (05027)(nabat) is a root which means that which one does with the eye (Ps 94:9), everything from a mere glance (1Sa17:42) to a careful, sustained, and favorable contemplation (Isa 5:12; Ps 74:20; Ps 119:6, 15 Hab 1:5) 

Septuagint Look at (regard, pay special attention) (1914)(epiblepo from epi = upon + blepo = to observe, to see) means to literally to turn the eyes upon. The root verb blepo frequently implies looking not nonchalantly but with intent and earnest contemplation. BDAG says epiblepo means to "look intently, to pay close attention to (show special respect for - James 2:3), to look attentively at with implication of personal concern for someone or something (God in Lk 1:48+).  

Spurgeon - When I have respect unto all thy commandments. When he respects God he shall respect himself and be respected. Whenever we err we prepare ourselves for confusion of face and sinking of heart: if no one else is ashamed of me I shall be ashamed of myself if I do iniquity. Our first parents never knew shame till they made the acquaintance of the old serpent, and it never left them till their gracious God had covered them with sacrificial skins. Disobedience made them naked and ashamed. We, ourselves, will always have cause for shame till every sin is vanquished, and every duty is observed. When we pay a continual and universal respect to the will of the Lord, then we shall be able to look ourselves in the face in the looking glass of the law, and we shall not blush at the sight of men or devils, however eager their malice may be to lay somewhat to our charge.

Many suffer from excessive diffidence, and this verse suggests a cure. An abiding sense of duty will make us bold, we shall be afraid to be afraid. No shame in the presence of man will hinder us when the fear of God has taken full possession of our minds. When we are on the king's highway by daylight, and are engaged upon royal business, we need ask no man's leave. It would be a dishonour to a king to be ashamed of his livery and his service; no such shame should ever crimson the cheek of a Christian, nor will it if he has due reverence for the Lord his God. There is nothing to be ashamed of in a holy life; a man may be ashamed of his pride, ashamed of his wealth, ashamed of his own children, but he will never be ashamed of having in all things regarded the will of the Lord his God.

It is worthy of remark that David promises himself no immunity from shame till he has carefully paid homage to all the precepts. Mind that word "all, "and leave not one command out of your respect. Partial obedience still leaves us liable to be called to account for those commands which we have neglected. A man may have a thousand virtues, and yet a single failing may cover him with shame.

To a poor sinner who is buried in despair, it may seem a very unlikely thing that he should ever be delivered from shame. He blushes, and is confounded, and feels that he can never lift up his face again. Let him read these words: "Then shall I not be ashamed." David is not dreaming, nor picturing an impossible case. Be assured, dear friend, that the Holy Spirit can renew in you the image of God, so that you shall yet look up without fear. O for sanctification to direct us in God's way, for then shall we have boldness both towards God and his people, and shall no more crimson with confusion.

Charles Bridges - Ps 119:6. Then shall I not be ashamed, when I have respect unto all Your commandments.
The Lord expects our obedience to be not only "diligent," but universal. Willingly to dispense with the least of the commandments, proves that we have yet to learn the spirit of acceptable obedience. Grace is given and suited for all, no less than for one of them, "that we might walk worthy of the Lord unto all pleasing." One lust "regarded in the heart" is sufficient to keep possession for the tyrant, however others may be restrained. Even Herod could "do many things;" and yet his adulterous wife cherished in his bosom, too plainly proved the sovereignty of sin to be undisturbed. Saul slew all the Amalekites but one; and that single exception to universal obedience marked his unsoundness, cost him the loss of his throne, and brought him under the awful displeasure of his God. And thus the one corrupt unmortified member brings the whole body to hell. Reserves are the canker upon godly sincerity. A secret indulgence, "the rolling of the sweet morsel under the tongue," "the part of the price kept back"—stamps our service as a robbery, not as an offering. We may be free, sincere, and earnest in many parts of our prescribed duty; but this "root of bitterness" renders the whole an abomination.
Sincerity therefore must be the stamp of my Christian profession. Though utterly unable to render perfect obedience to the least of the commandments, yet my desire and purpose will have respect unto them all. I shall no more venture to break the least, than the greatest of them; much less shall I ever think of attempting to atone for the breach of one by the performance of the rest. They are indeed many commandments; yet—like links in a chain—they form but one law; and I know who has said, "Whoever shall keep the whole law, and yet offend in one point, he is guilty of all." 
However the professor may confine his regard to the second table (as if the first were ceremonial, or obsolete, or the regulation of the outward man was the utmost extent of the requirement,) I would fix my eye with equal regard to both; yet specially marking any command in either of them; that may appear most directly opposed to my besetting corruptions. Thus "walking in the fear of the Lord," I may hope to walk "in the comfort of the Holy Spirit" and "hereby shall I know that I am of the truth, and shall assure my heart before God."
But where, in my strictest walk, is my hope of acceptance, but in Him, whose obedience has "fulfilled all righteousness" in my stead, and whose death "has redeemed me from the curse" of my unrighteousness, when repentance, prayers, and tears, would have been of no avail? Yet it is only in the path of holiness that we can realize our acceptance. The heart occupied with this world's pleasure knows nothing of this heavenly joy. Its brightness is dimmed—its freshness fades—its life withers—in the very breath of an unholy world. A godly assurance of the present favor of God must be weakened by self-indulgence, unwatchfulness, allowance of secret sins, or neglect of secret duties. "If you return to the Almighty"—said a wise man, "you shall be built up, you shall put away iniquity far from yourself. Then shall you have your delight in the Almighty, and shall lift up your face unto God."
Let us then carefully examine the character of our assurance. Does it rest simply and exclusively upon the testimony of the Gospel? Will it abide the test of the word of God? Is it productive of tenderness of conscience, watchfulness, and circumspection of conduct? Does it exercise our diligence in adding grace to grace, that we may "make our calling and election sure," and that "an entrance may be ministered to us abundantly into the everlasting kingdom of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ?" How boldly can we plead our Christian confidence in the path of godliness, "I have stuck to Your testimonies; O Lord, put me not to shame. Let my heart be sound in Your statutes, that I be not ashamed."

Psalm 119:7 I shall give thanks to You with uprightness of heart, When I learn Your righteous judgments.  

  • I shall give thanks l Ps 119:171 9:1 86:12,13 1Ch 29:13-17 
  • when Ps 119:12,18,19,27,33,34,64,73,124 25:4,5,8-10 143:10 Isa 48:17 Joh 6:45 
  • Your righteous judgments, Ps 119:138 

I shall give thanks to You with uprightness of heart,

Spurgeon - I will praise thee. From prayer to praise is here, a long or a difficult journey. Be sure that he who prays for holiness will one day praise for happiness. Shame having vanished, silence is broken, and the formerly silent man declares, "I will praise thee." He cannot but promise praise while he seeks sanctification. Mark how well he knows upon what head to set the crown. "I will praise thee." He would himself be praiseworthy, but he counts God alone worthy of praise. By the sorrow and shame of sin he measures his obligations to the Lord who would teach him the art of living so that he should clean escape from his former misery.

Spurgeon - With up righteous of heart. His heart would be upright if the Lord would teach him, and then it should praise its teacher. There is such a thing as false and feigned praise, and this the Lord abhors; but there is no music like that which comes from a pure soul which standeth in its integrity. Heart praise is required, uprightness in that heart, and teaching to make the heart upright. An upright heart is sure to bless the Lord, for grateful adoration is a part of its uprightness; no man can be right unless he is upright towards God, and this involves the rendering to him the praise which is his due.

When I learn Your righteous judgments.  

Learn (03925)(lamad) means "to learn, study, and teach," as well as "to be taught and to be learned." Lamad conveys the idea of learning and teaching in the sense of educating and training. The first use of lamad in the OT is in Dt 4:1+ which emphasizes its importance (because Israel was being given instructions prior to entering the promised land). The idea is to gain information and respond properly to it with regular action, implying acceptance of, or submission to the information. 

Septuagint Learn (3129)(manthano related to the noun mathetes = disciple, literally a learner! The shut mind is the end of discipleship!) has the basic meaning of directing one’s mind to something and producing an external effect. Manthano refers to teaching, learning, instructing, and discipling. Manthano to genuinely understand and accept a teaching, to accept it as true and to apply it in one’s life. It was sometimes used of acquiring a life-long habit.

Righteous (06664)(tsedeq) the root connotes CONFORMITY to an  ETHICAL or MORAL STANDARD. Biblically this is clearly God's holy, perfect standard

Judgments (justice, ordinance[s]) (04941)(mishpat/mispat from shaphat = to judge, govern) is a masculine noun used over 400x in the OT and has general meanings including a judgment, a legal decision, a legal case, a claim, proper, rectitude.  Vine writes that mishpat/mispat "has two main senses; the first deals with the act of sitting as a judge, hearing a case, and rendering a proper verdict. Eccl. 12:14 is one such occurrence. Mishpat can also refer to the “rights” belonging to someone (Ex 23:6). This second sense carries several nuances: the sphere in which things are in proper relationship to one’s claims (Ge 18:19—first occurrence); a judicial verdict (Dt. 17:9); the statement of the case for the accused (Nu 27:5); and an established ordinance (Exod. 21:1).  (Vine's Expository Dictionary)

Spurgeon - When I shall have learned thy righteous judgments. We must learn to praise, learn that we may praise, and praise when we have learned. If we are ever to learn, the Lord must teach us, and especially upon such a subject as his judgments, for they are a great deep. While these are passing before our eyes, and we are learning from them, we ought to praise God, for the original is not, "when I have learned, "but, "in my learning." While yet I am a scholar I will be a chorister: my upright heart shall praise thine uprightness, my purified judgment shall admire thy judgments. God's providence is a book full of teaching, and to those whose hearts are right it is a music book, out of which they chant to Jehovah's praise. God's word is full of the record of his righteous providence, and as we read it we feel compelled to burst forth into expressions of holy delight and ardent praise. When we both read of God's judgments and become joyful partakers in them, we are doubly moved to song— song in which there is neither formality, nor hypocrisy, nor lukewarmness, for the heart is upright in the presentation of its praise.

Charles Bridges - Ps 119:7. I will praise You with uprightness of heart, when I shall have learned Your righteous judgments.
The righteous judgments of God include the whole revelation of His word—so called—as the rule by which He judges our present state, and will pronounce our final sentence. David's attainments here seemed to be as nothing. So much remained unlearned and unknown, that he could only anticipate the time, when he shall have learned them. "Your commandment"—he exclaims, "is exceedingly broad." When the Apostle, after twenty years' acquaintance with the gospel, expressed it as the one desire of his heart, "That I may know Christ;" evidently he entertained the same humbling views of his high attainments, and the same exalted apprehensions of the value of treasures yet unexplored, and progressively opening before him. Thus the wisest saints are only students in the Divine School. Yet whatever their learning be, it casts them into the mold and spirit of their doctrine. Conceit of one's knowledge, is the greatest enemy to knowledge, and the strongest proof of ignorance; so that, "if any man thinks that he knows anything, he knows nothing yet as he ought to know." "He deceives himself."
But what is the motive, that enlivens the believer in this holy learning? Is it that he may live upon the airy breath of human applause? No, rather that he may "praise his God with uprightness of heart." When our mind is dark, our lips are sealed. But when "He opens our understandings" to "learn His judgments," He will next "open our lips, and our mouth shall show forth His praise." And this indeed is the end for which "His people are formed;" for which they "are called out of darkness into marvelous light." This is the daily frame, in which our God will be glorified. Yet must we live as well as sing His praise. "The praise of the upright heart will be shown in the holy walk and conversation."
But let us watch, that our praise really flows "out of the abundance" of what our hearts have "learned" of His "righteous judgments." For do we not sometimes speak of our Savior with a secret lurking after self-exaltation? May we not really be seeking and serving ourselves in the very act of seeming to serve and honor Him? Surely the very thought of the selfishness that defiles our holiest earthly praise, may well quicken our longings after that world of praise, where the flame burns active, bright, incessant; where we shall offer our sacrifices without defilement, without intermission, without weariness, without end!

Psalm 119:8 I shall keep Your statutes; Do not forsake me utterly!  

  • I shall keep Your statutes Ps 119:16,106,115 Jos 24:15 
  • Do not forsake me utterly Ps 119:116,117,176 38:21,22 51:11 Php 4:13 

I shall keep Your statutes - Keep (see shamar) means to watch, to keep, to preserve, to guard, to be careful, to watch over, to watch carefully over, to be on one's guard. This is what Adam was supposed to do in Ge 2:15 but did not do a very good job as we see in Genesis 3! 

Spurgeon - I will keep thy statutes. A calm resolve. When praise calms down into solid resolution it is well with the soul. Zeal which spends itself in singing, and leaves no practical residuum of holy living, is little worth: "I will praise" should be coupled with "I will keep." This firm resolve is by no means boastful, like Peter's "though I should die with thee, yet will I not forsake thee, "for it is followed by a humble prayer for divine help,

Do not forsake me utterly! After his confident assertion that he could keep all God's statutes, testimonies, precepts, walking in His law, respecting His commandments, and learning His judgments he suddenly realizes he simply cannot do all this and right at the end of his first stanza he cries out for God's mercy! (cp Php 2:12,13, Eze 36:27). 

THOUGHT - And this indeed is my feeble cry...the fear that the Holy God would say "enough of your sin...have your own way then''. Lord I plead with you to not give me over to my flesh and to the lusts of this world. Do not forsake me utterly yea even though I deserve that end. Please visit me afresh Lord. Please be willing to speak to me to make Your presence known to me. Tender my heart to confess quickly my waywardness, rebellion and evil heart. For Thy Name's sake. Amen.

Spurgeon - O forsake me not utterly. Feeling his own incapacity, he trembles lest he should be left to himself, and this fear is increased by the horror which he has of falling into sin. The "I will keep" sounds lightly enough now that the humble cry is heard with it. This is a happy amalgam: resolution and dependence. We meet with those who to all appearance humbly pray, but there is no force of character, no decision in them, and consequently the pleading of the closet is not embodied in the life: on the other band, we meet with abundance of resolve attended with an entire absence of dependence upon God, and this makes as poor a character as the former. The Lord grant us to have such a blending of excellences that we may be "perfect and entire, wanting nothing."

This prayer is one which is certain to be heard, for assuredly it must be highly pleasing to God to see a man set upon obeying his will, and therefore it must be most agreeable to him to be present with such a person, and to help him in his endeavours. How can he forsake one who does not forsake his law?

The peculiar dread which tinges this prayer with a sombre hue is the fear of utter forsaking. Well may the soul cry out against such a calamity. To be left, that we may discover our weakness, is a sufficient trial: To be altogether forsaken would be ruin and death. Hiding the face in a little wrath for a moment brings us very low: an absolute desertion would land us ultimately in the lowest hell. But  the Lord never has utterly forsaken his servants, and he never will, blessed be his name. If we long to keep his statutes he will keep us; yea, his grace will keep us keeping his law.

There is rather a descent from the mount of benediction with which the first verse began to the almost wail of this eighth verse, yet this is spiritually a growth, for from admiration of goodness we have come to a burning longing after God and communion with him, and an intense horror lest it should not be enjoyed. The sigh of Psalms 119:5 is now supplanted by an actual prayer from the depths of a heart conscious of its undesert, and its entire dependence upon divine love. The two, "I wills" needed to be seasoned with some such lowly petition, or it might have been thought that the good man's dependence was in some degree fixed upon his own determination. He presents his resolutions like a sacrifice, but he cries to heaven for the fire.

Charles Bridges - Ps 119:8. I will keep Your statutes: O forsake me not utterly.
The resolution to "keep the Lord's statutes" is the natural result of having "learned His righteous judgments." But how happily does David combine "simplicity" of dependence with "godly sincerity" of obedience! Firm in his purpose, but distrustful of his strength, instantly upon forming his resolution, he recollects that the performance is beyond his power; and therefore the next moment, and almost the same moment, he follows it up with prayer, "I will keep Your statutes: O forsake me not utterly." Oh! beware of self-confidence in the Christian course. We stumble or advance, as we lean upon an arm of flesh, or upon an Almighty Savior. 
Temporary desertion may be the seasonable chastisement of spiritual wantonness. When grace has been given in answer to prayer, it was not duly prized, or diligently improved. The "Beloved"—in answer to solicitation, "has come into His garden," He knocks at the door, but the spouse is "asleep." The answer to prayer was not expected, not waited for, and therefore not enjoyed; and the sleeper awakes too late, and finds herself forsaken by the object of her desire. Again—when we have given place to temptation; when love for our Savior "waxes cold," and our earnestness in seeking Him is fainting; we must not be surprised, if we are left for a time to the trial of a deserted state.
Yet we sometimes speak of the hidings of God's countenance, as if it were a sovereign act, calling for implicit submission; when the cause should at least be sought for, and will generally be found, in some "secret thing" of indulgence, unwatchfulness, or self-dependence. It was while David "kept silence" from the language of contrition, that he felt the pressure of the heavy hand of his frowning God. And may not the darkness, which has sometimes clouded our path, be the voice of our God, "Your own wickedness shall correct you, and your backslidings shall reprove you; know therefore and see, that it is an evil thing and bitter, that you have forsaken the Lord your God."
But in the engagement of the Lord's everlasting covenant, how clear is the warrant of faith!—how ample the encouragement for prayer, "Forsake me not utterly!" David knew and wrote of the Lord's unchangeable faithfulness to His people; and while he dreaded even a temporary separation from his God more than any worldly affliction, he could plead that gracious declaration, "Nevertheless, my loving-kindness will I not utterly take from him, nor permit my faithfulness to fail." 
We would not indeed make the promises of grace an encouragement to carelessness: yet it is indispensable to our spiritual establishment that we receive them in their full, free, and sovereign declaration. How many fainting souls have been refreshed by the assurances, "For a small moment have I forsaken you; but with great mercies will I gather you: with everlasting kindness will I have mercy on you, says the Lord your Redeemer!" "My sheep shall never perish; neither shall any pluck them out of My hand." In a lowly, self-abased, and dependent spirit, we shall best, however, learn to "make our boast in the Lord;" "confident of this very thing, that he who has begun a good work in us, will perform it until the day of Jesus Christ." And even if awhile destitute of sensible consolation, still our language will be, "I will wait upon the Lord, who hides His face from the house of Jacob; and I will look for Him."
Great, indeed, is the danger and evil to the soul, if we apprehend the Lord to have forsaken us, because we are in darkness; or that we are out of the way, because we are in perplexity. These are the very hand-posts, that show us that we are in the way of His own promised leading—painful exercise—faithful keeping—eternal salvation: "I will bring the blind by a way that they knew not; I will lead them in paths that they have not known; I will make darkness light before them, and crooked things straight. These things will I do unto them, and not forsake them." Oh! the rest—the satisfaction of placing an implicit confidence in a covenant-keeping God! 
Forsaken we may be—but not utterly. David was forsaken, not like Saul. Peter was forsaken, not like Judas, utterly and forever. What foreboding have you of such desertion? Is your heart willing to forsake Him? Have you no mournings and thirstings for His return? "If, indeed, you forsake Him, He will forsake you." But can you forsake Him? 'Let Him do as seems good to Him (is the language of your heart); I will wait for Him, follow after Him, cleave to His word, cling to His cross.' Mark His dealings with you. Inquire into their reason. Submit to His dispensation. If He forsakes, beg His return: but trust your forsaking God. "Though He slays me, yet will I trust in Him." Though my comfort is clouded, my hope remains unchanging, unchangeable—such as I would not resign for the glory of an earthly kingdom. What are these earnest breathings—this abiding confidence, but His own work in us? And can the Lord "forsake the work of His own hands?" Sooner should heaven and earth pass, than the faithful engagements of the gospel be thus broken.

PSALM 119:8

The godly conduct that produces spiritual stability depends on obeying the divine standard of God’s Word. The Word is what cultivates godly attitudes, thoughts, and actions that will keep you from being overwhelmed by trials and temptations. To understand the relationship between godly attitudes, thoughts, and actions, consider this analogy. If a policeman sees someone who is about to violate the law, he will arrest him. Similarly, godly attitudes and thoughts produced by the Word act as policemen to arrest the flesh before it commits a crime against the standard of God’s Word. But if they are not on duty, they can’t arrest the flesh, and the flesh is free to violate the law of God. The analogy teaches that right attitudes and thoughts must precede right practices. Paul realized only spiritual weapons will help in our warfare against the flesh (2 Cor. 10:4). By using the right weapons, you can take “every thought into captivity to the obedience of Christ” (2 Cor 10:5). (Truth for Today)

Psalm 119:9 Beth. How can a young man keep his way pure? By keeping it according to Your word.  

  • How can - Ps 25:7 34:11 Job 1:5 13:26 Pr 1:4,10 4:1,10-17 5:7-23 6:20-35 Pr 7:7 Ec 11:9,10 12:1 Lu 15:13 2Ti 2:22 Tit 2:4-6 
  • by keeping Ps 119:11,97-105 1:1-3 19:7-11 78:4-8 De 6:6-9 17:18 Jos 1:7 Joh 15:3 2Ti 3:15-17 Jas 1:21-25 

How can a young man keep his way pure? A good question not just for a young man but for an old man! 

Keep pure (02135)(zakah) to clean, to be clean, to cleanse. It is found only 8x in the OT - Job 15:14 = "What is man, that he should be pure"; Job 25:4 = "how can he be clean who is born of woman?"; Ps. 51:4 = "blameless when You judge"; Ps. 73:13 = "Surely in vain I have kept my heart pure"; Ps. 119:9; Pr 20:9 = "who can say I have cleansed my heart"; Isa. 1:16 = "make yourselves clean"; Mic. 6:11 = "Can I justify wicked scales" In Psalm 119:9 zakah is translated in the Septuagint with the verb katorthoo (used in 1 Ki 2:35; 1 Chr 16:30; 1 Chr 28:7; 2 Chr 29:35; 2 Chr 33:16; 2 Chr 35:10; 2 Chr 35:16; Ps 96:10; Ps 119:9; Ps 119:128; Pr 2:7; Pr 2:9; Pr 4:18; Pr 9:6; Pr 11:10; Pr 12:3; Pr 12:19; Pr 14:11; Pr 25:5; Isa. 9:7; Jer 10:23; Ezek 18:29; Mic.7:2; Zech 4:7) which means to cause something to be correct, to come out right, accomplish successfully, or be set straight. 

Herbert Wolf - The Piel means "to make or keep clean, pure," the Hithpael, to make oneself clean" (only in Isaiah 1:16).The term appears twice in Job (Job 15:14; Job 25:4), and both times Job's comforters are asking how a man can be pure in the sight of God. In each verse zākâ is parallel to ṣādaq "be righteous." A similar question appears in Proverbs 20:9 where the admission is made that no one has kept his heart pure and sinless. Those who walk in accord with God's word can live pure lives, however (Psalm 119:9). The psalmist also notes that at times the wicked appear to be happier and more prosperous than the one who keeps his heart pure (Psalm 73:13), but in the end the wicked are ruined. In Isaiah 1:16 God warns the people of Judah that they must wash and make themselves clean or face severe judgment. Twice the verb is used of God. In Psalm 51:4 [H 6] David admits that God was "justified" when he judged David for his sin with Bathsheba. The interpretation of Micah 6:11 is difficult. Is God asking if he should "justify wicked scales" (NASB) or "acquit a man" (RSV, NIV) who uses dishonest scales? The thought seems to be that God will not "declare pure" such a sinner. (Theological Wordbook of the Old Testament)

Spurgeon -  How can a young man keep his way pure How shall he become and remain practically holy? He is but a young man, full of hot passions, and poor in knowledge and experience; how shall he get right, and keep right? Never was there a more important question for any man; never was there a fitter time for asking it than at the commencement of life. It is by no means an easy task which the prudent young man sets before him. He wishes to choose a clean way, to be himself clean in it, to cleanse it of any foulness which may arise in the future, and to end by showing a clear course from the first step to the last; but, alas, his way is already unclean by actual sin which he has already committed, and he himself has within his nature a tendency towards that which defileth. Here, then, is the difficulty, first of beginning aright, next of being always able to know and choose the right, and of continuing in the right till perfection is ultimately reached: this is hard for any man, how shall a youth accomplish it? The way, or life, of the man has to be cleansed from the sins of his youth behind him, and kept clear of the sins which temptation will place before him: this is the work, this is the difficulty. No nobler ambition can lie before a youth, none to which he is called by so sure a calling; but none in which greater difficulties can be found. Let him not, however, shrink from the glorious enterprise of living a pure and gracious life; rather let him enquire the way by which all obstacles may be overcome. Let him not think that he knows the road to easy victory, nor dream that he can keep himself by his own wisdom; he will do well to follow the Psalmist, and become an earnest enquirer asking how he may cleanse his way. Let him become a practical disciple of the holy God, who alone can teach him how to overcome the world, the flesh and the devil, that trinity of defilers by whom many a hopeful life has been spoiled. He is young and unaccustomed to the road, let him not be ashamed often to enquire his way of him who is so ready and so able to instruct him in it. Our "way" is a subject which concerns us deeply, and it is far better to enquire about it than to speculate upon mysterious themes which rather puzzle than enlighten the mind. Among all the questions which a young man asks, and they are many, let this be the first and chief: "Wherewithal shall I cleanse my way?" This is a question suggested by common sense, and pressed home by daily occurrences; but it is not to be answered by unaided reason, nor, when answered, can the directions be carried out by unsupported human power. It is ours to ask the question, it is God's to give the answer and enable us to carry it out. (Treasury of David)

What is the "4D" process suggested in these verses?

1). Desire to remain pure
2). Devour it: Treasure or store up God's Word of life, Word of truth in your control center [(your heart...all your heart = a whole heart not a divided heart for you will be double-minded and unstable in all your ways (Jas 1:8) for you cannot serve two masters (Mt 6:24)]
3). Do it: Keep it according to the treasured Word (v10 sought Thee...the idea of fixing your eyes on Jesus Heb12:2)
4). Depend on God's power ("Do not let me wander from Thy commandments")
5). RESULT: Not sin against God...keep way pure

By keeping it according to Your word -  Note that God provides His Word, but we are responsible to keep it. He will not force us to keep it, but in the Church age God has also provided His Spirit to enable us to make the choice daily to keep it. 

Keeping (careful, guard, kept, observe, watch) (08104)(shamar) means to keep, watch, preserve, to guard, to be careful, to watch over, to watch carefully over, to be on one’s guard. The first use of shamar in Ge 2:15 is instructive as Adam was placed in the garden (a perfect environment) and was commanded to "keep" it which in the Septuagint is translated with phulasso (used here in Ps 119:9 to translate shamar) which means to guard like a military sentinel would at his post. Clearly Adam did not do a good job at "keeping" the garden safe from intruders! And because of this failure he was cast out of the garden and angels stationed to "guard (Lxx = phulasso) the way to the tree of life" so that he would not eat of it (Ge 3:24). We are charge not with watching the Garden of Eden but to watch over the "garden" of our heart, to make sure we quickly pull (confess) "weeds" of sin! Phulasso in Ps 119:9 is in the middle voice which means the subject (us) initiates the action (guarding our heart - see Pr 4:23+) and participates in the results (fruit) of zealously guarding our heart! 

Shamar is a "key verb" in Psalm 119 - Ps. 119:4; Ps. 119:5; Ps. 119:8; Ps. 119:9; Ps. 119:17; Ps. 119:34; Ps. 119:44; Ps. 119:55; Ps. 119:57; Ps. 119:60; Ps. 119:63; Ps. 119:67; Ps. 119:88; Ps. 119:101; Ps. 119:106

Spurgeon By keeping it according to Your word - Young man, the Bible must be your chart, and you must exercise great watchfulness that your way may be according to its directions. You must take heed to your daily life as well as study your Bible, and you must study your Bible that you may take heed to your daily life (STUDY YOUR BIBLE BUT BE SURE TO LET IT "STUDY YOU!"). With the greatest care a man will go astray if his map misleads him; but with the most accurate map he will still lose his road if he does not take heed to it. (SEE EXAMPLE OF A MAN WHO KNEW THE WORD BUT DID NOT PRACTICE IT - HIS NAME WAS NIKITA KRUSHCHEV!) The narrow way was never hit upon by chance, neither did any heedless man ever lead a holy life. We can sin without thought, we have only to neglect the great salvation and ruin our souls; BUT to obey the Lord and walk uprightly will need all our heart and soul and mind. Let the careless remember this. Yet the "word" is absolutely necessary; for, otherwise, care will darken into morbid anxiety, and conscientiousness may become superstition. A captain may watch from his deck all night; but if he knows nothing of the coast, and has no pilot on board, he may be carefully hastening on to shipwreck. It is not enough to desire to he right; for ignorance may make us think that we are doing God service when we are provoking him, and the fact of our ignorance will not reverse the character of our action, however much it may mitigate its criminality. Should a man carefully measure out what he believes to be a dose of useful medicine, he will die if it should turn out that he has taken up the wrong vial, and has poured out a deadly poison: the fact that he did it ignorantly will not alter the result. Even so, a young man may surround himself with ten thousand ills, by carefully using an unenlightened judgment, and refusing to receive instruction from the word of God. Wilful ignorance is in itself wilful sin, and the evil which comes of it is without excuse. Let each man, whether young or old, who desires to be holy have a holy watchfulness in his heart, and keep his Holy Bible before his open eye. (AND OPEN HEART). There he will find every turn of the road marked down, every slough and miry place pointed out, with the way to go through unsoiled; and there, too, he will find light for his darkness, comfort for his weariness, and company for his loneliness, so that by its help he shall reach the benediction of the first verse of the Psalm (Psalm 119:1), which suggested the Psalmist's enquiry, and awakened his desires.Note how the first section of eight verses has for its first verse, "Blessed are the undefiled in the way." and the second section runs parallel to it, with the question, "Wherewithal shall a young man cleanse his way?" The blessedness which is set before us in a conditional promise should be practically sought for in the way appointed. The Lord saith, "For this will I be enquired of by the house of Israel to do it for them." (Treasury of David)

We are drowning in a sea of sexual images and sinful attractions. Everywhere we look we find temptation to fill our minds with thoughts of sexual relationships that God wouldn't approve. The writer asked a question that troubles us all: How do we stay pure in a contaminating environment? We cannot do this on our own but must have counsel and strength more dynamic than the tempting influences around us. Where can we find that strength and wisdom? By reading God's Word and doing what it says. - Life Application Study Bible


One of the most important ways is to hide God's Word in our heart (Ps 119:9-11) AS IF OUR VERY LIFE DEPENDED UPON IT...BECAUSE OUR SPIRITUAL VITALITY DOES! Toward the close of World War II, Allied forces were mopping up against remaining Nazi resistance. One particular unit was assigned a crucial mission in Berlin. Each soldier had to memorize a map detailing all of Berlin's important military sites -- and they had to do it in a single night! In just a few hours, each soldier in the unit had committed the map to memory. The mission was a success. Several years later, the Army conducted an experiment to see if that original feat could be duplicated. They offered a similar unit an extra week's furlough--an attractive incentive--if they could carry out a comparable mission without a hitch. But the second unit could not match the success of the first. What made the difference? The lives of the men were not at stake. Surviving in battle was a greater motivation than a week's vacation. Christians are engaged in spiritual warfare (Eph. 6:10-18). Our road map, our plan of strategy against Satan's military strongholds, is the Bible. The more we read it, the more of it we memorize, and the more thoroughly we know it, the more effective we will be for God. We must approach God's Word as if our lives depended on it--because they do. That's real motivation! --HWR (Our Daily Bread, Copyright RBC Ministries, Grand Rapids, MI. — Reprinted by permission. All rights reserved

Thy Word is like an armory,
Where soldiers may repair,
And find, for life's long battle-day,
All needful weapons there.

If your life depended on knowing the Bible,how long would you last?

Even though children can understand the Bible's basic truths, it is no simple book. Anyone who bothers to study it finds it to be as limitless as the cosmos. We can go back to the same text countless times and still find more there. No one has ever mastered the Scriptures. 

The Bible is like the ocean. You can wade in it, feed from it, live on it--or drown in it. But those who take the time to learn its truths and practice them will be changed forever. 

The Bible is simple enough for a child to read
and too deep for a scholar to master.

CLEANSING Psalm 119:9–16

I.      The purging—v. 9
      A.      Concern—“How can a young man cleanse his way?” More simply, “How can a person live a holy life?”
      B.      Cleansing—“By taking heed thereto according to thy Word.” “By reading your Word and following its rules” (LB). A person who follows God’s Word will live a holy life.

II.      The plea—v. 10
      A.      Prayer—“With my whole heart have I sought Thee.” Perhaps the psalmist knew the truth of Jer. 29:13.
      B.      Plea—“O let me not wander from thy commandments.” In plain words, “Help me to obey all thy commandments.”
    A Christian should always be seeking to improve his Christian living. He should never be satisfied. To be satisfied is to be backslidden.

III.      The power—v. 11
      A.      Scripture—“Thy Word.” God’s Word will not pass away. His Word is settled forever in heaven—Ps. 119:89.
      B.      Security—“Have I hid in my heart.” If we hide His Word in our hearts, we’ll not sin against God! Jesus said that out of the heart man speaks—Matt. 15:18.
      C.      Sinlessness—“That I might not sin against thee.” The more we hide God’s Word in our hearts, the less we will sin against Him.

IV.      The prayer—v. 12
      A.      Praise—“Blessed art thou.” All prayer should begin with thanksgiving. Daniel prayed and gave thanks—Dan. 6:10.
      B.      Plea—“O Lord: teach me thy statutes.” He will teach us if we are willing to study—2 Tim. 2:15.

V.      The Person—vv. 13–15
      A.      Witness—v. 13. The Psalmist talked about the good things of God. God seeks people who will witness for Him.
      B.      Worship—v. 14. Rejoicing is a very important part of worship. The Psalmist rejoiced in God’s ways.
      C.      Ways—v. 15. He respected and meditated upon God’s ways. Many have never learned to meditate.

VI.      The praise—v. 16
      A.      Delight. Delight in God’s statutes. He was happy to keep God’s laws.
      B.      Dedication. He would not forget God’s Word!

Croft Pence

Charles Bridges - Ps 119:9. How shall a young man cleanse his way? by taking heed thereto according to Your word.
Why is the young man so especially called to cleanse his way? Because God justly claims the first and the best. And is it not a most affecting proof of the alienation of the heart from God, that the youth of man—the bloom and freshness of his mind, "his first love"—should naturally be devoted to the service of sin? Ever since fallen man "begat a son in his own likeness," "the imagination of man's heart has been evil from his youth." For "who can bring a clean thing out of an unclean?" And never does the heart utter the cry, "My Father! You are the guide of my youth," until the misery of wandering without a guide has been painfully felt. And even when Divine grace has awakened the desire to return homewards, the habit of wandering from God, and the long-cherished pollutions of sin, seem to form an almost invincible barrier to progress.

The fearful power of "youthful lusts," and the madness with which the heart is hurried into forbidden indulgences, give solemn weight to the inquiry, "How shall a young man cleanse his way?" And the answer is ready. Let him "take heed thereto according to Your word." Thus did Joseph, and Daniel with his young companions, "cleanse their way" in the defilement of an heathen atmosphere. It was probably the recollection of this purifying efficacy of the word, that induced the venerable Beza to mention in his will, among his chief matters of thankfulness to God—the mercy of having been called to the knowledge of the truth at the age of sixteen; thus, during a course of more than seventy years' walk with God, "escaping the pollutions of the world through lust." But the "way can only be cleansed" by the cleansing of the heart; for how can a corrupt fountain "send forth" other than "bitter waters?" "Out of the heart are the issues of life." Hence the urgent need to cry, "Create in me a clean heart, O God, and renew a right spirit within me."

How precious, therefore, is the word of God, as the means of this cleansing operation! When our Savior had been setting forth Himself as "the way, the truth, and the life," and exhibiting the high privilege of union with Himself, "Now," He adds, "you are clean, through the word which I have spoken unto you." This is "the truth," which He pleaded with His Father as the means of our sanctification. This sets out our purifying hope. Here are the promises, by which we "cleanse ourselves from all filthiness of flesh and spirit, perfecting holiness in the fear of God." Thus is restored to man that golden "crown"—the stamp of his Maker's holiness—which "fell from his head when he sinned."

But oh! how does the recollection force itself upon us, that our way needs daily cleansing! so defiled are our actions, our thoughts, our motives—no more, our prayers and services. Let us then "take heed according to the word of God"—specially thankful for its heavenly light, which guides us to the "Fountain, that is opened for sin and for uncleanness." Let us also, under the same Divine light, seek for the daily sanctifying influence of the Spirit of God. "Who can understand his errors? Cleanse me from secret faults." "Cleanse the thoughts of my heart by the inspiration of Your Holy Spirit." (Prayer-Book.)

Thy Word I Have Treasured in My Heart - John Piper - January 5, 1997   Psalm 119:9–16

  How can a young man keep his way pure? By keeping it according to Thy word. 10 With all my heart I have sought Thee; Do not let me wander from Thy commandments. 11 Thy word I have treasured in my heart, That I may not sin against Thee. 12 Blessed art Thou, O LORD; Teach me Thy statutes. 13 With my lips I have told of All the ordinances of Thy mouth. 14 I have rejoiced in the way of Thy testimonies, As much as in all riches. 15 I will meditate on Thy precepts, And regard Thy ways. 16 I shall delight in Thy statutes; I shall not forget Thy word.

The Ultimate Goal of Life

There are two ways to state the ultimate goal of life, one positively and one negatively. Positively we could say: the ultimate goal of life is to glorify God by enjoying him forever. Or negatively, we could say: the ultimate goal of life is not to sin. They both mean the same thing because sinning is falling short of glorifying God by embracing other things as more enjoyable.

So if we could learn how to glorify God by enjoying him, we would know how not to sin. And if we could learn how not to sin, we would know how to glorify God by enjoying him.

Ps 119:11 tells us one of the keys to not sinning. It says, speaking to God, “Thy word I have treasured in my heart, that I may not sin against Thee.” The way not to sin is to treasure the word of God in your heart. Which means that the way to succeed in the ultimate goal of life—to live for the glory of God by enjoying him forever—is to treasure the word of God in your heart.

So let’s focus for a moment on what this means. Take the three key phrases: 1) Thy word; 2) I have treasured; 3) in my heart.

“Thy Word”

The Word the psalmist has in mind is not a subjective impression that comes to his mind when he prays for God’s will to be revealed. It is the revelation of God in his written word, primarily the Torah, the books of Moses, but also the writings of the prophets whom God sent to Israel. You can see this in the way he piles up familiar words for God’s revealed written word in the context. For example, verse 10b: “Do not let me wander from thy commandments.” Verse 12: “Blessed art thou, O LORD; teach me Thy statutes.” Verse 13: “With my lips I have told of all the ordinances of Thy mouth.” Verse 14: “I have rejoiced in the way of Thy testimonies.” Verse 15: “I will meditate on Thy precepts.”

These words—commandments, statutes, ordinances, testimonies, precepts—are all words that the Bible uses to refer to the written word of God, especially in the books of Moses, but by implication to all God’s revealed written work. Today we would say “Thy word” refers to the Bible in its entirety. So what the psalmist is referring to in verse 11 is not subjective impressions but objective teachings of God in Scripture. “Thy Word—that word I have treasured in my heart.”

“In My Heart”

Next take the phrase “in my heart.” The point here is mainly to say: inside of me, not just on a tablet outside of me. The words of God are not just kept in writing for the psalmist to consult outside of himself. They are kept for his consulting inside of him—in his heart. The heart in the Old Testament is a place of both thinking and feeling (Genesis 6:5; Job 36:13). So these words of God are being treasured in a place where they can be thought about and felt.

“I Have Treasured”

Finally take the middle phrase: “I have treasured.” “Thy word I have treasured in my heart.” You might ask, How do you know that the word of God is “in the heart,” rather than only the act of treasuring being in the heart while the word is on the scrolls outside the heart? For example, I could say, “My wife have I treasured in my heart,” and would not mean that my wife is in my heart, but only that I treasure her with my heart.

The reason we know that the word of God is in the heart is that the Hebrew word “I have treasured” (tsaphan), in its 30-some uses in the Old Testament, almost always means “hide” or “store.” It only secondarily comes to mean “to treasure” since hiding was what you did with your treasures in the days before there were banks (see Job 23:12+; Proverbs 2:1+). So we know that when the psalmist says, “Thy word I have treasured in my heart,” he does not just mean that the act of valuing happens in his heart, but that the word is being hidden and stored up there as something valuable—like a treasure.

So the teaching in this verse is that one way to keep from sinning—one way to attain the ultimate reason for being, to live for the glory of God by enjoying him forever—is to store up the word of God in our hearts as something very precious. When we have the word of God stored or hidden in our hearts, and treasure it like gold and silver, that word will function to keep us from sin.

Two Things that Keep us from Sinning

It’s not just one thing, but two things that keep us from sinning and move us to glorify and enjoy God. It is not just having the word stored. Nor is it is just valuing the word. It is both. Both are crucial. We value the word and therefore we have it stored in our hearts. And the two together give us the power to stand against the temptations to sin. It is a (1) superior treasure, (2) present and active, that conquers sin.

So I believe that the Bible teaches us to memorize scripture the way an ant gathers food in summer: because it is so valuable and will be needed in the winter months. “[The ant] prepares her food in the summer, and gathers her provision in the harvest” (Proverbs 6:8). Memorizing scripture is not a discipline for its own sake. It is because the scriptures are a treasure and will be needed before the day is done to help you escape a sinful attitude and live a life that glorifies God.

The Cruciality of Bible Memory

We on the staff believe that a church-wide Bible memory challenge will be revolutionary for our lives. Dallas Willard, who is famous for his book, The Spirit of the Disciplines, said, "As a pastor, teacher, and counselor I have repeatedly seen the transformation of inner and outer life that comes simply from memorization and meditation upon Scripture. Personally, I would never undertake to pastor a church or guide a program of Christian education that did not involve a continuous program of memorization of the choicest passages of Scripture for people of all ages."

That is what we are planning to do beginning today.

You Can Do It

You may doubt that you can do this, especially if you are older. But ask yourself this question, If I offered you $1,000 for every verse you memorized in the next week, how many do you think you could memorize? Yet God says of his word in Psalm 19:10–11+, “They are more desirable than gold, yes, than much fine gold; sweeter also than honey and the drippings of the honeycomb. Moreover, by them Thy servant is warned; in keeping them there is great reward.” The real value of the word is far greater than $1,000 a verse. The question is, Do you believe this? Believing this will be the crucial motivation you need.

Nor is the task beneath you and only for children. The Lord Jesus memorized Scripture verbatim. We know he did, because when he was fasting in the wilderness there were no libraries or books, and with every temptation of the devil he quoted a passage of Scripture to defeat the devil (Matthew 4:4, 7, 10+).

This is why we are calling the 52 passages prepared for all of us this year (one a week) “fighter verses.” Jesus defeated the devil’s temptations with the use of a memorized passage of Scripture. And in Ephesians 4:17+, Paul called the word of God “the sword of the Spirit.” We cannot successfully overcome sin and Satan without the present treasure of precious words of God—“fighter verses.”

You can do this. When Dawson Trotman, the founder of the Navigators, became a Christian in 1926, he was driving a truck for a lumberyard in Los Angeles. While driving, he would work on memorizing a verse a day. During the first three years of his Christian life he memorized his first thousand verses. If he can do that you can do 52 in a year.

Faith Feeds on Scripture all Day

How is your faith? Is it strong or weak? I have never known a strong Christian who did not have much scripture memorized. There is a reason for this. God designed faith to feed on the promises of Scripture all day long. Faith depends for its life on steady access to precious Biblical truth. Look at how Proverbs 22:18–19 puts this: “It will be pleasant if you keep [the words of the wise] within you, that they may be ready on your lips. So that your trust may be in the LORD, I have taught you today, even you.”

How is your trust? Your confidence? Your peace and joy and assurance? Are they strong or weak? God says that he has given us his word so that it will be within us and that we may trust in him. Faith rises or falls to the degree that it feeds hourly on the treasure of God’s truth stored in the heart.

If you choose against Bible memory (not our program in particular) you choose against the food of faith and will, at best, become a weak Christian and, at worst, prove to be a false Christian. Far better to say with Psalm 119:9, “O how I love Thy law! It is my meditation all the day.”

John Butler - The Solution Psalm 119:9
This text shows the desire of the Psalmist for sanctification. It is a rare desire to be holy, clean, upright. But it is a healthy desire.

"Wherewithal shall a young man cleanse his way?" Man needs cleansing/holiness more than anything else. Man may have other needs such as a job, clothes, house, transportation, and food but his greatest need is to be cleansed of his sin. You may have all these other things but "without holiness no man shall see God" (Hebrews 12:14, and "Blessed (happy) are the pure" (Matthew 5:8). Holiness is the key to acceptance with God; it is also the key to happiness, Many of our churches and our government focus on the needs of the body (clothes, food, job, housing, etc.) and ignore the needs of the soul. But our text wisely focuses on the great need of man, namely, holiness.

"Young man." The sinfulness of man begins early in life. "The imagination of man's heart is evil from his youth." (Genesis 8:21). Sin starts early in life. Those cute little babies if unattended spiritually soon develop sinful characteristics early in life. We have heard young children using the grossest of profanity on the playground. It doesn't stop with profanity but is found in the conduct of young children who are getting very difficult to handle in our schools. A famous football coach wrote that the lack of character and discipline in recruits made it difficult to coach. Our text talks about a young man needing cleansing. This does not exclude "old" men, but it shows the importance of purity early in life.

"By taking heed thereto according to thy Word." Men need to take a soul bath. We are not talking about a body bath. We are talking about a spiritual bath. Our text asks the question about cleansing. The answer is found in the Scriptures. This tells us the great value of the Word of God. If holiness is our greatest need and the Word is the answer then the Word needs to be front and center in life. But the Bible is not even front and center in most churches. Scripture is replaced by socials (church suppers and ball games) and the Bible is put on the back burner. No wonder our churches are not a purifying influence anymore. The Scripture tells us about Christ Who can save the soul (cleanse it permanently) and it tells us about holy living. However, the Scriptures are not popular. Christ is rejected, and holiness is watered down to where it tolerates a lot of sin. Criticism of the Scriptures is often disguised as intellectualism. Often the Scriptures are rejected as separation of church and state, but we note that wickedness abounds in society and those who reject the Word do not have a solution to the problem of abounding wickedness in our youth. (Sermon Starters)

The Key to Purity
Today's Reading: Psalm 119:9-13

How can a young person stay pure? Psalm 119:9

WHENEVER SCRIPTURE poses a critical question about life, it also gives the answer—often within the next few sentences. God isn't in the business of confusing us. He wants our life to be fruitful and obedient and prosperous.
"God, please, bring to mind Scriptures you want me to hear right now. Don't let hunger or fatigue or fear keep me from remembering."  Armageddon, 207
The psalmist asked this question: "How can a young person stay pure?" And the formula is found immediately following. "By obeying your word and following its rules. I have tried my best to find you—don't let me wander from your commands. I have hidden your word in my heart, that I might not sin against you.... I have recited aloud all the laws you have given us" (Psalm 119:9-13, italics mine).
First, we obey his Word. We allow the Bible to become our blueprint for living. We take God's commandments to heart and make obedience our primary desire and longing.
Second, we seek to find him. Jesus tells us: "Love the Lord your God with all your heart, all your soul, all your mind, and all your strength" (Mark 12:30). A critical ingredient to a pure life is to seek God with every fiber of our being.
Third, we hide his Word in our heart. By reading and meditating on Scripture daily, we become intimately aware of God's will for us and his desire for our holiness.
Fourth, we recite his Word aloud. When tempted in the desert by Satan, Jesus didn't attempt to develop new arguments for the enemy; he simply restated what God had already said. God's Word is complete enough to guide us through each and every situation. When faced with temptation, we, too, should quote God's Word aloud.
This is the four-step plan for pure and holy living outlined in Scripture for anyone serious about his or her Christian walk. And though the psalmist's words are aimed at the young, the advice is applicable to us all.

Reflection Meditate on today's passage, asking God to speak to you specifically regarding the state of your heart. How does your life reflect the purity that God wants for you? What portions of the Word have you hidden in your heart to ward off temptation and help you discover God's will for your life

Moral culture of young men

I. YOUNG MEN REQUIRE CLEANSING. Somehow or other, from the very commencement of moral agency, impure thoughts enter the mind, and impure emotions are awakened. So that cleansing is required almost at the beginning, because spiritual uncleanness is 
      (1) Inimical to peace of conscience.
      (2) A hindrance to true soul growth.
      (3) An obstruction to Divine fellowship.

II. MORAL CLEANSING REQUIRES CIRCUMSPECTION IN LIFE. “By taking heed thereto.” If you tread the path of vanity, avarice, sensuality, selfishness, you will go down deeper and deeper in moral filth. If you tread the path of virtue as trod by Jesus of Nazareth, you must take heed that you tread that path constantly and not turn to the right hand or to the left. “Take heed.” There are many on all hands who will try to turn you from the path.

III. CIRCUMSPECTION OF LIFE SHOULD BE GUIDED BY THE DIVINE WORD. “Thy Word,” that contains the map; Thy Word, there burns the lamp; Thy Word, there dwells the inspiration. (Homilist.)

A. Maclaren - How a young man may cleanse his way

I. THIS IS THE GREAT PRACTICAL PROBLEM FOR LIFE. It is more especially the question for young people.
    1. You are under special temptations not to ask it. There are so many other points in your future unresolved that you are only too apt to put aside the consideration of this one in favour of those which seem to be of more immediate importance. And you have the other temptation, common to us all, of living without any plan of life at all. At your age, judgment and experience are not so strong as inclination and passion; and everything has got the fresh gloss of novelty upon it, and it seems to be sometimes sufficient delight to live and get hold of the new joys that are flooding in upon you.
    2. It is worth while for you to ask it. For you have got the prerogative that some of us have lost, of determining the shape that your life’s course is to take.
    3. You have special temptations to make your ways unclean.

II. WE CAN ONLY MAKE OUR WAY CLEAN ON CONDITION OF CONSTANT WATCHFULNESS. “Take heed to thyself” is the only condition of a pure and noble life. That such a condition is necessary will appear very plain from two considerations. First, it is clear that there must be constant watchfulness, if we consider what sort of a world this is that we have got into. And it is also plain if we consider what sort of creatures we are that have got into it. We are creatures evidently made for self-government. Our whole nature is like a monarchy. There are things in each of us that are never meant to rule, but to be kept well down under control, such as strong passions, desires rooted in the flesh which are not meant to get the mastery of a man. And there are parts of our nature which are as obviously intended to be supreme and sovereign; the reason, the conscience, the will.

III. THIS CONSTANT WATCHFULNESS, TO BE OF ANY USE, MUST BE REGULATED BY GOD’S WORD. The guard on the frontier who is to keep the path must have instructions from head-quarters, and not choose add decide according to his own phantasy, but according to the King’s orders. Or, to use another metaphor, it is no use having a guard unless the guard has a lantern. In the Word of God, in its whole sweep, and eminently and especially in Christ, who is the Incarnate Word, we have an all-sufficient Guido. A guide of conduct must be plain--and whatever doubts and difficulties there may be about the doctrines of Christianity, there are none about its morality. A guide of conduct must be decisive--and there is no faltering in the utterance of the Book as to right and wrong. A guide of conduct must be capable of application to the wide diversities of character, age, circumstance--and the morality of the New Testament especially, and of the Old in a measure, secures that, because it does not trouble itself about minute details, but deals with large principles. A guide for morals must be far in advance of the followers, and it has taken generations and centuries to work into men’s consciences, and to work out in men’s practice, a portion of the morality of that Book. If the world kept the commandments of the New Testament, the world would be in the millennium; and all the sin and crime, and ninety-nine hundredths of all the sorrow of earth would have vanished like an ugly dream. Here is the guide for you, and if you take it you will not err.

IV. ALL THIS CAN ONLY BE DONE EFFECTUALLY IF YOU ARE A CHRISTIAN. My psalm goes as far as the measure of revelation granted to its author admitted; but if a person had no more to say than that, it would be a weary business. It is no use to tell a man, “Guard yourself; guard yourself.” Nor even to tell him, “Guard yourself according to God’s Word,” if God’s Word is only a law. The fatal defect of all attempts at keeping my heart by my own watchfulness is that keeper and kept are one and the same. And so there may be mutiny in the garrison, and the very forces that ought to subdue the rebellion may have gone over to the rebels. You want a power outside of you to steady you The only way to haul a boat up the rapids is to have some fixed point on the shore to which a man may fasten a rope and pull at that. You get that eternal guard and fixed point on which to hold in Jesus Christ, the dear Son of His love, who has died for you. (A. Maclaren, D. D.)

Psalm 119:10 With all my heart I have sought You; Do not let me wander from Your commandments.  

  • With all my heart Ps 119:2,34,58,69 78:37 1Sa 7:3 2Ch 15:15 Jer 3:10 Ho 10:2 Zep 1:5,6 Mt 6:24 Col 3:22 1Jn 2:15 
  • Do not let me wander from Your commandments Ps 119:21,118,133,176 23:3 125:5 143:8-10 Pr 2:13 21:16 Isa 35:8 Eze 34:6 2Pe 2:15-22 

My loose translation of Lxx = In my whole heart I have diligently searched for You. Let me not thrust off from myself away your commandments.

With all my heart I have sought You;

Spurgeon - With my whole heart have I sought thee. His heart had gone after God himself: he had not only desired to obey his laws, but to commune with his person. This is a right royal search and pursuit, and well may it be followed with the whole heart. The surest mode of cleansing the way of our life is to seek after God himself, and to endeavour to abide in fellowship with him. Up to the good hour in which he was speaking to his Lord, the Psalmist had been an eager seeker after the Lord, and if faint, he was still pursuing. Had he not sought the Lord he would never have been so anxious to cleanse his way. It is pleasant to see how the writer's heart turns distinctly and directly to God. He had been considering an important truth in the preceding verse, but here he so powerfully feels the presence of his God that he speaks to him, and prays to him as to one who is near. A true heart cannot long live without fellowship with God.

Spurgeon  - His petition is founded on his life's purpose: he is seeking the Lord, and he prays the Lord to prevent his going astray in or from his search. It is by obedience that we follow after God, hence the prayer,

Do not let me wander from Your commandments - A prayer that recognizes his dependence on God's power to keep him from wandering. While he is responsible to choose, he cries out for God's sovereign protection and power to enable him to walk uprightly. A good prayer. It reflects a humble recognition that we need God all the time! Even when we are seeking Him with a whole heart. We are always vulnerable to slip and fall, for the flesh is ever looking for a crack in our armor!

Spurgeon - O let me not wander from thy commandments; for if we leave the ways of God's appointment we certainly shall not find the God who appointed them. The more a man's whole heart is set upon holiness the more does he dread falling into sin; he is not so much fearful of deliberate transgression as of inadvertent wandering: he cannot endure a wandering look, or a rambling thought, which might stray beyond the pale of the precept. We are to be such wholehearted seekers that we have neither time nor will to be wanderers, and yet with all our wholeheartedness we are to cultivate a jealous fear lest even then we should wander from the path of holiness. Two things may be very like and yet altogether different: saints are "strangers" — "I am a stranger in the earth" (Psalms 119:19), but they are not wanderers: they are passing through an enemy's country, but their route is direct; they are seeking their Lord while they traverse this foreign land. Their way is hidden from men; but yet they have not lost their way. The man of God exerts himself, but does not trust himself: his heart is in his walking with God: but he knows that even his whole strength is not enough to keep him right unless his King shall be his keeper, and he who made the commands shall make him constant in obeying them: hence the prayer, "O let me not wander." Still, this sense of need was never turned into an argument for idleness; for while he prayed to be kept in the right road he took care to run in it with his whole heart seeking the Lord. It is curious again to note how the second part of the Psalm keeps step with the first; for where Psalms 119:2 pronounces that man to be blessed who seeks the Lord with his whole heart, the present verse claims the blessing by pleading the character: With my whole heart have I sought thee.

Henry Morris - With less self-confidence than before his cleansing through the Word the young man realizes his deep dependence on the Lord, on prayer, and on the Word, calling out for strength not to "wander" away from God's written will.

F B Meyer - Be wholly given to God, then you too shall live in the light, as He is in the light. The warmth of His love shall fill your emotions with its glow, and teach you the art of love; the light of His truth shall banish obscurity and ignorance from your mind, and endow it with direct and certain knowledge; the ray of His presence shall inspire you with strength, vigor, elasticity, immortal youth. Where sunshine is, there is life, health, gladness, vigorous strength.

John Phillips - Halfhearted commitment, in my opinion, was the problem with American involvement in Vietnam. The United States had no commitment to win, only a halfhearted response to a treaty obligation. American failure there led to subsequent massacres by the communists throughout Southeast Asia. America did not have total commitment; the nation was divided. Troops were sent to Vietnam to fight a war while millions demonstrated, protested, and some even burned the American flag. It was a sure recipe for ruin.
Anyone who tries to keep God's Word halfheartedly will fail. God calls for total commitment. Yet it is the wholehearted among us who disturb us most. The apostle Pauls, the D. L. Moodys, the Patrick Henrys.
A documentary film which is the prelude to a tour of Williamsburg, Virginia, gives us exceptional insight into Patrick Henry. This revolutionary hero began by demanding that colonists have the same rights as Englishmen. Patrick Henry was a born lawyer. In six weeks with only a stack of books he taught himself enough Virginia law to force the examiners to sign his application for the bar. In three years he tried over a thousand cases, most of which he won. When the British imposed the Stamp Act of 1765 on the colonies, to make them help pay for the soldiers who guarded their Indian frontiers, Patrick Henry exploded. He saw it as a violation of the Magna Charta. When things finally came to a head he lifted his voice in Richmond: "Gentlemen may cry 'Peace, peace,'" he said, "but there is no peace. Is life so dear, or peace so sweet as to be purchased at the price of chains...? As for me, give me liberty or give me death." Patrick Henry seemed a dangerous man to many. But he was a real driving force behind the American Revolution.

Charles Bridges - Ps 119:10. With my whole heart have I sought You; O let me not wander from Your commandments.
Attention to the word, however important, can never be practically effective without earnest prayer. Indeed this is the character of the Lord's people, "a generation of seekers;" and yet how much do we lose of the comfort of our religion, and obscure the glory of our profession, by neglecting to bring "our whole heart" to this work! When sin is vigorous, and our spiritual affections are dull, and various hindrances combine in prayer—at this crisis strong faith is needed to overcome and to persevere. But here the soul too commonly yields to the difficulty, and contents itself either with heartless complainings, or with just sufficient exertion to quiet the voice of conscience, and produce a delusive peace within. But the Lord will not be found thus. His promise is not to such seekers as these; and if we are satisfied with this state, we must look for a very scanty measure of spiritual success, accompanied with the total absence of spiritual enjoyment.
In a far different spirit David could appeal, "With my whole heart have I sought You." And this assurance, instead of producing self-confidence, will, so far as it is genuine, invariably show itself in a prayerful acknowledgment of our weakness, "O let me not wander from Your commandments." Yet the feeblest desire and attempt to seek the Lord is the Spirit's rising beam in the heart, a "day of small things" not to be "despised." It is distinguished from every other principle by the simplicity of its object, "This one thing I do. One thing have I desired of the Lord; that will I seek after." My God! my Savior! with my whole heart have I sought You. "The desire of my soul is to Your name, and to the remembrance of You. With my soul have I desired You in the night; yes, with my spirit within me will I seek You early."
When the soul is thus conscious of "following the Lord fully," there is a peculiar dread of wandering. In a careless or half-hearted state, wanderings are not watched, so long as they do not lead to any open declension. Secret prayer will be hurried over, worldly thoughts unresisted, waste of time in frivolous pursuits indulged, without much concern. Not so, when the heart is fully in pursuit of its object. There is a carefulness, lest wandering thoughts should become habitual. There is a resistance of the first step, that might lead into a devious path. The soul remembers the "wormwood and the gall," "the roaring lion," and the devouring wolf; and in the recollection of the misery of its former wandering, dreads any departure from the Shepherd's fold. 
This blessed state of mind the flock of Christ should cherish with godly jealousy. Yet let it be remembered, that daily progress in the heavenly walk is not maintained by yesterday's grace. Humble and dependent prayer must fetch in a fresh supply continually, "O let me not wander from Your commandments." 'Lord, I feel my heart so prone to wander. My affections are often scattered to the ends of the earth. "Unite my heart to fear Your name." Concentrate every thought, every desire, in Yourself, as the one object of attraction.'

Psalm 119:11 Your word I have treasured in my heart, That I may not sin against You.  

  • Your word Ps 119:97 1:2 37:31 40:8 Job 22:22 Pr 2:1,10,11 Isa 51:7 Jer 15:16 Lu 2:19,51 Col 3:16 
  • that I Ps 19:13 

Ps 119:9,11


Your word I have treasured in my heart - Have you ever had weeds grow up in your garden and choke out the other plants? That's what sin in our heart does to the fruit of the Spirit in a believer's life -- it chokes out our "love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, self-control" (Gal 5:22-23+) So how do we get rid of weeds in our garden? We plant flowers that will choke out the weeds! Yes, this dynamic is real and effective. Applying this physical principle to our spiritual life, we can "plant" flowers of God's Word in our heart, which the Spirit (our "Resident Gardiner") can use to choke out the weeds of sin that sprout up daily, often suddenly catching us by surprise! In the 1800's a Scottish pastor Thomas Chalmers preached a sermon entitled "The Expulsive Power of a New Affection" in which he said 

The best way to disengage an impure desire is to engage a pure one; the best way to expel the love of what is evil is to embrace the love of what is good instead. To be specific, we must replace the object of our sinful affection with an infinitely more worthy one—God himself. In this way we do not move from a full heart into a vacuum. Instead we move from a full heart to a heart bursting with fullness. And the expulsive power of our new affection weakens and even destroys the power of sin in our hearts. 

Related Resource:

As a medical doctor expulsion recalls the effect of the hormone oxytocin which causes expulsion of milk from the lactating mammary gland. In other words, the milk is forced out by the powerful expulsive effect of the hormone. While it is close, that is not exactly what the concept refers to spiritually, because the idea is more of something replacing something else and that which is replaced is forced out. An good synonym for this kind of expulsion would be displacement which describes the moving of something from its place or position and implies the filling of a place once occupied by something lost, destroyed, or no longer usable or adequate. Spiritually speaking a negative or sinful affection is moved from its place of enthronement on our hearts. The affection that dethrones the negative affection then ascends to the throne of the heart and from there exercises control of one's mind, emotions and will. Sounds so simple doesn't it? (Expulsive Power of a New Affection)

Treasured (concealed, hidden, stored) (06845)(tsapan/sapan) means primarily to hide, to keep secret, to conceal something often of great value with a definite purpose (for protection or for sinister purposes). Definitions of English verb To Treasure (Where applicable try "inserting" these different definitions in place of treasuredJealously safeguard something considered precious. Esteem - set a high value on, regard highly and prize accordingly. Cherish (hold dear, feel or show affection for, entertain something in one's mind deeply and resolutely - eg, he still cherishes that memory; Keep or cultivate with care and affection). Prize highly as valuable, rare or costly! The Septuagint translates treasured with the verb krupto to cover, to hide, to conceal, to keep secret (either protectively or for selfish reasons). To keep something from being seen, but in the case of God's Word it is for the purpose of keeping in a place where it will be seen with the eyes of our heart! 

This same verb tsapan (and krupto ) is used in Job's declaration "I have not departed from the command of His lips; I have treasured (tsapankrupto) the words of His mouth more than my necessary food." (Job 23:12 - see the Secret of Job's Perseverance)  What value did Job place on God's Word? In a sense, he is saying he would rather starve physically than starve spiritually! Note also the important principle -- first Job did not commit sin for had he done so it would have negatively impacted his appetite and desire for the pure word which is holy. Unconfessed (unholy) sin and God's holy Word are not mutually compatible! Job's holy walk enabled a desire to treasure God's Word. We see this same principle in Ps 1:1+ (the negative) and Ps 1:2-3+ (the positive), where participating in the deeds of verse 1 will choke our desire for God's Word. And again in 1 Peter 2:1+ we see the things we need to put off or confess in order that we might have a healthy appetite and like newborn babes long for the pure milk of the word that by it we might grow in respect to salvation. (1 Pe 2:2+). If your spiritual growth is stunted, perhaps you need to check 1 Peter 2:1+ or Psalm 1:1+ and confess and repent of any known sins so that you will desire the Word. 

Another doctor Dr Martyn Lloyd-Jones describes how believers are to put on the new self and put off the old self as Paul alludes to in (Eph 4:22-24+). He writes

"Indeed, as I have already said, you cannot truly deal with the negative unless you are at the same time doing the positive. The way to get rid of the defects is to cultivate the virtues. To use a well-known phrase of Thomas Chalmers (see his sermon), what we need is to apply the “The Expulsive Power of a New Affection”. I use a simple illustration. The way the dead leaves of winter are removed from some trees is not that people go around plucking them off; no, it is the new life, the shoot that comes and pushes off the dead in order to make room for itself. In the same way the Christian gets rid of all such things as bitterness and wrath and anger and clamour and evil speaking and all malice. The new qualities develop and the others simply have no room; they are pushed out and they are pushed off. In the Septuagint, krupto is in the active voice which means the psalmist has made a conscious choice of his will to conceal the Word safely in His heart. 

What the Doctor is saying is that to deal with the negative, you need to first accentuate the positive. Take special note of the order - the new needs to be put on in order to effect displacement or expulsion of the old. We see this order in several of Paul's epistles. For example, in Colossians 3, note that we first "put on" the positive attitudes in Colossians 3:1-5+ before Paul tells us to "put off" the old, or more directly to kill the sins in Colossians 3:5. The new affection in Colossians 3:1-5 enables us to expel the old affections (and actions) in Colossians 3:5+.  Similarly, notice the critical order in Galatians 5:16+ , where Paul first commands us to walk by the spirit (the "new affections") and then and only then will you be enabled to not carry out the deeds of the flesh! In other words, the new affection in effect expels the old affection or old desires that come from our fallen flesh! Our fallen flesh tries to invert the order of Paul's Command by saying something like "I will walk by the Spirit by getting rid of this fleshly desire or that fleshly act." Can you see the subtle trap this individual has just fallen into? He (or she) has just fallen prey to legalism saying things like "I'll make a list of things I won't do, etc" That person has just placed themselves under the power of the Law and instead of expelling the fleshly desires, legalism actually stirs up the very desires the person sought to expel, displace or cast off! (See discussion of the effect of the law to actually arouse our sin nature.) 

Let me give you one of Paul's passages that teaches this principle in Ephesians 5 writing that "immorality or any impurity or greed must not even be named among you, as is proper among saints; and there must be no filthiness and silly talk, or coarse jesting, which are not fitting, but rather giving of thanks." (Eph 5:3-4+) Do you see the "flowers" we need to plant in order to root out tenacious weeds of immorality, impurity, greed (which equates with idolatry)? What is Paul's solution? What is the new affection that exerts an expulsive effect on those difficult to pull out weeds? Clearly it is an attitude of gratitude, an attitude of giving thanks. But that is not something our fallen flesh naturally gravitates toward. Even the attitude of gratitude is a fruit of being filled with the Spirit as Paul writes in Eph 5:18-19, 20+. So let us begin each day with a confession of sins that we might not quench or grieve (1 Th 5:19+, Eph 4:30+) the Spirit but that we would empty ourselves of sin and open ourselves to the Spirit's filling and control in our hearts. Than we be enabled to be "always giving thanks for all things in the name of our Lord Jesus Christ to God, even the Father." (Eph 5:20+). 

Let us read...

Scripture every day
And meditate on what God said
To fight temptation from the world
And live a life that's Spirit led
(see note) --Sper

Spurgeon Thy word have I hid in mine heart. His heart would be kept by the word because he kept the word in his heart. All that he had of the word written, and all that had been revealed to him by the voice of God, — all, without exception, he had stored away in his affections, as a treasure to be preserved in a casket, or as a choice seed to be buried in a fruitful soil: what soil more fruitful than a renewed heart, wholly seeking the Lord? The word was God's own, and therefore precious to God's servant. He did not wear a text on his heart as a charm, but he hid it in his heart as a rule. He laid it up in the place of love and life, and it filled the chamber with sweetness and light. We must in this imitate David, copying his heart work as well as his outward character. First, we must mind that what we believe is truly God's word; that being done, we must hide or treasure it each man for himself; and we must see that this is done, not as a mere feat of the memory, but as the joyful act of the affections.

That I may not sin against You - Notice that first and foremost when we sin, we sin against God. That truth should enter our minds when we are being tempted to sin and can be an effective deterrent! What else serves as a fortress against temptation to sin? God's Word is the "wall" that temptations have leap over or penetrate in order to take down the castle of our heart. What greater motivation do we need to memorize God's Word than Psalm 119:11. 

When the word is hidden in the heart
the life shall be hidden from sin.

Spurgeon - That I may not sin against You - Note our sin is first and foremost against a Holy God! (cf Ge 39:9, Ps 51:4) That I might not sin against thee. Here was the object aimed at. As one has well said, ” Here is the best thing” "thy word"; hidden in the best place,  "in my heart; "for the best of purposes, ” "that I might not sin against thee." This was done by the Psalmist with personal care, as a man carefully hides away his money when he fears thieves, — in this case the thief dreaded was sin. Sinning "against God" is the believer's view of moral evil; other men care only when they offend against men. God's word is the best preventive against offending God, for it tells us his mind and will, and tends to bring our spirit into conformity with the divine Spirit. No cure for sin in the life is equal to the word in the seat of life, which is the heart. There is no hiding from sin unless we hide the truth in our souls. A very pleasant variety of meaning is obtained by laying stress upon the words "thy" and "thee." He speaks to God, he loves the word because it is God's word, and he hates sin because it is sin against God himself. If he vexed others, he minded not so long as he did not offend his God. If we would not cause God displeasure we must treasure up his own word. The personal way in which the man of God did this is also noteworthy: "With my whole heart have I sought thee." Whatever others might choose to do he had already made his choice and placed the Word in his innermost soul as his dearest delight, and however others might transgress, his aim was after holiness: "That I might not sin against thee." This was not what he purposed to do, but what he had already done: many are great at promising, but the Psalmist had been true in performing: hence he hoped to see a sure result. When the word is hidden in the heart the life shall be hidden from sin. The parallelism between the second octave and the first is still continued. Psalms 119:3 speaks of doing no iniquity, while this verse treats of the method of not sinning. When we form an idea of a blessedly holy man (Ps 119:3) it becomes us to make an earnest effort to attain unto the same sacred innocence and divine happiness, and this can only be through heart piety founded on the Scriptures.

Related Resources:

I. The Word of God is in its very nature expulsive of sin and cleansing therefrom (John 15:3.)
II. Hid like a sword in its sheath to be drawn out at a moment's notice. Christ's answer to Satan: "It is written." Hid like a guard in a house, a sentinel in a fort, to watch diligently against the approach of temptation. (Homiletic Monthly)

Scripture is the source of spiritual victory.

Many Christians struggle with spiritual defeat or recurring sins because they haven’t learned to apply Biblical principles to specific situations. Perhaps they don’t know God’s will because they haven’t matured in the Word. Or maybe they know what He expects of them, but they disregard His counsel. In either case, the result is the same.
Jesus Himself repelled Satan’s attacks by quoting specific portions of Scripture that applied to specific temptations (Matt. 4:1–11). He knew the Word, believed it, and refused to compromise its principles. In so doing, He set a pattern for us to follow.
Using metaphorical language, the Apostle John emphasized the priority of the Word when he described three levels of spiritual maturity: children, young men, and fathers. In 1 John 2:13 he says, “I have written to you, children, because you know the Father.” Spiritual children aren’t yet mature in their faith, but they know who their Heavenly Father is. They know they belong to God.
John continues: “I have written to you, young men, because you are strong, and the word of God abides in you, and you have overcome the evil one” (v. 14). Spiritual young men are healthy, vibrant, and aggressive because the Word abides in them—it has found a home in their hearts. They’re victorious over the evil one because their doctrine is sound and they’ve cultivated spiritual wisdom and discernment (Phil. 1:9). They recognize Satan’s lies and reject them.
First John 2:14 also says, “I have written to you, fathers, because you know Him who has been from the beginning.” Spiritual fathers have a deep, mature relationship with God that comes from prolonged time in prayer and the Word.
Which of those terms best describes you—spiritual child, young man, or father? What specific things can you do today to move toward a more mature and victorious Christian life? (Drawing Near - John MacArthur)

Memorize It!

Read: 2 Timothy 3:10-17

Your Word I have hidden in my heart, that I might not sin against You. —Psalm 119:11

Before the choir began to sing an anthem of praise, Cindy quoted the first Bible verse she had ever memorized. It was inspirational for our congregation to hear her repeat from memory that passage from the Psalms.

At the same time, in another part of the church, adult workers were listening to more than 50 children recite verses they had memorized. They were involved in a Scripture memory program designed to hide God’s Word in their hearts for a lifetime.

I remember when I first became a believer as a teenager. A godly woman was conducting a similar memorization program in our little church. I learned 110 verses and won an award—a book that told the story of the Bible.

I no longer have that book, but I am still carrying the best prize—those precious verses. When I need them—while visiting a sick friend, while making an important decision, while going through difficult days, while I’m talking about or writing about the Lord—the Holy Spirit brings the appropriate verses to my mind.

The psalmist referred to hiding God’s Word in his heart (Ps. 119:11). We do that by memorizing it. Then it’s always there, even when we don’t have a Bible.By David C. Egner (Our Daily Bread, Copyright RBC Ministries, Grand Rapids, MI. — Reprinted by permission. All rights reserved)

Hiding God's Word in our hearts
Will strengthen our spirit within,
Giving the help that we need
To turn from temptation and sin.

When the Bible becomes a part of you,
you'll be less likely to come apart.


Ps 119:9 How can a young man cleanse his way? By taking heed according to Your word.

One of the things I’ve learned a lot about in the last few years is the immune system. Our God-given immune systems help us fight off the forces that would destroy our bodies. If our immune systems are functioning at 100 percent, we don’t have to take medicines because they will just fight off the disease seeking to take over our bodies. But if our immune systems aren’t healthy, then we become susceptible to lots of things. If we get in the condition of an AIDS patient, our bodies lose their ability to fight off almost anything. To fight off sickness, we have to strengthen the body’s immune system. That may mean stopping some things we enjoy doing and starting some things we haven’t been doing. It’s a matter of critical importance. 
The same is true spiritually. In order to increase our immunity to sin, we must strengthen ourselves through prayer, the Word, and fellowship with other strong Christians. (David Jeremiah - Sanctuary)

Don't Use a Crooked Ruler
"Wherewithal shall a young man cleanse his way? by taking heed thereto according to Thy word."—Ps. 119:9

"The Bible is so strict and old-fashioned," said a young man to a grey-haired friend, who was advising him to study God's Word if he would learn how to live. "There are plenty of books written now-a-days that are moral enough in their teaching, and do not bind one down as the Bible."
The old merchant turned to his desk, and took out two rulers, one of which was slightly bent With each of these he ruled a line, and silently handed the ruled paper to his companion.
"Well," said the lad, "what do you mean?"
"One line is not straight and true, is it? When you mark out your path in life do not take a crooked ruler!"

How full of promised cleansing is the Laver of the Word! The very Book, which as the mirror reveals my sin, is likewise the laver showing me how every stain can be cleansed. In the outer court of the Tabernacle there stood the Brazen Altar and The Laver. After serving at the first, the Priest, having dealt with the sacrifice, had to wash his hands (work) and his feet (walk) and thereby remove all defilement as he sought to enter the Holy Place to worship God. (Herbert Lockyer)

Rod Mattoon - God reveals biblical principles for cleansing in His Word

1. We are cleansed by the power & blood of the Lord Jesus Christ

  • 1 John 1:7—But if we walk in the light, as he is in the light, we have fellowship one with another, and the blood of Jesus Christ his Son cleanseth us from all sin.

2. We are cleansed by confessing our sin to the Lord

  • 1 John 1:9—If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just to forgive us our sins, and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness.

3. The Word of God has a cleansing effect on our lives when we put it into practice

  • Ephesians 5:26—That he might sanctify and cleanse it with the washing of water by the word,
  • John 15:3—Now ye are clean through the word which I have spoken unto you.
  • Psalm 119:9—Wherewithal shall a young man cleanse his way? by taking heed thereto according to thy word.

4. The expectancy of the Lord's Return helps motivate us to keep ourselves pure

  • 1 John 3:2—Beloved, now are we the sons of God, and it doth not yet appear what we shall be: but we know that, when he shall appear, we shall be like him; for we shall see him as he is. And every man that hath this hope in him purifieth himself even as he is pure.

Adrian Rogers - Watch his video - How to Control Your Thought Life (excerpts below)

I. Three Steps to a Pure Thought Life
   A. Purification 
   B. Determination
   C. Fortification

A. Purification Number one: There must be the purification of the mind. Your mind has got to get clean to begin with...

B. Determination Now here's the second thing: Not only after there comes that cleansing—that's step number one—and that is purification. After that comes determination. Sorry about that. But if you're looking for a cheap way, an easy way, I can't give it to you...

C. Fortification Now, first of all, purification. Secondly, determination. Now that's still not enough. That is still not enough. You can get clean and you can say, "By the grace of God and everything in me that is, I will keep my heart clean and pure," and you'll still fall if you fail on this third and most vital thing. Purification. Determination. And then, fortification..... It is the Word of God hidden in your heart that is the antidote, the bulwark, that keep the thoughts, the impure thoughts out, and it is the, that you're not being overcome with evil, but you're overcoming evil with good. You must saturate your being with the Word of God. These hath God married and no man shall part; dust on the Bible and drought in the heart. Now you say, "Pastor Rogers, I have a wonderful Bible. I bought it over here in the Bellevue bookstore." Wonderful. I'm glad you have. But do you read it? Do you memorize it? Do you apply it? Is it real to you? A dime and a gold nugget are of the same value to you personally if both of them are lying on the bottom of the ocean floor. What good is all of the treasure in this Word of God if it's, if it's not taken and used? I mean, it can be there like a gold nugget, but somehow you have to, you have to get this into your heart and in your mind. How does the Bible keep us pure? Look again in verse 11: "Thy word have I hid in mine heart, that I might not sin against thee." How does the Bible keep us pure? Well, God is a holy God. And when you read the Bible, understand the Bible, and apply the Bible, what you're doing is thinking God's thoughts after Him. Now put this verse in your margin: Philippians 4:8, 9. (for full message see How to Control Your Thought Life)

Charles Bridges - Ps 119:11. Your word have I hid in my heart, that I might not sin against You.
What an aggregate of guilt and misery is comprehended in this short word "sin"! Sin is the greatest curse that ever entered the universe of God, and the parent of every other curse! Its guilt is aggravated beyond the conception of thought. Injury to a Superior—a Father—a Sovereign! Its power is misery wherever it extends—in the family—in the world. In eternity its power is unrestrained. Sometimes the death-bed scene casts a fearful gleam of light upon "the worm that never dies, and the fire that never shall be quenched." But experience alone, can develop its full-grown horrors. 
How supremely important therefore is the object of our preservation from sin! and how wisely adapted are the means to the end! That word—which the man of God had just before mentioned as the guide to the cleansing of the way—he hides within his heart—not for concealment, but for security, that it may be ready for constant use. It is not therefore a mere acquaintance with the word, that will avail us. There must be a cordial assent—a sound digestion—a constant respect. It must be to us the rule that we would not transgress—the treasure that we are afraid to lose. 
Often indeed Satan shuts out its entrance. He "catches away that which was sown." Too often, again, it is "withered or choked" in the soil. But "the honest and good heart" "hides it, keeps it, and brings forth fruit with perseverance, unto perfection."Here it "dwells richly in all wisdom," the storehouse, as occasion requires; a principle of holiness; a covering from sin. In this view it is recommended by one who had well acquainted himself with its valuable uses: "My son, let them (the Divine precepts) not depart from your eyes; keep sound wisdom and discretion. So shall they be life to your soul, and grace to your neck. Then shall you walk in your way safely, and your foot shall not stumble." David also gives us the same experience: "By the word of Your lips I have kept myself from the paths of the destroyer." And it was probably this recollection, combined with a sense of continual danger, that suggested the prayer, "Order my steps in Your word; and let not any iniquity have dominion over me."
The value of the word is inestimable, as our means of walking with God in the hurry, business, and temptation of the day. The Psalms furnish precious materials for spontaneous prayer; the promises, food for comfort; the rules, such light in perplexity; the instruction, such solid matter for godly conference—all operating for one end—a preservation from sin. Being from the word—a manifestation of the Savior's love—what a keeping of the heart! what a quickening motive! How seasonable in worldly temptation is the warning of the word hidden in the heart, "No man, having put his hand to the plough, and looking back, is fit for the kingdom of God!" So in the spiritual conflict, let this word, "Him who comes to Me, I will never cast out," be hidden in the heart—what a preservation is it against unbelief! 
Take the word to the wavering believer, alarmed by ridicule or persecution, "If the world hates you, you know that it hated Me before it hated you." Fearing that he shall never hold out to the end; "I will never leave you nor forsake you." Trembling lest his sins should rise up to his condemnation, "The blood of Jesus Christ the Son of God cleanses from all sin." And then as to duties: Let his Savior's word rebuke his indolence and unwatchfulness, "What! could you not watch with Me one hour? Watch and pray, that you enter not into temptation." Hide in the heart the sorrowful story of His agony in the garden, and His death on the cross, that "sin may appear yet more exceedingly sinful."
But how is the word to gain entrance into hearts like ours? How shall it be "hid" in so unkindly a soil? No power of man surely can plant it there. The Holy Spirit's Almighty agency must be diligently sought; for in proportion as we are filled with His gracious influence shall we be armed, as was our Master, for the effectual resistance of our spiritual temptations.
Lastly, connected with this subject, mark the Christian's character, "In whose heart is my law." His security, "None of his steps shall slide." His happiness, "O how I love Your law." His victory, "The word of God abides in him, and he has overcome the wicked one." All infallibly provided by the covenant promise, "I will put My law in their inward parts, and write it in their hearts." Oh! let us not then shrink from a close contact with the word, though the cost may be the cutting off a right hand for the saving of the life. There is no better test of our security, than our willingness to come to the searching light of the word.

Hiding the Bible in the Heart
"Thy word have I hid in my hearty that I might not sin against Thee."—Ps. 119:11

The late excellent Rev. Dr. James W. Alexander was, in many respects, a model Christian man and minister. One important secret of it lay in some of his habits. One of these was that of taking, every morning, a verse or passage from the Bible for his meditation during the day, and with the view, he said, of having his entire life filled with its spirit and influence. David said to God: "Thy word have I hid in my heart, that I might not sin against Thee."

The Scriptures Value Psalm 119:11

Psalm 119 is all about the Word of God. This text is one of the texts that emphasizes the value of the Word of God.

"Thy Word." The Psalmist possessed the Word of God. He did not possess all that we have, in fact, he only had the first five books of our Bible, namely the Pentateuch. But he possessed it and prized that great possession. We do not appreciate possessing the Scriptures as we do. Every six months I get a catalog from a book company which is just about the Bibles they sell. What a treasure we have in being able to purchase all kinds of Bibles in our day. I had a missionary friend in Detroit who was from the Ukraine. In the late 1960s on a visit to Ukraine they gave a Bible to a Christian lady. Upon receipt of the Bible the lady cried and hugged the Bible, she prized it so. Yet we in our country practically despise the Bible though we can buy it cheaply at the local dime store. To possess the Bible is a great privilege.

"I hid in mine heart." "Hid" does not mean you have concealed the Word from others but that you have deposited it as a treasure in your heart. The heart is the best possible place for the Bible. Many have the Bible in their hands, their head, on the shelf or on the table, but it needs to be in their heart. When we memorize Scripture we often say we know the Word by heart, but the Psalmist means much more than that in our text. Being in the heart means at least three things. First, it means that you will live the Word, for if it is in your heart it will show in your life. Second, it also means the you will laud the Word, for in your heart is a place of honor. And third, if means you will love the Word, for the heart is the place of affection. The Word needs to be in our heart in these three ways.

"That I might not sin against thee. "Two main purposes can be seen in this statement,

  • The holy purpose. "That I might not sin." Some want to know the Bible to win an argument, others to satisfy curiosity, the skeptics want to know the Bible so they can criticize it. The psalmist wants to know the Bible to be holy. If you would live holy, live the Word.
  • The honor purpose. "Against God." All sin is against God. This does not mean that our sin is not against our fellow man, but it means that it is primarily against God.

Therefore if the Word abides in our heart and we walk a holy life it will bring honor to God. Sin dishonors God, Nathan in rebuking David for his sin against Bathsheba and Uriah said, "By this deed [sin] thou hast given great occasion to the enemies of the Lord to blaspheme" (II Samuel 12:14). Therefore, if you have the Word in your heart, you life will be holy and will honor God. (Sermon Starters - John Butler)

John Phillips -  A Cleansing Effect (119:9)
"Wherewithal shall a young man cleanse his way? By taking heed thereto according to Thy word." Think what a school playground was like in your day. Think of the passionate hatreds that could generate in a flash, of the fist-fights that broke out. Think of the cursing and swearing, the common language of the crowd. Think of the dirty jokes that were the password to popularity. Think how deeply some of those smutty stories have become embedded in your memory, still unerasable. Think of the obsession with sex, the vile things said and done with a snicker or sneer. Think of the lying and cheating, the smoking and drinking. Think of the peer pressure to conform, the pettiness and jealousy.
As I recall such things, it seems as if our school playground was a suburb of hell for youthful wickedness. Yet in those days strict discipline was maintained on campus. We could be expelled for cheating or smoking, forfeiting the right to further education in that school. Schools are much worse now, with far more permissiveness and lack of discipline-to say nothing of the problems of drug use and alcoholism. How can a young person stay clean in such an environment? The psalmist has the answer.
The Word of God kept me from many a sin when I was young, even though I did not take an aggressive stand for Christ. Whenever I reflect on the sins of my youth in the presence of God, I blush for some of the things I said and did and to think what a poor testimony I was. Yet at the same time I was kept from many harmful things by the Word of God. It had a cleansing effect on my life. I shall praise the Lord one of these days, in His presence, when He shows me the full story of God's Word keeping me in a clean path when I might have wallowed in filth. Young people who want to honor Christ at school should begin every day with a verse or two of Scripture and prayer:

   Keep me true, Lord Jesus, keep me true.
   There's a race that I must run,
   There are victories to be won,
   Give me power, every hour, to be true.

Hidden Away

Your Word I have hidden in my heart, that I might not sin against You. — Psalm 119:11

Today's Scripture: Psalm 119:9-16

By the time I was born, my great- grandfather, Abram Z. Hess, had already lost his sight. He was known for the beautiful wooden objects he had carved on a lathe—and also as someone who could quote many verses of Scripture. He and his friend Eli would often share Scripture verses back and forth. A bit of a competitive spirit resulted in their admission that Eli could cite more references while my grandfather could recite more verses.

Today, the family often remembers Abram as “Blind Grandpa.” His practice of memorizing Scripture became a lifeline for him when he lost his physical sight. But why is it important that we memorize the Word of God?

Psalm 119 gives us instruction on how to follow God by hiding His Word in our hearts. First, in this way, we arm ourselves when temptation comes (v.11; Eph. 6:17). Then, as we meditate on His Word, we come to know Him better. Finally, when we have His words etched in our minds, we are better able to hear His voice when He instructs and guides us. We use those phrases of Scripture as we talk with Him, worship Him, and teach or witness to others (Col. 3:16).

The Word of God is “living and powerful” (Heb. 4:12). Hide its precious words away “in [your] heart” (Ps. 119:11)where they will always be with you. By:  Cindy Hess Kasper (Our Daily Bread, Copyright RBC Ministries, Grand Rapids, MI. — Reprinted by permission. All rights reserved)

Lord, Your Word is a treasure—priceless and beyond
compare. I’m not the best at memorizing but
I do want Your words to saturate my mind and heart.
Please use Your Word in obvious ways in my life today.

When God’s Word is hidden in our heart, His ways will become our ways.

Thy word have I hidden in mine heart, that I might not sin against thee.  Psalm 119:11 
The new morality really isn't new. When you analyze it, you discover at its core the old immorality! It stems from man's de-sire to cast off the restraints which absolute moral standards place upon his conduct. One who doubts God's Word and follows instead the dictates of his own reason invites trouble. Mother Eve took this ill-considered course and lost true righteousness. In like manner, the new morality as well as the old immorality are both deviations from the true morality.
The importance of following the unchanging and perfect guide-lines established by God Himself can be seen in the following story: "The Bible is too strict and old-fashioned," said a young man to a gray-haired friend who had been advising him to study God's Word if he would learn how to live. "There are plenty of books written today that are moral enough in their teaching which don't bind me down as the Scriptures do." Without saying a word, the old merchant turned to his desk and picked up a couple of rulers, one of which was slightly bent. With each of these, he drew a line and silently handed the paper to his young friend. "Well," said the lad, "what are you trying to say?" "Just this," he replied, "notice that one line is straight; the other is crooked. When you mark your path in life, be sure to use the straight ruler!"
The pathway of true morality leads us through the pages of God's Holy Word, the Bible. "Wherewithal shall a young man cleanse his way?" asks the Psalmist; to which he supplies the answer: "By taking heed thereto according to thy word" (Ps. 119:9). (Our Daily Bread, Copyright RBC Ministries, Grand Rapids, MI. — Reprinted by permission. All rights reserved)

Thy Word is a lamp to my feet,
A light to my path alway,
To guide and to save me from sin,
And show me the heavenly way.
— E.O.S.
The Bible will keep you from sin — or sin will keep you from the Bible!

Psalm 119:12 Blessed are You, O LORD; Teach me Your statutes.  

  • Blessed 1Ti 1:11 6:15 
  • teach Ps 119:26,27,33,64,66,68,71,72,108,124, 25:4,5 86:11 143:10 Lu 24:45 Joh 14:26 1Jn 2:27 

Charles Bridges - Ps 119:12. Blessed are You, O Lord: teach me Your statutes.
"Praise is lovely for the upright." It is at once their duty and their privilege. But what does highest exercise amount to, when placed on the ground of its own merit? We clothe our ideas with magnificence of language, and deck them out with all the richness of imagery; and perhaps we are pleased with our forms of praise. But what are they in His sight beyond the offering of a contemptible worm, spreading before its Maker its own mean and low notions of Divine Majesty? If a worm were to raise its head, and cry—'O sun! You are the source of light and heat to a widely-extended universe'—it would, in fact, render a higher praise to the sun, than we can ever give to our Maker. Between it and us there is some proportion—between us and God none. Yet, unworthy as the offering confessedly is, He will not despise it. No, more, instead of spurning it from His presence, He has revealed Himself as "inhabiting the praises of Israel;" thus intimating to us, that the service of praise is "set forth in His sight as incense;" and at the same time, that it should be the daily and unceasing exercise of one at his own home.
The true character of praise, however, depends entirely upon the state of the heart. In the contemplative philosopher it is only cheerless, barren admiration: in the believer it becomes a principle of comfort and encouragement. For, can he forget the revelation, which his God has given of Himself in the gospel of His dear Son; how it divests every attribute of its terrors, and shines before us in all the glory of His faithfulness and love? The ascription of praise, "Blessed are You, O Lord," frames itself therefore into the prophet's song, "Who is a God like You, who pardons iniquity, and passes by the transgression of the remnant of His heritage? He retains not His anger forever, because He delights in mercy."
Truly then He is "blessed" in Himself, and delights to communicate His blessedness to His people. Hence we are emboldened to ask for continual "teaching in His statutes," in the truths which He has revealed, and the precepts which He has enjoined; that we may "be followers of Him, as dear children," and "walk with Him in love." 
The practical influence, however, of Divine light, constitutes its peculiar privilege. Man's teaching puffs up—God's teaching humbles. Man's teaching may lead us into error as well as into truth—God's teaching is "the unction from the Holy One, by which we know all things." Man's teaching may make us more learned—God's teaching makes us more holy. It persuades, while it enlightens. It draws the heart, inclines the will, and carries out the soul to Christ. The tried character of God encourages us to look for His teaching, "Good and upright is the Lord; therefore will He teach sinners in the way." Our warrant is especially confirmed in approaching Him as our covenant God, "Lead me in Your truth, and teach me; for You are the God of my salvation. Teach me to do Your will: for You are my God."
Reader! do you desire to praise your God? Then learn to frequent the new and living way, "by which alone you can offer your sacrifice acceptably."And while engaged in this holy service, inquire, surrounded as you are with the means of instruction, what progress you are making in His statutes. Seek to have a deeper acquaintance with the character of God. Seek to be the vessels of honor and glory, into which He is pouring more and more continually, "until they be filled with all the fullness of God." Value the unspeakable blessing of Divine teaching, by which you learn to live the life, and begin the blessedness of God.

For Young And Old

Read: Psalm 119:9-16

Blessed are You, O Lord. —Psalm 119:12

Kerri’s grandpa was having health problems and hadn’t been himself lately. To cheer him up, Kerri visited him to recite a Bible passage she had memorized for a speech contest.

Grandpa knew that she had won, so he wanted to reward her. Opening his Bible to his favorite passage, he hid some money there. When Kerri arrived, she recited her winning entry, Psalm 119:9-16. Then Grandpa gave Kerri the Bible, and she opened it to find the hidden gift—located at Psalm 119. They had both chosen the same passage!

For Kerri and her grandpa, God’s direction led them to a portion of Scripture of vital importance for both young and old. It details how to stay pure in a world of impurity (Ps. 119:9)—something all young people need to do. It explains the importance of hiding God’s Word in our hearts (v.11)—something many older believers depend on as life becomes more difficult. The verses also remind us to praise God, value His standards, meditate on Scripture, and delight in His teachings (vv.13-16).

Sometimes God surprises us with the way He speaks to us through His Word. He can even use an amazing grandfather-grandchild “coincidence” to put them, and us, face-to-face with some of His most precious promises.By Dave Branon (Our Daily Bread, Copyright RBC Ministries, Grand Rapids, MI. — Reprinted by permission. All rights reserved)

Thank You for Your holy Book
To guide me day by day;
I cherish every promise
That helps me on my way.

God's Word is timeless—it speaks to every generation.

Psalm 119:13 With my lips I have told of All the ordinances of Your mouth.  

  • I declared Ps 119:46,172 34:11 37:30 40:9,10 71:15-18 118:17 Mt 10:27 12:34 Ac 4:20 

Charles Bridges - Ps 119:13. With my lips have I declared all the judgments of Your mouth.
We have seen the word hid in the heart: now we see it poured forth from the lips. The Lord has taught us His statutes; now we declare these judgments of His mouth. But who can declare them with unction and power, except those who are taught of God? Now we are introduced to the high and honorable privilege of becoming a witness for our Savior! Our opportunities of service are our talents, and we trade with a large increase; for "to everyone who has shall be given, and he shall have abundance." But, "our lips are our own"—is the proud language of the world. Blessed be God; "we know that we are not our own." Most gladly do we acknowledge, that He, who fashioned our lips, has the best claim to their service. And when He has added to the claim of creation the right of purchase, what further constraining can we need, to induce the consecration of all that we are, and all that we have, to His glory!
This is a family obligation—to declare the judgments of God's mouth. Thus did Abraham obtain a blessing for his children. Heavenly blessings are the gracious reward of thus honoring our God. This also is the material of our general conversation, fruitful in spiritual results. Thus did Andrew bring Peter, and the woman of Samaria her neighbors, to Jesus. What might we not do for our fellow-sinners, if our conversation with them was the overflowing of a heart full of love; guided by a single desire to glorify our Savior, and to edify His Church! Fearful, indeed, is the guilt of sinful silence; and those, who thus prove their unfaithfulness to God, may well tremble at His awful denunciations. And yet it is possible to be bold in speech for God, when in the closet, the family, or the world, our consciences justly convict us of insincerity: "You who teach another, do you not teach yourself?" Let us seek, therefore, to have our hearts "filled with the Spirit"; otherwise ours will be "the talk of the lips, which tends only to poverty."
This subject illustrates the character of the Lord's people, "The mouth of the righteous speaks wisdom, and his tongue talks of judgment;" their resolution, "My mouth shall show forth Your righteousness and Your salvation all the day; for I know not the numbers thereof;" their prayer, "O Lord, open my lips, and my mouth shall show forth Your praise;" their blessing, "The lips of the righteous feed many. A wholesome tongue is a tree of life." The example of the Savior, here as everywhere, is our perfect and encouraging pattern: "I have preached righteousness in the great congregation; Lo! I have not refrained My lips, O Lord, You know." In this spirit of their Master, the Apostles awed their persecutors into forbearance: "We cannot but speak the things which we have seen and heard."
How sinful is it to employ our lips for any but the Lord! Yet not less sinful is our reluctance to employ them for Him! Surely the day, when perhaps we have been fluent in worldly conversation, and yet have neglected our opportunities of speaking a word for Him, must be considered a lost day! Is there not much cause for watchfulness, prayer, and self-denial; lest our silence should deny Him, whom by every obligation we are bound to confess? If our inability to bear a testimony for our Lord is not painful to us, must we not suspect, if not the sincerity, at least the strength, of our attachment to His precious name? and we can do no better than retire into our closets with the prayer of contrition, "Enter not into judgment with Your servant, O Lord."

Psalm 119:14 I have rejoiced in the way of Your testimonies, As much as in all riches.  

  • rejoiced Ps 119:47,72,77,111,127,162 19:9,10 112:1 Job 23:12 Jer 15:16 Mt 13:44 Ac 2:41-47 

Charles Bridges - Ps 119:14. I have rejoiced in the way of Your testimonies, as much as in all riches.
How natural is it to be speaking of that which is our delight! The man of God was always declaring the Lord's judgments, because they were his rejoicing. There is indeed a real joy in despising earthly joys. "How sweet"—said Augustine, referring to the period of his conversion, "was it in a moment to be free from those delightful vanities, to lose which had been my dread; to part with which was now my joy!" More satisfying is the believer's rejoicing in the way of God, than that of the miser in his untold riches. Here he may safely say to his soul, "Soul, you have much goods laid up for many years; take your ease." And these are the only riches within the reach of all. If we are poor in this world, it is the Lord's providence. If we are poor in grace, it is our own fault. It is because we have despised our Lord's "counsel to buy from Him gold tried in the fire, that we may be rich." And what is this enriching portion?, "Things present or things to come;" something enjoyed, and much more expected: the mercies of eternity added to the blessings of time; the riches of both worlds—all assured to him by the covenant of grace "in the way of the Lord's testimonies." 
Is it not then most strange, that, with such treasure in possession and in prospect, the child of God should be so careless in increasing his store, and in confirming his own interest in it? But the riches of God's testimonies have this peculiar property, that they cease to rejoice the heart, when they are not uppermost there. Have there not been times, when we have actually rejoiced in the accession of some worldly good, or the accomplishment of some worldly desire, more than in this heavenly treasure? What then do we count our riches? To thrive in grace, or in the world? To be rich towards God, or for our own indulgence?
But though we would rejoice in the testimonies, and would not, for all this world can afford, lose a verse or a letter of our Bibles, yet we cannot be satisfied with a general interest. Many texts—doctrinal, practical, or experimental—have been specially sealed by the Divine Spirit upon our hearts. This or that promise—yes, all the land of promise, as much as I can set my foot upon—is mine. From these precious testimonies, shall we not increase our little stock, until we have apprehended the full enjoyment of the whole; if indeed the fullness of that which is called "unsearchable" can ever be, in this life at least, completely enjoyed?  
But it is not so much in the Lord's testimonies, as "in the way of them," that David rejoiced—the way to God, of which they testify; "the way of holiness," in which they lead—the narrow way of the cross—so contrary to our natural desires and inclinations, that none but the true sheep of Christ can ever enter, or continue in it. Who that walks in these ways will fail to find them, in duties no less than in privileges, "paths of pleasantness and peace?" Our happiness is not withered, but flourishing. "Thus says the Lord, Stand in the ways, and see, and ask for the old paths, where is the good way, and walk therein, and you shall find rest for your souls."

Psalm 119:15 I will meditate on Your precepts And regard Your ways.  

  • meditate Ps 119:23,48,78,97,131,148 1:2 Jas 1:25 
  • have respect Ps 119:6,117 

Charles Bridges - Ps 119:15. I will meditate in Your precepts, and have respect to Your ways.
Our rejoicing in the testimonies of God will naturally flow in a habitual meditation in them. The thoughts follow the affections. The carnal man can never be brought to this resolution. Having no spiritual taste, he has no ability for spiritual meditation. Indeed many sincere Christians, through remaining weakness and depravity, are too often reluctant to it. They are content with indolent reading: and, with scarcely a struggle or a trial, yield themselves up to the persuasion, that they are unable sufficiently to abstract their minds for this blessed employment. But let the trial prove the work. Perseverance will accomplish the victory over mental instability, and the spiritual difficulty will give way to prayer, "Lord! help me." 
The fruitfulness of meditation will soon be manifest. Does it not "stir up the gift of God that is in us," and keep the energies of the heart in a wakeful posture of conflict and resistance? Besides this, meditation is the digestive faculty of the soul, which converts the word into real and proper nourishment: so that this revolving of a single verse in our minds is often better than the mere reading of whole chapters. "Your words were found, and I ate them; and Your word was to me the joy and the rejoicing of my heart." Thus the mind becomes the instrument of faith and love—of joy and strength.  
But this meditation not only includes the stated times of thought, but the train of holy thoughts, that pass through the mind during the busy hours of the day. This maintains a habitual flow of spiritual desires, and excites the flame of love within, until at length the Psalmist's resolution becomes the inwrought habit of our minds, "I will meditate in Your precepts."
Can we lack a subject for meditation, if indeed the salvation of Jesus has been made known to our souls? While musing upon the glorious theme, does not "the fire burn" within, as if our hearts were touched with a live coal from the altar of God? Chide then, believer, your dull and sluggish spirit, that permits the precious manna to lie ungathered upon the ground, that is slow to entertain these heavenly thoughts, or rather that heavenly guest, whose peculiar office it is to "help our infirmities," and especially to "take of Christ's, and show it to us."
The exercise, however, of this, as of every other duty, may prove a barren form, that imparts neither pleasure nor profit. Let each of us then ask—'What distinct experimental benefit have I received from the word? Do I endeavor to read it with prayerful meditation, until I find my heart filled with it?'
But this communing with the word is not for contemplation, but for practice. By meditating on God's precepts, we learn to have respect unto His ways—carefully "pondering the path of our feet," that we "turn not aside." "Your loving-kindness is before my eyes; and I have walked in Your truth." "My foot," says Job, "has held His steps; His ways have I kept, and not declined. Neither have I gone back from the commandment of His lips; I have esteemed the words of His mouth more than my necessary food."

Psalm 119:16 I shall delight in Your statutes; I shall not forget Your word.  

  • delight Ps 119:14,24,35,47,70,77,92 40:8 Ro 7:22 Heb 10:16,17 
  • not forget Ps 119:11,83,93,109,141,176 Pr 3:1 Jas 1:23,24 

I shall delight in Your statutes - Delight is that which gives pleasure or satisfaction. It describes that which is pleasing. 

I shall not forget Your word - And what is the best way not to forget God's Word? Memorizing His Word  (see also Memory Verses by Topic and Memorable). Are you? Are you memorizing His Word? Don't make excuses (too old, etc). Don't procrastinate (I'll begin tomorrow). Begin today. Pick a favorite passage. Write it on a card to carry around today. Ask God's Spirit to enable you to meditate on it. You won't regret it. And let this begin a habit. Try memorizing one verse each week, being sure to review the ones already memorized. Psalm 119:165 says "Those who love Your law have great peace, And nothing causes them to stumble." Psalm 119:130 says "The unfolding of Your words gives light; It gives understanding to the simple." Psalm 119:89 says "Forever, O LORD, Your word is settled in heaven." Very few things we do in this short life will endure forever, but God's Word does (Mt 24:35). So begin your adventure today. You will not regret it in eternity! 

One Amazing Letter

I will not forget Your word. —Psalm 119:16

Today's Scripture & Insight: Psalm 119:9-16

Once in a while my wife and I open the mail to find a letter with no words on it. When we take the “letter” out of the envelope, we see a piece of paper with nothing more on it than a colorful mark made with a felt pen. Those “letters” warm our hearts because they’re from our preschool granddaughter Katie, who lives in another state. Even without words, these letters tell us that she loves us and is thinking about us.

We all cherish letters from those we love and those who love us. That’s why there is so much encouragement in the fact that our heavenly Father has given us a letter called the Bible. The value of Scripture goes beyond its words of power, challenge, and wisdom. Amid all of the stories, teaching, and guidance this Book provides, the overriding idea is that God loves us and has planned our rescue. It tells us of His love in overseeing our existence (Ps. 139), meeting our needs (Matt. 6:31-34), comforting us (2 Cor. 1:3-4), and saving us through the sacrifice of His Son, Jesus (Rom. 1:16-17).

You are loved beyond imagination. God says so in His inspired and inspiring message to you. No wonder the psalmist wrote, “I will not forget Your word” (Ps. 119:16). It is one amazing letter! By:  Dave Branon (Our Daily Bread, Copyright RBC Ministries, Grand Rapids, MI. — Reprinted by permission. All rights reserved)

Lord, help me to examine the Bible’s pages,
understand its truths, and apply its teachings to my
life. May I be as excited about Your letter to me as I
am about a letter, email, or Facebook posting by a friend.

The love of God for us is revealed in His letter to us—the Bible.

Charles Bridges - Ps 119:16. I will delight myself in Your statutes: I will not forget Your word.  
As delight quickens to meditation, so does the practical habit of meditation strengthen the principle of delight. In the enjoyment of this delight, the Christian (however small his attainments may be) would rather live and die, than in the pursuit, and even in the possession, of the most satisfying pleasures of a vain and empty world. But if it be a real "delight in the Lord's statutes," it will be universal—when they probe the secret lurking-places within, and draw out to the full light the hidden indulgences of a heart that is yet carnal; when they call for the entire crucifixion of every corrupt inclination, and the unreserved surrender of all to the self-denying service of our God. This spirit is very different from the delight of the hypocrite, which is rather to "know," than to do, the "ways of his God;" and, therefore, who is satisfied with outward conformity, with little or no desire to "understand the errors" of his heart, that he might be "cleansed from secret faults." The spring of our obedience will therefore prove its sincerity; and the reality of our love will be manifested by its fruitfulness and active cheerfulness in our appointed sphere of duty.
We may also observe here an evidence of adoption. Obedience is not a burden, but a delight. The servant may perform the statutes of God; but it is only the son who "delights in them." But what—we may ask—is the spring of adoption? It is "the Spirit of the Son sent into our hearts, whereby we cry, Abba, Father." It is because we are at peace with God through Jesus Christ; because the statutes are the message of reconciliation through Him, that they become delightful to those, who are partakers of this great salvation. "The spirit of adoption," therefore, as the principle of delight, is the spring of acceptable obedience in the Lord's service.
And surely those who are serving Him in this happy filial walk, are not likely to "forget His word." As the eye is continually turned to the object of its affection, so the eye of the soul, that has been fixed with delight on the ways of God, will be habitually resting upon them. As one of the wise heathens observed—'I never yet heard of a covetous old man, who had forgotten where he had buried his treasure.' The reason is abundantly evident. His heart is in it. And this explains the forgetfulness of the ungodly or the formalist. They have no delight in the statutes. And who is not glad to forget what is distasteful? But if we "have tasted that the Lord is gracious"—if we have found a treasure "in the way of His testimonies"—we cannot forget the sweetness of the experience, or where to go to refresh ourselves with the repetition of it.  
Forgetfulness of the word is, however, to the Christian, a source of continual complaint, and sometimes also of most distressing temptation. Not that there is always a real charge of guilt upon the conscience. For, as Thomas Boston somewhat quaintly observes—'Grace makes a good heart-memory, even where there is no good head-memory.' But means must be used, and helps may be suggested. Watchfulness against the influence of the world is of the first importance. How much of the good seed is choked by the springing thorns! If our hearts are ever refreshed with spiritual delight, we should be as cautious of an uncalled-for advance into the world, as of exposing an invalid's susceptible frame to a damp or an unhealthy atmosphere. Whatever warmth has been kindled in spiritual duties, may be chilled by one moment's unwary rush into an unkindly climate. 
We would also recommend increasing attention to the word, as the means of its preservation—the exercise of "faith," without which it will "not profit"—the active habit of love, bringing with it a more habitual interest in the statutes—all accompanied with unceasing prayer for the gift of the Holy Spirit, made the express subject of promise for this purpose. Under His heavenly teaching and recollection, what delight will be found in the statutes! what blessed remembrance of His word! And what a happy spirit is this delight and remembrance of the word—the affections glowing—the memory pondering—the presence and manifestation of truth keeping the heart in close communion with God! "O Lord God, keep this forever in the imagination of the thoughts of the heart of Your people, and prepare their hearts unto You."

Psalm 119:17 Gimel. Deal bountifully with Your servant, That I may live and keep Your word.  

  • Deal: Ps 119:65,124,132 13:6 116:7 Joh 1:16 2Co 9:7-11 Php 4:19 
  • I may live Ro 8:2-4 Eph 2:4,5,10 Tit 2:11,12 1Jn 2:29 5:3,4 

Charles Bridges - Ps 119:17. Deal bountifully with Your servant, that I may live, and keep Your word. 
This prayer appears to have been much upon David's heart, and in its substance and object it is again repeated. Nor does he fail to acknowledge the answer to it. The believer, like David, is a man of large expectations. As regards himself—his own daily provocations and backslidings—he cannot stand upon his own ground. But when he brings with him the name, the blood, the intercession of Jesus; as soon could God deny His own beloved Son, as resist the supplication of those who present this all-prevailing plea. Not only so, but—is He not His own gift to His children, as the pledge of every other gift? And what other pledge can they need, to encourage them to draw near with the largest desire, and the most heavenly expectation? We may, indeed, be too bold in our manner of approach to God; but we cannot be too bold in our expectations from Him. Standing as we do upon such high and sure ground, it is equally dishonorable to Him, and impoverishing to ourselves, to ask only a little of Him. Rather let us, according to His own command, "open our mouths wide; and He will fill them." Rather let us expect that He will deal—not only favorably—but bountifully with His servants—that, as "our God, He will supply all our need according to His riches in glory by Christ Jesus."
And, indeed, the most experienced believer cannot forget, that he is in himself still the same poor, weak, empty, helpless creature as at first. Nothing, therefore, short of a bountiful supply can answer his continual neediness. And such a supply is always at hand. The act of prayer increases the power to pray. The throne of grace is a well, which no power or malice of the Philistines can stop up. We need not say, "We have nothing to draw with, and the well is deep." Faith will enable us "with joy to draw out of this well of salvation." Let us bring our empty vessels, until "there is not a vessel more." Yes—believer—there is indeed a bountiful supply of grace—of every kind—suited to every need—grace to pardon—grace to quicken—grace to bless. Oh! see, then, that you come not empty away. Remember—who it is that pleads before the throne. Remember—that the grace you need is in His hand. From eternity He foreknew your case. He laid your portion by. He has kept it for the time of need; and now He only waits for an empty vessel, into which to pour His supply. He is ready to show you, how infinitely His grace exceeds all thoughts—all prayers—all desires—all praises.
And say—what has been the fruit of your pleading, waiting expectancy at "the throne of grace?" Have you not returned thence with a fresh spring of devotedness in His service, with every selfish thought forgotten in the desire, that you "may live, and keep His word?" Nothing touched or moved your reluctant heart, but the apprehension of bountiful redeeming love. This makes obedience easy—delightful—natural—in a manner unavoidable. It "constrains" to it. The man now lives—not the animal life of appetite—not the sensual life of vanity and pleasure—but the only life that deserves the name. He lives singly, supremely "to Him who died for him, and rose again." He "lives, and keeps His word." His motto and character now is, "To me to live is Christ." He values life only by his opportunities of serving his God. The first archangel knows not a higher object of existence. And how encouraging the reflection, that in this glorious object the lowest servant in the household of God is an equal participant with the most blessed inhabitant of heaven!

Psalm 119:18 Open my eyes, that I may behold Wonderful things from Your law.  

  • Open Heb. Reveal, Isa 29:10-12,18 32:3 35:5 Mt 13:13 16:17 Joh 9:39 Ac 26:18 2Co 3:14-18 4:4-6 Eph 1:17,18 Rev 3:18 
  • wondrous Ps 119:96 Ho 8:12 2Co 3:13 Heb 8:5 10:1 

This is a simple but powerful prayer for spiritual illumination, asking God by His Spirit to remove the scales from our natural, spiritually blind eyes, that we might see and receive supernatural truth. Spiritual truth cannot be apprehended in a natural way, but requires a supernatural means.

J Vernon McGee on Ps 119:18 - This is the verse I used to begin the “Thru the Bible” program years ago when I first taught it in a little weather-beaten church on the side of a red clay hill in Georgia. I used this verse as a theme for many years. This is a good one—“Open thou mine eyes, that I may behold wondrous things out of thy law [thy word].” (Thru the Bible commentary)

While the verb open is in the imperative form, in context as alluded to above, it is clearly the cry of a beggar who recognizes his abject spiritual poverty and his desperate need of spiritual bread 

The Bible is filled with spiritual truth that can only be seen with an eye opened by the Spirit of God.

Donald Williams - He must open us up and show us His wondrous things (Ps 119:18). Apart from this, in the words of Bob Dylan, “I’m a little too blind to see.” (The Preacher’s Commentary )

Kidner - To feel the force of this request, cf. the sight that met the opened eyes of Balaam (Num. 22:31) or of Elisha’s servant (2 Kgs 6:17, using another word). (Psalms 73–150: An Introduction and Commentary)

David Guzik - This reminds us that it isn’t the word that needs changing, as if it were obscure; we are the ones who are veiled and can’t understand the word of God apart from the work of the Spirit. Paul’s eyes were unveiled when he was converted (Acts 9:18); it was as if scales had dropped from his eyes....The Psalmist didn’t need new revelation; he needed to see the revelation that was already given. He didn’t need new eyes; he needed to see with the eyes he already had.

KJV Bible Commentary - As Thomas Manton observes, “The Hebrew phrase signifieth ‘unveil mine eyes’ … Paul’s cure of his natural blindness is a fit emblem of our cure of spiritual blindness: ‘Immediately there fell from his eyes as it had been scales: and he received sight forthwith …’ (Acts 9:18).

I love the way John Piper explains it "By inspiring some things hard to understand (2Pe 3:15-16), God has unleashed in the world desperation which leads to supplication—the crying out to God for help." (Ps 119:18)..."Seven times in one psalm the psalmist prays, “Teach me your statutes” (Ps 119:12, 26, 64, 68, 124, 135, 171)!" (Why God Inspired Hard Texts also quoted in Brothers, We Are Not Professionals- A Plea to Pastors for Radical Ministry

O beloved, how much more should we cry out for God's Spirit to illuminate the sacred pages!

Again Piper comments "One of the greatest privileges of having two good eyes is that we can read God’s word. But there is another set of eyes that have to be opened if the glory of God’s word is to shine in our hearts—namely, the eyes of our hearts." (cp Eph 1:18-19)  (The Shepherd, the Host, and the Highway Patrol)

Piper - The Word of God cannot be truly desired (Psalm 119:36) or spiritually comprehended (Psalm 119:18) or savingly spoken (2 Thessalonians 3:1) without the work of the Holy Spirit, whom we ask for by prayer. (All Scripture Is Breathed Out by God and Profitable)

Piper - So practically we must endeavor to forsake all self-reliance as we hear the Word of God, and seek the power of the Holy Spirit—not to tell us things that aren’t in the Scriptures, but to make us feel the wonder of what is in the Scriptures. “Open my eyes that I may behold wondrous things out of thy law” (Psalm 119:18). We should pray for ourselves the way Paul prayed for the Ephesians: “that God may enlighten the eyes of our hearts to know what is the hope to which he has called us, and what are the riches of his glorious inheritance in the saints” (Eph 1:18). (The Fruit of Hope- Love)

Piper - The same psalmist who said “How sweet are thy words to my taste” (Ps 119:103), said earlier, “Open my eyes that I may behold wondrous things out of thy law” (Ps 119:18). He prayed, because to have holy taste buds on the tongue of the heart is a gift of God. No man naturally hungers for and delights in God’s wisdom. (How to Delight in God’s Word - Devotional by John Piper)

Adrian Rogers applies Psalm 119:18 asking - Isn't that a beautiful prayer?....Have you ever prayed that? Have you ever thought, "Well, I can just go to the Bible, and I can pull the truth out of the Bible"? Let me tell you, friend: You cannot. You may know Greek and not know God; you may know Hebrew and not know Him. I don't care who you are in that seminary, or any other Sunday School class—unless you lay that intellectual pride in the dust and pray this prayer—"Open thou mine eyes, that I may behold wondrous things in thy law"—you'll not know the God of this book. I want to tell you, my friend: It took a supernatural miracle to reveal it; it took a supernatural miracle to write it; and, it'll take a supernatural miracle for you to understand it. Do you believe that? Do you believe that? Listen. Most of us don't believe it. If we really believed it, we would agonize before the Lord; we would pray before the Lord; and, we would be saying, "Lord, open Thou mine eyes."..."Oh, God, illumine me. Open my eyes that I might understand."....When God opens your eyes you're going to see things you never saw before, you're going to hear things you never heard before, you're going to know things you never knew before because God the Holy Spirit is going to teach you....What you need to do when you come to the Bible is to lay your pride of intellect and your brilliance of mind in the dust, and say, "Dear God, if You don't teach me, I won't understand it." You will never go into the Bible and, with a lexicon and with a mind of logic and with a callous hand, just reach in and rip the truth out of the Bible. Oh no—God's going to reveal that truth to you as you need to pray when you open the Bible, "Lord, open Thou mine eyes, that I may behold wondrous things in Thy law. Lord Jesus, help me to see You,"....(for) in order to see Jesus in the Bible, you need light, and you need sight."....That's the first thing that will happen. Your eyes will be opened. God will help you to see things that you have never seen. I can tell when I am walking in the Spirit when I'm reading the Word of God. There are truths that just jump up off the Bible into my heart."

Open (01540)(galah) means to uncover (sadly the first use = Noah uncovering himself after becoming drunk! - Ge 9:21, cp Lev 18:6 prohibiting "uncover nakedness" ~ sexual relations), to reveal (God revealed Himself to Jacob at Bethel, and thus the name El-Bethel - Ge 35:7. 2Sa 2:27), expose (Ex 20:26), open (God opened the eyes of Balaam to see the Angel of the LORD - Nu 22:31), reveal (Dt 29:29). Galah is used of not yet revealing the Word of the LORD to Samuel (1Sa 3:7) and of revealing Himself to Samuel (1Sa 3:21).

Galah is used in Amos 3:7 - "Surely the Lord GOD does nothing unless He reveals His secret counsel (talk that is kept confidential, speaks of intimacy) to His servants the prophets."

The Septuagint (Lxx) translates galah in Ps 119:18 with the verb apokalupto in the aorist imperative (command - I am always amazed that finite men could in any sense "command" God which speaks of His amazing grace and incomprehensible condescension! cp Ps 8:3-6). The verb apokalupto (from apó = from + kalúpto = cover, conceal, English = apocalypse - see study of apokalupsis) literally means to remove the cover from and so the idea is to remove that which conceals something. Almost all of the NT uses have a figurative use, especially to some aspect of spiritual truth that was heretofore hidden but now has the "lid removed" so that it can be seen (understood). We are continually in desperate need for God to remove the lid from His Word, the Bible, so that we might see and understand and obey!

Moses uses this same verb to describe the opening of Balaam's eyes to spiritual realities! = "Then the LORD opened (galah; Lxx = apokalupto) the eyes of Balaam, and he saw the Angel of the LORD standing in the way with his drawn sword in his hand; and he bowed all the way to the ground." (Nu 22:31) While I would not advocate following most of Balaam's example, his bowing down when the truth was revealed (I think he saw the pre-incarnate Christ - Angel of the LORD) is a good practice for God's children to imitate. We don't worship the word revealed but we do bow down to the God Who is the Word (Jn 1:1-3)!

John Newton - Ps 119:18.  Open thou mine eyes, that I may behold wondrous things out of thy law.
Let me suppose a person to have a curious cabinet, which is opened at his pleasure, and not exposed to common view. He invites all to come and see it, and offers to show it to any one who asks him. It is hid, because he keeps the key, but none can complain, because he is ready to open it whenever he is desired. Some, perhaps, disdain the offer, and say, “Why is it locked at all?” Some think it is not worth seeing, or amuse themselves with guessing at the contents. But those who are simply desirous for themselves, leave others disputing, go according to appointment, and are gratified. These have reason to be thankful for the favor, and the others have no just cause to find fault. Thus the riches of Divine grace may be compared to a richly-furnished cabinet to which “Christ is the door.” The Word of God likewise is a cabinet generally locked up, but the key of prayer will open it. The Lord invites all, but He keeps the dispensation in His own hand. They cannot see these things, except He shows them; but then He refuses none that sincerely ask Him. The wise men of the world can go no further than the outside of this cabinet; they may amuse themselves and surprise others with their ingenius guesses at what is within; but a child that has seen it opened can give us satisfaction, without studying or guessing at all. If men will presume to aim at the knowledge of God, without the knowledge of Christ, Who is the way and the door; if they have such a high opinion of their own wisdom and penetration as to suppose they can understand the Scriptures without the assistance of His Spirit; or, if their worldly wisdom teaches them that those things are not worth their inquiring, what wonder is it that they should continue to be hid from their eyes?


Open my eyes, that I may see wondrous things from Your law. —Psalm 119:18

Stephen May discovered a treasure  while teaching literature at a university. In the library he found 150 boxes of letters, manuscripts, journals, outlines and notes given to the school by James A. Michener.

Surprisingly, no one was using those materials to write a biography of the Pulitzer Prize winning author, known for his historical novels. After years of research and writing, May produced a new account of the life of Michener from that great treasure.

Each day you and I are writing the story of our lives by what we say and do. Are we using the great, but often neglected, wealth of the Bible? The psalmist wrote: “I have rejoiced in the way of Your testimonies, as much as in all riches. . . . Open my eyes, that I may see wondrous things from Your law” (Ps. 119:14,18).

The Bible is the written record through which we get to know Jesus Christ, “in whom are hidden all the treasures of wisdom and knowledge” (Col. 2:3). Its nuggets of truth are available to us all.

A life well lived is directly related to a Bible well read. As we live out our life story, let’s be sure to tap the treasure of God’s Word every day. David C. McCasland (Our Daily Bread, Copyright RBC Ministries, Grand Rapids, MI. — Reprinted by permission. All rights reserved)


Lord, I’m Excited!

Open my eyes, that I may see wondrous things from Your law. —Psalm 119:18

Today's Scripture: Psalm 119:17-24

People use Our Daily Bread in many different ways. Small groups have informed me that they meet before work to read the online devotional on their laptops. Families read it together at a meal. Others reach for it on a break or during a quiet moment of the day.

A letter from one reader inspired me with her approach each morning: “As I open Our Daily Bread, I tell God that I am excited about what His Word is going to teach me. Then I read the Scripture (if it’s short, I include all the surrounding context), and I meditate [on it] and write what it is saying to me before I read what God gave the writer . . . . Since I am indexing my journal, both Scripture and topics, as I go along, I can refer back to pertinent topics at any time. I love it.”

What impressed me is her enthusiasm for the Word and the anticipation of what the Lord has for her in the Bible. She echoes the psalmist’s prayer, “Open my eyes, that I may see wondrous things from Your law” (Ps. 119:18).

A writer’s thoughts are no substitute for the powerful Word of God. It’s the only place to find spiritual nourishment and strength for each day. And that’s exciting! By:  David C. McCasland (Our Daily Bread, Copyright RBC Ministries, Grand Rapids, MI. — Reprinted by permission. All rights reserved)

Help more people find Jesus this Easter.

Give me, O Lord, a strong desire
To look within Your Word each day;
Help me to hide it in my heart,
Lest from its truth my feet would stray. 

The Bible is the Bread of Life, and it never becomes stale.

In A Fog

Read: Psalm 119:25-32 

Open my eyes, that I may see wondrous things from Your law. —Psalm 119:18

My wife Shirley and I stayed 2 full days in Interlaken, Switzerland, and yet we never saw Jungfrau, one of the highest and most beautiful peaks in the Swiss Alps.

“What did you think of Jungfrau?” fellow tourists would ask. We couldn’t answer because we never got a glimpse of it.

How could we possibly miss such an immense and breathtaking natural wonder? Because a persistent fog had blanketed the entire peak.

Sometimes we may be “in a fog” when we try to understand the Bible. We struggle and strain, but we cannot see the beautiful truths that lie within the passage. It may even seem as if God is keeping them hidden from us.

Don’t forget that we always need the illuminating help of the Holy Spirit. It is not God who wants to keep us from grasping the wonderful truths of Scripture; it is His enemy. The devil knows that we can’t put into practice what we don’t comprehend.

We need to pray as the psalmist did, “Open my eyes, that I may see wondrous things from Your law” (Ps. 119:18). As we seek the Holy Spirit’s guidance each day, He will clear away the fog so that we can see the marvelous truths within God’s Word.By David C. Egner (Our Daily Bread, Copyright RBC Ministries, Grand Rapids, MI. — Reprinted by permission. All rights reserved)

Open my eyes, that I may see
Glimpses of truth Thou hast for me;
Place in my hands the wonderful key
That shall unclasp and set me free.

Without the light of God's Spirit, we'll be in the dark about God's Word.

Psalm 119:19 I am a stranger in the earth; Do not hide Your commandments from me.

  • a stranger Ps 39:12 Ge 47:9 1Ch 29:15 2Co 5:6 Heb 11:13-16 1Pe 2:11 
  • hide Ps 119:10 Job 39:17 Isa 63:17 Lu 9:45 24:45 

Charles Bridges - Ps 119:19. I am a stranger in the earth: hide not Your commandments from me.
Such is the condition of the child of God—a stranger in the earth! This confession, however, from a solitary wanderer would have had little comparative meaning. But in the mouth of one, who was probably surrounded with every sort of worldly enjoyment, it shows at once the vanity of ''earth's best joys," and the heavenly tendency of the religion of the Bible. This has been ever the character, confession, and glory of the Lord's people. We "would not live always;" and gladly do we hear the warning voice, that reminds us to "arise and depart, for this is not our rest." And was not this especially the character, not of David only, but of David's Lord? Born at an inn— "having nowhere to lay His head"—suffering hunger—subsisting upon alms—neglected by His own—He "looked for some to take pity, but there was none, and for His comforters, but He found none"—might He not justly take up the confession, "I am a stranger in the earth?"  
This verse exhibits the Christian in many most interesting points of view; distant from his proper home—without a fixed residence—with no particular interest in the world—and submitting to all the inconveniences of a stranger on his journey homewards. Such is his state! 
And the word of God includes all that he needs—a guide, a guard, a companion—to direct, secure, and cheer his way. "When you go, it shall lead you; when you sleep, it shall keep you; and when you awake, it shall talk with you." Most suitable then is the stranger's prayer, "hide not Your commandments from me." Acquaintance with the word of God supplies the place of friends and counselors. It furnishes light, joy, strength, food, armor, and whatever else he may need on his way homewards.
The pilgrim-spirit is the pulse of the soul. All of us are traveling to eternity. The worldling is at home in the earth—a pilgrim only by restraint. His heart would say, "It is good for me to be here. Let God dispose of heaven at His pleasure. I am content to have my "portion in this life." The child of God is a stranger in the earth. Heaven is the country of his birth. His kindred—his inheritance—his Savior—his hope—his home—all is there. He is "a citizen of no insignificant city," of "the heavenly Jerusalem." He is therefore a pilgrim in affection, no less than in character. How cheering is the thought, that "here we have no continuing city," if in heart and soul we are "seeking one to come!"
We know, indeed, that we cannot—we would not—call this world our home, and that it is far better to be without it, than to have our portion in it. But do we never feel at home in the earth, thus forgetting our proper character, and our eternal prospects? Do we always live, speak, and act as "strangers in the earth;" in the midst of earthly enjoyments, sitting loose to them, as if our treasure was in heaven? Does our conversation in the society of the world savor of the home, where we profess to be going? Is the world gaining ascendancy in our affection? Let the cross of Calvary be the object of our daily contemplation—the ground of our constant "glorying;" and the world will then be to us as a "crucified" object. 
And lastly, let us not forget, that we are looking forward, and making a progress towards a world, where none are strangers—where all are children of one family, dwelling in one eternal home. "In our Father's house," said our gracious Head, "are many mansions: I go to prepare a place for you."

Psalm 119: 20 My soul is crushed with longing After Your ordinances at all times.  

  • soul Ps 119:40,131,174 42:1 63:1 84:2 Pr 13:12 Song 5:8 Rev 3:15,16 
  • at all times Ps 106:3 Job 23:11,12 27:10 Pr 17:17 

Charles Bridges - Ps 119:20. My soul breaks for the longing that it has unto Your judgments at all times.
This intense desire and affection is the Christian's answer to his prayers—Open my eyes—Hide not Your commandments from me. For who that is conversant with this blessed revelation but longs to be filled with it? In contrasting this glow with the church of Laodicea, under a brighter dispensation, "neither cold nor hot" which state, we may ask, most nearly resembles our own? Observe also, not only the fervor, but the steady uniformity, of this religion. It was not a rapture, but a habit; constant and uniform; "at all times." With us such enjoyments are too often favored seasons, happy moments; alas! only moments—why not days, and months, and years? The object of our desires is an inexhaustible spring. The longing of the soul can never over-reach its object. The cherished desire, therefore, will become the established habit—the element in which the child of God lives and thrives.
This uniformity is the most satisfactory test of our profession. Often are the judgments prized in affliction, when all other resources fail: or under a pang of conscience when the terror of the Lord is frowning upon the sinner. But the excitement wears off, and the heart returns to its hardness. Often also the impulse of novelty gives a strong but temporary impression. This is very different from the Christian, whose study is stretching out its desires at all times; finding the judgments a cordial or a discipline, a support or a preservation, as his need may require.
Not less important is this habit, as the test of the soul's prosperity. We are not satisfied with occasional fellowship with a beloved friend. His society is the life of our life. We seek him in his own ways, where he is accustomed to resort. We feel the blank of his absence. We look out for his return with joyous anticipation. 
Now, is this the picture of our soul's longing for communion with Jesus? We may feel His loss, should the stated seasons of prayer fail in bringing Him near to us. But do we long for Him at all times? Do we "wait for Him in the way of His judgments," where He is usually found? And when spiritual exercises are necessarily exchanged for the occupations of the world, do we seize the leisure moment to catch a word—a glimpse—a look? Is not the heart silent with shame in the recollection of the cold habit of external or occasional duty?
But why this low ebbing of spiritual desire? Do we live near to the throne of grace? Have we not neglected prayer for the influence of the Spirit? Have we not indulged a light, vain, and worldly spirit, than which nothing more tends to wither the growth of vital religion? Or have not the workings of unbelief been too faintly resisted? This of itself will account for much of our dullness; since the rule of the kingdom of grace is, "According to your faith be it unto you." Grace is, indeed, an insatiable principle. Enjoyment, instead of satisfying, only serves to sharpen the appetite. Yet if we are content to live at a low rate, there will be no sensible interest in the consolation of the Gospel. We know, desire, and are satisfied with little; and, therefore, we enjoy but little. We live as borderers on the land, instead of bearing our testimony: "Surely it flows with milk and honey; and this is the fruit of it." This is not the thriving, the cheerfulness, the adorning of the Gospel. It is rather the obscuring of the glory of our Christian profession, and of the happiness of its attendant privileges.
Let not the fervor of desire here expressed be conceived to be out of reach; nor let it be expected in the way of some sudden manifestation or excitement. Rather let us look for it in a patient, humble, and persevering waiting upon the Lord. We may have still to complain of coldness and wanderings. Yet strength to wait will be imperceptibly given: faith will be sustained for the conflict; and thus "our souls will make their boast in the Lord," even though an excited flow of enjoyment should be withheld. One desire will, however, tread upon another, increasing in fullness, as the grand object is nearer our grasp.
At all events, let us beware of resting satisfied with the confession of our lukewarmness to our fellow-creatures, without "pouring out our heart before the Lord." There is a fullness of grace in our glorious Head to "strengthen the things which remain, which are ready to die," as well as at the beginning to "quicken" us when "dead in trespasses and sins." Abundant, also—are the promises and encouragements to poor, dry, barren souls, "I will heal their backslidings; I will be as the dew unto Israel: he shall grow as the lily, and cast forth his roots as Lebanon." For what purpose are promises such as these given, but that they may be "arguments," with which to "fill our mouth," when in the contrition of faith we again venture to "order our cause before God?" And "will He plead against us with His great power?" No! but "He will put His strength in us;" and we shall yet again "run the way of His commandments" with an enlarged heart.

Psalm 119:21 You rebuke the arrogant, the cursed, Who wander from Your commandments.  

  • rebuked Ps 119:78 138:6 Ex 10:3 18:11 Job 40:11,12 Isa 2:11,12 10:12 Eze 28:2-10 Da 4:37 5:22-24 Mal 4:1 Lu 14:11 18:14 Jas 4:6 1Pe 5:5 
  • cursed Ps 119:10,110,118 De 27:15-26 28:15 30:19 Ne 9:16,29 Isa 42:24 Isa 43:28 Jer 44:9-11,16,28,29 Ga 3:13 

Charles Bridges - Ps 119:21. You have rebuked the proud that are cursed, which err from Your commandments.
Let the histories of Cain, Pharaoh, Haman, Nebuchadnezzar, and Herod, exhibit the proud under the rebuke and curse of God. He abhors their persons, and their offerings; He "knows them afar off," "He resists them;" "He scatters them in the imaginations of their hearts." Especially hateful are they in His sight, when cloaking themselves under a spiritual garb; "They say, Stand by yourself, come not near me; for I am holier than you. These are a smoke in my nose, a fire that burns all the day." Most of all, is this sin an abomination in His own beloved people. David and Hezekiah are instructive beacons in the church, that they, least of all, must expect to escape His rebuke, "You were a God who forgave them; though You took vengeance on their inventions." 
Now the people of the world call the proud happy. But will they be counted so, when they shall be manifestly under the curse of God; when "the day of the Lord shall be upon them to bring them low," yes, to "burn them in the oven" of "His wrath?"
Pride probably influences all, who "err from the Lord's commandments;" yet doubtless "the Righteous Judge" will make an infinite difference between errors of infirmity and obstinate wilfulness. The confession of the man of God, "I have gone astray like a lost sheep "—is widely different in character from the subjects of this awful rebuke and curse. "You have trodden down all those who err from Your statutes; for their deceit is falsehood."
We wonder not at this expression of the mind of God concerning pride. There is no sin more abhorrent to His character. It is as if we were taking the crown from His head, and placing it upon our own. It is man making a God of himself—acting from himself, and for himself. Nor is this principle less destructive to our own happiness. And yet it is not only rooted, but it often rears its head and blossoms, and bears fruit, even in hearts which "hate and abhor" its influence. It is most like its father, the Devil, in serpentine deceitfulness. It is always active—always ready imperceptibly to mix itself up with everything. When it is mortified in one shape, it rises in another. When we have thought that it was gone, in some unexpected moment we find it here still. It can convert everything into nourishment, even God's choicest gifts—yes, the graces of His Spirit. Let no saint, therefore, however near he may be living to God, however favored with the shinings of His countenance—consider himself beyond the reach of this temptation. Paul was most in danger, when he seemed to be most out of it; and nothing but an instant miracle of grace and power saved him from the "snare of the Devil." 
Indeed, the whole plan of salvation is intended to humble the pride of man, by exhibiting his restoration to the Divine favor, as a free gift through the atoning blood of the cross. How hateful, therefore, is proud man's resistance to this humbling doctrine of the cross, and the humbling requisitions of the life of faith flowing from it! This makes the sure "foundation" of the believer's hope, "a stone of stumbling" to the unbeliever's ruin. As regards also the means of salvation—how can pride lift up his head in the view of the Son of God, "taking upon Him the form of a servant," that He might bear the curse of man? "Behold, the soul that is lifted up, is not upright in him."
But can a sinner—can a saint—be proud?—one who owes everything to free and sovereign grace—one who has wasted so much time—abused so much mercy—so grieved the Spirit of God—who has a heart so full of atheism—unbelief—selfishness? No, the very pride itself should be the matter of the deepest daily humiliation. Thus the remembrance of it may, under Divine grace, prove an effectual means of subduing it in our hearts. We shall overcome corruption by its own working, and meet our adversary with his own weapons. And if this cursed principle be not wholly destroyed, yet the very sight of its corruption, deepening our contrition, will be overruled for our spiritual advancement.
O blessed end intended by the Lord's dealings with us! to "humble and to prove us" "to know," and to make us know "what was in our heart, that He might do us good at the latter end!" Let us not frustrate His gracious intentions, or build again the things which He would have destroyed. May we love to lie low—lower than ever—infinitely low before Him! Lord! teach us to remember, that "that which is highly esteemed among men, is abomination in Your sight." Teach us to bless You, for even Your sharp and painful discipline which tends to subjugate this hateful pride of our hearts before our Savior's cross!

Psalm 119:22 Take away reproach and contempt from me, For I observe Your testimonies.  

  • Remove Ps 119:39,42 39:8 42:10 68:9-11,19,20 123:3,4 1Sa 25:10,39 2Sa 16:7,8 Job 16:20 19:2,3 Heb 13:13 
  • for I have Ps 37:3,6 1Pe 2:20 3:16,17 4:14-16 

Charles Bridges - Ps 119:22. Remove from me reproach and contempt; for I have kept Your testimonies.
The proud under the rebuke of God are usually distinguished by their enmity to His people. They delight to pour upon them "reproach and contempt," with no other provocation given, than that their keeping the testimonies of God condemns their own neglect. This must, however, be counted as the cost of a decided, separate, and consistent profession. Yet it is such a portion as Moses valued above all the treasures of the world; yet it is that reproach, which our Master Himself "despised," as "reckoning it not worthy to be compared with "the joy that was set before Him." For did He bear His cross only on the way to Calvary? It was laid for every step in His path; it met Him in every form of suffering, of "reproach and contempt." Look then at Him, as taking up His daily cross in breathing the atmosphere of a world of sin, and "enduring the contradiction of sinners against Himself." Mark Him consummating His course of "reproach and contempt," by suffering "outside the gate;" and can we hesitate to "go forth unto Him outside the camp, bearing His reproach?"
The trial, however—especially if cast upon us by those whom we have loved and valued, or by those whom we wish to love and value us—proves most severe; and the spreading our case, after David's example, before the Lord, is the only preservation from faintness, "Remove from me reproach and contempt."
Perhaps "contempt" is more hard to bear than "reproach." Even our enemies think of us so much better than we deserve, that it strikes with peculiar poignancy. Yet when the submissive prayer of deprecation is sent us; doubtless some answer—and that the right answer—will be given; and whether the "reproach" be removed, or "grace" given "sufficient" to endure it, the outcome will prove alike for the glory of God, and the prosperity of our own souls.
But let us beware of that "way of escape" in returning to the world, which the insincere are ever ready to pursue. They dare not act according to the full conviction of their consciences: they dare not confront their friends with the avowal of their full determination to form their conduct by the principles of the word of God. This is hard—this is impossible. They know not the "victory which overcomes the world", and, therefore, cannot bear the mark upon their foreheads, "These are those who follow the Lamb wherever He goes." Far better, however, will be the heaviest weight of "reproach and contempt," than any such endeavor to remove it from ourselves. 
The desire to escape the cross convicts the heart of unfaithfulness, and makes way for tenfold difficulties in our path. Every worldly compliance against the voice of God is a step into the by-path, which deviates wider and wider from the strait and narrow way, brings discredit upon our professions, proves a stumbling-block in the way of the weak, and will cause us, if not actually to come short, at least to "seem to come short, of the promised rest."
But is the weight of the cross really "above what we are able to bear?" He who bore it for us will surely enable us to endure it for Him, and, upheld by Him, we cannot sink. It is a sweet exchange, by which the burden of sin is removed, and bound to His cross; and what remains to us is the lighter cross of "reproach and contempt,"—the badge of our discipleship. If, then, we have the testimony of our consciences, that in the midst of the persecuting world we "have kept His testimonies," here is our evidence of adoption, of our Father's special love, of the indwelling, comforting, supporting Spirit. Here, then, is our warrant of hope, that the overwhelming weight will be removed from us; and that we shall be able to testify to our Master's praise in the Churches of God, that "His yoke is easy, and His burden is light."

Psalm 119:23 Even though princes sit and talk against me, Your servant meditates on Your statutes.  

  • Princes Ps 2:1,2 1Sa 20:31 22:7-13 Lu 22:66 23:1,2,10,11 
  • thy servant Ps 119:15 

Charles Bridges - Ps 119:23. Princes also did sit and speak against me; but Your servant did meditate in Your statutes.
David might well give his testimony to "the words of the Lord," that they were "tried words," for perhaps no one had ever tried them more than himself, and certainly no one had more experience of their faithfulness, sweetness, and support. Saul and his "princes might indeed sit and speak against him;" but he had a resource, of which they could never deprive him, "Not as the world gives, give I unto you." As our blessed Master was employed in communion with His Father, and delighting in His work at the time when the "princes did sit and speak against him;" so, under similar circumstances of trial, this faithful servant of God, by meditation in the Lord's statutes, extracted spiritual food for his support; and in this strength of his God he was enabled to "suffer according to His will, and to commit the keeping of his soul to Him in well-doing, as unto a faithful Creator."
The children of Israel in Egypt, Daniel in Babylon, and the disciples of Christ in the early ages of the Church, have each found "this same affliction to be accomplished in themselves." that God is pleased to permit it, to show "that his kingdom is not of this world," to wean His people from earthly dependencies, and to bring out before the world a more full testimony of His name. 
One other reason is suggested by this verse—to make His word more precious by the experience of its sustaining consolation in the conflict with the power of the world. Often, indeed, from a lack of a present application of the word—young Christians especially are in danger of being put to rebuke by the scorner's sneer. The habit of scriptural meditation will realize to them a present God, speaking "words of spirit and life" to their souls. The importance, therefore, of an accurate and well-digested acquaintance with this precious book cannot be too highly estimated. In the Christian's conflict it is "the sword of the Spirit," which, if it be kept bright by constant use, will never be wielded without the victory of faith. Such powerful support does it give against fainting under persecution, that the good soldier may ever be ready to thank God, and to take courage. Christ has left it, indeed, as the portion of His people, "In the world you shall have tribulation;" counterbalanced, however, most abundantly, by the portion which they enjoy in Him, "In Me you shall have peace." If, therefore, the one-half of this portion may seem hard, the whole legacy is such as no servant of Christ can refuse to accept, or indeed will receive without thankfulness.

Psalm 119:24 Your testimonies also are my delight; They are my counselors.

  • testimonies Ps 119:16,77,92,143,162 Job 27:10 Jer 6:10 
  • my counsellors Heb. men of my counsel, Ps 119:97-100,104,105 19:11 De 17:18-20 Jos 1:8 Pr 6:20-23 Isa 8:20 Col 3:16 2Ti 3:15-17 


Thy testimonies … are … my counsellors. Boleslaus, one of the kings of Poland, carried about him the picture of his father; and when he was to do any great work, or set about any extraordinary design, he would look on the picture, and pray that he might do nothing unworthy of such a father’s name. The Scriptures are the picture of God’s will. Before a man engages in any business whatsoever, let him look there, and read what is to be done, and what to be omitted.

Charles Bridges - Ps 119:24. Your testimonies also are my delight, and my counselors.
What could we want more in a time of difficulty than comfort and direction? David had both these blessings. As the fruit of his "meditation in the Lord's statutes," in his distress they were his "delight;" in his perplexity they were his "counselors." He would not have exchanged his delight for the best joys of earth. And so wisely did his counselors direct his course, that, though "princes sat and spoke against him," they "could find no occasion nor fault." The testimonies of God were truly his "counselors." He guided his own conduct by the rules laid before him in the book of God, as if he were having recourse to the most experienced counselors, or rather as if the prophets of his God were giving the word from His mouth. Thus the subject as well as the sovereign, had his counsel. On one side was Saul and his counselors—on the other side, David and the testimonies of his God. Which was better furnished with that "wisdom which is profitable to direct?" Subsequently as a king, David was constrained to make "the testimonies of his God his counselors"; and, probably, to his constant regard to their voice he owed much of his earthly prosperity.  
In such a dark world as this, beset with temptation at every turn, we preeminently need sound and wise counsel. But all of us carry an evil counselor within us, and it is our folly to listen to his voice. God has given us His word as a sure counselor, and "he who hearkens to its counsel is wise."
Now, do we value the privilege of this heavenly counsel? Every improvement must increase our delight in it; a heartless interest shuts out this blessing. But those who make the word their delight will always find it their counselor. Yet a mere cursory reading will never realize to us its holy delight or counsel. It must be brought home to our own experience, and consulted on those trivial occasions of every day, when, unconscious of our need of Divine direction, we are too often inclined to lean to our own counsel. The Christian is a man of faith, every step of his way. And this habitual use and daily familiarity with the testimonies of God will show him the pillar and the cloud, in all the dark turns of his heavenly road. The word will be to him as the "Urim and Thummin"—an infallible counselor.
Sometimes, however, perplexity arises from the conflict, not between conscience and sinful indulgence (in which case Christian sincerity would always determine the path), but between duty and duty. When, however, acknowledged obligations seem to interfere with each other, the counsel of the word will mark their relative importance, connection, and dependence: the present path in providence: the guidance which has been given to the Lord's people in similar emergencies; and the light which the daily life of our Great Exemplar exhibits before us. 
The great concern, however, is to cultivate the habit of mind, which falls in most naturally with the counsel of the word. "Walking in the fear of the Lord," in a simple spirit of dependence, and torn away from the idolatry of taking counsel from our own hearts, we cannot materially err; because there is here a suitableness between the disposition and the promise—a watchfulness against the impetuous bias of the flesh; a paramount regard to the glory of God, and a meek submission to His gracious appointment. If the counsel, however, should prove fallible, the fault is not in the word, but in the indistinctness of our own perception. We need not a clearer rule, or a surer guide, but a more single eye. And if, after all, it may not mark every precise act of duty (for to do this, even all the world "could not contain the books that should be written"), yet it determines the standard to which the most minute acting of the mind should be brought; and the disposition, which will reflect the light of the will of God upon our path.
But let it be remembered, that any lack of sincerity in the heart—any allowance of self-dependence, will always close the avenues of this Divine light and counsel. We are often unconsciously "walking in the light of our own fire, and in the sparks that we have kindled." Perhaps we sought, as we conceived, the guidance of the Lord's counsel, and supposed that we were walking in it. But, in the act of seeking, and as the preparation for seeking, did we subject our motives and inclinations to a strict, cautious, self-suspecting scrutiny? Was the heart schooled to the discipline of the cross? Was "every thought brought into captivity to the obedience of Christ?" Or was not our heart possessed with the object, before counsel was sought at the mouth of God? Oh! how careful should we be to walk warily in those uncertain marks of heavenly counsel, that fall in with the bias of our own inclination! How many false steps in the record of past experience may be traced to the counsel of our own hearts, sought and followed to the neglect and counsel of God; while no circumstance of perplexity can befall us in the spirit of humility, simplicity, and sanctity, when the counsel of the Lord will fail!
An undue dependence upon human counsel, whether of the living or the dead, greatly hinders the full influence of the counsel of the word. However valuable such counsel may be, and however closely it may agree with the word, we must not forget, that it is not the word—that it is fallible, and therefore must never be resorted to in the first place, or followed with that full reliance, which we are warranted to place on the revelation of God. 
On the other hand, what is it to have God's word as our "Counselor?" Is it not to have Himself, "the only wise God?" When our Bibles, in seasons of difficulty, are searched in a humble, prayerful, teachable spirit, we are as much depending upon the Lord Himself for counsel, as if we were listening to an immediate revelation from heaven. We need not a new revelation, or a sensible voice from above, for every fresh emergency. It is enough, that our Father has given us this blessed "word as a light to our feet, and a lamp to our path."
Let me then inquire—What is the counsel of God, that speaks directly to myself? If I am an unawakened sinner, it warns me to turn from sin; it invites me to the Savior; it directs me to wait upon God. If I am a professor, slumbering in the form of godliness, it shows me my real condition; it instructs me in the all-sufficiency of Christ, and cautions me of the danger of hypocrisy. If through grace I am made a child of God, still do I need my Father's counsel to recover me from perpetual backsliding, to excite me to increased watchfulness, and to strengthen my confidence in the fullness of His grace, and the faithfulness of His love. Ever shall I have reason for the grateful acknowledgment, "I will bless the Lord, who has given me counsel." And every step of my way would I advance, glorifying my God and Father by confiding in His counsel unto the end: "You shall guide me with Your counsel, and afterwards receive me to glory."

Psalm 119:25 Daleth. My soul cleaves to the dust; Revive me according to Your word. 

  • soul: Ps 22:15 44:25 Isa 65:25 Mt 16:23 Ro 7:22-24 Php 3:19 Col 3:2 
  • Revive: Ps 119:37,Ps 119:40,Ps 119:88,Ps 119:93,Ps 119:107,Ps 119:149,Ps 119:156,Ps 119:159 Ps 71:20 Ps 80:18 Ps 143:11 Ro 8:2,3 
  • according: De 30:6 2Sa 7:27-29 

Related Passages:

Psalm 22:15 My strength is dried up like a potsherd, And my tongue cleaves to my jaws; And You lay me in the dust of death. 

Psalm 44:25  For our soul has sunk down into the dust; Our body cleaves to the earth.

Romans 7:22-24  For I joyfully concur with the law of God in the inner man, 23 but I see a different law in the members of my body, waging war against the law of my mind and making me a prisoner of the law of sin which is in my members. 24 Wretched man that I am! Who will set me free from the body of this death?

Psalm 119:37  Turn away my eyes from looking at vanity, And revive me in Your ways. 

Psalm 119:40 Behold, I long for Your precepts; Revive me through Your righteousness. 

Psalm 119:88  Revive me according to Your lovingkindness, So that I may keep the testimony of Your mouth. 

Psalm 119:93  I will never forget Your precepts, For by them You have revived me. 

Psalm 119:107 I am exceedingly afflicted; Revive me, O LORD, according to Your word. 

Psalm 119:149 Hear my voice according to Your lovingkindness; Revive me, O LORD, according to Your ordinances. 

Psalms 119:156  Great are Your mercies, O LORD; Revive me according to Your ordinances. 

Psalm 119:159  Consider how I love Your precepts; Revive me, O LORD, according to Your lovingkindness. 

Psalm 71:20 You who have shown me many troubles and distresses Will revive me again, And will bring me up again from the depths of the earth. 

Psalm 80:18  Then we shall not turn back from You; Revive us, and we will call upon Your name. 

Psalm 143:11  For the sake of Your name, O LORD, revive me. In Your righteousness bring my soul out of trouble. 


My soul cleaves to the dust - Cleave is the Hebrew verb dabaq (Lxx =  kollao) which means to stick to, adhere to, cling to. The first use describes the supernatural union of a man and a woman in marriage (Ge 2:24). 

Revive me according to Your word - What does this teach us? God's Word has life! God's Word gives life! God's Word is our life! As Jesus clearly taught "“It is written, ‘MAN SHALL NOT LIVE ON BREAD ALONE, BUT ON EVERY WORD THAT PROCEEDS OUT OF THE MOUTH OF GOD." (Mt 4:4+, Dt 8:3+) Ask the LORD to feed you today, that your soul might be strengthened as you go forth into a culture that is becoming more godless by the day! 

In his parting words to Israel (last words are always worth listening to carefully) Moses declared 

Take (command) to your heart all the WORDS with which I am warning you today, which you shall command your sons to observe carefully, even all the WORDS of this law. 47 “For (term of explanation) IT (WHAT?) is not an idle (VAIN, EMPTY, USELESS; Lxx =  kenosWORD for you; indeed IT IS YOUR LIFE. And by this WORD you will prolong your days in the land, which you are about to cross the Jordan to possess.” (Deut 32:46-47)

Comment - Take in the Septuagint is  prosecho (pros = before, toward + echo = hold) which means literally to hold to, toward or before. Originally it was followed by the word "the mind" (nous) but at times "the mind" was omitted but still the idea of "the mind" was implied. Moses is saying apply your heart to the Word of God! Attach yourself to the Word of God! It is interesting that  Prosecho meant to moor a ship or tie it up, a good picture of every saint's life for we are like ships adrift of the waters of this world and need to be safely moored in the harbor of God's Word. Prosecho was also used to mean “to remain on course” another great picture of our lives staying "on course" because they are guided by the "true compass" of the Word of God! 

Take in the Septuagint is in the present imperative which is a command to make this one's habitual practice, to daily take God's Word to heart (our control center). And believers need to remember that they are daily in Need of the Holy Spirit to obey this command

THOUGHT - How do we take God's Word to heart? We are in it daily, daily reading it, so that becomes part of our very being, our LIFE! (Mt 4:4+, Lk 4:4+) We memorize it diligently, holding it fast in our memory, so it will hold us fast in trials and tribulations that otherwise might catch us off guard. And finally, we take it to heart by meditating on it night and day (Joshua 1:8+, Ps 1:2-3+). We take it to heart by imitating men like Job (Heb 6:12+) who declared "I have not departed from the command of His lips; I have treasured the words of His mouth more than my necessary food." (Job 23:12+)

Charles Bridges
Psalm 119:25

Sin is no trifle to a child of God. It is his heaviest sorrow. Thus David—thus the Great Apostle found it. And where is the believer who has not full sympathy with their complaints? To have a soul cleaving to the dust, and not to feel the trouble, is the black mark of a sinner, dead in sins—dead to God. To "know the plague of our own heart," to feel our misery, to believe and to apply the remedy, is the satisfactory evidence of a child of God. Dust is the portion of the world, and they wish for no better. But that the soul of the man of God should continually cleave to the dust, is most strange and humbling. And yet such is the influence of his evil nature—such the power of self-will and self-indulgence—such the regard to human praise, and cherishing of self-admiration, that were it not that he "abhors himself" for the very dust that cleaves to him, he would question the existence of a renewing change. He knows what he ought to be. He has tasted the blessedness of "mounting upward on eagles' wings." But every attempt to rise is hindered by the clogging weight that keeps him down. 

It is, however, the cleaving of his soul that is so painful—not occasional, but constant—not like the bird of the morning that descends for a moment, and then soars his upward flight; but it seems as if, like the "serpent—dust was to be his food;" as if the spiritual, heaven-born soul was to sink and grovel below. And then, as the dust of the summer-road blinds the eye, and obscures the view—how does this earthliness of soul darken the view of the Savior, dim the eye of faith, and hide the glorious prospects which, when beheld in the clear horizon, enliven the weary pilgrim on his way!

But this complaint is the language of conflict and humiliation—not of despondency. Observe the believer carrying it to the Lord—'Here I lie in the dust, without life or power. Oh! Savior, who "came that I might have life, and that I might have it more abundantly"—Quicken me: Breathe into me Your own life, that I may rise from the dust, and cleave to You.' This cry for quickening grace is the exercise of faith. We have a covenant to plead. Faith is the hand that takes hold of the promise, "according to Your word." Can this word fail? "Sooner shall heaven and earth pass away, than one jot or one tittle pass" from the engagements of a covenant-keeping God. "He is faithful who promised." The man who takes hold of this plea, is "a Prince who has power with God, and prevails."

But how different is the character of the mere professor! ready probably to make the same confession, yet without humiliation, without prayer, without faith. Nothing is more common than to hear the complaint—"My soul cleaves to the dust." The world has such power over us—we are so cold—so dead to spiritual things:' while, perhaps, the complaint is never once brought with wrestling supplication, but rather urged in indolent self-delight, as an evidence of the good state of the heart before God. 

Yet it is not the complaint of sickness, but an application to the physician, which advances the recovery of the patient. We do not usually expect to better our condition, by mourning over its badness, or merely wishing for its improvement. Nor is it the confession of sin, but the application to the Great Physician, that marks genuine contrition before God. That confession which evaporates in heartless complaints, belongs not to the tenderness of a renewed heart. But the utterance of genuine prayer is the voice of God's own "Spirit making intercession for us;" and then, indeed, how cheering the encouragement, that He "who searches the hearts, knows what is the mind of the Spirit, because He makes intercession for the saints according to the will of God!" 

Some are ready to give up or delay their duty, when they have been unable to bring their heart to it. Thus does "Satan get advantage of us" by our "ignorance of his devices." Quickening grace is not the ground or warrant for duty. Indisposition to duty is not our weakness, but our sin—not therefore to be indulged, but resisted. We must mourn over the dullness which hinders us, and diligently wait for the 'help we every moment need.' God keeps the grace in His own hands, and gives it at His pleasure, to exercise our daily dependence upon Him. The acting of grace strengthens the habit. Praying helps to pray. If the door is closed, "Knock, and it shall be opened." Assuredly it will not long be shut to him, who has faith and patience to wait until it be opened.

Now let me sift the character of my profession. Is it a habitual, persevering, overcoming conflict with sin? Do I not sometimes indulge in fruitless bemoanings of my state, when I had far better be exercising myself in vigorous actings of grace? If I find "my soul cleaving to the dust," am I not sometimes "lying on my face," when I ought to be "taking heaven by violence," by importunate petitions for quickening grace? Are my prayers invigorated by confidence in the word of God? Oh! let me remember that "those who wait upon the Lord" shall shake off the dust to which they have cleaved so long, and "shall mount with wings like eagles," to take possession of their heavenly home.

O Lord, make me more deeply ashamed, that "my soul should cleave to the dust." Breathe upon me fresh influence from Your quickening Spirit. Help me to plead Your word of promise; and oh! may every fresh view of my sinfulness, while it prostrates me in self-abasement before You, be overruled to make the Savior daily and hourly more precious to my soul. For defiled as I am in myself, in every service of my heart, what but the unceasing application of His blood, and the uninterrupted prevalence of His intercession, give me a moment's confidence before You, or prevent the very sins that mingle with my prayers from sealing my condemnation? Blessed Savior! it is nothing but Your everlasting merit, covering my person, and honoring my sacrifice, which satisfies the justice of an offended God, and restrains it from breaking forth as a devouring fire—to consume me upon my very knees.

PSALM 119:25

This portion has 'D' for its alphabetical letter: it sings of Depression, in the spirit of Devotion, Determination, and Dependence.

Ver. 25. My soul cleaveth unto the dust. 

He means in part that he was full of sorrow; for mourners in the east cast dust on their heads, and sat in ashes, and the Psalmist felt as if these ensigns of woe were glued to him, and his very soul was made to cleave to them because of his powerlessness to rise above his grief. Does he not also mean that he felt ready to die? Did he not feel his life absorbed and fast held by the grave's mould, half choked by the death dust? It may not be straining the language if we conceive that he also felt and bemoaned his earthly mindedness and spiritual deadness. There was a tendency in his soul to cling to earth which he greatly bewailed. Whatever was the cause of his complaint, it was no surface evil, but an affair of his inmost spirit; his soul cleaved to the dust; and it was not a casual and accidental falling into the dust, but a continuous and powerful tendency, or cleaving to the earth. But what a mercy that the good man could feel and deplore whatever there was of evil in the cleaving! The serpent's seed can find their meat in the dust, but never shall the seed of the woman be thus degraded. Many are of the earth earthy, and never lament it; only the heaven born and heaven soaring spirit pines at the thought of being fastened to this world, and bird limed by its sorrows or its pleasures.

Quicken thou me according to thy word. 

More life is the cure for all our ailments. Only the Lord can give it. He can bestow it, bestow it at once, and do it according to his word, without departing from the usual course of his grace, as we see it mapped out in the Scriptures. It is well to know what to pray for, David seeks quickening: one would have thought that he would have asked for comfort or upraising, but he knew that these would come out of increased life, and therefore he sought that blessing which is the root of the rest. When a person is depressed in spirit, weak, and bent towards the ground, the main thing is to increase his stamina and put more life into him; then his spirit revives, and his body becomes erect. In reviving the life, the whole man is renewed. Shaking off the dust is a little thing by itself, but when it follows upon quickening, it is a blessing of the greatest value; just as good spirits which flow from established health are among the choicest of our mercies. The phrase, "according to thy word, "means according to thy revealed way of quickening thy saints. The word of God shows us that he who first made us must keep us alive, and it tells us of the Spirit of God who through the ordinances pours fresh life into our souls; we beg the Lord to act towards us in this his own regular method of grace. Perhaps David remembered the word of the Lord in De 32:39, where Jehovah claims both to kill and to make alive, and he beseeches the Lord to exercise that life giving power upon his almost expiring servant. Certainly, the man of God had not so many rich promises to rest upon as we have, but even a single word was enough for him, and he right earnestly urges "according to thy word." It is a grand thing to see a believer in the dust and yet pleading the promise, a man at the grave's mouth crying, "quicken me, "and hoping that it shall be done.

Note how this first verse of the 4th octonary tallies with the first of the "Quicken me." While in a happy third (17). "That I may live"... "Quicken me." While in a happy state he begs for bountiful dealing, and when in a forlorn condition he prays for quickening. Life is in both cases the object of pursuit: that he may have life, and have it more abundantly.


The eight verses alphabetically arranged:

25. (D)epressed to the dust is my soul: quicken thou me according to thy word.

26. (D)eclared have I (to thee) my ways, and thou heardest me: teach me thy statutes.

27. (D)eclare thou to me the way of thy precepts: so shall I talk of thy wondrous works.

28. (D)ropping (marg.) is my soul for heaviness: strengthen thou me according unto thy word.

29. (D)eceitful ways remove from me; and grant me thy law graciously.

30. (D)etermined have I upon the way of truth; thy judgments have I laid before me.

31. (D)eliberately I have stuck unto thy testimonies: O Lord, put me not to shame.

32. (D)ay by day I will run the way of thy commandments, when thou shalt enlarge my heart. Theodore Kubber.

Ver. 25. My soul cleaveth unto the dust. The Hebrew word for "cleaveth" signifies "is joined, ""has adhered, ""has overtaken, ""has taken hold, ""has joined itself." Our soul is a polypus: as the polypus readily adheres to the rocks, so does the soul cleave to the earth; and hardly can it be torn from the place to which it has once strongly attached itself. Though thy soul be now more perfect, and escaping from the waters of sin has become a bird of heaven, be not careless; earthly things are birdlime and glue; if you rub the wings against these thou wilt be held, and joined to the earth. Thomas Le Blanc.

Ver. 25. My soul cleaveth unto the dust, etc. The word rendered "cleaveth" means to be glued to; to stick fast. It has the sense of adhering firmly to anything, so that it cannot easily be separated from it. The word "dust" here may mean either the earth, and earthly things, considered as low, base, unworthy, worldly; or it may mean the grave, as if he were near to that, and in danger of dying. De Wette understands it in the latter sense. Yet the word cleave would hardly suggest this idea; and the force of that word would be better represented by the idea that his soul, as it were, adhered to the things of earth, that it seemed to be so fastened to them so glued to them that it could not be detached from them; that his affections were low, earthly, grovelling, so as to give him deep distress, and lead him to cry to God for Life and strength that he might break away from them. Albert Barnes.

Ver. 25. My soul cleaveth unto the dust, etc. The first clause seems intended to suggest two consistent but distinct ideas, that of deep degradation, as in Psalms 44:25, and that of death, as in Psalms 22:29. The first would be more obvious in itself, and in connection with the parallel referred to; but the other seems to be indicated as the prominent idea by the correlative petition for quickening in the last clause. "Quicken, "i.e., save me alive, or restore me to life, the Hebrew word being a causative of the verb to live. Joseph Addison Alexander.

Ver. 25. My soul cleaveth to the dust, etc. In this verse, David hath a complaint; "My soul cleaveth to the dust"; and a prayer; Quicken thou me according to thy word. The prayer, being well considered, shall teach us the meaning of the complaint; that it was not, as some think, any hard bodily estate which grieved him, but a very sore spiritual oppression (as I may call it), bearing down his soul; that where he should have mounted up toward heaven, he was pressed down to the earth, and was so clogged with earthly cogitations, or affections, or perturbations, that he could not mount up. His particular temptation he expresses not; for the children of God many times are in that estate that they cannot tell their own griefs, and sometimes so troubled, that it is not expedient, albeit they might, to express them to others.

And hereof we learn, how that which the worldling counts wisdom, to the Christian is folly; what is joy to the one, is grief to the other. The joy of a worldling is to cleave unto the earth; when he gripes it surest, he thinks himself happiest, for it is his portion: to take heed to his worldly affairs, and have his mind upon them (in his estimation) is only wisdom. For the serpent's curse is upon him, he creeps on the earth, and licks the dust all the days of his life. This is the miserable condition of the wicked, that even their heavenly soul is become earthly. Qui secundum corporis appetentiam vivit caro est, etiam anima eorum caro est; as the Lord spake of those who perished in the Deluge, that they were but flesh, no spirit in them; that is, no spiritual or heavenly motion.

But the Christian, considering that his soul is from above, sets his affection also on those things which are above: he delights to have his conversation in heaven; and it is a grief to him when he finds his motions and affections drawn down and entangled with the earth. His life is to cleave to the Lord; but it is death to him when the neck of his soul is bowed down to the yoke of the world. William Cowper.

Ver. 25. My soul cleaveth to the dust. "Look up now to the heavens." So once spake the Lord to Abraham his friend, and he speaketh thus to us also. Alas! why must it be so always that, when we come to know ourselves even but a little, we are constantly answering with the mournful sigh, "My soul cleaveth to the dust"? Ah! that is indeed the deepest pain of a soul which has already tasted that the Lord is merciful, when, although desiring to soar on high, it sadly feels how impossible it is to rise. There is much hidden pain in every heart of man even in the spiritual life; but what can deeper grieve us than the perception that we are chained as with leaden weights to things concerning which we know that they may weary but cannot satisfy us? Nay, we could never have supposed, when we first, heard the Psalm of the Good Shepherd, that it could issue from a heart that panteth after God so often and so bitterly; we could never have imagined that it could become so cold, so dry, so dark within a heart which at an earlier period had tasted so much of the power of that which is to come. Have we not formerly, with this same Psalm, been able to vaunt, "I have rejoiced in the way of thy testimonies, as much as in all riches"? But afterwards, but now perhaps... Oh sad hours, when the beams of the sun within seem quenched, and nothing but a blond red disc remains! The fervency of the first love is cooled; earthly cares and sins have, as it were, attached a leaden plummet to the wings of the soul which, God knows, would fain soar upwards. We would render thanks, and scarce can pray; we would pray, and scarce can sigh. Our treasure is in heaven, but our soul cleaves to the earth; at least earth cleaves on all sides so to it, and weighs it down, that the eye merely sees the clouds, the tongue can but breathe forth complaints. Ah, so completely can the earth fetter us, that the heavens appear to be only a problem, and our old man is like the Giant of Mythology, who, cast to the ground in the exhausting combat, receives by contact with his mother earth fresh strength. Oh, were it otherwise! Shall it not at last, at last be altered?

Dost thou really desire it, thou who out of the depths of thy soul so complainest, and canst scarcely find more tears to bewail the sorrow of thy heart? Well is it for thee if the pain thou sufferest teach thee to cry to God: "Quicken thou me, according to thy word." Yea, this is the best comfort for him who too well knows what it is to be bowed together with pain; this is the only hope for a heart which almost sinks in still despair. There is an atmosphere of life, high above this dust which streams to us from every side, and penetrates even the darkest dungeon. There is a spring of life by which the weary soul may be refreshed; and the entrance to this spring stands open, in spite of all the clouds of dust which obscure this valley of shadows here. There is a power of life which can even so completely make an end of our dead state, that we shall walk again before the face of the Lord in the land of the living, and, instead of uttering lamentation, we shall bear a song of praise upon our lips. Does not the Prince of life yet live in order also to repeat to us, "Awake and rejoice, thou that dwellest in the dust; "and the Spirit, that bloweth whither he listeth, can, will, shall he not in his own good time, with his living breath, blow from our wings the dust that cleaveth to them? But, indeed, even the gnawing pain of the soul over so much want of spirituality and dulness is ever an encouraging sign that the good work is begun in our hearts: that which is really dead shivers no more at its own cold. "My soul cleaveth to the dust, " sayest thou, with tears? thus wouldest thou not speak except that already a higher hand between the soul and this dust had cleft a hollow which was unknown to it before. No one has less cause for despair than he who has lost hope in himself, and really learns to seek in God that, which he deeply feels, he least of all can give himself.

Yes, this is the way from the deepest pain to procure the best consolation; the humble, earnest, persevering player, that he who lives would also give life to our souls, and continue to increase it, till freed from all dryness and deadness of spirit, and uprooted from the earth, we ascend to the eternal mount of light, where at last we behold all earthly clouds beneath us. This the God of life alone can work; but he is willing nay, we have his own word as pledge, that he promises and bestows on us true life. Only, let us not forget that he who will quicken us "according" to his word, also performs this through his word. Let us then draw from out the eternally flowing fountain, and henceforth leave it unconditionally to him, how he will listen to our cry, even though he lead us through dark paths! Even through means of death God can quicken us and keep us alive. Lo, we are here; Lord, do with us as seemeth good to thee! Only let our souls live, that they may praise thee, here and eternally! J. J. Van Oosterzee (1817-1882), in "The Year of Salvation."

Ver. 25. Cleaveth to the dust. Is weighed down by the flesh which itself is dust. James G. Murphy.

Ver. 25. The dust, is the place of the afflicted, the wounded, and the dead. Quicken me, viz., to life, peace, and joy. A. R. Fausset.

Ver. 25. Quicken thou me, etc. Seeing he was alive, how prays he that God would quicken him? I answer, The godly esteem of life, not according to that they have in their body, but in their soul. If the soul lacks the sense of mercy, and a heavenly disposition to spiritual things, they lament over it, as a dead soul: for sure it is, temporal desertions are more heavy to the godly than temporal death. According to thy word. This is a great faith, that where in respect of his present feeling he found himself dead, yet he hopes for life from God, according to his promise. Such was the faith of Abraham, who under hope, believed above hope. And truly, many times are God's children brought to this estate, that they have nothing to uphold them but the word of God; no sense of mercy, no spiritual disposition; but on the contrary, great darkness, horrible fears and terrors. Only they are sustained by looking to the promise of God, and kept in some hope that he will restore them to life again, because it is his praise to finish the work which he begins. William Cowper.

Ver. 25. Quicken thou me. This phrase occurs nine times, and only in this Psalm. It is of great importance, as it expresses the spiritual change by which a child of Adam becomes a child of God. Its source is God; the instrument by which it is effected is the word, Psalms 119:50. James G. Murphy.

Ver. 25 Quicken thou me according to thy word. Where there is life there will be the endeavour to rise the believer will not lie prone in his aspirations after God. From the lowest depths the language of faith is heard ascending to God most high, who performeth all things for the believer. The true child cannot but look towards the loving Father, who is the Almighty, All sufficient One. Have you not found it so? But will you mark the intelligence that shines around the believer's prayer? He prays that the Lord may quicken him according to his word. The word may be regarded in the light of the standard after which he is to be fashioned; or the Psalmist may have in view the requirements contained in the word regarding the believer's progress; or he may be thinking of the promises found therein in behalf of the poor and needy when they apply. Indeed, all these significations may be wrapped up in the one expression "according to thy word"  the standard of perfection, the requirements of the word, the promises concerning it. The great exemplar of the believer is Christ, of old it was the Christ of prophecy. Then the requirements of the Lord's will were scattered through the word. The Psalmist, however, may be dwelling upon the large promises which the Lord hath given towards the perfecting of his people. You see after what the spiritual nature aspires. It is quite enough to the natural man or the formalist that he be as the generally well behaved and esteemed among professors the spiritual man aspires beyond he aspires after being quickened according to God's word. Judge of yourselves. John Stephen.

Ver. 25. Quicken thou me according to thy word. 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. Matthew Henry.

Ver. 25. Quicken thou me according to thy word, Albeit the Lord suffer his own to lie so long low in their heavy condition of spirit, that they may seem dead; yet by faith in his word he keepeth in them so much life as doth furnish unto them prayer to God for comfort: "Quicken thou me according to thy word." David Dickson.

Ver. 25 Quicken thou me. To whom shall the godly fly when life faileth but to that Wellspring of all life? Even as to remove cold the next way is to draw near the fire, so to dispel any death, the next way is to look to him who is our root, by whom we live this natural life. All preservatives and restoratives are nothing, all colleges of physicians are vanity, if compared with him. Other things which have not life, give life as the instruments of him who is life, as fire burneth being the instrument of heat. "When heart and flesh fail, God is the strength of my heart." As a man can let a fire almost go out which had been kindled, and then blow it up, and by application of new fuel make it blaze as much as ever: so can God deal with this flame of life which he hath kindled. Paul Bayne.

Ver. 25. According to thy word. The word removes deadness of conscience and hardness. Is not this word a hammer to soften the heart, and is not this the immortal seed by which we are begotten again? Therefore David, finding his conscience in a dead frame, prayed, "My soul cleaveth to the dust; quicken thou me according to thy word." The word is the first thing by which conscience is purified and set right. John Sheffield, in "A Good Conscience the Strongest Hold, "1650.

Ver. 25. According to thy word. What word doth David mean? Either the general promises in the books of Moses or Job; which intimate deliverance to the faithful observers of God's law, or help to the miserable and distressed; or some particular promise given to him by Nathan, or others. Chrysostom saith, "Quicken me according to thy word: but it is not a word of command, but a word of promise." Mark here, he doth not say secundum meritum meum, but, secundum verbum tuum;the hope, or that help which we expect from God, is founded upon his word; there is our security, in his promises, not in our deserving: Prommittendo se fecit debitorem, etc.

When there was so little Scripture written, yet David could find out a word for his support. Alas! in our troubles and afflictions, no promise comes to mind. As in outward things, many that have less live better than those that have abundance; so here, now Scripture is so large, we are less diligent, and therefore, though we have so many promises, we are apt to faint, we have not a word to bear us up. This word did not help David, till he had lain so long under this heavy condition, that he seemed dead. Many, when they have a promise, think presently to enjoy the comfort of it. No, waiting and striving are first necessary. We never relish the comfort of the promises till the creatures have spent their allowance, and we have been exercised. God will keep his word, and yet we must expect to be tried.

In this his dead condition, faith in God's word kept him alive. When we have least feeling, and there is nothing left us, the word will support us: "And being not weak in faith, he considered not his own body now dead, when he was about an hundred years old, neither yet the deadness of Sarah's womb: he staggered not at the promise of God through unbelief but was strong in faith, giving glory to God" (Romans 4:19-20). One way to get comfort is to plead the promise of God in prayer, Chirographa tua injiciebat tibi Domine, show him his handwriting; God is tender of his word. These arguments in prayer, are not to work upon God, but ourselves. Thomas Manton

Ver. 25. One does not wonder at the fluctuations which occur in the feelings and experience of a child of God at one time high on the mountain, near to God and communing with God, at another in the deep and dark valley. All, more or less, know these changes, and have their sorrowing as well as their rejoicing seasons. When we parted with David last, what was he telling us of his experience? that God's testimonies were his delight and his counsellors;but now what a different strain! all joy is darkened, and his soul cleaveth to the dust. And there must have been seasons of deep depression and despondency in the heart of David€” given as a fugitive and wanderer from his home, hunted as a partridge upon the mountains, and holding, as he himself says, his life continually in his hands. Yet I think in this portion of the Psalm there is evidence of a deeper abasement and sorrow of heart than any mere worldly suffering could produce. He had indeed said, "I shall one day perish by the hand of Saul"; but, even in that moment of weak and murmuring faith, he knew that he was God's anointed one to sit on the throne of Israel. But, here there is indication of sin, of grievous sin which had laid his soul low in the dust; and I think the petition in Psalms 119:29 gives us some clue to what that sin had been: "Remove me from the way of lying." Had David you may well ask in wonder had David ever lied? had he ever deviated from the strait and honourable path of truth I am afraid we must own that he had at one time gone so near the confines of a falsehood, that he would be but a poor casuist and a worse moralist who should attempt to defend the Psalmist from the imputation. We cannot read the 27th chapter of the 1st of Samuel without owning into what a sad tissue of equivocation and deceit David was unhappily seduced. Well might his soul cleave to the dust as he reviewed that period of his career; and though grace did for him what it afterwards did for Peter, and he was plucked as a brand out of the burning, yet one can well imagine that like the Apostle afterwards, when he thought thereon he wept, and that bitterly. Barton Bouchier.


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

Ver. 25-32. Quickening. Prayed for with confession (Psalms 119:25-26). When obtained shall be talked of (Psalms 119:27). Desired for the sake of strength (Psalms 119:28), of truthfulness (Psalms 119:29-31), and of activity (Psalms 119:32).


Ver. 25. 

1. Nature and its tendency.

2. Grace and its mode of operation.

3. Both truths in their personal application.

Ver. 25. Quicken thou me, etc.

1. There are many reasons why we should seek quickening.

(a) Because of the deadening influence of the world. "Thy

soul cleaveth, "etc.

(b) The influence of vanity (see Psalms 119:37).

(c) Because we are surrounded by deceivers (see

Psalms 119:87-88).

(d) Because of the effect of seasons of affliction upon us

(see Psalms 119:7).

2. Some of the motives for seeking quickening.

(a) Because of what you are a Christian; life seeks more


(b) Because of what you ought to be.

(c) Because of what we shall be.

(d) In order to obedience (see Psalms 119:88).

(e) For your comfort (Psalms 119:107; Psalms 119:50).

(f) As the best security against the attacks of enemies

(Psalms 119:87-88).

(g) To invigorate our memories (Psalms 119:93).

(h) Consider (as a motive to seek this quickening) the

terrible consequences of losing spiritual life; or, in

other words, lacking it in its manifest display.

3. Some of the ways in which the quickening may be brought to us.

(a) It must be by the Lord himself. "Quicken me, O Lord."

(b) By the turning of the eyes (Psalms 119:37).

(c) By the word (Psalms 119:50).

(d) By the precepts (Psalms 119:93).

(e) By affliction (Psalms 119:107).

(f) By divine comforts.

4. Enquire where are our pleas when we come before God to ask for quickening.

(a) Our necessity (Psalms 119:107, etc.).

(b) Our earnest desire (Psalms 119:40).

(c) Appeal to God's righteousness (Psalms 119:40).

(d) To his lovingkindness (Psalms 119:88; Psalms 119:149; Psalms 119:156).

(e) The plea in the text: "according to thy word"

(Psalms 119:28; Psalms 119:107). See "Spurgeon's Sermons, "No. 1350:

"Enlivening and Invigorating."

Psalm 119:26 I have told of my ways, and You have answered me; Teach me Your statutes. 

  • I have told of my ways: Ps 119:106 Ps 32:5 Ps 38:18 Ps 51:1-19 Pr 28:13 
  • Teach me Your statutes: Ps 119:12 25:4,8,9 27:11 Ps 86:11 143:8-10 1Ki 8:36 

I have told (saphar) of my ways - Don't miss this! To whom is he speaking? Clearly to God ("You have answered me"). What is the context (soul cleaving to dust)? The psalmist is confessing to the LORD. He is owning his sin! He is coming clean to God. Sin is ever ready to pounce on us (Ge 4:7) and sometimes it is successful! It is then that we need to tell our ways to the LORD even though He already knows. 

John Trapp - "My sins and troubles; those Thou hast remitted, and these Thou hast remedied." 

C H Spurgeon elaborates on told of my ways writing "First, he is making his case known. I understand this to be, first, the language of a sinner confessing his sin: “I have declared my ways.” He is a sensible sinner, and therefore he is not in a confessional box with the human ear of a fellow-sinner to listen to him; he is a rational being, who has not degraded himself so low as that. But he is confessing his sin to the great High Priest who can be “touched with the feeling of our infirmities;” to him who cannot be defiled by listening to our tale of sin; to him to whom alone will it avail to confess our sins, for “he is faithful and just to forgive us our sins,” if we confess them to him.

Can each one of us now say, in this sense, “I have declared my ways” to the Lord? For this should be done, not only at our first coming to him, but continually throughout the whole of our life. We should look over each day, and sum up the errors of the day, and say, “ ‘I have declared my ways,’—my naughty ways, my wicked ways, my wandering ways, my backsliding ways, my cold, indifferent ways, my proud ways;—the way of my words, the way of my thoughts, the way of my imagination, the way of my memory, for it has a treacherous way of remembering evil and forgetting good;—the way of my actions towards thee, my God, and there is much to regret there; the way of my actions in my family, in the world, and in the church.” What a sorrowful stock-taking each day would be to many professors if they were honest to themselves and to their God! Even those who “walk in the light, as God is in the light,” and have the closest fellowship with him, yet know that it is a very sweet and blessed thing even for them that “the blood of Jesus Christ his Son cleanseth us from all sin;” for even they still sin, and it is necessary for each one of them to say continually, “I have declared my ways.”

Do you try to hide your sin, dear friend? It is useless for you to attempt to do so, for God ever sees it. Why do you seek to conceal what is always before his eye? Better far to confess it to him, that he may then cast it behind his back (Isa 38:17), and remember it against you no more forever (Isa 43:25). I believe that, often, as sinners confessing to God, we miss much true comfort for want of making a clean breast of our transgressions. Yet the Lord knows what is in our heart even though we do not own it. It has been well observed that, when Moses tried to excuse himself to God for not wanting to go to deliver Israel, he said that he was slow of speech, and God met that objection by giving him Aaron his brother to speak for him; but the Lord, in his reply to Moses, also said, “All the men are dead who sought thy life.” (Ex 4:19) Moses had not said anything about that matter; but God knew that there was that fear in his heart, so he put his finger on the sore place at once. It is well when we can do that for ourselves; when, in our spirit, there is no guile; when we come, as David did, in the 51st Psalm, and confess the very sin which we have committed: “Deliver me from bloodguiltiness, O God,” (Ps 51:14) calling it by its right name, then is it that the soul begins to get peace with God.

“But,” someone asks, “are we, then, to confess to God every sin in detail?” No, that would be impossible, and probably it would not even be useful; but there must be no wish to conceal any sin from God. Such a desire would be a vain one, for “all things are naked and opened unto the eyes of him with whom we have to do.” (Heb 4:13, cf Pr 15:3) There must be an acknowledgment of the sins which we have not yet seen in their full heinousness. Each of us will do well to offer David’s prayer, “Cleanse thou me from secret faults.” (Ps 19:12) If we have committed faults which are hidden even from ourselves, we desire to be delivered from them so that they should not remain to our condemnation.

I do not suppose that any unregenerate sinner will act thus towards his God until the Holy Spirit has begun to work graciously within him. While the prodigal was wasting his substance with riotous living, he thought himself a fine gentleman; and even when he was feeding the swine, he only said, “I have had very bad luck.” But it was “when he came to himself” that he said, “I will arise and go to my father;” and it was when he felt his father’s warm kiss upon his cheek that he made the confession, “Father, I have sinned.” There is no contrition so deep as that of the man who can say concerning his sins,—

             “I know they are forgiven;
               But, still, their pain to me
             Is all the grief and anguish
               They laid, my Lord, on thee.”

So, then, our text is, first, the language of a sinner confessing his guilt to his God; but it is more than that. It is, next, the private talk of a patient with his doctor: “I have declared my ways.”

See, there is the little room upstairs, and there lies the patient whom the physician has come to try to cure. The doctor’s first work is to find out all he can about the patient’s disease, so he begins by asking concerning the various symptoms that have been noticed. He is sure to look at the sick man’s tongue, and you may learn a great deal, spiritually, of the condition of a man’s heart from the state of his tongue. The doctor will also sound the patient’s lungs, and test his heart, and take his temperature, and ask him a great many questions, not merely about what appears on the surface, but about his inmost self; and when, at last, the patient can say, “There, doctor, I have told you all, now will you prescribe for me?” he is in the condition of the psalmist when he said to the Lord, “I have declared my ways, and thou heardest me: teach me thy statutes.”

The text very accurately describes such a state of things as that which exists when a patient relates his symptoms to the physician, and then the physician prescribes for him; for, in addition to sin being a great evil in the sight of God, it is also a disease to which we are all prone, and from which only the great Physician can cure us. We cry out against it, and our better self fights against it, yet the old man within us, “the body of this death,” as Paul calls it, fights against the new nature, and we should be overcome were it not for divine grace. So it is well for us to declare our ways. Suppose I put it for myself or for you thus, “Lord, I find that, even when I am engaged in prayer, my thoughts wander. When I am in trouble, I get fretful and rebellious. When a little difficulty meets me in my business, I do not trust thee as I ought. I sometimes find that, when I try to be humble, I become desponding; and when I am joyful, I become presumptuous. I seem to be like a pendulum swinging too far this way, and then too far that way. I know not how to steer the ship of my life between the Scylla of this sin and the Charybdis of that. O my Master, I am but dust and ashes, I am less than nothing, and vanity! If thou dost ask me what I ail, I seem to have all manner of diseases upon me at once. Sometimes, I am hot with fever, and full of wrath; and, at other times, I shiver with ague as though I did not know what I believed, and could not lay hold of thy truth with a firm grip. Sometimes I fear that I have a fatal disease upon me; and, certainly, were it not for thine unfailing medicine—the great catholicon—my soul would pine away, and die. Yet, amid all these evil symptoms, there is one sign that, I trust, is for good. I do know where my help lies; and I look alone to thee for healing. I know that thy precious blood has cleansed me, and on that blood alone I do rely.” Thus the patient tells the good Physician, as far as he can, what he feels, and what is the disease from which he is suffering.

I think, too, that we might use another figure to illustrate the meaning of our text; it is like a client telling his advocate all about his affairs. It is a difficult case in law. There is an accuser who has come forward with very serious charges, and he brings witnesses to substantiate what he affirms, and the case is a very complicated one. The client says that he does not know how to plead for himself; he says that he is at his wits’ end, and he asks the advocate whether he has any argument that can avail for him. The advocate replies, “I must first know all about your case before I can advise you, so tell me everything.” Now, the Lord Jesus, your great Advocate, already knows all about you, yet he likes you to tell it all to him. It is always a good thing to— “Tell it all to Jesus, Comfort or complaint.”

Mind that you do tell it all to him; do not keep anything back. Tell him the complex part of your life, and tell him the black part of it; be sure to bring that out. Tell him that the accuser has good ground for his charges against you, and that he can bring abundant witnesses against you,—ay, that your own conscience will witness against you,—and that you do not know of any plea, on earth or in heaven, that can avail for you unless he will be your Advocate. Then, how dear that Advocate will be to you when he tells you that he can plead his righteousness, his life, his blood, and his death, for “if any man sin, we have an Advocate with the Father, Jesus Christ the righteous.”

I do not think, however, that we have reached the very marrow of our text until we regard it as describing the intimate communion of friend with friend: “I have declared, my ways.” When two men become linked together in close friendship, they are in the habit of telling to one another all that happens in their lives; and if one of them is in a difficulty, he goes off to his friend, and tells him about it. They agree with Solomon that “two are better than one; for if they fall, the one will lift up his fellow;” and, by mutual counsel, wisdom will be found. The one who is in trouble tells his friend about it, and his friend, perhaps, puts to him a number of questions, not out of prying curiosity, but in order that he may become acquainted with the whole case, and so be qualified to advise or to help. And we, beloved, if we really know the Lord in spirit and in truth, are exalted to the position of friends of Jesus. “Henceforth,” said he to his disciples, “I call you not servants, for the servant knoweth not what his lord doeth: but I have called you friends, for all things that I have heard of my Father I have made known unto you.” “The secret of the Lord is with them that fear him; and he will show them his covenant.” The Lord said, “Shall I hide from Abraham that thing which I do?” when he was about to destroy Sodom and Gomorrah; and we must hide nothing from our God. It ought to be the daily habit of the believer to commune with his God; we ought to make him our Confidant in all things. You will go amiss, depend upon it, if you do not wait upon the Lord for guidance. “Bring hither the ephod,” was David’s command to the priests when he was in perplexity, and knew not what he ought to do. Israel made a great mistake with regard to the Gibeonites because the case seemed so simple to them that they did not need to consult the Lord concerning it. Here were men with dry and mouldy bread, and with old shoes and clouted upon their feet; they said they had come from a far country, and the matter appeared so plain that the Israelites asked not counsel at the mouth of the Lord, but took of their victuals, and made a treaty with them, as they would not have done if they had consulted the Lord. I do not think that God’s people often go astray in the most difficult cases, for they do take them to the Lord in prayer. It is in simple matters that we make our greatest blunders, because we think we know what to do, and therefore we do not wait upon the Lord for guidance. Yet he who leans to his own understanding is trusting to a broken reed which will be sure to fail him just when he most needs it. So let us, each one, say to the Lord, in the language of the text, “I have declared my ways.” (See Spurgeon's sermon on Ps 119:26 A Man of God Alone with God)

Teach me Your statutes - If our Teacher the Spirit (Jn 14:26, 1Jn 2:20, 27+) does not open our minds to spiritual truth, our attempts will be nothing more than an intellectual exercise. Is this your prayer when you open the Book, that He would open your heart and mind to the supernatural truths

Told (05608) (saphar) means to number, to recount, to relate and then to declare. The first OT use refers to numbering objects (Ge 15:5, cf Ps 48:12). In Ps 19:1 "their expanse is declaring...", proclaiming, enumerating, telling, making known ("if you were told" - Hab 1:5). As a participle = writer, scribe, secretary. To number = take account of = carefully observe & consider. Saphar/sapar basically speaks of mathematical activity as in Ge 15:5+  (Gen 32:12 - "too great to be numbered", cf Jer 33:22 = "cannot be counted", Hos 1:10 "numbered") "count the stars, if you are able to count them." (cf Lev 15:13). To "count up" or "take a census" ("numbered the people" = 2 Sa 24:10). Assigning people to particular jobs ("So Solomon assigned..." = 2 Chr 2:2) Count out according to a list ("he counted them out to Sheshbazzar," = Ezra 1:8). With the sense "taken account of" (Ps 56:8) Meaning to measure ("until he stopped measuring" = Ge 41:49). Fathers => teach children to recount God's miracles and mighty deeds (Ps 78:3) Every believer is to declare or tell of the miracles and mighty deeds of the delivering God (1Chr 16:24; cf. Ps 9:1, 14 Ps 26:7 Ps 73:28 Ps 75:1 Ps 107:22 Jer 51:10) and to declare his name (Ps 102:21 Ps 22:22 etc.). 

Saphar is used far more in psalms that anywhere else in the OT -Ps. 2:7; Ps. 9:1; Ps. 9:14; Ps. 19:1; Ps. 22:17; Ps. 22:22; Ps. 22:30; Ps. 26:7; Ps. 40:5; Ps. 44:1; Ps. 48:12; Ps. 48:13; Ps. 50:16; Ps. 56:8; Ps. 59:12; Ps. 64:5; Ps. 66:16; Ps. 69:26; Ps. 71:15; Ps. 73:15; Ps. 73:28; Ps. 75:1; Ps. 78:3; Ps. 78:4; Ps. 78:6; Ps. 79:13; Ps. 87:6; Ps. 88:11; Ps. 96:3; Ps. 102:21; Ps. 107:22; Ps. 118:17; Ps. 119:13; Ps. 119:26; Ps. 139:18; Ps. 145:6;

John Phillips (See Exploring Psalms: An Expository Commentary- Gleams Amid the Gloom What the Psalmist Realized (Ps 119:25-29)
God's Word:

  • In Conviction (Ps 119:25)
  • In Confession (Ps 119:26)
  • In Consecration (Ps 119:27)
  • In Contrition (Ps 119:28)
  • In Contrast (Ps 119:29)

What the Psalmist Resolved (Ps 119:30-32)

         A. His Decision to Live for God (Ps 119:30)

         B. His Determination to Live for God (Ps 119:31)

         C. His Desire to Live for God (Ps 119:32)

Some great sorrow has overtaken the singer. He is overwhelmed with grief. In his extremity he prays. This is the first of nine prayers in this psalm for God's "quickening" in his life. The psalmist finds a gleam amid the gloom in the fact that God is still on the throne, still mighty to save, still sovereign over all the situations and circumstances of life.

The psalm divides into two main parts. We have, first:
I. What the Psalmist Realized (Ps 119:25-29)
The psalmist realized that God's Word has the answer to every need. We see him applying God's Word to his life in five fundamental ways.

A. God's Word in Conviction (Ps 119:25)
"My soul cleaveth unto the dust; quicken Thou me according to Thy word." We don't know what it was that so prostrated the psalmist before God. It may have been an overwhelming sense of his own guilt (guilt will do that). And that, after all, is the first function of God's Word-to expose guilt. The Holy Spirit's first work in the soul is to convict of sin, righteousness, and judgment to come.

There can be little doubt that the psalmist was in the grip of deep depression. He was flat on his face in the dust. He had come to the end of himself and his own resources.

At this point our society would advise us to see a psychiatrist, seek professional help. There may be times when a Christian psychologist can help, but that was not the solution the psalmist discovered.

Sometimes when people go to a psychiatrist, they are put into group therapy and encouraged to let it all "hang out." They are to talk openly about their problems to others, who have problems too. Everybody comments on the problems, criticizing hangups, attitudes, personality traits, weaknesses, and shortcomings. All that is supposed to help.

The psalmist makes a different suggestion. He says to the Lord, "Quicken Thou me." He was going to air his problems all right, but he was going to take them to the Lord. He was going to seek a counselor-the counsel of the Word of God. There are very few problems in this life that cannot be solved by a thorough-going, honest exposure of one's life to the Scriptures. To do that is the greatest therapy in the world.

The psalmist asked God to "quicken him," that is, to put new life into him. What he needed was a stiff dose of Scripture, taken with a mixture of faith, every day. Try it. Read your Bible consistently. Say with Samuel, "Speak, Lord, Thy servant heareth." The Bible is a book of people and principles. Sooner or later, God will confront us in the pages of His Book with the basic cause of our problem and with His inspired, infallible solution to that problem. The psalmist had discovered the best way of all to handle depression.
But we must be prepared. The Bible will not hedge or redefine sin. It will put its finger unerringly on the sin question, frequently at the root of other problems of life.

Next we have:

B. God's Word in Confession (Ps 119:26)
Confession is also marvelous therapy. "I have declared my ways, and Thou heardest me." The psalmist confessed his wrongdoing to the Lord.

Usually when we confess to somebody else, we succeed only in transferring the load from us to them. A young man came up to me once and said, "I have a confession to make to you." I said, "Oh, what is it?" He said, "I have never liked you." That came as rather a shock to me since I hardly knew him. To the best of my knowledge I had never done him any harm. I suppose telling me that did him some good, but it didn't do me any good at all. I found I had the greatest difficulty liking him after that! Fortunately, the acquaintance was only a very casual one and I soon forgot all about it as the events of life came crowding in and our paths diverged forever. Now I cannot even remember his name, and when I do occasionally think about him it is with an inward smile at how foolish we can be.

The psalmist took his problems to the Lord. He lay down, so to speak, on the Great Physician's couch and poured out his soul to Him. He took his confession to the Lord and, first and foremost, that is the place to take it.

Right from the beginning, the Bible teaches us that. When God came into the garden of Eden to confront Adam with his sin His first question was, "What hast thou done?" He said: "Now tell Me all about it. What has happened?" No permanent solution could be found to the shame and guilt of Adam's soul until he had confessed to God. No permanent solution can be found to a personality problem that leaves out confession to God. That is one reason why so much modern counseling falls short of the mark.

Jesus is far more interested in us than any psychiatrist could ever be. And He is far more knowledgeable too.

C. God's Word in Consecration (Ps 119:27)
"Make me to understand the way of Thy precepts: so shall I talk of Thy wondrous works." God does not let us off lightly. When God has finished listening to our confession and has exposed us to His Word, His counsel will be that henceforth we are to adjust our ways to His Word. It is not blind obedience that God commands. He wants to show us how His precepts work. The psalmist made an intelligent request. He said, "Make me to understand the way of Thy precepts."

We find an example in Leviticus 11 where God spelled out for Israel His dietary laws-what animals they could and could not eat. We understand, of course, that we are not under law any more in such matters. What we are interested in here is the way those precepts worked for godly Israelites who regulated their lives by God's commands. If they were observed in the right spirit, those dietary laws would lead the Israelite:

1. In the Way of a Healthy Life

God forbade, for instance, the eating of pork, rabbits, scavenger fish, crabs, lobsters, carrion fowl, and beasts of prey. We now know that, unless the greatest care is taken, pork can lead to intestinal parasitic invasion. Crab meat can cause serious allergies. God simply forbade the Israelites to eat such foods. Obeying God's law led to a healthy life. The same is true of most of God's laws. Breaking God's moral laws leads to guilt and worry which in turn, lead to ulcers and to all kinds of other physical ailments. So the way of God's law is the way of a healthy life.

Observing God's dietary laws would also lead the Israelite:

2. In the Way of a Holy Life

The body of the believer is the temple of the Holy Spirit. Leviticus 11, with its long list of dietary restrictions, contains the explanatory command, "Be ye holy for I am holy." The underlying principle of that chapter, as it bears on Christian life today, is that we are not to put into our body things that would grieve the indwelling Holy Spirit and hinder Him from having undisputed sway over us. Such enslaving things as alcohol, drugs, and tobacco should be avoided on principle by believers. The Holy Spirit says, "To make a difference between the clean and the unclean [holiness and unholiness] and between the beast that may be eaten and the beast that may not be eaten [between health and ill health]."

In addition, those dietary laws would lead the Israelites:

3. In the Way of a Happy Life

A holy life-a life free from guilt, from the gnawings of conscience, from psychologically-based illnesses-is far more likely to be happy than a guilt-ridden, pain-wracked life.

No psychologist can adequately deal with guilt apart from the Word of God. Guilt can be washed away only in the blood of Christ.
The psalmist, then, asks God to make him understand the way of His precepts, how they work. He promises that he will then talk of God's wondrous works. He will spread the word.

Next we have God's Word:

D. In Contrition (Ps 119:28)
"My soul melteth for heaviness: strengthen Thou me according unto Thy word." The word melteth is a poetic way of expressing weeping. Thus it was that Jesus wept, not for His own sins, but for ours. One lesson of the prophet Hosea is that sin breaks not only God's laws, it breaks His heart.

Jesus wept at Bethany over what sin had done to an individual. His friend Lazarus was dead and in his grave. Sin had slain him as it slays everybody who enters this world. Our progress is steadily from the womb to the tomb. Jesus wept over that.

He wept over Jerusalem, over what sin had done to a nation. It had caused the nation of Israel to reject Him, and eventually to crucify Him. That sin would be visited in horror on that nation. Within a generation those hills would be black with crosses. Jesus wept over that.
He wept in Gethsemane over what sin had done to the world. Sin had turned this fair paradise into a graveyard. The penalty of sin, which soon He must bear, was so terrible, so full of horror, so appalling in its issues that He wept.

So we well might weep over our sin. "My soul melteth for heaviness" cried the psalmist as the Word of God bit into his innermost being.
Finally we have God's Word:

E. In Contrast (Ps 119:29)

The psalmist now prays, "Remove from me the way of lying: and grant me Thy law graciously."

He doesn't simply pray, "Remove me from the way of lying," as though his feet were ensnared in a net. He prays, "Remove from me the way of lying." He was conscious of the deep things of Satan in his own soul, that it was bent, warped, and twisted by indwelling sin. His heart was deceitful above all things and desperately wicked. He needed to have the way of lying taken from his soul.

We are all prone to tell lies; nobody has to teach a child to lie. Some people lie occasionally, when they find themselves in a tight corner. Others will look you in the face and, with every outward evidence of sincerity, string together a whole pack of lies and swear on the Bible that they are telling the truth. They will do it so convincingly that, although you know better, you still believe them. They lie seemingly without a qualm of conscience, as though lying were their natural language-which it probably is. Today lying is a way of life, accepted almost without question. Nothing so betrays our fallen human nature.

School textbooks lie to us, politicians lie to us, businessmen lie to us, advertisers lie to us, newspapers lie to us, our children lie to us. Worst of all, when we get sick of it all and look for a way out, we find we are hedged around with religious lies. Buddhism is a lie. Islam is a lie. Much that passes for Christianity is a lie.

When Jesus stood before Pontius Pilate, He told the truth because He is the truth. Pilate, who had been lied to under oath many times, who had so often witnessed in court the perfidy and falsehood of the majority of men, who now scarcely expected the truth out of anybody, cynically demanded of Jesus,"What is truth?" And then, just as cynically, he walked away without waiting to be told.

The Word of God stands in contrast to the way of lying. The Bible tells the truth, the whole truth, and nothing but the truth. "Thy word is truth." The psalmist wanted God to straighten him out inside.

He saw, in God's Word, the answer to his need. He did not see God's law as something imposed on him governmentally, but as something imparted to him graciously. God's law to him was a blessing, not a burden.
Now the emphasis changes. We are told:

II. What the Psalmist Resolved (Ps 119:30-32)

The psalmist made three resolutions.

A. His Decision to Live for God (Ps 119:30)
"I have chosen the way of truth: Thy judgments have I laid before me." He has just asked God to remove from him the way of lying; now he deliberately chooses the way of truth. He records his decision to live for God.

A classic example of such an attitude is Daniel, who purposed in his heart not to defile himself with the king's meat. We can picture him alone in his room, that first night there in Babylon. He is overwhelmed with impressions. The grandeur and splendor of that capital city, paganism on every hand. He and his friends had been chosen by the king. Their obvious intelligence, high rank, and attractive persons had secured for them impressive prospects. They were to be groomed for high office. The world lay at their feet. Daniel was to go to school in Babylon, to be trained for an important position in the administration. He was to mix with the intelligentsia, the nobility, the social elite of Babylon-at a price. The price was the compromise of his convictions. Tomorrow he would be assigned his place at the table of his peers, along with scores of others. He would be offered the best food in Babylon, with rare dainties from the royal kitchens and viands from the king's own table. The king no doubt wanted these selected courtiers of his to be the picture of good health.

Daniel took out his Bible and began to read. Passages in the Mosaic Law spoke of what kind of meat could or could not be eaten and how that meat must be killed. It must contain no blood. Well he knew that the meat which would be placed before him the next day would not meet these rigid standards of the law. He saw before him two paths. He could dare the king's wrath or he could set aside the law of God. The one path led topromotion, the other to peril; one was the path of delight, the other the path of danger; one path entailed compromise, the other conviction; the one path demanded saying "yes" to the world; the other path demanded saying "yes" to the Word. He read the Scriptures, he prayed. He said, "I have chosen." He chose to live for God.

Sooner or later that choice faces every child of God, the choice between compromising some biblical principle and complete obedience to the Word of God-even if it means offending friends, family, or employer.

Further, the psalmist records:

B. His Determination to Live for God (Ps 119:31)
A decision to live for God is the crisis; a determination to live for God is the process. The psalmist uses an interesting expression to describe his determination. He says, "I have stuck unto Thy testimonies: O LORD, put me not to shame." That word stuck means exactly what it says. It means "attached" or "adhered." It conjures up a picture of a man who has adhered himself to the Word of God. He is not stuck with it (as though it were some kind of a burden), he is stuck to it. He cannot be separated from it. Note also that he has stuck himself to it.

Every now and then we see an advertisement on television for super glue. We see someone put a spot of this glue on a two-thousand pound car, and a little dab on the end of a piece of wood suspended from a crane. Then the tip of the wood is brought in contact with the glue on the car and a fast bond is made. Then, wonder of wonders, the car is hauled thirty feet into the air, dangling from a piece of wood, stuck with super glue. That is how the psalmist was stuck to God's Word. Nothing could pry him loose.

"O Lord, don't let me down," he says. As though God ever could. Once adhere yourself to God's Word and He will see you through, no matter what happens. The bonding is perfect.

That is the kind of bonding we need nowadays. We send a young person off to college and the first thing one of his professors says to him is, "Now you can forget all your parents told you..." This psalmist says: "Not me! I've been glued to the Book!" That is the kind of young person to send to college. In fact, if that kind of bonding has not taken place it is probably best he or she stay out of a secular college. It is better for a person to spend life pumping gas or waiting tables than to lose one's soul in a college classroom. That is what Jesus meant when He said that it is possible to lose one's life for His sake and yet to find it.

Last, the psalmist records:

C. His Desire to Live for God (Ps 119:32)

"I will run the way of Thy commandments, when Thou shalt enlarge my heart." Sin narrows us. By nature we are chronically addicted to our own ways. God's wants and wishes do not appeal to us at all. Sin has narrowed our hearts so that our circle of desire is circumscribed by self. As for God's vast and eternal interests, we scarcely have a thought for them at all.

The psalmist realizes that if ever he is to have an enlarged horizon, he must first have an enlarged heart. God must enlarge his heart. Such things as the prayer meeting, the communion service, the demands of the mission field, the daily quiet time, the meeting place of the people of God, must all be interests God implants in the soul. The psalmist's desire is to live for God. He asks God to enlarge and increase that desire so that he will end up running eagerly in God's ways.

Psalm 119:27 Make me understand the way of Your precepts, So I will meditate on Your wonders. 

  • So I will meditate on Your wonders: Ps 71:17 78:4 105:2 111:4 145:5,6 Ex 13:14,15 Jos 4:6,7 Ac 2:11 Rev 15:3 

Related Passages:

Revelation 15:3+  And they *sang the song of Moses, the bond-servant of God, and the song of the Lamb, saying, ​“Great and marvelous are Your works, O Lord God, the Almighty; Righteous and true are Your ways, King of the nations! 

Make me understand (bin/biy = a command) the way of Your precepts, so I will meditate (siyahon Your wonders (pala  - The simple meaning of this passage is that unless the Spirit sheds light on the precepts, our eye is blind to their hidden, but glorious truths. But as the psalmist says later " The unfolding of Your words gives light; It gives understanding to the simple. ." (Ps 119:130) Make me understand in the Septuagint is sunetizo which means cause to understand or give insight and is in the aorist imperative, not as if we can bark a command at God, but expressing the urgency of the request = Unless You give understanding, it will not happen! 

Understand (discern) (0995bin/biyn  means to understand or perceive. Bin/biyn conveys the same idea as our word discrimination. It entails the idea of making a distinction as in 1Ki 3:9 where Solomon ask God for the ability "to discern (bin/biyn) between good and evil". Many of the OT uses of bin/biyn are translated "understanding," an understanding which is the result of comparative "study" or "mental separation".

Uses of bin/biyn in Psalms Ps. 5:1; Ps. 19:12; Ps. 28:5; Ps. 32:9; Ps. 33:15; Ps. 37:10; Ps. 49:20; Ps. 50:22; Ps. 58:9; Ps. 73:17; Ps. 82:5; Ps. 92:6; Ps. 94:7; Ps. 94:8; Ps. 107:43; Ps. 119:27; Ps. 119:34; Ps. 119:73; Ps. 119:95; Ps. 119:100; Ps. 119:104; Ps. 119:125; Ps. 119:130; Ps. 119:144; Ps. 119:169; Ps. 139:2; 

Meditate (07878 - verb) (07879 - noun)(siyah) has the basic meaning of to rehearse, go over matter in one's mind usually rendered "meditate " or "talk." Speak, talk, converse aloud, or even with oneself. Ponder. Muse. In Ps 119:27 siyah is rendered with the rare verb adolescheo which can mean to talk idly, to talk in general (Ps 69:12) and then to meditate (Ge 24:63). 

Wonders (miracles) (06381)(pala)   is a verb which means to be difficult, to be hard, to be extraordinary or amazing, be surpassing or to cause a wonderful thing to happen. To be beyond one’s power to do. To do something wonderful, extraordinary or difficult = Wonders, Marvels, Marvelous works. In Ps 119:27 the Septuagint has thaumasios which means wonderful, marvelous, excellent and describes that which is a cause of wonder or worthy of amazement. (Mt 21:5, Ex 3:20)

Psalm 119:28 My soul weeps because of grief; Strengthen me according to Your word. 

  • soul: Ps 22:14 107:26 Jos 2:11,24 
  • strengthen: Ps 27:14 29:11 De 33:25 Isa 40:29,31 Zec 10:12 Eph 3:16 Php 4:13 

My soul weeps because of grief - His soul is personified as being able to weep! 

Strengthen (command) me according to Your word - Strengthen is of course figurative referring to making my heart and mind and soul and spirit firm and sure, the Septuagint rendering it with bebaioo which means to establish, make sure, to strengthen inwardly, make unwavering and again is in the aorist imperative, not as if we are commanding God, but more of crying out in desperate, urgent need for His intervention. Note God's part is to strengthen internally (cf Eph 3:16+), but our part is not passive but is to be an active intake of the pure milk of the Word that by it we might grow in respect to salvation (including being spiritually strengthened). 

Psalm 119:29 Remove the false way from me, And graciously grant me Your law. 

  • Remove : Ps 119:37,104,128,163 141:3,4 Pr 30:8 Isa 44:20 Jer 16:19 Jon 2:8 Eph 4:22-25 1Jn 1:8 2:4 Rev 22:15 
  • grant me: Ps 119:5 Jer 31:33,34 Heb 8:10,11 

Remove the false way from me, and graciously grant me Your law - It is impossible to truly receive and assimilate the truth (law) when we are encumbered by the false way. False is the Hebrew word sheqer which is a way of life walking completely contrary to God’s Law (Septuagint = adikia = wrongdoing, unrighteousness, wickedness). In Ps 119:26 he confessed his ways. Now he pleads for the way which is false to be removed, to be withdrawn, the Septuagint verb aphistemi (aorist imperative) conveying the cry to God to keep it away, in essence to cause (by the Spirit giving the desire and power - Php 2:13NLT+) one to abstain (as in 2Ti 2:19+). 

Psalm 119:30  I have chosen the faithful way; I have placed Your ordinances before me. 

I have chosen the faithful way; I have placed Your ordinances before me - The "faithful way" is the way of the Word, the path lit by the truth of God's Word, even as he says later writing "Your word is a lamp to my feet And a light to my path." (Ps 119:105)

Psalm 119:31 I cling to Your testimonies; O LORD, do not put me to shame! 

  • I cling to Your testimonies): Ps 119:48,115 De 4:4 10:20 Pr 23:23  Joh 8:31 Ac 11:23 
  • do not put me to shame: Ps 119:6,80 25:2,20 Isa 45:17 49:23 Jer 17:18 Ro 5:5 1Jn 2:28 

I cling to Your testimonies - Cling (dabaq in perfect tense - speaks of his "state") means I am "stuck like glue" to God's truth, God's testimonies. He follows close and hard after God's testimonies which speaks of close contact with God's Word. This is our daily need. 

O LORD, do not put me to shame! (bosh) - Sin brings shame, so this is another prayer out of a desperate, broken heart. The psalmist senses his deep need for the cleansing waters of God's forgiveness because of his sins. 

The root meaning of shame (bosh) is “to become pale” or “to blush.” When sin occurs, there is a disconcerting feeling, a flushing of the face (unless we have so numbed our conscience that we no longer even know how to blush! Jer 6:15, 8:12). The word often occurs in contexts of humiliation and shattered human emotions. It is the feeling of public disgrace. Bosh is the confusion, embarrassment, or dismay when things do not turn out as expected. The Septuagint translates bosh with the verb Kataischuno in the present tense - continually to be disgraced, dishonored, humiliated, put to shame. 

Shame (put to shame) (0954)(bosh) according to Strong means "properly to pale and by implication to be ashamed, disappointed or delayed." The TWOT says the primary meaning is "to fall into disgrace, normally through failure, either of self or of an object of trust." The word has overtones of being or feeling worthless. It is a "key word" in the psalms (but also common in the major prophets Isaiah and Jeremiah where Israel is confronted with her sins against the LORD) - 

Gen. 2:25; Exod. 32:1; Jdg. 3:25; 2 Sam. 19:5; 2 Ki. 2:17; 2 Ki. 8:11; 2 Ki. 19:26; Ezr. 8:22; Ezr. 9:6; Job 6:20; Job 19:3; Ps. 6:10; Ps. 14:6; Ps. 22:5; Ps. 25:2; Ps. 25:3; Ps. 25:20; Ps. 31:1; Ps. 31:17; Ps. 35:4; Ps. 35:26; Ps. 37:19; Ps. 40:14; Ps. 44:7; Ps. 53:5; Ps. 69:6; Ps. 70:2; Ps. 71:1; Ps. 71:13; Ps. 71:24; Ps. 83:17; Ps. 86:17; Ps. 97:7; Ps. 109:28; Ps. 119:6; Ps. 119:31; Ps. 119:46; Ps. 119:78; Ps. 119:80; Ps. 119:116; Ps. 127:5; Ps. 129:5; Prov. 10:5; Prov. 12:4; Prov. 14:35; Prov. 17:2; Prov. 19:26; Prov. 29:15; Isa. 1:29; Isa. 19:9; Isa. 20:5; Isa. 23:4; Isa. 24:23; Isa. 26:11; Isa. 29:22; Isa. 30:5; Isa. 37:27; Isa. 41:11; Isa. 42:17; Isa. 44:9; Isa. 44:11; Isa. 45:16; Isa. 45:17; Isa. 45:24; Isa. 49:23; Isa. 50:7; Isa. 54:4; Isa. 65:13; Isa. 66:5; Jer. 2:26; Jer. 2:36; Jer. 6:15; Jer. 8:9; Jer. 8:12; Jer. 9:19; Jer. 10:14; Jer. 12:13; Jer. 14:3; Jer. 14:4; Jer. 15:9; Jer. 17:13; Jer. 17:18; Jer. 20:11; Jer. 22:22; Jer. 31:19; Jer. 46:24; Jer. 48:1; Jer. 48:13; Jer. 48:20; Jer. 48:39; Jer. 49:23; Jer. 50:2; Jer. 50:12; Jer. 51:17; Jer. 51:47; Jer. 51:51; Ezek. 16:52; Ezek. 16:63; Ezek. 32:30; Ezek. 36:32; Hos. 2:5; Hos. 4:19; Hos. 10:6; Hos. 13:15; Joel 1:11; Joel 2:26; Joel 2:27; Mic. 3:7; Mic. 7:16; Zeph. 3:11; Zech. 9:5; Zech. 10:5; Zech. 13:4

Gilbrant adds -  The Qal stem conveys the sense of "to feel shame" or "to be ashamed" (of something); to feel shame in general (Isa 19:9; 23:4; 45:6; etc.); to be ashamed of something, where the object of shame is governed by the preposition min (HED #4263). Such objects include nations (Isa. 20:5; Jer 2:36); harvest (Jer. 12:13); idolatry (Isa. 1:29; Jer. 48:13); one's own ways (Ezek. 36:32).

The word may also mean to be ashamed of some behavior, where the behavior is expressed by an infinitive. One may be ashamed to ask for protection (Ezra 8:22); be frustrated (Jer 14:3); humiliated (Jer 22:22); disgraced (Isa 41:11; 45:16, 17; Ezek. 16:52) or confused (Ps. 35:4).

The Polal stem conveys the sense of "to delay" (because of shame). Moses delayed to descend from Mt. Sinai because of his anticipated shame over the idolatry of Israel (Exo. 32:1). Sisera's mother thought he (literally, his chariot) delayed to come home because of the shame of defeat (Judg. 5:28).

The Hiphil stem conveys the sense of to put (someone) to shame, to cause (someone) shame, or to act shamefully: to put someone to shame (2 Sam. 19:6; Prov. 10:5; 14:35; 19:26; 29:15; Jer. 2:26); to cause someone shame (Prov. 12:4; 17:2), or to act shamefully (Hos. 2:7). At times, the Hiphil stem conveys nearly the same sense as the Qal.

The Hithpolel stem conveys the sense of being ashamed of oneself before others. Adam and Eve both were "naked and were not ashamed" (Gen. 2:25). (Complete Biblical Library)

Psalm 119:32 I shall run the way of Your commandments, For You will enlarge my heart. 

  • run: Song 1:4 Isa 40:31 1Co 9:24-26 Heb 12:1 
  • enlarge: Ps 119:45 18:36 1Ki 4:29 Job 36:15,16 Isa 60:5 61:1 Lu 1:74,75 Joh 8:32,36 2Co 3:17 6:11 1Pe 2:16 

Related Passages:

Isaiah 40:31+  Yet those who wait for the LORD Will gain new strength (MORE LITERALLY EXCHANGE THEIR "STRENGTH" FOR HIS STRENGTH!); They will mount up with wings like eagles, They will run and not get tired, They will walk and not become weary.

I shall run the way of Your commandments, for You will enlarge my heart - This is speaking figuratively of "running" the race of life as in Hebrews 12:1+ "Therefore, since we have so great a cloud of witnesses surrounding us, let us also lay aside every encumbrance and the sin which so easily entangles us, and let us run with endurance the race that is set before us," And how do we run? We run by fixing our eyes on the only One Who every ran the race perfectly, our Savior and Lord, Jesus Christ (Heb 12:2+). To encourage you to run to win the prize play this great little song based on Hebrews 12 - Run Like Heaven

This verse also reminds me of Paul's sobering declaration upon which every servant of Christ would do well to meditate (frequently)...

Do you not know that those who run in a race all run, but only one receives the prize? Run (present imperative see our need to depend on the Holy Spirit to obey) in such a way (THIS IS A RUNNING THAT WILL NOT WIN) that you may win. 25 Everyone who competes in the games exercises self-control in all things. They then do it to receive a perishable wreath, but we an imperishable. 26 Therefore I run in such a way, as not without aim; I box in such a way, as not beating the air; 27 but I discipline my body and make it my slave, so that, after I have preached to others, I myself will not be disqualified (adokimos). (1Co 9:24-27+)

Warren Wiersbe - Open, Obedient, Occupied  Psalm 119:25-32
An enlarged heart, in the physical sense, is dangerous. But spiritually speaking, an enlarged heart can be a blessing. "I will run in the way of Your commandments, for You shall enlarge my heart" (Psalm 119:32). If you have an enlarged heart physically, you don't do much running. But if you have an enlarged heart spiritually, you are ready to walk and run with the Lord and accomplish His purposes. When an athlete is running, he is on a path and has a goal in mind, which gives him the energy to continue. That's what God wants for us today. He has a goal for us to reach and a path for us to follow. And He gives us His strength through His Word.

What does it mean to have an enlarged heart?

First, an enlarged heart is open to God's truth. It's a heart that's honest and says, "Lord, I want Your truth even if it hurts."

Second, an enlarged heart is obedient to God's will. It's a humble heart that says, "O God, what You have said, I will do. I am the servant. You are the master."

Third, an enlarged heart is occupied with God's glory. It's a happy heart. Some people's hearts are small and narrow. They live in their own little world and have their own narrow view. What a wonderful thing it is to grow in grace and the knowledge of truth (2 Pet. 3:18)! Our horizons are expanded. We can see what we haven't seen before. We can hear what we haven't heard before. God gives us an enlarged life because we have an enlarged heart. 

* * *
Open your heart to God's truth and be obedient to His will. Every step of obedience expands your horizon of blessing and ministry. Most of all, be occupied with God's glory

Psalm 119:33 Teach me, O LORD, the way of Thy statutes, And I shall observe it to the end. (PRAYER)

NET  Psalm 119:33 Teach me, O LORD, the lifestyle prescribed by your statutes, so that I might observe it continually.

LXE  Psalm 119:33 Teach me, O Lord, the way of thine ordinances, and I will seek it out continually.

NLT  Psalm 119:33 Teach me your decrees, O LORD; I will keep them to the end.

KJV  Psalm 119:33 HE. Teach <03384> (08685) me, O LORD <03068>, the way <01870> of thy statutes <02706>; and I shall keep <05341> (08799) it unto the end <06118>.

ESV  Psalm 119:33 Teach me, O LORD, the way of your statutes; and I will keep it to the end.

NIV  Psalm 119:33 Teach me, O LORD, to follow your decrees; then I will keep them to the end.

ASV  Psalm 119:33 Teach me, O Jehovah, the way of thy statutes; And I shall keep it unto the end.

CSB  Psalm 119:33 Teach me, LORD, the meaning of Your statutes, and I will always keep them.

NKJ  Psalm 119:33 HE. Teach <03384> (08685) me, O LORD <03068>, the way <01870> of Your statutes <02706>, And I shall keep <05341> (08799) it to the end <06118>.

NRS  Psalm 119:33 Teach me, O LORD, the way of your statutes, and I will observe it to the end.

YLT  Psalm 119:33 He. Show me, O Jehovah, the way of Thy statutes, And I keep it -- to the end.

NAB  Psalm 119:33 LORD, teach me the way of your laws; I shall observe them with care.

NJB  Psalm 119:33 Teach me, Yahweh, the way of your will, and I will observe it.

GWN  Psalm 119:33 Teach me, O LORD, how to live by your laws, and I will obey them to the end.

BHT  Psalm 119:33 hôrëºnî yhwh(´ädönäy) Deºrek Huqqʺkä wü´eccüreºnnâ `ëºqeb

BBE  Psalm 119:33 HE O Lord, let me see the way of your rules, and I will keep it to the end.

  • Teach: Ps 119:12,26,27 Isa 54:13  Joh 6:45 
  • I shall observe: Ps 119:8,112 Mt 10:22 24:13 1Co 1:7,8 Php 1:6 1Jn 2:19,20,27 Rev 2:26 

Teach me, O LORD, the way of Thy statutes - This is a great prayer to utter frequently, because we are all like the hymnist who portrayed us as "Prone to wander, Lord I feel it. Prone to leave the God I love. Here's my heart, O take and seal it. Seal it for Thy courts above." (See short clip on Robert Robinson's conviction by his own hymn). 

THOUGHT - Would we be so prone to wander if we prayed this prayed (sincerely, not ritualistically) each morning of the new day? We are always at risk of wandering but God's grace in answer to this prayer will help "stabilize the rudder" of our vessel! 

Septuagint (Lxx) = Teach (aorist imperative -see note below) (3549)(nomotheteo from nomos = a law + títhemi = to put, set) literally means to put a law and means to enact laws, make laws, give laws or establish as law (legislate) (Only 2 NT uses - Heb 7:11, Heb 8:6). There are 11 uses of nomotheteo in the Lxx (Ex 24:12; Dt 17:10; Ps. 25:8, 12; 27:11; 84:6; 119:33, 102, 104) and in 8/11 uses it translated yarah (to instruct) and thus conveys the sense of to instruct or to teach

And I shall observe it to the end - 

NET NOTE - Hebrew "and I will keep it to the end." The prefixed verbal form with vav (w) conjunctive indicates purpose/result after the preceding imperative. The Hebrew term bq,[e ('eqev) is understood to mean "end" here. Another option is to take bq,[e ('eqev) as meaning "reward" here (see Ps 19:11) and to translate, "so that I might observe it and be rewarded." 

Hold everything! Wait a minute! Have you read the Scripture for today? It's only eight short verses, and it will take you only 45 seconds. No, don't lay this booklet down and mumble to me, "I'm in a hurry and you're delaying me." I see you're eating breakfast this morning even though you're late. You take time to feed your body, but you were going to starve your soul. Take 45 seconds and read Psalm 119:33-40. If you don't read the rest of this devotional, that's okay--as long as you read the Bible. 
    These articles in Our Daily Bread are not designed to be a substitute for the Bible; they are meant to stimulate your desire to read more of the Bible. If reading this booklet has caused you to neglect the Word of God, please throw this booklet in the wastebasket! 
    Job said, "I have treasured the words of His mouth more than my necessary food" (Job23:12). Jesus taught, "Man shall not live by bread alone, but by every word that proceeds from the mouth of God" (Mt4:4). 
    Yes, you may have had a rough day yesterday and you're way behind. But why should you be surprised that it was such a bad day if you started it without God's Word? Don't make the same mistake today. Take time to read. --M. R. De Haan, M.D. (founder of RBC Ministries) 

  • Read Ps 119:33-40 and make its words your prayer: 
  • Teach me (Ps 119:33). Give me (Ps 119:34). 
  • Make me (Ps 119:35). Incline me (Ps 119:36). Turn me (Ps 119:37). 
  • Establish me (Ps 119:38). Spare me (Ps 119:39). Revive me (Ps 119:40).

If you're too busy to read the Bible, you're too busy!

Psalm 119:34  Give me understanding, that I may observe Thy law, And keep it with all my heart. (PRAYER)

NET  Psalm 119:34 Give me understanding so that I might observe your law, and keep it with all my heart.

LXE  Psalm 119:34 Instruct me, and I will search out thy law, and will keep it with my whole heart.

NLT  Psalm 119:34 Give me understanding and I will obey your instructions; I will put them into practice with all my heart.

KJV  Psalm 119:34 Give me understanding <0995> (08685), and I shall keep <05341> (08799) thy law <08451>; yea, I shall observe <08104> (08799) it with my whole heart <03820>.

ESV  Psalm 119:34 Give me understanding, that I may keep your law and observe it with my whole heart.

NIV  Psalm 119:34 Give me understanding, and I will keep your law and obey it with all my heart.

ASV  Psalm 119:34 Give me understanding, and I shall keep thy law; Yea, I shall observe it with my whole heart.

CSB  Psalm 119:34 Help me understand Your instruction, and I will obey it and follow it with all my heart.

NKJ  Psalm 119:34 Give me understanding <0995> (08685), and I shall keep <05341> (08799) Your law <08451>; Indeed, I shall observe <08104> (08799) it with my whole heart <03820>.

NRS  Psalm 119:34 Give me understanding, that I may keep your law and observe it with my whole heart.

YLT  Psalm 119:34 Cause me to understand, and I keep Thy law, And observe it with the whole heart.

NAB  Psalm 119:34 Give me insight to observe your teaching, to keep it with all my heart.

NJB  Psalm 119:34 Give me understanding and I will observe your Law, and keep it wholeheartedly.

GWN  Psalm 119:34 Help me understand so that I can follow your teachings. I will guard them with all my heart.

BHT  Psalm 119:34 hábînënî wü´eccürâ tô|räteºkä wü´ešmüreºnnâ bükol-lëb

BBE  Psalm 119:34 Give me wisdom, so that I may keep your law; going after it with all my heart.

  • Give me: Ps 119:73 111:10 Job 28:28 Pr 2:5,6 John 7:17 Jas 1:5 Jas 3:13-18 
  • I may observe Thy law: Dt 4:6 Mt 5:19 7:24 Jas 1:25 2:8-12 4:11 
  • I shall keep it: Ps 119:10,58,69 

Give me understanding - Understanding is biyn which means insight, discernment (Ps 19:12, Ps 73:17), ability to distinguish between good and evil (1 Ki 3:9). Lxx for understanding is sunetizo (aorist imperative) which means to cause to understand

Septuagint (Lxx) = Understanding (Sunetizo, cf sunetos = intelligent, wise) means to cause to understand, to instruct. Not found in the NT. Notice the concentration in Psalm 119 - Neh. 8:7; Neh. 8:9; Neh. 9:20; Ps. 16:7; Ps. 32:8; Ps. 119:27; Ps. 119:34; Ps. 119:73; Ps. 119:125; Ps. 119:130; Ps. 119:144; Ps. 119:169; Dan. 8:16; Dan. 9:22; Dan. 10:14

that I may observe Thy law  - 

And keep it with all my heart.

Give me understanding. - John Flavel
Prayer is a proper means for the increase of knowledge. Prayer is the golden key that unlocks that treasure. When Daniel was to expound the secret contained in the king’s dream, about which the Chaldean magicians had racked their brains to no purpose; what course did Daniel take? “He went to his house,” Dan. 2:17, 18, “and made the thing known to Hananiah, Michael, and Azariah, his companions; that they would desire mercies of the God of heaven concerning his secret.” And then was the secret revealed to Daniel.

Psalm 119:35  Make me walk in the path of Thy commandments, For I delight in it. (PRAYER)

NET  Psalm 119:35 Guide me in the path of your commands, for I delight to walk in it.

LXE  Psalm 119:35 Guide me in the path of thy commandments; for I have delighted in it.

NLT  Psalm 119:35 Make me walk along the path of your commands, for that is where my happiness is found.

KJV  Psalm 119:35 Make me to go <01869> (08685) in the path <05410> of thy commandments <04687>; for therein do I delight <02654> (08804).

ESV  Psalm 119:35 Lead me in the path of your commandments, for I delight in it.

NIV  Psalm 119:35 Direct me in the path of your commands, for there I find delight.

ASV  Psalm 119:35 Make me to go in the path of thy commandments; For therein do I delight.

CSB  Psalm 119:35 Help me stay on the path of Your commands, for I take pleasure in it.

NKJ  Psalm 119:35 Make me walk <01869> (08685) in the path <05410> of Your commandments <04687>, For I delight <02654> (08804) in it.

NRS  Psalm 119:35 Lead me in the path of your commandments, for I delight in it.

YLT  Psalm 119:35 Cause me to tread in the path of Thy commands, For in it I have delighted.

NAB  Psalm 119:35 Lead me in the path of your commands, for that is my delight.

NJB  Psalm 119:35 Guide me in the way of your commandments, for my delight is there.

GWN  Psalm 119:35 Lead me on the path of your commandments, because I am happy with them.

BHT  Psalm 119:35 hadrîkënî bintîb miswötey käkî-bô häpästî

BBE  Psalm 119:35 Make me go in the way of your teachings; for they are my delight.

  • Make me: Ps 119:27,36,173 Eze 36:26,27 Php 2:13 Heb 13:21 
  • for I delight in it.: Ps 23:3 Pr 3:17 4:11,18 8:20 Isa 2:3 48:17 
  • or I delight in it.: Ps 119:16 Isa 58:13,14 Ro 7:22 1Jn 5:3 

Make me walk in the path of Thy commandments,

For I delight in it.

Make me to go in the path of thy commandments.

  • The path of fellowship—with God.
  • The path of holiness—before God.
  • The path of obedience—after God.

Psalm 119:36  Incline my heart to Thy testimonies, And not to dishonest gain. (PRAYER)

NET  Psalm 119:36 Give me a desire for your rules, rather than for wealth gained unjustly.

LXE  Psalm 119:36 Incline mine heart to thy testimonies, and not to covetousness.

NLT  Psalm 119:36 Give me an eagerness for your laws rather than a love for money!

KJV  Psalm 119:36 Incline <05186> (08685) my heart <03820> unto thy testimonies <05715>, and not to covetousness <01215>.

ESV  Psalm 119:36 Incline my heart to your testimonies, and not to selfish gain!

NIV  Psalm 119:36 Turn my heart toward your statutes and not toward selfish gain.

ASV  Psalm 119:36 Incline my heart unto thy testimonies, And not to covetousness.

CSB  Psalm 119:36 Turn my heart to Your decrees and not to material gain.

NKJ  Psalm 119:36 Incline <05186> (08685) my heart <03820> to Your testimonies <05715>, And not to covetousness <01215>.

NRS  Psalm 119:36 Turn my heart to your decrees, and not to selfish gain.

YLT  Psalm 119:36 Incline my heart unto Thy testimonies, And not unto dishonest gain.

NAB  Psalm 119:36 Direct my heart toward your decrees and away from unjust gain.

NJB  Psalm 119:36 Bend my heart to your instructions, not to selfish gain.

GWN  Psalm 119:36 Direct my heart toward your written instructions rather than getting rich in underhanded ways.

BHT  Psalm 119:36 hat--libbî ´el-`ëdwötey kä we´al ´el-bäsa`

BBE  Psalm 119:36 Let my heart be turned to your unchanging word, and not to evil desire.


The leaning of the heart
is the way in which the life will lean.


If Spurgeon's words are true (and they are), it behooves each of us to frequently pray Psalm 119:36. Think of it this way. What do we usually do when our computer freezes up? We have to reboot it so that it works properly. Similarly, out heart frequently needs a "divine reboot" that we might choose to order our steps in a manner that is pleasing to the Lord and not pursuing the path of this passing world (1 Jn 2:17+).

Incline my heart to Thy testimonies - The verb incline is found only one other time in Ps 119:112 "I have inclined my heart to perform Your statutes Forever, even to the end," where the end (eqeb) can mean reward or recompense, which we will all experience at the end of this earthly life. The same Hebrew word (eqeb) is used in the prayer in Ps 119:33+ "And I shall observe it to the end." Simplistically, our human hearts are inclined one of two ways, either toward God or away from God. Is that not true? Jesus alludes to this when He teaches "“No one (absolutely no one) can serve two masters; for either he will hate the one and love the other, or he will be devoted to one and despise the other. You cannot serve God and wealth." (Mt 6:24+)

NOTE ON THE IMPERATIVE IN PRAYER - Usually when an imperative is spoken or stated, it comes from one who is superior and is spoken to one who is an inferior. For example, in Mark 5:8+ Jesus confronts the demoniac and commands the demon "Come out (aorist imperative) of the man, you unclean spirit!" Then in Mark 5:12+ the unclean spirit "commands" Jesus "Send (aorist imperative) us into the pigs." Clearly Jesus has unequaled Authority, for the unclean spirit know he must obey Jesus' command to come out and yet he still speaks a command. And this is relevant in both the Old and New Testaments, for even the Disciple's model prayer has six commands (all in aorist imperative)! (Mt 6:9-14+). So what is the answer? When we recite the "Disciple's Prayer" with its six aorist imperatives, we are not being presumptuous or prideful toward God. In fact, in this context the imperative is what is known as a "weakened imperative," which functions to turn the verb into a request. (as shown in Mt 6:9-14+) Inherent in this request is the idea that we are expressing our faith that God is willing and able to fulfill our request (Sometimes He say yes, sometimes no and sometimes wait a while but He always answers). Does that help you understand the "commands" in the prayers directed to the God? This is important to understand because "weakened imperatives" are very common in the prayers in Psalm 119.

Incline (05186)(natah) means to stretch out, to extend; to pay attention. It has 3 primary nuanes  (1) spreading or stretching things (2 Sa 21:10, Jer 43:10, et al). (2) To turn aside - alteration in the present course of action (Nu 20:17, 21, Nu 22:23, 2 Sa 3:27, Ge 38:16 a bad turning aside!). "Turn aside justice (pervert) (Ex 23:6) (3) To bend (Ge 24:14, Ge 49:16, Hos 11:4, 2 Sa 22:10, Ps 144:5). 

Most usages are figurative. One's heart may "turn away" (Solomon in 1 Ki 11:2-4, 9, 2 Sa 19:14). On the other hand one's heart may be inclined to God and his commands (Josh 24:23; 1 Ki 8:58; Ps 119:36). Also common is the expression "to incline the ear" (listen with intent to obey God) (Jer 7:24, 26; Jer 11:8; Jer 17:23 et al.). God inclining His ear toward men (2 Ki 19:16; Isa 37:17; Da 9:18). Men inclining their ear to the words of a sage (Pr 4:20; Pr 5:1, 13; Pr 22:17). Natah is used  meaning "decline" = a shadow (2 Ki 20:10), day (Jdg 19:8-9), rapid physical decline (Ps 102:11; Ps 109:23).The Lord extends His arm or hand to deliver His people (Ex. 6:6; Dt. 4:34; Jer. 32:21); or to bring judgments on them and the nations (Isa. 5:25; 23:11; Ezek. 6:14).  .A measuring line is "stretched over" a city (2 Ki 21:13; Zech. 1:16; cf. Isa 44:13).

Inclining one's heart a certain way, of giving attention -- of turning from being loyal (1 Ki. 2:28); turning from righteousness or justice (Ex. 23:2; 1 Sa 8:3); or preventing it (Pr 18:5). Turning one's heart  in a certain direction (1 Sa 14:7); of being loyal (Josh. 24:23);  to turn, to show love (ḥesed̠) to someone (Ezra 7:28). Natah is used of iniquities and sin turning away the good benefits of God from His people (Jer. 5:25). There are those who turn aside, away, to twisted, crooked ways (Ps. 125:5).

Outstretched arms often represent power and the miraculous in the OT (Ex 6:6, Ex 7:5).  Stretching out something: a hand, an arm is extended or a staff,  javelin (Josh 8:18, 26) or sword (Ezekiel 30:25). Moses "stretched out" his hand (or his rod) over the waters of Egypt (Ex 7:19), over the land of Egypt (Ex 10:13), toward heaven (Ex 9:23; Ex 10:21-22) and over the Red Sea (Ex 14:16, 21, 26-27). A woman displays her pride with an "outstretched neck" (Isa 3:16). God's call to stretch out the curtains of their tents, was symbolic of growth and prosperity (Isa. 54:2). The idiom, to stretch out one's hand against someone, means to act in a hostile manner toward that person (Job 15:25).


207 verses - afternoon*(1), bend down(1), bent(1), bent down(1), bow(1), bowed(3), came to stumbling(1), cast down(1), decline(1), defraud(1), deprive(2), deviated(1), distort(1), distorts(1), entices(1), extend(1), extended(3), extends(2), followed*(2), held high(1), incline(27), inclined(7), intended(1), leaning(1), lengthen(1), lengthened(1), lengthens(1), let down(1), offer(1), outstretched(17), pervert(4), perverted(1), pitch(1), pitched(11), push aside(1), spread(3), stretch(28), stretched(32), stretched-out(1), stretches(5), stretching(2), thrust aside(1), took aside(3), turn(6), turn back(1), turn aside(9), turn away(3), turned(3), turned aside(6), turned away(4), turned...away(1), turning(1), turns(1), visited(1).

Gen. 12:8; Gen. 24:14; Gen. 26:25; Gen. 33:19; Gen. 35:21; Gen. 38:1; Gen. 38:16; Gen. 39:21; Gen. 49:15; Exod. 6:6; Exod. 7:5; Exod. 7:19; Exod. 8:5; Exod. 8:6; Exod. 8:16; Exod. 8:17; Exod. 9:22; Exod. 9:23; Exod. 10:12; Exod. 10:13; Exod. 10:21; Exod. 10:22; Exod. 14:16; Exod. 14:21; Exod. 14:26; Exod. 14:27; Exod. 15:12; Exod. 23:2; Exod. 23:6; Exod. 33:7; Num. 20:17; Num. 20:21; Num. 21:15; Num. 21:22; Num. 22:23; Num. 22:26; Num. 22:33; Num. 24:6; Deut. 4:34; Deut. 5:15; Deut. 7:19; Deut. 9:29; Deut. 11:2; Deut. 16:19; Deut. 24:17; Deut. 26:8; Deut. 27:19; Jos. 8:18; Jos. 8:19; Jos. 8:26; Jos. 24:23; Jdg. 4:11; Jdg. 9:3; Jdg. 16:30; Jdg. 19:8; 1 Sam. 8:3; 1 Sam. 14:7; 2 Sam. 2:19; 2 Sam. 2:21; 2 Sam. 3:27; 2 Sam. 6:10; 2 Sam. 6:17; 2 Sam. 16:22; 2 Sam. 19:14; 2 Sam. 21:10; 2 Sam. 22:10; 1 Ki. 2:28; 1 Ki. 8:42; 1 Ki. 8:58; 1 Ki. 11:2; 1 Ki. 11:3; 1 Ki. 11:4; 1 Ki. 11:9; 2 Ki. 17:36; 2 Ki. 19:16; 2 Ki. 20:10; 2 Ki. 21:13; 1 Chr. 13:13; 1 Chr. 15:1; 1 Chr. 16:1; 1 Chr. 21:10; 1 Chr. 21:16; 2 Chr. 1:4; 2 Chr. 6:32; Ezr. 7:28; Ezr. 9:9; Job 9:8; Job 15:25; Job 15:29; Job 23:11; Job 24:4; Job 26:7; Job 31:7; Job 36:18; Job 38:5; Ps. 17:6; Ps. 17:11; Ps. 18:9; Ps. 21:11; Ps. 27:9; Ps. 31:2; Ps. 40:1; Ps. 44:18; Ps. 45:10; Ps. 49:4; Ps. 62:3; Ps. 71:2; Ps. 73:2; Ps. 78:1; Ps. 86:1; Ps. 88:2; Ps. 102:2; Ps. 102:11; Ps. 104:2; Ps. 109:23; Ps. 116:2; Ps. 119:36; Ps. 119:51; Ps. 119:112; Ps. 119:157; Ps. 125:5; Ps. 136:12; Ps. 141:4; Ps. 144:5; Prov. 1:24; Prov. 2:2; Prov. 4:5; Prov. 4:20; Prov. 4:27; Prov. 5:1; Prov. 5:13; Prov. 7:21; Prov. 17:23; Prov. 18:5; Prov. 21:1; Prov. 22:17; Isa. 3:16; Isa. 5:25; Isa. 9:12; Isa. 9:17; Isa. 9:21; Isa. 10:2; Isa. 10:4; Isa. 14:26; Isa. 14:27; Isa. 23:11; Isa. 29:21; Isa. 30:11; Isa. 31:3; Isa. 34:11; Isa. 37:17; Isa. 40:22; Isa. 42:5; Isa. 44:13; Isa. 44:20; Isa. 44:24; Isa. 45:12; Isa. 51:13; Isa. 54:2; Isa. 55:3; Isa. 66:12; Jer. 5:25; Jer. 6:4; Jer. 6:12; Jer. 7:24; Jer. 7:26; Jer. 10:12; Jer. 10:20; Jer. 11:8; Jer. 14:8; Jer. 15:6; Jer. 17:23; Jer. 21:5; Jer. 25:4; Jer. 27:5; Jer. 32:17; Jer. 32:21; Jer. 34:14; Jer. 35:15; Jer. 43:10; Jer. 44:5; Jer. 51:15; Jer. 51:25; Lam. 2:8; Lam. 3:35; Ezek. 1:22; Ezek. 6:14; Ezek. 14:9; Ezek. 14:13; Ezek. 16:27; Ezek. 20:33; Ezek. 20:34; Ezek. 25:7; Ezek. 25:13; Ezek. 25:16; Ezek. 30:25; Ezek. 35:3; Dan. 9:18; Hos. 11:4; Amos 2:7; Amos 2:8; Amos 5:12; Zeph. 1:4; Zeph. 2:13; Zech. 1:16; Zech. 12:1; Mal. 3:5

Septuagint (Lxx) = Incline (aorist imperative) (2827)(klino) literally means to slant, slope, incline, bend. In the Septuagint, klino is often used of a prayer to God to "Incline His ear". It is used figuratively of inclining one's heart (Ps 119:36, 112 


  • Have I prayed for a heart inclined toward God, the things of eternity, the things that bring glory and honor to His Name?
  • What will my reward be? Have I abided in the Vine (Jn 15:5)?
  • Have I carried out the works that were prepared for me in Christ (Eph 2:10)?
  • Have I done it enabled by the Spirit of Christ (Eph 5:18, cf Gal 5:22-23)?
  • Have I sought earnestly to redeem the time for the glory of the Lord? (Eph 5:16)
  • Have I sought by the enabling power of the Spirit to store up for myself (and for His glory) treasure in Heaven where moth and rust will not destroy and thief will not break in and steal? (Mt 6:19-21).

Spurgeon Incline my heart unto thy testimonies. Does not this prayer appear to be superfluous, since it is evident that the Psalmist's heart was set upon obedience? We are sure that there is never a word to spare in Scripture. After asking for active virtue it was meet that the man of God should beg that his heart might be in all that he did. What would his goings be if his heart did not go? It may be that David felt a wandering desire, an inordinate leaning of his soul to worldly gain (Ed: Can we not identify dear reader? And do we not oft times need to utter this prayer?), -- possibly it even intruded into his most devout meditations, and at once he cried out for more grace. The only way to cure a wrong leaning is to have the soul bent in the opposite direction.

Holiness of heart is the cure for covetousness. What a blessing it is that we may ask the Lord even for an inclination. Our wills are free, and yet without violating their liberty, grace can incline us in the right direction. This can be done by enlightening the understanding as to the excellence of obedience, by strengthening our habits of virtue, by giving us an experience of the sweetness of piety, and by many other ways.

If any one duty is irksome to us it behooves us to offer this prayer with special reference thereto: we are to love all the Lord's testimonies, and if we fail in any one point we must pay double attention to it. The leaning of the heart is the way in which the life will lean: hence the force of the petition, "Incline my heart." Happy shall we be when we feel habitually inclined to all that is good. This is not the way in which a carnal heart ever leans; all its inclinations are in opposition to the divine testimonies.

And not to dishonest gain 

Spurgeon And not to covetousness. This is the inclination of nature, and grace must put a negative upon it. This vice is as injurious as it is common; it is as mean as it is miserable. It is idolatry, and so it dethrones God; it is selfishness, and so it is cruel to all in its power; it is sordid greed, and so it would sell the Lord himself for pieces of silver. It is a degrading, grovelling, hardening, deadening sin, which withers everything around it that is lovely and Christlike. He who is covetous is of the race of Judas, and will in all probability turn out to be himself a son of perdition. The crime of covetousness is common, but very few will confess it; for when a man heaps up gold in his heart, the dust of it blows into his eyes, and he cannot see his own fault. Our hearts must have some object of desire, and the only way to keep out worldly gain is to put in its place the testimonies of the Lord. If we are inclined or bent one way, we shall be turned from the other: the negative virtue is most surely attained by making sure of the positive grace which inevitably produces it.

Fifteen-Minute Challenge

Turn my heart toward your statutes. Psalm 119:36

Today's Scripture & Insight: Psalm 119:33–40

Dr. Charles W. Eliot, longtime president of Harvard University, believed that ordinary people who read consistently from the world’s great literature for even a few minutes a day could gain a valuable education. In 1910, he compiled selections from books of history, science, philosophy, and fine art into fifty volumes called The Harvard Classics. Each set of books included Dr. Eliot’s Reading Guide titled “Fifteen Minutes A Day” containing recommended selections of eight to ten pages for each day of the year.

What if we spent fifteen minutes a day reading God’s Word? We could say with the psalmist, “Turn my heart toward your statutes and not toward selfish gain. Turn my eyes away from worthless things; preserve my life according to your word” (Ps. 119:36–37).

Fifteen minutes a day adds up to ninety-one hours a year. But for whatever amount of time we decide to read the Bible each day, consistency is the secret and the key ingredient is not perfection but persistence. If we miss a day or a week, we can start reading again. As the Holy Spirit teaches us, God’s Word moves from our minds to our hearts, then to our hands and feet—taking us beyond education to transformation.

“Teach me, Lord, the way of your decrees, that I may follow it to the end” (v. 33). By:  David C. McCasland  (Our Daily Bread, Copyright RBC Ministries, Grand Rapids, MI. — Reprinted by permission. All rights reserved)

I turn to You, the Author, to teach me as I read Your Word today. I want to hear from You, to know You, and to grow closer to You.

Join the Fifteen-Minute Bible Reading Challenge! Visit

The Bible is the only Book whose Author is always present when it is read.


Ps 17:6 I have called upon You, for You will answer me, O God; Incline (Imperative. Heb = natah; Lxx = klino) Your ear to me, hear my speech.

Spurgeon: Incline thine ear unto me, and hear my speech. Stoop out of heaven and put thine ear to my mouth; give me thine ear all to myself, as men do when they lean over to catch every word from their friend. The Psalmist here comes back to his first prayer, and thus sets us an example of pressing our suit again and again, until we have a full assurance that we have succeeded.

Ps 18:9 He bowed (Heb = natah; Lxx = klino) the heavens also, and came down With thick darkness under His feet.

NET Bible Note: The Hebrew verb natah can carry the sense "[cause to] bend, bow down." For example Ge 49:15 pictures Issachar as a donkey that "bends" its shoulder or back under a burden. Here the LORD causes the sky, pictured as a dome or vault, to sink down as He descends in the storm.

Spurgeon: He bowed the heavens also, and came down. He came in haste, and spurned everything which impeded His rapidity. The thickest gloom concealed His splendour, and darkness was under His feet; He fought within the dense vapours, as a warrior in clouds of smoke and dust, and found out the hearts of His enemies with the sharp falchion of his vengeance. Darkness is no impediment to God; its densest gloom He makes His tent and secret pavilion. See how prayer moves earth and heaven, and raises storms to overthrow in a moment the foes of God's Israel. Things were bad for David before he prayed, but they were much worse for his foes so soon as the petition had gone up to heaven. A trustful heart, by enlisting the divine aid, turns the tables on its enemies. If I must have an enemy let him not be a man of prayer, or he will soon get the better of me by calling in his God into the quarrel.

Psalm 78:1 A Maskil of Asaph. Listen, O My people, to My instruction; Incline (Imperative. Heb = natah; Lxx = klino) your ears to the words of My mouth. 2 I will open my mouth in a parable; I will utter dark sayings of old, (Note: A number of the uses of klino in Lxx of the Psalms refer to a call for God to incline His ear. The repetition suggests that this would be a good prayer for modern saints to utter! And see especially Ps 119:36 below)

Spurgeon: Incline your ears to the words of my mouth. Give earnest attention, bow your stiff necks, lean forward to catch every syllable. We are at this day, as readers of the sacred records, bound to study them deeply, exploring their meaning, and laboring to practice their teaching. As the officer of an army commences his drill by calling for "Attention," even so every trained soldier of Christ is called upon to give ear to His words. Men lend their ears to music, how much more then should they listen to the harmonies of the gospel; they sit enthralled in the presence of an orator, how much rather should they yield to the eloquence of Heaven.

Incline your ears. Lay them close to my lips, that no parcel of this sacred language fall to the ground by your default. John Trapp.

Psalm 86:1 A Prayer of David. Incline (Imperative. Heb = natah; Lxx = klino) Your ear, O LORD, and answer me; For I am afflicted and needy.

SpurgeonBow down thine ear, O Lord, hear me. In condescension to my littleness, and in pity to my weakness, "bow down thine ear, O Lord." When our prayers are lowly by reason of our humility, or feeble by reason of our sickness, or without wing by reason of our despondency, the Lord will bow down to them, the infinitely exalted Jehovah will have respect unto them. Faith, when she has the loftiest name of God on her tongue, and calls him Jehovah, yet dares to ask from him the most tender and condescending acts of love. Great as he is he loves his children to be bold with him.

For I am poor and needy -- doubly a son of poverty, because, first, poor and without supply for my needs, and next needy, and so full of wants, though unable to supply them. Our distress is a forcible reason for our being heard by the Lord God, merciful, and gracious, for misery is ever the master argument with mercy. Such reasoning as this would never be adopted by a proud man, and when we hear it repeated in the public congregation by those great ones of the earth who count the peasantry to be little better than the earth they tread upon, it sounds like a mockery of the Most High. Of all despicable sinners those are the worst who use the language of spiritual poverty while they think themselves to be rich and increased in goods.

Pr 21:1 The king's heart is like channels of water in the hand (speaks of power) of the LORD; He turns (Heb = natah; Lxx = klino) it wherever He wishes.

NET Bible Note: The farmer channels irrigation ditches where he wants them, where they will do the most good; so does the LORD with the king. No king is supreme; the LORD rules.

Psalm 119:37  Turn away my eyes from looking at vanity, And revive me in Thy ways. (PRAYER)

NET  Psalm 119:37 Turn my eyes away from what is worthless! Revive me with your word!

LXE  Psalm 119:37 Turn away mine eyes that I may not behold vanity: quicken thou me in thy way.

NLT  Psalm 119:37 Turn my eyes from worthless things, and give me life through your word.

KJV  Psalm 119:37 Turn away <05674> (08685) mine eyes <05869> from beholding <07200> (08800) vanity <07723>; and quicken <02421> (08761) thou me in thy way <01870>.

ESV  Psalm 119:37 Turn my eyes from looking at worthless things; and give me life in your ways.

NIV  Psalm 119:37 Turn my eyes away from worthless things; preserve my life according to your word.

ASV  Psalm 119:37 Turn away mine eyes from beholding vanity, And quicken me in thy ways.

CSB  Psalm 119:37 Turn my eyes from looking at what is worthless; give me life in Your ways.

NKJ  Psalm 119:37 Turn away <05674> (08685) my eyes <05869> from looking <07200> (08800) at worthless <07723> things, And revive <02421> (08761) me in Your way <01870>.

NRS  Psalm 119:37 Turn my eyes from looking at vanities; give me life in your ways.

YLT  Psalm 119:37 Remove mine eyes from seeing vanity, In Thy way quicken Thou me.

NAB  Psalm 119:37 Avert my eyes from what is worthless; by your way give me life.

NJB  Psalm 119:37 Avert my eyes from pointless images, by your word give me life.

GWN  Psalm 119:37 Turn my eyes away from worthless things. Give me a new life in your ways.

BHT  Psalm 119:37 ha`ábër `ênay mër´ôt šäºw´ Bidräkeºkä Hayyëºnî

BBE  Psalm 119:37 Let my eyes be turned away from what is false; give me life in your ways.

  • Turn away: Nu 15:39 Jos 7:21 2Sa 11:2 Job 31:1 Pr 4:25 23:5 Isa 33:15 Mt 5:28 1Jn 2:16 
  • Revive me: Ps 119:25,40 


Turn away my eyes from looking at vanity - Literally "Make my eyes pass by from looking at what is worthless." As men of God we need God's power to turn away our eyes for the plethora of temptations now found everywhere in a nation that has jettisoned morality and accepted wanton immorality! Help us O God! Amen. This is the prayer of a humble heart, the heart of a man who realizes he is always one step away from falling into sin (cf 1 Cor 10:12). In English vanity describes the quality of being valueless, empty or futile. It is interesting that 

Turn (05674)('abar) is used of movement as a rule it is the movement of one thing in relation to some other object which is stationary, moving, or motivating. Abar figuratively indicates a specific spiritual concept. Men transgress the covenant or the law, i.e. move outside or beyond the requirements of the covenant or law by committing adultery and practicing idolatry (Deut. 17:2) or other sin. Moses uses the word when charging the people with disobeying and overstepping the Lord's commands (Num. 14:41; Josh. 7:11, 15). Esther 3:3 depicts Mordecai's transgressing of the king's command.

Septuagint Turn away (in aorist imperative) (654)(apostrepho from apo = away from, a marker of dissociation, implying a rupture from a former association and indicates separation, departure, cessation, reversal + strepho = turn quite around, twist, reverse, turn oneself about) means literally to turn back or away. Classic use of apostrepho - turn, turn to, turn oneself, turn round. Describes a largely intentional turning of the body, or thoughts, to a person or thing.

Looking (07200)(ra'ah) means to see especially to see with the eyes (Ge 27:1) which various nuances such as to see so that one can learn to know, whether it be another person (Dt. 33:9) or God (Dt. 1:31; 11:2), to experience (Jer 5:12; 14:13; 20:18; 42:14), to perceive (Ge 1:4, 10, 12, 18, 21, 25, 31; Ex. 3:4), to see by volition or personal choice of one's will (Ge 9:22, 23; 42:9, 12); to look after or to visit (Ge 37:14; 1 Sa 20:29); to watch (1 Sa 6:9); to find (1 Sa 16:17); to select (2 Ki 10:3); to be concerned with (Ge 39:23).

Vanity (worthless, deceitful, empty, false) (07723)(shav) means deceit, lie, or falsehood.

THOUGHT - A good example of something that is deceitful and full of lies is idolatry. Idols were declared worthless (shav) in Jeremiah 18:15 ("worthless gods"). These idols led the people of God to forget Him, because God tolerates no usurpers (see Mt 6:24+). Have you ever considered some of the things you are looking at (at times with lustful eyes) are in effect idols?! We don't normally think that way in the 21st century, but idols are absolutely everywhere today! And since they deceive and lie, they will promise one thing (e.g., pleasure, cf Heb 11:25+), but will steal from our life. The NT warnes us repeatedly "Do not be deceived (in the form of a command ) - read these passages in context - 1 Co. 6:9; 1 Co. 15:33; Gal. 6:7+; Jas. 1:16+ (cf Hebrews 3:13b+). 

Septuagint - Vanity (3153)(mataiotes from mataios = vain, empty <> derived from maten = to no purpose or in vain) means emptiness, vanity, nonsense, nothingness! Thayer says mataiotes is a "purely Biblical and ecclesiastical word" which describes "what is devoid of truth and appropriateness". It defines the inability to reach a goal or achieve a purpose. Mataiotes describes the state of being without use or value, emptiness, futility, purposelessness, transitoriness. It has the quality of being empty, fruitless, nonproductive, useless. Mataiotes speaks of want of attainment with the idea of aimlessness or of leading to no object or end. As discussed above  "vain things" was a Jewish name for the Gentile idols, which represented ideas and conceptions of a god that had no intrinsic value or correspondence to the real truth about the Living God. The heathen are concerned with empty things which do not matter in the eternal scheme of things. Their mind was void of useful aims or goals (eternally speaking).

A good verse to memorize which parallels this passage is Psalm 101:3 -

 I will set no worthless thing before my eyes;
I hate the work of those who fall away;
It shall not fasten its grip on me. 

Comment - Notice the personal pronouns (I, my, I, me). David is not saying he could do this in his strength. He knew about setting worthless things before his eyes, experiencing their power to fasten a grip on his heart (adultery with Bathsheba)! While each of us is personally responsible for what we allow before our eyes, God's Spirit today is in us to give us the desire and power to accomplish this objective (see Php 2:13NLT+). Note the word fasten is dabaq which means to stick like glue (first use in Ge 2:24 is poignant = "be joined" or cleave)! Beware what you watch or it will stick like glue! 

And revive me in Thy ways - This prayer indicates the psalmist senses his need for revival. And it is linked with God's Spirit causing him to turn from looking at vain, empty, worthless things. You (I) don't wrestle continually with your eyes, do you? (A rhetorical question of course!) In our visually stimulating society where youtube videos go viral, where cell phones allow viewing of all manner of visual stimuli, our eyes are bombarded hundreds, if not thousands of times a day! If you don't think you need revival you won't pray this prayer. If you don't think you need revival, you are prideful, deluded and in desperate need of humility, for as  James says "He gives a greater grace (AND GRACE IS OUR GREAT NEED!). Therefore it says, “GOD IS OPPOSED TO THE PROUD, BUT GIVES GRACE TO THE HUMBLE.” (James 4:6+) The Greek translates "revive" in Ps 119:37 with the verb zao which means to live and it is not a shy asking of God but is in the aorist imperative which is a desperate cry for God's Spirit to breathe new life into our hearts! 

Watch What You Watch

Read: 1 Corinthians 6:9-20

Turn away my eyes from looking at worthless things. —Psalm 119:37

Is your living room the site of daily murders? Do you routinely entertain guests who swear at you and make fun of your faith? Have you ever had somebody drop by and try to convince you that sexual sin is a joking matter and that violence is entertaining?

You’ve had all these things happen in your house if you’ve watched many of the programs on TV. This is not late-breaking news. The moral content of television has been on the decline for years. But that doesn’t mean we have to go down with it.

The psalmist, who knew as much about TV as most of us know about tending sheep, said, “Turn away my eyes from looking at worthless things” (Ps. 119:37). That’s a good verse to post over our TV set.

For the most part, the entertainment world is serious about casting off restraints. Just as seriously, we should protect our minds. These guidelines can help:

  • Avoid jokes about sex (1 Cor. 6:18; Eph. 5:3-4,12).
  • Don’t listen to vulgar language (Eph. 5:4).
  • Don’t let ads cause you to covet (Ex. 20:17; Col. 3:5).
  • Don’t let your eyes cause you to sin (Mt. 18:9).

Honor God with your viewing habits. When it comes to entertainment, watch what you watch.By Dave Branon (Our Daily Bread, Copyright RBC Ministries, Grand Rapids, MI. — Reprinted by permission. All rights reserved)

Temptation's face is young and soft
And smooth in its appeal;
But when it's through it ruins lives
With velvet fists of steel.

Use self-control with your remote control.

Failing Memory

Turn away my eyes from looking at worthless things, and revive me in Your way. —Psalm 119:37

Today's Scripture: Psalm 119:33-40

A New York Times article linked the increase of computer storage with the decrease of data in the human mind. Our electronic aids now remember phone numbers, driving directions, and other information we used to learn by repeated use. In schools, memorization and oral recitation are disappearing from the curriculum. We have become, according to the Times, “products of a culture that does not enforce the development of memory skills.”

Yet never have we as followers of Christ been in greater need of hiding God’s Word in our hearts (Ps. 119:9-11). Scripture memory is more than a helpful mental exercise. The goal is to saturate our minds with God’s truth so that our lives will conform to His ways. The psalmist wrote: “Teach me, O Lord, the way of Your statutes, and I shall keep it to the end. . . . Turn away my eyes from looking at worthless things, and revive me in Your way” (Ps. 119:33,37).

Why not begin committing Scripture to memory? Daily consistency and review are keys to success. And just like physical exercise, this spiritual discipline is enhanced when done with a small group or with a friend.

Let’s not forget to remember and follow the life-giving wisdom of God’s Word. By:  David C. McCasland (Our Daily Bread, Copyright RBC Ministries, Grand Rapids, MI. — Reprinted by permission. All rights reserved)

God’s Word will change your life
If you will do your part
To read, to study, and obey,
And hide it in your heart.

Let the Bible fill your mind, rule your heart, and guide your life.

Definitions & Descriptions

Vance Havner defined REVIVAL  as "a work of God's Spirit among His own people . . . what we call revival is simply New Testament Christianity, the saints getting back to normal.''

Martyn Lloyd-Jones said, "The essence of revival is that the Holy Spirit comes down upon a number of people together; upon a whole church, a number of churches, districts or perhaps a whole country. It is a visitation or outpouring of the Holy Spirit - God has come down among them."

True revival is marked by powerful and often widespread outpourings of the Spirit. Many times preaching has to cease because the hearers were prostrate or because the voice of the preacher was drowned by cries for mercy. "The Holy Spirit FELL ON all them which heard the Word." (Acts 10:44)

Jonathan Edwards son-in-law David Brainherd who prayed in the snow until it melted around him and was stained by his blood as he coughed away his life with T.B. prevailed in prayer for revival among the American Indians. Before he died he describes in his journal how it finally began in 1745:     "The power of God seemed to descend on the assembly 'like a rushing mighty wind' and with an astonishing energy bore all down before it. I stood amazed at the influence that seized the audience almost universally and could compare it to nothing more aptly than the irresistible force of a mighty torrent . . . Almost all persons of all ages were bowed down with concern together and scarce one was able to withstand the shock of the astonishing operation." 

Brian Edwards comments: "Someone has described revival as 'the top blowing off' and that is very true. But the top does not blow off before the bottom has fallen out." (Brian H. Edwards: Revival: A People Saturated With God" p.130)

Arthur Wallis in his classic study "In The Day Of Thy Power" points out the word is determined by its usage. It had historical consistency of meaning up until recent years, where (especially in America) it began to take on a lesser, more limited sense.Nevertheless, he says:  "Numerous writings on the subject preserved confirm that revival is Divine intervention in the normal course of spiritual things. It is God revealing Himself to man in aweful holiness and irresistible power. It is such a manifest working of God that human personalities are overshadowed and human programmes abandoned. It is man retiring into the background because God has taken the field. It is the Lord . . . working in extraordinary power on saint and sinner."

J. Edwin Orr, a prolific writer and eminent authority of both scholarship and experience in the subject defined a spiritual awakening as "a movement of the Holy Spirit bringing about a revival of New Testament Christianity in the Church of Christ and its related community." It may significantly change an individual, a group of believers, a congregation, a city, a country or even eventually the world but it accomplishes "the reviving of the Church, the awakening of the masses and the movement of uninstructed peoples towards the Christian faith; the revived church by many or few is moved to engage in evangelism, teaching and social action."

A.W. Tozer defined revival as that which "changes the moral climate of a community."

Revival is essentially manifestation of God; it has the stamp of Deity on it which even the unregenerate and uninitiated are quick to recognize. Duncan Campbell described it as a "community saturated with God." Revival must of necessity make an impact on the community and this is one means by which we may distinguish it from the more usual operations of the Holy Spirit." (Wallis,op. cit.) John Dawson points out that the community of the twentieth century is different from that of previous ages; modern communities are "linked vocational villages of communication" not necessarily geographically connected. A revival in the 18th Century affected your neighbor who probably lived next door; a revival that affects your neighbor in the Twentieth Century may touch neighbors in touch with you who live hundreds or even thousands of miles away, and are linked not by geographic location but by common vocation and communication. Revival is what the church first experiences; evangelism is then what she engages in. Revival is periodic; evangelism is continuous. Revival cannot last; evangelism must not stop.

Do we want a revival? Do we really? James Burns writing in "Revival, Their Laws and Leaders" said in 1909: "To the church, a revival means humiliation, a bitter knowledge of unworthiness and an open and humiliating confession of sin on the part of her minsters and people. It is not the easy and glorious thing many think it to be, who imagine it fills pews and reinstates the church in power and authority. "It comes to scorch before it heals; it comes to condemn ministers and people for their unfaithful witness, for their selfish living, for their neglect of the cross, and to call them to daily renunciation, to an evangelical poverty and to a deep and daily consecration. That is why a revival has ever been unpopular with large numbers within the church. Because it says nothing to them of power such as they have learned to love, or of ease, or of success; it accuses them of sin, it tells them they are dead, it calls them to awake, to renounce the world and to follow Christ."
    "The inevitable and constant preliminary to revival has always been a thirst for God, a thirst, a living thirst for a knowledge of the living God and a longing and a burning desire to see Him acting, manifesting himself and his power, rising and scattering his enemies . . . The thirst for God and longing for the exhibition of His glory are the essential preliminaries." D.M. Lloyd-Jones: Revival pp.90-91)

SUDDENNESS  "and suddenly there came . . ." v.2.

Revival is a Divine attack on society. In revival God's work may be sudden and unexpected; often even believers are caught unawares, while fear and astonishment grip unbelievers hearts: "There was nothing, humanly speaking to account for what happened" noted Joseph Kemp of Charlotte Chapel in Edinburgh in 1905. "Quite suddenly, upon one and another came an overwhelming sense of the reality and awfulness of His Presence and of eternal things. Life, death and eternity seemed suddenly laid bare."
    Revival is God springing a convicting surprise on His creation: "I have declared the former things from of old; yea they went forth out of My mouth and I shewed them; SUDDENLY I did them and they came to pass, and new things do I declare; before they SPRING FORTH I tell you of them." (Isa 42:9; 2 Chron.29:36)
    "The effect of the sudden working of the Spirit in revival is very striking in the conviction of sinners. Often without any preparatory concern or even thought for spiritual things, a sinner will be suddenly seized with overwhelming conviction of sin."
    (Acts 3:19 - "seasons of refreshing . . . from the presence of the Lord") . . . "a movement bears this mark of spontaneity when men cannot account for what has taken place in terms of personalities, organizations, meetings, preachings, or any other consecrated activity; and when the work continues unabated without any human control. As soon as a movement becomes controlled or organized, it has ceased to be spontaneous - it is no longer a revival. The course of the 1904 revival has been outlined thus: "God began to work; then the Devil began to work in opposition; then God began to work all the harder; then man began to work and the revival came to an end."
The spirit of revival is the consciousness of God. Men were "pricked in their heart" (Acts 3:7) "fear came on every soul" (v.43) "The effects of such manifestations of God are twofold; men are made aware both of His power and His holiness. This manifestation . . . was intensely personal.". . . It is God moving in power and holiness toward you; God coming for you, and calling your name! "Here is an outstanding feature of revival; it is easy to see why it results in overwhelming conviction both among the saved and the lost whenever there is unjudged sin . . . At such times man is not only conscious God is there; but that He is there, it seems to deal with him alone, until he is oblivious of all but his own soul in the agonizing grip of a holy God. If these facts are bourne in mind, the extraordinary effects of past revivals will not seem incredible. The ruthless logic of Jonathan Edwards famous discourse "Sinners In the Hands of an Angry God" could not have produced the effect it did had not God been in the midst.""When they went into the meeting house the appearance of the assembly was thoughtless and vain; the people scarcely conducted themselves with common decency." recorded Trumbull, but goes on to describe the effects of the sermon: "the assembly appeared bowed with an awful conviction of their sin and danger. There was such a breathing of distress and weeping that the preacher was obliged to speak to the people and desire silence that he might be heard." Conant says, "Many of the hearers were seen unconsciously holding themselves up against the pillars and the sides of the pews as though they already felt themselves sliding into the pit."

This overwhelming sense of God bringing deep conviction of sin is perhaps the outstanding feature of true revival. Its manifestation is not always the same; to cleansed hearts it is heaven; to convicted hearts it is Hell.

Spurgeon noted "If you read the story of the Reformation, or the later story . . . of Whitefield and Wesley, you are struck with the singular spirit that went with the preachers. The world said they were mad; the caricaturists drew them as being fanatical beyond all endurance; but there it was, their zeal was their power. Of course the world scoffed at that of which it was afraid. The world fears enthusiasm, the sacred enthusiasm kindled by the thought of the ruin of men and by the desire to pluck the firebrands from the flame, the enthusiasm which believes in the Holy Ghost, which believes God is still present with His church to do wonders.""Dislike of enthusiasm," said D.M.Lloyd-Jones "is to quench the Spirit. Those . . . familiar with the history of the Church and in particular the history of revivals will know this charge of enthusiasm is one always brought against people most active in a period of revival. (Revival op. cit p.72)

SEVEN ''REVIVALS'' IN THE OT: Dr. Wilbur Smith notes seven "outstanding revivals" in the Old Testament in addition to the
one under Jonah. 

1) In Jacob's household (Gen. 35:1-15); 
2). Under Asa (2 Chron.15:1ff); 
3). Jehoash (2 Kings 11,12; 2 Chron 23,24); 
4. Hezekiah (2 Kings 18:4-7; 2 Chron. 29:31)
5). Josiah (2 Kings 22,23; 2 Chron. 34,35) 
6&7). Two revivals after the Exile under Zerubbabel (Ezra 5,6) in which Haggai and Zechariah play a prominent part and finally in Nehemiah's time in which Ezra was the outstanding figure (Neh.9:9; 12:44-47)

(1) They occurred in a day of deep moral darkness and national depression
(2) They began in the heart of one consecrated servant of God who became the energizing
power behind it, the agent used of God to quicken and lead the nation back to faith in and obedience to Him
(3) Each revival rested on the Word of God and most were the result of preaching and proclaiming Gods law with power
(4) All resulted in a return to the worship of Jehovah
(5) Each witnessed the destruction of idols where they existed 
(6) In each revival there was a recorded separation from sin.
(7) In every revival they returned to offering blood sacrifices
(8) Almost all recorded show restored great joy and gladness
(9) Each revival was followed by a period of great national prosperity. 

 The Greek equivalent of the OT word for revive is only used five times in the NT. "Why is it not more of a N.T. word? For the simple reason that New Testament Christianity IS revived Christianity." (Spurgeon On Revival: Eric W. Hayden). This Greek word-- anazao (G 326) is used for the restoration of the prodigal son (Luke 15:24,32) the resurrection of Christ (Rom. 14:9) and the physical resurrection of the dead in the last days (Rev.20:5) but also for the deadly effect of sin (Rom. 7:9).
    The primary aim is to lead souls to repentance . . . There is so much emphasis today on believing,receiving, deciding and so on and so little on the vital step of repenting . . . the men dealt faithfullywith the question of sin that the conscience might be aroused." 
    "It was a precept of Wesley to his evangelists in unfolding their message to speak first in  general of the love of God to man; then with all possible energy so as to search the conscience to its depths, to preach the law of holiness; and then, and not till then, to uplift the glories of the gospel of pardon and of life. Intentionally or not, his directions follow the lines of the epistle to Romans."
    (Bishop Hadley Moule on Romans) John Nelson records of Wesley at Moorfields, "His countenance struck such an awful dread upon me before I heard him speak that it made my heart beat like the  pendulum of a clock; and when he did speak, I thought his whole discourse was aimed at me." (Wesley, Pollock p.154)

Try this little survey:
1). How many of you know we NEED a revival? 
Almost everyone raises their hands here. The knowledge of this fact hardly takes scholarship or devotion.

2). How many of you WANT a revival? 
Again, a majority opinion in church groups. And in the 80's so did around 80% of the country according to George Gallup Jr. Even the lost know we need a revival!

3). How many of you know WHAT a revival is?
The number drops off alarmingly now. Here is something we all want, we all know we need, but we don't have a clue what it is!

4). How many of you have ever EXPERIENCED a real revival? 
And here, very few if any, ever respond. "Another generation arose that did not know the mighty works of the Lord".
And that, friend, is the reason for this book. Jdg 2:10 

Psalm 119:38  Establish Thy word to Thy servant, As that which produces reverence for Thee. (PRAYER)

NET  Psalm 119:38 Confirm to your servant your promise, which you made to the one who honors you.

LXE  Psalm 119:38 Confirm thine oracle to thy servant, that he may fear thee.

NLT  Psalm 119:38 Reassure me of your promise, made to those who fear you.

KJV  Psalm 119:38 Stablish <06965> (08685) thy word <0565> unto thy servant <05650>, who is devoted to thy fear <03374>.

ESV  Psalm 119:38 Confirm to your servant your promise, that you may be feared.

NIV  Psalm 119:38 Fulfill your promise to your servant, so that you may be feared.

ASV  Psalm 119:38 Confirm unto thy servant thy word, Which is in order unto the fear of thee.

CSB  Psalm 119:38 Confirm what You said to Your servant, for it produces reverence for You.

NKJ  Psalm 119:38 Establish <06965> (08685) Your word <0565> to Your servant <05650>, Who is devoted to fearing <03374> You.

NRS  Psalm 119:38 Confirm to your servant your promise, which is for those who fear you.

YLT  Psalm 119:38 Establish to Thy servant Thy saying, That is concerning Thy fear.

NAB  Psalm 119:38 For your servant fulfill your promise made to those who fear you.

NJB  Psalm 119:38 Keep your promise to your servant so that all may hold you in awe.

GWN  Psalm 119:38 Keep your promise to me so that I can fear you.

BHT  Psalm 119:38 häqëm lü`abDükä ´imräteºkä ´ášer lüyir´äteºkä

BBE  Psalm 119:38 Give effect to your word to your servant, in whose heart is the fear of you.

  • Establish: Ps 119:49 2Sa 7:25-29 2Co 1:20 
  • that which produces reverence for Thee: Ps 103:11,13,17 145:19 147:11 Jer 32:39-41 

Establish Thy word to Thy servant, As that which produces reverence for Thee.

Psalm 119:39 Turn away my reproach which I dread, For Thine ordinances are good. (PRAYER)

NET  Psalm 119:39 Take away the insults that I dread! Indeed, your regulations are good.

LXE  Psalm 119:39 Take away my reproach which I have feared: for thy judgments are good.

NLT  Psalm 119:39 Help me abandon my shameful ways; for your regulations are good.

KJV  Psalm 119:39 Turn away <05674> (08685) my reproach <02781> which I fear <03025> (08804): for thy judgments <04941> are good <02896>.

ESV  Psalm 119:39 Turn away the reproach that I dread, for your rules are good.

NIV  Psalm 119:39 Take away the disgrace I dread, for your laws are good.

ASV  Psalm 119:39 Turn away my reproach whereof I am afraid; For thine ordinances are good.

CSB  Psalm 119:39 Turn away the disgrace I dread; indeed, Your judgments are good.

NKJ  Psalm 119:39 Turn away <05674> (08685) my reproach <02781> which I dread <03025> (08804), For Your judgments <04941> are good <02896>.

NRS  Psalm 119:39 Turn away the disgrace that I dread, for your ordinances are good.

YLT  Psalm 119:39 Remove my reproach that I have feared, For Thy judgments are good.

NAB  Psalm 119:39 Turn away from me the taunts I dread, for your edicts bring good.

NJB  Psalm 119:39 Avert the taunts that I dread, for your judgements are generous.

GWN  Psalm 119:39 Take away insults, which I dread, because your regulations are good.

BHT  Psalm 119:39 ha`ábër HerPätî ´ášer yägöºrTî Kî mišPä†Êºkä †ôbîm

BBE  Psalm 119:39 Take away the shame which is my fear; for your decisions are good.

  • run: Song 1:4 Isa 40:31 1Co 9:24-26 Heb 12:1 
  • enlarge: Ps 119:45 18:36 1Ki 4:29 Job 36:15,16 Isa 60:5 61:1 Lu 1:74,75 Joh 8:32,36 2Co 3:17 6:11 1Pe 2:16 

Turn away my reproach which I dread, For Thine ordinances are good.

Psalm 119:40 Behold, I long for Thy precepts; Revive me through Thy righteousness. (PRAYER)

NET  Psalm 119:40 Look, I long for your precepts. Revive me with your deliverance!

LXE  Psalm 119:40 Behold, I have desired thy commandments: quicken me in thy righteousness.

NLT  Psalm 119:40 I long to obey your commandments! Renew my life with your goodness. Waw

KJV  Psalm 119:40 Behold, I have longed <08373> (08804) after thy precepts <06490>: quicken <02421> (08761) me in thy righteousness <06666>.

ESV  Psalm 119:40 Behold, I long for your precepts; in your righteousness give me life!

NIV  Psalm 119:40 How I long for your precepts! Preserve my life in your righteousness.

ASV  Psalm 119:40 Behold, I have longed after thy precepts: Quicken me in thy righteousness.

CSB  Psalm 119:40 How I long for Your precepts! Give me life through Your righteousness.

NKJ  Psalm 119:40 Behold, I long <08373> (08804) for Your precepts <06490>; Revive <02421> (08761) me in Your righteousness <06666>.

NRS  Psalm 119:40 See, I have longed for your precepts; in your righteousness give me life.

YLT  Psalm 119:40 Lo, I have longed for Thy precepts, In Thy righteousness quicken Thou me,

NAB  Psalm 119:40 See how I long for your precepts; in your justice give me life.

NJB  Psalm 119:40 See how I yearn for your precepts; in your saving justice give me life.

GWN  Psalm 119:40 I long for your guiding principles. Give me a new life in your righteousness.

BHT  Psalm 119:40 hinnË Tä´aºbTî lüpiqqùdʺkä Bücidqätkä Hayyëºnî

BBE  Psalm 119:40 See how great is my desire for your orders: give me life in your righteousness.

  • I long: Ps 119:5,20 Mt 26:41 Ro 7:24 2Co 7:1 Ga 5:17 Php 3:13,14 
  • Revive: Ps 119:25,37,88,107,149,156,159 Mk 9:24 Joh 5:21 10:10 1Co 15:45 Eph 2:5 3Jn 1:2 

Behold, I long for Thy precepts - Long for is (Qal Perfect) and only other use is Ps 119:174 " I long for Your salvation, O LORD."

Septuagint (Lxx) = Long for (1937)(epithumeo from epí = upon, used intensively + thumós = passion) is literally one's passion upon, to have a strong desire, to desire greatly, in this case God's precepts! The idea is he had fixed his desire upon God's precepts. It is interesting that the preposition epi can express motion toward or upon and thus one lexicon defines it as to set one's heart upon. In sum, epithumeo describes a strong impulse toward something so that one's passions or affections directed toward some object, thing or person. Jesus used epithumeo with its evil connotation here in Mt 5:28+, where epithumeo describes a husband's lustful passion directly toward a woman who is not his wife. 

THOUGHT Notice that the use of epithumeo in Ps 119:40 gives us a great pattern as to how we can fight the good fight against the sinful longing Jesus warned about in Mt 5:28+. What is the pattern? In context it is to "long for Thy precepts!" This powerful principle is also known as the Expulsive Power of a New Affection the new longing directed toward the Lord in effect negating the longing of the Old Man for gratification of the flesh!

Revive me through Thy righteousness - Note the juxtaposition of God's precepts and revival. As David said in Psalm 19:7 "The law of the LORD is perfect, restoring the soul." This recalls the earlier prayer by the psalmist "My soul cleaves to the dust; Revive me according to Your word." (Psalm 119:25, cf Ps 119:107, Ps 119:149) 

THOUGHT Note that the word "revive" appears only 18x in the entire OT but Psalm 119 has 11 uses!  Ps. 119:25; Ps. 119:37; Ps. 119:40; Ps. 119:50; Ps. 119:88; Ps. 119:93; Ps. 119:107; Ps. 119:149; Ps. 119:154; Ps. 119:156; Ps. 119:159. Given this concentration of the word "revive" in Psalm 119 and our dire need for daily revival because of the "spiritual leakage" inherent in living in a godless world, it behooves all God's children to frequently immerse themselves in the living waters of Psalm 119! When was the last time you read and meditated on some of the verses in this life giving psalm?

Psalm 119:41 Vav. May Your lovingkindnesses also come to me, O LORD, Your salvation according to Your word; 


Psalm 119:42  So I will have an answer for him who reproaches me, For I trust in Your word. 


Psalm 119:43 And do not take the word of truth utterly out of my mouth, For I wait for Your ordinances. 


Psalm 119:44 So I will keep Your law continually, Forever and ever. 


Psalm 119:45  And I will walk at liberty, For I seek Your precepts. 


Psalm 119:46  I will also speak of Your testimonies before kings And shall not be ashamed. 


Psalm 119:47


Psalm 119:48 And I shall lift up my hands to Your commandments, Which I love; And I will meditate on Your statutes. 


Psalm 119:49  Zayin. Remember the word to Your servant, In which You have made me hope. 


Psalm 119:50 This is my comfort in my affliction, That Your word has revived me. 


Psalm 119:51 The arrogant utterly deride me, Yet I do not turn aside from Your law. 


Psalm 119:52 I have remembered Your ordinances from of old, O LORD, And comfort myself. 


Psalm 119:53 Burning indignation has seized me because of the wicked, Who forsake Your law. 


Psalm 119:54 Your statutes are my songs In the house of my pilgrimage. 


Psalm 119:55  O LORD, I remember Your name in the night, And keep Your law. 


Psalm 119:56 This has become mine, That I observe Your precepts. 


Psalm 119:57 Heth. The LORD is my portion; I have promised to keep Your words. 

  • my portion: Ps 16:5 73:26 142:5 Jer 10:16 La 3:24 
  • I have: Ps 119:106,115 66:14 De 26:17,18 Jos 24:15,18,21,24-27 Ne 10:29-39 

The LORD is my portion  - Portion is the first word in the Hebrew sentence! 

Lam 3:24  "The LORD is my portion," says my soul, "Therefore I have hope in Him."

Comment on Jeremiah's declaration - This statement reflects an absolute dependence upon God. Jeremiah is saying that the Lord alone is enough. It is God who sustains and satisfies, even in the midst of deep disappointment. This passage challenges us all to believe that relationship with God is more satisfying than the things of the world. This is a truth to which most of us quickly give mental assent. But when we look at our lives, we find that too often we simply do not believe it. We often turn instead to the empty idols of the world in a futile search of satisfaction. David repeatedly attests in the psalms to the satisfaction he experienced in his relationship with God  (Ps63:4,v5 16:11 cp 73:25,26). Jeremiah also discovered this crucial difference between hoping for something from God and hoping in Him. Hope by its very nature captivates both our hearts and heads. It evokes deep emotion. It moves in and makes itself at home in our souls. It takes up residence at the very core of who we are. That is why it is so vital that we begin to place our hope in the Lord. Hoping in the Lord means recognizing that the things of this world aren’t going to satisfy the ache in our souls, no matter how good they are or how much we long to believe they will. Christian hope is not a hope so, but a hope sure!  Hope in the Lord = Ps. 31:24; Ps. 130:7; Ps. 131:3

Portion (02506) (cheleq) commonly refers to a share in an inheritance, share, lot. Early in OT is used with a technical nuance of share of land given to all the tribes when they entered the land. Cheleq may refer to a "portion" or "share" of booty divided among competitors (Gen. 14:24; 1 Sam. 30:24), or it may be a share of property or possession. "A share, a piece of territory in many ways: a part of booty or spoil (Gen. 14:24; Num. 31:36); of food (Lev. 6:17[10]); a tract or portion of land (Josh. 19:9; Hos. 5:7; Mic. 2:4); of Israel as a possession of the Lord (Deut. 32:9). It is used metaphorically of a person's doing his or her part in something (Job 32:17); of one's association or part or sharing in another group or way of life (Ps. 50:18; Isa. 57:6); or of the portion or share of fortune that the Lord gives to persons (Job 31:2). The portion or proper share for the wicked is punishment or calamity (Isa. 17:14)." (Complete Word Study Dictionary OT)

62 vereses - Gen. 14:24; Gen. 31:14; Lev. 6:17; Num. 18:20; Num. 31:36; Deut. 10:9; Deut. 12:12; Deut. 14:27; Deut. 14:29; Deut. 18:1; Deut. 18:8; Deut. 32:9; Jos. 14:4; Jos. 15:13; Jos. 18:5; Jos. 18:6; Jos. 18:7; Jos. 18:9; Jos. 19:9; Jos. 22:25; Jos. 22:27; 1 Sam. 30:24; 2 Sam. 20:1; 1 Ki. 12:16; 2 Ki. 9:10; 2 Ki. 9:36; 2 Ki. 9:37; 2 Chr. 10:16; Neh. 2:20; Job 17:5; Job 20:29; Job 27:13; Job 31:2; Job 32:17; Ps. 16:5; Ps. 17:14; Ps. 50:18; Ps. 73:26; Ps. 119:57; Ps. 142:5; Eccl. 2:10; Eccl. 2:21; Eccl. 3:22; Eccl. 5:18; Eccl. 5:19; Eccl. 9:6; Eccl. 9:9; Eccl. 11:2; Isa. 17:14; Isa. 57:6; Isa. 61:7; Jer. 10:16; Jer. 51:19; Lam. 3:24; Ezek. 45:7; Ezek. 48:8; Ezek. 48:21; Hos. 5:7; Amos 7:4; Mic. 2:4; Hab. 1:16; Zech. 2:12

Part (share) (3310)(meris) refers to (1) a portion of a whole that has been divided ("district" in Acts 16:12). (2) a share or an assigned portion (Lk 10:42, 2Co 6:15, Acts 8:21, Col 1:12). In the OT, God’s people had an earthly inheritance, the land of Canaan, and each tribe received its portion of the lot. Christians have a spiritual inheritance in Christ (cf prayer of the hymn "Be Thou My Vision"). Crossing the Jordan to Canaan is unfortunately often portrayed as a picture of heaven but this is not an accurate portrayal for there will be no battles or defeats in heaven. More accurately, Canaan can be considered a picture of our present inheritance in kingdom of God's beloved Son, Jesus Christ.

I have promised to keep Your words. 

he Best Portion of All

I have learned the secret of being content in any and every situation. Philippians 4:12

Today's Scripture & Insight: Psalm 73:21–28

“His piece is bigger than mine!”

When I was a boy my brothers and I would sometimes bicker about the size of the piece of homemade pie mom served us. One day Dad observed our antics with a lifted eyebrow, and smiled at Mom as he lifted his plate: “Please just give me a piece as big as your heart.” My brothers and I watched in stunned silence as Mom laughed and offered him the largest portion of all.

If we focus on others’ possessions, jealousy too often results. Yet God’s Word lifts our eyes to something of far greater worth than earthly possessions. The psalmist writes, “You are my portion, Lord; I have promised to obey your words. I have sought your face with all my heart” (Ps. 119:57–58). Inspired by the Holy Spirit, the writer conveyed the truth that nothing matters more than closeness to God.

What better portion could we have than our loving and limitless Creator? Nothing on earth can compare with Him, and nothing can take Him away from us. Human longing is an expansive void; one may have “everything” in the world and still be miserable. But when God is our source of happiness, we are truly content. There’s a space within us only God can fill. He alone can give us the peace that matches our hearts.By:  James Banks (Our Daily Bread, Copyright RBC Ministries, Grand Rapids, MI. — Reprinted by permission. All rights reserved)

Loving Lord, thank You that nothing and no one can meet my every need like You can.

When we are His, He is ours, forever.

You have made us for yourself, Lord. Our hearts are restless until they can find rest in You. --Augustine of Hippo

Psalm 119:58  I sought Your favor with all my heart; Be gracious to me according to Your word. 


Psalm 119:59 I considered my ways And turned my feet to Your testimonies. 


Psalm 119:60 I hastened and did not delay To keep Your commandments.


Psalm 119:61 The cords of the wicked have encircled me, But I have not forgotten Your law. 


Psalm 119:62  At midnight I shall rise to give thanks to You Because of Your righteous ordinances. 


Psalm 119:63  I am a companion of all those who fear You, And of those who keep Your precepts. 


Psalm 119:64 The earth is full of Your lovingkindness, O LORD; Teach me Your statutes. 


Psalm 119:65 Teth. You have dealt well with Your servant, O LORD, according to Your word. 


Psalm 119:66 Teach me good discernment and knowledge, For I believe in Your commandments. 


Psalm 119:67 Before I was afflicted I went astray, But now I keep Your word. 

Spurgeon - An old Puritan said, “God’s people are like birds; they sing best in cages, they sing best when in the deepest trouble.” Said old Master Brooks, “The deeper the flood was, the higher the ark went up to heaven.” So it is with the child of God: the deeper his troubles the nearer to heaven he goeth, if he lives close to his Master. Troubles are called weights; and a weight, you know, generally cloggeth and keepeth down to the earth; but there are ways, by the use of the laws of mechanics, by which you can make a weight lift you; and so it is possible to make your troubles lift you nearer heaven instead of making them sink you. Ah! we thank our God, He has sometimes opened our mouth when we were dumb; when we were ungrateful, and did not praise Him, He has opened our mouth by a trial; and though when we had a thousand mercies we did not bless Him, when He sent a sharp affliction, then we began to bless Him....Often our trials act as a thorn-hedge to keep us in the good pasture; but our prosperity is a gap through which we go astray.

Psalm 119:68 You are good and do good; Teach me Your statutes. 


Psalm 119:69 The arrogant have forged a lie against me; With all my heart I will observe Your precepts. 


Psalm 119:70 Their heart is covered with fat, But I delight in Your law. 

Their heart is covered with fat -  Hebrew = "their heart is insensitive like fat." This speaks of dullness to spiritual truth, to God's Word, to God's way, to God's Son Jesus Christ. 

THOUGHT - Is your heart fat? Then begin your workout in God's Gym and " have nothing to do with worldly fables fit only for old women. On the other hand, discipline yourself (gumnazo a command in the present imperative something you can only accomplish by continually leaning on the enabling power of the Holy Spirit) for the purpose of godliness; for bodily discipline is only of little profit, but godliness is profitable for all things, since it holds promise for the present life and also for the life to come." (1 Ti 4:7-8+) Ponder that thought - what we do today impacts our days on earth but more importantly our eternal days in Heaven! Do you really believe that is true? If you do, than make some "life adjustments" and begin daily "seeking the things above, where Christ is, seated at the right hand of God. Setting your mind on the things above, NOT ON the things that are on earth." (Col 3:1-2+), for "the world is passing away, and also its lusts; but the one who does the will of God lives forever." (1 Jn 2:17+)

May God grant each of us the desire and power by His Spirit (Php 2:13NLT+) to be "imitators of those who through faith and patience inherit the promises," (Heb 6:12+) including men like Adoniram Judson who wrote these challenging words

A life once spent is irrevocable. It will remain to be contemplated through eternity… If it has been a useless life, it can never be improved. Such will stand forever and ever. The same may be said of each day. When it is once past, it is gone forever. All the marks which we put upon it, it will exhibit forever… Each day will not only be a witness of our conduct, but will affect our everlasting destiny (Note: Not in loss of salvation but of rewards - cf 1Co 3:11-15, Jn 15:5, 2Co 5:10+). No day will lose its share of influence in determining where shall be our seat in heaven. How shall we then wish to see each day marked with usefulness! It will then be too late to mend its appearance. It is too late to mend the days that are past. The future is in our power. Let us, then, each morning, resolve to send the day into eternity in such a garb as we shall wish it to wear forever. And at night let us reflect that one more day is irrevocably gone, indelibly marked. (See page 33-34 of A memoir of the life and labors of the Rev. Adoniram Judson)

This passage recalls Jesus words of warning to Israel and to all who hear and continue to reject the Word of the Gospel. 


Become dull (3975)(pachuno from pachus = dull) mean to thicken, to fatten and figuratively to make dull. Friberg = " literally make fat, thicken; figuratively make impervious, insensitive, dull; only passive in the NT become dull or insensitive, be unable to understand." Only other use is Acts 28:27. Uses 5 verses in the Septuagint - Dt. 32:15 "Jeshurun (Term of affection for Israel) grew fat and kicked,-- you are grown fat (Lxx = pachuno)" ; 2 Sam. 22:12; Eccl. 12:5; Isa. 6:10; Isa. 34:6 The use in Isaiah 6:10 =  “Render the hearts of this people insensitive," (Lxx = pachuno) where "render....insensitive" is a command. Render is a command and so this is clearly judicial hardening. 

Covered (02954)(taphash) is a verb essentially meaning "to be fat," occurs just once in the OT, in Ps. 119:70. This verse is a part of the stanza designated "Teth" (Ps 119:65-72), which explores some of life's hard lessons and how God uses adversity for the believer's spiritual growth. The term tāphash indicates the spiritual insensitivity (thus "fat" in KJV) of the godless (v. 70). Many propose the meaning of this verb as "to be insensitive" or "to be coated over," taking into account all information. To be fat did not carry negative connotations in the ancient Near East, a cultural truth often still held today.

Fat (02459)(heleb) is a "masculine noun referring to fat, the best. It refers to the covering of the interior of the body, of a person's belly, of a person's face (Ex. 29:13; Judg. 3:22; Job 15:27). It indicates the best or fatty portions of an offering (Gen. 4:4; Lev. 4:26) which were pleasing to the Lord. Fat was God's portion of an offering (1 Sam. 2:15, 16). It was not to be eaten by people (Lev. 3:17; 7:23-25). The "fat of the land" refers to the best part of the land (Gen. 45:18) and also indicates the products of the land: oil, wine, corn (Num. 18:12, 29, 30, 32). But a heart grown fat symbolizes a heart that has become insensitive to God (Ps. 17:10; 119:70)." (Complete Word Study Dictionary – Old Testament)

70v - Gen. 4:4; Gen. 45:18; Exod. 23:18; Exod. 29:13; Exod. 29:22; Lev. 3:3; Lev. 3:4; Lev. 3:9; Lev. 3:10; Lev. 3:14; Lev. 3:15; Lev. 3:16; Lev. 3:17; Lev. 4:8; Lev. 4:9; Lev. 4:19; Lev. 4:26; Lev. 4:31; Lev. 4:35; Lev. 6:12; Lev. 7:3; Lev. 7:4; Lev. 7:23; Lev. 7:24; Lev. 7:25; Lev. 7:30; Lev. 7:31; Lev. 7:33; Lev. 8:16; Lev. 8:25; Lev. 8:26; Lev. 9:10; Lev. 9:19; Lev. 9:20; Lev. 9:24; Lev. 10:15; Lev. 16:25; Lev. 17:6; Num. 18:12; Num. 18:17; Num. 18:29; Num. 18:30; Num. 18:32; Deut. 32:14; Deut. 32:38; Jdg. 3:22; 1 Sam. 2:15; 1 Sam. 2:16; 1 Sam. 15:22; 2 Sam. 1:22; 1 Ki. 8:64; 2 Chr. 7:7; 2 Chr. 29:35; 2 Chr. 35:14; Job 15:27; Job 21:24; Ps. 17:10; Ps. 63:5; Ps. 73:7; Ps. 81:16; Ps. 119:70; Ps. 147:14; Isa. 1:11; Isa. 34:6; Isa. 34:7; Isa. 43:24; Ezek. 34:3; Ezek. 39:19; Ezek. 44:7; Ezek. 44:15

But I delight in Your law - The Septuagint (Lxx) translates delight with the verb meletao which means to continue to perform certain activities with care (root word = melete = care) and concern and thus to practice, to continue to do, to cultivate. It means to give careful thought to (to think about, to meditate upon) which is the primary sense in 1 Ti 4:15.In classical Greek the primary meaning of the verb meletaō is “to take thought for, attend to, care for.” It can also mean “to exercise” or “to practice,” for example, an orator who practices speaking or reviews a speech in his mind before addressing an audience. The Septuagint uses meletaō mainly to translate hāghâh which means “to meditate” or “ponder” on something by talking to oneself. The Lord spoke to Joshua and advised him to meditate on the Book (the Torah) day and night (Joshua 1:8). The same is said of the righteous man (Psalm 1:2).

Delight (08173)(shaa) means "to be sealed tight," "to be blinded," "to behave as if blinded" or "to gladden," "to delight," "to take pleasure in." These two groups of meanings, while perhaps bearing some semantic connection, are clearly distinguishable in the various texts in which they occur. Shāʿaʿ occurs nine times in the OT, and all of the occurrences are confined to Psalms and Isaiah. Shāʿaʿ appears in Isaiah with the prophetic meaning "to be sealed tight," "to be blinded." This usage describes the spiritual blindness of wayward people (Isa. 29:9; some conjecture Isa 32:3). Another occurrence in Isaiah describes the shut eyes and ears of spiritually blind and deaf people (Isa 6:10). Isaiah also used shāʿaʿ with its second meaning, "to delight," referring to the delight of a child during times of peace. In Isa 11:8, a child playing near a cobra's hole is a symbol of a peaceful order during the reign of Jesse's branch. Similarly, the play of a child on a person's knee is an eschatological symbol of peace (Isa 66:12).

Psalms 94 and Ps 119 also use shāʿaʿ meaning "to delight." The Lord's consolation delights the psalmist's troubled soul (94:19). Unlike the arrogant whose hearts are "fat as grease," the psalmist says, "I delight in the law" (Ps 119:70). The reflexive occurs in Ps 119:16 and Ps 119:47 as the psalmist proclaims, "I will delight myself in your statutes" and "in your commandments." (Complete Biblical Library Hebrew-English Dictionary)

All uses of shaa - delight(4), fondled(1), play(1). - Ps. 94:19; Ps. 119:16; Ps. 119:47; Ps. 119:70; Isa. 6:10; Isa. 11:8; Isa. 29:9; Isa. 66:12

A GREAT VERSE FOR ANXIETY RELIEF - Psalm 94:19   When my anxious thoughts multiply within me, Your consolations delight my soul. 

It is interesting that the word delight (in English in the NAS) is found 73 times in the Bible with 10 in Psalm 119 (13% of all uses in the Bible)! 

Gen. 3:6; Deut. 28:63; 1 Sam. 15:22; 2 Sam. 15:26; 2 Sam. 24:3; 1 Chr. 29:3; 1 Chr. 29:17; Neh. 1:11; Job 22:26; Job 27:10; Ps. 1:2; Ps. 16:3; Ps. 37:4; Ps. 37:11; Ps. 40:8; Ps. 40:14; Ps. 51:16; Ps. 51:19; Ps. 62:4; Ps. 68:30; Ps. 70:2; Ps. 94:19; Ps. 109:17; Ps. 111:2; Ps. 119:16; Ps. 119:24; Ps. 119:35; Ps. 119:47; Ps. 119:70; Ps. 119:77; Ps. 119:92; Ps. 119:143; Ps. 119:174; Ps. 147:10; Prov. 1:22; Prov. 2:14; Prov. 7:18; Prov. 8:30; Prov. 8:31; Prov. 11:1; Prov. 11:20; Prov. 12:22; Prov. 15:8; Prov. 16:13; Prov. 18:2; Prov. 23:26; Prov. 24:25; Prov. 29:17; Prov. 31:13; Eccl. 5:4; Eccl. 8:6; Eccl. 12:1; Cant. 2:3; Isa. 11:3; Isa. 32:14; Isa. 55:2; Isa. 58:2; Isa. 58:13; Isa. 58:14; Isa. 62:4; Isa. 65:12; Isa. 66:4; Jer. 6:10; Jer. 9:24; Jer. 15:16; Ezek. 24:21; Ezek. 24:25; Hos. 6:6; Hos. 8:13; Amos 5:21; Mic. 1:16; Mic. 6:7; Mal. 3:1

Psalm 119:70
Charles Bridges

A dreadful description of the hardened state of the proud forgers of lies! Yet not of their state only, but of every sinner, who stands out in willful rebellion against God. The tremendous blow of almighty justice has benumbed his heart, so that the pressure of mountains of sin and guilt is unfelt! The heart is left of God, "seared with a hot iron," and therefore without tenderness; "past feeling;" unsoftened by the power of the word: unhumbled by the rod of providential dispensations, given up to the heaviest of all spiritual judgments! But it is of little avail to stifle the voice of conscience, unless the same power or device could annihilate hell. It will only "awake out of sleep, like a giant refreshed with wine," and rage with ten-fold interminable fury in the eternal world, from the temporary restraint, which for a short moment had benumbed its energy. Willful resistance to the light of the gospel, and the strivings of the Spirit, constrained even from a God of love the message of judicial abandonment, "Make the heart of this people fat, and make their ears heavy, and shut their eyes; lest they see with their eyes, and hear with their ears, and understand with their heart, and convert, and be healed." Who then among us will not cry—From hardness of heart, and contempt of Your word and commandment, Good Lord! deliver us! (Litany.) Tenderness is the first mark of the touch of grace, when the heart becomes sensible of its own insensibility, and contrite on account of its own hardness. 'Nothing'—said Jerome, in a letter to a friend—'makes my heart sadder, than that nothing makes it sad.' But when "the plague of our own heart" begins to be "known," and becomes a matter of confession, humiliation, prayer; the promise of "a new heart" is as life from the dead. The subject of this promise delights in God's law; and this amid the sometimes overwhelming power of natural corruption, gives a satisfactory witness of a change "from death unto life."
Christian! can you daily witness the wretched condition of the ungodly, without the constraining recollection of humiliation and love? What sovereign grace, that the Lord of glory should have set His love upon one so vile! What mighty power, to have raised my insensible heart to that delight in His law, which conforms me to the image of His dear Son! Deeply would I "abhor myself:" and gladly would I acknowledge, that the service of ten thousand hearts would be a poor return for such unmerited love. What, oh, "what shall I render to the Lord!"—Prayer for them who are still lying in death—praise for myself quickened from death. But what can give the vital breath, pulse, feeling, and motion? "Come, from the four winds, O breath; and breathe upon the slain, that they may live."
Let us apply, for the purpose of daily self-examination, this description of the heart, either as given up to its natural insensibility, or as cast into the new mold of delight in the law of God. Such an examination will prove to us, how much even renewed souls need the transforming, softening influences of grace. "The deceitfulness of sin hardens the heart" to its original character, as fat as grease, unfeeling, incapable of impression, without a Divine touch. O Lord, let not my heart be unvisited for one day, one hour, by that melting energy of love, which first made me feel, and constrained me to love.

Spurgeon's Treasury of David


Ps 119:70. Their heart is as fat as grease. They delight in fatness, but I delight in thee. Their hearts, through sensual indulgence, have grown insensible, coarse, and grovelling; but thou hast saved me from such a fate through thy chastening hand. Proud men grow fat through carnal luxuries, and this makes them prouder still. They riot in their prosperity, and fill their hearts therewith till they become insensible, effeminate, and self indulgent. A greasy heart is something horrible; it is a fatness which makes a man fatuous, a fatty degeneration of the heart which leads to feebleness and death. The fat in such men is killing the life in them. Dryden wrote,

"O souls! In whom no heavenly fire is found,
Fat minds and ever grovelling on the ground."

In this condition men have no heart except for luxury, their very being seems to swim and stew in the fat of cookery and banqueting. Living on the fat of the land, their nature is subdued to that which they have fed upon; the muscle of their nature has gone to softness and grease.

But I delight in thy law. How much better is it to joy in the law of the Lord than to joy in sensual indulgences! This makes the heart healthy, and keeps the mind lowly. No one who loves holiness has the slightest cause to envy the prosperity of the worldling. Delight in the law elevates and ennobles, while carnal pleasure clogs the intellect and degrades the affections. There is and always ought to be a vivid contrast between the believer and the sensualist, and that contrast is as much seen in the affections of the heart as in the actions of the life: their heart is as fat as grease, and our heart is delighted with the law of the Lord. Our delights are a better test of our character than anything else: as a man's heart is, so is the man. David oiled the wheels of life with his delight in God's law, and not with the fat of sensuality. He had his relishes and dainties, his festivals and delights, and all these he found in doing the will of the Lord his God. When law becomes delight, obedience is bliss. Holiness in the heart causes the soul to eat the fat of the land. To have the law for our delight will breed in our hearts the very opposite of the effects of pride; deadness, sensuality, and obstinacy will be cured, and we shall become teachable, sensitive, and spiritual. How careful should we be to live under the influence of the divine law that we fall not under the law of sin and death.


Ver. 70. ”Their heart is as fat as grease. The word vpj occurs nowhere else in Scripture, but with the Chaldees vpj signifies to fatten, to make fat; also to make stupid and doltish, because such the fat ofttimes are... For this reason the proud, who are mentioned in the preceding verse, are described by their fixed resolve in evil, because they are almost insensible; as is to be seen in pigs, who pricked through the skin with a bodkin, and that slowly, as long as the bodkin only touches the fat, do not feel the prick until it reaches to the flesh. Thus the proud, whose great prosperity is elsewhere likened to fatness, have a heart totally insusceptible, which is insensible to the severe reproofs of the Divine word, and also to its holy delights and pleasures, by reason of the affluence of carnal things; aye, more, is altogether unfitted for good impulses; just as elsewhere is to be seen with fat animals, how slow they are and unfit for work, when, on the contrary, those are agile and quick which are not hindered by this same fatness. ” Martin Geier.

Ver. 70. ” Their heart is as fat as grease. This makes them”

1. Senseless and secure; they are past feeling: thus the phrase is used (Isaiah 6:10): "Make the heart of the people fat." They are not sensible of the teaching of the word of God, or his rod.

2. Sensual and voluptuous: "Their eyes stand out with fatness" (Psalms 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: I would not change conditions with them; "delight in thy law." ” Matthew Henry.

Ver. 70.€” Their heart is as fat as grease; but I delight in thy law; as if he should say, My heart is a lean heart, a hungry heart, my soul loveth and rejoiceth in thy word. I have nothing else to fill it but thy word, and the comforts I have from it; but their hearts are fat hearts: fat with the world, fat with lust: they hate the word. As a full stomach loatheth meat and cannot digest it; so wicked men hate the word, it will not go down with them, it will not gratify their lusts. ” William Fenner.

Being anxious to know the medical significance of fatty heart, I applied to an eminent gentleman who is well known as having been President of the College of Physicians. His reply shows that the language is rather figurative than literal. He kindly replied to me as follows: ”

There are two forms of so called "fatty heart". In the one there is an excessive amount of fatty tissue covering the exterior of the organ, especially about the base. This may be observed in all cases where the body of the animal is throughout over fat, as in animals fattened for slaughter. It does not necessarily interfere with the action of the heart, and may not be of much importance in a medical point of view. The second form is, however, a much more serious condition. In this, the muscular structure of the heart, on which its all important function, as the central propelling power, depends, undergoes a degenerative change, by which the contractile fibres of the muscles are converted into a structure having none of the properties of the natural fibres, and in which are found a number of fatty, oily globules, which can be readily seen by means of the microscope. This condition, if at all extensive, renders the action of the heart feeble and irregular, and is very perilous, not infrequently causing sudden death. It is found in connection with a general unhealthy condition of system, and is evidence of general mal-nutrition. It is brought about by an indolent, luxurious mode of living, or, at all events, by neglect of bodily exercise and those hygienic rules which are essential for healthy nutrition. It cannot, however, be said to be incompatible with mental rigour, and certainly is not necessarily associated with stupidity. But the heart, in this form of disease, is literally, "greasy", and may be truly described as "fat as grease." So much for physiology and pathology. May I venture on the sacred territory of biblical exegesis without risking the charge of fatuousness. Is not the Psalmist contrasting those who lead an animal, self indulgent, vicious life, by which body and mind are incapacitated for their proper uses, and those who can run in the way of God's commandments, delight to do his will, and meditate on his precepts? Sloth, fatness and stupidity, versus activity, firm muscles, and mental rigour. Body versus mind. Man become as a beast versus man retaining the image of God. — Sir James Risdon Bennett, 1881.


Ver. 70. ”

1. Fatty degeneration of the heart.

2. Thorough regeneration of the heart.

Ver. 70.€” A fatty heart.

1. The diagnosis of the disease.

2. Its symptoms. Pride; no delight in God, nor in his law; dislike to his people; readiness to lie: Psalms 119:69.

3. Its fatal character.

4. Its only cure. Ps 101:10, Ezekiel 36:26. ” C.A.D.

Ver. 71. ”

1. David knew what was good for him.

2. David learned what is good essentially. Active obedience is learned by passive obedience.

Ver. 71.  Affliction an instructor.

1. Never welcomed: "Have been."

2. Often impatiently endured.

3. Always gratefully remembered: "It is good, "etc.

4. Efficient for a perverse scholar: "That I might learn."

5. Indispensable in the education of all. J.F.

Ver. 71. ” The school of affliction.

1. The reluctant scholar sent to school.

2. The scholar's hard lesson.

3. The scholar's blessed learning.

4. The scholar's sweet reflection.” C.A.D.

Psalm 119:71 It is good for me that I was afflicted, That I may learn Your statutes. 

  • good: Ps 119:67 94:12,13 Isa 27:9 1Co 11:32 Heb 12:10,11 
  • Spurgeon's Sermon - Two Good Things - Ps 119:71, Ps 73:28

It is good for me - (parallels 2 Co12:9,10 Jas 4:6) - This is one of those Biblical paradoxes that the world scoffs at and finds foolish, but to those saints who have walked through this fiery furnace, they understand is the way God brings forth His children like "pure gold." 

Reproofs for discipline are the way of life (Pr 6:23), a source of great blessing (Ps 94:12), to keep us from going astray (Ps 119:67), the highway to holiness (Heb 12:10), the fertilizer & rain that brings forth a harvest of righteousness & peace (Heb 12:11), the path to a true full & fulfilling life to those who submit (Heb 12:9), the fire of testing to prove our faith so that God receives great glory and honor at the revelation of Christ (1Pe 1:6,7). 

That I was afflicted - He was humbled, the effect (or at least intended effect) of afflictions. 

Afflict (Humble) (06031)('anah means to be afflicted, be bowed down, be humbled, be meek. 'Anah frequently expresses the idea God sends affliction to discipline (Dt 8:2-3, see context Dt 8:5, 1Ki 11:39; Ps 90:15 Luke 3:5). It often speaks of harsh and painful treatment (Isa 53:4, Ge 16:6). 'Anah is most frequently translated in LXX by tapeinoo (as it is here in Ps 119:71). God commanded them to “afflict themselves” (“deny yourselves” Lev 16:31NIV), which is the same word used to describe the pain that the Egyptians inflicted on the Hebrews (Ex 1:11,12) and the suffering Joseph felt in prison (Ps 105:18)!

That I may learn Your statutes - That expresses purpose. Here the purpose of affliction is to learn. Affliction is God's schoolmaster to conform us more and more to the image of His Son. (Ro 8:29, Ps 119:6) Don't run from affliction. Run to God, to His word that provides us everything necessary for life and godliness according to the true knowledge 

Statutes (decrees, ordinances)(02706)(hoq from chaqaq = to cut in or engrave in stone - hew a tomb in rock Is 22:16, draw picture on a brick Eze 4:1 or a wall Eze 23:14) is a masculine noun that means regulation, law, ordinance, decree, custom. The primary sense of hoq is an expectation or mandate prescribed by decree or custom - general decrees of God (Jer 5:22; Amos 2:4); statutes of God to Moses (Ex 15:26; Nu 30:16; Mal. 4:4)

Septuagint - Statutes (1345)(dikaioma from dikaióo = to justify <> díkaios = just, righteous <> dike = right) refers to what God has declared to be right and here referring to His decree of retribution which has the force of law. 

Spurgeon - The air from the sea of affliction is extremely beneficial to invalid Christians. Continued prosperity, like a warm atmosphere, has a tendency to unbind the sinews and soften the bones; but the cold winds of trouble make us sturdy, hardy, and well-braced in every part. Unbroken success often leads to an undervaluing of mercies, and forgetfulness of the giver; but the withdrawal of the sunshine leads us to look for the sun.

What Good Is Affliction?

Read: Lamentations 1:12-20

It is good for me that I have been afflicted, that I may learn Your statutes. —Psalm 119:71

During a television interview, David Frost asked former president George Bush how he could square his belief in a loving and all-powerful God with the miseries and injustices of life. Frost reminded Bush of the time he shed tears at the sight of starving children and of his grief when his own daughter had died.

President Bush said, “It never occurred to me to blame God for that.” He insisted that the Lord has provided enough food for everyone, but that starvation occurs because of human greed and ineptitude. The President said that his daughter’s illness had drawn the family closer to one another and to God. He was comforted because he knew that she had been caught up in the arms of her loving heavenly Father.

Like those starving children, we may suffer because of the greed and selfishness of others. Like the Bush family, we may endure sorrow for reasons we can’t understand. Or we may suffer because of our own sin, as Jeremiah recounted in his lament for the wayward tribe of Judah (Lam. 1:5).

In any case, we can trust God and say with the psalmist, “It is good for me that I have been afflicted” (Ps. 119:71). With confidence, we can ask with Abraham, “Shall not the Judge of all the earth do right?” (Gen. 18:25).By Herbert Vander Lugt 

There is so much within this world
Of brokenness and pain,
Yet nothing God in grace allows
Is ever done in vain.

God will spare you from suffering
or He'll give you the grace to bear it.

Rock Bottom

Read: Psalm 119:65-72

It is good for me that I have been afflicted, that I may learn Your statutes. —Psalm 119:71

I was in my early thirties, a dedicated wife and mother, a Christian worker at my husband’s side. Yet inwardly I found myself on a trip nobody wants to take, the trip downward. I was heading for that certain sort of breakdown that most of us resist, the breakdown of my stubborn self-sufficiency.

Finally I experienced the odd relief of hitting rock bottom, where I made an unexpected discovery: The rock on which I had been thrown was none other than Christ Himself. Cast on Him alone, I was in a position to rebuild the rest of my life, this time as a God-dependent person rather than the self-dependent person I had been. My rock-bottom experience became a turning point and one of the most vital spiritual developments of my life.

Most people feel anything but spiritual when they hit bottom. Their misery is often reinforced by Christians who take a very shortsighted view of what the sufferer is going through and why. But our heavenly Father is well-pleased with what He intends to bring out of such a painful process. A person who knows the secret of the God-dependent life can say, “It is good for me that I have been afflicted, that I may learn Your statutes” (Ps. 119:71).By Joanie Yoder   (Our Daily Bread, Copyright RBC Ministries, Grand Rapids, MI. — Reprinted by permission. All rights reserved)

Lift up your eyes, discouraged one,
The Lord your help will be;
New strength will come from Him who said,
“For rest, come unto Me.”

When a Christian hits rock bottom, he finds that Christ is a firm foundation.

It is good for me that I have been afflicted, that I may learn Your statutes. —Psalm 119:71

When we accept affliction with humility it can be a discipline that leads us to a deeper, fuller life. “Before I was afflicted I went astray,” David said, “but now I keep Your Word” (Ps. 119:67). Peter would agree: Affliction leads us not to live for ourselves “but for the will of God” (1 Peter 4:2).

Far from being an obstacle to our spiritual growth, pain can be the instrument of it—if we’re trained by it. It can push us closer to God and deeper into His Word. It is a means by which He graciously shapes us to be like His Son, gradually giving us the compassion, contentment, tranquillity and courage that we long and pray for. Without pain, we wouldn’t be all that God wants us to be. His strength shines brightest through human weakness.

Has God set you apart today to receive instruction through suffering and pain? Endure this training patiently. He can turn the trial into a blessing. He can use it to draw you close to His heart and into His Word, teach you the lessons He intends for you to learn and use it to bestow His grace on you.

God is making more of you—something much better—than you ever thought possible. - David H. Roper (Our Daily Bread, Copyright RBC Ministries, Grand Rapids, MI. — Reprinted by permission. All rights reserved)


Psalm 119:72  The law of Your mouth is better to me Than thousands of gold and silver pieces. 


Psalm 119:73 Yodh. Your hands made me and fashioned me; Give me understanding, that I may learn Your commandments. 


Psalm 119:74 May those who fear You see me and be glad, Because I wait for Your word. 


Psalm 119:75  I know, O LORD, that Your judgments are righteous, And that in faithfulness You have afflicted me. 


Psalm 119:76 O may Your lovingkindness comfort me, According to Your word to Your servant. 


Psalm 119:77 May Your compassion come to me that I may live, For Your law is my delight. 


Psalm 119:78 May the arrogant be ashamed, for they subvert me with a lie; But I shall meditate on Your precepts. 


Psalm 119:79 May those who fear You turn to me, Even those who know Your testimonies. 


Psalm 119:80 May my heart be blameless in Your statutes, So that I will not be ashamed. 


Psalm 119:81 Kaph. My soul languishes for Your salvation; I wait for Your word. 


Psalm 119:82 My eyes fail with longing for Your word, While I say, “When will You comfort me?” 


Psalm 119:83  Though I have become like a wineskin in the smoke, I do not forget Your statutes. 


Psalm 119:84 How many are the days of Your servant? When will You execute judgment on those who persecute me? 


Psalm 119:85 The arrogant have dug pits for me, Men who are not in accord with Your law. 


Psalm 119:86 All Your commandments are faithful; They have persecuted me with a lie; help me! 


Psalm 119:87 They almost destroyed me on earth, But as for me, I did not forsake Your precepts. 


Psalm 119:88 Revive me according to Your lovingkindness, So that I may keep the testimony of Your mouth. 


Psalm 119:89 Lamedh. Forever, O LORD, Your word is settled in heaven. 

Talmage - The balances of God never lose their adjustment. With them, a pound is a pound, and right is right, and wrong is wrong, and a soul is a soul, and eternity is eternity.

God’s Enduring Word

Heaven and earth will pass away, but my words will never pass away. Matthew 24:35

Today's Scripture & Insight: Psalm 119:89-96

At the beginning of World War II, aerial bombings flattened much of Warsaw, Poland. Cement blocks, ruptured plumbing, and shards of glass lay strewn across the great city. In the downtown area, however, most of one damaged building still stubbornly stood. It was the Polish headquarters for the British and Foreign Bible Society. Still legible on a surviving wall were these words: “Heaven and earth will pass away, but my words will never pass away” (Matt. 24:35).

Jesus made that statement to encourage His disciples when they asked Him about the “end of the age” (v. 3). But His words also give us courage in the midst of our embattled situation today. Standing in the rubble of our shattered dreams, we can still find confidence in God’s indestructible character, sovereignty, and promises.

The psalmist wrote: “Your word, Lord, is eternal; it stands firm in the heavens” (Ps. 119:89). But it is more than the word of the Lord; it is His very character. That is why the psalmist could also say, “Your faithfulness continues through all generations” (v. 90).

As we face devastating experiences, we can define them either in terms of despair or of hope. Because God will not abandon us to our circumstances, we can confidently choose hope. His enduring Word assures us of His unfailing love. By:  Dennis Fisher (Our Daily Bread, Copyright RBC Ministries, Grand Rapids, MI. — Reprinted by permission. All rights reserved)

Thank You, Lord, for the gift of Your Word. Thank You for its truth, its timelessness, and the guidance You give us by that Word. Help us believe and trust everything You say.

We can trust God’s unchanging Word.

Psalm 119:90  Your faithfulness continues throughout all generations; You established the earth, and it stands. 


Psalm 119:91 They stand this day according to Your ordinances, For all things are Your servants. 


Psalm 119:92 If Your law had not been my delight, Then I would have perished in my affliction. 


Psalm 119:93  I will never forget Your precepts, For by them You have revived me. 


Psalm 119:94  I am Yours, save me; For I have sought Your precepts. 


Psalm 119:95 The wicked wait for me to destroy me; I shall diligently consider Your testimonies. 


Psalm 119:96 I have seen a limit to all perfection; Your commandment is exceedingly broad. 


Psalm 119:97 Mem. O how I love Your law! It is my meditation all the day. 

  • O how: Ps 119:48,113,127,159,165,167 1:2 De 6:6-9 17:19 Jos 1:8 Pr 2:10 Pr 18:1 

O how I love Your law! - What we love, we love to think of. A good man carries his Bible with him, if not in his hands, yet in his head and in his heart. (Ps 119:47, 48, 97,113, 119,127, 159, 163, 167) The way you treat your Bible is the way you treat Christ. To love Him is to love His Word. The Word is a delight (Ps 119:16, 24, 16, 35, 47, 70) and not a disappointment; we rejoice to read it (Ps 119:14, 162).

It is my meditation all the day - The Hebrew word "kol" for "all" in combination with the Septuagint (Lxx) use of "holos" which speaks of the totality of something and thus pictures a man who is constantly immersed in God's Word which naturally results in his mind being continually set on the things above (cp Col 3:1,2+). Where is your focus today? Lay aside every encumbrance (Heb 12:1,2+). Let the Word of Christ richly dwell within your mind (Col 3:16+). It is also interesting that "holos" in Lxx often modifies "heart" and so pictures a "whole heart" or one totally devoted to His Master! (See Integrity - A Whole Heart and Give Me An Undivided Heart)

We must read 

Scripture every day
And meditate on what God said
To fight temptation from the world
And live a life that's Spirit led.

Psalm 119:15, 23, 48, 78, 97, 99, 148: Meditation is to the soul what digestion is to the body. To meditate means to “turn over” God’s Word in the mind and heart, to examine it, to compare Scripture with Scripture, to “feed on” its wonderful truths. In this day of noise and confusion, such meditation is rare but so needful. Meditation is impossible without memorization.Reading the Bible without meditating on it is like eating without chewing. 

Meditation (07881)(sichah; see related siyah) means musing, complaint, pondering, reflection, concern of one's thoughts. "The word is primarily used to indicate meditation. The psalmist indicated the proper procedure for an individual's response to God's Law. Because of his love for God's Law, the psalmist was prompted to meditate on it all day long. Due to his practice of meditation, the psalmist received more understanding than his elders (Ps. 119:97, 99). As Job expressed his feelings and frustrations, Eliphaz responded condemningly, stating that what Job was feeling and saying was hindering devotion to God (Job 15:4)." Eliphaz's response was that of an ignorant man who did not realize the true nature of devotion to God." (Complete Word Study Dictionary) Three OT uses - Job 15:4, Ps 119:97, Ps 119:99. 

Septuagint - melete (not found in NT but see related word meletao) means care, attention, meditation. Used 14x in the Septuagint - Job 33:15; Job 37:2; Ps. 19:14; Ps. 39:3; Ps. 49:3; Ps. 119:24; Ps. 119:77; Ps. 119:92; Ps. 119:97; Ps. 119:99; Ps. 119:143; Ps. 119:174; Eccl. 12:12; Lam. 3:62 It is also interesting that the Lxx translators chose to translate this Hebrew word sha'shua' = "delight"  by using the word "melete" in the following passages (Ps 119:77, 92, 143,174). The point is that this repeated use of melete for sha'shua' conveys the thought that meditation on God's Word is one's delight! What a beautiful picture. 

Henry Morris - This testimony of the psalmist should convict us today. He had only small portions of the Scriptures to study, much of which were portions that many modern Christians don't bother to read at all, whereas we have God's complete revelation. He loved the Scriptures so much that he continually meditated on them!

Love Letter

Oh, how I love Your law! It is my meditation all the day. —Psalm 119:97

Today's Scripture & Insight:Psalm 119:97-104

Each morning when I reach my office, I have one simple habit—check all my emails. Most of the time, I’ll work through them in a perfunctory fashion. There are some emails, however, that I’m eager to open. You guessed it—those from loved ones.

Someone has said that the Bible is God’s love letter to us. But perhaps on some days, like me, you just don’t feel like opening it and your heart doesn’t resonate with the words of the psalmist: “Oh, how I love Your law!” (Ps. 119:97). The Scriptures are “Your commandments” (v.98), “Your testimonies” (v.99), “Your precepts” (v.100), “Your word” (v.101, emphasis added).

A question by Thomas Manton (1620–1677), once a lecturer at Westminster Abbey, still holds relevance for us today. He asked: “Who is the author of Scripture? God. . . . What is the end of Scripture? God. Why was the Scripture written, but that we might everlastingly enjoy the blessed God?”

It is said of some people that the more you know them the less you admire them; but the reverse is true of God. Familiarity with the Word of God, or rather the God of the Word, breeds affection, and affection seeks yet greater familiarity.

As you open your Bible, remember that God—the One who loves you the most—has a message for you. By:  Poh Fang Chia (Our Daily Bread, Copyright RBC Ministries, Grand Rapids, MI. — Reprinted by permission. All rights reserved)

Oh, may I love Thy precious Word,
May I explore the mine,
May I its fragrant flowers glean,
May light upon me shine!

Knowing the Bible helps us know the God of the Bible.

The jacana is a unique tropical bird. It has spindly legs with long protruding toes, enabling it to skip along on floating weeds or stroll across lily pads. It has been given the nickname "lily-trotter." Even though it is capable of majestic flight, it seems content to move lazily from flower to flower or to drift slowly downstream. 

Many Christians are like the jacana bird in their Bible reading. They skip around on the surface, lighting on a few favorite verses that are beautiful and comforting. But they fail to learn the deeper truths of God's Word that can stabilize their lives. They seldom spend time studying their Bibles. 

The psalmist meditated on God's Word throughout the day and gained great understanding and wisdom (119:97-104). As believers, we would be wise to follow his example. Searching the Scriptures diligently (Ac17:11) will cause us to grow in our knowledge of God's truth so that we understand how the Lord wants us to live and serve Him. Don't just trip lightly over the surface of a few choice texts. Avoid being a "lily-trotter." Instead, rise to new heights of spiritual understanding. --HGB  (Our Daily Bread, Copyright RBC Ministries, Grand Rapids, MI. — Reprinted by permission. All rights reserved)

To search the Scriptures is our need,
To gain new strength and light,
For there we'll find God's precepts true
To guide our steps aright.

When you study the Bible "hit or miss," you MISS more than you HIT.

I love the sight of cows lying in the field, chewing their cud. But what is cud? And why do they spend so much time chewing it? Cows first fill their stomachs with grass and other food. Then they settle down for a good, long chew. They bring the food back up from their stomachs and rework what they've already eaten, assimilating its goodness and transforming it into rich milk. Time-consuming? Yes. A waste of time? Not if they want to give good milk. 

The phrase "chewing the cud" is used to describe the process of meditation. The writer of Psalm 119 obviously did a lot of mental chewing as he read God's Word. No fast food for him! If we follow his example of careful and prayerful Scripture reading, we will:  Be strengthened against sin (v.11).  Find delight in learning more about God (vv.15-16). Discover wonderfu spiritual truths (v.18). Find wise counsel for daily living (v.24).  Meditation is more than reading the Bible and believing it. It's applying Scripture to everyday life. God's Word is not meant to be fast food. Take time for a good long chew.--JEY  (Our Daily Bread, Copyright RBC Ministries, Grand Rapids, MI. — Reprinted by permission. All rights reserved)

Break Thou the bread of life, dear Lord to me,
As Thou didst break the loaves beside the sea;
Beyond the sacred page I seek Thee Lord;
My spirit pants for Thee, O living Word.

To be a healthy Christian, don't treat the Bible as snack food.

Psalm 119:98 Your commandments make me wiser than my enemies, For they are ever mine. 


Psalm 119:99  I have more insight than all my teachers, For Your testimonies are my meditation. 

Spurgeon - O young man! build thy studio on Calvary; there raise thine observatory, and scan by faith the lofty things of Nature. Take thee a hermit’s cell in the garden of Gethsemane, and lave thy brow with the waters of Siloa. Let the Bible be thy standard classic, thy last appeal in matters of contention; let its light be thine illumination: and thou shalt become more wise than Plato, more truly learned than the seven sages of antiquity.

Gurnall - Meditation is prayer’s handmaid, to wait on it both before and after the performance. It is as the plough before the sower to prepare the heart for the duty of prayer, and the harrow to cover the seed when ‘tis sown. As the hopper feeds the mill with grist, so does meditation supply the heart with matter for prayer.

Psalm 119:100


Psalm 119:101


Psalm 119:102


Psalm 119:103 How sweet are Your words to my taste! Yes, sweeter than honey to my mouth! 

  • sweet: Ps 19:10 63:5 Job 23:12 Pr 3:17 8:11 24:13,14 Song 1:2-4 5:1 

How sweet are Your words to my taste! - Hebrew literally reads "How smooth they are to my palate, your word, more than honey to my mouth." 

Yes, sweeter than honey to my mouth! 

I don't know whether I'm going through a second childhood or what, but lately I've been craving a box of Cracker Jack. Do you know what I'm talking about--the candy-covered popcorn and peanuts in a box with young Sailor Jack on the label? I remember the slogan: "The more you eat, the more you want!" Cracker Jack is great, but there is something far better. David said it is "sweeter also than honey and the honeycomb" (Ps. 19:10). And like the candied popcorn, "the more you eat, the more you want." The more you read the Bible, the more you will desire to read it. It is an appetite that grows as it feeds, and feeds as it grows. 

Bible study is habit-forming; like your teatime or coffeebreak. One of the first things I do when I rise in the morning is put the kettle on. It's a habit, for I want my coffee. And then with my coffee I sit down with the Book. Reaching for the Bible the first thing in the morning can become a real habit--and a good one. You wouldn't think of going to work without breakfast, but are you going into the day without your spiritual food?  Get the early morning Bible-reading habit, and keep it up until you can't break it. Reach for the Book! --M. R. De Haan, M.D (Our Daily Bread, Copyright RBC Ministries, Grand Rapids, MI. — Reprinted by permission. All rights reserved)

Then let me love my Bible more
And take a fresh delight
By day to read these wonders o'er
And meditate by night.

Those who only sample the Bible never acquire a taste for it.

Many of us live in countries where food is abundant and people are well-fed. That's why we may not be familiar with the symptoms of starvation. At the outset, victims have an insatiable craving for nourishment. As time passes, however, the body weakens, the mind is dulled, and the desire for something to eat wanes. In fact, starving people actually reach a point when they don't even want food that is placed before them. Spiritual starvation follows much the same course. If we have been feeding daily on God's Word, it's natural to feel "hungry" when we skip our quiet time. But if we continue to neglect it, we may lose all desire to study the Scriptures. In fact, we may be starving ourselves. How much time do you spend reading the Bible and meditating on its truths? Do you miss the Word when you neglect it? Thomas Guthrie wrote, "If you find yourself loving any pleasure better than your prayers, any book better than the Bible, any persons better than Christ, or any indulgence better than the hope of heaven--take alarm." If you've lost your taste for the "bread of life," confess your negligence and ask God to revive your appetite for His Word. Avoid spiritual starvation! --R W De Haan (Our Daily Bread, Copyright RBC Ministries, Grand Rapids, MI. — Reprinted by permission. All rights reserved)

Break Thou the bread of life, dear Lord, to me, 
As Thou didst break the loaves beside the sea. 
Beyond the sacred page I seek Thee, Lord; 
My spirit pants for Thee, O Living Word.

A well-read Bible is a sign of a well-fed soul.

How sweet are Your words to my taste, sweeter than honey to my mouth! —Psalm 119:103

My wife Martie often tells me, “Joe, you eat too fast! Slow down and enjoy your meal.” I’m usually done long before she is, because she takes the time to savour every bite.

I wonder how many of us rush through reading God’s Word without really savouring it. The psalmist said the following about it: “How sweet are Your words to my taste, sweeter than honey to my mouth!” (Ps. 119:103). That sounds good to me!

What are the benefits of taking our time over Scripture? A daily meal of God’s Word helps to keep anxiety, pride, fear and temptation from taking over, and strengthens us for a victorious journey. The Word gives us wisdom and understanding (vv.98-100). And it helps restrain our feet from evil (v.101). Just as our digestive system sends nutrients to our bodies, God’s Word, when read, strengthens our minds, our emotions and our will.

Rather than grabbing the Word on the run just before dashing out the door, it’s important to read it at a time and in a place where we can really have fellowship with God.

Take the time and enjoy savouring the richness of God’s Word. Joe Stowell (Our Daily Bread, Copyright RBC Ministries, Grand Rapids, MI. — Reprinted by permission. All rights reserved)


Psalm 119:104


Psalm 119:105 Nun. Your word is a lamp to my feet And a light to my path. 

  • word : Ps 19:8 43:3 Pr 6:23 Eph 5:13 2Pe 1:19 
  • lamp Ps 18:28 Job 29:3 

Your word is a lamp to my feet (2Pe1:19): Why would you need a portable lamp? [Col1:13 Ac26:18 Ps19:8] {LUCHNOS: portable lamp fed with oil, not a candle as commonly translated (Mt5:15; Mk4:21; Lu 8:16; 11:33, 36; 12:35, i.e., be ready, watch).  represents the eye (Mt6:22; Lu 11:34; Ex25:37; Zec4:2). Metaphorically, of John the Baptist as a distinguished teacher (Jn 5:35); of the Messiah, the lamb (Rev21:23 [Pr6:23]). Syn.: lampás = torch, but frequently fed like a lamp with oil from a little vessel used for the purpose} On a hazardous journey, the torch was most necessary. God’s Word is the true light to guide the believer through life (cf. Pr 6:23; Jn 8:12). 

God's Word illuminates the path that leads to everlasting life. God's Word lights our journey thru this spiritually dark world. Indeed there is not a single terrain of life, upon which the Holy Scriptures do not enlighten us by pointing us to the correct principles, according to which we should handle ourselves to live to the honour of God. 
Of course, we receive no light if we in our confusion make the Bible to fall open by chance in the hope of finding a text that will show us the way. This is playing with God’s Word. However, if this Word is our spiritual possession, if we breathe and live it, yes, then it becomes to us what the shining pillar of fire was to Israel,—a light upon our path and lamp before our feet, that we have to follow, follow continually, to arrive in the land of blessed rest.

And a light to my path Lamps burning olive oil were highly valued for use in people's homes (Pr 13:9). Light is closely related to life and happiness, which may account for the frequent comparisons between God and light. {phos: Mt 4:16:} Path {lxx: TRIBOS: worn or beaten path or rut; the high road; rubbing; Mt 3:3 quoting Isa 40:3} We are God's workmanship created in Christ Jesus that we should walk in them. Ep 2:10.

In Bible times there were no powerful flashlights. On a hazardous journey, the torch was most necessary. God's Word is the true light to guide the believer through life (cf. Prov. 6:23; John 8:12). The traveler carried a small oil lamp, whose flax wick gave off only a little light. There was enough to see by. Not enough to see what lay ahead down the path, but enough to take the next step without stumbling or falling. What a reminder for us. The Word of God is a lamp to our path. It doesn’t illuminate our future, but it does shine in our present. God’s Word gives us the light we need to take our next step in life.

The way a Christian treats his Bible shows how he regards Jesus Christ. He is the living Word (Jn 1:1, 14), and the Bible is the written Word; but in essence they are the same. Both are bread (Mt 4:4; Jn 6:48), light (Ps 119:105; Jn 8:12), and truth (John 14:6; 17:17). The Holy Spirit gave birth to Jesus Christ through a holy woman (Luke 1:35), and He gave birth to the Bible through holy men of God (2 Peter 1:20–21). Jesus Christ is the eternal Son of God forever (Rom. 1:25), and the Word of God will live forever (Ps. 119:89; 1 Peter 1:23, 25). 

It may be a personal prejudice, but I dislike seeing a Bible on the floor or at the bottom of a stack of books. If I am carrying several books with my Bible, I try to remember to put the Bible on the top. If we appreciate the Bible as the inspired Word of God, then we will reveal this appreciation in our treatment of the Bible. 
Would you rather have your Bible than food? Job said, “I have esteemed the words of His mouth more than my necessary food” (Job 23:12). God’s Word is bread (Matt. 4:4), milk and meat (Heb. 5:11–14), and even honey (Ps. 119:103). Mary chose the Word, but her sister Martha got involved in making a meal (Luke 10:38–42). Mary got the blessing while Martha lost the victory. 

Would you rather have God’s Word than money? The believer who wrote Psalm 119 made it clear that God’s Word meant more to him than “all riches” (Ps. 119:14), “thousands of gold and silver” (Ps. 119:72), “fine gold” (Ps. 119:127), and even “great spoil” (Ps. 119:162). 

Metaphors for the Bible and the Words of God

a)    Scripture Is like a Counselor Ps. 119:24 
b)    Scripture Is like Fire Je 5:14; Je 23:29 
c)    Scripture Is like Gold Ps. 19:9–10
d)    Scripture Is like a Hammer Jer. 23:29 
e)    Scripture Is like a Heritage Ps. 119:111 
f)    Scripture Is like Honey Ps. 19:9–10; Ps. 119:103 
g)    Scripture Is like a Lamp Ps. 119:105 
h)    Scripture Is like a Light Ps 119:105; Ps 119:130; 2 Pe 1:19 
i)    Scripture Is like Milk 1 Co 3:1–3; Heb. 5:11–13; 1 Pe 2:2 
j)    Scripture Is like a Mirror Jas 1:23–25
k)    Scripture Is like Rain Isa 55:10–11
l)    Scripture Is like a Seed 1 Pe 1:23 
m)    Scripture Is like Snow Isa 55:10–11
n)    Scripture Is like Solid Food Heb 5:11–12, 14
o)    Scripture Is like a Sword Eph 6:17; Heb. 4:12 
p)    Scripture Is like Water Eph. 5:25–26

God’s Compass

Your word is a lamp for my feet, a light on my path. Psalm 119:105

During World War II, small compasses saved the lives of 27 sailors 300 miles off the coast of North Carolina. Waldemar Semenov, a retired merchant seaman, was serving as a junior engineer aboard the SS Alcoa Guide when a German submarine surfaced and opened fire on the ship. The ship was hit, caught fire, and began to sink. Semenov and his crew lowered compass-equipped lifeboats into the water and used the compasses to guide them toward the shipping lanes closer to shore. After three days, the men were rescued.

The psalmist reminded God’s people that His Word was a trustworthy “compass.” He likened it to a lamp. In that day, the flickering light cast by an olive oil lamp was only bright enough to show a traveler his next step. To the psalmist, God’s Word was such a lamp, providing enough light to illuminate the path for those pursuing God (Ps. 119:105). When the psalmist was wandering in the dark on a chaotic path of life, he believed that God, through the guidance of His Word, would provide direction.By:  Marvin Williams (Our Daily Bread, Copyright RBC Ministries, Grand Rapids, MI. — Reprinted by permission. All rights reserved)

When we lose our bearings in life, we can trust our God who gives His trustworthy Word as our compass, using it to lead us into deeper fellowship with Him.

Heavenly Father, it is difficult to navigate life. I drift sometimes, but I will trust in You. Lead me and guide me by the faithfulness and reliability of Your Word.

God has given us His Word to help us know and follow Him.

What Does It Really Mean?

Read: Psalm 119:105-112 

Your Word is a lamp to my feet and a light to my path. —Psalm 119:105

A father was telling his son the Bible story about Lot. He said, “God was going to destroy the city of Sodom, so He warned Lot to take his wife and flee. But when Lot’s wife looked back, she turned into a pillar of salt.” Puzzled, the boy asked, “What happened to the flea?”

This humorous misunderstanding points out a deeper problem some of us have with the words of the Bible. Although we believe that every word of Scripture is inspired, this doesn’t mean we should take every word literally regardless of its context. Some people seem to do this and thereby miss the true meaning of many Bible passages.

The Bible is filled with images—word pictures we call similes and metaphors. The book of James gives us a classic example, calling the tongue “a fire” (James 3:6). We know it doesn’t mean that we have a literal flame in our mouth. Jesus used figurative language too. He said, “If your right eye causes you to sin, pluck it out” (Mt. 5:29). What He meant, of course, is that we should take strong measures to keep ourselves from sin.

We need to listen carefully to what God is saying in His Word so we can put it into practice. His Word is a “lamp” for our feet and a “light” for our path (Ps. 119:105). By Dennis J. DeHaan (Our Daily Bread, Copyright RBC Ministries, Grand Rapids, MI. — Reprinted by permission. All rights reserved)

Observation: What does the context say?
Interpretation: What does the text mean?
Application: What does it mean to your life?

A text taken out of context becomes a pretext.

Henry Ward Beecher -- “The Bible is God’s chart for you to steer by, to keep you from the bottom of the sea, and to show you where the harbour is, and how to reach it without running on rocks or bars.”

D. L. Moody - “There’s no better book with which to defend the Bible than the Bible itself.”
Oliver Wendell Holmes - “What you bring away from the Bible depends to some extent on what you carry to it.”
D. L. Moody - “The study of God’s Word brings peace to the heart. In it, we find a light for every darkness, life in death, the promise of our Lord’s return, and the assurance of everlasting glory.”

Phillips Brooks - “The Bible is like a telescope. If a man looks through his telescope, then he sees worlds beyond: but if he looks at his telescope, then he does not see anything but that. The Bible is a thing to be looked through, to see that which is beyond; but most people only look at it; and so they see only the dead letter.”

Related Resources: 

Spiritual Navigation

Your word is a lamp to my feet and a light to my path. —Psalm 119:105

Today's Scripture & Insight: Psalm 119:97-106

Dava Sobel’s award-winning book Longitude describes a dilemma faced by early sailors. They could readily determine their latitude north or south of the equator by the length of the day or height of the sun. Calculating east/west longitude, however, remained complex and unreliable until English clockmaker John Harrison invented the marine chronometer. This was “a clock that would carry the true time from the home port . . . to any remote corner of the world,” thus enabling sailors to determine longitude.

As we navigate the seas of life, we also have a reliable source of spiritual direction—the Bible. The psalmist wrote, “Oh, how I love Your law! It is my meditation all the day” (Ps. 119:97). Rather than occasionally glancing at God’s Word, he spoke of pondering the Lord’s directions throughout each day: “Your testimonies are my meditation” (v.99). This was coupled with a commitment to obey the Author: “I have sworn and confirmed that I will keep Your righteous judgments” (v.106).

Like the mariners of old, we need a constant guide to help us find our way and stay on course. That’s what happens when we seek the Lord day by day with an open heart and a willing spirit that says, “Your word is a lamp to my feet and a light to my path.” By:  David C. McCasland (Our Daily Bread, Copyright RBC Ministries, Grand Rapids, MI. — Reprinted by permission. All rights reserved)

Reflect & Pray

We need God’s guidance from above,
His daily leading and His love;
As we trust Him for direction,
To our course He’ll give correction.

With God as your navigator, you’re headed in the right direction.

Psalm 119:106


Psalm 119:107


Psalm 119:108


Psalm 119:109


Psalm 119:110


Psalm 119:111  I have inherited Your testimonies forever, For they are the joy of my heart. 

  • Your testimonies: Ps 119:14,127,162 16:5 De 33:4 Isa 54:17 Acts 26:18 Col 1:12 Heb 9:15 1Pe 1:4 
  • for they: Ps 119:74,92,174 19:8 Jer 15:16 1Pe 1:8 

 The psalmist repeatedly emphasizes the eternal truth of God's words (cf Jesus' words in Mt 24:35)

  • Forever = Ps. 119:44; Ps. 119:89; Ps. 119:111; Ps. 119:112; Ps. 119:144; Ps. 119:152
  • Everlasting = Ps. 119:142; Ps. 119:160

C Graham - It is said of some mines of Cornwall, that the deeper they are sunk the richer they prove; and though some lodes have been followed a thousand and even fifteen hundred feet, they have not come to an end. Such is the Book of God. It is a mine of wealth which can never be exhausted. The deeper we sink into it the richer it becomes.

Psalm 119:112 I have inclined my heart to perform Thy statutes Forever, even to the end.

NET  Psalm 119:112 I am determined to obey your statutes at all times, to the very end.

LXE  Psalm 119:112 I have inclined my heart to perform thine ordinances for ever, in return for thy mercies.

NLT  Psalm 119:112 I am determined to keep your decrees to the very end. Samekh

KJV  Psalm 119:112 I have inclined <05186> (08804) mine heart <03820> to perform <06213> (08800) thy statutes <02706> alway <05769>, even unto the end <06118>.

ESV  Psalm 119:112 I incline my heart to perform your statutes forever, to the end.

NIV  Psalm 119:112 My heart is set on keeping your decrees to the very end.

ASV  Psalm 119:112 I have inclined my heart to perform thy statutes For ever, even unto the end.

CSB  Psalm 119:112 I am resolved to obey Your statutes to the very end.

NKJ  Psalm 119:112 I have inclined <05186> (08804) my heart <03820> to perform <06213> (08800) Your statutes <02706> Forever <05769>, to the very end <06118>.

NRS  Psalm 119:112 I incline my heart to perform your statutes forever, to the end.

YLT  Psalm 119:112 I have inclined my heart To do Thy statutes, to the age -- to the end!

NAB  Psalm 119:112 My heart is set on fulfilling your laws; they are my reward forever.

NJB  Psalm 119:112 I devote myself to obeying your statutes, their recompense is eternal.

GWN  Psalm 119:112 I have decided to obey your laws. They offer a reward that never ends.

BHT  Psalm 119:112 nätitî libbî la`ásôt huqqeykä le`ôläm `ëqeb

BBE  Psalm 119:112 My heart is ever ready to keep your rules, even to the end.

  • inclined (KJV): Ps 119:36 141:4 Jos 24:23 1Ki 8:58 2Ch 19:3 Php 2:13 
  • perform (KJV): Heb. do
  • the end (KJV): Ps 119:33,44 1Pe 1:13 Rev 2:10 

I have inclined my heart to perform Thy statutes - Recall that earlier he had prayed "Incline my heart to Thy testimonies" (Ps 119:36+) and this is in effect an answer to that prayer. Our natural inclination is NOT to perform God's statutes, so the psalmist's inclination to do them indicates that God is enabling him (and I think it is by the supernatural power of the Spirit, Who clearly was active in the OT, even if He was not indwelling the believers as we see in the New Covenant). 

I have inclined  (2827)(see above on klino) is in the aorist tense, 

Forever, even to the end 

SpurgeonI have inclined mine heart to perform Thy statutes alway, even unto the end. He was not half inclined to virtue, but heartily inclined to it. His whole heart was bent on practical, persevering godliness. He was resolved to keep the statutes of the Lord with all his heart, throughout all his time, without erring or ending. He made it his end to keep the law unto the end, and that without end. He had by prayer, and meditation, and resolution made his whole being lean towards God's commands; or as we should say in other words -- the grace of God had inclined him to incline his heart in a sanctified direction. Many are inclined to preach, but the Psalmist was inclined to practise; many are inclined to perform ceremonies, but he was inclined to perform statutes; many are inclined to obey occasionally, but David would obey alway; and, alas, many are inclined for temporary religion, but this godly man was bound for eternity, he would perform the statutes of his Lord and King even unto the end. Lord, send us such a heavenly inclination of heart as this: then shall we show chat thou hast quickened and taught us. To this end create in us a clean heart, and daily renew a right spirit within us, for only so shall we incline in the right direction.

Psalm 119:113


Psalm 119:114


Psalm 119:115


Psalm 119:116


Psalm 119:117  Uphold me that I may be safe, That I may have regard for Your statutes continually. 

  • Uphold me: Ps 17:5 71:6 73:23 139:10 Isa 41:13  Joh 10:28,29 Ro 14:4 1Pe 1:5 Jude 1:24 
  • That I may have regard : Ps 119:6,48,111,112 

Uphold me that I may be safe,

Uphold me - A great prayer expressing our continual need to recall our great and total dependence upon God and His Spirit in order to live as a believer, a "Christ one", a SUPERnatural life, an abundant life. If He were not for us, all hell and corruption would prevail over us beloved!

Spurgeon - Hold thou me up: as a nurse holds up a little child. "And I shall be safe," and not else; for unless Thou hold me up I shall be falling about like an infant that is weak upon its knees. We are saved by past grace, but we are not safe unless we receive present grace. The Psalmist had vowed to keep the Lord's commands, but here he pleads with the Lord to keep him: a very sensible course of procedure. Our version reads the word "uphold," and then "hold up;" and truly we need this blessing in every shape in which it can come, for in all manner of ways our adversaries seek to cast us down. To be safe is a happy condition; there is only one door to it, and that is to be held up by God Himself; thank God, that door is open to the least among us. 

Hold thou me up, and I shall be safe. Not only the consciousness of my weakness, but the danger of the slippery path before me, reminds me, that the safety of every moment depends upon the upholding power of my faithful God. The ways of temptation are so many and imperceptible -- the influence of it so appalling -- the entrance into it so deceitful, so specious, so insensible -- and my own weakness and unwatchfulness are so unspeakable -- that I can do nothing but go on my way, praying at every step, "Hold thou me up, and I shall be safe." --Charles Ridges. 

Verse 117. -- Hold thou me up. Three things made David afraid. 

  • First, great temptation without; for from every air the wind of temptation blows upon a Christian. 
  • Secondly, great corruption within. 
  • Thirdly, examples of other worthy men that had fallen before him, and are written for us: not that we should learn to fall, but to fear lest we fall. 

These three should always hold us humble, according to that warning, "Let him that thinketh he standeth take heed lest he fall." (1Cor 10:12) --William Cowper. 

Verse 117. -- Up, up above the littleness in which I have lived too long, -- above the snares which have so often caught me, -- above the stumbling blocks upon which I have so often fallen, -- above the world, -- above myself, -- higher than I have ever reached yet, -- above the level of my own mortality: worthy of thee, -- worthy of the blood, with which I have been bought, -- nearer to heaven, -- nearer to thee, -- "hold thou me up." 

God's methods of holding his people up are many. Sometimes it is by the preacher's word, when the word comes fitly spoken to the heart and conscience. May God, in his infinite condescension, enable his servants in this church so to hold you up. Sometimes it is by the ordained means and sacraments which his grace commanded. Sometimes it is by the efficacy of the Holy Scriptures, when some passage in your own room strikes the mind, Just in season; or the stay of some sweet promise comes in sustaining to your spirit. Sometimes by the simple in working of the Holy Ghost in a man's own thoughts, as he will work "Uphold me with thy free Spirit." Sometimes by the ministration of angels, -- "They shall hold thee up in their hands, lest thou dash thy foot against a stone." Sometimes by putting you very low indeed, making you feel that the safe place is the valley. There is no elevation like the elevation of abasement. Sometimes by severe discipline to brace up the heart, and strengthen it, and make it independent of external things. Sometimes by heavy affliction, which is the grasp of his hand, that he may hold you tighter. Sometimes by putting into your heart to think the exact thing that you need, -- to pray the very prayer which he intends at the moment to grant. Sometimes by appearing to let you go, and forsake you, while at the same time -- like the Syro Phoenician woman -- he is giving you the wish to hold on that he may give you the more at the last. --James Vaughan, of Brighton, 1877. 

Verse 117. -- I will have respect unto that statutes continually. I will employ myself, so some; I will delight myself, so others; in thy statutes. If God's right hand uphold us, we must in His strength go on in our duty, both with diligence and With pleasure. -- Matthew Henry. 


Upholding -- God's holding us up. It implies a danger, and that danger takes many forms. The believer's life may be described as walking in uprightness; he is a pilgrim. He needs upholding, for -- 
(a) The way is slippery. 
(b) Our feet make the danger as well as the way. 
(c) Cunning foes seek to trip us up. 
(d) Sometimes the difficulty is not caused by the way, but by the height to which God may elevate us. 
(e) The prayer is all the more needful because the most of people do not keep upright. 

Two blessed things that come out of this holding up. 
(a) We shall be safe for ourselves, as examples, and as pillars of the church. 
(b) We shall be watchful and sensitive: "I will have respect unto thy statutes continually." Without this no man is safe. 

See "Spurgeon's Sermons," No. 1657: "My Hourly Prayer." 
Verse 117. -- Hold thou me up, etc. 

The good man is up. 
The good man wishes to keep up. 
The good man prays to be held up. 
The good man knows that divine support is abundantly sufficient. --W.J. 

Verse 117. -- 
Dependence for the future: "Hold," etc. 
Resolution for the future: "I will have," etc. --G.R. 


That I may have regard for Your statutes continually - Notice how the protection of the Lord from spiritual danger enlivens our regard for God's Word. Sin will keep you from the Bible or the Bible will keep you from sin. 

No man will outwardly keep the Lord's statutes for long together
UNLESS he has an inward respect for them, and this will never be
UNLESS the hand of the Lord perpetually upholds the heart in holy love

-- C H Spurgeon

Spurgeon And I will have respect unto thy statutes continually. In obedience is safety; in being held up is obedience. No man will outwardly keep the Lord's statutes for long together UNLESS he has an inward respect for them, and this will never be UNLESS the hand of the Lord perpetually upholds the heart in holy love (cp Php 2:13NLT+, Ezek 36:27+, 1Jn 4:19+). Perseverance to the end, obedience continually, comes only through the divine power; we start aside as a deceitful bow unless we are kept right by Him that first gave us grace. Happy is the man who realizes this verse in his life: upheld through his whole life in a course of unswerving integrity, he becomes a safe and trusted man, and maintains a sacred delicacy of conscience which is unknown to others. He feels a tender respect for the statutes of the Lord, which keeps him clear of inconsistencies and conformities to the world that are so common among others, and hence he is a pillar in the house of the Lord. Alas, we know some professors who are not upright, and therefore they lean to sin till they fall over, and though they are restored they are never safe or reliable, neither have they that sweet purity of soul which is the charm of the more sanctified who have been kept from falling into the mire. 

Psalm 119:118


Psalm 119:119


Psalm 119:120


Psalm 119:121


Psalm 119:122


Psalm 119:123


Psalm 119:124


Psalm 119:125  I am Your servant; give me understanding, That I may know Your testimonies. 

  • I am Your servant: Ps 119:94 86:16 116:16 Ro 6:22 
  • give me understanding: Ps 119:34,66 2Ch 1:7-10 2Co 3:5,6 2Ti 2:7 Jas 1:5 3:13-17 
  • That I may know Your testimonies. : Ps 119:11,18,19,29 Pr 9:10 14:8 


I am Your servant - I am you ''ebed, your bondservant. Would you call yourself a bondservant of Christ? The Septuagint translates ''ebed with doulos describing one bound to another in servitude and conveys the idea of the slave's close, binding ties with his master, belonging to him, obligated to and desiring to do his will and in a permanent relation of servitude. In sum, the will of the doulos is consumed in the will of the master. A bondservant is one who surrendered wholly to another’s will and thus devoted to another to the disregard of his own interest. Paul and Timothy were not their own but had been bought with the price of the blood of Christ. They were now the property of our Lord Jesus Christ and were His slaves exclusively. No man can serve two masters (Mt 6:24+). Paul and Timothy had been slaves of Sin (see note on "the Sin") by their birth into Adam's likeness, but now they are slaves of Christ by their new, second birth. They had no will of their own, no business of their own, no time of their own and were acting for their Master, Christ; dependent upon Him and obedient to Him.

Bondservant was a name applied to many in the Old Testament, even the Messiah, so it was used particularly of godly men:

1). Abraham Ps 105:6, 42, Ge 26:24 , Jos 1:2 
2). Job     Job 1:8; 2:3; 42:7,8 
3). Joshua  Jos 24:29; Jdg 2:8 
4). David Ps 89:3, 20;Ps18:1 Je33:21,  Eze 34:23, 2Sa 3:18, 7:5, 7:8, 1Ki 8:24, 8:25,26 1Ki 11:14, 1Ki 11:32,34,38, 1Ki 14:8, 2Ki 19:34, 2Ki 20:6, 1Ch 17:4,7, 2Chr 6:15,16, Isa 37:35 , Jer 33:21,22,26,  Ezek 34:23,24,37:24,25   (1Ki 8:28 Solomon called himself a servant but God did not!)
5). Eliakim Isa 22:20 
6). Zerubbabel Hag 2:23 
7). Caleb Nu 14:24 
8). Moses Nu 12:7,8, Lxx = therapon; 2Ki 21:8, Mal 4:4 latter two uses in Lxx = doulos
9). Isaiah Isa 20:3 
10) Israel (Jacob)...the land  Isa 41:8,9,44:1,2 ,44:21 ,45:4 ,49:3 ,Jer 30:10, 46:27,28, Eze 28:25 
11). Messiah: Isa 42:1,19,43:10, 49:5,6, 52:13,53:11, Zech 3:8 (Branch)  
12). Nebuchadnezzar Jer 25:9, 27:6, 43:10

Give me understanding - A good prayer to pray frequently!  A command, not like we can command God to do something, but reflecting our desperate desire for Him to answer. 

Understanding (discern, consider) (0995)(bin/biyn) conveys the same idea as our word discrimination. It entails the idea of making a distinction as in 1Ki 3:9 where Solomon ask God for the ability "to discern (bin/biyn) between good and evil". Many of the OT uses of bin/biyn are translated "understanding," an understanding which is the result of comparative "study" or "mental separation".

Septuagint = Sunetizo (aorist imperative)  not found in NT - means actively to cause to understand or in passive to be given insight. It is notable that 7 of the 16 uses in the Septuagint are in Psalm 119 and most are a plea to God for understanding! How important is this prayer? That's rhetorical of course. It is clearly very important, even vital for a bondservant to know His Master's will. All uses of sunetizo Neh. 8:7; Neh. 8:9; Neh. 9:20; Ps. 16:7; Ps. 32:8; Ps. 119:27; Ps. 119:34; Ps. 119:73; Ps. 119:125; Ps. 119:130; Ps. 119:144; Ps. 119:169; Dan. 8:16; Dan. 9:22; Dan. 10:14

That I may know Your testimonies - The purpose of praying for understanding. Knowing His testimonies is knowing Him. Testimonies (05713) is from word denoting permanence or from root "ud" meaning return or repeat, do again which conveys the idea of witness by reiteration, emphatically affirms the testimony. A Witness refers to someone who will be accepted to bear a true testimony in various situations for various reasons.

Integrity—Is It Possible?

Give me understanding, that I may know Your testimonies. — Psalm 119:125

Today's Scripture: Psalm 119:121-128

Samuel DiPiazza, CEO of a major public accounting firm, co-authored a book on building trust in the business world. The book proposes a spirit of transparency, a culture of accountability, and a people of integrity. But in an interview in Singapore, he noted there is one thing the book cannot teach—integrity. “Either you have it or you don’t,” he said.

Is he right? In our world of shifting standards, can integrity be acquired by those who don’t have it? The answer is found in our unchanging standard—God’s Word, the Bible.

David the psalmist did not head a multinational corporation. But he did rule over a kingdom, and he was serious about doing what was right. He recognized how easy it is to slide down the slippery path of unethical behavior simply because it seems advantageous.

So David asked God, “Teach me Your statutes” (Ps. 119:124). “Give me understanding,” he said, “that I may know Your testimonies” (v.125). David hated “every false way,” and based his life on the principle that “all Your precepts concerning all things I consider to be right” (v.128).

No one is born with godly character. But by studying God’s Word and listening to His Holy Spirit, we can learn to hate falsehood and love integrity. By:  C. P. Hia (Our Daily Bread, Copyright RBC Ministries, Grand Rapids, MI. — Reprinted by permission. All rights reserved)

For Further Study
How can faith flourish in a hostile work environment? Read Daniel: Spiritual Living In A Secular Culture on the Web at

The measure of a man's character is what he would do if he knew he never would be found out. —Macauley

Related Resources: 

Psalm 119:126


Psalm 119:127


Psalm 119:128


Psalm 119:129 Pe. Your testimonies are wonderful; Therefore my soul observes them. 

  • testimonies (KJV): Ps 119:18 139:6 Isa 9:6 25:1 Rev 19:10 
  • doth (KJV): Ps 119:2,31,146 25:10 

J Todd - Some look upon the Bible as a garden of spices, in which you may walk, and at your leisure pluck the flowers and gather the fruits of the Eden of God. But this does not accord with my experience. I have found it more like a mine, in which you must dig and labor, the wealth of which is not to be obtained without labor,—a mine rich in gold and precious things, but it must be wrought day and night in order to produce them.

Your testimonies are wonderful

Therefore my soul observes them. 

Psalm 119:130 The unfolding of Your words gives light; It gives understanding to the simple. 

  • Unfolding -   Ps 119:105 Pr 6:23 Isa 8:20 Lu 1:77-79 Ac 26:18 2Co 4:4,6 Eph 5:13,14 2Pe 1:19 
  • Gives: Ps 19:7 Pr 1:4,22,23 9:4-6 Ro 16:18,19 2Ti 3:15-17 


The unfolding of Your words gives light: Pr 29:13 Ps 19:8, Ex 4:11: Scripture give satisfactory light to the mind upon every subject treated; and speedily communicates more useful knowledge to the simplest believer, taking them from spiritual immaturity as a baby who can't talk (1Co 3:1) or take solid food to a mature man (Heb 5:12-14), to full stature (Ep 4:13), to Christlikeness. The word succinctly & accurately uncovers more on the the most important concerns of mankind than all the acutest philosophers have been able to develop through successive ages. 

Unfolding (06608)(pethach from pathach = open wide) means revelation, formally, opening, unfolding,     disclosure of knowledge or an understanding of something difficult. Figurative extension of opening or doorway of an entrance. 

LIGHT = JESUS > Jn1:9, Jn 3:19, 20, 21, Jn 8:12, 9:5, 2Ti 1:10 Isa 9:2 Mal 4:2 

It gives understanding to the simple.  Job 33:16,17 2Co 4:6 Ac16:14 2Cor 3:14,15,16 Rev 3:18 2Cor 3:14,15,16 Rev 3:18 JOB 33:16,17 Isa 29:10-14, Jn 8:12 

J C Philpot - The word “simple” means literally something which is not folded or twisted together.  But owing to the treacherous and desperately deceitful heart of man, all, without exception, in a state of nature are the reverse of this.  All their plots and contrivances for worldly profit or fleshly pleasure are tangled and complicated; and they are continually twisting together some thread or other of carnal policy.  But when God the Holy Ghost begins the work of grace upon the souls of the elect, He proceeds (if I may use the expression) to untwist them.  He takes hold of that rope which Satan and their own hearts have been twisting together for years, and He untwists it throughout its whole lenght, so as to leave the strands not intertwined as before, but riven, separated, and torn from each other.  The light that shines into the soul out of the fulness of Jesus discovers to a man the tortuousness, the crookedness, the complicated deceit and hypocrisy of which he is guilty.  A man then is made “simple,” when the folds and rumples of his heart are shaken out, and he is brought to see and feel that God looks into him; that His eye penetrates into every recess of his bosom; and that there is not a thought in his heart, nor “a word in his tongue, but the Lord knoweth it altogether.”  This character is aptly represented by Nathaniel.  He had gone through this untwisting work in his soul.  He had been under the fig-tree, and whilst kneeling and praying there, the eye of God looked into him, and just as a flash of lightning runs, in a moment, through a coil of wire, so, when the eye of God looked into Nathaniel’s soul, that instantaneous flash unravelled and untwisted the devices of his heart, and made him a simple man before him—“an Israelite indeed, in whom there was no guile.” Ears from Harvested Sheaves.


         The opening of thy words giveth light;
         It giveth understanding unto the simple.—Ps. 119:130

1. THE section of the psalm in which the text occurs is a gem of spiritual beauty. In verse after verse we are led through the deep places of religious faith and love, and the Psalmist guides our feet like one conversant with the holiest secrets of the spiritual pilgrim’s way. His thoughts are perennial, and his words sound like the utterance of a believing soul here and now in this present generation.
“God’s word is wonderful, mysterious.” It holds a great mystery which is an offence to the pretentious intellectualism of the wise, but in this very wonderfulness the obedient soul finds rest. Through obedience comes fuller knowledge. “God’s word opens.” And fuller knowledge creates fuller trust and devotion. For “the light grows with the opening of the word,” and in it there is no darkness at all. New light produces new longing, a more eager “panting” of the spirit for the word of God. The longing for God’s word quickly reveals itself as a longing for God Himself, a hungering for His mercy and love. In the vision of God’s face the desire for purity of life is intensified and the soul pleads for deliverance from the “dominion of iniquity.” Then the man rises into full consciousness of his privilege as one of God’s freemen, whom no power shall enslave and no fetters shall bind. “The oppression of man shall not hold him in bondage.” And so he stands in the gladness of spiritual strength while God’s face “shines upon him” like the sun from heaven. Living in God’s light, his heart, like God’s, becomes full of compassion for a sinful world. As the Son of God in later days wept for the sins and woes of Jerusalem, so this ancient Psalmist says: “Mine eyes run down with rivers of water, because they observe not thy law.”
2. The object of Christian faith may be compared to a jewel enclosed in a casket. The jewel is the Lord Jesus Christ; the casket is the Bible. Now, we believe that a man may possess the jewel who has never seen the casket, or who has got it in his hands in an imperfect and broken form. There is such an efficacy in the Lord Jesus Christ, such a fitness in Him for the sins and sorrows and wants of poor fallen humanity, that the Holy Spirit of God can bring Him home to the soul with saving power by a small portion of knowledge. A single Gospel, a single Epistle, a Psalm such as the Twenty-third, or a verse such as “God so loved the world, that he gave his only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have everlasting life,” if explained simply and brought home by God’s Spirit, may become God’s power unto salvation. The Bible came to men in fragments, piece after piece, through many generations, and a fragment of it still does its proper work. It has a principle of life that is complete in its separate parts, and you may see all its truth in one text, as you can see all the sun’s image in one drop of dew in a flower. This is a wise, Divine arrangement, which may reassure some who fear they are losing Christ, when the question is about the meaning of some parts of the Bible. If a man were so driven about on seas of difficulty that he could have only a board or broken piece of the ship, it would “bring him safe to land.” Nevertheless, the care and completeness of the casket are of very great moment. Our salvation may be gained by one word about Christ, but our edification, our Christian comfort and well-being, depend on the full word of Christ. Whenever He is set forth, however dimly, there is something for us to learn, something needful to make us thoroughly furnished unto every good work. Here the Bible may be compared, not to a casket enclosing a jewel, but to a piece of tapestry on which a figure is inwoven. If it be mutilated, or the golden threads that meet and intermingle be torn and tarnished, we lose, so far, the complete image of truth that is the inheritance of the Church of Christ—the inheritance which the Apostle thus describes: “Whatsoever things were written aforetime were written for our learning, that we through patience and comfort of the scriptures might have hope.”

¶ Bartholdi’s statue of “Liberty Enlightening the World” occupies a fine position on Bedloes Island, which commands the approach to New York Harbour. It holds up a torch which is lit at night by an immense electric light. The statue was cast in portions in Paris. The separate pieces were very different, and, taken apart, of uncouth shape. It was only when all was brought together, each in its right place, that the complete design was apparent. Then the omission of any one would have left the work imperfect. In this it is an emblem of Holy Scripture. We do not always see the object of certain portions; nevertheless each has its place, and the whole is a magnificent statue of Christ Jesus, who is the true “Liberty Enlightening the World,” casting illuminative rays across the dark, rocky ocean of time, and guiding anxious souls to the desired haven.


1. The word of God is not a book. There are plenty of Bibles in the world to-day. Indeed there never was a time when so many were distributed. The printing presses of Christendom fairly groan with the innumerable volumes. Nor is the word of God preaching. Churches abound and times of prosperity see them built and rebuilt in ever more magnificent form. The greater the wealth of the community and the more easy and abundant its luxury, the more gorgeous become its churches, the more elegant their ritual, and the more eloquent their preaching. The word of God is the voice of God in a man’s soul. As the Saviour put it: “Man shall not live by bread alone, but by every word that proceedeth out of the mouth of God.” That is the voice which, through whatever channel it comes and in whatever words it declares itself, becomes the compelling voice in a man’s heart, awakening him to a new consciousness of his relations to his Maker.

2. The word of God is a living word, addressed to men, and it brings the power of God Himself along with it. God did not wait to speak to men until they had advanced so far that they were able to provide themselves with some kind of record of what He said. Far back in the infancy and childhood of the human race, God condescended to men in their weakness and frailty, spoke to them and made Himself intelligible, and lodged the incorruptible seed in their hearts. All the epistles in those days were living epistles, and the living word of God was not written down, but passed like fire, with all its power to quicken and redeem, from heart to heart.

3. No book can adequately express God’s word. What God had to say to men, what God at last actually did say to men, was something too great for human words to record. “God,” we read in the Bible itself, “God, who at sundry times and in divers manners spake in times past unto the fathers by the prophets, hath in these last days spoken unto us by his Son.” “By his Son”—revelation was consummated in Christ. “The Word became flesh and dwelt among us … full of grace and truth,” and Christ, in all the fulness of His grace and truth, is God’s last word to man. Could anybody produce an adequate record of Christ? Could any words that man could use ever tell all the wonderful meaning of that manifestation of God? Evangelists, after they had done their best, declared that half had never been told. You remember how the last of them, John, says at the end of his Gospel, after he had tried to tell everything: “The world itself would not contain the books that should be written.” No human word, the most wonderful or searching or patient, could ever tell out for men everything that God meant when He sent His Son to save the world.

¶ You do right to call it “The Book,” but you must not forget that it is a book. It has the limitations of a book, the mistakes of a book, the obscurities of a book, the impotence of a book. And while it is the treasury of the most profound and unquestionable and authoritative in books, it is still only a book. There is something more than the Book. There is a life, a living passion, a moulding faith, a lifting hope; and they are greater than the Book.

¶ What is a word, a sentence, a book, a library? What are all libraries? A mere peep into the inexpressible. The best writers know this, and are not surprised if they find out their most important things in between the lines, and the best readers soon learn where to look for them. The best speakers know this, and feel when all is done that they have left their most impressive thoughts unspoken because they are unspeakable. However, the best hearers understand perfectly well, perhaps better than if they had been spoken. The poets know best how to use language. They often express their most inexpressible, or evanescent thoughts by means of repugnant, or somewhat paradoxical epithets; as, for example, Coleridge when he says:

         The stilly murmur of the distant sea
         Tells us of silence.

The belief that it is easy to speak plainly on these great subjects is at the bottom of nearly all the mistakes which divide men in religion, and, it may be added, of nearly all the scepticism which has ever existed.

4. Multitudes are unconscious of the highest truths, incapable of them. They lack a sense, the sublimest sense of all, the faculty to discern the reality of the Divine and eternal. Clever enough in the arts of this life, they are stone-blind to the higher. Standing beneath the visible world, patent to us all, is an invisible underworld of atoms, ether, colours, and subtle movements, which only the disciplined sense of the scientist can detect and measure; all around us is another world of beauty, music, and poetry, perceived and appreciated only by those possessed of the artistic sense; and again, above us is a supreme world of which God is the everlasting light and glory, a realm evident only to those whose senses are exercised in holy thought, constant purity, and willing obedience.

We say that the eye creates half that it sees: but no eye is nearly so creative as a blind one; and the proud critic, knowing nothing as he ought to know, enlarges copiously and confidently on his speculations. It is the astronomy of the blind. Competent on questions of the lower spheres, these talkers are of no account in regard to the reality and blessedness of personal godliness. Their astronomy is the veriest superstition set forth in the language of philosophy. The least in the Kingdom of God is greater than these. Only men born again see the eternal light clearly and steadily. Only as we experience the truths Divine do we comprehend them. Only as we do the will of God in daily obedience do we know the doctrine. As Carlyle puts it: “He who has done nothing has known nothing.” Then do we see light in God’s light, and know the secret of the world, of life, of the future when we believe in our heart and obey in our life.

      That Thou art nowhere to be found, agree
      Wise men, whose eyes are but for surfaces;
      Men with eyes opened by the second birth,
      To whom the seen, husk of the unseen is,
      Descry the soul of everything on earth.
      Who knows Thy ends, Thy means and motions see;
      Eyes made for glory soon discover Thee.

¶ Not very long ago The Times newspaper contained a correspondence on the desirableness of science lecturers making their great themes more clear to the ordinary audience. In defence the lecturers maintained that it is almost impossible to make lucid the problems of nature to listeners so entirely destitute of knowledge and sympathy as the majority are. More difficult still is it for certain minds to grasp mathematical or metaphysical problems. How completely the ungifted and undisciplined stand away from the mysteries of music! While Glinka was writing his immortal work, his wife complained before everyone that “he was wasting ruled paper.” The obtuse content themselves with the sarcasm that “music is a noise costlier than other noises.” And as to the arts, the critics declare that genuine work is unintelligible to the crowd. “The beautiful is what your servant instinctively thinks is frightful.”


“The opening of thy words giveth light.” When the book is opened, the light streams forth. The term translated “giveth light” is a transitive verb which means “to cause to shine.” The direct object of the verb may be supplied by using any term which will indicate the lover of God’s word. “The opening of God’s Word maketh the attentive heart to shine.” That is, the Word of God gives light by enkindling the light of truth within our souls. It is the same word that is used concerning God in the 135th verse—“Make thy face to shine upon thy servant.” As His face shines upon us, He makes our hearts shine back upon Him and upon the world. He does not illuminate our path mechanically, but sets His light within us livingly. He uses us, not as passive reflectors of His brightness, but as burning and shining lights.

1. We must learn to open the book. If God has given us a heavenly Word, a Divinely communicated Word, the first thing we should do is to learn diligently to understand that Word. If God has spoken, then our greatest business is to try to understand what God has said. Suppose a great prince or a great sage spoke words of wisdom, and a thoughtless, foolish person rushed in and began to babble his inanities, instead of trying to understand the wisdom of the counsellor, what would you think? You would probably think more than you would like to say. Are we any better, if, when God has spoken, and in the face of that utterance, instead of setting ourselves in lowliness to understand His great message, we go on babbling our own little passing speculations? We are people of many books to-day, and we speak of our fathers sarcastically as “men of one book.” There is no objection to many books, but we would do well to get back to the one, and to understand something more of the great mystery of Divine love which God has revealed to us.

¶ Mr. Moody tells us in an amusing way of his own experience: “I used at one time to read so many chapters a day, and if I did not I thought I was cold and backsliding, but, mind you, if a man had asked me an hour afterwards what I had read, I could not have told him—I had forgotten nearly it all. When I was a boy I used to hoe turnips on a farm, and I used to hoe them so badly to get over so much ground that at night I had to put a stick into the ground so as to know next morning where I had left off.” That was somewhat in the same fashion as much Bible reading. A man will say: “Wife, did I read that chapter?” “Well,” she says, “I don’t remember”; and neither of them can recollect. Now, there is no sort of merit or profit in that sort of Bible reading; no blessing comes with it. It is of no more use than galloping through so many columns of advertisements or so many pages of the dictionary. If the Scriptures are to profit us, we must ask, as we read, “What does this mean? What does it teach? What lesson may I learn from it? Does it suggest prayer? Does it prompt praise? Does it prescribe duty?” It would be well if all of us might sometimes be pulled up in our reading by the question, “Understandest thou that which thou readest?”

2. The more we study the Word, the more freely the light breaks upon us. “The opening of thy words giveth light” means not only that God’s Word gives light, but that this light grows with the growing revelation or understanding of the Word. As the Word opens before the soul the Divine shines forth from it more clearly, and the glory of the God it exhibits becomes more wonderful. The more we understand the Word, the more we see of God. The deeper we go into the revelation, the nearer we get to the blaze of the eternal Light.

¶ A friend of mine visited Mr. Prang’s chromo establishment in Boston. Mr. Prang showed him a stone on which was laid the colour for making the first impression toward producing the portrait of a distinguished public man, but he could see only the faintest possible line of tinting. The next stone that the paper was submitted to deepened the colour a little, but still no trace of the man’s face was visible. Again and again was the sheet passed over successive stones, until at last the outline of a man’s face was dimly discerned. Finally, after some twenty impressions from as many different stones, the portrait of the distinguished man stood forth so perfectly that it seemed to lack only the power of speech to make it living. Thus it is with Christ in the Scriptures.
¶ A Hindoo gentleman, holding a high office in the Presidency of Bombay, told me a few years ago that during his vacation he was anxious to read with his son for an hour or two daily a book of high moral and spiritual influence. He thought of many, and at last decided to take the Book of Psalms. “We treat it,” he said, “like any other book; we investigate questions of authorship, we try to discover the circumstances in which each psalm was written, we separate the purely Jewish elements from those of more general interest and importance, we try to discriminate between what is human and faulty, and what is lofty and spiritual. By doing this we seem often to hear the voice of God speaking in our hearts, showing us the way of truth and duty, and calling us to higher aspirations and efforts.” The man who said this to me was not a Christian. It shows us what hope there is in presenting our Scriptures to non-Christians in the right way, and how true it is that these Scriptures possess a universal adaptation to the human spirit.


1. “It giveth understanding unto the simple.” We all know what it means to have the intellect enlightened. Everywhere we are encountering new knowledge. The sciences are all new, the practical affairs of life are conducted on new methods, with new instruments and, we may also say, with new purposes. We live not only on a new continent, but in a veritable new world. Enlightenment of the understanding seems at times the single, all-important necessity. All our great system of schools and colleges and universities is to the one end of providing this enlightened understanding for the growing generation; and we summon the young people to every sacrifice to attain to the enlightenment which is so much needed. We are charmed when we come upon any indication of what it holds in store for them.

¶ When Professor Agassiz came to America and made his first journey westward from the sea-coast, he sat all day in the train looking out of the window, for everywhere he quickly discovered what no one else had seen—signs of the action of the great glaciers of the ice period upon the surface of the continent. Every rounded hill, every pond in Massachusetts, every undulation in the levels south of Lake Erie was to him the proof of the theory of the Ice Age as he had held it. And these indisputable signs of a great geological epoch had laid openly before the eyes of generations of men who had been blind to see them. The record of geological history was written on the very face of the continent, and up to that hour no one had read it. With what excitement he turned the leaf of the great story! With what interest he told what he saw! With what open-eyed wonder people responded to the new teaching! We want enlightened intelligence in matters of religion. There are truths as new, as important, and as interesting in regard to revelation, and in regard to the Bible. We may well pray that the Church everywhere, and all believers, may have as a gift of God, enlightenment of their understanding.

¶ India has a venerable civilization, such as it is, and sacred books which contain a great deal of wisdom and beauty; but the Light of Asia has never brought enlightenment to the millions who receive it. With all the intellectual glory of ancient Greece, popular education was a thing unknown. Rome trained her people to war and plunder for the aggrandizement of the State. Certain of the slaves were educated to teach their master’s sons, but the plebeian multitude were poor, ignorant, and despised. Let the intellectual status of the people of Russia, Italy, Spain, or even France be compared with that of the people in Germany, England, or the United States, and how significant are the facts which appear.

2. But if we need enlightenment of the intellect, we need still more the dew of heaven upon the heart. The heart is the man, and the man must be reached if the work of God is to go forward. Sadly we discover that the enlightenment of the intellect goes but a short way in changing the character. Character rests upon decisions of the will, the abiding purposes of life, and these are determined primarily by the feelings. It is therefore the enlightenment of the heart, the stirring up of the feelings, the opening of the deep wells of the soul, and the appeal to the essential nature of the man himself that alone answers the call of God, and that alone can make men free, in the large sense of the gospel of Jesus Christ. The mere accumulation of knowledge is like the stuffing of the stove with fuel—it remains as cold and dead as the iron itself until the fire is kindled, which alone can transform it, and set free its imprisoned energies.

This is the unique triumph of God’s word that it recreates the soul, and changes the unrighteous into the image of Christ. No other power on earth has been able thus to renew the spirit of man. But this word of God renews its power in every generation. Into the dark soul its light enters, and in the lowly spirit the fire of God burns with inextinguishable blaze. In God’s light we see light, and the enkindled soul communes with the glory of God. In Christ Jesus the fallen one rises to be a new creation, and hears a holy voice cry, “Arise, shine; for thy light is come, and the glory of the Lord is risen upon thee.”

¶ This characteristic has been splendidly manifest in the propagation of the gospel in foreign lands. The hindrances to the exercise of this power are enormous among the devotees of false religions. Custom, tradition, sentiment, imagination, and all the vast conservatism of social forces, are arrayed against the incoming of the light of the Gospel. The feeble groundwork of truth upon which the false superstructure is reared has an ancient influence which counts for much. Yet, wherever the Word of God gets an opportunity, its results are similar to those which we have ourselves experienced. In Africa, India, China, and the islands of the sea, men and women rise to the same childlike assurance of pardon and peace in Jesus Christ, and confess in the common language of Christian faith the light-giving and life-giving virtue of the Word of God. The people that sat in darkness have seen a great slight, and that light is the Son of God.

¶ The other day I was reading a story of a Frenchman who was being entertained by a Christian chief in one of the Pacific Islands. The chief had a Bible, which the Frenchman sneered at, saying that in Europe they had got past that. The chief led his guest out of the house, showed him where they used to cook and eat their meals in cannibal days, and clinched everything by saying, “My friend, if it had not been for that Book, I should have been dining upon you now.”

3. Understanding comes only to the simple-hearted: “Unto the simple.” A simple person is often supposed to be a person who has no understanding or wisdom. But here “simple” means sincere, honest—a person who has a right aim, a right eye. What says the Saviour of such? “If thine eye be single”—rendered sometimes “simple”—if thine eye be simple, “thy whole body shall be full of light.” There is the entrance of God’s word. “But if thine eye be evil,”—if it be double, if it be hypocritical, if it be deceitful,—“thy whole body shall be full of darkness. If, therefore, the light that is in thee be darkness, how great is the darkness!” And how gracious it is of God, how merciful, that He should put the condition of our receiving the inward light, not upon intellectual and moral capacity. What if He had rested it on intellect, on philosophy, on science, or rank, or natural power of intellect: if He had promised it to the man who could muster different languages, or solve profound and difficult problems! But, so far from this, it is just the reverse; for this is what the Spirit of God tells us of His work, “Ye see your calling, brethren, how that not many wise men after the flesh, not many mighty, not many noble, are called: but God hath chosen the foolish things of the world to confound the wise; and God hath chosen the weak things of the world to confound the things which are mighty; and base things of the world, and things which are despised, hath God chosen, yea, and things which are not, to bring to nought things that are: that no flesh should glory in his presence”; and, it is added, “He that glorieth, let him glory in the Lord.”

¶ A teacher eminent in scientific research in describing the wondrous beauty and the mysterious structure of a leaf, has said that any tyro can see the facts for himself if he is provided with a leaf and a microscope. But how helpless would the tyro be if he had only the leaf, and not the microscope! The leaf would be perfect in all its parts, it would contain rare beauty of form, colour, and structure, though the tyro was ignorant of it, and had not a microscope to see it. Without the aid of a microscope, a scientific teacher even could not see the mysterious substance, the strange movements, and the beautiful structure of the leaf. The optical instrument is as necessary for the intelligent as for the ignorant, for the scientific as for the uneducated. If a man were to examine the leaf, without the aid of the instrument, and declare his inability to see any inner beauty, form, and structure in the leaf, the simple answer would be that these are things which can only be microscopically discerned. Now this is not merely the teaching of scientists, it is the teaching of the Apostle. Spiritual things can be seen and known only by a spiritual mind—a mind aided and strengthened by the higher power of vision which the Spirit of God imparts.

¶ There was a literary woman who stood high among book critics. One day in reviewing a book she said, “Who wrote this book? It is beautifully written, but there is something wrong here and there!” She proceeded to criticize with a good deal of severity. Some months afterwards this lady became acquainted with the author of the book, fell in love, and married him. She took the same book again and said, “What a beautiful book! There are some mistakes here and there, but they ought to be overlooked.” The book was just the same as it had been before, but the critic had changed. When she began to love the author it changed her attitude toward the book. So it is with us and the Bible. People do not love the Bible because they do not love Christ.

Psalm 119:131 I opened my mouth wide and panted, For I longed for Your commandments. 

  • opened: Ps 119:20 42:1 Isa 26:8,9 1Pe 2:2 
  • I longed: Ps 119:40,162,174 Heb 12:14 

I opened my mouth wide and panted, For I longed for Your commandments. 

Psalm 119:132  Turn to me and be gracious to me, After Your manner with those who love Your name.    (PRAYER)

  • Look (KJV): Ps 119:124 25:18 Ex 4:31 1Sa 1:11 2Sa 16:12 Isa 63:7-9 
  • as thou usest to do unto those (KJV): Heb. according to the custom toward those, Ps 106:4 2Th 1:6,7 

 Turn to me and be gracious to me, After Your manner with those who love Your name

Psalm 119:133 Establish my footsteps in Your word, And do not let any iniquity have dominion over me.   (PRAYER)

  • Establish my footsteps: Ps 119:116 17:5 32:8 121:3 1Sa 2:9 
  • do not let any iniquity: Ps 19:13 Ro 6:12-14 7:23,24 Mt 6:13

Related Passage:

Ps 119:38 - Establish Your word to Your servant, As that which produces reverence for You. 


Establish my footsteps in Your word - Establish is Hiphil Imperative. We don't command God but the command expresses our desperate.  The psalmist is in essence making a request of the Almighty. We are all prone to wonder and Lord we feel it. Here's my heart take & seal it. Seal it for Thy courts above. Where you "walk" (walk used as a picture of one's general conduct of life in the NT and probably also appropriate here) reflects what you truly believe, especially where you walk when no one but God sees you. It's interesting that the psalmist did not say establish my eyes in Thy easy it is to look at Thy word & then go away forgeting what kind of person you were (Ja1:22-24). We must prove ourselves doers & not merely hearers lest we deceive ourselves (and sin is deceptive Heb 3:13 & entangling Jn8:34). Do not walk in the counself of the wicked because before long you will be standing in the path of sinners and eventually even seated with the scoffers. Oh, the downward, destructive pull of our old sin nature, even resident (albeit crucified) in the one born from above. Wage war valiant soldiers of the cross. The night is almost over & the day of His glorious return is at hand. So fix your hope on the One above & the things above lest you become entangled in the affairs of everyday life. 

This is one of the Lord’s customary mercies to his chosen—“He keepeth the feet of his saints.” By his grace he enables us to put our feet step by step in the very place which his Word ordains. This does not stop short of perfect holiness, neither will the believer’s desires be satisfied with anything beneath that blessed consummation.

And do not let any iniquity have dominion over me. :Hiphil Impf:   This is the negative side of the blessing. We ask to do all that is right, and to fall under the power of nothing that is wrong. Believers pant for perfect liberty from the power of evil, and being conscious that they cannot obtain it of themselves, they cry unto God for it.

Here is a NT Parallel Passage

(Ro 6:11-14+) Even so consider yourselves to be dead to sin, but alive to God in Christ Jesus.  12 Therefore do not let sin reign (present imperative with a negative  see our need to depend on the Holy Spirit to obey) in your mortal body so that you obey its lusts, 13 and do not go on presenting (present imperative with a negative  see our need to depend on the Holy Spirit to obey) the members of your body to sin as instruments of unrighteousness; but present (aorist imperative  see our need to depend on the Holy Spirit to obey) yourselves to God as those alive from the dead, and your members as instruments of righteousness to God. 14 For sin shall not be master over you, for you are not under law but under grace. 

Sin (Sin = Principle in Ro 6:1-11) allures us with false promises of grandeur. Its real intent is to control and rule our lives. A person can have only one type of relationship to sin -- slave to master. The alternative is to let God's Word rule our lives.

The Christian life is a “walk,” a day at a time and a step at a time (Ps 119:1, 3, 45). The Word directs our steps, both for walking and for running (Ps 119:32). Note the prayers in [Ps 119:35,116,117]. As we pray for guidance, the Lord answers through His Word.

Have dominion (07980)(shalat) essential idea of root = to exercise autocratic control over = to have one's way  with anyone.  To dominate, govern; by impl. to permit=have mastery over, have rule, have dominion, give (have) power. The basic meaning of the root is well illustrated in Neh 5:15, in which the officials serving under the government of Judah before Nehemiah acted  in a tyrannical, self-serving, domineering way  with the people in imposing heavy burdens of  taxation on them. The people were powerless to  resist.

Baker - to domineer, to be master of. In the simple form, it takes the connotation of ruling. This can be ruling over people (Neh. 5:15; Eccl. 8:9); or possessions which one has been given control of (Eccl. 2:19). It can also mean to obtain power or to get mastery over something. Examples of this would be how sin can have power over a person (Ps. 119:133); or people can have power over each other (Esth. 9:1). This verb is also used in the causative form, meaning to give power (Eccl. 5:19[18]; 6:2). In these contexts, God gives people power over their lives, possessions, honor, and wealth. God is the only legitimate source of power, and all power flows from Him. (Complete Word Study Dictionary – Old Testament) 

TWOT - The essential idea of this root is "to exercise autocratic control over," "to have one's way with" anyone. It appears with its derivatives fifteen times in the Hebrew and thirty-two times in the Aramaic, where the meaning is similar to the Hebrew. Akkadian and Arabic use the root in similar fashion. (The Arabic word "Sultan" is formed from the same root.) In Ugaritic, shlyṭ is used as an epithet of ltn (Leviathan). The basic meaning of the root is well illustrated in Neh. 5:15, in which the officials serving under the government of Judah before Nehemiah acted in a tyrannical, self-serving, domineering way with the people in imposing heavy burdens of taxation on them. The people were powerless to resist. In Psalm 119:133, the psalmist prays that iniquity shall not have dominion over him. He wants to be firmly established in the Word of God so that he can be free from the terrible tyranny of sin. In a slightly modified sense the verb appears in Eccles. 2:19, with the meaning "to exercise control over" the fruit of one's labor. The causative force of the Hiphil is seen in Eccles. 5:18 and Eccles. 6:2 with the sense "empower." In the one passage God gives a man riches and wealth with the power or ability to enjoy them, whereas in the other, he has riches and wealth but lacks the power to enjoy them. (Theological Wordbook of the Old Testament)

Gilbrant - Occurring eight times in the OT, this verb, as is generally true of its cognates, conveys abusive "dominance." Nehemiah contrasts in Neh. 5:15 his reign as provincial governor under the Persians with his predecessors' reigns. Those before him abused the people, taking more than the required taxes. Further, even their subordinates "lorded over the people," abusing the negligible power they should have possessed. The verb is used four times in Ecclesiastes, twice in the imagery of the pointlessness of accumulating wealth, since after a person dies, someone else will rule the wealth, whether they be idiots (Ecc. 2:19) or total strangers (6:2). Ecclesiastes 8:9 indicates that the abuse of the weak, in which one person lords over another person in order to humiliate the weaker one, is a great evil. Finally, among the few things which are certain in life is that Yahweh grants a person material things to lord over and use for enjoyment (5:19). The verb is employed twice in Esther 9:1, where the irony of the reversal of events surrounding Purim is celebrated. On the precise day that the foes of the Jews in the Persian world were about to gain the power to lord over and abuse the Jews, the Jews instead gained the power to lord over their enemies. The final occurrence of this verb is found in Ps. 119:133 where the psalmist begs in this verse that Yahweh order his steps to keep him from harm: "Let not any iniquity have dominion over me." (Complete Biblical Library Hebrew-English Dictionary)

In Ps 119:133, the psalmist prays that iniquity shall not have dominion over him. He  wants to be firmly established in the Word of God  so that he can be free from the terrible tyranny of  sin. In a slightly modified sense the verb appears  in Eccl 2:19, with the meaning "to exercise control  over" the fruit of one's labor.  The causative force of the Hiphil is seen in  Ec5:18, 6:2 with the sense "empower." In  the one passage God gives a man riches and  wealth with the power or ability to enjoy them,  whereas in the other, he has riches and wealth  but lacks the power to enjoy them. 

Seven Uses - control over(1), domineered(1), empowered(2), exercised authority(1), gain the mastery over(1), gained the mastery over(1), have dominion(1), mastery over(2). Neh. 5:15; Est. 9:1; Ps. 119:133; Eccl. 2:19; Eccl. 5:19; Eccl. 6:2; Eccl. 8:9

Psalm 119:134 Redeem me from the oppression of man, That I may keep Your precepts.   (PRAYER)

  • Ps 119:122 56:1,2,13 105:43-45 Eze 11:17-20 36:24-27 Lu 1:74,75 Ac 9:31 

Redeem me from the oppression of man, That (term of purpose) I may keep Your precepts.  

Psalm 119:135 Make Your face shine upon Your servant, And teach me Your statutes.    (PRAYER)

  • Make (KJV): Ps 4:6 80:1,3,7,19 Nu 6:25,26 Job 33:26 Rev 22:4,5 
  • and teach (KJV): Ps 119:12,26 Job 34:32 35:11 36:22 Lu 24:45 

Make Your face shine upon Your servant, And teach me Your statutes. 

Psalm 119:136 My eyes shed streams of water, Because they do not keep Your law.

  • Ps 119:53,158 1Sa 15:11 Jer 9:1,18 13:17 14:17 Eze 9:4 Lu 19:41 Ro 9:2,3 

Related Passages:

Ezekiel 9:4  The LORD said to him, “Go through the midst of the city, even through the midst of Jerusalem, and put a mark on the foreheads of the men who sigh and groan over all the abominations which are being committed in its midst.”

Luke 18:10-14+ Two men went up into the temple to pray, one a Pharisee and the other a tax collector. 11 “The Pharisee stood and was praying this to himself: ‘God, I thank You that I am not like other people: swindlers, unjust, adulterers, or even like this tax collector. 12 ‘I fast twice a week; I pay tithes of all that I get.’ 13 “But the tax collector, standing some distance away, was even unwilling to lift up his eyes to heaven, but was beating his breast, saying, ‘God, be merciful to me, the sinner!’ 14 “I tell you, this man went to his house justified rather than the other; for everyone who exalts himself will be humbled, but he who humbles himself will be exalted.”

2 Corinthians 7:10 “For the sorrow that is according to the will of God produces a repentance without regret, leading to salvation, but the sorrow of the world produces death.” 


My eyes shed streams of water, Because they do not keep Your law - The old Puritans used to pray for the "gift of tears." When was the last time you (I) shed even one tear over your (my) sin? Conviction of sin is portrayed in the words My eyes shed streams of water,

“My sins, my sins, my Saviour,
How sad on Thee they fall.”

Oswald Chambers - Conviction of sin is one of the rarest things that ever strikes a man. It is the threshold of an understanding of God. Jesus Christ said that when the Holy Spirit came He would convict of sin, and when the Holy Spirit rouses a man’s conscience and brings him into the presence of God, it is not his relationship with men that bothers him, but his relationship with God—“against Thee, Thee only, have I sinned, and done this evil in Thy sight.” The marvels of conviction of sin, forgiveness, and holiness are so interwoven that it is only the forgiven man who is the holy man, he proves he is forgiven by being the opposite to what he was, by God’s grace. Repentance always brings a man to this point: I have sinned. The surest sign that God is at work is when a man says that and means it. Anything less than this is merely remorse for having made blunders— the reflex action of disgust at himself [and a further expression of self-love and “worldly sorrow which brings death”].The entrance into the Kingdom is through the panging pains of repentance crashing into a man’s respectable goodness; then the Holy Ghost, Who produces these agonies, begins the formation of the Son of God in the life. The new life will manifest itself in conscious repentance and unconscious holiness, never the other way about. The bedrock of Christianity is repentance. Strictly speaking, a man cannot truly and fully repent when just he chooses [lest he or she become prideful of their own “repentance”]; repentance is a gift of God. The old Puritans used to pray for “the gift of tears.” If ever you cease to know the virtue of repentance, you are in darkness. Examine yourself and see if you have forgotten how to be truly and deeply sorry [without excuse or blame-shift].

Psalm 119:137 Tsadhe. Righteous are You, O LORD, And upright are Your judgments. 

  • Ps 99:4, 103:6,145:17 De 32:4 Ezr 9:15 Ne 9:33 Jer 12:1 Da 9:7,14 Ro 2:5 3:5,6 9:14 Rev 15:3,4 16:7 19:2 

Related Passage:

Ps 145:17 The LORD is righteous in all His ways And kind in all His deeds. 

Daniel 9:7 “Righteousness belongs to You, O Lord, but to us open shame, as it is this day–to the men of Judah, the inhabitants of Jerusalem and all Israel, those who are nearby and those who are far away in all the countries to which You have driven them, because of their unfaithful deeds which they have committed against You.

Tsadhe. Righteous are You, O LORD, And upright are Your judgments. 

Psalm 119:138 You have commanded Your testimonies in righteousness And exceeding faithfulness. 

  • testimonies: Ps 119:86,144  Ps 19:7-9 De 4:8,45 
  • faithfulness, Ps 119:75 

Related Passages:

Psalm 19:7   The law of the LORD is perfect, restoring the soul; The testimony of the LORD is sure, making wise the simple. 

Lam 3:22-23 The LORD’S lovingkindnesses indeed never cease, For His compassions never fail.  23They are new every morning; Great is Your faithfulness. 

You have commanded Your testimonies in righteousness And exceeding faithfulness - TLB = I am indignant and angry because of the way my enemies have disregarded your laws.

Psalm 119:139 My zeal has consumed me, Because my adversaries have forgotten Your words. 

NET  Psalm 119:139 My zeal consumes me, for my enemies forget your instructions.

NLT  Psalm 119:139 I am overwhelmed with indignation, for my enemies have disregarded your words.

ESV  Psalm 119:139 My zeal consumes me, because my foes forget your words.

NIV  Psalm 119:139 My zeal wears me out, for my enemies ignore your words.

KJV  Psalm 119:139 My zeal hath consumed me, because mine enemies have forgotten thy words.

  • zeal: Ps 69:9 1Ki 19:10,14 Joh 2:17 
  • consumed me  or, cut me off
  • because: Ps 53:4 Mt 9:13 12:3-5 15:4-6 21:13,16,42 22:29 Ac 13:27 Ac 28:23-27 

My zeal has consumed me, Because my adversaries have forgotten Your words. 

Guzik - The more the enemies of the Psalmist rejected the word of God, the more he was determined to be zealous for those words. He would make sure that he honored the word of God even if others did not. Zeal implies energy and action. The appreciation of the Psalmist for the word of God was not passive. The living and active word of God brought forth a living and active response from the Psalmist. “Thus we see every man is eaten up with some kind of zeal. The drunkard is consumed with drunkenness, the whore-monger is spent with his whoredom, the heretic is eaten with heresies. Oh, how ought this to make us ashamed, who are so little eaten, spent, and consumed with the zeal of the word! . . . Oh, what a benefit it is to be eaten up with the love and zeal of a good thing!” (Greenham, cited in Spurgeon)

Poole - “They have forgotten thy words, i.e. despise and disobey them; which in Scripture use is oft called a forgetting of them, as the remembering of them is oft put for loving and practicing them.” 

Charles Bridges - Such was David's high estimation of the testimonies of his God, that his spirits were consumed with vehement grief in witnessing their neglect. He could bear that his enemies should forget him; but his zeal could not endure, that they should forget the words of his God. Zeal is a passion, whose real character must be determined by the objects on which it is employed, and the principle by which it is directed. There is a true and a false zeal, differing as widely from each other, as an heavenly flame from the infernal fire. The one is fervent, unselfish affection, expanding the heart, and delighting to unite with the whole empire of God in the pursuit of a good, which all may enjoy without envious rivalry. The other is a selfish, interested principle, contracting the heart, and ready to sacrifice the good of mankind, and even the glory of God, to its own individual advantage. Were its power proportioned to its native tendency, or were it to operate extensively in an associated body, it would end in detaching its several members each from their proper center; in disuniting them from each other; and, as far as its influence could reach, crumbling the moral system into discordant atoms. Too often does this baneful principle exemplify itself in the Church—either in an obstinate opposition to the truth of the gospel, or in a self-willed contention for its own party."This wisdom descends not from above: but it is earthly, sensual, devilish." How much also of that misguided heat, that spends itself upon the externals of religion, or would "call fire down from heaven" in defense of fundamental truths, may be found among us, exposing its blind devotees to our Master's tender rebuke, "You know not what manner of spirit you are of!"

Often also do we see a distempered, counterfeit zeal, disproportioned in its exercise, wasting its strength upon the subordinate parts of the system, and comparatively feeble in its maintenance of the vital doctrines of Christ. Thus it disunites the Church by adherence to points of difference, instead of compacting the Church together by strengthening the more important points of agreement. Often again, by the same process in practical religion, are the "mint, anise, and cummin," vehemently contended for; "while the weightier matters o£ the law" are little regarded.

Widely different from this fervor of selfishness is that genuine zeal, which marks the true disciple of our Lord. Enlightened by the word of God, and quickened into operation by the love of Christ, it both shines and warms at the same moment. It is indeed the kindled fire of heavenly love, exciting the most heavenly desires and constant efforts for the best interests of every child of man, so far as its sphere can reach; and bounded only by a consistent regard to the general welfare of the whole. Thus earnest and compassionate in its influence, awakened to a sense of the preciousness of immortal souls, and the overwhelming importance of eternity, it is never at a loss to discover an extended sphere for its most vehement and constraining exercises. While it hates the sins that pass on every side before its view, it is all gentleness to the sinner; and would gladly weep tears of blood over those who are deaf to the voice of persuasion, could such tears avail to turn them from their iniquity. But, knowing all human unassisted efforts to be insufficient, it gives to the world its protest against the abominations, which it is too feeble to prevent; and then hastens to the secret chamber to pour out its wrestling desires in the tenderness of our Master's intercession, "Father, forgive them! for they know not what they do."

Such was the zeal of the ancient Lawgiver, whose spirit, though, as it regarded his own cause, "meek above all the men which were upon the face of the earth," "waxed hot" on witnessing the grievous dishonor done to his God during his absence on the mount. At the same time (as if most clearly to distinguish the holy burning from the heat of his own spirit) how fervently did he plead his people's cause in secret before his God, as he had manifested his concern for the honor of his God before the congregation! Surely he could have taken up this language—My zeal has consumed me; because my enemies have forgotten Your words. Burning with the same holy flame, the great Old-Testament Reformer bore his testimony against the universal prevalence of idolatry; making use of the arm of temporal power, and of the yet greater power of secret complaint, to stem the torrent of iniquity. The same impulse in later times marked the conduct of the Apostles: when, "rending their clothes, and running in among" a frantic multitude of idolaters, by all the power of their entreaties "they were scarcely able to restrain the people, that they had not done sacrifice unto them." On another occasion the great Apostle, forgetting "the goodly stones and buildings" that met his eye at Athens—found "his spirit stirred in him, when he saw the city wholly given to idolatry." In another city "was he pressed in spirit" by the intensity of his interest for the souls of his fellow-sinners and his Master's work.

Yet this is not a heat that wastes itself without a proportionate object. The truth of God is the grand object. Not one atom of its dust shall be lost. For its fundamentals all consequences must be hazarded—yes, life itself—if need be—sacrificed. Nor does this fervor expend itself in strong impulses that wear out without fruit. It is a constant affection in "a good thing." Nor is it an undisciplined burst of warm feeling, but a sober controlled exercise of Christian judgment. The Apostle—with his inexpressible abhorrence of idolatry—yet remained in the midst of it for two, perhaps three, years, faithfully employed in his Master's work; yet waiting for the fittest time of open protest against Diana's worship. So admirably was "the spirit of power and love" disciplined by "the spirit of a sound mind."

But, "compassed about, as we are, with so great a cloud of witnesses," let us yet turn aside to look unto One greater than them all—to One, whose example in every temper of Christian conduct affords equal direction and encouragement. Jesus could testify to His Father, "The zeal of Your house has eaten Me up." He was ever ready to put aside even lawful engagements and obligations, when they interfered with this paramount demand. Yet was His zeal tempered with a careful restraint from needless offence. Rather would He work a miracle, and retreat from publicity, than seem to give occasion to those that might desire it. And if we bear the stamp of His disciples, without rushing into offence in the waywardness of our own spirits, and while rejoicing to have our own "names cast out as evil," we shall at the same time be tender of any reflection on the name of our God, as on our dearest friend and benefactor. We shall feel any slight of His honor as sensitively as a wound to our own reputation; nor shall we hesitate to thrust ourselves between, to receive on ourselves any strokes that may be aimed at His cause. This combined spirit of self-denial and self-devotedness kindles the flame, which "many waters cannot quench, neither can the floods drown." 'I could bear'—said holy Brainerd—'any desertion or spiritual conflict, if I could but have my heart burning all the while within me with love to God, and desire for His glory.' It is indeed a delightful exercise to "spend and be spent" in the service of Him, who for our sakes was even consumed by the fire of His own zeal.

However, the surest evidence of Christian zeal is, when it begins at home, in a narrow scrutiny, and "vehement revenge" against the sins of our own hearts. Do we mourn over our own forgetfulness of God's words? Are we zealous to redeem the loss to our Savior's cause from this sinful neglect? And do we plainly show, that our opposition to sin in the ungodly is the opposition of love? And is this love manifested to the persons and souls of those, whose doctrines and practice we are constrained to resist, and in a careful restraint from the use of unhallowed "carnal weapons" in this spiritual "warfare?"

Perhaps the weak, timid child of God may be saying, 'I can do nothing for my God. I allow His words to be forgotten, with little or no success in my efforts to prevent it.' Are you then making an effort? Every work done in faith bears fruit to God and to His church. You may not see it. But let your secret chamber witness to your zeal: and the Lord "will not be unrighteous to forget your work and labor of love." He will even strengthen you for your dreaded conflict in the open confession of His cause, "For He has chosen the weak things of the world to confound the things that are mighty." Or, should peculiar trials restrain the boldness of your profession, you may be found in the end to have made as effectual a resistance to the progress of sin by your intercession before God, as those who have shown a more open front in the face of the world.

Psalm 119:140 Your word is very pure, Therefore Your servant loves it. 

  • pure: Ps 119:128 Ps 12:6 Ps 18:30 Ps 19:8 Pr 30:5 Ro 7:12,16,22 1Pe 2:2 2Pe 1:21 

Related Passages:

Psalms 119:128 Therefore I esteem right all Your precepts concerning everything, I hate every false way. 

Psalms 12:6   The words of the LORD are pure words; As silver tried in a furnace on the earth, refined seven times. 

Psalms 18:30  As for God, His way is blameless; The word of the LORD is tried; He is a shield to all who take refuge in Him. 

Psalms 19:8  The precepts of the LORD are right, rejoicing the heart; The commandment of the LORD is pure, enlightening the eyes. 

Proverbs 30:5  Every word of God is tested; He is a shield to those who take refuge in Him. 

Your word is very pure (Heb. tried, or refined) - Gold has need to be refined; but thy word is purity itself, reflecting the holiness of Jehovah's character and government, and requiring and leading to purity of heart and life.

Therefore Your servant loves (Lxx = agapao) it - Therefore is a term of conclusion. The conclusion is based on the purity, perfection and infinite worth of the Word of God. Something so valuable is worthy of our wholehearted love, our daily devotion, our continual consumption! We are not advocating Bibliolatry, but love of the Word of God that prompts love of the God of the Word Who would graciously give us such a priceless, eternal gift (cf Mk 13:31+, Luke 21:33+). You do realize His Word is His love gift to us don't you? Does your daily (not monthly) time in His Word demonstrate that you truly love it? If you love someone, you want to spend time with them. It is simply that simple! Are you spending time in His Word or just spending time, spinning your wheels, wasting your time, the time of your life? If so then God has a good antidote for this spiritual illness in Psalm 90:12 "So teach us to number our days, That we may present to You a heart of wisdom." (cf THIS TIME OF PRESENTATION  - 2 Cor 5:10+) Notice Moses' prayer is not to number our years but our days. We celebrate birthdays, but should celebrate days, for each is a gift from God and we need His wisdom as to how to best redeem the time of our lives each day (Eph 5:16+). Are you making your days (even better, your minutes) count (for eternity - cf Mt 6:19-21+ - v21 begs question - "Where is your treasure?") or are you just counting your days (minutes)? The former will yield an abundant harvest of spiritual fruit throughout eternity (DO YOU REALLY BELIEVE THAT STATEMENT? IT IS TOTALLY BIBLICAL - cf Jn 15:16NLT), while the latter is lost forever down the the corridors of time (See Redeem the Time).

Handle with Care - In an excavation at Jerusalem, archeologist Gabriel Barkay uncovered a small copper scroll with writing on it from the Bible. This fragment of Scripture was brittle and tarnished with age. Barkay took it to his laboratory and worked with unbelievable patience and delicate care to unroll it without destroying it. 

Dated around 400 BC, the scroll was a very important find because it contained the earliest written Hebrew name for God, Yahweh (or Jehovah). Apparently the scribe who copied it had broken with the practice of never writing that sacred name. Always before, because of their reverence for its holiness, Jewish scribes had felt unworthy to pen that special name. 

The Bible is God's holy, inspired, infallible Word, and we must handle its truths with the same care Barkay gave to his discovery and the same reverence the copyists gave to God's name. Scripture comes to us from God's heart. Therefore, we must guard its message with integrity by "rightly dividing the word of truth" (2 Tim. 2:15). We must respect its every word. To take Scripture out of context or twist its meaning to serve our purposes or justify our own opinions is to dishonor God's Word and His name. 

Let's always handle the Word of God with care. --D C Egner (Our Daily Bread, Copyright RBC Ministries, Grand Rapids, MI. — Reprinted by permission. All rights reserved)

The Bible stands, and it will forever
When the world has passed away;
By inspiration it has been given--
All its precepts I will obey.

Open your Bible prayerfully, read it carefully, and obey it joyfully.

Psalm 119:141  I am small and despised, Yet I do not forget Your precepts. 

  • small (KJV): Ps 22:6 40:17 Pr 15:16 16:8 19:1 Isa 53:3 Lu 6:20 9:58 2Co 8:9 Jas 2:5 
  • yet do (KJV): Ps 119:109,176 Pr 3:1 

I am small and despised, Yet I do not forget Your precepts. 

Psalm 119:142 Your righteousness is an everlasting righteousness, And Your law is truth. 

  • Thy righteousness (KJV): Men, as Bp. Horne observes, may decree wickedness by a law; or they may change their decrees, and with them what is right to-day may be wrong to-morrow; but the law of God is righteousness, and it is truth, to-day and for ever.
  • an everlasting (KJV): Ps 119:144 36:6 Isa 51:6,8 Da 9:24 2Th 1:6-10 
  • and thy (KJV): Ps 119:151 19:9 Joh 17:17 Eph 4:21 

Your righteousness is an everlasting righteousness, And Your law is truth. 

Psalm 119:143 Trouble and anguish have come upon me, Yet Your commandments are my delight. 

  • Trouble (KJV): Ps 119:107 18:4,5 88:3-18 116:3 130:1 Mk 14:33,34 
  • taken hold on me (KJV): Heb. found me
  • yet thy (KJV): Ps 119:16,47,77 Job 23:12  Joh 4:34 

Trouble and anguish have come upon me, Yet Your commandments are my delight. 

Psalm 119:144  Your testimonies are righteous forever; Give me understanding that I may live. (PRAYER)

  • righteousness (KJV): Ps 119:138,152 Mt 5:18 1Pe 1:23-25 
  • give me (KJV): Ps 119:34,66,73,169 2Co 4:6 1Jn 5:20,21 
  • understanding (KJV): Pr 10:21 Isa 6:9,10 27:11 Jer 4:22 Da 12:10 Ho 4:6 Mt 13:19 Joh 17:3 

Your testimonies are righteous forever; Give me understanding that I may live. 

Psalm 119:145 Qoph. I cried with all my heart; answer me, O LORD! I will observe Your statutes.  (PRAYER)

  • cried (KJV): Ps 119:10 61:1,2 62:8 86:4 102:1 *title Ps 142:1,2 1Sa 1:10,15 Jer 29:13 
  • I will (KJV): Ps 119:44,106,115 

Qoph. I cried with all my heart; answer me, O LORD! I will observe Your statutes. 

M. Henry - Supplications with the whole heart are presented only by those who desire God's salvation, and who love his commandments. 

Psalm 119:146  I cried to You; save me And I shall keep Your testimonies. (PRAYER)

  •  I shall keep (KJV): or, that I may keep, Ps 119:134 Jud 10:15,16 Mt 1:21 Tit 2:14 3:4-8 


I cried to You; save me And I shall keep Your testimonies. 

Psalm 119:147  I rise before dawn and cry for help; I wait for Your words.

  • I prevented (KJV): That is, I anticipated, or rose before, the morning dawn; and was before hand with the light itself. Ps 5:3 21:3 42:8 88:13 130:6 Isa 26:9 Mk 1:35 
  • hoped (KJV): Ps 119:74,81 56:4 130:5 Heb 6:17-19 


 I rise before dawn and cry for help; I wait for Your words.

Psalm 119:148  My eyes anticipate the night watches, That I may meditate on Your word.

  • eyes (KJV): Ps 119:62 63:1,6 139:17,18 La 2:19 Lu 6:12 
  • the night watches (KJV): The ancient Jews divided the night into three watches of four hours each, beginning at six o'clock in the evening; before the last of which, "the day break," or "morning watch," as the LXX. and Vulgate read, the Psalmist was awake.

My eyes anticipate the night watches,

That I may meditate on Your word. (Ps 119:15, 23, 48, 78, 97, 99, 148): The ancient Jews divided the night into three watches of four hours each, beginning at six o'clock in the evening; before the last of which, "the day break," or "morning watch," as the LXX. and Vulgate read, the Psalmist was awake.

Meditation (see in depth discussion) is to the soul what digestion is to the body. To meditate means to “turn over” God’s Word in the mind and heart, to examine it, to compare Scripture with Scripture, to “feed on” its wonderful truths. In this day of noise and confusion, such meditation is rare but so needful. Meditation is impossible without memorization (READ THAT AGAIN! BELIEVE IT! THEN MEMORIZE, MEMORIZE, MEMORIZE!). Reading the Bible without meditating on it is like eating without chewing. 

We must read Scripture every day
    And meditate on what God said
    To fight temptation from the world
    And live a life that's Spirit led.

Psalm 119:149  Hear my voice according to Your lovingkindness; Revive me, O LORD, according to Your ordinances. (PRAYER)

  • Hear (KJV): Ps 5:2,3 55:2 64:1 
  • according unto (KJV): Ps 51:1 69:16 109:21 Isa 63:7 
  • quicken me (KJV): Ps 119:25,40,154,156 

Hear my voice according to Your lovingkindness;

Revive me, O LORD (Ps 69:32 71:20 80:18 85:6 119:25, 37, 40, 88, 107, 149, 154, 156, 159 138:7 143:11 Isa 57:15 Hos 6:2 Hab 3:2): 

According to Your ordinances.

Psalm 119:150  Those who follow after wickedness draw near; They are far from Your law.

  • draw nigh (KJV): Ps 22:11-13,16 27:2 1Sa 23:16 2Sa 17:16 Mt 26:46,47, for from, Ps 50:17 Job 21:14 Pr 1:7,22 28:9 Eph 2:13,14 

 Those who follow after wickedness draw near; They are far from Your law.

Psalm 119:151  You are near, O LORD, And all Your commandments are truth.

  • near (KJV): Ps 46:1 75:1 139:2 145:18 De 4:7 Mt 1:23 
  • all (KJV): Ps 119:138,142 


You are near, O LORD, And all Your commandments are truth - The point is we meet Him in His Word. These words are not just written words but they are actually works spoken from the heart of our Father to His children (2 Ti 3:16, 17+). When the Word speaks, God speaks. And then you truly experience the nearness of Jehovah, the Great I Am. So if you don't feel close to the omnipresent God today, ask yourself a simple question - WHO MOVED? (Read Hebrews 13:5+).

Psalm 119:152  Of old I have known from Your testimonies That You have founded them forever.

  • testimonies: Ps 119:144,160 Ps 89:34-37 Ps 111:7,8 Ec 3:14 Lu 21:33 

Related Passages:

Psalm 119:144 Your testimonies are righteous forever; Give me understanding that I may live. 

Psalm 119:160 The sum of Your word is truth, And every one of Your righteous ordinances is everlasting. 

Ecclesiastes 3:14  I know that everything God does will remain forever; there is nothing to add to it and there is nothing to take from it, for God has so worked that men should fear Him.

Of old I have known from Your testimonies That You have founded them forever - "Heaven and earth will pass away, but My words will not pass away. " (Lk 21:33+)

Psalm 119:153  Look upon my affliction and rescue me, For I do not forget Your law. (PRAYER)

  • Consider (KJV): Ps 119:159 9:13 13:3,4 25:19 Ex 3:7,8 Ne 9:32 La 2:20 5:1 
  • for I (KJV): Ps 119:16,98,109,141,176 

Look upon my affliction and rescue me, For I do not forget Your law.

Psalm 119:154  Plead my cause and redeem me; Revive me according to Your word. (TRIPLE PRAYER)

  • Plead (KJV): Ps 35:1 43:1 1Sa 24:15 Job 5:8 Pr 22:23 Jer 11:20 50:34 51:36 Mic 7:9 1Jn 2:1 
  • quicken (KJV): Ps 119:25,40 


Plead my cause and redeem me 

Revive me according to Your word - Ps 69:32 71:20 80:18 85:6 119:25, 37, 40, 88, 107, 149, 154, 156, 159 138:7 143:11 Isa 57:15 Hos 6:2 Hab 3:2

Charles Spurgeon: In the last verse he had prayed, “Deliver me,” and here he specifies one method in which that deliverance might be vouchsafed, namely, by the advocacy of his cause. In providence the Lord has many ways of clearing the slandered of the accusations brought against them. He can make it manifest to all that they have been belied, and in this way he can practically plead their cause. He can, moreover, raise up friends for the godly who will leave no stone unturned till their characters are cleared; or he can smite their falsehood, and thus the righteous will be delivered without the striking of a blow. Alexander reads it, “Strive my strife, and redeem me”—that is, stand in my stead, bear my burden, fight my fight, pay my price, and bring me out to liberty. When we feel ourselves dumb before the foe, here is a prayer made to our hand. What a comfort that if we sin we have an advocate, and if we do not sin the same pleader is engaged on our side. Quicken me. As the soul is the center of everything, so to be quickened is the central blessing. It means more love, more grace, more faith, more courage, more strength, and if we get these we can hold up our heads before our adversaries. God alone can give this quickening; but to the Lord and giver of life the work is easy enough, and he delights to perform it. According to thy word. David had found such a blessing among the promised things, or at least he perceived that it was according to the general tenor of God’s Word that tried believers should be quickened and brought up again from the dust of the earth; therefore he pleads the Word, and desires the Lord to act to him according to the usual run of that Word. What a mighty plea is this.

Psalm 119:155 Salvation is far from the wicked, For they do not seek Your statutes. 

  • Salvation (KJV): Ps 18:27 Job 5:4 Isa 46:12 57:19 Eph 2:17,18 
  • for they (KJV): Ps 10:4 Job 21:14,15 Pr 1:7 Lu 16:24 Ro 3:11 


Salvation is far from the wicked - Salvation is yeshua, JESUS - see Jesus vs Yeshua.

Salvation (help, deliverance) (03444) (yeshua see note on related word " Yehoshua/Jehoshua") is from a root in Arabic = "make wide" or "make sufficient' sarar = "narrow," = "be restricted" or "cause distress." The idea of wide connotes freedom from distress and ability to pursue one's objectives. It means to move from distress (enemies, natural catastrophe, plague or famine, sickness) to safety which requires deliverance. Generally deliverance comes from some an outside source. The one who brings deliverance is known as the "SAVIOR." Yeshua may be used in everyday life free of theological overtones at a well Moses saved daughters of Reuel (Ex 2:17) but generally has strong religious meaning. And so we read Yahweh wrought deliverance - God of our salvation Ps 68:19-20. Yeshua can also describe salvation through human agents empowered by God. While the NT idea of salvation is primarily forgiveness of sin, deliverance from sin's power and defeat of Satan, the OT only begins to point in this direction. And so in the OT the majority of references to salvation speak of Yahweh granting deliverance from real enemies and out of real catastrophe.

For they do not seek Your statutes - Jesus gives a similar declaration of even those people who claim to know God - notice the parallel with do not seek Your statutes in verse 23 where Jesus says in fact they continually (present tense) practice lawlessness (and lawlessness is sin! 1 Jn 3:4+). 

Mt 7:21-23+ “Not everyone who says to Me, ‘Lord, Lord,’ will enter the kingdom of heaven, but he who does (present tense = habitually, NOT PERFECTION BUT "DIRECTION") the will of My Father who is in heaven will enter. 22 “Many (NOT FEW - MANY TODAY ARE DECEIVED THINKING THEY KNOW GOD AND ARE HEADED TO HEAVEN BUT WILL END UP IN HELL! THIS IS THE TRAGEDY OF TRAGEDIES!) will say to Me on that day, ‘Lord, Lord, did we not prophesy in Your name, and in Your name cast out demons, and in Your name perform many miracles?’ 23 “And then I will declare to them, ‘I never knew you; DEPART FROM ME, YOU WHO PRACTICE (present tense)  LAWLESSNESS (AND "PRACTICE MAKES PERFECT" IN THIS CASE MAKES THEM PERFECTLY LOST FOREVER!).’

Psalm 119:156  Great are Your mercies, O LORD; Revive me according to Your ordinances. (PRAYER)

are thy (KJV): Ps 51:1 86:5,13,15 1Ch 21:13 Isa 55:7 63:7 
quicken (KJV): Ps 119:149 

Great are Your mercies, O LORD;

Revive me according to Your ordinances - Ps 69:32 71:20 80:18 85:6 119:25, 37, 40, 88, 107, 149, 154, 156, 159 138:7 143:11 Isa 57:15 Ho6:2 Hab 3:2)

Psalm 119:157  Many are my persecutors and my adversaries, Yet I do not turn aside from Your testimonies.

  • Many (KJV): Ps 3:1,2 22:12,16 25:19 56:2 118:10-12 Mt 24:9 26:47 Ac 4:27 
  • yet do I (KJV): Ps 119:51,110 44:17 Job 17:9 23:11 Isa 42:4 Ac 20:23,24 1Co 15:58 

Many are my persecutors and my adversaries, Yet I do not turn aside from Your testimonies.

Psalm 119:158  I behold the treacherous and loathe them, Because they do not keep Your word.

  • Ps 119:53,136 Eze 9:4 Mk 3:5 

I behold the treacherous and loathe them, Because they do not keep Your word.

Psalm 119:159  Consider how I love Your precepts; Revive me, O LORD, according to Your lovingkindness. (PRAYER)

  • Consider: Ps 119:97,153 2Ki 20:3 Ne 5:19 13:22 
  • Revive me: Ps 119:88 

Consider how I love Your precepts - (Ps 1:1,2;19:7-11 119:16, 24, 35, 47, 48, 72, 92, 97,103, 111,113,127,159,167,174 Je15:16): The way you treat your Bible is the way you treat Christ. To love Him is to love His Word. The Word is a delight (Ps 119:16, 24, 16, 35, 47, 70) and not a disappointment; we rejoice to read it (Ps 119:14, 162).

Revive me, O LORD - Ps 69:32 71:20 80:18 85:6 119:25, 37, 40, 88, 107, 149, 154, 156, 159 138:7 143:11 Isa 57:15 Hos 6:2 Hab 3:2):

According to Your lovingkindness - According to Your hesed/chesed/heced, Your  faithful love in action which refers to God's lovingkindness expressed in His covenant relationship with Israel (His "loyal love" to His "Wife" Israel [cp Hos 2:18, 19, 20-see note, Is 54:5, Je 31:32] = His "loyalty to covenant"). God's hesed His denotes persistent and unconditional tenderness, kindness, and mercy, a relationship in which He seeks after man with love and mercy (cp God immediately seeking man Ge 3:9, who was immediately hiding Ge 3:8 trying to cover their shame Ge 3:7 - contrast God's lovingkindness manifest by spilling blood to provide skins to cover their shame! Ge 3:21). Hesed expresses both God’s loyalty to His covenant and His love for His people along with a faithfulness to keep His promises.

Psalm 119:160 The sum of Your word is truth, And every one of Your righteous ordinances is everlasting. 

  • The sum of Your word is truth Ps 119:86,138 Pr 30:5 2Ti 3:16 
  • And every one: Ps 119:75,142,144,152 Ec 3:14 Mt 5:18 

The sum of Your word is truth - (NIV = all, NKJV = entirety)(the beginning) - from the beginning, i.e., “every word from Genesis (called so by the Jews from its first words, ‘In the beginning’) to the end of the Scriptures is true.” The whole body of revelation is truth. “Thy Word is nothing but truth” [Luther].

Sum (07218)(ro'sh) means head, crucial part of the body containing the brain stem and other most crucial sensory input parts such as eyes, mouth, ears, etc. Ge 3:15; 40:19; Ps 74:14. Source, beginning point from which a spatial extension occurs Ge 2:10) The sum, a large amount of items or entities (Ps 139:17). 

Septuagint Principality (746)(arche)refers to the commencement of something as an action, process, or state of being.

Daniel Webster (1782-1852) emphasized the importance of THE TRUTH: "If truth be not diffused, error will be. If God and His Word are not known and received, the devil and his works will gain the ascendancy. If the evangelical volume does not reach every hamlet, the pages of a corrupt and licentious literature will. If the power of the gospel is not felt throughout the length and breadth of the land...corruption and darkness will reign."

And every one of Your righteous ordinances is everlasting - Note note some but every one

The entirety of Your Word is truth. —Psalm 119:160

Pandora, a website available in America, New Zealand and Australia, is one of the musical marvels of the internet age. It helps users create their own personal radio station by allowing them to customise their music. It plays a song and users then click a ‘thumbs up’ or ‘thumbs down’ sign to indicate whether or not they like it. The users end up with only a grouping of songs that they like.

Unfortunately, sometimes we do that with the Bible too. People may choose some Scripture passages they especially like and ignore others, and so they ‘customise’ it to their preferences. The psalmist looked at God’s Word this way: “The entirety of Your Word is truth” (Ps. 119:160). And the apostle Paul told Timothy, a young pastor, “All Scripture is given by inspiration of God, and is profitable” (2 Tim. 3:16).

The Scriptures were important to Jesus (Matt. 5:17-18), but He looked at them differently than the religious leaders of His day. To Him, “You shall not murder” was on the level of being “angry with [a] brother without a cause” (vv.21-22). Far from customising Scripture, He was concerned about the motivation of people’s hearts in applying all of it.

As we read all of God’s Word, we’ll know Him more deeply and desire to honour Him. Marvin Williams (Our Daily Bread, Copyright RBC Ministries, Grand Rapids, MI. — Reprinted by permission. All rights reserved)


Proclaiming The Truth

Read: Psalm 119:145-160

The entirety of Your Word is truth, and every one of Your righteous judgments endures forever. —Psalm 119:160

Have you noticed that lies are being paraded before us in an endless, morals-destroying stream? Daniel Webster (1782-1852) predicted this when he stated, “If truth be not diffused, error will be. If God and His Word are not known and received, the devil and his works will gain the ascendancy. If the evangelical volume does not reach every hamlet, the pages of a corrupt and licentious literature will. If the power of the gospel is not felt throughout the length and breadth of the land, . . . corruption and darkness will reign.”

We must proclaim the truth—truth found in the teachings of God’s Word. The psalmist declared, “The entirety of Your Word is truth, and every one of Your righteous judgments endures forever” (Ps. 119:160). Those timeless truths are needed in our world today. For example, we must proclaim the truth that as sinful people we need God’s forgiveness (1 Jn. 1:6-7). We must proclaim the truth that Jesus is the only Savior (Jn. 14:6).

As we stand against the tide of corrupt messages being printed and broadcast without restraint, we must proclaim the truth, promote the truth, and live the truth.

Truth is undeniable. Proclaim it in love and watch it make a difference in people’s lives.By Dave Branon (Our Daily Bread, Copyright RBC Ministries, Grand Rapids, MI. — Reprinted by permission. All rights reserved)

Lord, give us courage to speak out
Against the evils of our day;
For only when the truth is known
Will sinners see a better way.

To proclaim the truth, you must know the One who is the truth.

Psalm 119:161 Shin. Princes persecute me without cause, But my heart stands in awe of Your words. 

  • Princes (KJV): Ps 119:23,157 1Sa 21:15 24:9-15 26:18 Joh 15:25 
  • my heart (KJV): Ps 4:4 Ge 39:9 42:18 2Ki 22:19 Ne 5:15 Job 31:23 Isa 66:2 Jer 36:23-25 

Shin. Princes persecute me without cause, But my heart stands in awe of Your words - (Isa 66:2,v5, Pr 28:14 Ps 119:161 Ezra 9:4, 10:3): 

Ryrie on Ps 119:161-168  - The psalmist has awe, joy, love, and praise for God's Word. 

Matthew Henry - Those whose hearts stand in awe of God's word, will rather endure the wrath of man, than break the law of God. By the word of God we are unspeakable gainers. Every man hates to have a lie told him, but we should more hate telling a lie; by the latter we give an affront to God. The more we see the beauty of truth, the more we shall see the hateful deformity of a lie. We are to praise God even for afflictions; through grace we get good from them. Those that love the world have great vexation, for it does not answer what they expect; those that love God's word have great peace, for it outdoes what they expect. Those in whom this holy love reigns, will not perplex themselves with needless scruples, or take offence at their brethren. A good hope of salvation will engage the heart in doing the commandments. And our love to the word of God must subdue our lusts, and root out carnal affections: we must make heart work of it, or we make nothing of it. We must keep the commandments of God by obedience to them, and his promises by reliance on them. God's eye is on us at all times; this should make us very careful to keep his commandments. 

Psalm 119:162 I rejoice at Your word, As one who finds great spoil. 

  • rejoice (KJV): Ps 119:72,111 Jer 15:16 
  • as one (KJV): 1Sa 30:16 Pr 16:19 Isa 9:3 

I rejoice at Your word, As one who finds great spoil - Poor soldiers were made rich from the spoil left by the defeated enemy. The riches of the Word do not come easy; there must first be that spiritual battle against Satan and the flesh. But it is worth it.

Wiersbe -  Scripture is indeed a treasure to win. And sometimes there is a battle that must be fought first to win it. But there is also a joy to experience. "I rejoice at Your word as one who finds great treasure." It's beautiful to think your way through a portion of Scripture, to meditate, study and pray and then see the treasure that is revealed. Bible study enriches our lives. It not only helps you understand the Word but also enables you to become more like the (Prayer, Praise and Promises)

Spurgeon: I rejoice at thy word, as one that findeth great spoil. His awe did not prevent his joy; his fear of God was not of the kind which perfect love casts out, but of the sort which it nourishes. He trembled at the word of the Lord, and yet rejoiced at it. He compares his joy to that of one who has been long in battle, and has at last won the victory and is dividing the spoil. This usually falls to the lot of princes, and though David was not one with them in their persecutions, yet he had his victories, and his spoil was equal to their greatest gains. The profits made in searching the Scriptures were greater than the trophies of war. We too have to fight for divine truth; every doctrine costs us a battle, but when we gain a full understanding of it by personal struggles it becomes doubly precious to us. In these days godly men have a full share of battling for the word of God; may we have for our spoil a firmer hold upon the priceless word. Perhaps, however, the Psalmist may have rejoiced as one who comes upon hidden treasure for which lie had not fought, in which case we find the analogy in the man of God who, while reading the Bible, makes grand and blessed discoveries of the grace of God laid up for him, -- discoveries which surprise him, for he looked not to find such a prize. Whether we come by the truth as finders or as warriors fighting for it, the heavenly treasure should be equally dear to us. With what quiet joy does the ploughman steal home with his golden find! How victors shout as they share the plunder! How glad should that man be who has discovered his portion in the promises of holy writ, and is able to enjoy it for himself, knowing by the witness of the Holy Spirit that it is all his own.

Psalm 119:163  I hate and despise falsehood, But I love Your law. 

  • hate (KJV): Ps 119:29,113,128 101:7 Pr 6:16-19 30:8 Am 5:15 Ro 12:9 Eph 4:25 Rev 22:15 

 I hate and despise falsehood,

But I love Your law. Ps 119:47, 48, 97,113, 119,127,159,163,167,

Psalm 119:164 Seven times a day I praise You, Because of Your righteous ordinances. 

  • Seven times (KJV): That is, probably many times, or frequently, as the term seven frequently denotes; but Rabbi Solomon says that this is to be understood literally; for they praised God twice in the morning before reading the decalogue, and once after; twice in the evening before the same reading, and twice after; making in the whole seven times. Ps 119:62 55:17 
  • because (KJV): Ps 48:11 97:8 Rev 19:2 

Seven times a day I praise You, Because of Your righteous ordinances. He labored perfectly to praise his perfect God, and therefore fulfilled the perfect number of songs. Seven may also intend frequency. Frequently he lifted up his heart in thanksgiving to God for his divine teaching in the Word, and for his divine actions in providence. With his voice he extolled the righteousness of the Judge of all the earth. As often as ever he thought of God’s ways, a song leaped to his lips. At the sight of the oppressive princes, and at the hearing of the abounding falsehood around him, he felt all the more bound to adore and magnify God, who in all things is truth and righteousness. When others rob us of our praise it should be a caution to us not to fall into the same conduct towards our God, who is so much more worthy of honor. If we praise God when we are persecuted, our music will be all the sweeter to him because of our constancy in suffering. If we keep clear of all lying, our song will be the more acceptable because it comes out of pure lips. If we never flatter other people we shall be in the better condition for honoring the Lord. Do we praise God seven times a day? Do we praise him once in seven days?

Psalm 119:165 Those who love Your law have great peace, And nothing causes them to stumble. 

  • Great: Pr 3:1,2,17 Isa 32:17 Isa 57:21  Joh 14:27 Ga 5:22,23 6:15,16 Php 4:7 
  • nothing causes them to stumble, Isa 8:13-15 28:13 57:14 Mt 13:21 24:24 1Pe 2:6-8 

Related Passage:

Isaiah 57:21 “There is no peace,” says my God, “for the wicked.”


Those who love Your law have great peace - Peace is not a theological precept (it is but it is more), it is a True Person, Christ Jesus, the Prince of Peace. Glory. Hallelujah!

John 14:27 “Peace I leave with you; My peace I give to you; not as the world gives do I give to you. Do not let your heart be troubled, nor let it be fearful.

Philippians 4:7+ And the peace of God, which surpasses all comprehension, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus. 

Spurgeon - This verse deals not with those who perfectly keep the law (for where should such people be found?), but with those who love it, whose hearts and hands are made to square with its precepts and demands. They are ever striving with all their hearts to walk in obedience to the law, and though they are often persecuted they have great peace; for they have learned the secret of the reconciling blood, they have felt the power of the comforting Spirit, and they stand before the Father accepted. They have many troubles, and are likely to be persecuted by the proud, but their usual condition is that of deep calm?a peace too great for this little world to break. And nothing shall offend them, or, "shall really injure them." Offenses must come, but these lovers of the law are peacemakers, and so they neither give nor take offense. That peace which is founded upon conformity to God's will is a living and lasting one, worth writing of with enthusiasm, as the psalmist does here. Spurgeon, C. H. (1993). Psalms. 

MacDonald - The Word gives peace in a world of turmoil and safety from the power of temptation. The verse doesn't mean that believers are immune from sorrow or trouble, but rather that by obeying the law, they avoid the pitfalls of sin. (BBC)

And nothing causes them to stumble 

Perfect Peace

Read: Psalm 119:161-168 

Great peace have those who love Your law, and nothing causes them to stumble. —Psalm 119:165

Have you ever been in a situation where you thought you were about to die? Several years ago, a veteran missionary was in a plane that was circling over St. Louis and unable to land because of poor visibility. As the plane’s fuel supply ran low, he jotted down—just in case—his last will and testament. He wrote, “There is peace, perfect peace. . . . Life with Christ is the way to live. In this hour there is assurance—there is God underneath all the uncertainties of human existence. So I rest in God.”

If you or I were in some crisis which gave us not only opportunity but also the incentive to reflect on our basic beliefs, what would we want to leave behind as our final testimony? Would it be a strong, clear witness to the reality of God, the certainty of the Savior’s presence, and the peace-giving sufficiency of divine grace?

In times of turbulence or tranquility, do you know the peace that the psalmist expressed when he wrote, “Great peace have those who love Your law”? (Ps. 119:165). Have you experienced the reality of Jesus’ words, “Peace I leave with you, My peace I give to you”? (Jn. 14:27).

Trusting the Lord is indeed the best way to live. It is likewise the only way to die without fear.By Vernon Grounds (Our Daily Bread, Copyright RBC Ministries, Grand Rapids, MI. — Reprinted by permission. All rights reserved)

Oh, the peace I find in Jesus,
Peace no power on earth can shake,
Peace that makes the Lord so precious,
Peace that none from me can take.

When we keep our mind on God, God keeps our minds at peace.

Keeping On Course

Read: Psalm 119:161-168

Great peace have those who love Your law, and nothing causes them to stumble. —Psalm 119:165

Two men had been out deep-sea fishing when night began to fall. As they headed back toward land, the more experienced seaman got sleepy and turned the helm over to his friend. The veteran sailor pointed out the North Star and said, “Just keep the boat going in that direction.”

The man had not been at his task very long before he too fell asleep. When he awoke he was thoroughly confused. He shook his friend frantically and shouted, “Wake up and show me another star! I’ve run clean past that first one!”

Many people today are looking for something new to guide their lives because they’ve lost sight of God’s standard. They regard the Bible as a relic from the past. But God’s laws are just as relevant and practical now as when He first gave them.

His standards are more constant than the North Star and as unfailing as the law of gravity. They are not arbitrary rules like the traffic laws that tell us whether to drive on the right side of the road or the left.

To violate God’s commands brings destruction to individuals and chaos to society. But to observe His words brings this comforting result: “Great peace have those who love Your law” (Ps. 119:165). By Haddon W. Robinson (Our Daily Bread, Copyright RBC Ministries, Grand Rapids, MI. — Reprinted by permission. All rights reserved)

Forever, O Lord, is Thy Word
Established and fixed on high;
Thy faithfulness unto all men
Abideth forever nigh.

God's Word is the compass that keeps you on course.

Psalm 119:166  I hope for Your salvation, O LORD, And do Your commandments.

  • Lord (KJV): Ps 119:81,174 130:5-7 Ge 49:18 
  • and done (KJV): Ps 4:5 24:3-5 50:23  Joh 7:17 1Jn 2:3,4 

I hope for Your salvation, O LORD - Hope is not "hope so," but "hope sure," and is rendered in the Lxx with prosdokao which means literally to look forward toward, to wait for, to look for, to anticipate. It means to give thought to something that is in the future and the context indicates whether one does this looking/waiting in a hopeful sense, with a longing, with fear (wait with anxiety, live in suspense), or in a neutral state of mind. It describes the attitude saints should have as anticipating, waiting with watchfulness, being in expectation.

And do Your commandments.

Psalm 119:167  My soul keeps Your testimonies, And I love them exceedingly.

  • soul (KJV): Ps 119:6-8,97,111,159 Joh 14:21-24 15:9,10 Heb 10:16 
  • and I love (KJV): Ps 40:8 Ro 7:22 

 My soul keeps Your testimonies, And I love them exceedingly.


  • Ps 1:1,2;19:7-11;Ps 119:16,24,35,47,
  • Ps 119:48,72,92,97,103,
  • Ps 119:111,113,127,159,167,174;Jer. 15:16).

Psalm 119:168  I keep Your precepts and Your testimonies, For all my ways are before You.

  • for all my (KJV): Ps 44:20,21 98:8 139:3 Job 34:21 Pr 5:21 Jer 23:24 Heb 4:13 Rev 2:23 

I keep Your precepts and Your testimonies, For all my ways are before You.

Psalm 119:169  Let my cry come before You, O LORD; Give me understanding according to Your word.

  • Let my cry (KJV): Ps 119:145 18:6 2Ch 30:27 
  • give me (KJV): Ps 119:144 1Ch 22:12 2Ch 1:10 Pr 2:3-5 Da 2:21 Jas 1:5 

Let my cry come before You, O LORD; Give me understanding according to Your word.

Ryrie's note on Ps 119:169-176  The Word affects the mind (v. 169), the mouth (vv. 171-172), the will (v. 173), the emotions (v. 174), and the conscience (v. 176). 

Psalm 119:170  Let my supplication come before You; Deliver me according to Your word.

  • deliver me (KJV): Ps 119:41 89:20-25 Ge 32:9-12 2Sa 7:25 

Let my supplication come before You; Deliver me according to Your word.

Psalm 119:171  Let my lips utter praise, For You teach me Your statutes.

  • my lips (KJV): etc. Or, more literally, and accordant with the context.  "My lips shall pour forth (tabbanah) praise; for (kee) thou hast taught me thy statues." Ps 119:7 50:23 71:17,23,24 

Let my lips utter praise, For You teach me Your statutes.

Psalm 119:172  Let my tongue sing of Your word, For all Your commandments are righteousness.

  • tongue (KJV): Ps 119:13,46 37:30 40:9,10 78:4 De 6:7 Mt 12:34,35 Eph 4:29 Col 4:6 
  • for all thy (KJV): Ps 119:86,138,142 Ro 7:12,14 

Let my tongue sing of Your word, For all Your commandments are righteousness.

Psalm 119:173  Let Your hand be ready to help me, For I have chosen Your precepts.

  • Let (KJV): Ps 119:94,117 Isa 41:10-14 Mk 9:24 2Co 12:9 Eph 6:10-20 Php 4:13 
  • for (KJV): Ps 119:30,35,40,111 De 30:19 Jos 24:15,22 1Ki 3:11,12 Pr 1:29 Lu 10:42 

Let Your hand be ready to help (see notes on 'azar translated here in the the Lxx with sozo - save, help, deliver) me, For I have chosen Your precepts.

Psalm 119:174  I long for Your salvation, O LORD, And Your law is my delight.

  • longed (KJV): Ps 119:81,166 Ge 49:18 2Sa 23:5 Pr 13:12 Song 5:8 Ro 7:22-25 8:23-25 Php 1:23 
  • and thy law (KJV): Ps 119:16,24,47,77,111,162,167 1:2 

I long for Your salvation, O LORD - (Jesus' ) salvation (YESHUA) O LORD - Long for = eagerly awaiting for Lord see this same eagerness in OT saints at the time of the Lord's birth for they were "looking for the redemption of Jerusalem" see notes on Lu 2:38+. For salvation see notes on Psalm 119:155

Henry Morris - At the end of his long testimony, the psalmist expresses his deep longing for the completion of his "salvation." Hebrew yeshua, could be rendered "Jesus." By inspiration he was praying for the coming of the Savior, who would fulfill all the Scriptures that had been his lifelong delight. How awesome is the eternal Word of God!

And Your law is my delight - Jer 15:16+ "Your words were found and I ate them, And Your words became for me a joy and the delight of my heart; For I have been called by Your name, O LORD God of hosts. "  It is interesting that the Lxx translators chose to translate sha'shua' = "delight"  by using the word "melete" in the following passages (Ps 119:77, 92, 143,174). The point is that this repeated use of melete (see notes on the cognate verb meletao) for sha'shua' conveys the thought that meditation on God's Word is one's delight! What a beautiful picture. 

Psalm 119:175  Let my soul live that it may praise You, And let Your ordinances help me.

  • Let my (KJV): Ps 9:13,14 30:9 51:14,15 118:18,19 Isa 38:19 
  • and let thy (KJV): Ps 119:75 Isa 26:8,9 Ro 8:28 1Co 11:31,32 2Co 4:17 

Let my soul live that it may praise You, And let Your ordinances help me.

Psalm 119:176  I have gone astray like a lost sheep; seek Your servant, For I do not forget Your commandments.

  • gone astray (KJV): Isa 53:6 Eze 34:6,16 Mt 10:6 15:24 18:12,13 Lu 15:4-7 Joh 10:16 1Pe 2:25 
  • seek (KJV): Song 1:4 Jer 31:18 Lu 19:10 Ga 4:9 Php 2:13 Jas 1:17 
  • for I do (KJV): Ps 119:61,93 Ho 4:6
  • Isa 53:6; 1Pe2:25 cp. Lu15:4

 I have gone astray like a lost sheep;. Gotthold one day saw a farmer carefully counting his sheep as they came from the field. Happening at the time to be in an anxious and sorrowful mood, he gave vent to his feelings and said: Why art thou cast down, my soul? and why disquieted with vexing thoughts? Surely thou must be dear to the Most High as his lambs are to this farmer. Art thou not better than many sheep? Is not Jesus Christ thy shepherd? Has not he risked his blood and life for thee? Hast thou no interest in his words: "I give unto my sheep eternal life, and they shall never perish, neither shall any pluck them out of my hand"? Jn10:28. This man is numbering his flock; and thinkest thou that God does not also count and care for his believing children and elect, especially as his beloved Son has averred, that the very hairs of our head are all numbered? Mt10:30. During the day, I may perhaps have gone out of the way, and heedlessly followed my own devices; still, at the approach of evening, when the faithful Shepherd counts his lambs, he will mark my absence, and graciously seek and bring me back. Lord Jesus, "I have gone astray like a lost sheep; seek thy servant; for I do not forget thy commandments." 

seek Your servant, F he recognizes the need of the Chief Shepherd to watch over his going out & his coming in.  The psalmist devoted the longest of the Psalms to the praise of God's Word. Then he concluded by acknowledging that one as devoted as he was only a sinful lost sheep whom God needed to seek. Knowing God's Word is a strong weapon against temptation (v10), but we must also obey God's Word. None of us does this perfectly. We all sin.

or I do not forget Your commandments