Psalm 119:123

 

EXPOSITION

Verse 123. Mine eyes fail for thy salvation. He wept, waited, and watched for God's saving hand, and these exercises tried the eyes of his faith till they were almost ready to give out. He looked to God alone, he looked eagerly, he looked long, he looked till his eyes ached. The mercy is, that if our eyes fail, God does not fail, nor do his eyes fail. Eyes are tender things, and so are our faith, hope and expectancy: the Lord will not try them above what they are able to bear. "And for the word of thy righteousness:" a word that would silence the unrighteous words of his oppressors. His eyes as well as his ears waited for the Lord's word: he looked to see the divine word come forth as a fiat for his deliverance. He was "waiting for the verdict" -- the verdict of righteousness itself. How happy are we if we have righteousness on our side; for then that which is the sinners' terror is our hope, that which the proud dread is our expectation and desire. David left his reputation entirely in the Lord's hand, and was eager to be cleared by the word of the Judge rather than by any defence of his own. He knew that he had done right, and, therefore, instead of avoiding the supreme court, he begged for the sentence which he knew would work out his deliverance. He even watched with eager eyes for the judgment and the deliverance, the word of righteousness from God which meant salvation to himself.

 

EXPLANATORY NOTES AND QUAINT SAYINGS

Verse 123. -- Mine eyes fail flor thy salvation. In times of great sorrow when the heart is oppressed with care, and when danger threatens on every side, the human eye expresses with amazing accuracy the distressed and anguished emotions of the soul. The posture here described is that of an individual who perceives himself surrounded with enemies of the most formidable character, who feels his own weakness and insufficiency to enter into conflict with them, but who is eagerly looking for the arrival of a devoted and powerful friend who has promised to succour him in the hour of his calamity. As his friend delays the hour of his coming, his fears and anxieties multiply, till he finds himself in the condition of one whose eyes fail and grow dim in looking for the approach of his great deliverer. In this condition was the suppliant here described, -- his enemies were ready to swallow him up, and except from heaven he had no hope of final extrication. To the promises of God he betook himself, and while waiting their accomplishment, and looking with the utmost eagerness to the word of God's righteousness, he gives utterance to the desponding sentiment, "Mine eyes fail for thy salvation." O for such warm and anxious desires for that great salvation, which will realize the victory over all our spiritual enemies, and enable us to shout triumphantly through all eternity in the name of our almighty Deliverer! --John Morison.

Verse 123. -- Mine eyes fail...for the word of thy righteousness. Albeit the words of promise be neither performed, nor like to be performed, yet faith should justify the promise, for true and faithful. --David Dickson.

Verse 123. -- For the word of thy righteousness. This would be the word of promised salvation, which the Lord had given in righteousness. What an amazing plea -- God on the ground of his own righteousness appealed to for deliverance -- and yet how true! Or this might be the word of his justice, the issuing of justice, the exercising of a righteous decision between him and his oppressors. He had looked for the Lord to interpose between them, and so to fulfil all he had promised on behalf of the believer. The Lord will vindicate his own. Are any in great difficulty; and are they waiting for the Lord to interpose, to whom they have committed their concerns? ... Wait on; he will not disappoint a gracious hope. --John Stephen.

Verse 123. -- For the word of thy righteousness, or, "the word of thy justice"; that is to say, for the sentence of justice on my oppressors, as the first part of the verse teaches; for the passing this sentence will be equivalent to the granting the salvation which the psalmist so earnestly desired. --George Phillips.

 

HINTS FOR PASTORS AND LAYPERSONS

Verse 123. -- Holy expectation -- long maintained, in danger of failing; this fact pleaded; reasons for never renouncing it.