Psalm 119:138

 

EXPOSITION

Verse 138. Thy testimonies that thou hast commanded are righteous and very faithful. All that which God hath testified in his word is right and truthful. It is righteous, and may be relied upon for the present; it is faithful, and may be trusted in for the future. About every portion of the inspired testimonies there is a divine authority, they are issued and published by God's command, and they bear the impress of the royal style which carries omnipotence about it. Not only the precepts but the promises also are commanded of the Lord, and so are all the teachings of Scripture. It is not left to our choice whether we will accept them or no; they are issued by royal command, and are not to be questioned. Their characteristic is that they are like the Lord who has proclaimed them, they are the essence of justice and the soul of truth. God's word is righteous and cannot be impeached; it is faithful and cannot be questioned it is true from the beginning, and it will be true unto the end.

Dwell upon that "sweet word" -- "very faithful." What a mercy that we have a God to deal with who is scrupulously faithful, true to all the items and details of his promises, punctual to time, steadfast during all time. Well may we risk all upon a word which is" ever faithful, ever sure."

 

EXPLANATORY NOTES AND QUAINT SAYINGS

Verse 138. -- Thy testimonies that thou hast commanded are righteous and very faithful. The force of this expression is much feebler than that of the original, which literally may be rendered, "Thou hast commanded righteousness thy testimonies, and truth exceedingly. "So the Septuagint hath it. Righteousness and truth were his testimonies; the testimonies were one with his righteousness and truth. The English translation gives the quality of the testimonies; the Hebrew gives that which is commanded; as if we might say, Thou hast enjoined righteousness to be thy testimonies, and truth exceedingly. -- John Stephen.

Verse 138. -- Thy testimonies. The word of God is called his testimony, both because it testifies his will, which he will have us to do; as also because it testifies unto men truly what shall become of them, whether good or evil. Men by nature are curious to know their end, rather than careful to mend their life; and for this cause seek answers where they never get good: but if they would know, let them go to the word and testimony; they need not to seek any other oracle. If the word of God testify good things unto them, they have cause to rejoice; if otherwise it witnesseth evil unto them, let them haste to prevent it, or else it will assuredly overtake them. --William Cowper.

Verse 138. -- Righteous and very faithful. Literally, "faithfulness exceedingly." Harsh and severe as they may seem, they are all thoroughly for man's highest good. -- William Kay.

 

HINTS FOR PASTORS AND LAYPERSONS

Verse 138. -- Very faithful. Based on a faithful covenant; confirmed by faithful promises; carried out by a faithful Redeemer; enjoyed hitherto; relied on for the future. "Though we believe not, yet he abideth faithful."