Psalm 119:139

 

EXPOSITION

Verse 139. In the last two verses David spoke concerning his God and his law; here he speaks of himself, and says,

My zeal hath consumed me, because mine enemies have forgotten thy words: this was no doubt occasioned by his having so clear a sense of the admirable character of God's word. His zeal was like a fire burning within his soul. The sight of man's forgetfulness of God acted as a fierce blast to excite the fire to a more vehement flame, and it blazed until it was ready to consume him. David could not bear that men should forget God's words. He was ready to forget himself, aye, to, consume himself, because these men forgot God. The ungodly were David s enemies: his enemies, because they hated him for his godliness; his enemies, because he abhorred them for their ungodliness. These men had gone so far in iniquity that they not only violated and neglected the commands of God, but they appeared actually to have forgotten them. This put David into a great heat; he burned with indignation. How dare they trample on sacred things! How could they utterly ignore the commands of God himself! He was astonished, and filled with holy anger.

 

EXPLANATORY NOTES AND QUAINT SAYINGS

Verse 139. -- My zeal hath consumed me. "Zeal" is a high degree of love; and when the object of that love is ill treated, it vents itself in a mixture of grief and indignation, which are sufficient to wear and "consume" the heart. This will be the case where men rightly conceive of that dishonour which is continually done to God by creatures whom he hath made and redeemed. But never could the verse be uttered, with such fulness of truth and propriety, by any one, as by the Son of God, who had such a sense of his Father's glory, and of man's sin, as no person else ever had. And, accordingly, when his zeal had exerted itself in purging the temple, St. John tells us, "his disciples remembered that it was written, The zeal thine house hath eaten me up." The place where it is so written Ps 69:9, and the passage is exactly parallel to this before us. --Horne.

Verse 139. -- My zeal hath consumed me, etc. Zeal is the heat or tension of the affections; it is a holy warmth, whereby our love and an are drawn out to the utmost for God, and his glory. Now, our love to and his ways, and our hatred of wickedness, should be increased, because ungodly men. Cloudy and dark colours in a table, make those that are and lively to appear more beautiful; others' sin should make God and godliness more amiable in thine eyes. Thy heart should take fire by striking on such cold flints. David by a holy antiperistasis, did kindle from of coldness: "My zeal hath consumed me, because mine enemies have forgotten words." Cold blasts make a fire to flame the higher, and burn the hotter --George Swinnock.

Verse 139. -- My zeal hath consumed me. The fire of zeal, like the fire which consumed Solomon's sacrifice, cometh down from heaven; and zealots are not those salamanders that always live in the fire of hatred contention; but seraphs, burning with the spiritual fire of divine And there true zeal inflames the desires and affections of the soul. If it be true zeal, then tract of time, multitude of discouragements, falseness of deserting the cause, strength of oppositions, will not tire out a man's s Zeal makes men resolute, difficulties are but whetstones to their fortitude steels men's spirits with an undaunted resolution. This was the zeal burned in the disciples (Luke 24), that consumed David here, and up the very marrow of Christ: John 2:17 . --Abraham Wright.

Verse 139. -- My zeal hath consumed me. There are divers kinds of there is a zeal of the world, there is a zeal of the flesh, there is a zeal of religion, there is a zeal of heresy, and there is a zeal of the true God. First, we see the zeal of the world maketh men to labour day night to get a transitory thing. The zeal of the flesh torments me minds early and late for a momentary pleasure. The zeal of heresy maketh travel and compass sea and land, for the maintaining and increasing of opinion. Thus we see every man is eaten up with some kind of zeal. The drunkard is consumed with drunkenness, the whoremonger is spent with his whoredom, the heretic is eaten with heresies. Oh, how ought this to ashamed, who are so little eaten, spent, and consumed with the zeal of word! And so much the rather, because godly zeal leaveth in us advantage and a recompence, which the worldly and carnally zealous have not. For when they have spent all the strength of their bodies, powers of their mind, they have no gain or comfort left, but torment conscience; and when they are outwardly spent, they are inwardly never better: whereas the godly being concerned for a good thing, and eaten with the zeal of God's glory, have this notable privilege and profit, howsoever their outward man perisheth and decayeth, yet their inward is still refreshed and nourished to everlasting life. Oh, what a benefit to be eaten up with the love and zeal of a good thing! --Richard Greenham.

Verse 139. -- Have forgotten thy words. A proper phrase to set forth in the bosom of the visible church who do not wholly deny and reject word and rule of Scripture, but yet live on as though they had it: they do not observe it; as if God had never spoken any such thing, given them any such rule. They that reject and condemn such things as word enforces, surely do not remember to do them. --Thomas Manton.

 

HINTS FOR PASTORS AND LAYPERSONS

Verse 139. -- Zeal.

  1. Consuming self.
  2. Inflamed by that which would naturally quench it.
  3. Fed upon God's words.

Verse 139. -- Zeal.

  1. Flourishing in an unpromising atmosphere.
  2. Attaining an astonishing growth.
  3. Accomplishing a blessed work -- the consumption of self. --C.A.D.

Verse 139. --

  1. The object of his zeal: "Thy words."
  2. The occasion of his zeal: "Mine enemies," etc.
  3. The fervour of his zeal: "My zeal hath consumed me." --G.R.