Verse 140. Thy word is very pure. It is truth distilled, holiness in its quintessence. In the word of God there is no admixture of error or sin. It is pure in its sense, pure in its language, pure in its spirit, pure in its influence, and all this to the very highest degree -- "very pure." "Therefore thy servant loveth it," which is a proof that he himself was pure in heart, for only those who are pure love God's word because of its purity. His heart was knit to the word because of its glorious holiness and truth. He admired it, delighted in it, sought to practise it, and longed to come under its purifying power.
EXPLANATORY NOTES AND QUAINT SAYINGS
Verse 140. -- Thy word is very pure. In the original, "tried, purified, like gold in the furnace," absolutely perfect, without the dross vanity and fallibility, which runs through human writings. The more we try the promises, the surer we shall find them. Pure gold is so fixed, Boerhaave, informs us of an ounce of it set in the eye of a glass furnace for two months, without losing a single grain. --George Horne.
Verse 140. -- Thy word is very pure; therefore, etc. The word of God is not only "pure," free from all base admixture, but it is a purifier; it cleanses from sin and guilt every heart with which into comes into contact. "Now ye are clean," said Jesus Christ to his disciples, "by the word which I have spoken unto you": John 15:3 . It is this its pure quality combined with its tendency to purify every nature that yields to its holy influence, that endears it to every child of God. Here it is that he finds those views of the divine character, those promises, those precepts, those representations of the deformity of sin, of the beauty of holiness, which lead him, above all things, to seek conformity to the divine image. A child of God in his best moments does not wish the word of God brought down to a level with his own imperfect character, but desires rather that his character may be gradually raised to a conformity to that blessed word. Because it is altogether pure, and because it tends to convey to those who make it their constant study a measure of its own purity, the child of God loves it, and delights to meditate in it day and night. --John Morison.
Verse 140. -- Thy word is very pure. Before I knew the word of God in spirit and in truth, for its great antiquity, its interesting narratives, its impartial biography, its pure morality, its sublime poetry, in a word, for its beautiful and wonderful variety, I preferred it to all other books; but since I have entered into its spirit, like the Psalmist, I love it above all things for its purity; and desire, whatever else I read, it may tend to increase my knowledge of the Bible, and strengthen my affection for its divine and holy truths. --Sir William Jones, 1746-1794.
Verse 140. -- Thy word. Let us refresh our minds and our memories with some of the Scripture adjuncts connected with "the word," and realize, in some degree at least, the manifold relations which it bears both to God and our souls. It is called "the word of Christ," because much of it was given by him, and it all bears testimony to him...It is called "the word of his grace," because the glorious theme on which it loves to expatiate is grace, and especially grace as it is seen in Christ's dying love for sinful men. It is called ololoj tou staurou, "the word of the cross" ( 1 Corinthians 1:18 ), because in the crucifixion of the divine Redeemer we see eternal mercy in its brightest lustre. It is called "the word of the gospel," because it brings glad tidings of great joy to all nations. It is called "the word of the kingdom," because it holds out to all believers the hope of an everlasting kingdom of righteousness and peace. It is called "the word of salvation," because the purpose for which it was given is the salvation of sinners. It is called "the word of truth," because, as Chillingworth says, it has God for its author, salvation for its end, and truth without mixture of error for its contents. And we will only add, it is called "the word of life," because it reveals to a sinful, perishing world the doctrines of life and immortality. -- IV. Graham, in "A Commentary on the First Epistle of John," 1857.
Verse 140. -- Therefore thy servant loveth it. Love in God is the fountain of all his benefits extended to us; and love in man is the fountain of all our service and obedience to God. He loved us first to do us good; and hereof it comes that we have grace to love him next to do him service. Love is such a duty that the want thereof cannot be excused in any; for the poorest both may and should love God: yet without it all the rest thou canst do in his service is nothing; nay, not if thou shouldest give thy goods to the poor, and offer thy body to be burned. Small sacrifices, flowing from faith and love, are welcome to him, where greater without these are but abomination to him. Proofs of both we have in the widow's mite and Cain's rich oblation; whereof the one was rejected, the other received. Happy are we though we cannot say, "We have done as God commands," if out of a good heart we can say, -- "We love to do what he commands." --William Cowper.
Verse 140. -- Therefore thy servant loveth it. Of all our grounds and reasons of love to the word of God, the most noble and excellent is to love the word for its purity. This showeth indeed that we are made partakers of the Divine nature: 2 Peter 1:4 . For I play you mark, when we hate evil as evil, and love good as good, we have the same love and hatred that God hat Is. When once we come to love things because they are pure, it is a sign that we have the same love that God hath. --Thomas Manton.
Verse 140. -- Thy servant loveth it. Otherwise, indeed, the Psalmist would not have been the Lord's servant at all. But he glories in the title because he delights in the pure service. --John Stephen.
Verse 140-141. -- God's own utterance is indeed without spot, and therefore not to be carped at; it is pure, fire proved, noblest metal, therefore he loves it, and does not, though young and lightly esteemed, care for the remonstrances of his proud opponents, who are older and more learned than himself. --Franz Delitzsch.
HINTS FOR PASTORS AND LAYPERSONS
Verse 140. --
- An awakened sinner adoring the holy law.
- A saint loving it because the pure love the pure.
- A saint among sinners loving the law all the more for its contrast.
Verse 140. --
- The crystal stream.
(a) Flows from under the throne.
(b) Mirrors heaven.
(c) Undefiled through the ages.
(d) Nourishes holiness as it flows.
- The enraptured pilgrim.
(a) Keeping by its brink.
(b) Delighted with its lucid depths.
- Pleased with its mirrored revelations -- self, heaven, God.
- Cleansed and refreshed by its waters. --W.B.H.
Verse 140. --
- The purity of God's Word.
(a) It proceeds from a perfectly pure source: "Thy word."
(b) It reveals a purity otherwise unknown.
(c) It treats impure subjects with absolute purity.
(d) It inculcates the most perfect purity.
(e) It produces such purity in those who are subject to its
- The love which its purity inspires in gracious souls.
(a) They love it because, while it reveals their natural
impurity, it shows them how to escape from it.
(b) They love it because it conforms them to its own purity.
(c) They love it because to a pure heart the purity of the
word is one of its chief commendations. --
- The evidences of this love to the pure word.
(a) Desire to possess it in its purity.
(b) Subjection to its spirit and
(c) Zeal for its honour and diffusion. --W.H.J.P.