Psalm 119:149

 

EXPOSITION

Verse 149. -- Hear my voice according unto thy lovingkindness. Men find it very helpful to use their voices in prayer; it is difficult long to maintain the intensity of devotion unless we hear ourselves speak; hence David at length broke through his silence, arose from his quiet meditations, and began crying with voice as well as heart unto the Lord his God. Note, that he does not plead his own descryings, nor for a moment appeal for payment of a debt on account of merit; he takes the free-grace way, and puts it, "according unto thy lovingkindness." When God hears player according to his lovingkindness he overlooks all the imperfections of the prayer, he forgets the sinfulness of the offerer, and in pitying love he grants the desire though the suppliant be unworthy. It is according to God's lovingkindness to answer speedily, to answer frequently, to answer abundantly, yea, exceeding abundantly above all that we ask or even think. Lovingkindness is one of the sweetest words in our language. Kindness has much in it that is most precious, but loving kindness is doubly dear; it is the cream of kindness.

O Lord, quicken me according to thy judgment. This is another of David's wise and ardent prayers. He first cried, "Save me;" then, "Hear me;" and now, "Quicken me." This is often the very best way of delivering us from trouble, -- to give us more life that we may escape from death; and to add more strength to that life that we may not be overloaded with its burdens. Observe, that he asks to receive quickening according to God's judgment, that is, in such a way as should be consistent with infinite wisdom and prudence. God's methods of communicating greater vigour to our spiritual life are exceedingly wise; it would probably be in vain for us to attempt to understand them; and it will be our wisdom to wish to receive grace, not according to our notion of how it should come to us, but according to God's heavenly method of bestowing it. It is his prerogative to make alive as well as to kill, and that sovereign act is best left to his infallible judgment. Hath he not already given us to have life more and more abundantly? "Wherein he hath abounded toward us in all wisdom and prudence."

 

HINTS FOR PASTORS AND LAYPERSONS

Verse 149. -- Prayer -- hearing the result of love; prayer -- answering ruled by wisdom.

Verse 149. -- Quickening.

  1. A prayer of unquestionable necessity: "quicken me."
  2. Twin pleas of irresistible power: "thy lovingkindness:" "thy judgment." -- C.A.D.

Verse 149. -- The two accordings.

  1. The "according," to which a believer hopes to be heard by God: "Hear my voice according unto thy loving kindness."
    1. The believer is fully aware of his own unworthiness,
      and the imperfections of his prayers, therefore he
      would have God to accept him and interpret them after
      the rule of his own lovingkindness.
(b) Nor does he hope in vain; God's loving kindness
overlooks the imperfections, and supplies the omissions.
(c) What a blessed thing it is, that while the Holy Spirit
helps our infirmities, the groanings that cannot be
uttered are read in their true meaning by divine
lovingkindness!

  1. The "according" to which he expects to be answered by God: "Quicken me according to thy judgment." "Judgment" here may mean the revealed word. Then --
    1. He expects to be answered certainly.
(b) He expects to be answered wisely.
(c) He expects to be answered fully, as all his needs
require.
(d) He expects that every answer should quicken spiritual
life, making him holy.

--J.F.