Psalm 119:160

 

EXPOSITION

Verse 160. The sweet singer finishes up this section in the same way as the last by dwelling upon the sureness of the truth of God. It will be well for the reader to note the likeness between Psalms 119:144 Psalms 119:152 , and the present one.

Thy word is true. Whatever the transgressors may say, God is true, and his word is true. The ungodly are false, but God's word is true. They charge us with being false, but our solace is that God's true word will clear us.

From the beginning. God's word has been true from the first moment in which it was spoken, true throughout the whole of history, true to us from the instant in which we believed it, and true to us before we were true to it. Some read it, "Thy word is true from the head;" true as a whole, true from top to bottom. Experience had taught David this lesson, and experience is teaching us the same. The Scriptures are as true in Genesis as in Revelation, and the five books of: Moses are as inspired as the four Gospels.

And every one of thy righteous judgments endureth for ever. That which thou hast decided remains irreversible in every case. Against the decisions of the Lord no writ of error can be demanded, neither will there ever be a repealing of any of the acts of his sovereignty. There is not one single mistake either in the word of God or in the providential dealings of God. Neither in the book of revelation nor of providence will there be any need to put a single note of errata. The Lord has nothing to regret or to retract, nothing to amend or to reverse. All God's judgments, decrees, commands, and purposes are righteous, and as righteous things are lasting things, every one of them will outlive the stars. "Till heaven and earth pass, one jot or one tittle shall in no wise pass from the law, till all be fulfilled." God's justice endureth for ever. This is a cheering thought, but there is a much sweeter one, which of old was the song of the priests in the temple; let it be ours, "His mercy endureth for ever."

 

EXPLANATORY NOTES AND QUAINT SAYINGS

Verse 160. -- Thy word is true from the beginning. Literally, "The beginning of thy word is truth," in antithesis to the "enduring for ever," in the future, in the next clause. Cocceius and Hengstenberg take it, "The sum of thy word is true," as in Numbers 26:2 31:26. But the antithesis noticed above in the English version is thus lost; and the old versions support the English version. Also, if it were "the sum," the plural ought to follow, viz., "of thy words," not "word." --A. R. Fausset.

Verse 160. -- Thy word is true from the beginning, etc. As if he should say, I believe that thou wilt thus quicken me, because the very beginning of thy word is most just and true; and when thou didst first enter into covenant with me, I did find that thou didst not deceive me, not beguile me. And when by thy Spirit thou madest me believe thy covenant, thou meanest truth; and I know that as thou didst promise, thou wilt perform, for thou art no more liberal in promising than faithful and just in performing, and thy judgment will be as righteous as thy promise is true. I know that as soon as thou speakest, truth proceedeth from thee; and even so I know thou wilt defend and preserve me, that thy judgments may shine as righteous in thee. --Richard Greenham.

Verse 160. -- Thy word is true from the beginning, etc. God's commandment and promise is exceeding broad, reaching to all times. Was a word of command "the guide of thy youth"? I assure thee it will be as good a staff of thine age. A good promise is a good nurse, both to the young babe and to the decrepit old man. Your apothecaries' best cordials in time will lose their spirits, and sometimes the stronger they are, the sooner. But hath a promise cheered thee, say, twenty, thirty, forty years ago? Taste it but now afresh, and thou shalt find it as fresh, and as full of refreshment as ever. If it hath been thy greatest joy in thy joyful youth, I tell thee, it hath as much joy in it for thy sad old age. That may be said of God's word, which the prophet saith of God himself ( Isaiah 46:4 ): "And even to your old age I am he; and even to hoar hairs will I carry you." Doth not the Psalmist say as much here, "Thy word is true from the beginning"? It's well, it begins well. But will it last as well? Yes: he adds, "and every one of thy righteous judgments endureth for ever." Answerable to which is that other expression (verse 152), "Concerning thy testimonies, I have known of old that thou hast founded them for ever." "For ever," and "founded for ever." O sweet expression! O grounded comfort! Brethren, get acquainted with God's word and promise as soon as you can, and maintain that acquaintance everlastingly; and your knowledge of it shall not either go before, or go beyond its truth. Know it as soon and as long as you will or can, and you shall never find it tripping or failing; but you may after long experience of God say of it, "I have known of old that thou hast founded it for ever." --Anthony Tuckhey, 1599-- 1670.

 

HINTS FOR PASTORS AND LAYPERSONS

Verse 160. --

  1. Early: "true from the beginning."
  2. Late: "endureth for ever." Or, Truth and immutability the believer's Jachin and Boaz.
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