Psalm 119:163

 

EXPOSITION

Verse 163. I hate and abhor lying. A double expression for an inexpressible loathing. Falsehood in doctrine, in life, or in speech, falsehood in any form or shape, had become utterly detestable to the Psalmist. This was a remarkable state for an Oriental, for generally lying is the delight of Easterns, and the only wrong they see in it is a want of skill in its exercise so that the liar is found out. David himself had made much progress when he had come to this. He does not, however, alone refer to falsehood in conversation; he evidently intends perversity in faith and teaching. He set down all opposition to the God of truth as lying, and then he turned his whole soul against it in the most intense form of indignation. Godly men should detest false doctrine even as they abhor a lie.

But thy law do I love, because it is all truth. His love was as ardent as his hate. True men love truth, and hate lying. It is well for us to know which way our hates and loves run, and we may do essential service to others by declaring what are their objects. Both love and hate are contagious, and when they are sanctified the wider their influence the better.

 

EXPLANATORY NOTES AND QUAINT SAYINGS

Verse 163. -- I hate and abhor lying, etc. One sees here how the light on David's soul was increasing more and more unto the perfect day. In the earlier part of this psalm, David in the recollects of his own sin had prayed, "Remove from me the way of lying," and the Lord had indeed answered his prayer, for he now declares his utter loathing of every false way: "I hate and abhor lying." And we see, in some measure, the instrument by which the Holy Spirit wrought the change: "Thy law do I love"; nay, as he adds in a later verse, "I love them exceedingly." And so it ever must be, the heart must have some holier object of its affection to fill up the void, or there will be no security against a relapse into sin! might talk for ever on the sin, the disgrace, and the danger of lying, and though at the time and for a time my words might have some influence, yet, unless the heart be filled with the love of God and of God's law, the first temptation would prove too powerful. The Bible teaches us this in a variety of ways. God says to Israel, not only "cease to do evil," but, "learn to do well." And still more pointedly does the apostle, when he was warring against drunkenness, say, "Be not drunk with wine, wherein is excess, -- but be filled with the Spirit." --Barton Bouchier.

Verse 163. -- I hate and abhor lying. "Lying," according to Scripture usage, not only signifies speaking contrary to what one thinks, but also thinking contrary to the truth of things, and, particularly, the giving to other of that worship and glory which are due to the true God alone to think and act aside from God's truth. The men who persecuted that godly man thought of earthly prosperity and power as they should not have thought; they judged God's servant falsely, and they thought wickedly Of God himself. The man of God took a view of these things; he saw wickedness and the vileness of them, and he continued -- "Falsehood I hate and abhor: thy law do I love." From all the false and delusive ways of men, from all the pride and pomp that surround courts, from the sinful and pursuits of worldly men, as well as from the ostentatious idolatry heathen nations, he could turn with heart delight to the contemplation Jehovah, in that wonderful ritual which manifested the divine mercy in vicarious sacrifices, and observances, and festivals; and to that holy law which was given as man's rule of duty and grateful obedience, and these he loved as the manifestations of God's grace. --John Stephen.

Verse 163. -- I hate and abhor lying: not only "hate" it, nor simply I "abhor" it, but "hate and abhor," to strengthen and increase the sense, and make it more vehement. Where the enmity is not great against the sin, the matter may be compounded and taken up; but David will have nothing to do with it, for he saith, -- I loathe and abhor it, and hate it with a deadly hatred. Slight hatred of a sinful course is not sufficient to guard us against ft. -- Thomas Manton.

Verse 163. -- Sin seemeth to have its name from the Hebrew word "sana", to hate, the word here used, because it is most of all to be hated, as the greatest evil, as that which setteth us furthest from God the greatest good. None can hate it but those that love the law of God; for all hatred comes from love. A natural man may be angry with his sin, but hate it he cannot; nay, he may leave it, but not loathe it; if he did, he would loathe all sin as well as any one sin. --Abraham Wright.

Verse 163. -- Lying. All injustice is abominable: to do any sort of wrong is a heinous crime, but lying is that crime which, above all others, tendeth to the dissolution of society and disturbance of human life; which God therefore doth most loathe, and men have reason especially to detest. Of this the slanderer is most deeply guilty. "A witness of Belial scorneth judgment, and the month of the wicked devoureth iniquity," saith the wise man: Proverbs 19:28 . He is indeed, according to just estimation, guilty of all kinds of injury, breaking all the second table of commands respecting our neighbour. Most distinctly he beareth false witness against his neighbour: he doth covet his neighbour's goods, for 'tis constantly out of such an irregular desire, for his own presumed advantage, to dispossess his neighbour of some good, and transfer it on himself, that the slanderer uttereth his tale: he is also a thief and robber of his good name, a deflowerer and defiler of his reputation, an assassin and murderer of his honour. So doth he violate all the rules of justice, and perpetrates all sorts of wrong against his neighbour. --Isaac Barrow.

 

HINTS FOR PASTORS AND LAYPERSONS

Verse 163. -- Opposite poles of the Christian character.

  1. Why I hate lying, because it comes from the devil ( Proverbs 8:44 , Acts 5:3 ): it leads to the devil ( Revelation 11:8 Revelation 22:15 ): it is base, dangerous, degrading ( Proverbs 19:5 Proverbs 19:1 Proverbs 19:5, 1Ti 4:2 , Ti 3:13 ): it is hated by the Lord ( Proverbs 6:16 Proverbs 6:17 , 7:22).
  2. Why I love the law. Because it emanates from God; is the reflection of his character; is the ideal of my character.
  3. How I came thus to hate and love. By the grace of God: ver. 29.

--G.A.D.

Verse 163. --

  1. Opposite things.
  2. Opposite feelings.