Psalm 119:166

 

EXPOSITION

Verse 166. Lord, I have hoped for thy salvation, and done thy commandments. Here we have salvation by grace, and the fruits thereof. All David's hope was fixed upon God, he looked to him alone for salvation; and then he endeavoured most earnestly to fulfil the commands of his law. Those who place least reliance upon good works are very frequently those who have tile most of them; that same divine teaching which delivers us from confidence in our own doings leads us to abound in every good work to the glory of God. In times of trouble there are two things to be done, the first is to hope in God, and the second is to do that which is right. The first without the second would be mere presumption: the second without the first mere formalism. It is well if in looking back we can claim to have acted in the way which is commanded of the Lord. If we have acted rightly towards God we are sure that lie will act kindly with us.

 

EXPLANATORY NOTES AND QUAINT SAYINGS

Verse 166. -- LORD, I have hoped for thy salvation, etc. This is the true posture in which all the servants of God should desire to be found -- hoping in his mercy, and doing his commands. How easy were it to demonstrate the connection between the mental feeling here recognized, and the obedience with which it is here associated! It is the hope of salvation which is the great and pervading motive to holiness, and it is the consciousness of obedience to the will of God which strengthens our hope of interest in the divine mercy. --John Morison.

Verse 166. -- Lord, I have hoped for thy salvation. This saying he borrowed from good old Jacob. Genesis 49:18 . --John Trapp.

Verse 166. -- I have done thy commandments. Set upon the practice of what you read. A student in physics doth not satisfy himself to read over a system or body of physics, but he falls upon practising physics: the life blood of religion his in the practical part. Christians should be walking Bibles. Xenophon said, "Many read Lycurgus's laws, but few observe them." The word written is not only a rule of knowledge, but a rule of obedience; it is not only to mend our sight, but to mend our pace. David calls God's word "a lamp unto his feet" ( Psalms 119:105 ). It was not only a light to his eyes to see by, but to his feet to walk by. By practice we trade with the talent of knowledge, and turn it to profit. This is a blessed reading of Scripture, when we fly from the sins which the word forbids, and espouse the doctrines which the word commands. Reading without practice will be but a torch to light men to hell. --Thomas Watson.

Verse 166,167,168. -- He that casts the commands behind his back is very presumptuous in applying the promises to himself. That hope which is not accompanied with obedience will make a man ashamed. He that has learned the word of God knows that the law is not made void by faith, but established: Romans 3:31 . Christ the church's Head and Prophet, in his sermon upon the mount shows the extent of the law, requiring purity in the heart and thoughts, as well as in the life and actions, and condemns them "who shall break the least of these commands and shall teach men so"; but "those that teach and do them," he owns as great in his kingdom: Matthew 5:19 . The law spoken on Mount Sinai is established by the Legislator Christ in Mount Zion as a rule of righteousness. And they who are rightly instructed, "which walk according to this rule," will have both heart and conversation ordered according to its direction, and "peace and mercy will be upon them," and hereby they will show themselves to be indeed the Israel of God. --Nathanael Vincent.

 

HINTS FOR PASTORS AND LAYPERSONS

Verse 166. --

  1. A hope which is not ashamed.
  2. A life which is not ashamed.
  3. A God of whom he is not ashamed.

Verse 166. -- A good hope through grace.

  1. Salvation is God's gift: "thy salvation."
  2. Is apprehended by hope: "I have hoped."
  3. Is accompanied by obedience: "and done thy commandments." Hebrews 6:9 .

--C.A.D.