Verse 24. Thy testimonies also are my delight and my counsellors. They were not only themes for meditation, but "also" sources of delight and means of guidance. While his enemies took counsel with each other the holy man took counsel with the testimonies of God. The fowlers could not drive the bird from its nest with all their noise. It was their delight to slander and his delight to meditate. The words of the Lord serve us for many purposes; in our sorrows they are our delight, and in our difficulties they are our guide; we derive joy from them and discover wisdom in them. If we desire to find comfort in the Scriptures we must submit ourselves to their counsel, and when we follow their counsel it must not be with reluctance but with delight. This is the safest way of dealing with those who plot for our ruin; let us give more heed to the true testimonies of the Lord than to the false witness of our foes. The best answer to accusing princes is the word of the justifying King.
In Psalms 119:16 David said, "I will delight in thy statutes," and here he says "they are my delight": thus resolutions formed in God's strength come to fruit, and spiritual desires ripen into actual attainments. O that it might be so with all the readers of these lines.
EXPLANATORY NOTES AND QUAINT SAYINGS
Verse 24. Thy testimonies also are my delight and my counsellors. His delight and his counsellors, that is, his delight because his counsellors; his counsellors, and therefore his delight. We know how delightful it is to any to have the advantage of good counsel, according to the perplexities and distractions in which they may be. "Ointment and perfume rejoice the heart: so doth the sweetness of a man's friend by hearty counsel," says Solomon, Proverbs 27:9 . Now this is the sweetness of Divine communion, and of meditation on God and his word; it employs a man with seasonable counsel, which is a very great refreshment to us. T. Horton, 1673.
Verse 24. Thy testimonies also are my delight, etc. Those that would have God's testimonies to be their delight, must make them for their counsellors and be advised by them: and let those that take them for their counsellors in close walking, take them for their delight in comfortable walking. Matthew Henry.
Verse 24. Thy testimonies also are my delight and my counsellors. What could we want more in a time of difficulty than comfort and direction David had both these blessings. As the fruit of his "meditation in the Lord's statutes," in his distress they were his "delight"; in his seasons of perplexity they were his "counsellors," directing his behaviour in the perfect way. Charles Bridges.
Verse 24. My counsellors. In the Hebrew it is, "the men of my counsel," which is fitly mentioned; for he had spoken of princes sitting in council against him. Princes do nothing without the advice of their Privy Council; a child of God hath also his Privy Council, God's testimonies. On the one side there was Saul and his nobles and counsellors; on the other side there was David and God's testimonies. Now, who was better furnished, think you, they to persecute and trouble him, or David how to carry himself under this trouble? Alphonsus, king of Arragon, being asked who were the best counsellors? answered, "The dead (meaning books), which cannot flatter, but do without partiality declare the truth." Now of all such dead counsellors, God's testimonies have the preeminence. A poor, godly man, even then when he is deserted of all, and hath nobody to plead for him, he hath his senate, and his council of state about him, the prophets and apostles, and "other holy men of God, that spake as they were moved by the Holy Ghost." A man so furnished, is never less alone than when alone; for he hath counsellors about him that tell him what is to be believed or done; and they are such counsellors as cannot err, as will not flatter him, nor applaud him in any sin, nor discourage or dissuade him from that which is good, whatever hazard it expose him to. And truly, if we be wise, we should choose such counsellors as these: "Thy testimonies are the men of my counsel." Thomas Manton.
Verse 24. My counsellors. See here a sentence worthy to be weighed of us, when David calleth the commandments of God his "counsellors." For, in the first place, he meaneth that he might scorn all the wisdom of the most able and most expert men in the world, since he was conducted by the word of God, and governed thereby. In the second place, he meaneth that when he shall be so governed by the word of God, he would not only be truly wise, but that it would be as if he had all the wisdom of all the men in the world, yea, and a great deal more. John Calvin.
HINTS FOR PASTORS AND LAYPERSONS
Verse 24. --
- He reverenced them as God's testimonies.
- He revelled in them as his delight.
- He referred to them as his counsellors.