Psalm 119:30

 

EXPOSITION

Verse 30. I have chosen the way of truth. As he abhorred the way of lying, so he chose the way of truth: a man must choose one or the other, for there cannot be any neutrality in the case. Men do not drop into the right way by chance; they must choose it, and continue to choose it, or they will soon wander from it. Those whom God has chosen in due time choose his way. There is a doctrinal way of truth which we ought to choose, rejecting every dogma of man's devising; there is a ceremonial way of truth which we should follow, detesting all the forms which apostate churches have invented; and then there is a practical way of truth, the way of holiness, to which we must adhere whatever may be our temptation to forsake it. Let our election be made, and made irrevocably. Let us answer to all seducers, "I have chosen, and what I have chosen I have chosen." O Lord, by thy grace lead us with a hearty free will to choose to do thy will; thus shall thine eternal choice of us bring forth the end which it designs.

Thy judgments have I laid before me What he had chosen he kept in mind, laying it out before his mind's eye. Men do not become holy by a careless wish: there must be study, consideration, deliberation, and earnest enquiry, or the way of truth will be missed. The commands of God must be set before us as the mark to aim at, the model to work by, the road to walk in. If we put God's judgments into the background we shall soon find ourselves departing from them.

Here again the sixth stanzas of the third and fourth octaves ring out a similar note. "I have kept thy testimonies" ( Psalms 119:22 ), and "Thy judgments have I laid before me." This is a happy confession, and there is no wonder that it is repeated.

 

EXPLANATORY NOTES AND QUAINT SAYINGS

Verse 30. I have chosen the way of truth. Here you have the working of a gracious soul. This is more than sitting and hearing the word -- having no objection to what you hear. Such hearing is all that can be affirmed of the generality of gospel hearers, except we add, that none are more ready to be caught by false and easy ways of salvation, for they assent to all they hear. The man of God strikes a higher and more spiritual note -- he goes into the choice of the thing; he chooses the way of truth; and he cannot but choose it; it is the bent of his renewed nature, the effect indeed of all he has been pleading. How act we? The way of truth is all that God has revealed concerning his Son Jesus. The willing heart chooses this way, and all of it; the bitterness of it, the self denial of it, as well as the comfort of it; a Saviour from sin as well as a Saviour from hell; a Saviour whose Spirit can lead from prayerlessness to godliness, from idleness upon the Sabbath day to a holy keeping of that day, from self seeking to the seeking of Christ, from slack, inconsistent conduct to a careful observance of all the Lord's will. Where God's people meet, there such will delight to be. O for such to abound among us! John Stephen.

Verse 30. I have chosen the way of truth. Religion is not a matter of chance, but of choice. Have we weighed things in the balance, and, upon mature deliberation, made an election, -- "We will have God upon any terms" Have we sat down and reckoned the cost, -- or what religion must cost us, -- the parting with our lusts; and what it may cost us, - - the parting with our lives? Have we resolved, through the assistance of grace, to own Christ when the swords and staves are up? and to sail with him, not only in a pleasure boat, but in a man of war? This choosing God speaks him to be ours: hypocrites profess God out of worldly design, not religious choice. Thomas Watson, in "The Morning Exercises."

Verse 30. I have chosen the way of truth. The choice which David makes here of God's truth proceeds from that choice and election whereby the Lord before all time made choice of David, in Christ, to be one of his elect. For as it is true of love, "Herein is love, not that we loved God, but that he loved us" -- we could never have loved him, if first he had not loved us; so it is true of election; if he before time had not chosen us to be his people, we could never in time have chosen him to be our God. And this I mark in them who love the word of God, and delight in it, who can say out of a good heart, that the Lord is their portion and the joy of their soul: this is a sure seal of their election, imprinted by the finger of God in their heart. William Cowper.

Verse 30. In all our religious exercises, let deliberation precede our resolution, and consideration usher in determination. David did so; and therefore he says here, I have chosen the way of truth: thy judgments have I laid before me. Indeed, he cannot but resolve upon, and make choice of, the way of piety, who layeth before him the goodness, the rectitude and pleasantness of the way. When the prodigal considereth with himself how well his father's servants fared, he thinketh of, yea, determines to go home: "I will arise and go to my father." Abraham Wright, 1661.

Verse 30. I have chosen. No man ever served the Lord but he first made choice of him to be his Master. Every man when he comes to years of discretion, so as to be master of himself, advises with himself what course he shall take, whether he will serve God or the world. Now all the saints of God have made this distinct choice; we will serve the Lord, and no other. Moses when both stood before him, the pleasures of Egypt on the one hand, and God and his people with their afflictions on the other, he chose the latter before the former, Hebrews 11:25 . So David saith he did, I have chosen the way of truth: thy judgments have I laid before me; for to choose, is, when a thing lies before a man, and he considers and takes it. So Joshua, "I and my house will serve the Lord." John Preston, (1587-1628) in "The Golden Sceptre held forth to the Humble." 1638.

Verse 30. Truth. There are three kinds of truth; truth in heart, truth in word, truth in deed ( 2 Kings 20:3 Zechariah 8:16 Hebrews 10:22 ). Ayguan. From "The Preacher's Storehouse," by J. E. Vaux.

Verse 30. Thy judgments. God's word is called his judgment, because it discerns good from evil; and is not a naked sentence; but, as it points out evil, so it pronounces plagues against it, which shall be executed according to the sentence thereof. William Cowper.

Verse 30-31. I have chosen; I have stuck. The choosing Christian is likely to be the sticking Christian; when those that are Christians by chance tack about if the wind turn. Matthew Henry.

Verse 30. Thy judgments have I laid before me. The solid consideration that God's word is God's decree or judgment may guard a believer against men's terrors and allurements, and fix him in his right choice, as here. David Dickson.

Verse 30. Thy judgments have I laid before me. Men that mean to travel the right way will lay before them a map: so David, as his will had resolved upon the ways of truth, so he setteth before his eyes the map of the law, which did manifest this unto him, as the ship man hath his card with the compass. Paul Bayne.