Psalm 119:50

 

EXPOSITION

Verse 50. This is my comfort in my affliction: for thy word hath quickened me. He means, -- Thy word is my comfort, or the fact that thy word has brought quickening to me is my comfort. Or he means that the hope which had given him was his comfort, for God had quickened him thereby ever may be the exact sense, it is clear that the Psalmist had affliction -- affliction peculiar to himself, which he calls "my affliction"; that he had comfort in it, -- comfort specially his own, for he styles it "my comfort"; and that he knew what the comfort was, and where it came from, for exclaims -- "this is my comfort". The worldling clutches his money bag and says, "this is my comfort"; the spendthrift points to his gaiety, shouts, "this is my comfort"; the drunkard lifts his glass, and sings, "this is my comfort"; but the man whose hope comes from God feels the giving power of the word of the Lord, and he testifies, "this is my fort." Paul said, "I know whom I have believed." Comfort is desirable all times; but comfort in affliction is like a lamp in a dark place. Some unable to find comfort at such times; but it is not so with believers, their Savour has said to them, "I will not leave you comfortless." have comfort and no affliction, others have affliction and no comfort; the saints have comfort in their affliction.

The word frequently comforts us by increasing the force of our inner "this is my comfort; thy word hath quickened me." To quicken the is to cheer the whole man. Often the near way to consolation is sanctification and invigoration. If we cannot clear away the fog, it may be to rise to a higher level, and so to get above it. Troubles which weigh down while we are half dead become mere trifles when we are full of Thus have we often been raised in spirit by quickening grace, and the thing will happen again, for the Comforter is still with us, the Consolation of Israel ever liveth, and the very God of peace is evermore our Father. Looking back upon our past life there is one ground of comfort as to state -- the word of God has made us alive, and kept us so. We were but we are dead no longer. From this we gladly infer that if the had meant to destroy he would not have quickened us. If we were only hypocrites worthy of derision, as the proud ones say, he would not revived us by his grace. An experience of quickening is a fountain of cheer.

See how this verse is turned into a prayer in Psalms 119:107 . "Quicken me, O Lord, according unto thy word." Experience teaches us how to pray, and furnishes arguments in prayer.

 

EXPLANATORY NOTES AND QUAINT SAYINGS

Verse 50. -- This is my comfort, etc. The word of promise was David's comfort, because the word had quickened him to receive comfort. The original is capable of another modification of thought -- "This is my consolation that thy word hath quickened me." He had the happy experience within him; he felt the reviving, restoring, life giving power of the word, as he read, as he dwelt upon it, as he meditated therein, and as he gave himself up to the way of the word. The believer has all God's unfailing promises to depend upon, and as he depends he gains strength by his own happy experiences of the faithfulness of the word. --John Stephen.

Verse 50. -- My comfort. "Thy word." God hath given us his Scriptures, his word; and the comforts that are fetched from thence are strong ones, because they are his comforts, since they come from his word. The word of a prince comforts, though he be not there to speak it. Though it be by a letter, or by a messenger, yet he whose word it is, is one that is able to make his word good. He is Lord and Master of his word. The word of God is comfortable, and all the reasons that are in it, and that are deduced from it, upon good ground and consequence, are comfortable, because it is God's word. Those comforts in God's word, and reasons from thence, are wonderful in variety. There is comfort from the liberty of a Christian, that he hath free access to the throne of grace; comfort from the prerogatives of a Christian, that he is the child of God, that he is justified, that he is the heir of heaven, and such like; comforts from the promises of grace, of the presence of God, of assistance by his presence. --Richard Sibbes.

Verse 50. -- Comfort. 'Nechamah', consolation; whence the name of Nehemiah was derived. The word occurs only in Job 6:9 .

Verse 50. -- Comfort. The Hebrew verb rendered 'to comfort' signifies, first, to repent, and then to comfort. And certainly the sweetest joy is from the surest tears. Tears are the breeders of spiritual joy. When Hannah had wept, she went away, and was no more sad. The bee gathers the best honey from the bitterest herbs. Christ made the best wine of water.

Gospel comforts are, first, unutterable comforts, 1 Peter 1:8 ; Philippians 4:4 . Secondly, they are real, John 14:27 ; all others are but seeming comforts, but painted comforts. Thirdly, they are holy comforts, Isaiah 64:5 Psalms 138:5 ; they flow from a Holy Spirit, and nothing can come from the Holy Spirit but that which is holy. Fourthly, they are the greatest and strongest comforts, Ephesians 6:17 . Few heads and hearts are able to bear them, as few heads are able to bear strong wines. Fifthly, they reach to the inward man, to the soul, 2 Thessalonians 2:17 , the noble part of man. "My soul rejoiceth in God my Saviour." Our other comforts only reach the face; they sink not so deep as the heart. Sixthly, they are the most soul filling and soul satisfying comforts, Psalms 16:11 Song of Solomon 4:3 . Other comforts cannot reach the soul, and therefore they cannot fill nor satisfy the soul. Seventhly, they comfort in saddest distresses, in the darkest night, and in the most stormy day, Psalms 94:19 Hebrews 3:7-8 . Eighthly, they are everlasting, 2 Thessalonians 2:16 . The joy of the wicked is but as a glass, bright and brittle, and evermore in danger of breaking; but the joy of the saints is lasting. --Thomas Brooks.

Verse 50. -- Thy word hath quickened me. It is a reviving comfort which quickeneth the soul. Many times we seem to be dead to all spiritual operations, our affections are damped and discouraged; but the word of God puts life into the dead, and relieveth us in our greatest distresses. Sorrow worketh death, but joy is the life of the soul. Now, when dead in all sense and feeling, "the just shall live by faith" ( Hebrews 4:4 ), and the hope wrought in us by the Scriptures is "a lively hope" ( 1 Peter 1:8 ). Other things skin the wound but our sore breaketh out again, and runneth; faith penetrates into the inwards of a man, doth good to the heart; and the soul revives by waiting upon God, and gets life and strength. -- Thomas Manton.

Verse 50. -- Thy word hath quickened me. Here, as is evident from the mention of "affliction" -- and indeed throughout the psalm -- the verb "quicken" is used not merely in an external sense of "preservation from death" (Hupfeld), but of "reviving the heart," "imparting fresh courage," etc. --J.J. Stewart Perowne.

Verse 50. -- Thy word hath quickened me. It made me alive when I was dead in sin; it has many a time made me lively when I was dead in duty; it has quickened me to that which is good, when. I was backward and averse to it; and it has quickened me in that which is good, when I was cold and indifferent. --Matthew Henry.

Verse 50. -- (Second Clause). Adore God's distinguishing grace, if you have felt the power and authority of the word upon your conscience; if you can say as David, "Thy word hath quickened me." Christian, bless God that he has not only given thee his word to be a rule of holiness, but his grace to be a principle of holiness. Bless God that he has not only written his word, but sealed it upon thy heart, and made it effectual. Canst thou say it is of divine inspiration, because thou hast felt it to be of lively operation? Oh free grace! That God should send out his word, and heal thee; that he should heal thee and not others! That the Same Scripture which to them is a dead letter, should be to thee a savour of life. -- Thomas Watson.

 

HINTS FOR PASTORS AND LAYPERSONS

Verse 50. -- Each man has his own affliction and his own consolation. Quickened piety the best comfort. The word the means of it.

Verse 50. --

  1. The need of consolation.
  2. The consolation needed. --G.R.