Psalm 119:74

 

EXPOSITION

Verse 74. They that fear thee will be glad when they see me: because I have hoped in thy word. When a man of God obtains grace for himself he becomes a blessing to others, especially if that grace has made him a man of sound understanding and holy knowledge. God fearing men are encouraged when they meet with experienced believers. A hopeful man is a God send when things are declining or in danger. When the hopes of one believer are fulfilled his companions are cheered and established, and led to hope also. It is good for the eyes to see a man whose witness is that the Lord is true; it is one of the joys of saints to hold converse with their more advanced brethren. The fear of God is not a left handed grace, as some have called it; it is quite consistent with gladness; for if even the sight of a comrade gladdens the God fearing, how glad must they be in the presence of the Lord himself! We do not only meet to share each others' burdens, but to partake in each others' joys, and some men contribute largely to the stock of mutual gladness. Hopeful men bring gladness with them. Despondent spirits spread the infection of depression, and hence few are glad to see them, while those whose hopes are grounded upon God's word carry sunshine in their faces, and are welcomed by their fellows. There are professors whose presence scatters sadness, and the godly quietly steal out of their company: may this never be the case with us.

 

EXPLANATORY NOTES AND QUAINT SAYINGS

Verse 74. -- They that fear thee will be glad, etc. They who "fear God" are naturally "glad when they see" and converse with one like themselves; but more especially so, when it is one whose faith and patience have carried him through troubles, and rendered him victorious over temptations; one who hath "hoped in God's word," and hath not been disappointed. Every such instance affords fresh encouragement to all those, who, in the course of their warfare, are to undergo like troubles, and to encounter like temptations. In all our trials let us, therefore, remember, that our brethren, as well as ourselves, are deeply interested in the event, which may either strengthen or weaken the hands of the multitudes. --George Horne.

Verse 74. -- They that far thee will be glad when they see me, etc. How comfortable it is for the heirs of promise to see one another, or meet together: aspectus boni viri delectat, the very look of a good man is delightful: it is a pleasure to converse with those that are careful to please God, and fearful to offend him. How much affected they are with one another's mercies: "they will be glad when they see me," since I have obtained an event answerable to my hope. They shall come and look upon me as a monument and spectacle of the mercy and truth of God. But what mercy had he received? The context seemeth to carry it for grace to obey God's commandments; that was the prayer immediately preceding, to be instructed and taught in God's law ( Psalms 119:73 ). Now they will rejoice to see my holy behaviour, how I have profited and glorified God in that behalf. The Hebrew writers render the reason, "Because then I shall be able to instruct them in those statutes, when they shall see me, their king, study the law of God." It may be expounded of any other blessing or benefit God had given according to his hope; and I rather understand it thus, they will be glad to see him sustained, supported, and borne out in his troubles and sufferings. "They will be glad when they shall see in me a notable example of the fruit of hoping in thy grace." -- Thomas Manton.

Verse 74. -- Because I have hoped in thy word. And have not been disappointed. The Vulgate rendereth it supersperavi, I have over hoped; and then Aben Ezra glosses, "I have hoped in all thy decree"; even that of afflicting me, as in the next verse. --John Trapp.

 

HINTS FOR PASTORS AND LAYPERSONS

Verse 74. --

  1. The encouraging influence of good men upon others.
  2. The instructive influence of others upon them: --G.R.

Verse 74. -- Converse with a tried but steadfast believer is a source of gladness to the children of God.

  1. He has a thrilling talc of experience to tell.
  2. He has valuable counsels and cautions to give.
  3. He is a monument of God's faithfulness, confirming the hope of others.
  4. He is an epistle of Christ, written expressly to illustrate the preciousness and the power of the gospel. --J.F.