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Psalm 119:26

 

First, By his "ways" may be meant his businesses or undertakings: I have still made them known to thee, committing them to the direction of thy providence; and so it is an act of faith and dependence, consulting with God, and acquainting him with all our desires.

Secondly, By his "ways" may be meant, all his straits, sorrows, and dangers; and so this declaration is an act of holy friendship, when a man comes as one friend to another, and acquaints God with his whole state, lays his condition before the Lord, in hope of pity and relief.

Thirdly, By "ways" is meant temptations and sins; and so this declaring is an act of spiritual contrition or brokenness of heart. Sins are properly our ways, as Ezekiel 18:25 . Thomas Manton.

Verse 26-30. The way of thy precepts. My ways. The way of lying. The way of truth. Here should be noticed the two contrasts by which the Prophet teaches what must be shunned both in life and in doctrine, and what embraced. The first respects the life of Christians, as the Prophet sets the way of God's commandments over against his own ways, Psalms 119:26-27 ; and respecting these he confesses that they have pressed him down to the dust and have greatly distressed him; but respecting those he declares that they have again raised him up. He means by his own ways a depraved nature, carnal desire, and the carnal mind which is enmity against God, Romans 8:7 ; but by the ways of the Lord he denotes the will of God expressed in the Word. Therefore the boastings of the papists of the perfect obedience of the renewed are empty: for David, assured by having been renewed, complains bitterly and with many tears that his soul, under the intolerable weight of sins, had been brought down to the dust of death and almost suffocated; but that God had heard his prayers and brought him back to the way of his commandments. We, here, also, gather that in this life all the saints experience the wrestling and contest of the flesh and the spirit, so that they are continually compelled to mourn that their flesh turns them aside from the way of the Lord into the by paths of sin: just as Paul cries out, "I see another law in my members, warring against the law of my mind, etc. O wretched man that I am! who shall deliver me from the body of this death?" Romans 7:23-24 .

The second contrast concerneth the doctrine; for David opposes the way of lying to the way of truth. We are taught by this contrast that we should eschew false doctrine, and steadfastly adhere to divine truth. To this applies the precept of Paul, Eph 4:25. "Wherefore, having put away the lie, speak truth each one with his neighbour." Further, we learn, if we hate our own ways, i.e., confess our sins to the Lord, and, trusting in the Mediator, pray for forgiveness, that God is wont to hear and mercifully to forgive our sins; as it is written, 1 John 1:9 , "If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just to forgive us our sins, and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness." Solomon Gesner.

Verse 26. Thou heardest me. Past answers to prayer should encourage us to come the more boldly to the throne of grace. -- Jacob never forgot the night he spent at Bethel. William S. Plumer.

Verse 26. Teach me thy statutes. The often repetition of this one thing in this Psalm argues,

Verse 26. Teach me. We can never do without teaching, even in old age. Unless the Spirit of God teaches us we learn in vain. Martin Geier.

Verse 26-27. Here is David's earnest desire for the continuance of that intimacy that had been between him and his God; not by visions and voices from heaven, but by the Word and Spirit in an ordinary way: "Teach me thy statutes," that is, "make me to understand the way of thy precepts." When he knew God had heard his declaration of his ways, he doth not say, Now, Lord, tell me my lot, and let me know what the event will be; but, Now, Lord, tell me my duty, let me know what thou wouldest have me to do as the case stands. Note, Those that in all their ways acknowledge God, may pray in faith that he will direct their steps in the right way. And the surest way of keeping up our communion with God is, by learning his statutes, and walking diligently in the way of his precepts. Matthew Henry.

 

HINTS FOR PASTORS AND LAYPERSONS

Verse 26. -- Confession. Absolution. Instruction.

Verse 26. --

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