Salmos 119

1 ALEPH. BIENAVENTURADOS los perfectos de camino; Los que andan en la ley de Jehová.
2 Bienaventurados los que guardan sus testimonios, Y con todo el corazón le buscan:
3 Pues no hacen iniquidad Los que andan en sus caminos.
4 Tú encargaste Que sean muy guardados tus mandamientos.
5 ¡Ojalá fuesen ordenados mis caminos A observar tus estatutos!
6 Entonces no sería yo avergonzado, Cuando atendiese á todos tus mandamientos.
7 Te alabaré con rectitud de corazón, Cuando aprendiere los juicios de tu justicia.
8 Tus estatutos guardaré: No me dejes enteramente.
9 BETH. ¿Con qué limpiará el joven su camino? Con guardar tu palabra.
10 Con todo mi corazón te he buscado: No me dejes divagar de tus mandamientos.
11 En mi corazón he guardado tus dichos, Para no pecar contra ti.
12 Bendito tú, oh Jehová: Enséñame tus estatutos.
13 Con mis labios he contado Todos los juicios de tu boca.
14 Heme gozado en el camino de tus testimonios, Como sobre toda riqueza.
15 En tus mandamientos meditaré, Consideraré tus caminos.
16 Recrearéme en tus estatutos: No me olvidaré de tus palabras.
17 GIMEL. Haz bien á tu siervo; que viva Y guarde tu palabra.
18 Abre mis ojos, y miraré Las maravillas de tu ley.
19 Advenedizo soy yo en la tierra: No encubras de mí tus mandamientos.
20 Quebrantada está mi alma de desear Tus juicios en todo tiempo.
21 Destruiste á los soberbios malditos, Que se desvían de tus mandamientos.
22 Aparta de mí oprobio y menosprecio; Porque tus testimonios he guardado.
23 Príncipes también se sentaron y hablaron contra mí: Mas tu siervo meditaba en tus estatutos.
24 Pues tus testimonios son mis deleites, Y mis consejeros.
25 DALETH. Pegóse al polvo mi alma: Vivifícame según tu palabra.
26 Mis caminos te conté, y me has respondido: Enséñame tus estatutos.
27 Hazme entender el camino de tus mandamientos, Y hablaré de tus maravillas.
28 Deshácese mi alma de ansiedad: Corrobórame según tu palabra.
29 Aparta de mí camino de mentira; Y hazme la gracia de tu ley.
30 Escogí el camino de la verdad; He puesto tus juicios delante de mí.
31 Allegádome he á tus testimonios; Oh Jehová, no me avergüences.
32 Por el camino de tus mandamientos correré, Cuando ensanchares mi corazón.
33 HE. Enséñame, oh Jehová, el camino de tus estatutos, Y guardarélo hasta el fin.
34 Dame entendimiento, y guardaré tu ley; Y la observaré de todo corazón.
35 Guíame por la senda de tus mandamientos; Porque en ella tengo mi voluntad.
36 Inclina mi corazón á tus testimonios, Y no á la avaricia.
37 Aparta mis ojos, que no vean la vanidad; Avívame en tu camino.
38 Confirma tu palabra á tu siervo, Que te teme.
39 Quita de mí el oprobio que he temido: Porque buenos son tus juicios.
40 He aquí yo he codiciado tus mandamientos: Vivifícame en tu justicia.
41 VAV. Y venga á mí tu misericordia, oh Jehová; Tu salud, conforme á tu dicho.
42 Y daré por respuesta á mi avergonzador, Que en tu palabra he confiado.
43 Y no quites de mi boca en nigún tiempo la palabra de verdad; Porque á tu juicio espero.
44 Y guardaré tu ley siempre, Por siglo de siglo.
45 Y andaré en anchura, Porque busqué tus mandamientos.
46 Y hablaré de tus testimonios delante de los reyes, Y no me avergonzaré.
47 Y deleitaréme en tus mandamientos, Que he amado.
48 Alzaré asimismo mis manos á tus mandamientos que amé; Y meditaré en tus estatutos.
49 ZAYIN. Acuérdate de la palabra dada á tu siervo, En la cual me has hecho esperar.
50 Esta es mi consuelo en mi aflicción: Porque tu dicho me ha vivificado.
51 Los soberbios se burlaron mucho de mí: Mas no me he apartado de tu ley.
52 Acordéme, oh Jehová, de tus juicios antiguos, Y consoléme.
53 Horror se apoderó de mí, á causa De los impíos que dejan tu ley.
54 Cánticos me fueron tus estatutos En la mansión de mis peregrinaciones.
55 Acordéme en la noche de tu nombre, oh Jehová, Y guardé tu ley.
56 Esto tuve, Porque guardaba tus mandamientos.
57 JET. Mi porción, oh Jehová, Dije, será guardar tus palabras.
58 Tu presencia supliqué de todo corazón: Ten misericordia de mí según tu palabra.
59 Consideré mis caminos, Y torné mis pies á tus testimonios.
60 Apresuréme, y no me retardé En guardar tus mandamientos.
61 Compañía de impíos me han robado: Mas no me he olvidado de tu ley.
62 A media noche me levantaba á alabarte Sobre los juicios de tu justicia.
63 Compañero soy yo de todos los que te temieren Y guardaren tus mandamientos.
64 De tu misericordia, oh Jehová, está llena la tierra: Enséñame tus estatutos.
65 TETH. Bien has hecho con tu siervo, Oh Jehová, conforme á tu palabra.
66 Enséñame bondad de sentido y sabiduría; Porque tus mandamientos he creído.
67 Antes que fuera yo humillado, descarriado andaba; Mas ahora guardo tu palabra.
68 Bueno eres tú, y bienhechor: Enséñame tus estatutos.
69 Contra mí forjaron mentira los soberbios: Mas yo guardaré de todo corazón tus mandamientos.
70 Engrasóse el corazón de ellos como sebo; Mas yo en tu ley me he deleitado.
71 Bueno me es haber sido humillado, Para que aprenda tus estatutos.
72 Mejor me es la ley de tu boca, Que millares de oro y plata.
73 YOD. Tus manos me hicieron y me formaron: Hazme entender, y aprenderé tus mandamientos.
74 Los que te temen, me verán, y se alegrarán; Porque en tu palabra he esperado.
75 Conozco, oh Jehová, que tus juicios son justicia, Y que conforme á tu fidelidad me afligiste.
76 Sea ahora tu misericordia para consolarme, Conforme á lo que has dicho á tu siervo.
77 Vengan á mí tus misericordias, y viva; Porque tu ley es mi deleite.
78 Sean avergonzados los soberbios, porque sin causa me han calumniado: Yo empero, meditaré en tus mandamientos.
79 Tórnense á mí los que te temen Y conocen tus testimonios.
80 Sea mi corazón íntegro en tus estatutos; Porque no sea yo avergonzado.
81 KAF. Desfallece mi alma por tu salud, Esperando en tu palabra.
82 Desfallecieron mis ojos por tu palabra, Diciendo: ¿Cuándo me consolarás?
83 Porque estoy como el odre al humo; Mas no he olvidado tus estatutos.
84 ¿Cuántos son los días de tu siervo? ¿Cuándo harás juicio contra los que me persiguen?
85 Los soberbios me han cavado hoyos; Mas no obran según tu ley.
86 Todos tus mandamientos son verdad: Sin causa me persiguen; ayúdame.
87 Casi me han echado por tierra: Mas yo no he dejado tus mandamientos.
88 Vivifícame conforme á tu misericordia; Y guardaré los testimonios de tu boca.
89 LAMED. Para siempre, oh Jehová, Permenece tu palabra en los cielos.
90 Por generación y generación es tu verdad: Tú afirmaste la tierra, y persevera.
91 Por tu ordenación perseveran hasta hoy las cosas criadas; Porque todas ellas te sirven.
92 Si tu ley no hubiese sido mis delicias, Ya en mi aflicción hubiera perecido.
93 Nunca jamás me olvidaré de tus mandamientos; Porque con ellos me has vivificado.
94 Tuyo soy yo, guárdame; Porque he buscado tus mandamientos.
95 Los impíos me han aguardado para destruirme: Mas yo entenderé en tus testimonios.
96 A toda perfección he visto fin: Ancho sobremanera es tu mandamiento.
97 MEM. ¡Cuánto amo yo tu ley! Todo el día es ella mi meditación.
98 Me has hecho más sabio que mis enemigos con tus mandamientos; Porque me son eternos.
99 Más que todos mis enseñadores he entendido: Porque tus testimonios son mi meditación.
100 Más que los viejos he entendido, Porque he guardado tus mandamientos.
101 De todo mal camino contuve mis pies, Para guardar tu palabra.
102 No me aparté de tus juicios; Porque tú me enseñaste.
103 ¡Cuán dulces son á mi paladar tus palabras! Más que la miel á mi boca.
104 De tus mandamientos he adquirido inteligencia: Por tanto he aborrecido todo camino de mentira.
105 NUN. Lámpara es á mis pies tu palabra, Y lumbrera á mi camino.
106 Juré y ratifiqué El guardar los juicios de tu justicia.
107 Afligido estoy en gran manera: oh Jehová, Vivifícame conforme á tu palabra.
108 Ruégote, oh Jehová, te sean agradables los sacrificios voluntarios de mi boca; Y enséñame tus juicios.
109 De continuo está mi alma en mi mano: Mas no me he olvidado de tu ley.
110 Pusiéronme lazo los impíos: Empero yo no me desvié de tus mandamientos.
111 Por heredad he tomado tus testimonios para siempre; Porque son el gozo de mi corazón.
112 Mi corazón incliné á poner por obra tus estatutos De continuo, hasta el fin.
113 SAMECH. Los pensamientos vanos aborrezco; Mas amo tu ley.
114 Mi escondedero y mi escudo eres tú: En tu palabra he esperado.
115 Apartaos de mí, malignos; Pues yo guardaré los mandamientos de mi Dios.
116 Susténtame conforme á tu palabra, y viviré: Y no me avergüences de mi esperanza.
117 Sosténme, y seré salvo; Y deleitaréme siempre en tus estatutos.
118 Hollaste á todos los que se desvían de tus estatutos: Porque mentira es su engaño.
119 Como escorias hiciste consumir á todos los impíos de la tierra: Por tanto yo he amado tus testimonios.
120 Mi carne se ha extremecido por temor de ti; Y de tus juicios tengo miedo.
121 AIN. Juicio y justicia he hecho; No me dejes á mis opresores.
122 Responde por tu siervo para bien: No me hagan violencia los soberbios.
123 Mis ojos desfallecieron por tu salud, Y por el dicho de tu justicia.
124 Haz con tu siervo según tu misericordia, Y enséñame tus estatutos.
125 Tu siervo soy yo, dame entendimiento; Para que sepa tus testimonios.
126 Tiempo es de hacer, oh Jehová; Disipado han tu ley.
127 Por eso he amado tus mandamientos Más que el oro, y más que oro muy puro.
128 Por eso todos los mandamientos de todas las cosas estimé rectos: Aborrecí todo camino de mentira.
129 PE. Maravillosos son tus testimonios: Por tanto los ha guardado mi alma.
130 El principio de tus palabras alumbra; Hace entender á los simples.
131 Mi boca abrí y suspiré; Porque deseaba tus mandamientos.
132 Mírame, y ten misericordia de mí, Como acostumbras con los que aman tu nombre.
133 Ordena mis pasos con tu palabra; Y ninguna iniquidad se enseñoree de mí.
134 Redímeme de la violencia de los hombres; Y guardaré tus mandamientos.
135 Haz que tu rostro resplandezca sobre tu siervo; Y enséñame tus estatutos.
136 Ríos de agua descendieron de mis ojos, Porque no guardaban tu ley.
137 TZADDI. Justo eres tú, oh Jehová, Y rectos tus juicios.
138 Tus testimonios, que has recomendado, Son rectos y muy fieles.
139 Mi celo me ha consumido; Porque mis enemigos se olvidaron de tus palabras.
140 Sumamente acendrada es tu palabra; Y la ama tu siervo.
141 Pequeño soy yo y desechado; Mas no me he olvidado de tus mandamientos.
142 Tu justicia es justicia eterna, Y tu ley la verdad.
143 Aflicción y angustia me hallaron: Mas tus mandamientos fueron mis deleites.
144 Justicia eterna son tus testimonios; Dame entendimiento, y viviré.
145 COPH. Clamé con todo mi corazón; respóndeme, Jehová, Y guardaré tus estatutos.
146 A ti clamé; sálvame, Y guardaré tus testimonios.
147 Anticipéme al alba, y clamé: Esperé en tu palabra.
148 Previnieron mis ojos las vigilias de la noche, Para meditar en tus dichos.
149 Oye mi voz conforme á tu misericordia; Oh Jehová, vivifícame conforme á tu juicio.
150 Acercáronse á la maldad los que me persiguen; Alejáronse de tu ley.
151 Cercano estás tú, oh Jehová; Y todos tus mandamientos son verdad.
152 Ya ha mucho que he entendido de tus mandamientos, Que para siempre los fundaste.
153 RESH. Mira mi aflicción, y líbrame; Porque de tu ley no me he olvidado.
154 Aboga mi causa, y redímeme: Vivifícame con tu dicho.
155 Lejos está de los impíos la salud; Porque no buscan tus estatutos.
156 Muchas son tus misericordias, oh Jehová: Vivifícame conforme á tus juicios.
157 Muchos son mis perseguidores y mis enemigos; Mas de tus testimonios no me he apartado.
158 Veía á los prevaricadores, y carcomíame; Porque no guardaban tus palabras.
159 Mira, oh Jehová, que amo tus mandamientos: Vivifícame conforme á tu misericordia.
160 El principio de tu palabra es verdad; Y eterno es todo juicio de tu justicia.
161 SIN. Príncipes me han perseguido sin causa; Mas mi corazón tuvo temor de tus palabras.
162 Gózome yo en tu palabra, Como el que halla muchos despojos.
163 La mentira aborrezco y abomino: Tu ley amo.
164 Siete veces al día te alabo Sobre los juicios de tu justicia.
165 Mucha paz tienen los que aman tu ley; Y no hay para ellos tropiezo.
166 Tu salud he esperado, oh Jehová; Y tus mandamientos he puesto por obra.
167 Mi alma ha guardado tus testimonios, Y helos amado en gran manera.
168 Guardado he tus mandamientos y tus testimonios; Porque todos mis caminos están delante de ti.
169 TAU. Acérquese mi clamor delante de ti, oh Jehová: Dame entendimiento conforme á tu palabra.
170 Venga mi oración delante de ti: Líbrame conforme á tu dicho.
171 Mis labios rebosarán alabanza, Cuando me enseñares tus estatutos.
172 Hablará mi lengua tus dichos; Porque todos tus mandamientos son justicia.
173 Sea tu mano en mi socorro; Porque tus mandamientos he escogido.
174 Deseado he tu salud, oh Jehová; Y tu ley es mi delicia.
175 Viva mi alma y alábete; Y tus juicios me ayuden.
176 Yo anduve errante como oveja extraviada; busca á tu siervo; Porque no me he olvidado de tus mandamientos.

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Salmos 119 Commentary

Chapter 119

The general scope and design of this psalm is to magnify the Divine law, and make it honourable. There are ten words by which Divine revelation is called in this psalm, and each expresses what God expects from us, and what we may expect from him. 1. God's law; this is enacted by him as our Sovereign. 2. His way; this is the rule of his providence. 3. His testimonies; they are solemnly declared to the world. 4. His commandments; given with authority. 5. His precepts; not left as indifferent matters to us. 6. His word, or saying; it is the declaration of his mind. 7. His judgments; framed in infinite wisdom. 8. His righteousness; it is the rule and standard of what is right. 9. His statutes; they are always binding. 10. His truth or faithfulness; it is eternal truth, it shall endure for ever.

Verses 1-8 This psalm may be considered as the statement of a believer's experience. As far as our views, desires, and affections agree with what is here expressed, they come from the influences of the Holy Spirit, and no further. The pardoning mercy of God in Christ, is the only source of a sinner's happiness. And those are most happy, who are preserved most free from the defilement of sin, who simply believe God's testimonies, and depend on his promises. If the heart be divided between him and the world, it is evil. But the saints carefully avoid all sin; they are conscious of much evil that clogs them in the ways of God, but not of that wickedness which draws them out of those ways. The tempter would make men think they are at them out of those ways. The tempter would make men think they are at liberty to follow the word of God or not, as they please. But the desire and prayer of a good man agree with the will and command of God. If a man expects by obedience in one thing to purchase indulgence for disobedience in others, his hypocrisy will be detected; if he is not ashamed in this world, everlasting shame will be his portion. The psalmist coveted to learn the laws of God, to give God the glory. And believers see that if God forsakes them, the temper will be too hard for them.

Verses 9-16 To original corruption all have added actual sin. The ruin of the young is either living by no rule at all, or choosing false rules: let them walk by Scripture rules. To doubt of our own wisdom and strength, and to depend upon God, proves the purpose of holiness is sincere. God's word is treasure worth laying up, and there is no laying it up safe but in our hearts, that we may oppose God's precepts to the dominion of sin, his promises to its allurements, and his threatenings to its violence. Let this be our plea with Him to teach us his statutes, that, being partakers of his holiness, we may also partake of his blessedness. And those whose hearts are fed with the bread of life, should with their lips feed many. In the way of God's commandments there is the unsearchable riches of Christ. But we do not meditate on God's precepts to good purpose, unless our good thoughts produce good works. I will not only think of thy statutes, but do them with delight. And it will be well to try the sincerity of our obedience by tracing the spring of it; the reality of our love by cheerfulness in appointed duties.

Verses 17-24 If God deals in strict justice with us, we all perish. We ought to spend our lives in his service; we shall find true life in keeping his word. Those that would see the wondrous things of God's law and gospel, must beg him to give them understanding, by the light of his Spirit. Believers feel themselves strangers on earth; they fear missing their way, and losing comfort by erring from God's commandments. Every sanctified soul hungers after the word of God, as food which there is no living without. There is something of pride at the bottom of every wilful sin. God can silence lying lips; reproach and contempt may humble and do us good, and then they shall be removed. Do we find the weight of the cross is above that we are able to bear? He that bore it for us will enable us to bear it; upheld by him we cannot sink. It is sad when those who should protect the innocent, are their betrayers. The psalmist went on in duty, and he found comfort in the word of God. The comforts of the word of God are most pleasant to a gracious soul, when other comforts are made bitter; and those that would have God's testimonies to be their delight, must be advised by them. May the Lord direct us in exercising repentance of sin, and faith in Christ.

Verses 25-32 While the souls of the children of this world cleave to the earth as their portion, the children of light are greatly burdened, because of the remains of carnal affections in their hearts. It is unspeakable comfort to a gracious soul, to think with what tenderness all its complaints are received by a gracious God. We can talk of the wonders of redeeming love, when we understand the way of God's precepts, and walk in that way. The penitent melts in sorrow for sin: even the patient spirit may melt in the sense of affliction, it is then its interest to pour out its soul before God. The way of lying means all false ways by which men deceive themselves and others, or are deceived by Satan and his instruments. Those who know and love the law of the Lord, desire to know it more, and love it better. The way of serious godliness is the way of truth; the only true way to happiness: we must always have actual regard to it. Those who stick to the word of God, may in faith expect and pray for acceptance with God. Lord, never leave me to do that by which I shall shame myself, and do not thou reject my services. Those that are going to heaven, should still press forward. God, by his Spirit, enlarges the hearts of his people when he gives them wisdom. The believer prays to be set free from sin.

Verses 33-40 Teach me thy statutes, not the mere words, but the way of applying them to myself. God, by his Spirit, gives a right understanding. But the Spirit of revelation in the word will not suffice, unless we have the Spirit of wisdom in the heart. God puts his Spirit within us, causing us to walk in his statutes. The sin here prayed against is covetousness. Those that would have the love of God rooted in them, must get the love of the world rooted out; for the friendship of the world is enmity with God. Quicken me in thy way; to redeem time, and to do every duty with liveliness of spirit. Beholding vanity deadens us, and slackens our pace; a traveller must not stand gazing upon every object that presents itself to his view. The promises of God's word greatly relate to the preservation of the true believer. When Satan has drawn a child of God into worldly compliances, he will reproach him with the falls into which he led him. Victory must come from the cross of Christ. When we enjoy the sweetness of God's precepts, it will make us long for more acquaintance with them. And where God has wrought to will, he will work to do.

Verses 41-48 Lord, I have by faith thy mercies in view; let me by prayer prevail to obtain them. And when the salvation of the saints is completed, it will plainly appear that it was not in vain to trust in God's word. We need to pray that we may never be afraid or ashamed to own God's truths and ways before men. And the psalmist resolves to keep God's law, in a constant course of obedience, without backsliding. The service of sin is slavery; the service of God is liberty. There is no full happiness, or perfect liberty, but in keeping God's law. We must never be ashamed or afraid to own our religion. The more delight we take in the service of God, the nearer we come to perfection. Not only consent to his law as good, but take pleasure in it as good for us. Let me put forth all the strength I have, to do it. Something of this mind of Christ is in every true disciple.

Verses 49-56 Those that make God's promises their portion, may with humble boldness make them their plea. He that by his Spirit works faith in us, will work for us. The word of God speaks comfort in affliction. If, through grace, it makes us holy, there is enough in it to make us easy, in all conditions. Let us be certain we have the Divine law for what we believe, and then let not scoffers prevail upon us to decline from it. God's judgments of old comfort and encourage us, for he is still the same. Sin is horrible in the eyes of all that are sanctified. Ere long the believer will be absent from the body, and present with the Lord. In the mean time, the statutes of the Lord supply subjects for grateful praise. In the season of affliction, and in the silent hours of the night, he remembers the name of the Lord, and is stirred up to keep the law. All who have made religion the first thing, will own that they have been unspeakable gainers by it.

Verses 57-64 True believers take the Lord for the portion of their inheritance, and nothing less will satisfy them. The psalmist prayed with his whole heart, knowing how to value the blessing he prayed for: he desired the mercy promised, and depended on the promise for it. He turned from by-paths, and returned to God's testimonies. He delayed not. It behoves sinners to hasten to escape; and the believer will be equally in haste to glorify God. No care or grief should take away God's word out of our minds, or hinder the comfort it bestows. There is no situation on earth in which a believer has not cause to be thankful. Let us feel ashamed that others are more willing to keep from sleep to spend the time in sinful pleasures, than we are to praise God. And we should be more earnest in prayer, that our hearts may be filled with his mercy, grace, and peace.

Verses 65-72 However God has dealt with us, he has dealt with us better than we deserve; and all in love, and for our good. Many have knowledge, but little judgment; those who have both, are fortified against the snares of Satan, and furnished for the service of God. We are most apt to wander from God, when we are easy in the world. We should leave our concerns to the disposal of God, seeing we know not what is good for us. Lord, thou art our bountiful Benefactor; incline our hearts to faith and obedience. The psalmist will go on in his duty with constancy and resolution. The proud are full of the world, and its wealth and pleasures; these make them senseless, secure, and stupid. God visits his people with affliction, that they may learn his statutes. Not only God's promises, but even his law, his percepts, though hard to ungodly men, are desirable, and profitable, because they lead us with safety and delight unto eternal life.

Verses 73-80 God made us to serve him, and enjoy him; but by sin we have made ourselves unfit to serve him, and to enjoy him. We ought, therefore, continually to beseech him, by his Holy Spirit, to give us understanding. The comforts some have in God, should be matter of joy to others. But it is easy to own, that God's judgments are right, until it comes to be our own case. All supports under affliction must come from mercy and compassion. The mercies of God are tender mercies; the mercies of a father, the compassion of a mother to her son. They come to us when we are not able to go to them. Causeless reproach does not hurt, and should not move us. The psalmist could go on in the way of his duty, and find comfort in it. He valued the good will of saints, and was desirous to keep up his communion with them. Soundness of heart signifies sincerity in dependence on God, and devotedness to him.

Verses 81-88 The psalmist sought deliverance from his sins, his foes, and his fears. Hope deferred made him faint; his eyes failed by looking out for this expected salvation. But when the eyes fail, yet faith must not. His affliction was great. He was become like a leathern bottle, which, if hung up in the smoke, is dried and shrivelled up. We must ever be mindful of God's statutes. The days of the believer's mourning shall be ended; they are but for a moment, compared with eternal happiness. His enemies used craft as well as power for his ruin, in contempt of the law of God. The commandments of God are true and faithful guides in the path of peace and safety. We may best expect help from God when, like our Master, we do well and suffer for it. Wicked men may almost consume the believer upon earth, but he would sooner forsake all than forsake the word of the Lord. We should depend upon the grace of God for strength to do every good work. The surest token of God's good-will toward us, is his good work in us.

Verses 89-96 The settling of God's word in heaven, is opposed to the changes and revolutions of the earth. And the engagements of God's covenant are established more firmly than the earth itself. All the creatures answer the ends of their creation: shall man, who alone is endued with reason, be the only unprofitable burden of the earth? We may make the Bible a pleasant companion at any time. But the word, without the grace of God, would not quicken us. See the best help for bad memories, namely, good affections; and though the exact words be lost, if the meaning remain, that is well. I am thine, not my own, not the world's; save me from sin, save me from ruin. The Lord will keep the man in peace, whose mind is stayed on him. It is poor perfection which one sees and end of. Such are all things in this world, which pass for perfections. The glory of man is but as the flower of the grass. The psalmist had seen the fulness of the word of God, and its sufficiency. The word of the Lord reaches to all cases, to all times. It will take us from all confidence in man, or in our own wisdom, strength, and righteousness. Thus shall we seek comfort and happiness from Christ alone.

Verses 97-104 What we love, we love to think of. All true wisdom is from God. A good man carries his Bible with him, if not in his hands, yet in his head and in his heart. By meditation on God's testimonies we understand more than our teachers, when we understand our own hearts. The written word is a more sure guide to heaven, than all the fathers, the teachers, and ancients of the church. We cannot, with any comfort or boldness, attend God in holy duties, while under guilt, or in any by-way. It was Divine grace in his heart, that enabled the psalmist to receive these instructions. The soul has its tastes as well as the body. Our relish for the word of God will be greatest, when that for the world and the flesh is least. The way of sin is a wrong way; and the more understanding we get by the precepts of God, the more rooted will be our hatred of sin; and the more ready we are in the Scriptures, the better furnished we are with answers to temptation.

Verses 105-112 The word of God directs us in our work and way, and a dark place indeed the world would be without it. The commandment is a lamp kept burning with the oil of the Spirit, as a light to direct us in the choice of our way, and the steps we take in that way. The keeping of God's commands here meant, was that of a sinner under a dispensation of mercy, of a believer having part in the covenant of grace. The psalmist is often afflicted; but with longing desires to become more holy, offers up daily prayers for quickening grace. We cannot offer any thing to God, that he will accept but what he is pleased to teach us to do. To have our soul or life continually in our hands, implies constant danger of life; yet he did not forget God's promises nor his precepts. Numberless are the snares laid by the wicked; and happy is that servant of God, whom they have not caused to err from his Master's precepts. Heavenly treasures are a heritage for ever; all the saints accept them as such, therefore they can be content with little of this world. We must look for comfort only in the way of duty, and that duty must be done. A good man, by the grace of God, brings his heart to his work, then it is done well.

Verses 113-120 Here is a dread of the risings of sin, and the first beginnings of it. The more we love the law of God, the more watchful we shall be, lest vain thoughts draw us from what we love. Would we make progress in keeping God's commands, we must be separate from evil-doers. The believer could not live without the grace of God; but, supported by his hand, his spiritual life shall be maintained. Our holy security is grounded on Divine supports. All departure from God's statutes is error, and will prove fatal. Their cunning is falsehood. There is a day coming which will put the wicked into everlasting fire, the fit place for the dross. See what comes of sin Surely we who fall so low in devout affections, should fear, lest a promise being left us of entering into heavenly rest, any of us should be found to come short of it, ( Hebrews 4:1 ) .

Verses 121-128 Happy is the man, who, acting upon gospel principles, does justice to all around. Christ our Surety, having paid our debt and ransom, secures all the blessings of salvation to every true believer. The psalmist expects the word of God's righteousness, and no other salvation than what is secured by that word, which cannot fall to the ground. We deserve no favour form God; we are most easy when we cast ourselves upon God's mercy, and refer ourselves to it. If any man resolve to do God's will as his servant, he shall be made to know his testimonies. We must do what we can for the support of religion, and, after all, must beg of God to take the work into his own hands. It is hypocrisy to say we love God's commandments more than our worldly interests. The way of sin is a false way, being directly contrary to God's precepts, which are right: those that love and esteem God's law, hate sin, and will not be reconciled to it.

Verses 129-136 The wonders of redeeming love will fix the heart in adoration of them. The Scriptures show us what we were, what we are, and what we shall be. They show us the mercy and the justice of the Lord, the joys of heaven, and the pains of hell. Thus they give to the simple, in a few days, understanding of those matters, which philosophers for ages sought in vain. The believer, wearied with the cares of life and his conflicts with sin, pants for the consolations conveyed to him by means of the sacred word. And every one may pray, Look thou upon me, and be merciful unto me as thou usest to do unto those that love thy name. We must beg that the Holy Spirit would order our steps. The dominion of sin is to be dreaded and prayed against by every one. The oppression of men is often more than flesh and blood can bear; and He who knoweth our frame, will not refuse to remove it in answer to the prayers of his people. Whatever obscurity may appear as to the faith of the Old Testament believers, their confidence at the throne of grace can only be explained by their having obtained more distinct views of gospel privileges, through the sacrifices and services of their law, than is generally imagined. Go to the same place, plead the name and merits of Jesus, and you will not, you cannot plead in vain. Commonly, where there is a gracious heart, there is a weeping eye. Accept, O Lord, the tears our blessed Redeemer shed in the days of his flesh, for us who should weep for our brethren or ourselves.

Verses 137-144 God never did, and never can do wrong to any. The promises are faithfully performed by Him that made them. Zeal against sin should constrain us to do what we can against it, at least to do more in religion ourselves. Our love to the word of God is evidence of our love to God, because it is designed to make us partake his holiness. Men's real excellency always makes them low in their own eyes. When we are small and despised, we have the more need to remember God's precepts, that we may have them to support us. The law of God is the truth, the standard of holiness, the rule of happiness; but the obedience of Christ alone justifies the believer. Sorrows are often the lot of saints in this vale of tears; they are in heaviness through manifold temptations. There are delights in the word of God, which the saints often most sweetly enjoy when in trouble and anguish. This is life eternal, to know God and Jesus Christ whom he has sent, ( John 17:3 ) . May we live the life of faith and grace here, and be removed to the life of glory hereafter.

Verses 145-152 Supplications with the whole heart are presented only by those who desire God's salvation, and who love his commandments. Whither should the child go but to his father? Save me from my sins, my corruptions, my temptations, all the hinderances in my way, that I may keep thy testimonies. Christians who enjoy health, should not suffer the early hours of the morning to glide away unimproved. Hope in God's word encourages us to continue in prayer. It is better to take time from sleep, than not to find time for prayer. We have access to God at all hours; and if our first thoughts in the morning are of God, they will help to keep us in his fear all the day long. Make me lively and cheerful. God knows what we need and what is good for us, and will quicken us. If we are employed in God's service, we need not fear those who try to set themselves as far as they can out of the reach of the convictions and commands of his law. When trouble is near, God is near. He is never far to seek. All his commandments are truth. And God's promises will be performed. All that ever trusted in God have found him faithful.

Verses 153-160 The closer we cleave to the word of God, both as our rule and as our stay, the more assurance we have of deliverance. Christ is the Advocate of his people, their Redeemer. Those who were quickened by his Spirit and grace, when they were dead in trespasses and sins, often need to have the work of grace revived in them, according to the word of promise. The wicked not only do not God's statutes, but they do not even seek them. They flatter themselves that they are going to heaven; but the longer they persist in sin, the further it is from them. God's mercies are tender; they are a fountain that can never be exhausted. The psalmist begs for God's reviving, quickening grace. A man, steady in the way of his duty, though he may have many enemies, needs to fear none. Those that hate sin truly, hate it as sin, as a transgression of the law of God, and a breaking of his word. Our obedience is only pleasing to God, and pleasant to ourselves, when it comes from a principle of love. All, in every age, who receive God's word in faith and love, find every saying in it faithful.

Verses 161-168 Those whose hearts stand in awe of God's word, will rather endure the wrath of man, than break the law of God. By the word of God we are unspeakable gainers. Every man hates to have a lie told him, but we should more hate telling a lie; by the latter we give an affront to God. The more we see the beauty of truth, the more we shall see the hateful deformity of a lie. We are to praise God even for afflictions; through grace we get good from them. Those that love the world have great vexation, for it does not answer what they expect; those that love God's word have great peace, for it outdoes what they expect. Those in whom this holy love reigns, will not perplex themselves with needless scruples, or take offence at their brethren. A good hope of salvation will engage the heart in doing the commandments. And our love to the word of God must subdue our lusts, and root out carnal affections: we must make heart work of it, or we make nothing of it. We must keep the commandments of God by obedience to them, and his promises by reliance on them. God's eye is on us at all times; this should make us very careful to keep his commandments.

Verses 169-176 The psalmist desired grace and strength to lift up his prayers, and that the Lord would receive and notice them. He desired to know more of God in Christ; to know more of the doctrines of the word, and the duties of religion. He had a deep sense of unworthiness, and holy fear that his prayer should not come before God; Lord, what I pray for is, what thou hast promised. We have learned nothing to purpose, if we have not learned to praise God. We should always make the word of God the rule of our discourse, so as never to transgress it by sinful speaking, or sinful silence. His own hands are not sufficient, nor can any creature lend him help; therefore he looks up to God, that the hand that had made him may help him. He had made religion his deliberate choice. There is an eternal salvation all the saints long for, and therefore they pray that God would help their way to it. Let thy judgments help me; let all ordinances and all providences, (both are God's judgments,) further me in glorifying God; let them help me for that work. He often looks back with shame and gratitude to his lost estate. He still prays for the tender care of Him who purchased his flock with his own blood, that he may receive from him the gift of eternal life. Seek me, that is, Find me; for God never seeks in vain. Turn me, and I shall be turned. Let this psalm be a touchstone by which to try our hearts, and our lives. Do our hearts, cleansed in Christ's blood, make these prayers, resolutions and confessions our own? Is God's word the standard of our faith, and the law of our practice? Do we use it as pleas with Christ for what we need? Happy those who live in such delightful exercises.

Chapter Summary

INTRODUCTION TO PSALM 119

This psalm is generally thought to be written by David, but when is uncertain; very probably towards the decline of life; and, as some think, for the sake or his son Solomon. It seems to be a collection of observations on the word of God and its precepts, the usefulness and excellency of it, he had made in the course of his life; interspersed with various petitions for the grace of God, to enable him to observe it. The psalm is a very extraordinary one; partly on account of the unusual length of it, it being more than double the length of the longest psalm in the whole book; and partly on account of its curious composition. It consists of twenty two parts, according to the number of the letters in the Hebrew alphabet; the names of which letters stand between each part; and every part consists of eight verses, all of which begin with the same letter: thus, for instance, the first eight verses begin with the letter a, "aleph", and the second eight verses begin with the letter b, "beth", and so on throughout; hence the Masorah calls this psalm the Great Alphabet. This the psalmist did, perhaps to excite attention to what he said, and also to help the memory. And it is observable that there are very few verses in the whole, not more than one or two, but what has something in it concerning the word of God, and its precepts and ordinances; there are nine or ten different words used relative to it, which signify much one and the same thing; as laws, statutes, judgments, testimonies Luther {m} observes, that neither Cicero, nor Virgil, nor Demosthenes, are to be compared with David for eloquence, as we see in the hundred nineteenth Psalm, where he divideth one sense and meaning into twenty two sorts. And it may also be remarked, that there is nothing in it concerning the tabernacle worship, or the rites and ceremonies of the legal dispensation; so that it seems to be calculated for, and is suited to, the word of God, and the ordinances of it, as we now have them in their full perfection: and the design of the whole is to show the fervent affection the psalmist had for the word of God, and to stir up the same in others.

{m} Mensal. Colloqu. c. 32. p. 365.

a, \\ALEPH.--The First Part\\.

Salmos 119 Commentaries