Psalm 119 The one theme is the word of the Lord. The Psalmist sets his subject in many lights, and treats of it in diverse ways, but he seldom omits to mention the word of the Lord in each verse under some one or other of the many names by which he knows it. This sacred ode is a little Bible, the Scriptures condensed, Holy Writ rewritten in holy emotions and actions. Charles Spurgeon This psalm shines and shows itself among the rest as a star in the firmament of the Psalms, the first and greatest magnitude. Rev. W. Simmons The other Psalms, truly as lesser stars shine somewhat; but this burns with the meridian heat of its full brightness, and is wholly resplendent with moral loveliness. Johannes Paulus Palanterius In our German version it has the appropriate inscription, “The Christian’s golden A B C of the praise, love, power, and use of the Word of God.” Franz Delitzsch It is recorded that the celebrated Augustine, who among his voluminous works left a Comment on the Book of Psalms, that he delayed to comment on this one till he had finished the whole Psalter; and then yielded only to the long and vehement urgency of his friends, “because as often as I essayed to think thereon, it always exceeded the powers of my intent thought and the utmost grasp of my faculties.” In Matthew Henry’s “Account of the Life and Death of his Father, Philip Henry,” says: “Once pressing the study of the Scriptures, he advised us to take a verse of this Psalm every morning to meditate upon, and so go over the Psalm twice in the year; and that, he said, will bring you to be in love with all the rest of Scriptures. He often said, “All grace grows as love to the word of God grows.” This Psalm is a prolonged meditation upon the excellence of the word of God, upon its effects, and the strength and happiness which it gives to a man in every position. Armand de Mestral It is observed that the 119 th Psalm is disposed according to the letters of the Hebrew alphabet, perhaps to intimate that children, when they begin to learn their alphabet, should learn that Psalm. Nathanael Hardy Origen says it is alphabetical because it contains the elements or principles of all knowledge and wisdom. This is a Psalm by itself, it excels them all, and shines brightest in this constellation. Some have said of this Psalm, he that shall read it considerately, it will either warm him or shame him. Matthew Henry The 119th Psalm is the appropriate sermon, after the Hallel, on the text which is its epitome (Ps 1:1 - 2), “Blessed is the man that walks not in the counsel of the ungodly . . . but his delight is in the law of the Lord.” Except for two verses (122, 132) the law is expressly extolled in every verse. Andrew Robert Fausset God’s law is all along represented as the great object of the love, the complacence, and the rejoicing of the gracious nature, which prizes God’s commandments above gold, yea, the finest gold; and to which they are sweeter than honey and the honey comb. Jonathan Edwards This Psalm contains manifold reflections on the nature, the properties, the adjuncts, and the effects of God’s law. Stephen Street The name Yahweh occurs twenty-two times. Its theme is the word of God, which it mentions under one of the ten terms: law, way, testimony, precept, statute, commandments, judgment, word, saying, truth - in every verse except verse 122. James G. Murphy David’s Pleas & His Faith O that my ways were directed to keep Your statutes. (3) O let me not wander from Your commandments. (10) Blessed are You, O LORD: teach me Your statutes. (12) Deal bountifully with Your servant, that I may live, and keep Your word. Open my eyes, that I may behold wondrous things out of Your law. I am a stranger in the earth: hide not Your commandments from me. (17-19) Remove from me reproach and contempt; for I have kept your testimonies. (22) My soul cleaves to the dust: quicken me according to Your word. (25) I have declared my ways, and You heard me: teach me Your statutes. Make me understand the way of Your precepts, and I will meditate on Your wondrous works. (26-27) My soul melts with heaviness: strengthen me according to Your word. Remove from me the way of lying: and graciously teach me Your law. (28-29) I will run the way of Your commandments, when You shall enlarge my heart. Teach me, O LORD, the way of Your statutes; and I will keep them to the end. Give me understanding, and I shall keep Your law; yes, I shall observe it with my whole heart. Make me go in the path of Your commandments; for in them do I delight. (32-35) Incline my heart to Your testimonies, and not to gain. Turn my eyes away from worthless things; and quicken me in Your ways. (36-37) Establish Your word to Your servant, who is devoted to fearing You. Turn away my reproach which I fear. (38-39) Behold, I long for Your precepts, Quicken me in Your righteousness. Let Your mercies come to me, O LORD, Your salvation, according to Your word. (40-41) Take not the word of truth out of my mouth; for I have hoped in Your judgments. (43) Remember the word to Your servant, upon which You have caused me to hope. This is my comfort in my affliction: for Your word has quickened me. (49-50) I entreated Your favor with my whole heart: be merciful to me according to Your word. (58) The earth, O LORD, is full of Your mercy: teach me Your statutes. (64) Teach me good judgment and knowledge: for I have believed Your commandments. (66) Before I was afflicted I went astray: but now have I kept Your word. You are good, and You do good; teach me Your statutes. It is good for me that I have been afflicted; that I might learn Your statutes. (67-68, 71) Your hands have made me and fashioned me: give me understanding, that I may learn Your commandments. (73) Let, I pray You, Your merciful kindness be fore my comfort, according to Your word unto Your servant. (76) Let the proud be ashamed. (78) Let my heart be sound in Your statutes; that I may not be ashamed. My soul faints for Your salvation: but I hope in Your word. My eyes fail for Your word, saying, When will You comfort me? (80-82) When will you execute judgment on those who persecute me? (84) They persecute me wrongfully; help me. (86) Quicken me after Your loving-kindness; so shall I keep the testimony of Your mouth. (88) Your faithfulness is unto all generations: You have established the earth, and it abides. (90) I will never forget Your precepts: for with them You have quickened me. I am Yours, save me, for I have sought Your precepts. (93-94) Through Your commandments, You have made me wiser than my enemies. (98) Your word is a lamp unto my feet, and a light unto my path. (105) I am afflicted very much: quicken me, O LORD, according to Your word. (107) You are my hiding place and my shield: I hope in Your word. (114) Uphold me according to Your word, that I may live: and let me not be ashamed of my hope. Hold me up, and I shall be safe: and I will have respect to Your statutes continually. (116-117) You put away all the wicked of the earth like dross: therefore I love Your testimonies. (119) Leave me not to my oppressors. (121) Be surety for Your servant for good: let not the proud oppress me. (122) Deal with Your servant according to Your mercy, and teach me Your statutes. I am Your servant; give me understanding, that I may know Your testimonies. (124-125) It is time for Your, LORD, to work: for they have made void Your law. (126) Look upon me, and be merciful to me, as You used to do unto those who love Your name. (132) Establish my footsteps in Your word, and do not let any iniquity have dominion over me. Deliver me from the oppression of man: so will I keep Your precepts. Make Your face to shine upon Your servant; and teach me Your statutes. (133-135) The righteousness of Your testimonies is everlasting: give me understanding, and I shall live. I cried with my whole heart; hear me, O LORD: I will keep Your statutes. I cried unto You; save me, and I shall keep Your testimonies. (144-146) Hear my voice according to Your loving-kindness: O LORD, quicken me according to Your judgment. (149) You are near, O LORD; and all Your commandments are truth. (151) Consider my affliction, and deliver me: for I do not forget Your law. Plead my cause, and deliver me: quicken me according to Your word. (153-154) Great are Your tender mercies, O LORD: quicken me according to Your judgments. (156) Consider how I love Your precepts: quicken me, O LORD, according to Your loving-kindness. Your word is true from the beginning: and every one of Your righteous judgments endures forever. (159- 160) Great peace have those who love Your law: and nothing shall offend them. (165) Let my cry come near before You, O LORD: give me understanding according to Your word. (169) Let my supplication come before You: deliver me according to Your word. (170) Let Your hand help me; for I have chosen Your precepts. (173) Let my soul live, and it shall praise You; and let Your judgments help me. (175) I have gone astray like a lost sheep; seek Your servant; for I do not forget Your commandments. (176) Blessed How blessed are those whose way is blameless, who walk in the law of the LORD. (1) How blessed are those who observe His testimonies, who seek Him with all their heart. (2) Blessed are You O LORD; teach me Your statutes. (12) Delight/Joy I have rejoiced in the way of Your testimonies, as much as in all riches. (14) I shall delight in Your statutes; I shall not forget Your word. (16) Your testimonies are my delight; they are my counselors. (24) Make me walk in the path of Your commandments, for I delight in it. (35) I shall delight in Your commandments, which I love. (47) May Your compassion come to me that I may live, for Your law is my delight. (77) If Your law had not been my delight, then I would have perished in my affliction. (92) How sweet are Your words to my taste! Yes, sweeter than honey to my mouth! (103) I have inherited Your testimonies forever, for they are the joy of my heart. (111) I rejoice at Your word, as one who finds great spoil. (162) I long for Your salvation, O LORD, and Your law is my delight. (174) Desire/Longing My soul is crushed with longing after Your ordinances at all times. (20) Behold, I long for Your precepts; revive me through Your righteousness. (40) My soul languishes for Your salvation; I wait for Your word. (81) My eyes fail with longing for Your word, while I say, “When will You comfort me?” (82) My eyes fail with longing for Your salvation, and for Your righteous word. (123) Trouble and anguish have come upon me; yet Your commandments re my delight. (143) Heart How blessed are those who observe His testimonies, who seek Him with all their heart. (2) I shall give thanks to You with uprightness of heart, when I learn Your righteous judgments. (7) With all my heart I have sought You; do not let me wander from your commandments. (10) Your word I have treasured in my heart, that I may not sin against You. (11) I shall run the way of Your commandments, for you will enlarge my heart. (32) Give me understanding that I may observe Your Law, and keep it with all my heart. (34) Incline my heart to Your testimonies, and not to dishonest gain. (36) I entreated Your favor with all my heart; be gracious to me according to Your word. (58) May my heart be blameless in Your statutes, that I may not be ashamed. (80) Princes persecute me without cause, but my heart stands in awe of Your words. (161) Love I shall delight in Your commandments, which I love. (47) I shall lift up my hands to Your commandments, which I love. (48) O how I love Your law! It is my meditation all the day. (97) You have removed all the wicked of the earth like dross; therefore I love Your testimonies. (119) I love Your commandments above gold, yes, above fine gold. (127) Turn to me and be gracious to me, after Your manner with those who love Your name. (132) Your word is very pure, therefore Your servant loves it. (140) Consider how I love Your precepts; revive me, O LORD, according to Your loving-kindness. (159) II hate and despise falsehood, but I love Your law. (163) Those who love Your law have great peace, and nothing causes them to stumble. (165) My soul keeps Your testimonies, and I love them exceedingly. (167) Sermon You and I cannot do anything on our own. We cannot follow Him, or live for Him on our own. Jesus said, “Apart from Me you can do nothing.” (John 15:5) Nothing means nothing. We cannot pray; we cannot understand the Scriptures; we cannot know God. There is nothing you and I can do. Nobody can live like God wants us to live. David prayed, “Incline my heart toward Your commandments.” (36) I cannot turn my heart toward God or His commandments. Look at Psalm 119 and you will see how often David prays the prayer of desperation. “Deal bountifully with Your servant that I may live and keep Your word.” (17) “Open my eyes that I may behold wonderful things from Your law.” (18) “My soul cleaves to the dust; quicken me according to Your word.” (25) Lord I cannot give myself life. Please quicken me. “Make me understand the way of Your precepts.” (27) I can’t understand them on my own. “Remove from me the way of lying.” (29) I cannot help myself. Take it out of me. “I will run the way of Your commandments, when you enlarge my heart”. (32) Lord, I will come after You only when you enlarge my heart. I can’t do it unless you enlarge my heart. I can’t even follow You unless you do something to help me follow You. It shows how dependent David is. “Teach me, O LORD, the way of Your statutes.” (33) “Give me understanding, that I may keep Your law.” (34) “Lead me in the path of Your commandments.” (35) “Turn my eyes from looking at worthless things.” (37) I cannot turn my own eyes. Would you please push my eyes away from filth. “Establish Your word unto Your servant.” (38) I cannot do a thing on my own. Every time I try I fail. “It is good for me that I was afflicted that I may learn Your statutes.” (71) Sometimes God even has to send affliction to get our attention. We cannot pay attention by ourselves. “Let Your loving-kindness comfort me.” (76) Apart from God there is no comfort. “Let my heart be sound.” (80) My heart is not sound. Only you can make it sound. “Sustain me according to your word, that I may live.” (116) I cannot make it even one day without God. “Be my surety.” (122) Only you can be my insurance. “Order my steps in Your word.” (133) I cannot do it myself. Please do it for me. I have gone astray like a lost sheep; would you please come and look for me. (176) I cannot seek God or find Him by myself. I cannot find life or change my life by myself. How dependent David is on God. For everything in life – he can’t do a thing for himself. But when you can’t do a thing for yourself, God will do it for you. He helps the helpless. When you are down, He will come and do what you can’t do for yourself. When you can do it, He won’t do it for you. But when you can’t, He will. OK, we’ve tried to live the Christian life. We’ve failed. Why? We are human. The flesh always fails. Only God can live that life in you. You can’t live that life on your own. It is impossible. To live the Christian life – impossible. Without the Holy Spirit, impossible. Like David, beg God to live His life in you. Sometimes you can not even do that. At those times, wait on the LORD. Wait for His desire for the new life, His delight in the life He wants you to live to be given to you. “Those who wait upon the Lord shall renew their strength. They shall mount upon wings like eagles. They shall run and not grow faint.” All they do is wait upon the Lord.