Be surety--Stand for me against my oppressors ( Genesis 43:9 , Isaiah 38:14 ). Psalm 119:89 is a popular Nigerian praise song. The pious take comfort, when harassed and distressed by wickedness of men who forsake God's law, in remembering that the great principles of God's truth will still abide; and also God's judgments of old--that is, His past interpositions in behalf of His people are a pledge that He will again interpose to deliver them; and they become the theme of constant and delightful meditation. This prayer occurs here for the ninth time, showing a deep sense of frailty. The Rule of Saint Benedict assigned this psalm to four minor canonical hours on Sundays and three on Mondays. in thy way--make me with living energy to pursue the way marked out by Thee. How we should read, mark, learn and inwardly digest the Word of God, … 61, 62. 83. bottle in the smoke--as a skin bottle dried and shriveled up in smoke, so is he withered by sorrow. Summary- God’s word is central to His character.He deals with us on that basis. Turn away mine eyes--literally, "Make my eyes to pass, not noticing evil." 169,170. But, unlike most other psalms it was written in a unique style. He is Good, and Does Good. brit milah (bris milôh,or bris) meaning “covenant of circumcision”, a Jewish religious circumcision ceremony performed on 8-day-old male infants … 133. HENGSTENBERG translates, "They stand for thy judgment," that is, ready, as obedient servants, to execute them. The Psalm contains several dozen prayers and several themes run through it. Verse 108 is recited prior to the shofar blowing on Rosh Hashanah. Like the heavens, it continually attests God's unfailing power and unchanging care ( Psalms 89:2 ). 71, 72. 3. his ways--the course He reveals as right. This characteristic love for God's law (compare Psalms 1:2 ) ensures increase. The principles of God's government are permanent and reliable, and in the deepest distress His people find them a theme of delightful meditation and a source of reviving power ( Psalms 119:17 Psalms 119:116 ). . Instead of fearing his persecutors, he fears God's Word alone ( Luke 12:4 Luke 12:5 ). 42. The pious, however despised of men, are distinguished in God's sight by a regard for His law. Our hope of freedom from the reproach of inconsistency is in God's power, quickening us to live according to His Word, which He leads us to love. 2. testimonies--The word of God is so called, because in it He testifies for truth and against sin. they are ever with me--The Hebrew is, rather singular, "it is ever with me"; the commandments forming ONE complete whole, Thy law. [b] A portion is also used on the feast of a Doctor of the Church.. 145-149. God is seen sovereignly "inclining ones heart" and the Psalmist "inclines his heart" to the statutes. Referred by HENGSTENBERG to the chastening effect produced on the Jews' minds by the captivity ( Jeremiah 31:18 Jeremiah 31:19 ). Psalm 119 is one of several acrostic poems found in the Bible. . in--or, "of" the way--course of life. Psalm 119 is an alphabetic acrostic. . The sense is substantially the same. An ardent desire (compare Psalms 56:1 Psalms 56:2 ) for spiritual enlightening, establishment in a right course, deliverance from the wicked, and evidence of God's favor is expressed I opened my mouth, and panted--as a traveller in a hot desert pants for the cooling breeze ( Psalms 63:1 , 84:2 ). . This psalm is one of about a dozen alphabetic acrostic poems in the Bible. transgressors--or, literally, "traitors," who are faithless to a righteous sovereign and side with His enemies (compare Psalms 25:3 Psalms 25:8 ). HENGSTENBERG refers the "lie" to such slanders against the Jews during the captivity, as that in Ezra 4:1-6 , of sedition. This lengthy but beautifully written Psalm has its entire focus on the Word of God, which contain the instructions of the heavenly Father. 147 I prevented the dawning of the morning, and cried: I hoped in thy word. What makes Psalm 119 unique is the way that these requests are continually and explicitly grounded in the gift of the Torah and the psalmist's loyalty to it. In order to adhere to His word, we must seek deliverance from temptations to sin as well as from despondency. We have been looking at the longest chapter in the Bible. Psalm 119:33 Or follow it for its reward In Protestant Christianity, various metrical settings of Psalm 119 have been published, including "O God, My Strength and Fortitude" by Thomas Sternhold, which appeared in the Scottish Psalter of 1535. 125 I am thy servant; give me understanding, that I may know thy testimonies. א. ALEPH . 111, 112. Our way can be good or bad. 74. On the terms "cry" and "supplication" (compare Psalms 6:9 , 17:1 ). 7. judgments--rules of conduct formed by God's judicial decisions; hence the wide sense of the word in the Psalms, so that it includes decisions of approval as well as condemnation. Delight in their company is an evidence of belonging to them ( Psalms 16:3 , Amos 3:3 , Malachi 3:16 ). house of my pilgrimage--present life ( Genesis 17:8 , 47:9 , Hebrews 11:13 ). The whole body of revelation is truth. A major portion of Matins on Holy Saturday comprises chanting the entire psalm as a threnody, divided into three parts (stases) with Praises (Greek: Enkomia) interspersed between each verse. 82. 120. vanity--literally, "falsehood;" all other objects of trust than God; idols, human power, &c. ( Psalms 31:6 , 40:4 , 60:11 , 62:9 ). Psalms 119:3 How blessed are those who observe His testimonies, Who seek Him with all their heart. 54. songs--As the exile sings songs of his home ( Psalms 137:3 ), so the child of God, "a stranger on earth," sings the songs of heaven, his true home ( Psalms 39:12 ). Psalm 119:76 "Let, I pray thee, thy merciful kindness be for my comfort, according to thy word unto thy servant." Reading: Psalm 119:9-16. 98-100. of knowledge, both of the matter of all useful, moral truth, and an experience of its application. It is divided into twenty-two sections or strophes, each composed of eight lines or verses. (Compare Matthew 13:44 Matthew 13:45 ). The Psalm does not appear to have any relation to any special occasion or interest of the Jewish Church or nation, but was evidently "intended as a manual of pious thoughts, especially for instructing the young, and its peculiar artificial structure was probably adopted to aid the memory in retaining the language.". Its contents are mainly praises of God's Word, exhortations to its perusal, and reverence for it, prayers for its proper influence, and complaints of the wicked for despising it. for thy judgments are good--The time must therefore be at hand when Thy justice will turn the "reproach" from Thy Church upon the world ( Isaiah 25:8 , 66:5 , Zephaniah 2:8-10 ). Note: mem as a prefix to a word means “from” or “than”. If we obey Psalm 119, our way will be good. 39, 40. So as to Israel, he owed to God his whole internal and external existence ( Deuteronomy 32:6 ). It is divided into twenty-two parts or stanzas, denoted by the twenty-two letters of the Hebrew alphabet. 78. and so shall not be "ashamed," that is, put to shame ( Psalms 119:80 ). Let my . Verse 122 is recited prior to the shofar blowing on Rosh Hashanah. These terms are of various derivations, but here used, for the most part, synonymously, though the use of a variety of terms seems designed, in order to express better the several aspects in which our relations to the revealed word of God are presented. 80. Joyful hope goes hand in hand with fear ( Habakkuk 3:16-18 ). 147. prevented--literally, "came before," anticipated not only the dawn, but even the usual periods of the night; when the night watches, which might be expected to find me asleep, come, they find me awake ( Psalms 63:6 , 77:4 , Lamentations 2:19 ). The Book of Psalms is in the third section of the Hebrew Bible, the Khetuvim, and a book of the Christian Old Testament. Luke 24:27 Luke 24:31 , Acts 17:3 , Ephesians 1:18 , confirm this view, "opening (that is, explaining) and alleging," &c. unto the simple--those needing or desiring it (compare Psalms 19:7 ). This psalm contains 176 verses of praise of Hashem , making it the longest chapter in the entire Tanach . 4-6. precepts--are those directions which relate to special conduct, from a word meaning "to inspect." They mean: what we do in our lives. 162. In Orthodox monasteries it is read daily at the Midnight Office: "At midnight I arose to give thanks unto Thee for the judgments of Thy righteousness" (v. 62). Wine bottles of skin used to be hung up in smoke to dry them, before the wine was put in them [MAURER]. The sections corresponding to the first four letters of the 22-letter Hebrew alphabet are used at Prime, the following sets of three sections at Terce, Sext and None on Sundays. God will rebuke those who despise His word and deliver His servants from their reproach, giving them boldness in and by His truth, even before the greatest men. Themes include opposition by man, affliction, delight in the law and the goodness of God, which sometimes run into each other: "I know, O Lord, that your rules are righteous, and that in faithfulness you have afflicted me" (v. 75), or "If your law had not been my delight, I would have perished in my affliction" (v. 92). 127,128. Both words originally denote rather positive than moral laws, such as derive force from the divine appointment, whether their nature or the reasons for them are apprehended by us or not. (A few other psalms are written in this manner as well, but Psalm 119 is the best example.) The meaning here will be plain to anyone who has had to stumble through darkness, straining to avoid obstacles that might cause injury. In this Psalm there are 8 basic words used to describe the Scriptures, God's written revelation to us: Law (torah, used 25 times in Psalm 119): "Its parent verb means ‘teach' or ‘direct'; therefore coming from God it means both ‘law' and ‘revelation.' from the beginning--that is, "every word from Genesis (called so by the Jews from its first words, 'In the beginning') to the end of the Scriptures is true." The Word of God admits of no eclecticism; its least title is perfect ( Psalms 12:6 , Matthew 5:17-19 ). 45-48. British Politician William Wilberforce would recite the entire Psalm, while walking back from Parliament, through Hyde Park, to his home.. It has been set to music often. But the wicked will be confounded. any iniquity-- Psalms 119:34 (favors HENGSTENBERG, "any iniquitous man," any "oppressor"). With 176 verses, the psalm is the longest psalm as well as the longest chapter in the Bible. We must carefully treasure up the word of God, declare it to others, meditate on it, and heartily delight in it; and then by His grace we shall act according to it. “Statutes” comes from a root word meaning “to hew, cut in, engrave, inscribe”. My hands . It is an acrostic poem, in which each set of eight verses begins with a letter of the Hebrew alphabet. . Those who may have thought his afflictions an evidence of God's rejection will then be led to return to Him; as the friends of Job did on his restoration, having been previously led through his afflictions to doubt the reality of his religion. 62. 41-44. (Compare Psalms 119:46 Psalms 119:86 ). The usage of this Psalm favors this view. Not only does the Word of God inform us of His will, but, as a light on a path in darkness, it shows us how to follow the right and avoid the wrong way. 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