“Thy word have I hid in my heart.”

Psalm 119:1-16

We will now read a part of Psalm 119, that longest of the Psalms, which Luther professed to prize so highly that he would not take the whole world in exchange for one leaf of it. Bishop Cowper called it “a Holy A Alphabet.” Philip Henry recommended his children to take a verse of it every morning “and meditate upon it, and so go over the Psalm twice in a year, and that will bring you to be in love with all the rest of Scripture.” May such an excellent result follow our reading.

Psalm 119:1

Men defile themselves with sin: the only clean walking is in the path of obedience. Such holy walkers enjoy a blessedness which neither wealth nor rank could bestow upon them. This Psalm, like the Sermon on the Mount, begins with benedictions. Our holy religion teems with blessings.

Psalm 119:3

Where the whole heart loves the testimonies of God, the whole life will be sanctified, and no habit of evil will be tolerated. Yet even those who keep his testimonies, have still need to seek him more and more. They are perfect in intention, but absolute perfection they have not attained.

Psalm 119:5

What a mercy when God’s precept and our prayer tally so well. These two verses show us that what God would have his people to be, they also desire to be. He works in them to will, and then they will do his will.

Psalm 119:6

True obedience does not pick and choose, but delights in all the statutes of the Lord. If we begin to set aside one of the precepts, where shall we stop? The only way by which a man can fearlessly defend his profession against all accusers, is by rendering a sincere obedience to all the commands of God. What need there is of grace for all this.

Psalm 119:7

God’s worship should be the product of all our learning. Prayer is the helper of study, but praise should be the object and result of it.

Psalm 119:8

The resolve is good, but it needs the prayer to accompany it. The last sentence should be on our lips every day. What a calamity it would be to be deserted of the Lord!

Psalm 119:9

This verse contains a weighty question and a satisfactory answer: let all young people lay both of them to heart. Grace in the heart is the young man’s best life insurance.

Psalm 119:10

Those who are most fervent in religion are the most afraid of failing in it. Their anxiety is wise. However good our intentions may be, we cannot preserve ourselves from sin. The most ardent seeker will soon become a wanton wanderer unless the grace of God prevent.

Psalm 119:11

The best thing in the best place, for the best of purposes. Can all in this family say what David here declares.

Psalm 119:12

He gives God glory, and asks God to give him grace. Prayers and praises make a sweet mixture.

Psalm 119:13

Those who can speak should speak. Eloquent tongues should never be idle.

Psalm 119:14

In the last verse he says that he had edified others, and in this he rejoices that he had entertained himself.

Psalm 119:15, 16

What the heart delights in, the memory retains. A warm heart forgets not the Lord’s word. Is our heart warm?

 

Charged we are, with earnest care,

To observe thy precepts, Lord;

O that all my actions were

Ruled and guided by thy word!

 

Then shall I from shame be freed,

Joy and peace my heart shall fill,

When I mark with reverent heed,

Every dictate of thy will.

 

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