It is fitting that the greatest tribute to the Word of God is IN the Word of God, itself, and is in the longest chapter of the Word of God! This Psalm has no author’s name, historical incident, or other distraction from its theme. It is divided into 22 sections (one for every letter in the Hebrew alphabet), each consisting of 8 lines, each line beginning with the alphabet letter of that section (aleph is the first letter of each line under the aleph section, for instance). The chapter uses some 8-10 different words to describe the Word of God, each bringing something extra to the total picture of the Word of Truth. In order to savor the depth and richness of teaching in this Psalm, we will examine each portion as if it were its own chapter.
Heth Psalm 119:57-64 Life of Self-Examination
Verses 57-60 list ways people uphold their part of their covenant with God;
Verses 61-64 describe how completely this agreement affects their lives.
Verses 57-60: (Verse 57) Jehovah is the “portion” (inheritance, benefit) of anyone who commits to keeping God’s “words” (what He has said). (Verse 58) The “entreaty” (prayer) for God’s “favor” (grace) is with the “whole heart” (totally behind the prayer). (Verse 59) To “think” about ones on “ways” simply states the self-examination required for God to bless, and the direction of feet determines the extent of obedience to God’s “testimonies” (commands indicating God’s intent). “But let each one examine his own work, and then he will have rejoicing in himself alone, and not in another” (Galatians 6:4). We must understand we are the ones who need new direction to our lives, not for God to change His! (Verse 60) “Haste” does NOT make waste when it is used to create prompt obedience, and “haste” without “delay” means obedience to God’s “commands” (determined limits to be followed) should be immediate.
Verses 61-64: (Verse 61) Though we may be hampered by enemies, worldly interests, or family miscues, we renew our resolve to keep God’s “law” (instructions describing the way to go). (Verse 62) When it seems darkest (“at midnight”) we can take advantage of the quiet to “rise” and thank God. In other words, 24/7 is always a good time to thank God. “Pray without ceasing, in everything give thanks; for this is the will of God in Christ Jesus for you” (1 Thessalonians 5:17-18). (Verse 63) There is a community attitude in those who “fear God” (respect) and follow His “precepts” (that call attention to what is important), for they share a common faith, common love for God, common bond. “But above all these things put on love, which is the bond of perfection. And let the peace of God rule in your hearts, to which also you were called in one body; and be thankful” (Colossians 3:14-15). (Verse 64) There is abundant proof (“the earth” and its history in the Bible) of God’s “mercy” (pity toward our situations), therefore we are ready to be taught His “statutes” (lines showing what is right and what is wrong).
All Scriptures and comments are based upon the New King James Version, unless otherwise noted.