Psalm 119:17-24

Submitted by admin on Mon, 2008-02-25 12:21.

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Every verse starts with the Hebrew letter gimel.

The psalmist prayed that the Most High would deal generously with him, recompensing him as his servant. This would mean life for him. Without God’s favor and blessing, he could not live. While he had life, he would keep God’s word or heed his direction.

The psalmist wanted the Almighty to open his eyes to be able to see the wondrous things that could be learned from his law. It was his desire to perceive the significance of the commands to the fullest extent possible. He wanted to be freed from anything that could interfere with a proper comprehension of the marvelous divine revelation the law contained.

When referring to himself as a sojourner, the psalmist may have meant that his situation resembled that of a resident alien whose knowledge of the law of the land was incomplete. So he pleaded that God would not hide his commands from him. The psalmist wanted to know these commands so that he would not violate them on account of ignorance.

At all times, his “soul” or he himself had an intense longing for God’s judgments or ordinances. This longing gnawed at him or consumed him, as he yearned to do what would prove to be pleasing to the Most High.

God’s rebuke is directed against arrogant persons. They are accursed ones, for they choose to conduct themselves in a manner that merits divine disfavor. They stray from YHWH’s commands, defiantly refusing to obey them.

These insolent ones appear to have reproached the psalmist and regarded him with contempt. This seems to be the reason for his asking God to take away the reproach and contempt, for he (unlike the defiant godless ones) had observed the divine testimonies or solemn charges.

Even men in positions of authority, princes or rulers, opposed the psalmist. When seated as a group for purposes of deliberation, they spoke against him. Nevertheless, he, as God’s servant, determined to mediate on divine statutes. He was not going to allow the view of influential men to sway him from focusing on God’s law and living accordingly.

God’s testimonies or solemn charges proved to be his delight. According to the Septuagint, they were the focus of his meditation. He valued them highly and did not regard obedience to them as a burden but recognized such obedience as contributing to his well-being. They were his counselors, guiding him in all his conduct.