Psalm 119:41-48

Submitted by admin on Tue, 2008-02-26 13:21.

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Each verse starts with the Hebrew letter waw.

In view of his dire straits, the psalmist prayed that he might be the recipient of YHWH’s abiding love, compassionate care, or “mercy” (LXX). On the basis of God’s word or promise, he asked to be granted deliverance from his distress.

Upon experiencing deliverance, the psalmist would have had a reply for those who taunted him. Their ridicule would have been to the effect that his serving God had no value, and the deliverance would have exposed their taunts as baseless. The psalmist had trusted in God’s word or promise, and the hope based thereon would have been vindicated.

During his distressing circumstances, the psalmist trusted in God’s word or promise, and this sustained him. Consequently, he pleaded that YHWH would not take the “word of truth” completely from his mouth. The psalmist wanted this dependable word to remain with him, enabling him to continue to express hope in the certainty of its fulfillment. He hoped in God’s judgments or continually waited for the Most High to execute justice.

The psalmist determined to observe God’s law always, forever and ever. When “walking” or conducting himself according to God’s commands, he felt free and safe. His situation was comparable to walking in a spacious area and not on a hazardous, narrow trail in mountainous terrain. He considered God’s precepts or commands to be highly beneficial, as evident from his having made them the object of his seeking. He very much wanted these commands for his guidance.

The psalmist did not hold back from speaking about YHWH’s “testimonies” or solemn charges before kings. If they were unfavorably inclined and did not value divine direction, he would not be ashamed to express himself. Their high station did not intimidate him, restraining him from speaking openly about God’s solemn charges.

He found delight in God’s commandments. It brought him pleasure to obey them. According to the Septuagint, he “meditated” on the commandments, suggesting that he thought about what they required of him. The psalmist loved the commandments. He appreciated their inestimable value in providing him with trustworthy guidance.

His lifting his hands to God’s commandments could refer to his reaching out for them to make them his possession. Another possibility is that, in prayer, the psalmist would raise his arms with outstretched palms and thank YHWH for having provided the commandments, which he loved. The psalmist determined to make God’s statutes the object of his meditation or careful reflection.