Chapter CONTEXT from MHCC: The general scope and design of this psalm is to magnify the Divine law, and make it honourable. There are ten words by which Divine revelation is called in this psalm, and each expresses what God expects from us, and what we may expect from him: 1. God’s law; this is enacted by him as our Sovereign. 2. His way; this is the rule of his providence. 3. His testimonies; they are solemnly declared to the world. 4. His commandments; given with authority. 5. His precepts; not left as indifferent matters to us. 6. His word, or saying; it is the declaration of his mind. 7. His judgments; framed in infinite wisdom. 8. His righteousness; it is the rule and standard of what is right. 9. His statutes; they are always binding. 10. His truth or faithfulness; it is eternal truth, it shall endure for ever. Also, see MH Complete Commentary
Our main text for today, v.143 is in the 18th part of Ps. 119 known as Tsade in Hebrew. There are 22 stanzas in this acrostic poem in all.
This should be (in a lesser sense) a common cry for those actively living out their faith in Christ. By that I mean one would hope that trouble and anguish would never have a firm grasp upon us. Yet we are fighting hard for Christ, you can bet Satan and his minions are fighting hard against us. Again one would hope that we would never get to the point where we are overwhelmed by these other than Godly influences, that one would reach into our toolbox and fight back.
Trouble and anguish have taken hold on me. This affliction may have arisen from his circumstances, or from the cruelty of his enemies, or from his own internal conflicts, but certain it is that he was the subject of much distress, a distress which apprehended him, and carried him away a captive to its power. His griefs, like fierce dogs, had taken hold upon him; he felt their teeth. He had double trouble: trouble without and anguish within, as the apostle Paul put it, “without were rightings and within were fears.”Treasury of David, C.H. Spurgeon
Note however that even in times of anguish this person never loses sight of that which will drag him from the pits of drudgery. Our focus must never be on worldly things that abound around us. We must focus on the Kingdom of Heaven and Christ the Lord of Lords ruling over it.
Yet thy commandments are my delights. Thus he became a riddle; troubled, and yet delighted; in anguish, and yet in pleasure. The child of God can understand this enigma, for well he knows that while he is cast down on account of what he sees within himself he is all the more lifted up by what he sees in the word. He is delighted with the commandments, although he is troubled because he cannot perfectly obey them. He finds abundant light in the commandments, and by the influence of that light he discovers and mourns over his own darkness. Only the man who is acquainted with the struggles of the spiritual life will understand the expression before us. Let the reader herein find a balance in which to weigh himself. Does he find even when he is begin with sorrow that it is a delightful thing to do the will of the Lord? Does he find more joy in being sanctified than sorrow in being chastised? Then the spot of God’s children is upon him.Treasury of David, C.H. Spurgeon
Thy commandments are my delights. Delight in moral things (saith Aquinas) is the rule by which we may judge of men’s goodness or badness. Delectatio est quies voluntatis in bono. Men are good and bad as the objects of their delight are: they are good who delight in good things, and they are evil who delight in evil things.Thomas Manton
Where is your delight anchored today?
THANK GOD FOR SUPPORT UNDER YOUR AFFLICTIONS
For support under our afflictions, and spiritual benefit and advantage by them.
Thou hast comforted me in all my tribulation; 2 Corinthians 1:4(KJV) hast considered my trouble, and known my soul in adversity, Psalm 31:7(KJV) and showed me thy marvellous kindness, as in a strong city. Psalm 31:21(KJV)
When afflictions have abounded, consolations have much more abounded. 2 Corinthians 1:5(KJV)
Though no afflictions for the present have been joyous, but grievous; nevertheless, afterwards it hath yielded the peaceable fruit of righteousness, and hath proved to be for my profit, that I might be a partaker of thy holiness. Hebrews 12:10-11(KJV)
I have had reason to say that it was good for me I was afflicted, that I might learn thy commandments; Psalm 119:71(KJV) for before I was afflicted I went astray, but afterwards have kept thy word. Psalm 119:67(KJV)
It has been but for a season and when there was need, that I have been in heaviness, through manifold temptations; and I beg that all the trials of my faith may be found unto praise and honour and glory at the appearing of Jesus Christ, whom having not seen, I love, in whom, though I now see him not, yet believing, I rejoice with joy unspeakable and full of glory, and am longing to receive the end of my faith, even the salvation of my soul. 1 Peter 1:6-9(KJV)