Psalm 19:14
Let the words of my mouth, and the meditation of my heart, be acceptable in your sight, O LORD, my strength, and my redeemer.
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EXPOSITORY (ENGLISH BIBLE)
(14) Meditation.—Heb., higgaîon. (See Psalm 9:16; Psalm 92:3.)

Psalm 19:14. Let the words of my mouth, &c. — Having prayed that God would keep him from sinful actions, he now prays that God would govern and sanctify his words and thoughts. And this was necessary in order to his preservation, even from presumptuous sins, which have their first rise in the thoughts, and thence, probably, proceed to expressions before they break forth into actions. Be acceptable in thy sight — Be really good and holy, and so well pleasing to thee. O Lord, my strength — O thou who hast hitherto strengthened me, both against my temporal and spiritual enemies, and whose gracious and powerful assistance is absolutely necessary to keep me from being overcome by my sinful inclinations and other temptations. And my Redeemer — This expression seems to be added emphatically, and with a special respect to Christ, to whom alone this word, גאל, goel, properly belongs. See notes on Job 19:25. Through his blood and Spirit alone did and could David expect the pardon and grace for which he here prays. 19:11-14 God's word warns the wicked not to go on in his wicked way, and warns the righteous not to turn from his good way. There is a reward, not only after keeping, but in keeping God's commandments. Religion makes our comforts sweet, and our crosses easy, life truly valuable, and death itself truly desirable. David not only desired to be pardoned and cleansed from the sins he had discovered and confessed, but from those he had forgotten or overlooked. All discoveries of sin made to us by the law, should drive us to the throne of grace, there to pray. His dependence was the same with that of every Christian who says, Surely in the Lord Jesus have I righteousness and strength. No prayer can be acceptable before God which is not offered in the strength of our Redeemer or Divine Kinsman, through Him who took our nature upon him, that he might redeem us unto God, and restore the long-lost inheritance. May our hearts be much affected with the excellence of the word of God; and much affected with the evil of sin, and the danger we are in of it, and the danger we are in by it.Let the words of my mouth - The words that I speak; all the words that Ispeak.

And the meditation of my heart - The thoughts of my heart.

Be acceptable in thy sight - Be such as thou wilt approve; or, be such as will be pleasing to thee; such as will give thee delight or satisfaction; such as will be agreeable to thee. Compare Proverbs 14:35; Isaiah 56:7; Isaiah 60:7; Jeremiah 6:20; Exodus 28:38; Leviticus 22:20-21; Leviticus 19:5. This supposes:

(a) that God has such control over our thoughts and words, that he can cause us to order them aright;

(b) that it is proper to pray to him to exert such an influence on our minds that our words and thoughts may be right and pure;

(c) that it is one of the sincere desires and wishes of true piety that the thoughts and words may be acceptable or pleasing to God.

The great purpose of the truly pious is, not to please themselves, or to please their fellow-men, (compare Galatians 1:10), but to please God. The great object is to secure acceptance with him; to have such thoughts, and to utter such words, that He can look upon them with approbation.

O Lord my strength - Margin, as in Hebrew, rock. Compare the note at Psalm 18:2.

And my redeemer - On the word used here, see the note at Job 19:25; compare Isaiah 41:14; Isaiah 43:14; Isaiah 44:6, Isaiah 44:24; Isaiah 47:4; Isaiah 63:16. The two things which the psalmist here refers to in regard to God, as the appellations dear to his heart, are

(a) that God is his Rock, or strength; that is, that he was his defense and refuge; and

(b) that he had rescued or redeemed him from sin; or that he looked to him as alone able to redeem him from sin and death.

It is not necessary to inquire here how far the psalmist was acquainted with the plan of salvation as it would be ultimately disclosed through the great Redeemer of mankind; it is sufficient to know that he had an idea of redemption, and that he looked to God as his Redeemer, and believed that he could rescue him from sin. The psalm, therefore, which begins with a contemplation of God in his works, appropriately closes with a contemplation of God in redemption; or brings before us the great thought that it is not by the knowledge of God as we can gain it from his works of creation that we are to be saved, but that the most endearing character in which he can be manifested to us is in the work of redemption, and that wherever we begin in our contemplation of God, it becomes us to end in the contemplation of his character as our Redeemer.

12-14. The clearer our view of the law, the more manifest are our sins. Still for its full effect we need divine grace to show us our faults, acquit us, restrain us from the practice, and free us from the power, of sin. Thus only can our conduct be blameless, and our words and thoughts acceptable to God. Having prayed that God would keep him from sinful actions, he now prays that God would govern and sanctify his words and thoughts, wherein he had many ways offended, as he here implies, and oft in this book confesseth and bewaileth. And this he the rather doth, because this caution was very necessary to preserve him from presumptuous sins, which have their first rise in the thoughts, and thence proceed to words and expressions, before they break forth into actions.

Be acceptable in thy sight, i.e. be really good and holy, and so well-pleasing to thee.

My strength: O thou who hast hitherto strengthened me, both against my temporal and spiritual enemies, and whose gracious powerful assistance is absolutely necessary to keep me from my own corrupt inclinations, and from all temptations to sinful thoughts, and words, and actions.

My redeemer: this expression seems to be added emphatically, and with special respect to Christ, who was certainly much in David’s eyes, to whom alone this word Goel can here properly belong, as may appear See Poole "Job 19:25", to which I refer the reader, and by whose blood and Spirit alone David could and did expect the blessings and graces for which he here prayeth. Let the words of my mouth,.... Meaning either his speech in common conversation, which should not be filthy and foolish, rotten and corrupt; but such as ministers grace to the hearer: or else his address to God, both in prayer and thanksgiving;

and the meditation of my heart; his inward thoughts continually revolving in his mind; or his meditation on the word of God and divine things; or mental prayer, which is not expressed, only conceived in the mind;

be acceptable in thy sight; as words and thoughts are, when they are according to the word of God; and as the sacrifices of prayer, whether vocal or mental, and of praise, are through Jesus Christ our Lord. The psalmist, in order to strengthen his faith in God, that he should be heard and answered in the petitions he put up, makes use of the following epithets:

O Lord, my strength, or "rock" (l),

and my Redeemer; who had been the strength of his life and of his salvation, the rock on which he was built and established, and the Redeemer who had redeemed his life from destruction, and out of the hands of all his enemies, and from all his iniquities.

(l) "rupes mea", Musculus, Junius & Tremellius, Piscator, Cocceius; "mea petra", Pagninus, Montanus, Rivetus; so Ainsworth.

Let the words of my mouth, and the {o} meditation of my heart, be acceptable in thy sight, O LORD, my strength, and my redeemer.

(o) That I may obey you in thought, word and deed.

EXEGETICAL (ORIGINAL LANGUAGES)
14. be acceptable] An expression borrowed from the laws of sacrifice. See Leviticus 1:3-4 (R.V.); cp. Exodus 28:38. Prayer, “uttered or unexpressed,” is a spiritual sacrifice. Cp. Psalm 141:2; Hosea 14:2.

The P.B.V., be always acceptable, is from the LXX. The Heb. for always would be tâmîd. If this word may be restored to the text on the authority of the LXX, it would suggest a reference to the daily sacrifice which was to be offered continually (Exodus 29:38 ff.), and in later times was called the Tâmîd.

my strength &c.] My rock (see on Psalm 18:2), and my redeemer, delivering me from the tyranny of enemies and the bondage of sin, as He delivered Israel from the bondage of Egypt. Cp. Exodus 15:13; Isaiah 63:9.Verse 14. - Let the words of my mouth, and the meditation of my heart, be acceptable in thy sight. Nor let my doings only be righteous; let the door of my lips be kept, that I utter no evil word, and the recesses of my heart be purged, that I think no evil thought. O Lord, my strength; literally, my Rock (צוּדִי), as in Psalm 18:1. And my Redeemer (comp. Psalm 78:35; and see Genesis 48:16; Exodus 15:13; Leviticus 25:48; Ruth 4:4; Job 19:25; Isaiah 63:9). As applied to God, the word "Redeemer" (גואֵל) always means a "Deliverer" from sin, or death, or danger.



(Heb.: 19:8-10) No sign is made use of to mark the transition from the one part to the other, but it is indicated by the introduction of the divine name יהוה instead of אל. The word of nature declares אל (God) to us, the word of Scripture יהוה (Jahve); the former God's power and glory, the latter also His counsel and will. Now follow twelve encomiums of the Law, of which every two are related as antecedent and consequent, rising and falling according to the caesural schema, after the manner of waves. One can discern how now the heart of the poet begins to beat with redoubled joy as he comes to speak of God's word, the revelation of His will. תּורה does not in itself mean the law, but a pointing out, instruction, doctrine or teaching, and more particularly such as is divine, and therefore positive; whence it is also used of prophecy, Isaiah 1:10; Isaiah 8:16, and prophetically of the New Testament gospel, Isaiah 2:3. But here no other divine revelation is meant than that given by the mediation of Moses, which is become the law, i.e., the rule of life (νόμος), of Israel; and this law, too, as a whole not merely as to its hortatory and disciplinary character, but also including the promises contained in it. The praises which the poet pronounces upon the Law, are accurate even from the standpoint of the New Testament. Even Paul says, Romans 7:12, Romans 7:14, "The Law is holy and spiritual, and the commandment holy, and just, and good." The Law merits these praises in itself; and to him who is in a state of favour, it is indeed no longer a law bringing a curse with it, but a mirror of the God merciful in holiness, into which he can look without slavish fear, and is a rule for the direction of his free and willing obedience. And how totally different is the affection of the psalmists and prophets for the Law, - an affection based upon the essence and universal morality of the commandments, and upon a spiritual realisation of the letter, and the consolation of the promises, - from the pharisaical rabbinical service of the letter and the ceremonial in the period after the Exile!

The divine Law is called תּמימה, "perfect," i.e., spotless and harmless, as being absolutely well-meaning, and altogether directed towards the well-being of man. And משׁיבת נפשׁ restoring, bringing back, i.e., imparting newness of life, quickening the soul (cf. Pil. שׁובב, Psalm 23:3), to him, viz., who obeys the will of God graciously declared therein, and enters upon the divine way or rule of salvation. Then in the place of the word תורה we find עדוּת, - as the tables of the Ten Commandments (לחוּת העדוּת) are called, - from עוּד (העיד), which signifies not merely a corroborative, but also a warning and instructive testimony or attestation. The testimony of Jahve is נאמנה, made firm, sure, faithful, i.e., raised above all doubt in its declarations, and verifying itself in its threatenings and promises; and hence מחכּימת פּתי, making wise simplicity, or the simple, lit., openness, the open (root פת to spread out, open, Indo-Germ. prat, πετ, pat, pad), i.e., easily led astray; to such an one it gives a solid basis and stability, σοφίζει αὐτὸν, 2 Timothy 3:15. The Law divides into פּקּוּדים, precepts or declarations concerning man's obligation; these are ישׁרים, straight or upright, as a norma normata, because they proceed from the upright, absolutely good will of God, and as a norma normans they lead along a straight way in the right track. They are therefore משׂמּחי לב, their educative guidance, taking one as it were by the hand, frees one from all tottering, satisfies a moral want, and preserves a joyous consciousness of being in the right way towards the right goal. מצות יהוה, Jahve's statute (from צוּה statuere), is the tenour of His commandments. The statute is a lamp - it is said in Proverbs 6:23 -and the law a light. So here: it is בּרה, clear, like the light of the sun (Sol 6:10), and its light is imparted to other objects: מאירת עינים, enlightening the eyes, which refers not merely to the enlightening of the understanding, but of one's whole condition; it makes the mind clear, and body as well as mind healthy and fresh, for the darkness of the eyes is sorrow, melancholy, and bewilderment. In this chain of names for the Law, יראת ה is not the fear of God as an act performed, but as a precept, it is what God's revelation demands, effects, and maintains; so that it is the revealed way in which God is to be feared (Psalm 34:12) - in short, it is the religion of Jahve (cf. Proverbs 15:33 with Deuteronomy 17:19). This is טהורה, clean, pure, as the word which is like to pure gold, by which it is taught, Psalm 12:7, cf. Job 28:19; and therefore עמדת לעד, enduring for ever in opposition to all false forms of reverencing God, which carry their own condemnation in themselves. משׁפּטי ה are the jura of the Law as a corpus juris divini, everything that is right and constitutes right according to the decision of Jahve. These judgments are אמת, truth, which endures and verifies itself; because, in distinction from most others and those outside Israel, they have an unchangeable moral foundation: צדקוּ יחדּו, i.e., they are צדיקים, in accordance with right and appropriate (Deuteronomy 4:8), altogether, because no reproach of inappositeness and sanctioned injustice or wrong clings to them. The eternal will of God has attained a relatively perfect form and development in the Law of Jahve according to the standard set up as the law of the nation.

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