|Matthew Henry's Concise Commentary|
119:137-144 God never did, and never can do wrong to any. The promises are faithfully performed by Him that made them. Zeal against sin should constrain us to do what we can against it, at least to do more in religion ourselves. Our love to the word of God is evidence of our love to God, because it is designed to make us partake his holiness. Men's real excellency always makes them low in their own eyes. When we are small and despised, we have the more need to remember God's precepts, that we may have them to support us. The law of God is the truth, the standard of holiness, the rule of happiness; but the obedience of Christ alone justifies the believer. Sorrows are often the lot of saints in this vale of tears; they are in heaviness through manifold temptations. There are delights in the word of God, which the saints often most sweetly enjoy when in trouble and anguish. This is life eternal, to know God and Jesus Christ whom he has sent, Joh 17:3. May we live the life of faith and grace here, and be removed to the life of glory hereafter.
Verse 137. - Righteous art thou, O Lord (comp. Psalm 7:9; Psalm 11:7; Psalm 25:8; Psalm 116:5; Psalm 145:17). And upright are thy judgments (see vers. 106, 160, 164).
Gill's Exposition of the Entire Bible
TZADDI.--The Eighteenth Part.
TZADDI. Righteous art thou, O Lord,.... Essentially, originally, and of himself; naturally, immutably, and universally, in all his ways and works of nature and grace; in his thoughts, purposes, counsels, and decrees; in all the dispensations of his providence; in redemption, in the justification of a sinner, in the pardon of sin, and in the gift of eternal life through Christ;
and upright are thy judgments; they are according to the rules of justice and equity; the precepts of the word, the doctrines of the Gospel, as well as the judgments of God inflicted on wicked men, and all the providential dealings of God with his people, and also the final judgment.
The Treasury of David
137 Righteous art thou, O Lord, and upright are thy judgments.
138 Thy testimonies that thou hast commanded are righteous and very faithful.
139 My zeal hath consumed me, because mine enemies have forgotten thy words.
140 Thy word is very pure - therefore thy servant loveth it.
141 I am small and despised, yet do not I forget thy precepts.
142 Thy righteousness is an everlasting righteousness, and thy law is the truth.
143 Trouble and anguish have taken hold on me - yet thy commandments are my delights.
144 The righteousness of thy testimonies is everlasting, give me understanding, and I shall live.
This passage deals with the perfect righteousness of Jehovah and his word, and expresses the struggles of a holy soul in reference to that righteousness. The initial letter with which every verse commences sounds like the Hebrew word for righteousness: our keynote is righteousness.
"Righteous art thou, O Lord." The Psalmist has not often used the name of Jehovah in this vast composition. The whole Psalm shows him to have been a deeply religious man, thoroughly familiar with the things of God; and such persons never use the holy name of God carelessly, nor do they even use it at all frequently in comparison with the thoughtless and the ungodly. Familiarity begets reverence in this case. Here he uses the sacred name in worship. He praises God by ascribing to him perfect righteousness. God is always right, and he is always actively right, that is, righteous. This quality is bound up in our very idea of God. We cannot imagine an unrighteous God. "And upright are thy judgments." Here he extols God's word, or recorded judgments, as being right, even as their Author is righteous. That which comes from the righteous God is itself righteous. Jehovah both saith and doth that which is right, and that alone. This is a great stay to the soul in time of trouble. When we are most sorely afflicted, and cannot see the reason for the dispensation, we may fall back upon this most sure and certain fact, that God is righteous, and his dealings with us are righteous too. It should be our glory to sing this brave confession when all things around us appear to suggest the contrary. This is the richest adoration - this which rises from the lips of faith when carnal reason utters about undue severity, and the like.
"Thy testimonies that thou hast commanded are righteous and very faithful." All that which God hath testified in his word is right and truthful. It is righteous, and may be relied upon for the present; it is faithful, and may be trusted in for the future. About every portion of the inspired testimonies there is a divine authority, they are issued and published by God's command, and they bear the impress of the royal style which carries omnipotence about it. Not only the precepts but the promises also are commanded of the Lord, and so are all the teachings of Scripture. It is not left to our choice whether we will accept them or no; they are issued by royal command, and are not to be questioned. Their characteristic is that they are like the Lord who has proclaimed them, they are the essence of justice and the soul of truth. God's word is righteous and cannot be impeached; it is faithful and cannot be questioned; it is true from the beginning, and it will be true unto the end.
Dwell upon that sweet word - "very faithful." What a mercy that we have a God to deal with who is scrupulously faithful, true to all the items and details of his promises, punctual to time, steadfast during all time. Well may we risk all upon a word which is "ever faithful, ever sure."
Jamieson-Fausset-Brown Bible Commentary
TZADDI. (Ps 119:137-144).
137-139. God's justice and faithfulness in His government aggravate the neglect of the wicked, and more excite the lively zeal of His people.
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