|Matthew Henry's Concise Commentary|
119:145-152 Supplications with the whole heart are presented only by those who desire God's salvation, and who love his commandments. Whither should the child go but to his father? Save me from my sins, my corruptions, my temptations, all the hinderances in my way, that I may keep thy testimonies. Christians who enjoy health, should not suffer the early hours of the morning to glide away unimproved. Hope in God's word encourages us to continue in prayer. It is better to take time from sleep, than not to find time for prayer. We have access to God at all hours; and if our first thoughts in the morning are of God, they will help to keep us in his fear all the day long. Make me lively and cheerful. God knows what we need and what is good for us, and will quicken us. If we are employed in God's service, we need not fear those who try to set themselves as far as they can out of the reach of the convictions and commands of his law. When trouble is near, God is near. He is never far to seek. All his commandments are truth. And God's promises will be performed. All that ever trusted in God have found him faithful.
Verse 145. - I cried with my whole heart; hear me, O Lord. "Earnest and patient prayer for grace" (Kay) seems to be intended, not mere prayer for deliverance. I will keep thy statutes. If thou hearest and answerest my prayer, I shall have both the will and the power to keep thy commandments.
Gill's Exposition of the Entire Bible
KOPH.--The Nineteenth Part.
KOPH. I cried with my whole heart,.... Prayer is often expressed by crying; which sometimes signifies mental, and sometimes vocal prayer; and generally supposes the person praying to be in distress, either outward or inward. This prayer of the psalmists was hearty and cordial, not with his mouth and lips only, but with his heart also; it did not proceed from feigned lips, but was put up in sincerity and truth; yea, it was with his whole heart, with all the powers and faculties of his soul employed; his affections set on God, the desires of his soul after him, and his will submitted to his; it denotes the intenseness, earnestness, and fervency of prayer;
hear me, O Lord: the prayer he had put up, and answer it. Some persons pray, and that is enough; they do not concern themselves whether their prayers are heard or not: but David desired an answer, and looked after that;
I will keep thy statutes; not in his own strength, but in the strength of the Lord; and it is to be understood not merely as a resolution what he would do; nor as a promise, which he uses as a plea, argument, or motive to be heard; but rather it expresses the end of his being heard, or the thing for which he desires to be heard: for so it may be rendered, "that I may keep thy statutes"; hear me, and give me grace and strength to enable me to observe them.
The Treasury of David
145 I cried with my whole heart; hear me, O Lord, I will keep thy statutes.
146 I cried unto thee; save me, and I shall keep thy testimonies.
147 I prevented the dawning of the morning, and cried, I hoped in thy word.
148 Mine eyes prevent the night watches, that I might meditate in thy word.
149 Hear my voice according unto thy lovingkindness, O Lord, quicken me according to thy judgment.
150 They draw nigh that follow after mischief: they are far from thy law.
151 Thou art near, O Lord; and all thy commandments are truth.
152 Concerning thy testimonies, I have known of old that thou hast founded them for ever.
This section is given up to memories of prayer. The Psalmist describes the time and the manner of his devotions, and pleads with God for deliverance from his troubles. He who has been with God in the closet will find God with him in the furnace. If we have cried we shall be answered. Delayed answers may drive us to importunity; but we need not fear the ultimate result, since God's promises are not uncertain, but are "founded for ever." The whole passage shows us: How he prayed (Psalm 119:145). What he prayed for (Psalm 119:146). When he prayed (Psalm 119:147). How long he prayed (Psalm 119:148). What he pleaded (Psalm 119:149). What happened (Psalm 119:150). How he was rescued (Psalm 119:151). What was his witness as to the whole matter (Psalm 119:152).
"I cried with my whole heart." His prayer was a sincere, plaintive, painful, natural utterance, as of a creature in pain. We cannot tell whether at all times he used his voice when he thus cried; but we are informed of something which is of much greater consequence, he cried with his heart. Heart-cries are the essence of prayer. He mentions the unity of his heart in this holy engagement. His whole soul pleaded with God, his entire affections, his united desires all went out towards the living God. It is well when a man can say as much as this of his prayers: it is to be feared that many never cried to God with their whole heart in all their lives. There may be no beauty of elocution about such prayers, no length of expression, no depth of doctrine, nor accuracy of diction; but if the whole heart be in them they will find their way to the heart of God. "Hear me, O Lord." He desires of Jehovah that his cries may not die upon the air, but that God may have respect to them. True supplicants are not satisfied with the exercise itself, they have an end and object in praying, and they look out for it. If God does not hear prayer we pray in vain. The term "hear" is often used in Scripture to express attention and consideration. In one sense God hears every sound that is made on earth, and every desire of every heart; but David meant much more; he desired a kindly, sympathetic hearing, such as a physician gives to his patient when he tells him his pitiful story. He asked that the Lord would draw near, and listen with friendly ear to the voice of his complaint, with the view of pitying him and helping him. Observe, that his whole-hearted prayer goes to the Lord alone; he has no second hope or help. "Hear me, O Lord," is the full range of his petition and expectation. "I will keep thy statutes." He could not expect the Lord to hear him if he did not hear the Lord, neither would it be true that he prayed with his whole heart unless it was manifest that he laboured with all his might to be obedient to the divine will. His object in seeking deliverance was that he might be free to fulfil his religion and carry out every ordinance of the Lord. He would be a free man that he might be at liberty to serve the Lord. Note well that a holy resolution goes well with an importunate supplication: David is determined to be holy, his whole heart goes with that resolve as well as with his prayers. He will keep God's statutes in his memory, in his affections, and in his actions. He will not wilfully neglect or violate any one of the divine laws.
"I cried unto thee." Again he mentions that his prayer was unto God alone. The sentence imports that he prayed vehemently, and very often; and that it had become one of the greatest facts of his life that he cried unto God. "Save me." This was his prayer; very short, but very full. He needed saving, none but the Lord could save him, to him he cried, "Save me" from the dangers which surround me, from the enemies that pursue me, from the temptations which beset me, from the sins which accuse me. He did not multiply words, and men never do so when they are in downright earnest. He did not multiply objects, and men seldom do so when they are intent upon the one thing needful: "save me" was his one and only prayer. "And I shall keep thy testimonies." This was his great object in desiring salvation, that he might be able to continue in a blameless life of obedience to God, that he might be able to believe the witness of God, and also to become himself a witness for God. It is a great thing when men seek salvation for so high an end. He did not ask to be delivered that he might sin with impunity; his cry was to be delivered from sin itself. He had vowed to keep the statutes or laws, here he resolves to keep the testimonies or doctrines, and so to be sound of head as well as clean of hand. Salvation brings all these good things in its train. David had no idea of a salvation which would allow him to live in sin, or abide in error: he knew right well that there is no saving a man while he abides in disobedience and ignorance.
Jamieson-Fausset-Brown Bible Commentary
KOPH. (Ps 119:145-152).
145-149. An intelligent devotion is led by divine promises and is directed to an increase of gracious affections, arising from a contemplation of revealed truth.
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