|Matthew Henry's Concise Commentary|
119:17-24 If God deals in strict justice with us, we all perish. We ought to spend our lives in his service; we shall find true life in keeping his word. Those that would see the wondrous things of God's law and gospel, must beg him to give them understanding, by the light of his Spirit. Believers feel themselves strangers on earth; they fear missing their way, and losing comfort by erring from God's commandments. Every sanctified soul hungers after the word of God, as food which there is no living without. There is something of pride at the bottom of every wilful sin. God can silence lying lips; reproach and contempt may humble and do us good, and then they shall be removed. Do we find the weight of the cross is above that we are able to bear? He that bore it for us will enable us to bear it; upheld by him we cannot sink. It is sad when those who should protect the innocent, are their betrayers. The psalmist went on in duty, and he found comfort in the word of God. The comforts of the word of God are most pleasant to a gracious soul, when other comforts are made bitter; and those that would have God's testimonies to be their delight, must be advised by them. May the Lord direct us in exercising repentance of sin, and faith in Christ.
Verse 19. - I am a stranger in the earth; or, "a sojourner" (Cheyne, Kay, Revised Version); comp. Psalm 39:12; Hebrews 11:13-16. Earth is not our true home. We all "seek a country." Hide not thy commandments from me. God "hides" things from the wise and prudent which he reveals to "babes." The psalmist prays that the true meaning of God's Word may not be kept back from him.
Gill's Exposition of the Entire Bible
I am a stranger in the earth,.... As all his fathers were, and all the saints are; not to divine and spiritual things; to God, and communion with him; to Christ, and the knowledge of him; to the Spirit, and his operations in their hearts; to their own hearts, and the plague of them; to the Gospel, and its truths; nor to the people of God, and fellowship with them: but to the world, among whom they are, not being known, valued, and respected by them; and they also behaving as strangers to the world, having no fellowship with them in their sinful works; as also not being natives here, but belonging to another city and country, an heavenly one; see 1 Chronicles 29:15;
hide not thy commandments from me; the doctrines of the Gospel, the word which God has commanded to a thousand generations; which is pure, and enlightens the eyes, and so needful to strangers in their pilgrimage, Psalm 19:8; which God sometimes hides from the wise and prudent, and which the psalmist here deprecates with respect to himself, Matthew 11:25. Or the precepts of the world may be meant, which are a light to the feet, and a lamp to the paths, a good direction to travellers and strangers in the way: David, being such an one, prayed that these might not be hid from him, but be showed unto him; that he might know his way, and not go out of it; but walk as a child of light, wisely and circumspectly.
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