|Matthew Henry's Concise Commentary|
119:1-8 This psalm may be considered as the statement of a believer's experience. As far as our views, desires, and affections agree with what is here expressed, they come from the influences of the Holy Spirit, and no further. The pardoning mercy of God in Christ, is the only source of a sinner's happiness. And those are most happy, who are preserved most free from the defilement of sin, who simply believe God's testimonies, and depend on his promises. If the heart be divided between him and the world, it is evil. But the saints carefully avoid all sin; they are conscious of much evil that clogs them in the ways of God, but not of that wickedness which draws them out of those ways. The tempter would make men think they are at them out of those ways. The tempter would make men think they are at liberty to follow the word of God or not, as they please. But the desire and prayer of a good man agree with the will and command of God. If a man expects by obedience in one thing to purchase indulgence for disobedience in others, his hypocrisy will be detected; if he is not ashamed in this world, everlasting shame will be his portion. The psalmist coveted to learn the laws of God, to give God the glory. And believers see that if God forsakes them, the temper will be too hard for them.
Verse 2. - Blessed are they that keep his testimonies. A variant expression for keeping the Law, rather than the specification of a particular part of it. And that seek him with the whole heart. This is the emphatic portion of the verse. An obedience "from the heart" is alone acceptable to God (see Psalm 36:10; Psalm 64:10; Psalm 119:34, 58, 69, 145).
Gill's Exposition of the Entire Bible
Blessed are they that keep his testimonies,.... The whole word of God, the Scriptures of truth, are his testimonies: they testify of the mind of God, and of his love and grace in the method of salvation by Christ; they testify of Christ, his person, offices, and grace; of the sufferings of Christ, and the glory that should follow; and of all the happiness that comes to the people of God thereby. The law is called a testimony, which being put into the ark, that had the name of the ark of the testimony. This is a testimony of the perfections of God, his holiness, justice, and goodness displayed in it; and of his good and perfect will, what should or should not be done. The Gospel is the testimony of Christ, of what he is, has done and suffered for his people, and of the blessings of grace by him; the ordinances of it, baptism and the Lord's supper, testify of the love of God, and grace of Christ; and all these good men keep: they keep the Scriptures as a sacred "depositum"; they hold fast the faithful word of the Gospel, that no man take it from them; and are desirous of observing both the law of God, as in the hands of Christ; and the ordinances of the Gospel, as delivered by him, from a principle of love to him; and such are happy persons in life, at death, and to all eternity;
and that seek him with the whole heart; that is, that seek the Lord by prayer and supplication, with a true heart, and in sincerity; that seek to know more of him, and that in good earnest; that seek for communion and fellowship with him, with the Spirit within them, with all their heart and soul; that seek Christ, and God in Christ, his kingdom, and his righteousness, and that in the first place, early, earnestly, and diligently. The Targum is,
"they seek his doctrine with the whole heart.''
Jamieson-Fausset-Brown Bible Commentary
2. testimonies—The word of God is so called, because in it He testifies for truth and against sin.
seek him—that is, a knowledge of Him, with desire for conformity to His will.
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