|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 22. - Remove from me reproach and contempt. God's servants almost necessarily incur the reproach and contempt of the worldly, to whom their conduct seems folly or madness. Christ himself was "despised;" (Isaiah 53:3) and reproached (Matthew 11:19). For I have kept thy testimonies (comp. vers. 31, 51, 87, etc.).
Gill's Exposition of the Entire Bible
Remove from me reproach and contempt,.... Or, "roll it from me" (u). It lay as a load, as a heavy burden upon him, which pressed him sore; and he therefore desired ease from it, being probably in a low frame of soul; otherwise saints do and should rejoice when reproached for Christ's sake; and esteem it, with Moses, more than all the treasures in Egypt, being what is common to them with their Lord;
for I have kept that testimonies; which was the reason why he was reproached and despised; for having a regard to the word of God, and embracing and professing the doctrines of it. Thus the word of the Lord was made a reproach to Jeremiah, or he was reproached for delivering it; as many good men have been vilified, and have suffered for the testimony of Jesus, Jeremiah 20:8; and for walking according to the directions, of it; wicked men thinking it strange they do not run into the same excess of not with them, and therefore speak evil of them, 1 Peter 4:3.
(u) "devolve a me", Pagninus, Montanus, Junius & Tremellius, Piscator.
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