|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 4. - Thou hast commanded us to keep thy precepts diligently; rather, thou hast ordained thy precepts for diligent observance, or for men to observe them diligently. Men sometimes give precepts which they do not care to have obeyed; but God's precepts are intended for careful, diligent, and continual observance. The "thou" at the beginning (attah) is emphatic.
Gill's Exposition of the Entire Bible
Thou hast commanded us to keep thy precepts diligently. Here, and in the following verses, the psalmist expresses his great regard to the precepts, commandments, statutes, and judgments of God; and that as such, because they were commanded by him; were not the precepts of men, but the commands of God; who had a right to command, as Creator, Preserver, Redeemer, and King; and whose commands are not to be reckoned as indifferent things, that are at the option and choice of a creature, to be done or let alone at his pleasure; but are what God has enjoined, and are binding upon men; and which love should and does constrain the saints to have a regard unto, and to keep them diligently or vehemently; with all a man's might and strength, as the word is used in Deuteronomy 6:5. These are not at any time to be dispensed with, but, to be kept always constantly and steadily.
Jamieson-Fausset-Brown Bible Commentary
4-6. precepts—are those directions which relate to special conduct, from a word meaning "to inspect."
statutes—or ordinances, positive laws of permanent nature. Both words originally denote rather positive than moral laws, such as derive force from the divine appointment, whether their nature or the reasons for them are apprehended by us or not.
commandments—or institutions. The term is comprehensive, but rather denotes fundamental directions for conduct, both enjoining and forbidding.
have respect unto—or regard carefully as to their whole purport.
Psalm 119:4 Parallel Commentaries
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