|Matthew Henry's Concise Commentary|
119:49-56 Those that make God's promises their portion, may with humble boldness make them their plea. He that by his Spirit works faith in us, will work for us. The word of God speaks comfort in affliction. If, through grace, it makes us holy, there is enough in it to make us easy, in all conditions. Let us be certain we have the Divine law for what we believe, and then let not scoffers prevail upon us to decline from it. God's judgments of old comfort and encourage us, for he is still the same. Sin is horrible in the eyes of all that are sanctified. Ere long the believer will be absent from the body, and present with the Lord. In the mean time, the statutes of the Lord supply subjects for grateful praise. In the season of affliction, and in the silent hours of the night, he remembers the name of the Lord, and is stirred up to keep the law. All who have made religion the first thing, will own that they have been unspeakable gainers by it.
Verse 54. - Thy statutes have been my songs in the house of my pilgrimage; literally, songs have thy statutes been to me in the house of my sojournings. I have made thy statutes the theme of my songs, as they are of this present one. "The house of my sojournings" is either this present world, where all men are "strangers and pilgrims" (Hebrews 11:13), or perhaps some foreign land in which the writer had been a sojourner.
Gill's Exposition of the Entire Bible
Thy statutes have been my songs in the house of my pilgrimage. Meaning either his unsettled state, fleeing from place to place before Saul; or, literally, his house of cedar, his court and palace, which he considered no other than as an inn he had put into upon his travels homeward; or rather the earthly house of his tabernacle, in which, as long as he continued, he was but a pilgrim and stranger; or, best of all, the whole course of his life; which Jacob calls the days of the years of his pilgrimage, Genesis 47:9; so Hipparchus the Pythagorean (i) calls this life a sort of a pilgrimage; and Plato also. This world is not the saints house and home; this is not their rest and residence; they confess themselves pilgrims and strangers here; and that they belong to another city, and a better country, an heavenly one, which they are seeking and travelling to, Hebrews 11:13. And as travellers sing songs to themselves as they pass on, which makes the way the more easy and pleasant to them, so the psalmist had his songs which he sung in his pilgrimage state; and these were the statutes, or word of the Lord, and the things in it, which were as delightful to him as the songs of travellers to them. Or the songs he made and sung were composed out of the word of God; and which may serve to recommend the psalms, hymns, and spiritual songs, made by him, the sweet psalmist of Israel, to the Gospel churches, to be sung by them, Ephesians 5:19.
(i) De Anim. Tranquill. inter Fragm. Pythagor. p. 11. Ed. Gale.
Jamieson-Fausset-Brown Bible Commentary
54. songs—As the exile sings songs of his home (Ps 137:3), so the child of God, "a stranger on earth," sings the songs of heaven, his true home (Ps 39:12). In ancient times, laws were put in verse, to imprint them the more on the memory of the people. So God's laws are the believer's songs.
house of my pilgrimage—present life (Ge 17:8; 47:9; Heb 11:13).
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