Psalm 119:115
Depart from me, you evildoers: for I will keep the commandments of my God.
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(115) For.—Better, and. The presence of the wicked was a hindrance to religion. It is Israel trying to purify itself from the leaven of evil influence that speaks. The first clause is from Psalm 6:8.

119:113-120 Here is a dread of the risings of sin, and the first beginnings of it. The more we love the law of God, the more watchful we shall be, lest vain thoughts draw us from what we love. Would we make progress in keeping God's commands, we must be separate from evil-doers. The believer could not live without the grace of God; but, supported by his hand, his spiritual life shall be maintained. Our holy security is grounded on Divine supports. All departure from God's statutes is error, and will prove fatal. Their cunning is falsehood. There is a day coming which will put the wicked into everlasting fire, the fit place for the dross. See what comes of sin Surely we who fall so low in devout affections, should fear, lest a promise being left us of entering into heavenly rest, any of us should be found to come short of it, Heb 4:1.Depart from me, ye evil-doers - Workers of iniquity; bad men. See the notes at Psalm 6:8. This indicates a determined purpose that nothing should deter or allure him from the service of God. A man who wishes to serve God, and lead a religious life, must separate himself from the society, as such, of unprincipled people.

For I will keep the commandments of my God - This is my fixed resolution. It may be remarked here

(1) that bad people will turn away from the society of one who has formed such a resolution, and who carries it out;

(2) the resolution is a necessary one to be formed and executed, if a man will serve God;

(3) the formation and execution of such a purpose, is the best way to get rid of the society of bad people.

115-117. Hence he fears not wicked men, nor dreads disappointment, sustained by God in making His law the rule of life.

Depart from me—Ye can do nothing with me; for, &c. (Ps 6:8).

Ver. 115. And therefore will avoid your society and conversation, lest I should be hindered from that which is good, and drawn to sin by your evil counsel or example. Depart from me, ye evildoers,.... The same with the evil thinkers, Psalm 119:113; According to Aben Ezra, they that think evil commonly do it; as they devise it, they commit it. This describes such persons whose course of life is, and who make it their constant business to do, iniquity; such the psalmist desires to depart his presence, to keep at a distance from him, as being very disagreeable to him; and who would be a great hinderance to him in keeping the commandments of God, as follows: these same words will be spoken by David's son and antitype, at the great day of account, Matthew 7:23;

for I will keep the commandments of my God; of God who has a fight to command, and not of men, especially when opposed to the commands of God; of God, who is the covenant God and Father of his people; and whose covenant, grace, and favour, in choosing, redeeming, regenerating, and adopting them, lay them under greater obligations still to keep his commandments; and whose commandments are not grievous: and though they cannot be perfectly kept by good men, yet they are desirous of keeping them as well as they can, and determine in the strength of divine grace so to do; and which they do out of love to God, and with a view to his glory, without any selfish or mercenary ends. The Syriac version renders it, "that I may keep", &c. to which end he desires to be rid of the company of wicked men; who are both a nuisance to good men, and an hinderance in religious duties.

{b} Depart from me, ye evildoers: for I will keep the commandments of my God.

(b) And hinder me not to keep the law of the Lord.

115. Cp. Psalm 6:8.

for I will keep … my God] R.V. that I may keep. He would be rid of their presence, that they may no longer hinder him from keeping the law, by evil example or even by actual persecution. Significantly he calls God ‘my God,’ implying that though they profess to serve Him, He is not really theirs.Verse 115. - Depart from me, ye evildoers. There is no fellowship between light and darkness, between righteousness and unrighteousness (2 Corinthians 10:16). Good men must separate themselves from those who are manifestly workers of iniquity (comp. Psalm 6:8). For I will keep the commandments of my God (see ver. 106). Association with the wicked hinders men from keeping God's Law. Not only is there the danger of corruption (1 Corinthians 15:3;); but, at the best, attention is distracted, and energies weakened. The eightfold Nun. The word of God is his constant guide, to which he has entrusted himself for ever. The way here below is a way through darkness, and leads close past abysses: in this danger of falling and of going astray the word of God is a lamp to his feet, i.e., to his course, and a light to his path (Proverbs 6:23); his lamp or torch and his sun. That which he has sworn, viz., to keep God's righteous requirements, he has also set up, i.e., brought to fulfilment, but not without being bowed down under heavy afflictions in confessing God; wherefore he prays (as in Psalm 119:25) that God would revive him in accordance with His word, which promises life to those who keep it. The confessions of prayer coming from the inmost impulse of his whole heart, in which he owns his indebtedness and gives himself up entirely to God's mercy, he calls the free-will offerings of his mouth in Psalm 119:108 (cf. Psalm 50:14; Psalm 19:15). He bases the prayer for a gracious acceptance of these upon the fact of his being reduced to extremity. "To have one's soul in one's hand" is the same as to be in conscious peril of one's life, just as "to take one's soul into one's hand" (Judges 12:3; 1 Samuel 19:5; 1 Samuel 28:21; Job 13:14) is the same as to be ready to give one's life for it, to risk one's life.

(Note: Cf. B. Taanth 8a: "The prayer of a man is not answered אלא אם כן משׂים נפשׁו בכפו, i.e., if he is not ready to sacrifice his life.")

Although his life is threatened (Psalm 119:87), yet he does not waver and depart from God's word; he has taken and obtained possession of God's testimonies for ever (cf. Psalm 119:98); they are his "heritage," for which he willingly gives up everything else, for they (המּה inexactly for הנּה) it is which bless and entrance him in his inmost soul. In Psalm 119:112 it is not to be interpreted after Psalm 19:12 : eternal is the reward (of the carrying out of Thy precepts), but in Psalm 119:33 עקב is equivalent to לעד, and Psalm 119:44 proves that Psalm 119:112 need not be a thought that is complete in itself.

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