Psalm 119:171
My lips shall utter praise, when you have taught me your statutes.
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(171) Shall utter.—Better, preserving the metaphor of the Hebrew, pour forth a stream of praise.

119:169-176 The psalmist desired grace and strength to lift up his prayers, and that the Lord would receive and notice them. He desired to know more of God in Christ; to know more of the doctrines of the word, and the duties of religion. He had a deep sense of unworthiness, and holy fear that his prayer should not come before God; Lord, what I pray for is, what thou hast promised. We have learned nothing to purpose, if we have not learned to praise God. We should always make the word of God the rule of our discourse, so as never to transgress it by sinful speaking, or sinful silence. His own hands are not sufficient, nor can any creature lend him help; therefore he looks up to God, that the hand that had made him may help him. He had made religion his deliberate choice. There is an eternal salvation all the saints long for, and therefore they pray that God would help their way to it. Let thy judgments help me; let all ordinances and all providences, (both are God's judgments,) further me in glorifying God; let them help me for that work. He often looks back with shame and gratitude to his lost estate. He still prays for the tender care of Him who purchased his flock with his own blood, that he may receive from him the gift of eternal life. Seek me, that is, Find me; for God never seeks in vain. Turn me, and I shall be turned. Let this psalm be a touchstone by which to try our hearts, and our lives. Do our hearts, cleansed in Christ's blood, make these prayers, resolutions and confessions our own? Is God's word the standard of our faith, and the law of our practice? Do we use it as pleas with Christ for what we need? Happy those who live in such delightful exercises.My lips shall utter praise, when thou hast taught me thy statutes - The sentiment here is the same as in Psalm 119:7. The language is varied, but the meaning here, as in that verse, is, I will praise thee in proportion as I learn thy precepts or thy law. The more I learn of thy will, the more I will praise thee. I shall see more for which to offer praise and adoration, and I shall be more and more inclined to praise and adore time. Each new degree of knowledge will excite a corresponding desire to praise thee. This will be true of all who love God, while this life lasts, and forever. The ever-increasing knowledge of God will excite ever-increasing praise; and as God is infinite and eternal, it follows that the increase of knowledge and of happiness, in those who are saved, will be eternal. These things will go hand in hand forever and ever. 171, 172. shall utter—or, "pour out praise" (compare Ps 19:2); shall cause Thy praises to stream forth as from a bubbling, overflowing fountain.Ver. 171. No text from Poole on this verse. My lips shall utter praise,.... Like water flowing from a fountain, as the word (m) signifies. The heart of a good man is like a fountain of water, abounding: with good things, and his mouth is a well of life; out of the abundance of grace and good things in his heart his mouth speaks, John 4:14; and particularly his heart is filled with praise and thankfulness for the many blessings of providence and grace enjoyed; his lips show it forth; it comes flowing from him freely and readily, without force and compulsion, largely and plentifully, constantly and continually, and with great vehemence and strength, as streams from a fountain;

when thou hast taught me thy statutes: which is what the psalmist often prays for in this psalm; and signifies he should be very thankful to God for, and should sincerely praise him, could he obtain this favour; see Psalm 119:7.

(m) "profundent", Vatablus, Musculus; "ebullient", Piscator, Gejerus; "scaturiunt", Cocceius; "scaturient", Michaelis.

My lips shall {b} utter praise, when thou hast {c} taught me thy statutes.

(b) The word means to pour forth continually.

(c) All his prayer and desire is to profit in the word of God.

171, 172. Let my lips pour forth praise,

Because thou teachest me thy statutes.

Let my tongue sing of thy word,

For all thy commandments are righteousness.

The optative form of the verb in Psalm 119:172 is in favour of a similar rendering in Psalm 119:171. He prays for a spirit of joyous, exuberant thankfulness for God’s continuous teaching, and for the character of the law which is the substance of that teaching.Verse 171. - My lips shall utter praise, when thou hast taught me thy statutes; rather, let my lips pour forth praise, for thou teachest me thy statutes. The psalmist feels that his prayer for enlightenment (ver. 169b) is answered, or just about to be answered, and that therefore it behooves him to gush forth with praise like a fountain (comp. ver. 7). The eightfold ש (both Shin and Sin)

(Note: Whilst even in the oldest alphabetical Pijutim the Sin perhaps represents the Samech as well, but never the Shin, it is the reverse in the Biblical alphabetical pieces. Here Sin and Shin coincide, and Samech is specially represented.)).

In the midst of persecution God's word was still his fear, his joy, and his love, the object of his thanksgiving, and the ground of his hope. Princes persecute him without adequate cause, but his heart does not fear before them, but before God's words (the Ker likes the singular, as in Psalm 119:147), to deny which would be to him the greatest possible evil. It is, however, a fear that is associated with heartfelt joy (Psalm 119:111). It is the joy of a conflict that is rewarded by rich spoil (Judges 5:30, Isaiah 9:3). Not merely morning and evening, not merely three times a day (Psalm 55:18), but seven times (שׁבע as in Leviticus 26:18; Proverbs 24:16), i.e., ever again and again, availing himself of every prayerful impulse, he gives thanks to God for His word, which so righteously decides and so correctly guides, is a source of transcendent peace to all who love it, and beside which one is not exposed to any danger of stumbling (מכשׁול, lxx σκάνδαλον, cf. 1 John 2:10) without some effectual counter-working. In Psalm 119:166 he speaks like Jacob in Genesis 49:18, and can speak thus, inasmuch as he has followed earnestly and untiringly after sanctification. He endeavours to keep God's law most conscientiously, in proof of which he is able to appeal to God the Omniscient One. שׁמרה is here the 3rd praet., whereas in Psalm 86:2 it is imperat. The future of אהב is both אהב and אהב, just as of אחז both אחז and אאחז.

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