Psalm 119:173
Let thine hand help me; for I have chosen thy precepts.
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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.Let thine hand help me - Do thou help me - the hand being that by which we accomplish anything.

For I have chosen that precepts - I have chosen them as my comforters and my guide. I have resolved to obey them, and I pray that thou wilt help me to accomplish the purpose of my heart.

173, 174. (Compare Ps 119:77, 81, 92).

I have chosen—in preference to all other objects of delight.

Ver. 173. For my guide and companion, and chief joy and treasure.

Let thine hand help me,.... Let thine hand of power help me against mine enemies, and deliver me from them; and let thine hand of providence and grace communicate to me, and supply me with and help me to everything needful for me, for body and soul; for time and eternity, all grace here, and glory hereafter; let thy right hand help me on in my way, hold and uphold me, keep and preserve me safe to heaven and happiness;

for I have chosen thy precepts; not only the good part, which shall not be taken away, and the way of truth, Psalm 119:30; but even the commandments of God, which he preferred to the commandments of men, and choose rather to obey the one than the other; having a most ardent affection for them, an high esteem of them, and a strong attachment to them; see Psalm 119:127.

Let thine hand help me; for I have chosen thy precepts.
173. Let thine hand be ready to help me (R.V.).

for &c.] Psalm 119:174 is best taken in close connexion with Psalm 119:173 b. He pleads three reasons for an answer to his prayers:—he has deliberately resolved to obey God’s precepts (cp. Psalm 119:30; Deuteronomy 30:19); he has long been waiting eagerly for deliverance from the hindrances to obedience which surround him (cp. Psalm 119:40; Psalm 119:166); his devotion has been no grudging service, but his constant delight (Psalm 119:24 &c.).

Verse 173. - Let thine hand help me; literally, be to help me; i.e. be ever ready to help me. For I have chosen thy precepts. I have cast aside all other helpers, and have pinned my faith on thee and thy Word. Psalm 119:173The eightfold Tav. May God answer this his supplication as He has heard his praise, and interest Himself on behalf of His servant, the sheep that is exposed to great danger. The petitions "give me understanding" and "deliver me" go hand-in-hand, because the poet is one who is persecuted for the sake of his faith, and is just as much in need of the fortifying of his faith as of deliverance from the outward restraint that is put upon him. רנּה is a shrill audible prayer; תּחנּה, a fervent and urgent prayer. ענה, prop. to answer, signifies in Psalm 119:172 to begin, strike up, attune (as does ἀποκρίνεσθαι also sometimes). According to the rule in Psalm 50:23 the poet bases his petition for help upon the purpose of thankful praise of God and of His word. Knowing how to value rightly what he possesses, he is warranted in further supplicating and hoping for the good that he does not as yet possess. The "salvation" for which he longs (תּאב as in Psalm 119:40, Psalm 119:20) is redemption from the evil world, in which the life of his own soul is imperilled. May then God's judgments (defective plural, as in Psalm 119:43, Psalm 119:149, which the Syriac only takes a singular) succour him (יעזּרני, not יעזרני). God's hand, Psalm 119:173, and God's word afford him succour; the two are involved in one another, the word is the medium of His hand. After this relationship of the poet to God's word, which is attested a hundredfold in the Psalm, it may seem strange that he can say of himself תּעיתי כּשׂה אבד; and perhaps the accentuation is correct when it does not allow itself to be determined by Isaiah 53:6, but interprets: If I have gone astray - seek Thou like a lost sheep Thy servant. שׂה אבד is a sheep that is lost (cf. אבדים as an appellation of the dispersion, Isaiah 27:13) and in imminent danger of total destruction (cf. Psalm 31:13 with Leviticus 26:38). In connection with that interpretation which is followed by the interpunction, Psalm 119:176 is also more easily connected with what precedes: his going astray is no apostasy; his home, to which he longs to return when he has been betrayed into by-ways, is beside the Lord.
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