Psalm 119:59
I thought on my ways, and turned my feet to your testimonies.
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EXPOSITORY (ENGLISH BIBLE)
(59) I thought on.—The Hebrew implies repeated and frequent meditation.

Psalm 119:59-61. I thought on my ways — I seriously considered both my former conduct, and my duty in all my future actions; and turned my feet unto thy testimonies — And finding my feet had too often swerved from the rule thou hast given us to walk by, I turned them to it. And although the ways of sinful pleasure and advantage were presented to my mind, yet I rejected them, and turned myself wholly to thy ways. I made haste, &c. — Being fully convinced of the necessity and excellence of obedience, I immediately resolved upon it, and began to execute my resolution. The bands of the wicked have robbed me — Or, made a prey of me; done me many injuries for my respect to thy law. The LXX. render it, σχοινια αμαρτωλων περιεπλακησαν μοι, the cords, or snares of sinners have entangled me; with which the Vulgate and Houbigant agree.119:57-64 True believers take the Lord for the portion of their inheritance, and nothing less will satisfy them. The psalmist prayed with his whole heart, knowing how to value the blessing he prayed for: he desired the mercy promised, and depended on the promise for it. He turned from by-paths, and returned to God's testimonies. He delayed not. It behoves sinners to hasten to escape; and the believer will be equally in haste to glorify God. No care or grief should take away God's word out of our minds, or hinder the comfort it bestows. There is no situation on earth in which a believer has not cause to be thankful. Let us feel ashamed that others are more willing to keep from sleep to spend the time in sinful pleasures, than we are to praise God. And we should be more earnest in prayer, that our hearts may be filled with his mercy, grace, and peace.I thought on my ways - This language most naturally refers to the time of conversion, and may be employed without impropriety to describe the process of a sinner's turning to God. It would seem to be descriptive of the experience of the author of the psalm when he became personally interested in the subject of religion. The first step in such a work is reflection on the course of life which has been led; on the guilt of such a course; and on the consequences. It is a pause in the career of sin and folly - a pause for reflection and thought. Compare Luke 15:17-18. No one is converted without such reflection; and as soon as a sinner can be made to pause and reflect on his course, there is hope that he will be converted. Assuredly it is proper for all, whatever may be their circumstances in life, to pause from time to time; to reflect; to ask what will be the consequences of the course of life which is pursued.

And turned my feet - Changed my course of life. He himself did this in fact; and he does not hesitate to say that it was he who thus turned. His own agency was employed. He does not say that he "waited" for God to turn him; or that he found he could not turn of himself, but that he turned; he paused; he reflected; he changed his course of life. This is true in conversion always. There is an actual turning from sin; an actual turning to God. The sinner turns. He leaves an old path, and treads a new one. He does this as the conscious result of reflection on the course which he was pursuing; and there is nothing in his actual turning, or in his whole future course, which is not the proper result of reflection, or which a proper reflection on the course of life would not lead to and justify. Man himself is always active in conversion. That is, he does something; he changes; he repents; he believes; he turns to God; it is not God that changes, that repents, that believes, that turns; it is the man himself. It is, indeed, by the grace and help of God; but the effect of that grace is not to make him idly wait; it is to rouse him to effort; to lead him to act.

Unto thy testimonies - Thy law, considered as the divine testimony in regard to what is right.

59. So the prodigal son, when reduced to straits of misery (Lu 15:17, 18). I seriously considered both my former counsels and courses, that I might be humbled for my past errors, and might now amend them, and my duty in all my future actions. And finding that my feet had too often swerved from thy rule, I turned them to it. And although the ways of sinful pleasure and advantage were presented to my mind, yet I rejected them, and turned myself wholly to thy ways. I thought on my ways,.... What they were, whether right or wrong; whither they led, what would be the consequences of walking in them: the Septuagint and Arabic versions read, "thy ways"; no doubt the psalmist thought of both; of his own ways, in which he had walked; and of God's ways, which he directed him to walk in: and, considering the superior pleasure and profit of the latter, he preferred them to the former. The Targum is, "I thought to mend my ways", or "make them good". Hence he took the following step:

and turned my feet unto thy testimonies; betook himself to the word of God, which testifies of his will, and directs to those ways he would have his people to walk in; and he steered his course of life and actions thereby; he turned from his own ways into the ways of God; under the influence of divine grace, he turned, being turned.

I thought on my {b} ways, and turned my feet unto thy testimonies.

(b) He shows that no one can embrace the word of God, unless he considers his own imperfections and ways.

EXEGETICAL (ORIGINAL LANGUAGES)
59, 60. The diligent consideration of his conduct has ever led him back to order the course of his life in accordance with those laws which attest the Will of God and protest against man’s wilfulness, and that without hesitation or procrastination.Verse 59. - I thought on my ways; i.e. I examined my conduct in the past, considered it, and passed judgment upon it. And turned my feet unto thy testimonies. When I found my conduct amiss, I altered it, turning my feet into the way of thy commandments. The eightfold Zajin. God's word is his hope and his trust amidst all derision; and when he burns with indignation at the apostates, God's word is his solace. Since in Psalm 119:49 the expression is not דּברך but דּבר, it is not to be interpreted according to Psalm 98:3; Psalm 106:45, but: remember the word addressed to Thy servant, because Thou hast made me hope (Piel causat. as e.g., נשּׁה, to cause to forget, Genesis 41:51), i.e., hast comforted me by promising me a blessed issue, and hast directed my expectation thereunto. This is his comfort in his dejected condition, that God's promissory declaration has quickened him and proved its reviving power in his case. In הליצוּני (הליצוּני), ludificantur, it is implied that the זדים eht taht d are just לצים, frivolous persons, libertines, free-thinkers (Proverbs 21:24). משׁפּטיך, Psalm 119:52, are the valid, verified decisions (judgments) of God revealed from the veriest olden times. In the remembrance of these, which determine the lot of a man according to the relation he holds towards them, the poet found comfort. It can be rendered: then I comforted myself; or according to a later usage of the Hithpa.: I was comforted. Concerning זלעפה, aestus, vid., Psalm 11:6, and on the subject-matter, Psalm 119:21, Psalm 119:104. The poet calls his earthly life "the house of his pilgrimage;" for it is true the earth is man's (Psalm 115:16), but he has no abiding resting-place there (1 Chronicles 29:15), his בּית עולם (Ecclesiastes 12:5) is elsewhere (vid., supra, Psalm 119:19, Psalm 39:13). God's statutes are here his "songs," which give him spiritual refreshing, sweeten the hardships of the pilgrimage, and measure and hasten his steps. The Name of God has been in his mind hitherto, not merely by day, but also by night; and in consequence of this he has kept God's law (ואשׁמרה, as five times besides in this Psalm, cf. Psalm 3:6, and to be distinguished from ואשׁמרה, Psalm 119:44). Just this, that he keeps (observat) God's precepts, has fallen to his lot. To others something else is allotted (Psalm 4:8), to him this one most needful thing.
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