Psalm 119:71
It is good for me that I have been afflicted; that I might learn thy statutes.
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(71) It is good . . .—See Psalm 119:67. Probably the result of discipline on the nation is intended, though the “sweet uses of adversity” were long ago a truism of moralists. See Æsch., Agam., 172:

“Who guideth mortals to wisdom, maketh them grasp lore

Firmly through their pain.”

Psalm 119:71-72. It is good for me — Necessary and very beneficial; that I have been afflicted — He repeats what, in effect, he said before, (Psalm 119:67,) partly to intimate the certainty and importance of this truth, and partly because it is a great paradox to worldly men, who generally esteem afflictions to be evils, yea, the worst of evils. The law of thy mouth — Not only thy promises, but even thy precepts, which are so unpleasant and disagreeable to ungodly men; are better unto me — More needful and profitable, and therefore more desirable; than thousands of gold and silver — Because they not only give me abundant satisfaction and comfort in this life, but also conduct me with safety and delight unto that eternal and most blessed life, where gold and silver bear no price.

119:65-72 However God has dealt with us, he has dealt with us better than we deserve; and all in love, and for our good. Many have knowledge, but little judgment; those who have both, are fortified against the snares of Satan, and furnished for the service of God. We are most apt to wander from God, when we are easy in the world. We should leave our concerns to the disposal of God, seeing we know not what is good for us. Lord, thou art our bountiful Benefactor; incline our hearts to faith and obedience. The psalmist will go on in his duty with constancy and resolution. The proud are full of the world, and its wealth and pleasures; these make them senseless, secure, and stupid. God visits his people with affliction, that they may learn his statutes. Not only God's promises, but even his law, his percepts, though hard to ungodly men, are desirable, and profitable, because they lead us with safety and delight unto eternal life.It is good for me that I have been afflicted - See the notes at Psalm 119:67. Whatever may have been the form of the affliction, it was good for me. The design was benevolent; the result has been my own benefit. This will be the experience sooner or later resulting from all the afflictions of the righteous.

That I might learn thy statutes - That I might be brought more fully to understand what they require; and that I might be led to conform to them. It is implied here

(a) that this is the tendency of affliction; and

(b) that this is an advantage - a good.

Anything that will lead a man to obey God is a blessing and a favor. Whatever leads a sinner to secure the salvation of his soul is a gain to him. No matter what it may cost; no matter what he may be required to give up; no matter to what persecutions and troubles it may expose him; no matter what he may suffer, or how long he may suffer; no matter though poverty, contempt, toil - even the rack or the stake - may be the consequence of his religion - yet it is again to him; and he will be thankful for it in the end - for nothing that can be endured in this life can be compared with the sufferings of the world of despair; nothing on earth can be "compared with the glory which shall be revealed in us in heaven." See the notes at Romans 8:18.

71, 72. So also affliction of any kind acts as a wholesome discipline in leading the pious more highly to value the truth and promises of God. Good; necessary, and greatly beneficial. He repeats what in effect he said before, Psalm 119:67, partly to intimate the certainty and importance of this truth, and partly because it is a great paradox to worldly men, who generally esteem afflictions to be evil, yea, the worst of evils.

It is good for me that I have been afflicted,.... The good and profit of which he had observed before; See Gill on Psalm 119:67. The following end being also answered thereby,

that I might learn thy statutes; to understand them, and to keep them. Afflictions are sometimes as a school to the people of God, in which they learn much both of their duty and of their privileges; and when they are teaching and instructive, they are for good; see Psalm 94:12.

It is {d} good for me that I have been afflicted; that I might learn thy statutes.

(d) He confesses that before he was chastened he was rebellious as man by nature is.

71. Cp. Psalm 119:67.

Verse 71. - It is good for me that I have been afflicted (see the comment on ver. 67). That I might learn thy statutes. The whole nation "learnt God's statutes" by the affliction of the Babylonish Captivity. Individuals "learnt" them equally by their special chastisements. Psalm 119:71The eightfold Teth. The good word of the gracious God is the fountain of all good; and it is learned in the way of lowliness. He reviews his life, and sees in everything that has befallen him the good and well-meaning appointment of the God of salvation in accordance with the plan and order of salvation of His word. The form עבדּך, which is the form out of pause, is retained in Psalm 119:65 beside Athnach, although not preceded by Olewejored (cf. Psalm 35:19; Psalm 48:11; Proverbs 30:21). Clinging believingly to the commandments of God, he is able confidently to pray that He would teach him "good discernment" and "knowledge." טעם is ethically the capacity of distinguishing between good and evil, and of discovering the latter as it were by touch; טוּב טעם, good discernment, is a coupling of words like טוּב לב, a happy disposition, cheerfulness. God has brought him into this relationship to His word by humbling him, and thus setting him right out of his having gone astray. אמרה in Psalm 119:67, as in Psalm 119:11, is not God's utterance conveying a promise, but imposing a duty. God is called טּוב as He who is graciously disposed towards man, and מתיב as He who acts out this disposition; this loving and gracious God he implores to become his Teacher. In his fidelity to God's word he does not allow himself to be led astray by any of the lies which the proud try to impose upon him (Bttcher), or better absolutely (cf. Job 13:4): to patch together over him, making the true nature unrecognisable as it were by means of false plaster or whitewash (טפל, to smear over, bedaub, as the Targumic, Talmudic, and Syriac show). If the heart of these men, who by slander make him into a caricature of himself, is covered as it were with thick fat (a figure of insensibility and obduracy, Psalm 17:10; Psalm 73:7; Isaiah 6:10, lxx ἐτυρώθη, Aquila ἐλιπάνθη, Symmachus ἐμυαλώθη) against all the impressions of the word of God, he, on the other hand, has his delight in the law of God (שׁעשׁע with an accusative of the object, not of that which is delighted, Psalm 94:19, but of that which delights). How beneficial has the school of affliction through which he has attained to this, been to him! The word proceeding from the mouth of God is now more precious to him than the greatest earthly riches.
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