Psalm 119:79
Let those that fear you turn to me, and those that have known your testimonies.
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EXPOSITORY (ENGLISH BIBLE)
119:73-80 God made us to serve him, and enjoy him; but by sin we have made ourselves unfit to serve him, and to enjoy him. We ought, therefore, continually to beseech him, by his Holy Spirit, to give us understanding. The comforts some have in God, should be matter of joy to others. But it is easy to own, that God's judgments are right, until it comes to be our own case. All supports under affliction must come from mercy and compassion. The mercies of God are tender mercies; the mercies of a father, the compassion of a mother to her son. They come to us when we are not able to go to them. Causeless reproach does not hurt, and should not move us. The psalmist could go on in the way of his duty, and find comfort in it. He valued the good will of saints, and was desirous to keep up his communion with them. Soundness of heart signifies sincerity in dependence on God, and devotedness to him.Let those that fear thee turn unto me - Let thy friends be my friends. Let them show me favor, and count me among their companions. If the great and the powerful turn away from me; if they persecute me, and do me wrong; if they cast out my name as evil, and are unwilling to associate with me, yet let thy friends, however poor and humble, regard me with kindness, and reckon me among their number, and I shall be satisfied.

And those that have known thy testimonies - Thy law. Those who can see and appreciate the beauty of thy commandments. This is the ground of true friendship in religion - the common love of God, of his law, and of his service. This is a permanent ground of affection. All friendship founded on earthly distinctions; all derived from titled birth - from rank - from affluence - from civil, military, or naval renown - from beauty, strength, or nobleness of form - must be temporary; but that which is founded on attachment to God, to his law, and to the Saviour, will abide forever.

79, 80. Those who may have thought his afflictions an evidence of God's rejection will then be led to return to Him; as the friends of Job did on his restoration, having been previously led through his afflictions to doubt the reality of his religion. Turn unto me; either,

1. Turn their eyes to me as a spectacle of God’s wonderful mercy; or rather,

2. Turn their hearts and affections to me, which have been alienated from me, either by the artifices and calumnies of my adversaries, or by my sore and long distresses, which made them prone to think that either I had deceived them with false pretences, or that God for my sins had utterly forsaken me; which doubtless was a very grievous burden to David, who had a far greater esteem and affection for such persons than for all other men, and desired above all things to stand right in their opinions.

Known, i.e. loved and practised them; as words of knowledge are oft used. Let those that fear thee turn unto me,.... Whose companion he was fond of being, Psalm 119:63; There were some good men, it seems, that turned from him, took the part of his enemies, and sided with them against him, which was matter of grief to him. Some think this refers to the affair of Bathsheba; when some that feared the Lord, that had been familiar with him, did not choose to keep company with him, but abstained from his conversation, having so foully sinned, and brought forth dishonour to God and on his ways. Jarchi and Kimchi both make mention of this. Now this grieved David; and he desires of all things that they would turn to him again, and favour him with their company; who were the excellent in the earth, in whom was all his delight. The Targum is,

"turn to my doctrine;''

to hear it, receive it, profess it, and abide by it;

and those that have known thy testimonies; as such as fear the Lord do: they know them, and have a spiritual understanding of what they testify of; they know them, and love them, and delight in them; they know them, and own, acknowledge, and profess them; they know them, and keep, and observe them; and an excellent character this is.

Let those that fear thee {d} turn unto me, and those that have {e} known thy testimonies.

(d) That is, be comforted by my example.

(e) He shows that there can be no true fear of God without the knowledge of his word.

EXEGETICAL (ORIGINAL LANGUAGES)
79. and those that have known &c.] Even those who know. So the Q’rç, with LXX, Syr., Jer. The K’thîbh has and they shall know, or, that they may know, with the Targ. This gives the best sense. Let my experience of Thy mercy shew the godly the blessedness of keeping Thy testimonies.Verse 79. - Let those that fear thee turn unto me; or, "return to me;" i.e. recover their confidence in me, when they see that I am not forsaken of thee (see vers. 76, 77), but am the recipient of thy "tender mercies." And those that have known thy testimonies; or, according to another reading, "and let them know thy testimonies;" i.e. "let them learn from my experience to know thy precepts better." The eightfold Jod. God humbles, but He also exalts again according to His word; for this the poet prays in order that he may be a consolatory example to the God-fearing, to the confusion of his enemies. It is impossible that God should forsake man, who is His creature, and deny to him that which makes him truly happy, viz., the understanding and knowledge of His word. For this spiritual gift the poet prays in Psalm 119:73 (cf. on 73a, Deuteronomy 32:6; Job 10:8; Job 31:15); and he wishes in Psalm 119:74 that all who fear God may see in him with joy an example of the way in which trust in the word of God is rewarded (cf. Psalm 34:3; Psalm 35:27; Psalm 69:33; Psalm 107:42, and other passages). He knows that God's acts of judgment are pure righteousness, i.e., regulated by God's holiness, out of which they spring, and by the salvation of men, at which they aim; and he knows that God has humbled him אמוּנה (accus. adverb. for בּאמוּנה), being faithful in His intentions towards him; for it is just in the school of affliction that one first learns rightly to estimate the worth of His word, and comes to feel its power. But trouble, though sweetened by an insight into God's salutary design, is nevertheless always bitter; hence the well-justified prayer of Psalm 119:76, that God's mercy may notwithstanding be bestowed upon him for his consolation, in accordance with the promise which is become his (ל as in Psalm 119:49), His servant's. עוּת, Psalm 119:78, instead of being construed with the accusative of the right, or of the cause, that is perverted, is construed with the accusative of the person upon whom such perversion of right, such oppression by means of misrepresentation, is inflicted, as in Job 19:6; Lamentations 3:36. Chajug' reads עוּדוּני as in Psalm 119:61. The wish expressed in Psalm 119:79 is to be understood according to Psalm 73:10; Jeremiah 15:19, cf. Proverbs 9:4, Proverbs 9:16. If instead of וידעי (which is favoured by Psalm 119:63), we read according to the Chethb וידעוּ (cf. Psalm 119:125), then what is meant by ישׁוּבוּ לּי is a turning towards him for the purpose of learning: may their knowledge be enriched from his experience. For himself, however, in Psalm 119:80 he desires unreserved, faultless, unwavering adherence to God's word, for only thus is he secure against being ignominiously undeceived.
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