Psalm 119:8
I will keep your statutes: O forsake me not utterly.
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119:1-8 This psalm may be considered as the statement of a believer's experience. As far as our views, desires, and affections agree with what is here expressed, they come from the influences of the Holy Spirit, and no further. The pardoning mercy of God in Christ, is the only source of a sinner's happiness. And those are most happy, who are preserved most free from the defilement of sin, who simply believe God's testimonies, and depend on his promises. If the heart be divided between him and the world, it is evil. But the saints carefully avoid all sin; they are conscious of much evil that clogs them in the ways of God, but not of that wickedness which draws them out of those ways. The tempter would make men think they are at them out of those ways. The tempter would make men think they are at liberty to follow the word of God or not, as they please. But the desire and prayer of a good man agree with the will and command of God. If a man expects by obedience in one thing to purchase indulgence for disobedience in others, his hypocrisy will be detected; if he is not ashamed in this world, everlasting shame will be his portion. The psalmist coveted to learn the laws of God, to give God the glory. And believers see that if God forsakes them, the temper will be too hard for them.I will keep thy statutes - Thy commands; thy laws. This expresses the firm purpose of the psalmist, He meant to keep the law of God; he could confidently say that he would do it - yet coupled with the prayer which follows, that God would not forsake him.

O forsake me not utterly - Hebrew, "To very much;" so as to leave me to myself. His confidence that he would keep the commandments of God was based on the prayer that God would not leave him. There is no other ground of persuasion that we shall be able to keep the commandments of God than that which rests on the belief and the hope that He will not leave us.

8. Recognizes the need of divine grace. I will keep thy statutes; it is my full purpose to do so, whatsoever it cost me.

Forsake me not utterly; not totally and finally; for then I shall fall into the foulest sins and greatest mischief. Not that he was contented to be forsaken in the least degree, but this he more especially deprecates, as he had great reason to do. I will keep thy statutes,.... This is a resolution taken up in the strength of divine grace, to answer the end of learning the judgments of God; which he did, not merely to have a notional knowledge of them, but to put them in practice; and not that he thought he could perfectly keep them, but was desirous of observing them in the best manner he could, as assisted by the grace of God; from love to God, in the faith and name of Christ, and with a view to the glory of God; without dependence upon them for life and salvation;

O forsake me not utterly; totally and finally, or not at all; otherwise as if he should say, I shall never be able to keep thy statutes; so sensible was he of the necessity of the divine Presence and grace, to assist him in the observance of them: or, "for ever", as Ben Balaam interprets it, and so the Ethiopic version; R. Moses reads the words, "O forsake me not", in a parenthesis, and joins the rest thus, "I will keep thy statutes vehemently"; or with all my strength and might; and so Kimchi reads them: but such an interpretation is very forced, and contrary to the accents.

I will keep thy statutes: O forsake me not {f} utterly.

(f) He does not refuse to be tried by temptations, but he fears to faint, if God does not help his infirmity in time.

8. ‘Edâh or ‘çdûth (sing. once, plur. 22 times), ‘testimony,’ LXX μαρτύρια. The idea of the word is “that of an attestation, or formal affirmation; hence, as referred to God, a solemn declaration of His Will on points (especially) of moral or religious duty, or a protest against human propensity to deviate from it.…” The word came to be used “as a general designation of moral and religious ordinances, conceived as a Divinely instituted standard of conduct.” The term ‘testimony’ in the singular is applied to the Decalogue “as a concise and forcible statement of God’s will and human duty” (Driver on Deuteronomy 4:45). Cf. Deuteronomy 4:45; Deuteronomy 6:17; Deuteronomy 6:20 : in the sing. çdûth is frequent in Ex., Lev., Num.

8. I will keep] R.V. I will observe, as in Psalm 119:4-5.

thy statutes] Ceremonies in P.B.V. is a curiously misleading rendering, taken from Münster’s caerimonias tuas. Coverdale’s version of 1535 has statutes.

O forsake me not utterly] As Israel in the Exile had been for a time forsaken by Jehovah as the punishment of its sin (Isaiah 49:14; Isaiah 54:7; cp. Deuteronomy 31:17).Verse 8. - I will keep thy statutes. This is my will and wish (see ver. 5); but, that I may be able to carry it out, O forsake me not utterly. Without thee I have no strength to do aright. The eightfold Aleph. Blessed are those who act according to the word of God; the poet wishes to be one of these. The alphabetical Psalm on the largest scale begins appropriately, not merely with a simple (Psalm 112:1), but with a twofold ashr. It refers principally to those integri viae (vitae). In Psalm 119:3 the description of those who are accounted blessed is carried further. Perfects,a s denoting that which is habitual, alternate with futures used as presents. In Psalm 119:4 לשׁמר expresses the purpose of the enjoining, as in Psalm 119:5 the goal of the directing. אחלי (whence אחלי, 2 Kings 5:3) is compounded of אח (vid., supra, p. 273) and לי (לוי), and consequently signifies o si. On יכּנוּ cf. Proverbs 4:26 (lxx κατευθυνθείησαν). The retrospective אז is expanded anew in Psalm 119:6: then, when I namely. "Judgment of Thy righteousness" are the decisions concerning right and wrong which give expression to and put in execution the righteousness of God.

(Note: The word "judgments" of our English authorized version is retained in the text as being the most convenient word; it must, however, be borne in mind that in this Psalm it belongs to the "chain of synonyms," and does not mean God's acts of judgment, its more usual meaning in the Old Testament Scriptures, but is used as defined above, and is the equivalent here of the German Rechte, not Gerichte. - Tr.)

בּלמדי refers to Scripture in comparison with history.

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