Your hands have made me and fashioned me: give me understanding, that I may learn your commandments.
The psalmist has just come forth from some heavy affliction; but all through it God's Word has been his stay; and some of the results of such God-sustained affliction are shown in this section. They may be classed under the three heads of -
I. CONVICTION. This relates:
1. To the fact that his life has been ordered of God. (Ver. 73.) "Thy hands have," etc. He is speaking not merely of his body, that God created that, but rather he speaks of that as proof that all else concerning him had been made and fashioned of God - his life was according to the settled purpose and plan of God. "He knoweth the way that I take." Blessed is it when we come to recognize this truth; for then shall we know that we are not the sport of mere caprice or blind chance, but are under the control of God, who cannot err, and who, "like as a father, pitieth his children."
2. That in righteousness and faithfulness God had afflicted him. (Ver. 75.) Men find it very hard to say this now; they never do say it of themselves; but God's grace can enable a man to say it, as here and hereafter in heaven we shall say it. But it is good to be able to say it now.
II. ASSURANCE (ver. 74) that his trust in God under his affliction would win for him the glad welcome of those who feared God. The warm welcome of the people of God is one of the many recompenses with which those who for Christ's sake suffer will be met (Matthew 19:29).
III. PRAYERFULNESS. Note his petitions:
1. For understanding, so that he might learn, etc. (Ver. 73.) This is a petition he is perpetually offering (see vers. 34, 125, 144, 169, 27, 100, etc.). It implies that if men did but understand, their hearts would turn to God (Psalm 14:2; Psalm 82:5; Isaiah 6:10). And, undoubtedly, it would be so. The failure is not in the intellect, but in the heart.
2. For more knowledge of God's promised mercy (vers. 76, 77); so that he may be comforted thereby, and that he might live (ver. 77). Life without the realization of God's tender mercies would not be worth having.
3. For the bringing of the proud to shame, if so be God's will; if it were not, then he would not be without help, for he would meditate in, etc. (ver. 78).
4. For the friendship of the good. How blessed to have this (ver. 79)!
5. For soundness of heart in God's statutes. The heart is the all-important thing. - S.C.
Parallel VersesKJV: JOD. Thy hands have made me and fashioned me: give me understanding, that I may learn thy commandments.