Rivers of waters run down my eyes, because they keep not your law.
I. THE DISHONOUR DONE TO GOD BY THE VIOLATION OF HIS LAW. If a man of warm loyalty were living amongst traitors, it would wound him to the quick to hear the king whom he honoured continually reviled. If a man of warm friendship were with the enemies of the object of his love, it would surely grieve him to observe how this friend was hated and despised. And what are such feelings, in comparison with those which should arise in the man of real piety, when he beholds on all sides denial of God and defiance of His laws? What loyalty is comparable to his, seeing that the principle takes its greatness from the greatness of the object, and that it is to none other than the Lord of heaven and earth that he has given his allegiance? What friendship is comparable to His?
II. THE RUIN WHICH TRANSGRESSORS ARE BRINGING ON THEMSELVES. The man who, like the psalmist, believes implicitly the Word of God and is thoroughly persuaded that all its threatenings will be executed. It is with him no matter of conjecture or speculation whether a life of wickedness will terminate in an eternity of misery. And who are these victims of Divine justice? Are they not; his fellow-men, his brethren after the flesh, those for whom he would bitterly sorrow if he knew them exposed to some great temporal calamity? Shall he, then, be unmoved by their everlasting wretchedness?
III. THE INJURY WHICH THEY ARE CAUSING TO OTHERS. It is said by the psalmist, in regard of God's commandments — "In keeping of them there is great reward." The reward is present as well as prospective. It is no small part of this reward, that such is the nature of God's commandments, and such the intimate and indissoluble connection between obedience and happiness, that in proportion as the commandments are kept, the worst forms of evil are banished, and the best of good introduced. Shall it not, then, be with a genuine and deep sorrow that the righteous man, eager for a period of universal happiness, beholds the transgressors who are deferring that period, and prolonging the reign of confusion and misery? Who will say that his grief would be excessive, greater than the occasion warranted, if he were to weep over men's sins with such a weeping as that of the psalmist?
(H. Melvill, B. D.)
Parallel VersesKJV: Rivers of waters run down mine eyes, because they keep not thy law.