Psalm 119:140
In this section we have, mainly, a further eulogium of God's Word. Righteousness is the key-note of these verses, even as the initial letter with which they all begin is the first and prominent letter in the Hebrew word for "righteousness." But the remembrance of the righteousness of the Word of the Lord sends his thoughts to the righteousness of the Lord himself. The name of Jehovah does not often occur in this psalm, but here it is openly and emphatically given. For the most part the psalmist has been praising the richness and volume and preciousness of the stream, which, of course, could not be done without implicitly praising the fountain whence the stream issued. But here that fountain - the righteous Jehovah - is explicitly named and glorified. It is good to rise up from the gifts to the Giver of all. Note -

I. JEHOVAH IS RIGHTEOUS. (Ver. 137.) To receive, retain, and hand on this foundation-truth was Israel's great function. To no other nation had God so revealed himself. It was not merely the unity of God that Israel was commissioned to teach, but, what was yet more important, the righteousness of God. But no other nation knew either the one truth or the other. When we remember that men become like the gods they worship, it is evident that the truth of the righteousness of Jehovah cannot be over-estimated in its practical power. And today, amongst ourselves, it is the foundation and stability of all our national life. We cannot understand all we see, but we can and do believe in a righteous God.

II. HIS RIGHTEOUSNESS IS EVERLASTING. (Ver. 142.) In days when the oppression of ungodly men was rampant and raging ruthlessly against the righteous, what could sustain their soul but this immovable conviction that the Lord's righteousness was everlasting? It might be for a while obscured, but it should surely shine out again ere long. Men die, but God liveth (Psalm 90:1).

III. HE HAS GIVEN TO US TESTIMONIES OF HIMSELF. (Ver. 138.) The Scriptures in a very real sense are God's Word. They contain, embody, and enshrine it for all generations. To assert that they are of purely human origin, as are the poems of Homer, the works of Shakespeare, or any other product of human genius, is to be insensible to their distinguishing characteristic as a revelation of God. The treasure is often in earthen vessels, but it is there all the same, and is ever to be distinguished from the vessel that contains it.

IV. THESE TESTIMONIES ARE THEMSELVES RIGHTEOUS. (Vers. 138, 140.) Compare them with any, even the purest of human laws, or philosophies, or sacred literatures, and let honest verdict be given: will not their righteousness shine out as the light? There are few who will now dispute this.

V. THEIR RIGHTEOUSNESS, LIKE HIS WHO GAVE THEM, IS EVERLASTING. The lapse of ages, the increased light of science and experience, the testing to which they have been and yet are perpetually subjected, has not lessened, but rather heightened, the estimate of their righteousness (ver. 144).

VI. THE RESULTS OF THESE CONVICTIONS UPON THE BELIEVING SOUL.

1. Intense zeal. (Ver. 139.)

2. Ardent love. (Ver. 140.)

3. Affectionate retention of God's Word in the memory. (Ver. 141.)

4. Rejoicing in tribulation. (Ver. 143.)

5. Longing to understand more. (Ver. 144.) - S.C.







Thy Word is very pure; therefore Thy servant loveth it.
Homiletic Review.
1. A love to Divine things for the beauty of their moral excellency is the spring of all holy affections.

2. There is given to believers a new, supernatural sense, which perceives the beauty of holiness and is affected thereby. A holy object calls out a holy affection. The beauty and sweetness of holiness as found in God forms the grand object of a spiritual taste and appetite.

3. This moral beauty in God leads to the adoration of God by saint and angel.CONCLUSIONS.

1. By this all may try their affections, their love and their joy. Graceless persons see no beauty in holy things.

2. The natural mind may have a great sense of God's greatness, wisdom and power: that is, of His natural attributes.

3. This sense of the natural mind may affect men in various ways — fill them with awe and terror, or with joy and praise. Hence too much stress may be placed upon the mere natural discoveries of the natural attributes in God. Man may be overwhelmed by a sense of God's greatness and majesty, and yet be without a particle of love to Divine things. But to the spiritual mind the natural attributes of God are all the more engaging because they are supplemented by His moral attributes.

4. And so, I may add, what love to Divine things do those possess who seem to be filled with worldliness, and are so fond of operas, theatres and frivolous amusements?

(Homiletic Review.)

(P. B. Version: — Notice a few of the ways in which the Word of God has been tried and found perfect.

I. BY PROPHECY. Things, and events, and persons have been foretold and described in it with the minutest detail, and they have all in due time been accomplished; as the seed of the woman predicted in Paradise, the deluge, the birth of Isaac, and Abraham's numerous posterity, the respective characters of Jacob and Esau, the future history of the twelve tribes, foretold by Jacob on his death-bed, the prophet like unto Moses, the 430 years of Israel's wanderings, the deliverance from Egypt, and possession of Palestine, etc.

II. BY MIRACLES. Tried to the uttermost has the Word of God been by miracles of every variety, performed on every element, on the living and the dead, on fire and water, on Satan and his legions, on disease, the brute creation, and especially by the Resurrection and Ascension of our Lord.

III. BY PERSECUTION. Satan and wicked men have often tried to quench this spirit from Heaven. As Ahab hated Michaiah, and for the same reason, because "he told him the truth," men have fettered and silenced and destroyed the Word of God. Jehoiakim was not the only one who cut and burnt the sacred Scriptures. It has been tried to the uttermost in the furnace of persecution, and the result is that it is "very pure," proved more manifestly than ever to be from heaven.

IV. BY SCIENCE.

V. BY EXPERIENCE. Thousands, millions have proved it to be God's power unto salvation. It has enlightened, renewed, comforted, and saved them.

(John Harding, D. D.)

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