Psalm 119


This is the longest of the Psalms within the book and the author is not known. However, a few commentators suggest it was written by Nehemiah, Ezra or David.

Adam Clarke, in his commentary, says the following.

‘Although most judicious interpreters assign it to the times of the Babylonian captivity; yet there are so many things in it that are descriptive of David’s state, experience and affairs, that I am led to think it might have come from his pen’

This psalm which emphasises glory to God and His Word is divided into 22 sections, each beginning with a letter of the Hebrew alphabet, as do many other psalms, Psalm 9 / Psalm 10 / Psalm 25 / Psalm 34 / Psalm 37 / Psalm 111 / Psalm 112 / Psalm 119 / Psalm 145.

The word ‘torah’, that is, the word ‘law’ is used 25 times in this psalm and refers to God’s teaching. The word, ‘dabar’, that is, ’word’ is used 24 times in this psalm and refers to God’s spoken word.

The word ‘mispatim’, that is ‘judgements’ is used 23 times and refers to god’s judgments. The words ‘deut and edot’, that is, ‘testimonies’ is used 23 times and refer to the witness of God’s word.

The words ‘miswah and miswot’, that is ‘commandments’ is used 22 times and refer to the commands of God. The word ‘huqqim’ that is, ‘statutes’ is used 21 times and refers to God’s written word. The word ‘piqqudim’, that is ‘precepts’ is used 21 times and refers to particular instructions of God.

The word ‘imrah’, that is ‘word’ is used 19 times, this word has a similar meaning to ‘imrah’ but generally means anything which God has spoken.

The theme of the psalm is the glorious word, or the law of God, and our obedience to the law.


‘This psalm contains sundry prayers, praises, and professions of obedience.’

The NIV doesn’t offer a heading for this psalm, but the KJV does. Although the headings aren’t inspired by God, they are important because they give us some understanding of the Psalm and they help us to see why it was written. The headings usually tell us four things.

1. Who wrote them, probably wrote them or possibly wrote them.

2. Information about the historical background to the Psalm. Why it was written.

3. They tell us of the tune the Psalm was written to.

4. How it was used.

The heading tells us this psalm contains sundry prayers, praises, and professions of obedience.


‘Blessed are those whose ways are blameless, who walk according to the law of the LORD. Blessed are those who keep his statutes and seek him with all their heart—they do no wrong but follow his ways. You have laid down precepts that are to be fully obeyed. Oh, that my ways were steadfast in obeying your decrees! Then I would not be put to shame when I consider all your commands. I will praise you with an upright heart as I learn your righteous laws. I will obey your decrees; do not utterly forsake me.’ Psalm 119:1-8

The psalmist begins by telling us it is those who are happy, those who keep themselves blameless in reference to their obedience to God’s law.

It’s those who are blessed who constantly seek God with all their heart, Deuteronomy 10:12 / Matthew 22:37. Those who are blessed are those who don’t do wrong but follow God’s ways.

It’s those people who aren’t ashamed of being obedient to God’s ways, they are totally focused on the will of God. As a result of that obedience, the psalmist would praise God, learn His laws and they would have confidence that God wouldn’t forsake them.


‘How can a young person stay on the path of purity? By living according to your word. I seek you with all my heart; do not let me stray from your commands. I have hidden your word in my heart that I might not sin against you. Praise be to you, LORD; teach me your decrees. With my lips I recount all the laws that come from your mouth. I rejoice in following your statutes as one rejoices in great riches. I meditate on your precepts and consider your ways. I delight in your decrees; I will not neglect your word.’ Psalm 119:9-16

The psalmist tells us that the only way a young person can purify their ways was by dedicating their life to God’s commandments, 2 Timothy 2:22.

Anyone who keeps themselves close to God’s commands, decrees, statutes, and precepts will have a better chance of staying faithful to God and His ways. The closer we stay to God’s ways, the less chance there is of falling away from God and His ways.

When we read God’s word regularly, His word helps us to remain pure in His sight, Ephesians 5:26 / John 15:3, it cleanses us and keeps us pure, John 15:3 / John 17:17.

When we meditate upon God’s word, we will renew our minds and be spiritually transformed, Romans 12:1-2. However, we must remember not only read God’s word, but we must also listen to what it says and do it, Proverbs 2:10-12 / Matthew 4:1-10 / James 1:22.

The only way a person can really rejoice as one rejoices in great riches is to have a knowledge of God’s word and follow what they are reading. In other words, the real joy comes when we are obedient to God’s word.


‘Be good to your servant while I live, that I may obey your word. Open my eyes that I may see wonderful things in your law. I am a stranger on earth; do not hide your commands from me. My soul is consumed with longing for your laws at all times. You rebuke the arrogant, who are accursed, those who stray from your commands. Remove from me their scorn and contempt, for I keep your statutes. Though rulers sit together and slander me, your servant will meditate on your decrees. Your statutes are my delight; they are my counsellors.’ Psalm 119:17-24

The goal of every righteous servant is to live according to God’s statutes and the reward is comfort and strength. When a righteous servant commits themselves to follow God’s word, they find life, insight and guidance.

When we read God’s word, our eyes begin to see wonderful things, in other words, our eyes are opened, Matthew 11:25 / Acts 9:18. When we commit ourselves to God’s word, we will often feel like we’re strangers on earth. This is because we often feel like we’re the only ones who genuinely care about God and His ways.

The world around us is full of arrogant and accursed people, it’s filled with those who have strayed from God’s commands and those who slander us. In a world like this, we all certainly need God to direct our ways through His word.

The psalmist tells us that the only way they could live in a world like this was by meditating and delighting in God’s decrees and allowing God’s statutes to be their counsellor, John 14:16.


‘I am laid low in the dust; preserve my life according to your word. I gave an account of my ways and you answered me; teach me your decrees. Cause me to understand the way of your precepts, that I may meditate on your wonderful deeds. My soul is weary with sorrow; strengthen me according to your word. Keep me from deceitful ways; be gracious to me and teach me your law. I have chosen the way of faithfulness; I have set my heart on your laws. I hold fast to your statutes, LORD; do not let me be put to shame. I run in the path of your commands, for you have broadened my understanding.’ Psalm 119:25-32

It appears the psalmist is in deep spiritual distress, hence, why they laid low in the dust, waiting to be renewed by God’s word. However, being filled with God’s word, they couldn’t stop themselves from speaking about God and His commands.

Their soul is weary with sorrow, hence, why they ask God that they be true to them. They don’t want to live deceitfully, 1 Samuel 21:2 / 1 Samuel 21:8 / 1 Samuel 27:8 / 1 Samuel 27:10, but deliberately chose to live faithfully.

The psalmist didn’t want to be put to shame, they wanted to gain more understanding of God’s commands and they wanted more joy and the only way to do this was to keep very close to the commands of God.


‘Teach me, LORD, the way of your decrees, that I may follow it to the end. Give me understanding, so that I may keep your law and obey it with all my heart. Direct me in the path of your commands, for there I find delight. Turn my heart toward your statutes and not toward selfish gain. Turn my eyes away from worthless things; preserve my life according to your word. Fulfil your promise to your servant, so that you may be feared. Take away the disgrace I dread, for your laws are good. How I long for your precepts! In your righteousness preserve my life.’ Psalm 119:33-40

The psalmist now pleads with God for help, that He will preserve their life. They wanted to understand God’s will but not just for knowledge’s sake, they wanted to understand it and obey it with all their heart. They wanted God to direct their ways through His word because that is where their delight was.

The only way to prevent them from going after selfish gain, Joshua 7:21 / Numbers 22 / 2 Samuel 11:2-17 / 1 Kings 21:1-13 / 2 Peter 2:14-16, the only way to keep themselves away from focusing on worthless things, Numbers 15:39 / Job 31:1, was to keep their minds off the things of the world and focus on the statutes of God, Philippians 2:13 / Philippians 4:8 / Colossians 3:1-2.

The psalmist asks God to fulfil His promise, so that God may be feared. In other words, they are asking God to fulfil His promise according to His word, Luke 1:38.

They ask God to take away the disgrace they dread, these are the insults they received from others because they followed God’s commands, 2 Corinthians 12:10 / 1 Timothy 4:10 / Hebrews 13:13 / 1 Peter 4:14.


‘May your unfailing love come to me, LORD, your salvation, according to your promise; then I can answer anyone who taunts me, for I trust in your word. Never take your word of truth from my mouth, for I have put my hope in your laws. I will always obey your law, for ever and ever. I will walk about in freedom, for I have sought out your precepts. I will speak of your statutes before kings and will not be put to shame, for I delight in your commands because I love them. I reach out for your commands, which I love, that I may meditate on your decrees.’ Psalm 119:41-48

The psalmist is seeking God’s unfailing love and salvation, which comes through being obedient to God’s word. When they focus on God’s word and His promises found within them, they will be able to face anyone who taunts them.

They ask God to never take His word of truth away from their mouth, John 17:17 / James 1:18, that is, they want to be totally committed to obeying God’s laws, and as a result, they would walk about in freedom, 1 Peter 2:16.

When a person is totally free, they will be able to boldly speak to kings without being put to shame, that is, without being intimidated.

When we trust God’s word, when we put our hope in God’s word, when we obey His laws and delight in His commands, when we love His commands and meditate upon them, then we are blessed with a sense of security.


‘Remember your word to your servant, for you have given me hope. My comfort in my suffering is this: Your promise preserves my life. The arrogant mock me unmercifully, but I do not turn from your law. I remember, LORD, your ancient laws, and I find comfort in them. Indignation grips me because of the wicked, who have forsaken your law. Your decrees are the theme of my song wherever I lodge. In the night, LORD, I remember your name, that I may keep your law. This has been my practice: I obey your precepts.’ Psalm 119:49-56

The psalmist is obviously feeling the pressure from those who are arrogant and wicked. They are suffering but they find hope and comfort in God’s word. Despite the suffering he was facing from the arrogant, they continued to remain faithfully obedient to God.

Their commitment to God caused them to have an anger toward the wicked, that is, those who were disobedient. Those who forsake God’s law often lead others to do the same, Luke 17:1-2.

We get the impression that the more the psalmist draws closer to God’s word, the more they are aware of the sin around them. Despite being mocked, despite the wicked, the psalmist says that God’s decrees are the theme of their songs where they live, Acts 16:25.

The psalmist remembers God’s Name in the night so that they will keep His law, in other words, God was constantly on their mind, Romans 10:17. Remembering God at night has been a long time practice of the psalmist, and as a result, they are able to obey His precepts.


‘You are my portion, LORD; I have promised to obey your words. I have sought your face with all my heart; be gracious to me according to your promise. I have considered my ways and have turned my steps to your statutes. I will hasten and not delay to obey your commands. Though the wicked bind me with ropes, I will not forget your law. At midnight I rise to give you thanks for your righteous laws. I am a friend to all who fear you, to all who follow your precepts. The earth is filled with your love, LORD; teach me your decrees.’ Psalm 119:57-64

The psalmist had made God his portion in life and it appears that they had sinned at some point but repented, 2 Corinthians 7:10. This was godly repentance because immediately after repenting, they didn’t waste any time in totally committing themselves to obey God’s law.

Despite being bound with robes by the wicked, they didn’t blame God but continued to be faithful to Him and His laws. This is seen in that they gave thanks to God at midnight.

He received a lot of encouragement from their friends, 1 Corinthians 15:33, that is, those who like them feared the Lord and follow His ways, Proverbs 1:7 / Proverbs 2:5 / Proverbs 9:10. The psalmist knows that the earth is filled with God’s love, Psalm 86:15, and wants God to teach them His decrees.


‘Do good to your servant according to your word, LORD. Teach me knowledge and good judgment, for I trust your commands. Before I was afflicted I went astray, but now I obey your word. You are good, and what you do is good; teach me your decrees. Though the arrogant have smeared me with lies, I keep your precepts with all my heart. Their hearts are callous and unfeeling, but I delight in your law. It was good for me to be afflicted so that I might learn your decrees. The law from your mouth is more precious to me than thousands of pieces of silver and gold.’ Psalm 119:65-72

The psalmist appears to reflect upon their life and comes to the conclusion that God has been good to them, despite living in an evil world. They wanted God to teach them knowledge and good judgment, that is spiritual discernment, Job 34:3 / Hebrews 5:14.

They had been afflicted because they went astray, but as a result, they drew closer to God and obey His word, 1 Thessalonians 3:3 / Hebrews 5:8 / Hebrews 12:11.

They had been afflicted because they went astray, but as a result, they learned God’s decrees. In other words, their once hard heart has now been softened by the word of God, Ephesians 4:19 / 1 Timothy 4:2.

Because they were committed to keeping God’s law, they were arrogantly smeared, but because they learned that obedience to God’s laws was more precious than a thousand pieces of silver and gold, Psalm 19:7-10. God’s word was now more valuable than anything the world had to offer, Luke 16:13-15.


‘Your hands made me and formed me; give me understanding to learn your commands. May those who fear you rejoice when they see me, for I have put my hope in your word. I know, LORD, that your laws are righteous, and that in faithfulness you have afflicted me. May your unfailing love be my comfort, according to your promise to your servant. Let your compassion come to me that I may live, for your law is my delight. May the arrogant be put to shame for wronging me without cause; but I will meditate on your precepts. May those who fear you turn to me, those who understand your statutes. May I wholeheartedly follow your decrees, that I may not be put to shame.’ Psalm 119:73-80

The psalmist reminds us that they were made and formed by God, Genesis 2:7 / Psalm 139:14, and since we’re created by God, it’s natural that we should allow God’s word to continue to form our souls, Hebrews 4:12.

The psalmist says that others will rejoice when they see the transformation in the psalmist’s life, Matthew 5:16 / Philippians 2:15. The psalmist had been afflicted by God and so they pray for relief from their affliction in order that they might survive their distress.

They appeal to God’s unfailing love, faithfulness and compassion in order that God will allow them to live, Job 1:21 / 1 Samuel 3:18 / 2 Samuel 16:11.

Their commitment to God had caused them to be persecuted by those who were arrogant and so, they ask that the arrogant be put to shame for wrong them without any excuse, Matthew 26:14-16 / Acts 5:1-11 / 1 Timothy 1:20 / 2 Timothy 4:10.

However, because of their commitment to God, they also gained more friends, more people who were committed to God and His commands. They know if they are wholeheartedly committed to keeping God’s decrees, they will not be put to shame like the arrogant.


‘My soul faints with longing for your salvation, but I have put my hope in your word. My eyes fail, looking for your promise; I say, “When will you comfort me?” Though I am like a wineskin in the smoke, I do not forget your decrees. How long must your servant wait? When will you punish my persecutors? The arrogant dig pits to trap me, contrary to your law. All your commands are trustworthy; help me, for I am being persecuted without cause. They almost wiped me from the earth, but I have not forsaken your precepts. In your unfailing love preserve my life, that I may obey the statutes of your mouth.’ Psalm 119:81-88

The psalmist appears to be in some kind of trouble, they were suffering, and so, they cry out to God for salvation. They are desperate, their eyes are failing to look for God’s promise to comfort them, 2 Corinthians 4:8-9 / 2 Corinthians 4:13.

Just as a wineskin gets blackened and wrinkled from smoke, this is how they feel. In other words, their suffering is making them feel older than they actually were.

They ask God to deliver them from those who arrogantly tried to persecute them by setting traps for them, 1 Samuel 28:6-7 / Jonah 4:7-9. The traps these arrogant people are setting up weren’t in accordance with God’s law, Exodus 21:33-34.

However, despite being persecuted for no cause, Psalm 35:19 / Matthew 5:10-12, the psalmist turned to God’s precepts for their deliverance. They turned to God’s unfailing love for life.


‘Your word, LORD, is eternal; it stands firm in the heavens. Your faithfulness continues through all generations; you established the earth, and it endures. Your laws endure to this day, for all things serve you. If your law had not been my delight, I would have perished in my affliction. I will never forget your precepts, for by them you have preserved my life. Save me, for I am yours; I have sought out your precepts. The wicked are waiting to destroy me, but I will ponder your statutes. To all perfection I see a limit, but your commands are boundless.’ Psalm 119:89-96

The psalmist appears to have been delivered from their suffering, from those who waited to destroy them and the reason for that was simply because they turned to God’s word, which is eternal and firm, Matthew 5:18 Isaiah 40:8 / Matthew 24:35 / 2 Timothy 3:16.

Despite the world around them changing all the time, they received comfort from God’s unchanging Word. The psalmist had learned from their own personal experience, that mankind has limitations when it comes to perfection, but there are no limits, no boundaries, to perfection in God’s word, Psalm 18:30 / Psalm 19:7.


‘Oh, how I love your law! I meditate on it all day long. Your commands are always with me and make me wiser than my enemies. I have more insight than all my teachers, for I meditate on your statutes. I have more understanding than the elders, for I obey your precepts. I have kept my feet from every evil path so that I might obey your word. I have not departed from your laws, for you yourself have taught me. How sweet are your words to my taste, sweeter than honey to my mouth! I gain understanding from your precepts; therefore I hate every wrong path.’ Psalm 119:97-104

The psalmist’s love is clear in that they meditated upon it all day long. Because God’s commands are always with them because they spend so much time meditating upon God’s word, they are wiser than their enemies, they have more insight than their teachers, the elders, and those who reject God’s word, Acts 4:13.

The psalmist didn’t become arrogant, thinking they knew everything, but because they feared God, they knew this was the beginning of wisdom.

It appears that the precepts of God had greater influence in their life than the traditions that had been handed to him by the teachers and elders who appear to have rejected God’s word, John 3:1-15.

The psalmist finds God’s word sweet to taste, sweeter than honey, Psalm 23:1-3 / Psalm 8:1 / Proverbs 27:7. As a result of tasting God’s sweet word, they made the deliberate decision not to follow every wrong path.


‘Your word is a lamp for my feet, a light on my path. I have taken an oath and confirmed it, that I will follow your righteous laws. I have suffered much; preserve my life, LORD, according to your word. Accept, LORD, the willing praise of my mouth, and teach me your laws. Though I constantly take my life in my hands, I will not forget your law. The wicked have set a snare for me, but I have not strayed from your precepts. Your statutes are my heritage forever; they are the joy of my heart. My heart is set on keeping your decrees to the very end.’ Psalm 119:105-112

The psalmist tells us that mankind can’t direct their own lives in order to please God. Mankind needs God’s word to help us live as we are supposed to, it’s God’s word which is a lamp for our feet, a light on our path, John 8:12.

In other words, it’s God’s word which helps us live the kind of life which God wants us to live, Ephesians 4:1 / Isaiah 57:2 / Micah 6:8 / 1 John 1:7.

Because God’s word was directing the psalmist’s life, they offered freewill offerings of praise and thanksgiving. They openly declare that their life was totally in God’s hands, and despite being surrounded by the wicked who try to trap them in a snare, they have kept God’s precepts.

God’s statutes are their heritage and they bring joy to their heart and they are determined to keep God’s decrees all the days of their lives, that is, they are committed to serving God all the days of their life.


‘I hate double-minded people, but I love your law. You are my refuge and my shield; I have put my hope in your word. Away from me, you evildoers, that I may keep the commands of my God! Sustain me, my God, according to your promise, and I will live; do not let my hopes be dashed. Uphold me, and I will be delivered; I will always have regard for your decrees. You reject all who stray from your decrees, for their delusions come to nothing. All the wicked of the earth you discard like dross; therefore I love your statutes. My flesh trembles in fear of you; I stand in awe of your laws.’ Psalm 119:113-120

The psalmist declares that they hate those who are double-minded, which means they are aware of the dangers these people pose to others, 1 Kings 18:21.

The psalmist says that God is their refuge and shield, that is, shelter and strength and they found safety only in God’s word, they trusted God’s word to keep them safe from those evildoers, Matthew 4:4 / Matthew 4:7 / Matthew 4:10.

They ask God to sustain, uphold and deliver them so that they can live and keep their hopes alive. The psalmist is confident that those who turn away from God’s word will come to nothing, they will be like dross, that is, the leftovers from the refining process, Isaiah 1:22 / Jeremiah 6:28-30 / Ezekiel 22:18-19.

The psalmist is fearful of God and as a result, they stand in awe of God’s laws.


‘I have done what is righteous and just; do not leave me to my oppressors. Ensure your servant’s well-being; do not let the arrogant oppress me. My eyes fail, looking for your salvation, looking for your righteous promise. Deal with your servant according to your love and teach me your decrees. I am your servant; give me discernment that I may understand your statutes. It is time for you to act, LORD; your law is being broken. Because I love your commands more than gold, more than pure gold, and because I consider all your precepts right, I hate every wrong path.’ Psalm 119:121-128

The psalmist tells us that they were being unfairly oppressed, it was unfair because what they had done was righteous and just. As a result of this unfair oppression, their eyes fail from looking for salvation and from looking for God’s religious promise, and so, they cry out to God for help, Job 17:3.

It’s a sad, but the general rule is that when people do what is right, they will often receive persecution from those who are evil, Matthew 5:11 / John 15:20. When the psalmist read God’s word, they were assured that they were right and their arrogant oppressors were wrong, Judges 21:25.

Despite their arrogant oppressors violating God’s laws by persecuting a righteous and just servant of God, the psalmist is determined to continue to love God’s commandments. They will love His commandments because they are more precious than gold, even pure gold, Matthew 6:24.

Because of God’s precepts, they are determined to hate every wrong path, which implies they are determined not to walk on the wrong path, Matthew 7:13-14.


‘Your statutes are wonderful; therefore I obey them. The unfolding of your words gives light; it gives understanding to the simple. I open my mouth and pant, longing for your commands. Turn to me and have mercy on me, as you always do to those who love your name. Direct my footsteps according to your word; let no sin rule over me. Redeem me from human oppression, that I may obey your precepts. Make your face shine on your servant and teach me your decrees. Streams of tears flow from my eyes, for your law is not obeyed.’ Psalm 119:129-136

The psalmist tells us when they realise that God’s statutes are wonderful, they will automatically obey them. When they open up God’s word, they find that the words give light and understanding even to the simple, that is, the innocent, this again encourages them to obey His word.

When the psalmist opens their mouth, they pant and want more of God’s commands. As a result, they desire to be closer to God so that they can receive God’s mercy. They want God’s word to direct their footsteps in order that they will stay away from sin, Romans 6:14 / 1 Corinthians 6:12.

By being obedient to God’s word, the psalmist will find freedom from human oppression, they want God’s face to shine on them, that is, they want God to show favour to them so that God can teach them His decrees.

Notice the psalmist is deeply moved, they are moved to tears because there are some who don’t obey God’s law, Matthew 23:37-39 / Mark 3:5.


‘You are righteous, LORD, and your laws are right. The statutes you have laid down are righteous; they are fully trustworthy. My zeal wears me out, for my enemies ignore your words. Your promises have been thoroughly tested, and your servant loves them. Though I am lowly and despised, I do not forget your precepts. Your righteousness is everlasting and your law is true. Trouble and distress have come upon me, but your commands give me delight. Your statutes are always righteous; give me understanding that I may live.’ Psalm 119:137-144

The psalmist declares that God is righteous and His laws are right and they declare that His statutes are trustworthy. Their zeal is wearing them out because their enemies ignore God’s word, Psalm 69:9 / John 2:13-17.

They acknowledge that God’s promises have been thoroughly tested, that is, God keeps His promises, and as a result, the psalmist loves them.

It’s God’s word, which is the word of truth, 2 Corinthians 6:7, it’s God’s word, which is the word of life, Philippians 2:16, it’s God’s word, which is filled with power, Hebrews 1:3.

Despite the psalmist feeling lowly and despised, 1 Samuel 16:10-13 / 2 Corinthians 11, they didn’t forget God’s precepts. They didn’t forget that God’s righteousness and law is true, John 18:37-38.

Despite being troubled and in distress, the psalmist found delight in God’s commands. God’s statutes give them understanding so that they may live, John 10:10.


‘I call with all my heart; answer me, LORD, and I will obey your decrees. I call out to you; save me and I will keep your statutes. I rise before dawn and cry for help; I have put my hope in your word. My eyes stay open through the watches of the night, that I may meditate on your promises. Hear my voice in accordance with your love; preserve my life, LORD, according to your laws. Those who devise wicked schemes are near, but they are far from your law. Yet you are near, LORD, and all your commands are true. Long ago I learned from your statutes that you established them to last forever.’ Psalm 119:145-152

It appears the psalmist is being oppressed and as a result, they wake up in the morning, Mark 1:35, crying out to God for help because they couldn’t sleep through the night, Luke 6:12.

It was during this time of oppression that they cry out to God for hope, and while meditating upon God’s promises, they receive that much-needed hope.

They ask God to preserve their life according to God’s love and God’s law because those who were wicked were devising evil schemes against them, these were the wicked who had no respect for God or His laws.

Despite what those wicked people were doing, the psalmist knew that God was near, Psalm 73:28 / Jeremiah 23:23, and His commands were true. They had learned from long ago, that God established His statues to remain forever.


‘Look on my suffering and deliver me, for I have not forgotten your law. Defend my cause and redeem me; preserve my life according to your promise. Salvation is far from the wicked, for they do not seek out your decrees. Your compassion, LORD, is great; preserve my life according to your laws. Many are the foes who persecute me, but I have not turned from your statutes. I look on the faithless with loathing, for they do not obey your word. See how I love your precepts; preserve my life, LORD, in accordance with your love. All your words are true; all your righteous laws are eternal.’ Psalm 119:153-160

The psalmist is suffering greatly and asks God to deliver them from those who had no respect for God’s law because they hadn’t forgotten God’s law.

They want God to defend their cause, Psalm 35:1 / Psalm 43:1 / Hosea 4:17, to redeem them and preserve their life as God has promised in His word.

The psalmist knows that those who practise wickedness will not receive salvation, because they don’t seek God’s decrees, Galatians 5:19-21. God’s compassion is great, Isaiah 1:18 / Isaiah 43:22-25, and the psalmist asks God to preserve their life according to God’s laws.

Despite their foes persecuting them, Matthew 13:20-21, they didn’t turn away from God’s statutes, despite their foes being faithless, and disobeying God’s word, they love God’s precepts because they preserve their life according to God’s love.

The psalmist knows that God’s word is true and His righteous laws are eternal. They have complete confidence that God will defend them, redeem them and preserve their life.

Sin and Shin

‘Rulers persecute me without cause, but my heart trembles at your word. I rejoice in your promise like one who finds great spoil. I hate and detest falsehood but I love your law. Seven times a day I praise you for your righteous laws. Great peace have those who love your law, and nothing can make them stumble. I wait for your salvation, LORD, and I follow your commands. I obey your statutes, for I love them greatly. I obey your precepts and your statutes, for all my ways are known to you.’ Psalm 119:161-168

The psalmist tells us that even the rulers of the land were persecuting them without any cause, nonetheless, they were more afraid of God’s word and they wouldn’t turn from it.

When they read God’s promises they rejoiced like someone who found some great buried treasure. They hate and detest anything which is false but loves God’s law.

They praise God seven times a day because of His righteous laws, that is, they constantly praised God throughout the day, Leviticus 26:28. As a result of praising God, they received God’s peace, Philippians 4:7, and were made stronger in their faith.

They will patiently wait on God to save them and they will continue to follow God’s commands. They obey His statutes and love them greatly and they obey God’s precepts and His statutes because God knows all their ways, Psalm 139:1-24 / Matthew 10:30 / Hebrews 4:13.

God’s word was going to protect them from turning away from God’s righteousness and because they will obey God, they will be blessed with life, peace, strength and comfort, Nahum 1:7 / John 10:10.


‘May my cry come before you, LORD; give me understanding according to your word. May my supplication come before you; deliver me according to your promise. May my lips overflow with praise, for you teach me your decrees. May my tongue sing of your word, for all your commands are righteous. May your hand be ready to help me, for I have chosen your precepts. I long for your salvation, LORD, and your law gives me delight. Let me live that I may praise you, and may your laws sustain me. I have strayed like a lost sheep. Seek your servant, for I have not forgotten your commands.’ Psalm 119:169-176

The psalmist asks that his cry is heard by God and asks for understanding according to God’s word. They also ask that their supplication be heard by God so that God would deliver them according to His promise.

They want to praise God continually with their mouths when God teaches them His decrees. They want to be able to sing God’s word, they want to sing of God’s righteous commands.

They want God’s hand to be ready to help them because they have chosen God’s precepts, that is, they have chosen to live by God’s commandments. They long for God’s salvation because it’s God’s law, which brings the delight of salvation, 1 Peter 1:23.

Just as a sheep strays away in the wilderness, the psalmist asks God to continue to direct them through His commandments, Romans 7:21. In other words, they are asking God to renew and transform their lives, Romans 12:2.

The psalmist describes themselves as a servant, Luke 17:10, who hasn’t forgotten God’s commands.


Someone once said, ‘The best evidence of the Bible’s being the word of God is to be found between its covers. It proves itself.’

Indeed, were it not for the proof within its pages of the inspiration that it claims for itself, the Bible would never have become the most widely circulated book in the world.

Every Christian ought not only to believe the Bible but he ought also to be able to thoroughly examine the foundation upon which that faith rests.

For it we don’t know why we believe the scriptures are inspired by God’s Holy Spirit, our faith in it and in Christ himself may be uprooted by the cynicism and scepticism of adverse Biblical critics.

Christian evidences is the term usually applied to the study of reasons for believing in the inspiration of the Bible and the religion of Jesus Christ.

Whole books have been written in this field, and it is impossible in the space allotted in this study to more than touch upon these things. The student who would like to study these matters in greater detail should secure one or more of the several fine books which have been written in defence of the Bible.

The Bible presents the highest standard of morality that the world has ever known. Never has the world known a finer rule than the golden rule, Matthew 7:12.

If anyone doubts the superiority of the Christian religion from a moral point of view, let him examine those countries in which the Bible has had little influence and see the degeneration of man.

The moral standard given by Christ are so superior to those of other religions that it is impossible to account for these principles except on the basis that they were divinely revealed.

Go To Psalm 120