Daily Family Worship

Psalm 119: 41-48: Love for the Lord’s Word

by | Jun 23, 2024

psalm 119: 41-48

In this octave of verses, holy fear of the Lord is apparent and prominent. The man of God trembles lest, in any way or degree, the Lord should remove His favor from him. The eight verses are one continued pleading for the abiding of grace in his soul, and it is supported by such holy arguments as would only suggest themselves to a spirit that burns with love to the Lord.

“Let thy mercies come also unto me, O Lord,” David prays. He desires mercy as well as teaching, for he was guilty as well as ignorant. He needed much mercy and various kinds of mercy, hence the request is in the plural: mercies. He needed mercy from God rather than from man, and so he asks for “thy mercies.” The way sometimes seemed blocked; and therefore, he begs that the mercies of God may have their way cleared by God, so that they may come to him. He Who said, “Let there be light” can also say, “Let there be mercy!” It may be that under a sense of unworthiness, the writer feared that mercy might be given to others, and not to himself; and so he cries, “Bless me, even me also, O my Father!” Viewed in this light, the words are tantamount to our well-known verse:

“Lord, I hear of showers of blessing

Thou art scattering, full and free;

Showers, the thirsty land refreshing;

Let some droppings fall on me,

Even me!”

It is as if David is praying, “Lord, Your enemies come to me to reproach me; let Your mercies come to defend me. Trials and troubles abound, and many labors and sufferings approach me. O Lord, let Your mercies, in great number, enter by the same gate and at the same hour; for are You not the God of my mercy?”

“Even thy salvation.” This is the sum and crown of all mercies: deliverance from all evil, both now and forever. Here is the first mention of salvation in this lengthy Psalm, and it is joined with mercy. Salvation is styled “thy salvation” – thus ascribing it entirely to the Lord. Our God is the God of salvation. What a mass of mercies are heaped together in the salvation bestowed upon us by our Lord Jesus! It includes the mercies which spare us before our conversion, and which lead up to it. Then comes calling mercy, regenerating mercy, converting mercy, justifying mercy, and pardoning mercy. Nor can we forget any of those many mercies which are needed to conduct the believer safely home to glory. Salvation is a collection of mercies that are incalculable in number, priceless in value, incessant in application, and everlasting in endurance. To the God of our mercies be glory, world without end!

“According to thy word.” The way of salvation is described in the Word, salvation itself is promised in the Word, and its inward manifestation is worked by the Word. So in all respects, the salvation which is in Christ Jesus is in accordance with the Word of God. David loved the Scriptures, but he longed to experimentally know the salvation contained in them. He was not satisfied to merely read the Word; he longed for the treasure which he knew he would discover in it. He was not content with simple chapter-and-verse knowledge; he wanted mercies and salvation.

Note that in the first verse of the “He” section of this Psalm (verse 33), David prayed to be taught to keep God’s Word; and here, in the “Vau” section, he begs the Lord to keep His Word. In the former portion, he longed to come to the God of mercies; and here he desires the Lord’s mercies to come to him. In the preceding section, he sought grace to persevere in faith; and here, in this portion, he seeks the end of his faith – namely, the salvation of his soul!

O Lord, we beseech You to keep Your Word to us, and to let Your mercies come unto us! We also pray for grace to meditate upon Your Word, and to grow to love it more and more. Amen.

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