Psalm 119:76-77, Comfort from God’s word in a time of affliction; Commentary by David Guzik

Commentary from David Guzik
from Enduring Word Bible, Commentary David Guzik; Psalm 119

Psalm 119:75-77 Comfort from God’s word in a time of affliction.
“I know, O LORD, that Your judgments are right,
And that in faithfulness You have afflicted me.
Let, I pray, Your merciful kindness be for my comfort,
According to Your word to Your servant.
Let Your tender mercies come to me, that I may live;
For Your law is my delight.”

a. Your judgments are right… in faithfulness You have afflicted me: His attention upon God’s word has given the Psalmist wise and godly perspective even in seasons of suffering. He can proclaim the rightness of God’s judgments even when he is afflicted.

i. It is one thing to say, “God has the right to do with me as He pleases.” It is a greater thing to say that His judgments are right, and that in faithfulness You have afflicted me.

ii. “David not only acknowledges God’s right to deal with him as he saw fit, and even his wisdom in dealing with him as he actually had done, but his faithfulness in afflicting – not his faithfulness though he afflicted – but in afflicting him; not as if it were consistent with his love, but as the very fruit of his love.” (Bridges)

iii. This was the place Job eventually came to through his long and desperate struggle through the Book of Job. He came to know that the judgments of the LORD were right, and even understood God’s faithfulness in affliction.

· Job could say in his affliction, blessed be the name of the LORD (Job 1:21Open in Logos Bible Software (if available)).

· Eli could say in his affliction, It is the LORD. Let Him do what seems good to Him (1 Samuel 3:18).

· David could say in his affliction, Let him alone, and let him curse, for so the LORD has ordered him (2 Samuel 16:11).

· The Shunammite mother could say in her affliction, It is well (2 Kings 4:26).

b. Let, I pray, Your merciful kindness be for my comfort, according to Your word: The Psalmist prayed on solid ground, asking on the basis of promises made in God’s word. With such promises, he asked for merciful kindness in his affliction.

i. According to Your word: “Our prayers are according to the mind of God when they are according to the word of God.” (Spurgeon)

ii. “Lord, these promises were made to be made good to some, and why not to me? I hunger; I need; I thirst; I wait. Here is thy hand-writing in thy word… I am resolved to be as importunate [persistent to the point of annoyance] till I have obtained, and as thankful afterwards, as by they grace I shall be enabled… Thy promises are the discoveries of thy purposes, and vouchsafed [graciously given] as materials for our prayers; and in my supplications I am resolved every day to present and tender them back to thee.” (Prayer of Monica, the mother of Augustine; cited in Bridges)

c. Your word to Your servant: The Psalmist rightly received the Word of God as something personal to himself. It was not only a word to mankind in general, or even the covenant people; it was something personal to the Psalmist himself (Your servant).

d. Let Your tender mercies come to me, that I may live; for Your law is my delight: The Psalmist prayed with the understanding that God’s tender mercies came to him through the Word (law) of God. By staying close to God’s word and letting it fill his life, he also received God’s tender mercies.

i. “The mercies of God are ‘tender mercies,’ they are the mercies of a father to his children, nay, tender as the compassion of a mother over the son of her womb. They ‘come unto’ us, when we are not able to go to them.” (Horne)

ii. Without the gift of these tender mercies we find ourselves lost and discouraged. “All the candles in the world, in the absence of the sun, can never make the day. The whole earth, in its brightest visions of fancy, destitute of the Lord’s love, can never cheer nor revive the soul.” (Bridges)

iii. “Yet we have no just apprehension of these tender mercies, unless they come unto us. In the midst of the wide distribution, let me claim my interest. Let them come unto me.” (Bridges)

© 2018 David Guzik

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