Psalm 119:143
Trouble and anguish have taken hold on me: yet your commandments are my delights.
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EXPOSITORY (ENGLISH BIBLE)
119:137-144 God never did, and never can do wrong to any. The promises are faithfully performed by Him that made them. Zeal against sin should constrain us to do what we can against it, at least to do more in religion ourselves. Our love to the word of God is evidence of our love to God, because it is designed to make us partake his holiness. Men's real excellency always makes them low in their own eyes. When we are small and despised, we have the more need to remember God's precepts, that we may have them to support us. The law of God is the truth, the standard of holiness, the rule of happiness; but the obedience of Christ alone justifies the believer. Sorrows are often the lot of saints in this vale of tears; they are in heaviness through manifold temptations. There are delights in the word of God, which the saints often most sweetly enjoy when in trouble and anguish. This is life eternal, to know God and Jesus Christ whom he has sent, Joh 17:3. May we live the life of faith and grace here, and be removed to the life of glory hereafter.Trouble and anguish - The word rendered "trouble" means affliction of any kind; the word rendered "anguish" would probably express that which results from being pressed, compressed, straitened. It properly refers to a situation where there is no room to move, and where we are pent up in a narrow place. The two words denote deep affliction.

Have taken hold on me - Margin, as in Hebrew, "found me." That is, they were in pursuit of me, and have at last apprehended me. Trouble, anguish, death, are in pursuit of us all our lives, and are never very far in the rear of us. Often, when we least expect them, they come suddenly up to us, and make us their victims.

Yet thy commandments are my delights - Notwithstanding this trouble, and in this trouble - no matter what comes - I have the same unfailing source of comfort, the truth of God; and notwithstanding what may occur, I still make God and his law the source of my happiness. See the notes at Psalm 119:24.

142-144. The principles of God's government are permanent and reliable, and in the deepest distress His people find them a theme of delightful meditation and a source of reviving power (Ps 119:17, 116).

law is the truth—It therefore cannot deceive as to its promises.

everlasting—(Ps 111:3), though to outward appearance seeming dead.

Ver. 143. Outward troubles and anguish of spirit, or great anguish or distress. Trouble and anguish have taken hold on me,.... Or, "found me" (a). Outward troubles and inward distress; troubles arising from his enemies, the men of the world, that hated and persecuted him; and from a body of sin and death, from the temptations of Satan, and divine desertions; some from without, and others from within; troubles both of body and mind, which is what all good men are liable to;

yet thy commandments are my delights; so far from being grievous, that they were a pleasure to him; yea, exceedingly delighted him, and cheered and refreshed his spirits amidst all his troubles.

(a) "invenerunt me", V. L. Pagninus, Montanus, Musculus, Gejerus, Michaelis.

Trouble and anguish have taken hold on me: yet thy commandments are my delights.
EXEGETICAL (ORIGINAL LANGUAGES)
143. have taken hold on me] Have befallen me, lit. found me.Verse 143. - Trouble and anguish have taken hold on me (comp. vers. 22, 23, 28, 50, 51, 61, 67, 69, etc.). Yet thy commandments are my delight. I am happy in the midst of my troubles, for the joy that I have in thy Word (see vers. 16, 35, 47, 77, 174). The eightfold Tsade. God rules righteously and faithfully according to His word, for which the poet is accordingly zealous, although young and despised. The predicate ישׂר in Psalm 119:137 precedes its subject משׁפּטיך (God's decisions in word and in deed) in the primary form (after the model of the verbal clause Psalm 124:5), just as in German [and English] the predicative adjective remains undeclined. The accusatives צדק and אמוּנה in Psalm 119:138 are not predicative (Hitzig), to which the former ("as righteousness") - not the latter however - is not suited, but adverbial accusatives (in righteousness, in faithfulness), and מאד according to its position is subordinate to ואמונה as a virtual adjective (cf. Isaiah 47:9): the requirements of the revealed law proceed from a disposition towards and mode of dealing with men which is strictly determined by His holiness (צדק), and beyond measure faithfully and honestly designs the well-being of men (אמונה מאד). To see this good law of God despised by his persecutors stirs the poet up with a zeal, which brings him, from their side, to the brink of extreme destruction (Psalm 69:10, cf. צמתּת, Psalm 88:17). God's own utterance is indeed without spot, and therefore not to be carped at; it is pure, fire-proved, noblest metal (Psalm 18:31; Psalm 12:7), therefore he loves it, and does not, though young (lxx νεώτερος, Vulgate adolescentulus) and lightly esteemed, care for the remonstrances of his proud opponents who are old and more learned than himself (the organization of Psalm 119:141 is like Psalm 119:95, and frequently). The righteousness (צדקה) of the God of revelation becomes eternal righteousness (צדק), and His law remains eternal truth (אמת). צדקה is here the name of the attribute and of the action that is conditioned in accordance with it; צדק the name of the state that thoroughly accords with the idea of that which is right. So too in Psalm 119:144 : צדק are Jahve's testimonies for ever, so that all creatures must give glory to their harmony with that which is absolutely right. To look ever deeper and deeper into this their perfection is the growing life of the spirit. The poet prays for this vivifying insight.
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