Psalm 119:92
Unless your law had been my delights, I should then have perished in my affliction.
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EXPOSITORY (ENGLISH BIBLE)
Psalm 119:92-95. Unless thy law had been my delight — Unless I had known, believed, and delighted in it, as the subject of my meditation; I should then — At the very instant; have perished in mine affliction — My heart would have failed me, and I should have been undone; I could not have outlived one stroke of thine afflicting hand. I will never forget thy precepts — I will always retain a remembrance of, and a regard to, thy word, as my rule; for with them thou hast quickened me — Revived and cheered me when my heart was ready to sink and die within me. I am thine — By creation, redemption, and manifold obligations; as also by my own choice and designation. I have devoted myself to thy service, and committed myself to thy care. Save me — Both from sin and ruin. Those that in sincerity give up themselves to God, to be his subjects and servants, obeying his will and living to his glory, may be sure that he will protect them and preserve them to his heavenly kingdom, Malachi 3:17. The wicked have waited to destroy me — Watching for an opportunity so to do; but I will consider thy testimonies — As my best counsellors and comforters, and also my defenders against the designs and assaults of mine enemies.119:89-96 The settling of God's word in heaven, is opposed to the changes and revolutions of the earth. And the engagements of God's covenant are established more firmly than the earth itself. All the creatures answer the ends of their creation: shall man, who alone is endued with reason, be the only unprofitable burden of the earth? We may make the Bible a pleasant companion at any time. But the word, without the grace of God, would not quicken us. See the best help for bad memories, namely, good affections; and though the exact words be lost, if the meaning remain, that is well. I am thine, not my own, not the world's; save me from sin, save me from ruin. The Lord will keep the man in peace, whose mind is stayed on him. It is poor perfection which one sees and end of. Such are all things in this world, which pass for perfections. The glory of man is but as the flower of the grass. The psalmist had seen the fulness of the word of God, and its sufficiency. The word of the Lord reaches to all cases, to all times. It will take us from all confidence in man, or in our own wisdom, strength, and righteousness. Thus shall we seek comfort and happiness from Christ alone.Unless thy law had been my delights - See Psalm 119:16, note; Psalm 119:24, note. Unless I had had pleasure in thy law, thy word, thy truth; unless I had derived support and consolation in that.

I should then have perished in mine affliction - I should have sunk under my burden. I should not have been able to hold up under the weight of sorrow and trial. How often the people of God can say. this! How often may each one in the course of his life say this! "I should have sunk a thousand times," said a most excellent, but much afflicted, man to me, "if it had not been for one declaration in the word of God - 'The Eternal God is thy refuge, and underneath are the everlasting arms.'"

92-94. Hence the pious are encouraged and inclined to seek a knowledge of it, and persevere amidst the efforts of those planning and waiting to destroy them.

my delights—plural, not merely delight, but equal to all other delights.

Then; at the very instant; I could not have outlived one stroke of thine afflicting hand. Unless thy law had been my delights,.... Not the law of works, the voice of words, which they that heard entreated they might hear no more; which is terrible, and works wrath in the conscience; is a cursing and damning law to the transgressors of it; and so not delightful, unless as considered in the hands of Christ, the fulfilling end of it: but the law of faith, the doctrine of faith, or of justification by the righteousness of Christ, received by faith, which yields peace, joy, and comfort, even in tribulation: or the whole doctrine of the Gospel, the law of the Messiah, the isles waited for; the doctrine of peace, pardon, righteousness, and eternal life by Christ, which is exceeding delightful to sensible sinners;

I should then have perished in mine affliction; referring to some particular time of affliction he was pressed with, either through the persecution of Saul, or the conspiracy of Absalom which was very great and heavy upon him, so that he almost despaired of deliverance from it; and must have perished, not eternally, but as to his comforts: his heart would have fainted in him, and he would have sunk under the weight of the affliction, had it not been for the relief he had from the word of God, the doctrines and promises of it; he was like one in a storm, tossed with tempests, one wave after another beat upon him, and rolled over him, when he thought himself just perishing; and must have given all over for lost, had it not been for the delight and pleasure he found in reading and meditating on the sacred writings.

Unless thy law had been my delights, I should then have perished in mine affliction.
EXEGETICAL (ORIGINAL LANGUAGES)
92. then] emphatically, in that case. But for the refreshment of God’s law, he would have utterly lost heart in affliction (Isaiah 40:29-31). This had revived him (Psalm 119:93), in this (Psalm 119:95) he had found consolation when his life was in peril.Verse 92. - Unless thy Law had been my delights, I should then have perished in mine affliction (comp. vers. 16, 24, 35, 47, 70, 77). Only a real love of God's commandments can sustain men under severe affliction. The eightfold Kaph. This strengthening according to God's promise is his earnest desire (כּלה) now, when within a very little his enemies have compassed his ruin (כּלּה). His soul and eyes languish (כּלה as in Psalm 69:4; Psalm 84:3, cf. Job 19:27) for God's salvation, that it may be unto him according to God's word or promise, that this word may be fulfilled. In Psalm 119:83 כּי is hypothetical, as in Psalm 21:12 and frequently; here, as perhaps also in Psalm 27:10, in the sense of "although" (Ew. ֗362, b). He does not suffer anything to drive God's word out of his mind, although he is already become like a leathern bottle blackened and shrivelled up in the smoke. The custom of the ancients of placing jars with wine over the smoke in order to make the wine prematurely old, i.e., to mellow it (vid., Rosenm׬ller), does not yield anything towards the understanding of this passage: the skin-bottle that is not intended for present use is hung up on high; and the fact that it had to withstand the upward ascending smoke is intelligible, notwithstanding the absence of any mention of the chimney. The point of comparison, in which we agree for the most part with Hitzig, is the removal of him who in his dungeon is continually exposed to the drudgery of his persecutors. כּמּה in Psalm 119:84 is equivalent to "how few." Our life here below is short, so also is the period within which the divine righteousness can reveal itself. שׁיחות (instead of which the lxx erroneously reads שׂיחות), pits, is an old word, Psalm 57:7. The relative clause, Psalm 119:85, describes the "proud" as being a contradiction to the revealed law; for there was no necessity for saying that to dig a pit for others is not in accordance with this law. All God's commandments are an emanation of His faithfulness, and therefore too demand faithfulness; but it is just this faithfulness that makes the poet an object of deadly hatred. They have already almost destroyed him"in the land." It is generally rendered "on earth;" but "in heaven" at the beginning of the following octonary is too far removed to be an antithesis to it, nor does it sound like one (cf. on the other hand ἐν τοῖς ouranoi's, Matthew 5:12). It is therefore: in the land (cf. Psalm 58:3; Psalm 73:9), where they think they are the only ones who have any right there, they have almost destroyed him, without shaking the constancy of his faith. But he stands in need of fresh grace in order that he may not, however, at last succumb.
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