God's Perfect Law Our Despair and Our Comfort
Psalm 119:96
I have seen an end of all perfection: but your commandment is exceeding broad.

We may read the words in two ways.

1. "I have seen an end of all perfection; for Thy commandment is exceeding broad." Read in this way they suggest the animating thought that our haunting consciousness of imperfection springs from the bright and awful perfection of the law we are bent on obeying, of the Ideal we have set before us. It is not because we are worse than those who are without law, or who are a law unto themselves, that we are restless and dissatisfied with ourselves; but because we measure both ourselves and our fellows by the lofty standards of God's commandment. That commandment is so broad, that. we cannot embrace it; it is so high, that we cannot attain to it; it is so perfect, that we cannot perfectly obey it.

2. But we may read the verse in another way, and still derive comfort and encouragement from it. We may say: "I have seen an end of all perfection in myself, and in the world; but Thy commandment is exceeding broad: that is perfect, though I am imperfect, and in its perfection I find the promise of my own." For shall God give a law for human life, and that law remain for ever unfulfilled? Impossible! "The gifts of God are without repentance" — irreversible, never to be lessened or withdrawn. His purpose is not to be made of none effect by our weaknesses and sins. In the law He has shown us what He would have us be. And shall we never become what He would have us to be? Can the law remain for ever without any life that corresponds to it and fulfils it? Nay, God will never take back the fair and perfect ideal of human life depicted in His law, never retract His purpose to raise the life of man till it touches and fulfils that ideal. And so the very law which is our despair is our comfort also, for if that be perfect we must become perfect; its perfection is the pledge of ours.

(A. Raleigh, D. D.)

Parallel Verses
KJV: I have seen an end of all perfection: but thy commandment is exceeding broad.

WEB: I have seen a limit to all perfection, but your commands are boundless. MEM

Finality and Progress
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