Psalm 119:129
The tone and spirit of this section are much brighter than those of the foregoing one. Something had happened. The plaintive and heart-broken appeal of those verses is followed by the joyous confession with which these, in this section, begin. Believing that there is a real connection in these sections, and that they are not so many disjointed and disconnected sayings, we infer that help had come to the psalmist - had come through God's Word, and had come in wonderful way and power.

I. THESE WORDS DECLARE A FACT.

1. In the psalmist's own experience. He had found God's testimonies wonderful. They had lifted him up from the depths of sorrow to blessed calm, confidence, and delight in God. Not that his outward circumstances appear to have been much changed, but the mood of his mind about them, and the thoughts of his heart, had greatly changed.

2. And this was because of the light-giving power of God's Word. (Ver. 130.) Light reveals what was hidden before - truths that had remained in obscurity, and which had great bearing on his condition, he could now see. His mind had been illuminated, and he was as in a new world. And light cheers and gladdens the heart. By means of the Word of God such light had come to him, and with such power, that he could only exclaim, "Thy testimonies are wonderful."

3. And the like experience has been reproduced in all men like-minded to the psalmist. Wonderful is the book of Holy Scripture, for its age, preservation, interest, adaptation to all, for its inspiration, for its spread, for its blessed and ever-increasing power, for the revelation of God given in it, and for many more and personal reasons beside.

II. THEY REVEAL THE INFLUENCE AND EFFECT THEY EVER HAVE.

1. They explain the tenacity with which the soul clings to God's Word. (Ver. 129.) Of course, the soul which has had such experience of its power will "keep them." Do we fling gold away? Neither will such soul the testimonies of God.

2. They produce deep humility. Ver. 139 is a plea for mercy. The psalmist knew that he needed that. These wonderful testimonies had made that clear to him, as they ever do. But as one of the company of them that loved God's Name, he pleads for the mercy he needs.

3. Made him long for complete rectitude in God's sight. (Ver. 133.) He would have his every step, not merely his general walk, ordered in God's Word, and he would that no iniquity should have, etc. This is a constant result of such a realization of the power of God's Word. Nothing less than complete obedience win serve.

4. Gives renewed force to his prayers .for grace to obey. Hence he prays

(1) that man's oppression may cease (ver. 134). How often such oppression does hinder the keeping of God's precepts! Not entirely, but largely. How many would openly serve God, but are cruelly forbidden or held back by fear! God's people have to hide away; they cannot do the things that they would. Also he prays

(2) that God's face may shine upon him; for that is like the warm shining of the sun upon the plant-world, causing it to spring and grow as otherwise it could not.

5. Made him deeply grieve over men's sin. (Ver. 136.) We do not grieve over what we do not value. If, therefore, we do not value the grace of God, we shall not, etc.

III. THE CONDITION OF REALIZING ALL THIS. Fervent desire (ver. 131). - S.C.







Thy testimonies are wonderful; therefore doth my soul keep them.
"The Scriptures," says an old bishop, "are wonderful with respect to the matter which they contain, the manner in which they are written, and the effects which they produce.'' What, then, is the Bible? The reply is this — the Bible is the history of sin; and so viewed, it stands forth, indeed, as a record surprisingly wonderful. It may be said that it is in a measure the history of righteousness also; but indeed the history of God's righteousness is the history of man's sin. There is a strange unity in the Bible thus viewed. It is not on the excellency of this or that portion, but upon their unity and self-completeness, that we would base our assertion of the wonderfulness of the testimonies of God. Let us, then, assuming its wonderfulness, inquire how this should produce obedience. The whole of this psalm is occupied in setting forth the Divine law in every variety of aspect, and David's own appreciation of it; and it is observable that it is on the depth, the vastness, the wonderfulness of God's Word that he dwells. In the text he assigns, expressly, the motive of his own obedience. His language is not that of a deep thinker, who has examined and understood more thoroughly than his brethren; it is that of a child gazing upwards to the firmament, and impressed with an awe which it cannot explain; it is language not of reason, but of faith: not of understanding, but of astonishment, in which he sketches the impulse of his own obedience. His spirit, as he meditated upon God's law, beheld therein a mighty mystery, wide as the east from the west; and as he gazed, he saw in that law unsearchable doctrines, and dispensations not to be accounted for, and rules and regulations laid down but not explained; there was much which might be regarded as superfluous, much which man would have ordered otherwise; so, as he pondered, he marvelled; and then his heart grew at once humbled, yet elevated, by the mysterious web that was around him. Now, if it be true that wonder is closely connected with reverence, that in short the marvellous exerts in religion, as in other things, a great power over the soul of man, then we shall cease to be surprised that the Almighty has not spoken more clearly. Strip religion of whatever baffles the understanding, and you will have a system quite incapable of enlisting the heart in its cause. No deeds of high, unselfish heroism, such as those which have rendered everlastingly illustrious the names of apostles and confessors; no lives of self-denying exertion like those which adorn the annals of missionary enterprise will be produced by this religion of reason. "His Name shall be called Wonderful." By such title did the Hebrew prophet proclaim Him, around whose cradle all Christendom is about to gather. Wonderful in His nature, being both God and man; Wonderful in the ordinances of His kingdom; Wonderful in His continual presence with His people; Wonderful in the dispensations of His grace. Even, then, as Wonderful, let us bow down before Him; never seeking to rend, with unhallowed hand, the veil that is upon His face; never recoiling from His Word by reason of its marvellousness; never trying to bring Him down to us because we cannot rise up to Him. Yea, rather, in the wonderfulness of all that emanates from Him, let us recognize a propriety. Rightly viewed, the incomprehensibleness of Christ is a bond to obedience. His statutes are wonderful, and therefore should our souls not resist, but keep them.

(Bp. Woodford.)

I. WHY ARE THE DIVINE LAWS HERE CALLED "TESTIMONIES"?

1. Because they bear testimony to the goodness of God in condescending to guide men by His law.

2. Because they bear testimony to the holiness of God.

3. Because they bear testimony to the respect that God has for the happiness of His creatures. He has connected the highest pleasures with obedience.

4. Because they bear testimony to the wisdom and justice of God. They are adapted to the present imperfect state of man, going upon the principle, where little is given little will be required, and where much is given much will be required.

II. THE CHARACTER OF THE DIVINE TESTIMONIES. "THEY ARE WONDERFUL." How?

1. In respect of the discoveries they make of God. Look to people without these testimonies. How ignorant of the Supreme!

2. In respect of the discoveries of God's providence.

3. In respect of the provision which the Scriptures discover for our repentance and pardon.

4. In respect of their universal application to us.

5. In respect of the assistance which they offer in the keeping of them.

(1)A Divine Agent to strengthen, that is, the Holy Ghost.

(2)Sublime motives to stimulate and encourage us.

6. In respect of their weight and importance. They determine the eternal conditions of men.

III. THE PRACTICAL REGARD WHICH A GOOD MAN HAS FOR THE DIVINE TESTIMONIES. "Therefore doth my soul keep them."

1. As a precious treasure of knowledge.

2. As objects of affection and study.

3. As the rules — the guiding lights of my conduct.

4. As embodied in my daily life and practice.

(J. Walker, D. D.)

Sketches of Four Hundred Sermons.
I. HIS PROFOUND ADMIRATION OF THE DIVINE ORACLES. They are "wonderful" in their —

1. Style and composition.

(1)Wonderfully simple and plain.

(2)Wonderfully grand and sublime.

(3)Wonderfully concise and expressive.

2. Contents.

(1)The most interesting records of facts.

(2)The most astonishing displays of truth.

(3)The most admirable and perfect rules of life.

(4)The most animating promises,

(5)The moat tremendous threatenings.

3. Efficacy.

(1)Alarming the sinner.

(2)Consoling the mourner.

(3)Transforming the most degraded.

(4)Supporting the believer through life and over death.

II. THEIR PRACTICAL INFLUENCE.

1. He treasured them up in his memory.

2. He kept them in exercises of faith.

3. He held them in constant esteem, and embraced them with earnest affection.

4. He kept them in obedient practices.

(Sketches of Four Hundred Sermons.)

1. They are wonderfully adapted to the purposes intended, and are fully adequate to all the wants and necessities of mankind. They are consonant to right reason, and adapted to promote our true interest; they confer upon us the highest benefits, and the loss of them would deprive us of the richest treasure. They secure the honour of God, and the rights of the creature.

2. They are wonderfully expressed; there is in them a mixture of the greatest majesty and simplicity.

3. They are wonderfully consistent and harmonious. The laws of men often militate one against another; but there is no discord or contrariety in the laws of God. They all bear the impress of infinite wisdom, purity and goodness.

4. They are wonderfully extensive.

5. They are wonderfully useful and important.

6. They have been wonderfully preserved.Conclusion:

1. If the Divine law be so wonderful, what must the Gospel be? (Ephesians 3:1-10).

2. If the law and Gospel are so wonderful, what must their Author be? (Job 11:7).

3. The reason why men treat the Divine law with contempt is because they are not acquainted with its excellence, and their eyes are not open to behold its dignity and glory (Hosea 8:12).

4. If God's Word is so precious and important, let us manifest a suitable regard towards it.

(B. Beddome, M. A.)

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