Psalm 119:49-56

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Zayin

49  Remember your word to your servant, 

in which you have made me hope. 

50  This is my comfort in my affliction, 

that your promise gives me life. 

51  The insolent utterly deride me, 

but I do not turn away from your law. 

52  When I think of your rules from of old, 

I take comfort, O Lord. 

53  Hot indignation seizes me because of the wicked, 

who forsake your law. 

54  Your statutes have been my songs 

in the house of my sojourning. 

55  I remember your name in the night, O Lord, 

and keep your law. 

56  This blessing has fallen to me, 

that I have kept your precepts. 

ESV

The psalmist opens this section commanding the Lord to remember His Word to His servant (v 49). “The call to remember is a common plea in the lament psalms (D. Estes, Psalms 73-150 NAC, 2019, p. 413). The Lord’s Word gives the psalmist hope as well as it is his comfort in affliction (v 50). “Through his adversity the psalmist has come to learn that the Lord’s word can be trusted. He has felt pain from his oppressors, but from the Lord he has received protection and preservation that have given him comfort” (p. 413).

The psalmist does not turn away from the Lord’s Word even though the insolent deride and mock him (v 51). When the psalmist remembers (זָכַרְתִּי translated think ESV) the Lord’s Word he takes comfort. “The use of the verb here is instructive: if people want God to “remember” (i.e., fulfill) his word, they must “remember” (i.e., obey) his word. What he remembers are the laws and decisions of God in all matters, which are here described as “ancient” (מֵעוֹלָם, “from antiquity”). They have stood the test of time with all its conflicts and pains; God’s word is eternal—ever reliable and ever binding” (A. Ross, A Commentary on the Psalms (90-150) KEL, 2016, pp. 511-512).

Only the Lord and His Word can truly comfort in times of oppression, affliction etc. However, “with the comfort there is also a burning indignation (זַלְעָפָה). This is a rare word; it can mean a burning, or the effects of the burning (faintness)” (Ross, p. 512). The psalmist’s burning indication is more directed toward the wicked who “have no regard for the word of God than for his own plight. The truly devout naturally have a moral outrage over the ungodly who forsake God’s laws” (p. 512).

In verse 54 the Lord’s Word has been his song. “Wherever he goes and whatever he faces, God’s word tunes his heart for worship” (Estes, p. 414). The psalmist remembers the Lord’s name in the night, keeping His Law (v 55). Night could be a reference to time or it could be a reference to adversity, either way the psalmist will keep His Law.

The psalmist ends this section literally saying, “this was to/for me” (זֹאת הָיְתָה־לִּי). The question then becomes what is “this?” The ESV supplies the word blessing which has fallen on him. The CSB translates this as “This is my practice.” Commentators agree “this” refers to the psalmist having kept the Lord’s precepts. The psalmist in this verse “sums up his whole life as doing what the Lord directs. He does not just know God’s words, but he practices them because his life is formed and shaped by what the Lord commands. Obedience to the Lord is not just part of his life, but it is central to his life as it controls all that he does” (Estes, p. 414).

Lord God, help us to be a people who delight in remembering and obeying You! May we remember and obey You and Your Word no matter what situation we are going through. Lord God, may we take comfort in Your Word, may we also comfort others because You have comforted us. Lord God, there are many wicked people today who want to harm Your Name and Your people, may we have righteous indignation for the wicked who mock and defame You more than being angry about what the wicked are doing to us. Lord God, thank You that when we choose to praise You that You will fill our hearts and mouths with songs of worship that please You. Lord God, thank You for all the songs You have given us for this journey! Lord God, may Your servants make a joyful noise to You today! Lord God, You call Your people to remember. When Israel did not remember You, disobedience abounded; when we do not remember You we are no better. Lord God, may it be our practice, may it be to us that we have kept Your precepts. May we be like the Apostle Paul who fought the good fight, finished the race and kept the faith (2 Tim 4:7). Lord God, may we remember You and Your Word today. In Jesus’s Name I pray. Amen.

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Blue Collar Theologian

My name is Mandy Sweigart-Quinn, I live in Lancaster, PA and I am a “Blue Collar Theologian.” I love Jesus! I am passionate about His Word (The Holy Bible)! I come alive when I can encourage others in their walk with Jesus (whether by writing or speaking). As a “Blue Collar Theologian” it is my aim to live/practice/work out my Christian hope with sincerity, authenticity and genuineness. As a “Blue Collar Theologian,” I strive to meet people right where they are (“Incarnational Theology”). I graduated in May 2019 from Capital Seminary and Graduate School with a Master's in Biblical Studies. I am a passionate, excited and enthusiastic person! I love flowers, sports and sunsets. Since January 2, 2018 I have had the privilege of being married to Nathan.

61 thoughts on “Psalm 119:49-56”

  1. How sweet and strengthening to read this, like Jonathan eating the honey and saying, “See how my eyes brightened when I tasted a little of this honey.” (1 Sam. 14:29) There is “life” in God’s word, and oh may our eyes be opened more and more to it as new creations in Christ! 🙏❤️

    Liked by 3 people

  2. Back to my beloved Psalm!
    Verse 50 in my Bible:
    “My comfort in my suffering is this: Your promise renews my life”
    I cannot tell you how this verse took root in my anguished heart. I fully believe that God can ‘neutralize’ all comfort sources to hem us in with Him alone and His word. Only God can make our most painful time a most precious time.
    Thank you dear Mandy for expounding on these verses. In times of despair and betrayal, this passage holds the words to pray.
    P.S. His promise DID renew my life!
    🌹

    Liked by 3 people

    1. This is SO encouraging!! I am going to save this, print it out and put it in my journal if you don’t mind?! Bless you sister for sharing this!! “Only God can make our most painful time a most precious time.” May believers start living and believing this reality with as quickly as the world is changing! Love, hugs and blessings!!!

      Liked by 1 person

  3. Thanks for this examination of verses 49-56. It’s obvious the writer loved the Lord and obeyed His precepts joyfully. What a difference it was to go from an IFB church where members were browbeaten with fear, guilt, and shame into obeying God to a church where love for God was the motivator and we were regularly reminder of His abundant grace.

    Liked by 2 people

    1. I agree the psalmist “loved the Lord and obeyed His precepts joyfully.” Going from the RCC where love was merit based, to the IFB where you were browbeaten, I can understand why you became disillusioned and walked away. God’s Word convicts and calls, praise God for what He has done and is doing in your life, Tom!

      Liked by 1 person

      1. Thanks, Mandy! The IFB was such a strange experience – a lot of good and a lot of bad. I can imagine many, many others became disillusioned as well. Yes, I praise God for patiently beckoning me back. One thing He taught me was never to put a man on a pedestal again (plenty of leadership idolatry at IFB churches).

        Liked by 2 people

      2. I have no doubt that Jesus is on the throne in your life! I know you realize this but for anyone reading these comments I want to say that I wouldn’t just limit the “leadership idolatry” to the IFB. The Church at large is guilty of the cult of celebrity. From the RCC and the pope, to Word of Faith/Charismatic prosperity preachers, to the SBC and nondenominational mega church pastors, it’s all an affront to God. What’s on the agenda for your Tuesday?!

        Liked by 1 person

      3. Thanks, Mandy! You’re right. Leadership idolatry is an issue across churchianity, although IFB pastors were/are extremely controlling with some even admonishing non-conformists directly from the pulpit.

        Today, I’m going to do some pre-painting prep work and go through my sister’s bills, a weekly chore. Her house finally goes up for sale tomorrow. It was a long process to get it to that point. What’s going on for your Tuesday?

        Liked by 1 person

      4. What are you painting this year?! I went to our local farm market this morning and I have a guy coming at 1 to give me an estimate to put a railing on the one side of my front porch. I switched homeowners and they are requiring this, had I known before hand, I may not have switched! Hahaha anyway, it’s the same company who installed my deck so assuming this is a big enough project for them it will look nice. I freely admit I can be frugal/cheap!

        Glad to hear your sister’s house is going on the market. The market hasn’t crashed yet (not to be negative but it will, it’s inevitable, how folks can’t see this is beyond me!) so even as a flipper it shouldn’t be on the market long!

        Liked by 1 person

      5. Hope the railing turns out well! I paint 1/4 of the house every summer – better than doing the whole thing.

        I hear you about the housing market. New home construction is way down because of shortage of building materials. I hope it sells quickly. It’s definitely a flipper. But at least just about all of the odor is gone.

        Liked by 1 person

      6. Yup! It was unbearable. A professional cleaning view came in twice to clean and deodorize. They also painted all of the basement surfaces with an anti-odor paint.

        Liked by 1 person

  4. Absolutely loving this study through this Psalm.

    “Lord God, help us to be a people who delight in remembering and obeying You! May we remember and obey You and Your Word no matter what situation we are going through. Lord God, may we take comfort in Your Word” – Amen to that 🙏🏽

    Blessings to you my friend 🤗💙

    Liked by 1 person

  5. I see your prayers Mandy, as a practical outpouring of the commentary that you quote from and while I appreciate the commentary, because we can all learn from it, it is the combination of the Scriptures, where the psalmist speaks from his heart and your prayers, that I gravitate to, because it also comes from your heart. And it is that “heart speak” that helps keep my feet on the ground, which is much needed in these troubling times. Thank you for faithfully doing this, much appreciated. Love in Christ – Bruce

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thank you for this encouragement, Bruce! I have felt led to pray the Scripture in the event the post is too long or “technical” I pray to summarize the stanza in the prayer. Praise God for you relating to this, it means more than you will know!!! Love and blessings to you and Peggy!!

      Liked by 1 person

  6. I love this: “The use of the verb here is instructive: if people want God to “remember” (i.e., fulfill) his word, they must “remember” (i.e., obey) his word.”
    I also love this: “Obedience to the Lord is not just part of his life, but it is central to his life as it controls all that he does” (Estes, p. 414).” We must not see God’s grace mean it undermine obedience but actually motivate obedience!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thanks, Crissy! How are you holding up? Lord God, be with Crissy. Lead Crissy and guide her Lord keeping her eyes and ears focused on You. Lord God, You are the only Person we can trust in these times. Lord, bring our unsaved loved ones into a relationship with You. Thank You Jesus for never abandoning us and it’s in Your Name we pray. Amen. Love you sister!

      Liked by 1 person

  7. Thanks for your prayers with the dentist! (Commenting on here just to help your post out!) I got done with the oral surgeon checking what they installed and tomorrow I go to my regular dentist to get started on an dental implanted figured out

    Liked by 1 person

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