Psalm 119:57-64

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Heth

57  The Lord is my portion; 

I promise to keep your words. 

58  I entreat your favor with all my heart; 

be gracious to me according to your promise. 

59  When I think on my ways, 

I turn my feet to your testimonies; 

60  I hasten and do not delay 

to keep your commandments. 

61  Though the cords of the wicked ensnare me, 

I do not forget your law. 

62  At midnight I rise to praise you, 

because of your righteous rules. 

63  I am a companion of all who fear you, 

of those who keep your precepts. 

64  The earth, O Lord, is full of your steadfast love; 

teach me your statutes! 

ESV

When the Lord is a person’s portion, there is no other response but to promise to keep His Words (v 57). The psalmist begins this stanza with the Lord as his portion (הֶלְקִי) and ends with the Lord filling the earth with His covenant faithfulness (חֶסֶד steadfast love). The psalmist exudes his love for the Lord and His Word in this stanza.

The Lord is my portion is a statement of trust. “The metaphor signifies that everything he possesses is bound up in his relationship with the LORD. It may be that this expression reflects the circumstances of the Levites; they were not allocated any land for their possession but had to depend on the LORD (see Num. 18:20). The expression would have been true of every Israelite; even if they had a plot of land, everything they possessed was to be found in God” (A. Ross, A Commentary on the Psalms (90-150) KEL, 2016, pp. 516-517). I have promised to keep the Lord’s Words is the “appropriate response to the provision of God” (p. 517).

In verse 58 I entreat (sought NASB, CSB) your favor is literally I entreat your face (חִלִּיתִי פָנֶיךָ). “[This] is a poetic description of prayer; it basically means to stroke or caress the face [like a child would stroke a parent’s face], appealing to God’s good pleasure with a flattering entreaty. There is no false flattery here, however. The devout have a close, personal relationship with the LORD, so that they may make their appeal on the basis of God’s love and compassion for them” (Ross, p. 517).

The psalmist makes his appeal with all his heart (mind, will and emotions) asking God to be gracious to him (חָנֵּנִי) according to His promise. The reason for the psalmist petitioning/commanding God to be gracious (qal, imperative, 2ms with 1cs suffix) is because the cords of the wicked ensnare him (v 61). “Rather than relying on his own resources or turning to others for their assistance, he wholeheartedly seeks the Lord’s grace. He places all of his hope in the Lord, trusting the Lord to be true to his word of promise” (D. Estes, Psalms 73-150 NAC, 2019, p. 415).

In verse 59 the psalmist examines himself by thinking on his ways. While the psalmist does not mention that he has sinned, he emphatically turns (וָאָשִׁיבָה) his feet back to the Lord’s testimonies, which are “the compass for his conduct” (p. 415). It is worth noting “the mention of feet draws in the idiom of the believer’s walk, i.e., the way of life—here is a commitment to live in obedience to God’s word” (Ross, p. 518).

The psalmist hastens and does not delay to keep the Lord’s commandments (v 60). “His eagerness to keep God’s commands corresponds to his urgent prayer for God to fulfill his promises. There is something hollow about people pleading for God to fulfill the promises in his word when they pay little attention to keeping his word” (Ross, p. 518). Eager obedience to the Lord and His commands is “what it looked like in practice to seek the favor [face] of the Lord with all his heart (v. 58)” (Estes, p. 415).

In verse 61 the wicked are no doubt the same ones from verse 53. Using imagery found in hunting, the cords of the wicked “refe[r] to snares, traps, or fetters intended to bring destruction to him” (Estes, p. 415). However intense the wicked’s schemes and oppression are against him, the psalmist is committed to not forgetting the Lord’s torah (law/instruction). So much so that at midnight he rises to praise the Lord because of His righteous rules (v 62). “It is evident that the psalmist’s worship of the Lord is not confined to times that are convenient and comfortable. For him it is more important to thank the Lord than to get sleep…which may well have been prompted by his meditation on the Lord and his word (see v. 48)” (Estes, p. 416).

The psalmist is a companion (חָבֵר) to those who fear the Lord, and keep His precepts (v 63). Keep here is a qal, participle, mp, construct meaning that it is an ongoing action. The psalmist is a companion to those who continue in keeping the Lord’s precepts. This is not a one time action. This is a life devoted to living for the Lord and His Word. “The tie that binds the devout together is the commitment to keep God’s commands” (Ross, p. 519).

In the BHS the first part of the last stanza reads חַסְדְּךָ֣ יְ֭הוָה מָלְאָ֥ה הָאָ֗רֶץ the ESV and the NASB begin this verse with the earth (הָאָ֗רֶץ), the CSB begins with Lord (יְ֭הוָה), however, the Hebrew begins this verse with your covenant faithfulness (חַסְדְּךָ֣ ESV your steadfast love/NASB your lovingkindness/CSB your faithful love). A more literal translation of this part would be Your covenant faithfulness, O Lord, filled the earth. The earth (הָאָ֗רֶץ) is the patient, “the person or thing that is acted upon or caused to change” (J. Thompson, The Lexham Glossary of Semantic Roles, 2014, n.p.). The Lord’s ḥesed (covenant faithfulness) is an “essential part of his character” (Estes, p. 416). The Lord will never do anything that violates His Name, Character, Covenant and Word. It is on that basis that the psalmist ends this stanza commanding the Lord to teach him His statutes! (v 64b).

Lord God, for those of us who have tasted Your provision, knowing You as our portion, may we promise to keep Your Words. Lord God, may we seek Your face with all of our hearts as we ask You to be gracious to us in light of Your promise. Lord God, when we meditate, reflect and think upon our actions, may our feet be quick to turn to You when we have gone astray. May we hasten and not delay in keeping Your commandments. May we hurry and not delay, being eager to obey You. Lord God, when the wicked seek to ensnare us may we preach Your Word to ourselves. Lord God may we praise You all day long because of Your righteous rules. May we be a companion to all those who fear and keep Your Word. Lord God, in Your common grace Your covenant faithfulness fills this earth but how much sweeter it is for those who are believers. Lord God, teach us Your Word so that we may love You more and share You with others who are far from You. Lord thank You for this reader! May we be gracious to others as You have been gracious to us. 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.

70 thoughts on “Psalm 119:57-64”

  1. I look forward to this 119 study, thank you Mandy! I think v 62 & 63 touch my heart the most at this time. “It is evident that the psalmist’s worship of the Lord is not confined to times that are convenient and comfortable.” Becky, my elderly cat, has many health issues, one which causes her to howl in the middle of the night. Never during the day!
    When I get up and brush her, she calms and is at peace, but then I’M up! I’ve found middle of the night to be a special time of prayer. Perhaps I do not “rise to give thanks” at that time but I will try to!
    Verse 63 reflects my delight when, amongst so many people even supposed Christians, I find one who truly fears God.
    Beautiful scripture and edifying teaching, thank you sister! ⚘

    Liked by 5 people

    1. What beautiful love you have for Becky! I am a terrible sleeper and I do not rise giving thanks either! I will be honest, last night was the first night in a long time that I prayed rather than fiddling with my iPad to get back to sleep. I am so thankful that God has given you wisdom to fear of the Lord. After all, it is the beginning of knowledge! Thank you for your consistent support and encouragement through this psalm. I appreciate more than you will ever know!! Lots of love, hugs and blessings to You, Bob, Becky and Starry!

      Liked by 2 people

      1. Actually, loving Becky isn’t always easy! She’s part feral and, on good days, is grumpy and unsociable to everyone except me! Bob is so kind to her, but she’ll never let him close. But I’ve gained more patience having her…and loving her!
        Sleep has always been a challenge for me! As far back as 5 yrs old – a doctor gave my mom sleeping pills for me! (Had reverse effect – I was up all night!)
        Appreciate you sister, and your posts. Hugs back to you too! ❤🤗

        Liked by 2 people

    2. Hey sister I forgot to mention, in verse 58 the psalmist asks Yahweh to “be gracious” to him according to His promise. The root word for gracious is hen, which is the same hen show grace, unmerited favor that Jimmy taught about in his lesson on “The Attribute of God’s Grace.” The psalmist here is petitioning God to be gracious to Him based on His promise that is found in His covenant. God is gracious to whom He will be gracious and the psalmist knows that he can appeal to God’s grace because of being in covenant relationship with Him. Salvation both in the Old Testament and New Testament is by grace through faith. It is God’s grace (unmerited favor) that God chose Israel to be His people. Likewise, believers do not merit/earn/work for their salvation, it is the Triune God’s grace/unmerited favor that He has chosen/elected to save believers by faith in Jesus Christ. This is why we cannot boast about our salvation because it is a work of God and His grace from start to finish (Eph 2:8-9). The attribute of God’s grace is so immense and beyond what I can comprehend but His grace makes me love Him and want to thank Him more, and the best way I can do that is to show grace to others. Praise God for His mercy when I do not show grace as I should!

      Liked by 4 people

  2. Another excellent study on this amazing Psalm, thank you so much Mandy for your indepth exposition.
    On the “Lord being my portion” In my humble reading of verse 57 I see it almost as consuming as one eats a meal, a very deep personal but practical devotion to Him and His Word. This being the case the act of partaking in communion has a relevance (but not as in transubstantiation!).

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    1. I will be honest, this week has been the hardest for me thus far because of all the richness! I want to shed light on what the Hebrew is saying, but not so much the reader is bogged down. That’s why these prayers are longer because I try to summarize each verse in the prayer for the person who doesn’t have time etc. I am SO thankful for you and your encouragement! How’s your weather? Felt like AZ today with a heat index of 110f! Love and blessings sister 🤗🤗😘😘🧡🧡

      Liked by 2 people

      1. I totally get it. It’s so hard to limit yourself when there’s so much to be said. That’s just how it is with the Bible.. you can go on and on and still sometimes only scratch the surface. The weather’s been really nice. Cool and a little rainy. We live in the mountains so we don’t have to deal with the heat too much. I can’t believe you guys hit 110! That’s actually worse than Phoenix, because you have such a high humidity index that Phoenix doesn’t have. Hope you stay cool! Blessings back to you!

        Liked by 2 people

  3. Wow I’m going to read this post shortly! Glad to see another one! To answer your question: I usually write my posts from 9PM to anywhere at 2 AM or 4 AM; granted I’m not just writing the post usually but also reading and studying other stuff or reading blogs at time. Last night I started on my latest post at 7 PM because its a controversial post and I want to do an accurate and logically rigorous job given the possible pushback.
    Also Nancy just told me we got your mail; wow, Mandy, thank you sooo soooo SOOOO MUCH!

    Liked by 2 people

    1. You and I do the same thing just at different hours of the day! I look forward to your comments and please don’t forget to include your attribute of God’s grace in the OT post! Praise God y’all got that!!! Y’all are such a blessing to me!!

      Liked by 2 people

      1. Yeah that was strange with the mail last time! But looking I think it was providential when the need for Nepal support with their lockdown then came up….once more Mandy thank you sooo sooo much!

        Liked by 2 people

  4. I love how you pointed out “The Lord is my portion is a statement of trust.” Good observation of the insight of the Levites having no land and God is their portion and how it contribute to our appreciation of that phrase.
    I love how this passage looks at God’s grace!!! Which of course is a recent topic in our Bible study: http://veritasdomain.wordpress.com/2021/08/11/gods-attribute-the-grace-of-god-part-1/
    Love your commentary note about feet as an idiom tied with walking with God.
    In fact love all the lexical insights and of course the rich term of Hesed especially!
    And God’s Word is much better than sleep!

    Liked by 3 people

    1. Brother, I know you know daily, firsthand how “God’s Word is much better than sleep!” Thank you for including the link to your blog! My mission in life is to help people, especially believers love the Bible Jesus read and your post really helps people to love the Old Testament more! Praise God the Lord is our portion, providing for us in ways we don’t even realize!

      Liked by 3 people

      1. Dear Lord, use Mandy to help people to love the OT and the Bible more. I pray you use her blog and her friendship with others to fan their desire to love you and the Scriptures!

        Liked by 3 people

  5. Mandy,
    You dove deep and came up with rich treasure packed into these verses! May God continue to bless your love for His word to His glory and your deeper communion with Him even as you share this love with His people. Have a blessed and restful night.🙏💞

    Liked by 3 people

    1. Thank you Dora for your love and kindness toward me! “May God continue to bless your love for His word to His glory and your deeper communion with Him even as you share this love with His people. Have a blessed and restful night.🙏💞” back at ya sister! Lots of love hugs and blessings!

      Liked by 1 person

  6. I look forward to your posts on the study through Psalm 119. The Lord is my potion – I love that. The desire and pursuit of loving and following His word through all circumstances. The reflection on ones ways and ensuring that we are turned towards Him and His ways.
    And talking about rising at midnight just after mentioning the wicked try to bind me with ropes. When trials prevail, sleep can often allude and instead of sitting awake and worrying, praise God. God’s love and faithfulness fills the earth – what a blessing.
    May God bless you Mandy.

    Liked by 2 people

    1. I thought of you this morning as I was reading Jeremiah 42. How often people want to hear from the Lord but then do not want to do it! Working through this psalm and reading your posts on Jeremiah is really convicting on my obedience. As it becomes more difficult to be Christian will I obey God knowing that He’s my portion or will I obey man because I don’t want to suffer momentary hurt/pain/affliction? I am thankful for you Manu and I hope you and your family are doing well! Lots of love, hugs and blessings!

      Liked by 1 person

      1. Going through Jeremiah, is convicting me too about my obedience. I am definitely going to be touching upon that chapter.
        I know not what I would do if my faith is tested in persecution but I know that we do not stand firm in our own strength. If there is a willing heart, He will provide that strength.
        Thank you Mandy 🤗. We are doing well here. As I reply to you, Buzzbe is snuggled up with me 😊.
        Hugs and blessings 💙

        Liked by 1 person

      1. Thanks, Mandy! I’m blessed by your Psalm 119 posts.
        Fridays are brutal (the guy who does my job during the week was not trained properly) but Saturdays and especially Sundays are always better. Have a restful Saturday!

        Liked by 1 person

  7. I love the image of the child caressing the face of the parent. No, there isn’t any flattery – there can’t be. You can’t flatter God, because whatever praise we give Him is an understatement.
    I laugh as I think of the rising up at night to praise Him, because lately I’ve been waking up and not getting back to sleep. Last night I was in that situation, thinking about how behind I was in my writing, and I decided to get up and “get some writing done!” When my laptop wasn’t working (?!?) I was frustrated, but knew deep down I should probably be praying/praising, as I had read in your post. But my mind was too foggy to focus, and I couldn’t pray. At that moment my husband came in and asked if I wanted to watch the meteor shower. We had tried for a couple of nights, but it had been too cloudy. We grabbed a blanket and went out onto the patio, where we saw a clear sky full of thousands of stars! We sat and gazed in wonder, spotting a shooting star every couple of minutes. When Marty went back inside, I lingered a little longer. (I had to sing a few verses of “How Great Thou Art.” 😉 )

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Annie, this is AMAZING! Thank you for sharing! So true about How Great Thou Art! Awesome wonder for sure! Psalm 8 and 19:1-6 are going through my mind! God is spectacular, majestic and worthy to be praised! So glad God allowed y’all to see this! Love and blessings!

      Liked by 1 person

  8. Love the obedience and praise in these verses. Good study Mandy!!

    I need to be better with following this verse when sleep eludes me!!—

    ‘At midnight I rise to praise you because of your righteous rules.’

    Liked by 1 person

  9. I noticed you responded to a comment I made over at Domain or Truth and decided to visit your place, to be greeted with a post about Psalm 119! I attend a Chapel at Ft. Carson, CO where several chaplains are preaching through that Psalm. For the most part, the sermons have been good, while not actually just exegeting the rich text itself. I enjoyed your treatment of the section I just read. My all-time favorite Psalm 119 passage is verse 11. 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Dan, that is an EXCELLENT verse! As these times get darker it is paramount for believers to store/treasure the Lord’s Word in our heart so we don’t sin against Him! I always enjoy reading your comments on Jimmy’s blog! Thank you for reading and sharing your thoughts here! Blessings! Mandy

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  10. I hope the situation in Kabul would not degenerate to something like Bengazi also. I really hope they have adequate air cover and also rules of engagement that allows the troops to call air support if something happen…

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Nathan was in the air for that and told to stand down, he still cant talk about that without getting angry. August 31 is the deadline from what I can tell for US to leave and if someone is there longer I don’t know if they will get left there? I am not asking Nathan too much. Truth be told, he almost left work early yesterday because it is just really effecting him. I told him you wrote a really, really great post today. I don’t think people understand that the world is now post US dominate. 2021 is seriously becoming more intense than 2020 with all the different variants, natural disasters/disturbances, political unrest. So glad that in the midst of the chaos we have Jesus and Bible Study!!!

      Liked by 1 person

      1. I didn’t press “send” for my response to your comment though I wrote it before Bible study:
        Wow. I can’t imagine Nathan being in the situation he was in, man…Mandy I don’t know any veterans no matter the political persuasion, who don’t feel right about the way we are leaving Afghanistan

        Liked by 1 person

      2. I was encouraged by the Bible Study’s response to this. What an amazing community of believers! Unless the Lord calls me home, I am able to participate in youth time this Saturday. Are y’all still going through Mark?! Let me know what I need to read and I will be prepared!

        Liked by 1 person

      3. Yes we will still be going through Mark! We are going over Mark 1:14-20 for this week! That would be a joy having you! I would like to ask you if you want to teach sometime in September for the youth, if you desire to?

        Liked by 1 person

      4. I was quite comforted yesterday hearing how many prayer requests were made for Afghanistan. Sometimes it seems to me many on the Left don’t even care about the implications of what happened in Afghanistan so hearing believers being concerned that was somehow comforting

        Liked by 1 person

      5. I think if you mail to us we can give it to him. Wanted to respect his privacy and given his past line of work with executive protection and security business I think he’s more cautious; is that ok?

        Liked by 1 person

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