Psalm 119:73-80

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Yodh

73  Your hands have made and fashioned me; 

give me understanding that I may learn your commandments. 

74  Those who fear you shall see me and rejoice, 

because I have hoped in your word. 

75  I know, O Lord, that your rules are righteous, 

and that in faithfulness you have afflicted me. 

76  Let your steadfast love comfort me 

according to your promise to your servant. 

77  Let your mercy come to me, that I may live; 

for your law is my delight. 

78  Let the insolent be put to shame, 

because they have wronged me with falsehood; 

as for me, I will meditate on your precepts. 

79  Let those who fear you turn to me, 

that they may know your testimonies. 

80  May my heart be blameless in your statutes, 

that I may not be put to shame! 

ESV

The psalmist begins this stanza with a statement of confidence and trust. “As the Lord originally formed the first human (Gen 2:7), so the psalmist asserts that the Lord’s hands made and formed him…He wants to learn from the one who fashioned him and who knows him completely, so he calls on the Lord to give him understanding that will enable him to learn what he has commanded. He needs understanding from God if he is to learn God’s word” (D. Estes, Psalms 73-150 NAC, 2019, p. 418).

The foundational truth of life, whether one likes it or not, is that God made us, God formed us, God established us. The psalmist is absolutely certain of this truth; thus, he prays asking the Lord to give him understanding (hiphil, imperative, 2ms with 1cs suffix). This is a verb of causation. The psalmist is asking the Lord to cause him to have understanding. God is the Agent causing this not the psalmist. Ross states, “[this] is a prayer for God to finish his work of creation: God made us for a purpose, and to fulfill that purpose we need spiritual understanding to learn God’s commandments…In the psalmist’s mind, since God made him, God must instruct him. And because of the crises that he faced in life, he realized his need for understanding was urgent if he was to live blamelessly (v. 80)” (A Commentary on the Psalms 90-150 KEL, 2016, p. 528).

Those who see the psalmist’s faith and hope in the Lord’s Word will rejoice (v 74). The psalmist is “confident that how he responds to the Lord will prompt others to praise the Lord as well” (Estes, p. 418). Often times the afflictions and sufferings that believers undergo are not for the person experiencing it but for those around the person to see the Lord. Like Job, may we seek to suffer well when the Lord has us in times of affliction, suffering and hardship so that others may see and praise Him.

In verse 75 the psalmist knows that Lord’s rules/judgments are right and that He is faithful in affliction (see verse 67). “The affliction he has been experiencing came from God, even though it was through arrogant oppressors…Nothing is said in this stanza about the affliction being a punishment for sin. While that may be a possibility, it is more likely the affliction was God’s way of testing him for obedience. Those who understand the ways of God know that ultimately it is his plan to exalt the righteous and destroy the wicked, but that in his wisdom he often humbles the righteous before exalting them” (Ross, p. 529).

The psalmist earnestly asks the Lord that His covenant faithfulness comfort him (v 76). The psalmist (as he has done throughout this psalm) refers to himself as servant and makes his appeal on the basis of the Lord’s promise (covenant). Next the psalmist petitions the Lord for His mercy to come to him, that he can live (v 77). The psalmist wants the Lord to end his affliction; however, “even in affliction the psalmist delights in God’s law—the divine test has proven his faith, and so now it is time for relief” (Ross, p. 531).

The psalmist asks for the arrogant/insolent people to be put to shame for the wrong they are causing him by speaking lies/falsehoods (v 78). “As the arrogant focus on speaking falsehoods against him, the psalmist focuses his attention on meditating on God’s truth. For the arrogant truth is dispensable, but for the psalmist it is indispensable because his life is shaped by God’s word as he assimilates it through the process of meditation…The psalmist longs for the Lord to give to the arrogant the shame they have attempted to inflict on him…” (Estes, p. 419).

The psalmist as he did in verse 74 asks the Lord for those who fear Him to see his faith and know the Lord’s testimonies (v 79). “Because the psalmist feels alone in adversity, he longs for others who like him revere the Lord to come alongside him in his time of affliction ([in v 63] the psalmist states that he is a friend of all who fear the Lord). This is fellowship built on shared commitment to the Lord and his word” (Estes, p. 419).

The psalmist ends this stanza asking for his heart to be blameless and that he not be put to shame (v 80). The psalmist wants his heart to be pure and blameless so that he may obey God. “Godly living throughout the Bible begins in the heart and works out into transformed behavior; it is not a cosmetic makeover that tries to produce the appearance of godliness through actions that are not prompted by a heart devoted to the Lord” (Estes, p. 419).

May we honor and obey the Lord by our walk matching our talk. May we be wholeheartedly devoted to obeying Christ rather than giving into fear of being put to shame for our hope and faith in Christ.

Lord God, Your Word never ceases to amaze me. Lord God, help us to know Your Word, to study Your Word and to apply Your Word. Lord God, may we never forget that good theology moves from the head, to the heart to the hand. Lord God, there is SO much deception in our world today, may we hold EVERYTHING we read, hear and see up to the light of Scripture!!!! Lord God, thank You that as You have made, formed and established this world, so have You made, formed and fashioned us! Lord God, cause us to understand Your Word. Holy Spirit, convict us and help us to understand and apply Your Word! Stir in us a desire to learn Your commandments!

Lord God, may those who come in contact with us rejoice in You. May we manifest the fruit of Your Spirit regardless of our circumstances. Lord God, as harassment and hatred for Christians increases, may we be like the early church counting it all joy to be worthy to suffer for Christ. I know this is easier said than done. Lord work on my heart to suffer well for You hoping in Your Word! Lord God, we know that affliction produces endurance, help us to depend on Your strength. Lord may we cling to Your hesed. May we hold fast to Your Covenant Faithfulness knowing that You will never do anything that violates who You are and how You work.

Lord God, may we be servants who comfort others as You have comforted us. Lord, thank You and praise You that Your Goodness and Mercy are never far from us. Lord, may we delight in Your Word until You call us home. May we never forget that vengeance is Yours. Thank You Lord that someday when You see fit You will hold all those who have persecuted Your people throughout time accountable. In the meantime, may we again be a people who show and tell about You to this dark and dying world. Lord God, may we choose to obey You. May we choose to be holy as You are holy. May we choose to keep our hearts pure for You, obeying You regardless of what it costs. May we fear being separated from You, disappointing You, not in a works based righteousness way, but because we love You and want to please You. Thank You Lord for this reader. Fill them with Your grace and truth today so that they may glorify You wherever You have them today. In Jesus’s Name I pray. Amen.

Published by

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.

57 thoughts on “Psalm 119:73-80”

  1. Back to my beloved Psalm…
    As you open so beautifully, there is so much here but two truths stand out for me. The faithfulness of God in His afflictions is such a pillar for faith. But I love “Those who fear you shall see me and rejoice”. Very akin to v 63.
    While there need be fellowship among all believers, I believe there is a special bond among those who truly fear God. They are those who “tremble at His word”.
    Nehemiah esteemed this. From all God’s people he chose leaders over Jerusalem “who had integrity and feared God more than most men”.
    I want to be counted among such. May the greatness of God, consuming fire that He is, always humble me with reverent fear.
    Love these posts Mandy! Still have favorite verses coming up!! 😃

    Liked by 2 people

    1. Your encouragement and feedback Lisa Beth, means more than you will ever know!!! Thank you!! I absolutely agree with you about the “special bond among those who truly fear God.” False prophets and people who are against Christ and His people are rising up in record number. Now is not the time to be lukewarm and unaware. Nehemiah is an excellent example of someone who dealt with anti-God resistance and false prophets. Spiritual deception is all around us and like you, I want to be counted among the faithful.

      This is truly what stuck out to me the most in this stanza as well. We have a high calling, burden and amazing responsibility to be good witnesses to other Christians in our afflictions. Again, Nehemiah endured and persevered and I also cannot help but to think of Paul and his opening in 2 Cor 1:3-7, “Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Father of mercies and God of all comfort, who comforts us in all our affliction, so that we may be able to comfort those who are in any affliction, with the comfort with which we ourselves are comforted by God. For as we share abundantly in Christ’s sufferings, so through Christ we share abundantly in comfort too. If we are afflicted, it is for your comfort and salvation; and if we are comforted, it is for your comfort, which you experience when you patiently endure the same sufferings that we suffer. Our hope for you is unshaken, for we know that as you share in our sufferings, you will also share in our comfort” (ESV). God is faithful and will not leave us alone in our sufferings and afflictions. He also comforts us so that we can comfort others. God never works in our lives to keep it to ourselves, we are to share Him with others.

      I am so thankful for your wisdom, Lisa Beth. I am so thankful for your no nonsense approach to tell it how it is even when it is unpopular. I am thankful that you desire God above all else. I am truly thankful to be on this journey with you! Lots of love, hugs and blessings to you, Bob, Becky and Starry!!!!

      Liked by 2 people

      1. Thank you so much Mandy, I cherish you as a sister in Christ and grateful for your fellowship. ❤
        Just to mention, we had to say goodbye to Becky last week, she is now laid next to her mother Maggie. She was almost 18 yrs old and struggling to live. 😞
        But Starry is, well, a bright star for us! Such a lovable and loving cat, I know the Lord brought him personally to us.
        Love to you, Nathan and PQ too!
        Thanks again Mandy for your beautiful posts and kind words. 🤗

        Liked by 1 person

  2. The power of GOD in us and our prayer that He will “cause us to have understanding” and more such as strengthening our faith. This edifying post is something that we should act. I have a feeling that in this part, they seem to have similarities with Psalm 139. Blessings to you and your family!

    Liked by 2 people

    1. I absolutely agree with Psalm 139! I thought about making references in regards to God forming us in our mother’s womb, but I did not know how to write on that without getting off track! Thank you SOOOOOOOOOO much for mentioning this! God knows everything about us. That is both incredibly scary and wonderfully comforting! I am so thankful that God has preserved His Word throughout every generation so that the people of God can live in a manner to know, please and glorify Him! “It is a fearful thing to fall into the hands of the living God” (Heb 10:31 ESV). May people come to know Jesus as their Lord and Savior while there is still time! Love, hugs and blessings to you and your family!!!!!

      Liked by 2 people

  3. Mandy,
    How you have ministered to my heart through this exposition! As you point out, the psalmist puts his whole dependence on God as the source and the blessing, the One who is able to keep him in devotion and deed, pure and blameless. When I think of this psalmist, I think of the first of the beatitudes: “Blessed are the poor in spirit . . . .” He sees nothing in himself but everything in God that will make him rich in godliness, so much so that this very God-supplied godliness will bring God glory in the middle of his afflictions! This is the faith that feeds and sustains and glorifies our Lord.

    Thank you for the Spirit-filled prayer which lifted us to the throne of grace. May your walk with the Lord be strong and sure, your communion with Him full of joy and assurance, even as you share His word and His love with all of us who count you as a dear sister. God bless you and yours this day and always. 💝

    pax,
    dora

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Shalom, Dora! That is a GREAT point about the psalmist being poor in spirit. He is totally acknowledging His need for God and is making his petition based on God’s covent and character. “This is the faith that feeds and sustains and glorifies our Lord.” Also reminds me that when we hunger and thirst for righteousness that He will satisfy us, yet leave us wanting and yearning more of Him and His righteousness. I cannot fathom what it will be like when we finally see our King in His Beauty and enjoy Him forever!!

      Thank you for praying along with me and for praying for my walk! Amen to that! I appreciate you so much, Dora! You have a theologians mind and a shepherds heart and I praise God for it! You are loved!! 🤗🤗😘😘🧡🧡🌷🌷

      Liked by 1 person

  4. What a thoroughly excellent study Mandy, thank you so much. I picked up on one point you made, that our trials are just for us but for others. I know this to be true from my past times in hospital, that others find encouragement in my holding onto Him, my blessing comes from seeing them blessed! I love how you highlight the need to walk the walk, as well as talking the talk – so true! God bless you sister.

    Liked by 2 people

    1. Alan, thank you so much for sharing this practical real life example of how God has worked through your trial and affliction for others to be encouraged and glorify Him. I love how you say your blessing come from seeing them blessed! That is absolutely crucial and requires strength and the right perspective which only the Lord can give. I appreciate your humble heart. I know you are very diligent in making sure your walk and talk match. Love and blessings to you and Susan!!

      Liked by 1 person

      1. I knew you would say that and I love how you confess your struggles in your blog! I agree with what you are saying!! Charles Stanley says, “obey God and leave all the consequences to Him.” Amazing how much better my walk with the Lord goes when I heed that counsel!

        Liked by 1 person

  5. Good point that sometimes we suffer is for the sake of others to see God working.
    Reading this makes me think about how many arrogant enemies of God there are today. There are a lot of deceptions out there! How we believers need undestanding from God’s Word and specifically understanding from the Word to understand the times today. Good closing prayer Mandy.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thank you so much for your feedback!! I agree with there being many arrogant enemies of God and His people. Spiritual deception, false prophets/teachings are weighing heavily on my heart and I am praying how to write what is on my heart after I finish this psalm. I will write my reflections from DC!! I wrote you back a few days ago about youth dates so let me know what works for you!! Thank you again! Hope you have a very nice evening and good time with God reading and studying!!

      Liked by 1 person

  6. Lately I love the verses in the Psalms where the psalmist asks for justice against the unrighteous, insolent, arrogant, etc. There seems to be so much of this nowadays and so much hatred of believers that I love hearing the psalmist pray for that. More convicting is the idea of suffering well when God calls us to that, but it’s so important. May we truly be a good example to others in our suffering, pointing others to God.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Well said, Colleen. I was at a church meeting earlier and they asked us to what has encouraged us in Scripture lately. I said, “I love how the psalmist in psalm 119 is asking God to fight His enemies and that He trusts God based on who He is and what He does.” Praise God that he will avenge our enemies! Love, hugs and blessings!!!

      Liked by 1 person

  7. Was so happy to see your post on ps 119. Was just thinking the other day that it has been a bit since the last one.
    As always Mandy I love the breakdown of this section. We are made for a purpose and on,y with spiritual understanding do we know what it is. In affliction-the psalmist focus is on God.
    The Lord is the one who forms us and He continues to form us spiritually all though our lives with Him. May we yield, surrender and give it all to Him.
    May the Lord bless you and continue to use you 😊🤗

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thank you for your encouragement and thoughts, they are a gift to me and others!!! Life had been crazy for a little bit and so it was nice to have some time to meditate on the stanza of the psalm. I love how you say, “we are made for a purpose and only with spiritual understanding do we know what it is.” That is so true. Only believers can worship God and live for Him. Yielding, surrendering and giving it all to Him is something I want to be intentional about! I am thankful for you Manu and praying for you as well!!!

      Liked by 1 person

  8. Thank you Mandy for another instalment of this great psalm. So much gold to glean from the treasures of God’s Word. And a big AMEN ! to your prayer.
    Lots of love. Have a blessed weekend.

    Liked by 1 person

      1. You are such a blessing and a dear sister in Christ. What’s happening around me is hard to deal with at times, it’s came over us suddenly and it’s moving rapidly. Thank you for your prayers. Lots of love ❤️ 🙏🙏

        Liked by 1 person

  9. Answering your question (I forgot!): I did see the youngest baby with TCAC! Saw the baby and the mom and dad yesterday after church, we saw them when we dropped off food that the church with various members made for them

    Liked by 1 person

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