Psalm 119:169-176

Photo taken by Mandy Sweigart-Quinn

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169 Let my cry come before you, O Lord;
give me understanding according to your word!
170 Let my plea come before you;
deliver me according to your word.
171 My lips will pour forth praise,
for you teach me your statutes.
172 My tongue will sing of your word,
for all your commandments are right.
173 Let your hand be ready to help me,
for I have chosen your precepts.
174 I long for your salvation, O Lord,
and your law is my delight.
175 Let my soul live and praise you,
and let your rules help me.
176 I have gone astray like a lost sheep; seek your servant,
for I do not forget your commandments.

The psalmist ends this last stanza with his cry coming before the Lord (v 169a). He petitions the Lord to cause him to have understanding according to His Word (v 169b). This is an intensely deep and passionate cry for the Lord’s help. The psalmist asks for his plea to come before God alone and that again God would deliver him according to His Word (v 170). “Here the provision of deliverance from outward circumstances would give him freedom to learn and apply God’s word; and accordingly, provision of understanding would enable him to discover God’s promise and provision of deliverance in the word” (A. Ross, A Commentary on the Psalms 90-150 KEL, 2016, p. 592).

In verses 171-172 the psalmist’s lips and tongue will praise and sing of the Lord’s Word. “For the final time in Psalm 119, the psalmist in v. 171 presents himself as God’s student. He wants his lips that are now full of petitions to be repurposed for praise, as his inner enjoyment of the Lord’s instruction fills his heart and bubbles up into verbal public praise for him. He wants others to appreciate what he has learned from the Lord, that his commands are righteous, just as the Lord in his character is righteous” (D. Estes, Psalms 73-150 NAC, 2019, p. 439).

The psalmist uses anthropomorphism to refer to God’s Hand as power. The psalmist is requesting the Lord’s power to help him because he has chosen His precepts (v 173). “In v. 73 the hands of the Lord created and formed the psalmist, and how he wants the Lord to offer his hand to help him, implying that he cannot manage his adversity on his own…As he asks for the Lord’s help, he reaffirms that he genuinely values what the Lord has prescribed in his precepts” (Estes, p. 439).

The psalmist both longs for the Lord’s salvation and loves His Law (v 174). The psalmist’s “delight in God’s instruction is a constant that is not conditioned by his circumstances. His joy comes from doing what God has said, not from enjoying a life full of pleasant experiences apart from obeying the Lord” (Estes, p. 439). Oh that the people of God would have joy from doing what God has said today! As this world grows darker and more chaotic may believers in the Lord Jesus Christ long for His salvation and love His Word.

It is only fitting with an attitude of longing and love for the Lord that in his penultimate verse the psalmist states to let his life source (soul) live and praise the Lord (v 175). “In the OT, praise for the Lord is limited to one’s lifetime, so the psalmist’s petition, “Let me live, and I will praise you,” may well imply that he feels threatened and at the verge of death. If the Lord intervenes so that he can continue to live, then he will be able to keep praising the Lord, as is his practice (cf. v. 164). As he has called on the Lord’s hand to help him (v. 173), so he longs for the Lord’s word to help him as well” (Estes, p. 439).

The psalmist ends this psalm with a picture of him being a lost sheep who has gone astray (v 176). Thankfully, the psalmist knows the Good Shepherd whom he cries out to “seek His servant” on the basis that he does not forget the Lord’s commandments. It must be stated, “The last note of the psalm is a cry from a broken spirit rather than a confession of apostasy” (W. VanGemeren, Psalms REBC, 2008, p. 890). The psalmist has stated in previous verses that he is prone to wander from the Lord which causes him to be lost (vv 10, 21, 67, 110, 118); however, he ends this psalm with the commitment to not forget the Lord’s Commandments. May the people of God make that same commitment today!

Lord God, may our cries come before You and You alone. Lord God, cause us to have understanding according to Your Word. Lord, give us wisdom and discernment as we practice common sense and reason. Lord God, we offer our pleas and petitions to You. Lord God help us wait in confident expectation for Your deliverance. May our lips pour out praises to You and may our tongues sing of Your Word even in the midst of the darkness and chaos that surrounds us today. Lord God, teach us Your statutes because all Your commandments are right. Thank You that You are a Holy and Just God and that none of us are above Your discipline and correction.

Lord God, may Your Hand be ready to help us in our time of need. Lord God, come near to this reader who is hurting and struggling and is wandering like a lost sheep. May we long for Your Salvation, delighting in Your Law. Your Instruction is wise Lord and wise people keep it. Lord God, teach us to be wise. Teach us to love You, letting our souls live so that we may praise You. Lord God, may we live to praise You and not satisfy our flesh! Lord God, Your rules help us to obey and when we obey You we know that we are doing Your Will. Lord God, we are all prone to wander, leaving the God we love, bind our hearts Lord, seek and seal Your servants, may we commit ourselves like this psalmist to not forget Your Commandments.

Lord God, thank You and praise You for this reader! Thank You for bringing this reader alongside me on this journey through Psalm 119, whether it was from the Introduction to now or just this stanza, thank You Lord for the grace and time this reader has shown me. Lord God, may this reader love You and Your Word more today. Lord, for the reader who does not know Christ may they know today they are never too far for You to reach them. For the reader who does not know Christ may today be their day for salvation. Lord God, thank You and praise You for the opportunity to share Your Word online. Lord, thank You again for this reader. May the Peace of Your Presence lead them by still waters. 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.

65 thoughts on “Psalm 119:169-176”

  1. Oh Mandy, here we are at the end of this precious Psalm!
    Thank you for extolling this passage and edifying us verse by verse.
    One thing stands out to me here in the Psalmist’s pleas and proclamations. In all his cries he never fails to express his right heartedness before God.
    Never a ‘name it, claim it’ or entitled plea, but all his invocations inseparably hinge upon his right standing before God.
    I want to remember this!
    Thank you dear sister for drawing us into this precious word and availing our hearts to the Holy Spirit therein.
    Great photo – press on brother Nathan!

    Liked by 2 people

    1. Never a ‘name it, claim it’ or entitled plea, but all his invocations inseparably hinge upon his right standing before God.” Amen and Amen a thousand times over!!! I want to remember this as well! Thank you sister for your love and encouragement throughout this series! I have definitely grown closer to you and to God through this study. I will do a post compiling all the different verses into one source where you can click on each one for anyone who may want to save this. Nathan wasn’t paying attention so I quick took his picture! Love, hugs and blessings!

      Liked by 2 people

  2. Sorry to see this series end. This is it! “he ends this psalm with the commitment to not forget the Lord’s Commandments. May the people of God make that same commitment today!”

    May we follow the commands of Jesus.

    Blessings!

    Liked by 2 people

  3. What a grand finale, Mandy! How blessed I’ve been by your close study of this psalm, from Aleph to Tav! I come away from it with a deep appreciation of the psalmist’s humility before God, and his own desires and failings being subordinated to a dependence on God’s law and His hand of power which is able to guide and protect him though he go astray. Your closing prayer reminds us of that and I join you in asking that our Lord use your posts to refresh the weary and faint-hearted, and bring to Him those who are yet astray.

    Here we are at the end of 2021 (almost) and I pray that you will find the new year to be full of blessing and unexpected joy as you grow in the knowledge of Him who is able to fulfill your heart’s desires to His glory! Love and blessings, sister.

    Pax,
    Dora

    Liked by 2 people

    1. Shalom, Dora! “ I come away from it with a deep appreciation of the psalmist’s humility before God, and his own desires and failings being subordinated to a dependence on God’s law and His hand of power which is able to guide and protect him though he go astray.” I am so encouraged by your takeaway, thank you for sharing this! Humility is required and I am actively going to pray to be more humble! Thank you for your prayer me, I appreciate it more than you will ever know! Lots of love, hugs and blessings!!!

      Liked by 1 person

  4. The psalmist was truly inspired and filled by the HOLY SPIRIT as he gave us an example of a prayer/petition/communication with GOD the FATHER. So does the author of this edifying series. It is true on what you wrote that the “[psalmist] wants his lips that are now full of petitions to be repurposed for praise” and in his journey (both your journeys actually) composing these verses, it is right that he did end it by (also) reminding us readers on GOD’s commandments. True, that we should obey JESUS CHRIST’s commandments in our sanctification process especially in these dark times; for by obeying the Triune GOD is like honoring/praising Him.

    Liked by 2 people

    1. Hi, Kent!!!!! Thank you for reading not just this post nor series but all the prayers and stuff that I write! I know you’re not a big reader so you taking the time to read and comment really matters to me!!!!! As we talked about earlier sanctification is becoming even more important and we are sanctified by His Word and obeying Him, being transformed into Christ’s image!!!! The times are getting darker and to have more victory we need to obey God. I am so thankful for your heart for Jesus! I am thankful for your love for the Trinity! Love and blessings!!!!!

      Liked by 1 person

  5. Wow Last Stanza! Congrats on finishing this! Incredible! I like how you noted even in the end the Psalmist is still willing to be a student of the Word. And he wants others to also be amaze and learn from the Word. I also like how you noted the last verse isn’t apostasy but crying out trusting in God.
    Again awesome series!

    Liked by 2 people

    1. What a beautiful ending to this edifying study; May our love for and searching of His Word be a shared experience! Let our life be one of praise to the Almighty, our Father and God. Every good student should not horde secretly but share the riches of their discoveries…you certainly have done this here Mandy, thank you sister.

      Liked by 3 people

      1. Amen, Alan! What you said is the cry of my heart! The Triune God never teaches us anything to keep it to ourselves! Praise God for this online community! Thank you for your love and encouragement with this study!! Praying for you and Susan!

        Liked by 1 person

    2. Thank you for your encouragement and support throughout this series! I am going to make a blog post that has all of the links in one post. I like how you do that with your series!!!!! I am thankful for the psalmist’s example of being a student and servant. We would be wise to follow his example today!!!! How did it go with the youth?!

      Liked by 2 people

      1. Look forward to the table of content post! Youth went well! We read the first three chapters of the book! Hope to finish it in January with the youth. Thanks once again! How is your Saturday??? How’s time with family

        Liked by 1 person

      2. It was really, really sweet time with my side of the family!!!! So glad to hear the youth went well! I hope this book really impacts them for Christ and who they are in Him! I should be present for all the January studies, praise the Lord!! Did you have Facebook systematic theology today?!

        Liked by 1 person

  6. Thanks for this post and this series! As a believer, with Jesus Christ as my Savior, I can delight in God’s precepts. I could not do that as a religious unbeliever. God’s law was an impossibly heavy burden as I attempted to merit my salvation.
    p.s. great photo of Nathan!

    Liked by 2 people

    1. Amen to not being able to delight in God’s precepts as a religious unbeliever. Praying for all those who are trapped in works based religions to know Christ by grace through faith in His Work on the cross.

      Thanks, I took that picture when he wasn’t paying attention! I make his lunch and breakfast each morning before work and that is when he reads so I thought that would be a nice way to end Psalm 119!

      Liked by 1 person

  7. A beautiful end to this wonderful psalm – to continually be a student of the word of God. A right posture to always have. With whatever cries he brings to the lord, he always wants to bring himself back to a position of praise.
    I was so blessed by this study.
    Thank you Mandy 🤗💙

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thank you for blessing me through this study with your comments, Manu! I want to be like this psalmist always wanting to bring myself back to a position of praise. What a joy that we are the Lord’s students and servants! Love, hugs and blessings sweet sister!!

      Liked by 1 person

      1. It went well!! Got to see the whole kids and staff. I was humbled especially learning about the stories of the new kids added since I last saw them two years ago. Later after the meeting the pastor and I continued to talk about a legal case involving heinous crime against a five year old that rocked the community, and he’s trying to help them out. There are some really wicked people…sigh.

        Liked by 1 person

      2. My mom and I were just talking about the exact same thing. She is mentoring a young mom who found out her husband and the father of her child has done horrific crimes to her daughter. Heartbreaking. The husband called from jail and because she answered, long story short, she was checked into a mental facility and CPS came and took her daughter. Praying she will have her daughter back for Christmas. So sorry to hear about Nepal!!!! Truly, evil, wicked world. Politicians are not protecting children on any level.

        Liked by 1 person

      1. I am going back and forth of what I should preach for Sunday whether Ephesians 5 or “Christmas in Exodus” with typologies pointing to Christ with Moses life…
        Also my wife just told me about your card. Wow thank you

        Liked by 1 person

      1. OH MY GOODNESS THANK YOU SO MUCH!!!!!! I have been slow checking my email today!!!!! Thank you, thank you, thank you!!!!!!! So kind and unexpected!!!! I am taking Greek 1 and Intro to Systematic Theology so this will totally be used for books!!!! Thank you, thank you, thank you!!!! I am seriously humbled for you and Nancy’s love and kindness!!!!!!

        Liked by 1 person

      2. Awesome!!! No worries about it being slow with email…I’m the worst with emails. Just wanted to make sure it got through since I sent something to someone and it didn’t go through!

        Liked by 1 person

  8. Responding to your comment: THanks for teaching our kids with the content of the book informing your teaching! Wow you read that book in your PhD level course; honestly that book should be introduced to MDiv and even college course since it sets the foundation of how to incorporate details from ANE materials within a BT/ANE framework in a way that’s helpful. I don’t know why in seminary we didnt’ read it too!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I really think it is because people/believers do not know how to process the ANE through a biblical lens. When people learn about Enuma Elish or Gilgamesh it really freaks people out and rattles and at times shatters their faith. OT backgrounds is seriously a needed area of scholarship. I am honestly not surprised that we don’t learn this in early seminary. So, so sad!

      Like

      1. Yeah that needs to be corrected IMO; I also see some discover ANE but with the types like Peter Enns that is more bashing the BIbles; that doesn’t help and its better COnservatives teach ANE like the book you recommended did

        Liked by 1 person

      2. Can you let Nancy know I emailed about my crazy dietary habits. My mom says she won’t blame y’all if you don’t want me to come!!! I am hoping to take y’all out for dinner a few times and don’t feel bad, I want to do it!!!! I am so excited y’all have no idea!!!!

        Liked by 1 person

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