89 <LAMED> For ever, O Lord, your word is fixed in heaven. 90 Your faith is unchanging from generation to generation: you have put the earth in its place, and it is not moved. 91 They are ruled this day by your decisions; for all things are your servants.

92 If your law had not been my delight, my troubles would have put an end to me.

93 I will ever keep your orders in mind; for in them I have life.

94 I am yours, O be my saviour; for my desire has been for your rules.

95 The sinners have been waiting for me to give me up to destruction; but I will give all my mind to your unchanging ward.

96 I have seen that nothing on earth is complete; but your teaching is very wide.

97 <MEM> O what love I have for your law! I give thought to it all the day.

98 Your teaching has made me wiser than my haters: for it is mine for ever. 99 I have more knowledge than all my teachers, because I give thought to your unchanging word. 100 I have more wisdom than the old, because I have kept your orders.

101 I have kept back my feet from all evil ways, so that I might be true to your word.

102 My heart has not been turned away from your decisions; for you have been my teacher.

103 How sweet are your sayings to my taste! truly, they are sweeter than honey in my mouth! 104 Through your orders I get wisdom; for this reason I am a hater of every false way.

105 <NUN> Your word is a light for my feet, ever shining on my way.

106 I have made an oath and kept it, to be guided by your upright decisions.

107 I am greatly troubled, O Lord, give me life in keeping with your word.

108 Take, O Lord, the free offerings of my mouth, and give me knowledge of your decisions.

109 My soul is ever in danger; but I still keep the memory of your law. 110 Sinners have put a net to take me; but I was true to your orders.

111 I have taken your unchanging word as an eternal heritage; for it is the joy of my heart. 112 My heart is ever ready to keep your rules, even to the end.

113 <SAMECH> I am a hater of men of doubting mind; but I am a lover of your law.

114 You are my secret place and my breastplate against danger; my hope is in your word.

115 Go far from me, you evil-doers; so that I may keep the teachings of my God.

116 Be my support as you have said, and give me life; let not my hope be turned to shame. 117 Let me not be moved, and I will be safe, and ever take delight in your rules.

118 You have overcome all those who are wandering from your rules; for all their thoughts are false. 119 All the sinners of the earth are like waste metal in your eyes; and for this cause I give my love to your unchanging word. 120 My flesh is moved for fear of you; I give honour to your decisions.

121 <AIN> I have done what is good and right: you will not give me into the hands of those who are working against me. 122 Take your servant's interests into your keeping; let me not be crushed by the men of pride.

123 My eyes are wasted with desire for your salvation, and for the word of your righteousness.

124 Be good to your servant in your mercy, and give me teaching in your rules. 125 I am your servant; give me wisdom, so that I may have knowledge of your unchanging word.

126 It is time, O Lord, for you to let your work be seen; for they have made your law without effect.

127 For this reason I have greater love far your teachings than for gold, even for shining gold. 128 Because of it I keep straight in all things by your orders; and I am a hater of every false way.

129 <PE> Your unchanging word is full of wonder; for this reason my soul keeps it.

130 The opening of your words gives light; it gives good sense to the simple.

131 My mouth was open wide, waiting with great desire for your teachings.

132 Let your eyes be turned to me, and have mercy on me, as it is right for you to do to those who are lovers of your name.

133 Let my steps be guided by your word; and let not sin have control over me.

134 Make me free from the cruel rule of man; then I will keep your orders.

135 Let your servant see the shining of your face; give me knowledge of your rules.

136 Rivers of water are flowing from my eyes, because men do not keep your law.

137 <TZADE> O Lord, great is your righteousness, and upright are your decisions. 138 You have given your unchanging word in righteousness, and it is for ever.

139 My passion has overcome me; because my haters are turned away from your words.

140 Your word is of tested value; and it is dear to your servant.

141 I am small and of no account; but I keep your orders in mind.

142 Your righteousness is an unchanging righteousness, and your law is certain.

143 Pain and trouble have overcome me: but your teachings are my delight. 144 The righteousness of your unchanging word is eternal; give me wisdom so that I may have life.

145 <KOPH> I have made my prayer with all my heart; give answer to me, O Lord: I will keep your rules. 146 My cry has gone up to you; take me out of trouble, and I will be guided by your unchanging word.

147 Before the sun is up, my cry for help comes to your ear; my hope is in your words. 148 In the night watches I am awake, so that I may give thought to your saying.

149 Let my voice come to you, in your mercy; O Lord, by your decisions give me life.

150 Those who have evil designs against me come near; they are far from your law. 151 You are near, O Lord; and all your teachings are true.

152 I have long had knowledge that your unchanging word is for ever.

153 <RESH> O see my trouble, and be my saviour; for I keep your law in my mind, 154 Undertake my cause, and come to my help, give me life, as you have said.

155 Salvation is far from evil-doers; for they have made no search for your rules.

156 Great is the number of your mercies, O Lord; give me life in keeping with your decisions.

157 Great is the number of those who are against me; but I have not been turned away from your unchanging word.

158 I saw with hate those who were untrue to you; for they did not keep your saying.

159 See how great is my love for your orders: give me life, O Lord, in keeping with your mercy.

160 Your word is true from the first; and your upright decision is unchanging for ever.

161 <SHIN> Rulers have been cruel to me without cause; but I have the fear of your word in my heart.

162 I am delighted by your saying, like a man who makes discovery of great wealth.

163 I am full of hate and disgust for false words; but I am a lover of your law.

164 Seven times a day do I give you praise, because of your upright decisions.

165 Great peace have lovers of your law; they have no cause for falling.

166 Lord, my hope has been in your salvation; and I have kept your teachings.

167 My soul has kept your unchanging word; great is my love for it. 168 I have been ruled by your orders; for all my ways are before you.

169 <TAU> Let my cry come before you, O Lord; give me wisdom in keeping with your word. 170 Let my prayer come before you; take me out of trouble, as you have said.

171 Let my lips be flowing with praise, because you have given me knowledge of your rules.

172 Let my tongue make songs in praise of your word; for all your teachings are righteousness.

173 Let your hand be near for my help; for I have given my heart to your orders. 174 All my desire has been for your salvation, O Lord; and your law is my delight.

175 Give life to my soul so that it may give you praise; and let your decisions be my support.

176 I have gone out of the way like a wandering sheep; make search for your servant; for I keep your teachings ever in mind.

Matthew Henry's Commentary on Psalm 119:89-176

Commentary on Psalm 119:89-96

(Read Psalm 119:89-96)

The settling of God's word in heaven, is opposed to the changes and revolutions of the earth. And the engagements of God's covenant are established more firmly than the earth itself. All the creatures answer the ends of their creation: shall man, who alone is endued with reason, be the only unprofitable burden of the earth? We may make the Bible a pleasant companion at any time. But the word, without the grace of God, would not quicken us. See the best help for bad memories, namely, good affections; and though the exact words be lost, if the meaning remain, that is well. I am thine, not my own, not the world's; save me from sin, save me from ruin. The Lord will keep the man in peace, whose mind is stayed on him. It is poor perfection which one sees and end of. Such are all things in this world, which pass for perfections. The glory of man is but as the flower of the grass. The psalmist had seen the fulness of the word of God, and its sufficiency. The word of the Lord reaches to all cases, to all times. It will take us from all confidence in man, or in our own wisdom, strength, and righteousness. Thus shall we seek comfort and happiness from Christ alone.

Commentary on Psalm 119:97-104

(Read Psalm 119:97-104)

What we love, we love to think of. All true wisdom is from God. A good man carries his Bible with him, if not in his hands, yet in his head and in his heart. By meditation on God's testimonies we understand more than our teachers, when we understand our own hearts. The written word is a more sure guide to heaven, than all the fathers, the teachers, and ancients of the church. We cannot, with any comfort or boldness, attend God in holy duties, while under guilt, or in any by-way. It was Divine grace in his heart, that enabled the psalmist to receive these instructions. The soul has its tastes as well as the body. Our relish for the word of God will be greatest, when that for the world and the flesh is least. The way of sin is a wrong way; and the more understanding we get by the precepts of God, the more rooted will be our hatred of sin; and the more ready we are in the Scriptures, the better furnished we are with answers to temptation.

Commentary on Psalm 119:105-112

(Read Psalm 119:105-112)

The word of God directs us in our work and way, and a dark place indeed the world would be without it. The commandment is a lamp kept burning with the oil of the Spirit, as a light to direct us in the choice of our way, and the steps we take in that way. The keeping of God's commands here meant, was that of a sinner under a dispensation of mercy, of a believer having part in the covenant of grace. The psalmist is often afflicted; but with longing desires to become more holy, offers up daily prayers for quickening grace. We cannot offer any thing to God, that he will accept but what he is pleased to teach us to do. To have our soul or life continually in our hands, implies constant danger of life; yet he did not forget God's promises nor his precepts. Numberless are the snares laid by the wicked; and happy is that servant of God, whom they have not caused to err from his Master's precepts. Heavenly treasures are a heritage for ever; all the saints accept them as such, therefore they can be content with little of this world. We must look for comfort only in the way of duty, and that duty must be done. A good man, by the grace of God, brings his heart to his work, then it is done well.

Commentary on Psalm 119:113-120

(Read Psalm 119:113-120)

Here is a dread of the risings of sin, and the first beginnings of it. The more we love the law of God, the more watchful we shall be, lest vain thoughts draw us from what we love. Would we make progress in keeping God's commands, we must be separate from evil-doers. The believer could not live without the grace of God; but, supported by his hand, his spiritual life shall be maintained. Our holy security is grounded on Divine supports. All departure from God's statutes is error, and will prove fatal. Their cunning is falsehood. There is a day coming which will put the wicked into everlasting fire, the fit place for the dross. See what comes of sin Surely we who fall so low in devout affections, should fear, lest a promise being left us of entering into heavenly rest, any of us should be found to come short of it, Hebrews 4:1.

Commentary on Psalm 119:121-128

(Read Psalm 119:121-128)

Happy is the man, who, acting upon gospel principles, does justice to all around. Christ our Surety, having paid our debt and ransom, secures all the blessings of salvation to every true believer. The psalmist expects the word of God's righteousness, and no other salvation than what is secured by that word, which cannot fall to the ground. We deserve no favour form God; we are most easy when we cast ourselves upon God's mercy, and refer ourselves to it. If any man resolve to do God's will as his servant, he shall be made to know his testimonies. We must do what we can for the support of religion, and, after all, must beg of God to take the work into his own hands. It is hypocrisy to say we love God's commandments more than our worldly interests. The way of sin is a false way, being directly contrary to God's precepts, which are right: those that love and esteem God's law, hate sin, and will not be reconciled to it.

Commentary on Psalm 119:129-136

(Read Psalm 119:129-136)

The wonders of redeeming love will fix the heart in adoration of them. The Scriptures show us what we were, what we are, and what we shall be. They show us the mercy and the justice of the Lord, the joys of heaven, and the pains of hell. Thus they give to the simple, in a few days, understanding of those matters, which philosophers for ages sought in vain. The believer, wearied with the cares of life and his conflicts with sin, pants for the consolations conveyed to him by means of the sacred word. And every one may pray, Look thou upon me, and be merciful unto me as thou usest to do unto those that love thy name. We must beg that the Holy Spirit would order our steps. The dominion of sin is to be dreaded and prayed against by every one. The oppression of men is often more than flesh and blood can bear; and He who knoweth our frame, will not refuse to remove it in answer to the prayers of his people. Whatever obscurity may appear as to the faith of the Old Testament believers, their confidence at the throne of grace can only be explained by their having obtained more distinct views of gospel privileges, through the sacrifices and services of their law, than is generally imagined. Go to the same place, plead the name and merits of Jesus, and you will not, you cannot plead in vain. Commonly, where there is a gracious heart, there is a weeping eye. Accept, O Lord, the tears our blessed Redeemer shed in the days of his flesh, for us who should weep for our brethren or ourselves.

Commentary on Psalm 119:137-144

(Read Psalm 119:137-144)

God never did, and never can do wrong to any. The promises are faithfully performed by Him that made them. Zeal against sin should constrain us to do what we can against it, at least to do more in religion ourselves. Our love to the word of God is evidence of our love to God, because it is designed to make us partake his holiness. Men's real excellency always makes them low in their own eyes. When we are small and despised, we have the more need to remember God's precepts, that we may have them to support us. The law of God is the truth, the standard of holiness, the rule of happiness; but the obedience of Christ alone justifies the believer. Sorrows are often the lot of saints in this vale of tears; they are in heaviness through manifold temptations. There are delights in the word of God, which the saints often most sweetly enjoy when in trouble and anguish. This is life eternal, to know God and Jesus Christ whom he has sent, John 17:3. May we live the life of faith and grace here, and be removed to the life of glory hereafter.

Commentary on Psalm 119:145-152

(Read Psalm 119:145-152)

Supplications with the whole heart are presented only by those who desire God's salvation, and who love his commandments. Whither should the child go but to his father? Save me from my sins, my corruptions, my temptations, all the hinderances in my way, that I may keep thy testimonies. Christians who enjoy health, should not suffer the early hours of the morning to glide away unimproved. Hope in God's word encourages us to continue in prayer. It is better to take time from sleep, than not to find time for prayer. We have access to God at all hours; and if our first thoughts in the morning are of God, they will help to keep us in his fear all the day long. Make me lively and cheerful. God knows what we need and what is good for us, and will quicken us. If we are employed in God's service, we need not fear those who try to set themselves as far as they can out of the reach of the convictions and commands of his law. When trouble is near, God is near. He is never far to seek. All his commandments are truth. And God's promises will be performed. All that ever trusted in God have found him faithful.

Commentary on Psalm 119:153-160

(Read Psalm 119:153-160)

The closer we cleave to the word of God, both as our rule and as our stay, the more assurance we have of deliverance. Christ is the Advocate of his people, their Redeemer. Those who were quickened by his Spirit and grace, when they were dead in trespasses and sins, often need to have the work of grace revived in them, according to the word of promise. The wicked not only do not God's statutes, but they do not even seek them. They flatter themselves that they are going to heaven; but the longer they persist in sin, the further it is from them. God's mercies are tender; they are a fountain that can never be exhausted. The psalmist begs for God's reviving, quickening grace. A man, steady in the way of his duty, though he may have many enemies, needs to fear none. Those that hate sin truly, hate it as sin, as a transgression of the law of God, and a breaking of his word. Our obedience is only pleasing to God, and pleasant to ourselves, when it comes from a principle of love. All, in every age, who receive God's word in faith and love, find every saying in it faithful.

Commentary on Psalm 119:161-168

(Read Psalm 119:161-168)

Those whose hearts stand in awe of God's word, will rather endure the wrath of man, than break the law of God. By the word of God we are unspeakable gainers. Every man hates to have a lie told him, but we should more hate telling a lie; by the latter we give an affront to God. The more we see the beauty of truth, the more we shall see the hateful deformity of a lie. We are to praise God even for afflictions; through grace we get good from them. Those that love the world have great vexation, for it does not answer what they expect; those that love God's word have great peace, for it outdoes what they expect. Those in whom this holy love reigns, will not perplex themselves with needless scruples, or take offence at their brethren. A good hope of salvation will engage the heart in doing the commandments. And our love to the word of God must subdue our lusts, and root out carnal affections: we must make heart work of it, or we make nothing of it. We must keep the commandments of God by obedience to them, and his promises by reliance on them. God's eye is on us at all times; this should make us very careful to keep his commandments.

Commentary on Psalm 119:169-176

(Read Psalm 119:169-176)

The psalmist desired grace and strength to lift up his prayers, and that the Lord would receive and notice them. He desired to know more of God in Christ; to know more of the doctrines of the word, and the duties of religion. He had a deep sense of unworthiness, and holy fear that his prayer should not come before God; Lord, what I pray for is, what thou hast promised. We have learned nothing to purpose, if we have not learned to praise God. We should always make the word of God the rule of our discourse, so as never to transgress it by sinful speaking, or sinful silence. His own hands are not sufficient, nor can any creature lend him help; therefore he looks up to God, that the hand that had made him may help him. He had made religion his deliberate choice. There is an eternal salvation all the saints long for, and therefore they pray that God would help their way to it. Let thy judgments help me; let all ordinances and all providences, (both are God's judgments,) further me in glorifying God; let them help me for that work. He often looks back with shame and gratitude to his lost estate. He still prays for the tender care of Him who purchased his flock with his own blood, that he may receive from him the gift of eternal life. Seek me, that is, Find me; for God never seeks in vain. Turn me, and I shall be turned. Let this psalm be a touchstone by which to try our hearts, and our lives. Do our hearts, cleansed in Christ's blood, make these prayers, resolutions and confessions our own? Is God's word the standard of our faith, and the law of our practice? Do we use it as pleas with Christ for what we need? Happy those who live in such delightful exercises.

Food Offered to Idols

81 Now about things offered to images: we all seem to ourselves to have knowledge. Knowledge gives pride, but love gives true strength. 2 If anyone seems to himself to have knowledge, so far he has not the right sort of knowledge about anything; 3 But if anyone has love for God, God has knowledge of him.

4 So, then, as to the question of taking food offered to images, we are certain that an image is nothing in the world, and that there is no God but one. 5 For though there are those who have the name of gods, in heaven or on earth, as there are a number of gods and a number of lords, 6 There is for us only one God, the Father, of whom are all things, and we are for him; and one Lord, Jesus Christ, through whom are all things, and we have our being through him.

7 Still, all men have not that knowledge: but some, being used till now to the image, are conscious that they are taking food which has been offered to the image; and because they are not strong in the faith, their minds are troubled. 8 But God's approval of us is not based on the food we take: if we do not take it we are no worse for it; and if we take it we are no better. 9 But take care that this power of yours does not give cause for trouble to the feeble. 10 For if a man sees you, who have knowledge, taking food as a guest in the house of an image, will it not give him, if he is feeble, the idea that he may take food offered to images? 11 And so, through your knowledge, you are the cause of destruction to your brother, for whom Christ underwent death. 12 And in this way, doing evil to the brothers, and causing trouble to those whose faith is feeble, you are sinning against Christ. 13 For this reason, if food is a cause of trouble to my brother, I will give up taking meat for ever, so that I may not be a cause of trouble to my brother.