Psalm 119 is called the "Alphabet of Divine Love" because it
is divided into twenty-two sections, one for each letter of the Hebrew alphabet. The one
theme is the Word of the Lord. This secret ode is a little Bible. In the midst of a London
season, in the stir and turmoil of a political crisis, William Wilberforce writes in his
diary: "Walked from Hyde Park Corner repeating the One Hundred Nineteenth Psalm in
The second part (verses 9 to 16) is assigned to the young person. It is
meet that it should be so. Youth is the season of impression and improvement. Young people
are the future prop of society, and the fear of the Lord, which is the beginning of
wisdom, must begin in youth.
How shall a young man make a clean way, a pure line of conduct, through
this defiling world? The very inquiry shows that his heart is not in a corrupt state.
Desire is present; direction is required.
By taking heed thereto according to Thy Word. Young man, the Bible
must be your chart, and you must exercise great watchfulness that your way may be
according to its directions. You must take heed to your daily life as well as study your
Bible, and you must study your Bible that you may take heed to your daily life. With the
greatest care a man will go astray if his map misleads him; but with the most accurate map
he will still lose his road of he does not take heed to it. A captain may watch from his
deck all night; but if he knows nothing of the coast, and has no pilot on board, he may be
carefully hastening on to shipwreck. It is not enough to desire to be right; for ignorance
may make us think that we are doing God service when we are provoking Him, and the fact of
our ignorance will not reverse the character of our action, however much it may mitigate
With my whole heart have I sought Thee. The surest mode of
cleansing the way of our life is to seek after God Himself, and to endeavor to abide in
fellowship with Him.
O let me not wander from Thy commandments. We are to be such
wholehearted seekers that we have neither time nor will to be wanderers, and yet with all
our whole-heartedness, we are to cultivate a jealous fear lest even then we should wander
from the path of holiness. Two things may be very alike and yet altogether different.
Saints are "strangers", but they are not "wanderers". They are passing
through an enemy’s country, but their route is direct. They are seeking their Lord
while they traverse this foreign land. Their way is hidden from men, but yet they have not
lost their way.
Thy Word have I hid in my heart. He did not wear a text ON his
heart as a charm, but he hid it IN his heart as a rule. "This saying, to hide,
importeth that David studied not to be ambitious to set forth himself and to make glorious
show before men; but that he had God for a witness of that secret desire which was within
him" (John Calvin).
That I might not sin against Thee. Here was the object aimed at. As
one has well said: Here is the best thing - "Thy Word"; hidden in the best place
- "in my heart"; for the best of purposes - "that I might not sin against
Blessed art Thou, O Lord.Teach me Thy statutes. No sooner is the
Word in the heart than a desire arises to mark and learn it. When food is eaten, the next
thing is to digest it; and when the Word is received into the soul, the first prayer is -
"Lord, teach me its meaning". Thou art so blessed that I am sure Thou wilt
delight in blessing others, and this boon I crave of Thee that I may be instructed in Thy
commands. Happy men usually rejoice to make others happy, and surely the happy God will
willingly impart the holiness which is the fountain of happiness. Faith prompted this
prayer and based it, not upon anything in the praying man, but solely upon the perfection
of the God to Whom he made supplication.