Psalm 119:78

(This is an entry from a devotional commentary I am working on from Psalm 119 entitled ‘God and His Word’.  The introduction can be found here, successive entries have covered the 22 sections of the Psalm, and following entries verse by verse.)


"May the arrogant be ashamed, for they subvert me with a lie;

But I shall meditate on Your precepts."


Similar to Psalm 119:69, the Psalmist replaces a lie with Your law.  Lying is apparently one of the results of arrogance; it is the arrogant who forge lies and subvert the righteous (see also Proverbs 17:15).  In these days, as in all times, it seems to be done with impunity and with no shame.  And so we pray - for our sake and for theirs - that shame would come upon them, and upon us if we follow the same path.  Psalm 101:6-7 is a wonderful meditation here; they may attack from the outside, but we don’t allow them inside our hearts.  It is God’s thoughts, not ours, which dominate our thinking and our hearts, Isaiah 55:8-11.  What hope it is that ‘the mouths of those who speak lies will be stopped’ (Psalm 63:11) and ‘Truthful lips will be established forever, But a lying tongue is only for a moment.’ (Proverbs 12:19).


‘How little he valued the will - will of sinners… Even those that deal most fairly may meet with those that deal perversely… it does not hurt us, and therefore should not move us… God's dealing favourably with him might make them ashamed to think that they had dealt perversely with him.’[1]


‘He would leave the proud in God's hands, and give himself up to holy studies and contemplations… The proud are not worth a thought. The worst injury they can do us is to take us away from our devotions; let us baffle them by keeping all the closer to our God when they are most malicious in their onslaughts.’[2]


[1] Henry, Matthew, Commentary on the Whole Bible, on Psalm 119:78, e-Sword edition

[2] Spurgeon, Charles Haddon, Treasury of David, on Psalm 119:78, e-Sword edition


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