Bible Verse Explanations and Resources


Psalms 119:5

King James Version (KJV)
Adam Clarke
Bible Commentary

O that my ways were directed - "I wish that my way may be confirmed to keep thy statutes." Without thee I can do nothing; my soul is unstable and fickle; and it will continue weak and uncertain till thou strengthen and establish it.

Albert Barnes
Notes on the Whole Bible

O that my ways were directed … - Indicating the desire of the pious heart. That desire - a prevailing, constant, uniform desire - is to keep the law of God. It is the aim of the life; it is the supreme purpose of the soul; it is the ruling wish of the man, thus to keep the law of God. He in whose bosom this is not the constant wish cannot be a pious man. The Hebrew particle used here, and rendered “O that,” is a particle denoting a wish, or an earnest desire. The word “ways” denotes the course of life. The whole is expressive of an earnest desire to live in accordance with the law of God. It implies also a sense of dependence on God.

Matthew Henry
Concise Bible Commentary
This psalm may be considered as the statement of a believer's experience. As far as our views, desires, and affections agree with what is here expressed, they come from the influences of the Holy Spirit, and no further. The pardoning mercy of God in Christ, is the only source of a sinner's happiness. And those are most happy, who are preserved most free from the defilement of sin, who simply believe God's testimonies, and depend on his promises. If the heart be divided between him and the world, it is evil. But the saints carefully avoid all sin; they are conscious of much evil that clogs them in the ways of God, but not of that wickedness which draws them out of those ways. The tempter would make men think they are at them out of those ways. The tempter would make men think they are at liberty to follow the word of God or not, as they please. But the desire and prayer of a good man agree with the will and command of God. If a man expects by obedience in one thing to purchase indulgence for disobedience in others, his hypocrisy will be detected; if he is not ashamed in this world, everlasting shame will be his portion. The psalmist coveted to learn the laws of God, to give God the glory. And believers see that if God forsakes them, the temper will be too hard for them.
Ellen G. White
Testimonies to Ministers and Gospel Workers, 120

[Compiled from various publications, and from manuscripts of large circulation.]

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Ellen G. White
Testimonies for the Church, vol. 8, 323

And the natural powers are enlarged because of holy obedience. From the study of the words of life, students may come forth with minds expanded, elevated, ennobled. If they are, like Daniel, hearers and doers of the word of God, they may advance as he did in all branches of learning. Being pure-minded, they will become strong-minded. Every intellectual faculty will be quickened. They may so educate and discipline themselves that all within the sphere of their influence may see what man can be, and what he can do, when connected with the God of wisdom and power. 8T 323.1

This was the experience which the psalmist gained through a knowledge of God's word. He says: 8T 323.2

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