SDA Bible Commentary, vol. 3 (EGW)


Psalm 119

17, 18, 33-40. An Example of Prayer—[Psalm 119:17, 18, 33-40 quoted.] Such prayers as this the Lord's servants should be continually offering to Him. This prayer reveals a consecration to God of heart and mind; it is the consecration that God is asking us to make (The Review and Herald, September 17, 1908). 3BC 1152.2

18. The Reservoir of Heaven Not Locked—The Bible should be studied with prayer. We should pray as did David, “Open thou mine eyes, that I may behold wondrous things out of thy law.” No man can have insight into the Word of God without the illumination of the Holy Spirit. If we will but come into the right position before God, His light will shine upon us in rich, clear rays. This was the experience of the early disciples.... [Acts 2:1-4 quoted.] God is willing to give us a similar blessing, when we seek for it as earnestly. 3BC 1152.3

The Lord did not lock the reservoir of heaven after pouring His Spirit upon the early disciples. We, also, may receive of the fullness of His blessing. Heaven is full of the treasures of His grace, and those who come to God in faith may claim all that He has promised. If we do not have His power, it is because of our spiritual lethargy, our indifference, our indolence. Let us come out of this formality and deadness (The Review and Herald, June 4, 1889). 3BC 1152.4

111-115, 125-130, 165. Commandments a Delight to the Obedient—To the obedient child of God, the commandments are a delight. David declares: [Psalm 119:111-115, 125 quoted]. 3BC 1152.5

Did the contempt shown to the law of God extinguish David's loyalty? Hear his words. He calls upon God to interfere and vindicate His honor, to show that there is a God, that there are limits to His forbearance, that it is possible to so presume upon the mercy of God as to exhaust it. “It is time for thee, Lord, to work,” he says, “for they have made void thy law.” 3BC 1152.6

David saw the divine precepts thrown aside, and obstinacy and rebellion increasing. Was he swept away by the prevalence of apostasy? Did the scorn and contempt cast upon the law lead him to cowardly refrain from making an effort to vindicate the law? On the contrary his reverence for the law of Jehovah increased as he saw the disregard and contempt shown for it by others [Psalm 119:126-130, 165 quoted] (Manuscript 27, 1899). 3BC 1152.7

126, 127. Time for God to Work—David was greatly tried in his day in seeing men pouring contempt upon God's law. Men threw off restraint, and depravity was the result. The law of God had become a dead letter to those whom God had created. Men refused to receive the holy precepts as the rule of their life. Wickedness was so great that David feared lest God's forbearance should cease, and he sent up a heart-felt prayer to heaven, saying, “It is time for thee, Lord, to work: for they have made void thy law. Therefore I love thy commandments above gold; yea, above fine gold.” 3BC 1152.8

If David thought in his day that men had exceeded the limits of God's mercy, and that God would work to vindicate the honor of His law, and bring the wickedness of the wicked to an end, then what influence should the widespread iniquity of our day have upon those who love and fear God? When there is widespread disobedience, when iniquity is increasing to a swelling tide, will the professed Christian world be evil with the evil, unrighteous with the unrighteous? Shall we place our influence on the side of the great apostate, and shall universal scorn be heaped upon God's law, the great standard of righteousness? Shall we be swept away by the strong tide of transgression and apostasy? Or shall the righteous search the Scriptures, and know for themselves the conditions upon which the salvation of their souls depend? Those who make the Word of God the man of their counsel will esteem the law of God, and their appreciation of it will rise in proportion as it is set aside and despised. Loyal subjects of Christ's kingdom will re-echo the words of David and say, “It is time for thee, Lord, to work: for they have made void thy law. Therefore I love thy commandments above gold; yea, above fine gold.” This is the position those will occupy who love God sincerely and their neighbors as themselves. They will exalt the commandments in proportion as contempt increases (Manuscript 69, 1896). 3BC 1152.9

126. When David in his day saw the departing from the law of God, he expected that a manifestation of divine displeasure would be seen. He looked for the Lord to show forth His righteous indignation. “It is time for thee, Lord, to work,” he exclaimed, “for they have made void thy law.” He supposed that in their lawlessness men had exceeded the bounds of God's forbearance, and that the Lord would not longer restrain Himself (MS 15, 1906). 3BC 1153.1

Where Will the Church Stand?—It is possible for men to go so far in wickedness, under continual remonstrance, that God sees that He must arise and vindicate His honor. Thus it is at the present period of this earth's history. Crime of every degree is becoming more and more strikingly manifest. The earth is filled with violence of men against their fellow-men. 3BC 1153.2

What position will the church take? Will those who in the past have had respect for the law of God, be drawn into the current of evil? Will the almost universal transgression and contempt of the law of God, darken the spiritual atmosphere of the souls of all alike? Will the disrespect of the law of God sweep away the protecting barriers? Because wickedness and lawlessness prevail, is the law of God to be less highly esteemed? Because it is made void by the great majority of those living on the earth, shall the few loyal ones become like all the disloyal, and act as the wicked act? Shall they not rather offer up the prayer of David, “It is time for thee, Lord, to work: for they have made void thy law” (Manuscript 15, 1906)? 3BC 1153.3

130. See EGW on Psalm 19. 3BC 1153.4

165. In Harmony With Heaven—There is no peace in unrighteousness; the wicked are at war with God. But he who receives the righteousness of the law in Christ, is in harmony with heaven (Letter 96, 1896). 3BC 1153.5

Obedience Leads to Peace—Each law of God is an enactment of mercy, love, and saving power. These laws, obeyed, are our life, our salvation, our happiness, our peace [Psalm 119:165 quoted] (Letter 112, 1902). 3BC 1153.6