While the souls of the children of this world cleave to the earth as their portion, the children of light are greatly burdened, because of the remains of carnal affections in their hearts…
25 My soul clings to the dust; revive me according to your word!
- The just, in great distress, beg to be delivered, conformably to God’s promise.
- …for a perishable body weighs down the soul, and this earthy tent burdens the thoughtful mind. (Wisdom 9:15)
- So I find it to be a law that when I want to do right, evil lies close at hand. For I delight in the law of God, in my inmost self, but I see in my members another law at war with the law of my mind and making me captive to the law of sin which dwells in my members. Wretched man that I am! Who will deliver me from this body of death? Thanks be to God through Jesus Christ our Lord! So then, I of myself serve the law of God with my mind, but with my flesh I serve the law of sin. (Romans 7:24.)
26 When I told of my ways, you answered me; teach me your statutes!
- Ways. Or sins.
27 Make me understand the way of your precepts, and I will meditate on your wondrous works.
28 My soul melts away for sorrow; strengthen me according to your word!
- Here the soul is in such a state of anxiety as to be almost distracted; weighed down to the point of slumber.
- Hence the three apostles slept: And when he rose from prayer, he came to the disciples and found them sleeping for sorrow, and he said to them, “Why do you sleep? Rise and pray that you may not enter into temptation.” (Luke 22:45-46)
- Acedia, or torpor of mind, apathy, depression; hinders the persecution of any business.
29 Put false ways far from me; and graciously teach me your law!
- Iniquity. Hebrew, “lying.” Let me not imitate the wicked. (Haydock)
- Remit the punishment of my sins.
- He delivered me from my strong enemy, and from those who hated me; for they were too mighty for me. (Psalm 18:17)
- And protect me from falling.
30 I have chosen the way of faithfulness, I set your ordinances before me.
31 I cling to your testimonies, O LORD; let me not be put to shame!
32 I will run in the way of your commandments when you enlarge my understanding!
- Man runs, but God must impart grace.
- An enlarged heart sometimes denotes the capacity of understanding: And God gave Solomon wisdom and understanding beyond measure, and largeness of mind like the sand on the seashore, so that Solomon’s wisdom surpassed the wisdom of all the people of the east, and all the wisdom of Egypt. (1 Kings 4:29)
- It is a singular mercy of God to make us love his commands. – St. Augustine
“And you,” it says, “may dwell securely in your land.” The wicked person is never secure but is always disturbed and wavering. He is tossed about by every wind of doctrine to deceitful error, by the craftiness of people. However, the just person who observes God’s law dwells in security on his land, because he governs his body in fear of God and brings it into subjection. His understanding is firm when he says to God, “Strengthen me according to your words, O Lord.” Strengthened, secure and well-rooted, he dwells on the earth, founded in faith. His house is not built on sand but is established on solid ground. – Caesarius of Arles, Sermon 105.4.
*Caesarius of Arles (470-543) Bishop of Arles renowned for his attention to his pastoral duties. Among his surviving works the most important is a collection of some 238 sermons that display an ability to preach Christian doctrine to a variety of audiences.
It is unspeakable comfort to a gracious soul, to think with what tenderness all its complaints are received by a gracious God. We can talk of the wonders of redeeming love, when we understand the way of God’s precepts, and walk in that way. The penitent melts in sorrow for sin: even the patient spirit may melt in the sense of affliction, it is then its interest to pour out its soul before God. The way of lying means all false ways by which men deceive themselves and others, or are deceived by Satan and his instruments. Those who know and love the law of the Lord, desire to know it more, and love it better. The way of serious godliness is the way of truth; the only true way to happiness: we must always have actual regard to it. Those who stick to the word of God, may in faith expect and pray for acceptance with God. God, by his Spirit, enlarges the hearts of his people when he gives them wisdom. The believer prays to be set free from sin. (source)