Psalm 119:40

Behold, I have longed after thy precepts:
quicken me in thy righteousness.

~ Psalm 119:40

Behold, I have longed after thy precepts

Desire for God’s Word has been expressed in terms of God’s word, judgments, commandments, precepts, way, and testimonies. Taken together these express a longing for the entire Word of God. His desire is for every word that proceeds from the mouth of God.

The godly do not find God’s commandments grievous (1 John 5:3), but rather delight in them (Psalm 1:2). While unbelievers may cherry-pick some sweet expression of love from the Bible and think it beautiful, they despise God’s judgment and wrath. Greedy unbelievers will misinterpret the Proverbs and think they teach how to get rich, but they will all the while despise the true wisdom of God. The heart of the godly is truly manifest in the hunger and desire for all of God’s Word.

quicken me in thy righteousness

This is the final plea of this stanza and it is a renewed request for life. He seeks to be enlivened by the Word that he might keep it, walk in it, and do it. His aforementioned longing is not satisfied in hearing only (James 1:22).

The Psalmist frequently prays for life in this Psalm. He is seeking the vital energy to walk in God’s ways. It is an humble admission that we so often lack the power in ourselves to perform what we want and know to be right (Romans 7:18). It is only by continual reliance upon and renewal in the Spirit that we can walk after the Spirit (Romans 8:5, 13).

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