Psalm 119:57-64

June 14, 2024

57 Thou art my portion, O Lord: I have said that I would keep thy words.

58 I intreated thy favour with my whole heart: be merciful unto me according to thy word.

59 I thought on my ways, and turned my feet unto thy testimonies.

60 I made haste, and delayed not to keep thy commandments.

61 The bands of the wicked have robbed me: but I have not forgotten thy law.

62 At midnight I will rise to give thanks unto thee because of thy righteous judgments.

63 I am a companion of all them that fear thee, and of them that keep thy precepts.

64 The earth, O Lord, is full of thy mercy: teach me thy statutes.

The Point: 

The Psalmist is ever aware of God’s mercy and His statutes. 

How do we feel in the recitation of this Psalm? 

We have a sense of our deep need.  We are always in great need of two things: God’s mercy and wisdom to walk in God’s ways. It is only by God’s mercy and wisdom that we will find the paths of life.  So our hearts cry out for more of God’s mercy and more of God’s wisdom in his law that we may truly know what it is to live life and to live it more abundantly. 

What does this Psalm say? 

Verses 57-58. 

Every man wants to feel as if he has ownership of some piece of property and capital; he wants to belong to some piece of land that he can call his own.  He wants to identify with something or somebody forever.  Here on earth, human relationships and capital are fleeting things.  They are here today and gone tomorrow.  Within a few days we could lose everything; our wealth, our closest family members, and our homes.  In light of this, what can be more enduring, more fulfilling, more meaningful than a relationship with the true and living God?  Worldly men seek only “a portion in this life” (Ps. 17:14), and they are not willing to cast it all away for Christ and His enduring kingdom.  By faith, though, we understand that the God who created the temporal is the God who prepares an eternal inheritance for us, and it must be far better than what we have here.  It must be better because it lies beyond the pale of sin, suffering, and death.  It must be far better because Jesus Christ, who saves us, is preparing this kingdom for us, His goodness and love for His own is infinite, incomparable, and incomprehensible.  

We are always in need of the mercy of God (verse 58).  If ever we lose sight of this, we are most miserable and hopeless.  We are beggars for mercy on the street corners of Jerusalem every day, holding up the signs that say, “Have mercy on me, O God, according to thy covenant mercies. Have mercy!” The only basis on which we can plead for this mercy is the Word of God - the promises and the provisions already laid out in His Word. Thus we may say, “Have mercy on us, according to the provision of Christ’s blood and righteousness!” 

Verses 59-60. 

Before applying the commandments of God, we must first think upon our own ways. As we hear the commandments of God read to us from the Old Testament or New Testament, we must first ask ourselves, “How have we fallen short of these commandments?  Where might these commandments best apply in our lives?”  When we see areas in our lives that do not conform to God’s laws, we confess our sins, trust in God’s forgiveness, and we love Him.  Then our hearts are inclined to keep His commandments. 

Jesus said that the foolish man is the one who hears the Sermon on the Mount and does not do it.  He has no interest in applying it to his life.  Unlike the Psalmist, this man does not make haste to keep the commandments of God. He considers these commandments a heavy burden, he thinks of God as a cruel taskmaster, and he much prefers the ways of sin.  This is the bent of his heart. 

There is no system of merit presented here. We are not “earning our salvation,” or even “earning the mercies of God,” otherwise God’s mercy would not be mercy. These verses merely provide a description of the true believer.  He is one who is corrected by the law of God,  one that makes haste to keep God’s commandments when he sees that he falls short of this standard. 

Verses 61-63. 

Wicked men will sin against the believer, but he refuses to play their game by their rules. He will continue to follow Christ’s admonition: “Love your enemies. Bless them that curse you. Pray for them who despitefully use you.”  When others are taken by sins like anger or bitterness, it is not unusual to find those trying to rescue them from the quicksand taken by the same sin (Gal. 6:1).  Here, the Psalmist is surrounded by bands of wicked men, yet he commits himself to remembering the laws of God. 

During the nighttime hours, many men are assaulted by evil thoughts and nightmares.  But the man who meditates on the laws of God day and night is not bothered by these things.  Rather, he rises at midnight to give thanks to God for His righteous judgments (verse 62). It is in the nighttime hours that a man’s most honest heart inclinations reveal themselves. 

Also, a man’s allegiances and friendships are determined by the righteous standards of God’s laws.  A true believer is attracted to others who trust in Christ, love God, and keep His commandments.  While he is quite willing to share his faith with unbelievers who are interested to hear what he has to say, he is not drawn to the company of those who are consumed with a life of pride and sinful lust. After a few minutes of interaction with men who speak lightly of God and all of life, the righteous man gets sick of this company. 

Verse 64.  

Every dew drop, every green blade of grass, every air molecule, and every live human being is a testimony to the mercy of God.  He sends rain on the just and the unjust.  When hundreds of thousands of men and women march through our large cities in “gay pride” demonstrations, proudly flaunting their hatred of God’s laws, they are breathing God’s air and expending energy obtained by eating God’s food.  But they ignore God’s mercy, and cannot see that they need His mercy in their own lives.  Not so with the believer.  He is delighted to see every manifestation of the mercy of God all around him, because he is a beggar for mercy and all of this mercy lends great hope that he will obtain more mercy from the God of mercy. 

How do we apply this Psalm to our lives? 

Study the words of the Sermon on the Mount for a few moments.  Take in a few of the lessons.  Then, take a look at your own life and inquire as to where you might apply these words in your life. Where are you falling short of the words of Christ?  

How does this Psalm teach us to worship God? 

We ought to give thanks to God for His commandments and righteous judgments as part of our worship.  If it were not for God’s ethical standards and His judgments, whereby He maintains those standards, there would be nothing but chaos on earth.  Without God’s judgments, there could be no Christ, no mercy, and no life.   


1. What is the portion of the godly? 

2. What is the portion of worldly men? 

3. How does Jesus define the foolish man at the end of the Sermon on the Mount? 

4. What does the believer do when he is persecuted by wicked men? 

5. Why is it impossible to “earn” the mercies of God? 

Family Discussion Questions: 

1. Where do we see the mercy of God demonstrated?  Provide as many examples as you possibly can. 

2. Who are your companions?  Are you more drawn to those who are always joking about spiritual things and taking God’s name in vain?  Or would you rather be with those who fear God and rejoice in His commandments?