Psalm 119:59-60 - I Hastened and Did Not Delay
by Jonathan Tsai -
Passage: Psalm 119:59-60
When reading the Old Testament, we find many great examples of faith and faithfulness (Hebrews 11:32-38). The psalmist who wrote Psalm 119 is certainly no exception.
Through these two verses, the psalmist exemplifies a lifestyle of obedience to God, and is a great Old Testament illustration to a New Testament command many are familiar with–Paul’s exhortation to test and examine ourselves to see whether we are in the faith (2 Corinthians 13:5). It’s amazing to find many gems in the Bible of Old Testament saints who have obeyed commands written much later in the future–which is owing to the fact that the God of the Old Testament is the same as the God of the New Testament (Deuteronomy 6:4; John 1:1; Hebrews 13:8), and that the heart of God for faithfulness and obedience to Him has never changed.
Presumably, the psalmist, upon examining himself, had many atrocious things to the Lord, and out of fear and reverence, he repented immediately. Likewise, I have many things in my life which are “ugly” that I need to confront and repent of and submit to the obedience of Christ–immediately, without delay.
Let us break down what the psalmist did:
- Self-reflection and examination of his life against God’s word
- Turning away from sin that was uncovered
- Turning toward righteousness by following God’s commands in the Scriptures
- Responding immediately and without delay
While we are still in the flesh, we will never be completely free from sin (1 John 1:8), yet for those who are born-again (John 3:3; 2 Corinthians 5:17), they have been freed from the bondage of sin and have been empowered to be slaves to righteousness (Romans 6:17-18; 1 Corinthians 10:13).
The Lord is gracious to us all! I pray that He may instill in me and you the fear of the Lord (Proverbs 9:10).
An exercise that I am personally making an effort to do is to read through the Psalms in Chinese (my mother tongue), which helps me to learn the vocabulary used by Chinese-speaking believers to worship God, and also helps me to comprehend the passages more deeply than when just reading it in the English NASB translation.
The NCV (New Chinese Version, what they currently use at EBCT) says:
59 我思想我所行的道路，/ 就轉回腳步歸向你的法度
60 我趕快謹守你的命令， / 不敢耽延
My attempt to translate it back to English:
59 I thought about the path upon which I walked, / then I turned my steps back toward Your testimonies
60 I hurried to keep Your commandments, / Not daring to delay