Inner Renewal

Psalm 119: 33 – 40

Inner renewal, the heart kept whole. The spirit of dependence continues with nine requests in eight verses. But the threat to running in the Lord’s way (32) is not here a hostile environment (Gimel) nor the difficulties of life (Daleth) but the wayward heart which wants to obey (34) but can so easily be drawn away to selfish ends (36) and follow the enticements of the eyes (37). There is thus a tension in the heart itself: heart-loyalty threatened by heart-disloyalty. The solution is prayer: only the Lord can keep the ‘way’ obedient (33, to follow, (lit.) ‘the way of your decrees’), the heart whole (34), direct us to true happiness (35), keep us from unworthy pursuits (36–37), save us from disappointment (39, disgrace) and renew the springs of life (40, preserve). The section is in three parts: 33–35, total commitment, keeping God’s word with the whole heart; 36–37, inner threats, the divided heart; 38–40, divine, faithful care and supply.

Carson, D. A., France, R. T., Motyer, J. A., & Wenham, G. J. (Eds.). (1994). New Bible commentary: 21st century edition (4th ed., p. 567). Leicester, England; Downers Grove, IL: Inter-Varsity Press.