Day 328: Psalm 119:171-76
May my lips overflow with praise, for you teach me your decrees. David again confirms the doctrine, That the way by which we become truly wise is, first by submitting ourselves to the Word of God, and not following our own imaginations; and, secondly, by God's opening our understanding and subduing it to the obedience of his will. He here joins together both these truths—namely, that when God has set before us his law, from which we are to learn whatever is profitable to our welfare, he, at the same time, teaches us inwardly. It were not enough to have ours stricken with the outward sound, did not God illuminate our minds by the Spirit of understanding, and correct our obduracy by the Spirit of docility. As the labours of teachers is to no purpose until virtue and efficacy has been given to it, so it is also to be noticed that such as are truly taught of God, are not led away from the law and the Scriptures by secret revelations, like some fanatics, who think that they linger still at their A B C, unless disdainfully trampling under foot the Word of God, they fly away after their own foolish fancies.
Let my soul live and let it praise you.* This sentence may be expounded thus: Lord, when you shall have bestowed life upon me, I will endeavour, by celebrating your praises, to show that I am not ungrateful. The prophet, depending upon the divine promises, confidently proclaims, that his life will continue in safety. Certainly, although our life is hidden under the shadow of death, we may, nevertheless, boast that it is safe, because God is its faithful guardian; and this assured confidence proceeds from his quickening grace, which is offered to us in his word.