I will run the way of your commandments, when you shall enlarge my heart.
I. CONSCIOUSNESS OF ACTUAL CAPTIVITY. The feeling may be illustrated by the case of a messenger in time of war charged by a great king with an important commission, who on his way is seized by the king's enemies, disarmed, stripped, bound, and led away in an opposite direction; longing to be free that he may do his master's will, and appealing to his lord very much as the psalmist cries to God in this place, "Help me, and set me free, that I may do Thy will and accomplish Thine orders." There is hope in such a state, A man who wishes that he could do God's will has taken the first step towards life. The conscience has got free and stretches out its suppliant hands for help; the affections are, however, still in bondage, and the tyrant power of long-formed habits of sin holds the soul oven while it turns its longing eyes to the sweet paths of righteousness, from which, a slave to his own iniquity, it is being borne away. The prisoner in yonder dungeon may madly tear at his chains, or furiously beat his poor flesh against the solid walls that hold him in, but he is not more powerless to snap the strong iron, or wrench open the ponderous stones, than is a poor sinner to break his own bondage. But there is One who can help, One only, One able to help so effectually, that the chained limbs in their delighted freedom shall actually run. That One is God.
II. A. CONSCIOUSNESS OF NARROWNESS OF AFFECTION AND DESIRE AFTER GOD. The psalmist craved for more freedom of faith; for warmer and stronger love towards God. There are few Christians who will not have the same feeling, and will not be conscious how small and low is their state of grace; how poor their service to their God, compared to what it should be, and what it might be with God to help them. Nor will it be difficult to trace, in some degree, the causes of this narrowness. With a man it may be a too engrossing occupation in earthly business, too predominant and absorbing a care for earthly success, limiting the times of prayer and interrupting that free and full communion with God without which no growth in holiness is possible. With a woman it may be the troubling about "many things," such as kept Martha of old from the feet of Jesus: the absorption of thoughts in her children, her household, and her daily cares. Here, again, our hope is in God. He can enlarge our hearts by more perfectly revealing His own blessed self within them. He enters into the soul, and the soul grows with His presence. His glory and greatness and beauty snap the restraining bonds, and stretch the heart in which He dwells till it becomes capable of peace and joy unknown before.
(G. Garbett, M. A.)
Parallel VersesKJV: I will run the way of thy commandments, when thou shalt enlarge my heart.