I have stuck to your testimonies: O LORD, put me not to shame.
I. WHAT THE PSALMIST MEANS BY GOD'S TESTIMONIES.
1. The children of God do not cleave to the bare letter of the Word — the mere vowels and consonants and syllables of Scripture, but to such testimonies as the Lord Himself is pleased to drop into their heart and conscience through the medium of the Scriptures of truth. Now, before we can receive the Scriptures as a revelation from God, it must be shown to us by the Holy Spirit that they were inspired by Himself.
2. But we come to the particular testimonies which God reveals to His chosen.
(1) One of the first testimonies that God seals upon the heart and conscience of His children is a manifestation of His own being — I mean His spiritual being; some discovery of Himself as He really is, some manifestation of Himself as He has revealed Himself in the Scriptures of truth.
(2) But when we come to a more particular description of these testimonies, we may divide them into two grand classes, testimonies against us, and testimonies for us, that is, in the way of experience.
(3) But there are other testimonies of another nature — not so much testimonies against, or testimonies for our interest in covenant mercies, as testimonies of Divine instruction. The Lord has said, for instance, in His Word, that "the heart is deceitful above all things, and desperately wicked." That is a testimony from the mouth of God; and how does the soul first receive, and then stick to that testimony? By the opening up of the depths of corruption in our heart, by the breaking up of the secret fountains of iniquity, that great deep that coucheth beneath. Again, God has said in His Word, "I, the Lord, hate evil." Now, this testimony the Lord speaks out of the Word into the hearts of His chosen. He writes it as with a sunbeam upon the consciences of His living family that He abhors evil; and this He transfers from the Word, and stamps upon a man's conscience; and he who has never had that solemn truth stamped upon his conscience is destitute of the knowledge of the only true God.
II. HE WHO STICKS TO GOD'S TESTIMONIES WILL NOT BE PUT TO SHAME.
1. Sometimes the child of God is afraid that he will be put to shame in the hour of death; lest his religion in that solemn moment should be sifted clean away, and his hope should prove a delusion; and therefore he says, "I have stuck unto Thy testimonies; O Lord, put me not to shame in that solemn hour when I must stand before Thee, without any one to help, or anything to hope in, except Thyself." Now, he that sticks to God's testimonies will not be then put to shame. He will not die in despair, but he will die in the fear and love of God; or, at any rate, will die with a good hope through grace in His mercy, with some rest of soul, and some sweet confidence that he is His.
2. Sometimes the child of God is afraid of being put to shame openly before men, by being overcome by some sin; but he says, "I have stuck to Thy testimonies." "Thou hast said, 'I hate evil' — I believe it, Lord. Thou hast shown me my ignorance, and inability to keep myself — I believe it, Lord. Thou hast warned me by solemn rebukes; Thou hast hedged me up by inward reproofs; Thou hast shown me what I am, and what there is in my heart; — I believe it, Lord. Let no sin entangle me, no disgrace overtake me, no corruption prevail against me. Let not the enemies of truth shout, 'Ah, ah! Ah, ah!' against me. 'O Lord, put me not to shame.'"
3. The soul is sometimes afraid lest a furnace will come, when all his religion shall be proved to be untrue, when Satan shall say, "It is all a deception; it was not the manifestation of God to thy soul; mercy never was received; it was but excited imagination; it was but the heated working of thy carnal mind." The soul says, "I have stuck unto Thy testimonies; O Lord, put me not to shame. I cleave to Thy work, I hang upon it, I have nothing else to cleave to. O Lord, put me not to shame.
(J. C. Philpot.)
Parallel VersesKJV: I have stuck unto thy testimonies: O LORD, put me not to shame.
WEB: I cling to your statutes, Yahweh. Don't let me be disappointed.