Greetings Pilgrims, Psalm 119:1-6 [ASV] First, David pronounces the blessing of God on those mythical perfect saints. The ones who do not exist: 1 Blessed are they that are perfect in the way, Who walk in the law of Jehovah. 2 Blessed are they that keep his testimonies, That seek him with the whole heart. 3 Yea, they do no unrighteousness; They walk in his ways. 4 Thou hast commanded us thy precepts, That we should observe them diligently. Next, Back to reality. David turns his thoughts to his own fallen heart: 5 Oh that my ways were established To observe thy statutes! 6 Then shall I not be put to shame, When I have respect unto all thy commandments. Is this not the heart’s desire of all true saints? When the churches return to the Psalms it will be the sign of them returning to the true knowledge of the only true God. For me, Hengstenberg captures the apparent mixture of the faith and doubt in the prayers of the Psalmists in the last sentence of the quotation below. Here is that line. "How along with that voice of the flesh in the Psalms there was perpetually raised also the voice of the spirit, appears even from the single fact, that the writers pour out their supplications before the very God who hears and sees and regards not." Hengstenberg, E. W., Commentary on the Psalms vol.3, TREATISES VII. ON THE DOCTRINAL MATTER OF THE PSALMS The Book of Psalms is full of the noblest testimonies to the being of God, and his perfections. It has contributed, in this respect, vast materials for developing the consciousness of mankind, and the Christian church rests far more upon it for her apprehensions of God than might at first sight be supposed. To perceive to what an extent this is the case, we have only to search out the traces of the Psalms in our liturgies and church-songs. Even the French Deists, the theo-philanthropists, sworn enemies of the Bible, could only make out their liturgy by the help of the Psalms. This is one chief reason why the Psalter is so precious to the afflicted. It presents God so clearly and vividly before their eyes, that they see him, in a manner, with their bodily sight, and find thereby the sting taken from their pains. In this, too, lies one great element of the importance of the Psalter for the present times. What men now most of all need is, that the blanched image of God should again be freshened up in them. This, not the denial of particular tenets of revelation, which is only a consequence of the other, and which can never be thoroughly eradicated so long as the fundamental evil remains, is the deepest grief of the church, and one which believers will still have to bear with. Those who would strive to effect, in this respect, a reformation in themselves or others, will find in the Psalms a mighty help. The more closely we connect ourselves with them, the more will God cease to be to us a shadowy form, which can neither hear, nor help, nor judge us, and to which we can present no supplication. Among the heathen, every divine perfection has its contrast (see Nägelsbach, Homer. Theol. p. 13.) Here everything is of one piece and mould. From the calls, indeed, which we so often meet with in these writers of inspired song, upon God to hear, to see, to think of them, not to forget—and their complaints, that he does not hear, &c., the accusation has often been brought against them, of gross and childish representations of God’s omniscience, omnipresence, and superintending providence. But we have only to look somewhat deeper in order to discover the agreement that exists between these passages and others which contain the most elevated representations of God’s omnipresent being and providential agency. In the latter, the voice of the Spirit makes itself heard; in the former, that of the flesh. The radical character of the Psalms is feeling. This is uttered in faithfulness and truth before God, as it arose in the heart of the singers, and it is precisely through this that they exercise so strong an influence. We are drawn to them in the first instance by finding our own weakness, our own fainting under tribulation repeating itself, and then suffer ourselves to be gently conducted by them to the strength of God. The feeling, however, in weak man is often very different from the conviction. He may be firmly convinced of God’s providence, may be ready to defend it with vigour against all who assail it, and yet if tribulation befall him, if God withdraw from him the tokens of his favour, it then comes to be in the feelings of his soul, as if God knew nothing of him, as if he concerned himself not at all in the conflict of joy and sorrow, as if there were an impassable gulf fixed between heaven and earth. In this contest faith must be strengthened. It exists in the godly of the New, not less than in those of the Old Covenant, and that superficiality and strangeness to spiritual experience, which accuses David and other sacred bards of having had gross ideas of God’s ever present and watchful providence, may with equal propriety be brought against a Luther and Paul Gerhard, and against all our religious poets and men of devotion. How along with that voice of the flesh in the Psalms there was perpetually raised also the voice of the spirit, appears even from the single fact, that the writers pour out their supplications before the very God who hears and sees and regards not. Hengstenberg, E. W., Thomson, J., & Fairbairn, P. (1869). Commentary on the Psalms (Vol. 3, pp. liv–lv). Edinburgh: T&T Clark.