Psalm 119:75, 76

“I know, O LORD, that thy judgments are right, and that thou in faithfulness hast afflicted me.  Let, I pray thee, thy merciful kindness be for my comfort, according to thy word unto thy servant.”

In verse 75 the writer of Psalm 119 revealed that he understood that God’s judgment was upon him for sins he had committed. He knew and acknowledged that he was guilty. And he reveals a perspective that he gained in his affliction.

He said that he knew that God’s judgments are right, or righteous. A judgment is a verdict or a sentence. A verdict is made when there is guilt: it is the outcome. God said that the wages of sin is death. As far as the writer of Psalm 119, we have no idea what the writer had done. But we can be sure that he was of the human race. And the Lord said, “…all have sinned and come short of the glory of God.” (Romans 3:23) He also says in Romans 3:10, 11, “As it is written, There is none righteous, no, not one: there is none that understandeth, there is none that seeketh after God.” Such is the condition of mankind.

Whatever was going on, the writer knew that God’s judgments were righteous and just. Even though what he was enduring was because of his own sin, he said that he knew that God’s judgments are right. That which he received was what he was due for his sin. Every man, woman, and child needs to realize this to be true for themselves. We all stand guilty before God.

The revelation was he realized that God’s dealings with him were in faithfulness to him: “thou in faithfulness hast afflicted me.” Another word for faithfulness is fidelity. The writer saw that God was being faithful to him in the things that he suffered. What an insight! God’s dealings with mankind are in faithfulness. The cross of Jesus revealed how far God was willing to go to be faithful to His people! Through it He restored mankind to Himself.

It may be difficult to understand how God’s afflictions are evidence of His faithfulness to us. Trials and anguish hurt. Illness and financial loss are frightening. The specter of death haunts us all. How could someone conclude that it was God’s faithfulness that such things had happened? These things come our way because of our nature that desires to sin against Him. God sees and knows all, including those things in our lives that offend Him. Being our Creator of us and all things, He surely deserves our respect. But we sin against Him. And yet, He is faithful to His people.

In Israel’s history, they were carried away by Nebuchadnezzar to Babylon. Through Jeremiah, the Lord promised that the captivity would last 70 years. In Ezra’s day, the Israelites returned to Jerusalem. In the book of Ezra, an idea is expressed that is similar to that in Psalm 119. As recorded in Ezra 9:13, Ezra said, “And after all that is come upon us for our evil deeds, and for our great trespass, seeing that thou our God hast punished us less than our iniquities deserve, and hast given us such deliverance as this…”

Sadly, in Ezra 8 and 9 they had again fallen into sin. As Ezra prayed to the LORD on that occasion, he appealed to God on the basis of His past dealings with them. His appeal was that God had previously punished them less than they deserved, and had even given them deliverance. Even in that situation they saw God’s faithfulness. Ezra went on to request God’s mercies in the matter at hand.

Then, the writer of Psalm 119 said in verse 76, “Let, I pray thee, thy merciful kindness be for my comfort, according to thy word unto thy servant.” Having realized God’s faithfulness, the writer looks to the Lord for His lovingkindness: His mercy and kindness to him. How interesting that, in spite of the sin that he knew he had committed, in spite of the judgement he was suffering because of it, he looked to God for mercy and kindness. How unlike us God is in this. Someone that crosses us we are hard pressed to treat kindly. Think about what you might require of someone who had crossed you and desired kindness and mercy from you. What would it be? What do you suppose would God require?

The writer appeals to God for mercy and kindness according to His Word! Only the guilty need mercy. God promised that He is merciful and kind. It is repeated many times in the scriptures. One example is in Exodus 34:5-7, “And the LORD descended in the cloud, and stood with him there, and proclaimed the name of the LORD. And the LORD passed by before him, and proclaimed, The LORD, The LORD God, merciful and gracious, longsuffering, and abundant in goodness and truth, keeping mercy for thousands, forgiving iniquity and transgression and sin…” God says this about Himself.

God’s dealings are only and ever in mercy and kindness with His people, no matter how it may feel. As Abraham asked in Genesis 18:25, “…shall not the Judge of all the earth do right?” He shall indeed. Praise Him for Who He is!

Does the Lord afflict His chosen?
’Tis to draw them nearer home;
Many are the wiles that lure them
From their Father’s house to roam.


Listen to His loving whisper,
Weary soul, come unto Me;
Listen to His louder summons,
Still ’tis love that calleth thee.

Whom God loveth He chastiseth,
Grinds his idols into dust;
Turns earth’s pleasures into ashes,
Shows how vain in them to trust.


All His raging waves and billows
O’er thee now may wildly roll,
Yet He surely will deliver
Every humble, contrite soul.


He will ne’er forsake nor leave us,
He’ll complete the work begun,
We will trust Him, ever trust Him,
Till we hear His glad Well done.

Refrain (Annie K. Moulton)