(65) You have dealt with me – I take it as a statement of gratitude. Some days, it’s a wonder God chooses to deal with us at all. (66) Teach me good judgment – who or what have I misjudged lately?
(67) Before I was afflicted I went astray – “Often trials act as a thorn hedge to keep us in good pasture; but our prosperity is a gap [in the hedge] through which we go astray.” (Charles Spurgeon).
(68) Teach me – how willing are we to learn from God? Their heart is as fat as grease – we know a fatty heart is a recipe for a medical disaster. What about our spiritual heart (pride)? (71) It is good that I was afflicted – in this case affliction led to restoration, looking back the psalmist deemed that good.
(73) Your hands made me – God knows everything about us. (75) I know your judgments are right – how much do we trust God’s judgment? (76) Comfort – God is able to help me in times of my affliction. (80) Which is more important, to be held in high esteem by man or God?
Matt Chandler’s video series on this portion of Psalm 119 highlights when we are afflicted, God is not an ambulance driver wringing his hands or trying to figure out what he is going to do. Instead he is more like a surgeon. Spiritual Surgery during affliction is God’s tool for cutting away things that may harm us in the long run. For the Christian there is a redemption (purpose) to be found in suffering.
“And we know that God causes everything to work together for the good of those who love God and are called according to his purpose for them.” Romans 8:28 NLT