A Short Study of Psalm 119:122

“Be surety for thy servant for good: let not the proud oppress me.” (Psalm 119:122)


In deep conviction of need, David prays, “Be surety for thy servant for good.” The keen eye of the world may possibly not be able to affix any blot upon my outward profession; but, “If thou, LORD, shouldest mark iniquities, O LORD, who shall stand?” (Psalm 130:3) The debt is continually accumulating, and the prospect of payment as distant as ever. I might well expect to be left to “mine oppressors” until I should pay all that was due (Matthew 18:34) unto my LORD. But behold! “Where is the duty of the oppressor?” (Isaiah 51:13) The surety is found – the debt is paid – the ransom is accepted – the sinner is free! There was a voice heard in heaven: “Deliver him from going down to the pit: I have found a ransom” (Job 33:24). Yes, the Son of God Himself became “Surety for a stranger” (Proverbs 27:13), and smarted for it. At an infinite cost – the cost of His own precious blood – He delivered me from “mine oppressors” – sin – Satan – the world – death – hell. It was exacted: and He answered. “He was oppressed, and he was afflicted.” (Isaiah 53:7)

As Judah in the place of Benjamin, He was ready to stand in my stead before His Father: “I will be surety for him: of Mine hand shalt thou require him.” (Genesis 43:9) As Paul in the stead of Onesimus, He was ready to plead before the same tribunal: “If he hath wronged thee, or oweth thee ought, put that on mine account…I will repay it.” (Philemon 1:18-19)

Let this subject be ever present to my mind. Well indeed was it for me that Jesus did not “hate suretiship” (Proverbs 11:15). Had He refused the vast undertaking, how could I have answered before the bar of God? Or had He undertaken only for those who loved Him, again should I have been left without a plea. But when as my Surety He has brought me under His yoke, and made me his servant, I can plead acceptance before His throne. “Be surety for thy servant for good.” – for the good, which Thou knowest me to need – my present and eternal deliverance from my proud oppressors. And do I not need such a Surety every moment? And need I be told how fully He has performed the Surety’s part? So that I may boldly say, “Who is he that condemneth? It is Christ that died, yea rather, that is risen again, who is even at the right hand of God, who also maketh intercession for us” (Romans 8:34). There is therefore now no condemnation to them which are in Christ Jesus.” (Romans 8:1)

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