Vs. 92 — Unless Your law had been my delight, I would then have perished in my affliction.
I happened to be standing in a grocer’s shop one day in a large manufacturing town in the west of Scotland, when a poor, old, frail widow came in to make a few purchases. There never was, perhaps, in that town a more severe time of distress. Nearly every loom was stopped. Decent and respectable tradesmen who had seen better days, were obliged to subsist on public charity. So much money per day (but a trifle at most) was allowed to the really poor and deserving. The poor widow had received her daily pittance, and she had now come into the shop of the grocer to lay it out to the best advantage. She had but a few coppers in her withered hands. Carefully did she expend her little stock—a pennyworth of this and the other necessary of life nearly exhausted all she had. She came to the last penny, and with a singular expression of heroic contentment and cheerful resignation on her wrinkled face, she said, “Now I must buy oil with this, that I may see to read my Bible during these long dark nights, for it is my only comfort now when every other comfort has gone away.”—Alexander Wallace, in “The Bible and the Working Classes,” 1853.
Edmund Calamy (1600–1666), in “The Godly Man’s Ark:
The word of God delighted in is the afflicted saint’s antidote against ruin and destruction. The word of God is the sick saint’s salve, the dying saint’s cordial, a precious medicine to keep God’s people from perishing in time of affliction.
O’ Father, unless Your word and commandments had been my delight, I truly would have perished in my affliction. But Your word was like a light that opened the way of hope and faith in my distress. If I had followed any other way or any other counsel, I would have come undone. Thank You, Father, for giving and revealing Your word to me. I have come to know that Your word IS a lamp unto my feet and a light unto my path. Your commandments are loving and sure. Blessed be the Name of the Lord!