In the first two verses of the "Teth" section of Psalm 119 David has reminded us of the good dealings of God with His people - no matter how things may look - and of our need for Biblical discernment regarding that fact. We are so easily led by the whims of this world, by the circumstances of life, and by the fickleness of our feelings. We need to be led by truth - and God's Word is truth.
These next six verses are a great picture of how things are not always as they "feel" to us. David is once again talking about affliction and here he instructs us on its before and after. I can say it no better than Matthew Henry does in his commentary. His words were poignant and I shall simply direct you to them this day.
"David tells first of the temptations of a prosperous condition. '"Before I was afflicted" or while I lived in peace and plenty, and knew no sorrow, "I went astray" from God and my duty.' Prosperity is the unhappy occasion of much iniquity; it makes people conceited of themselves, indulgent of the flesh, forgetful of God, in
love with the world, and deaf to the reproaches of the word."Second, David tells of the benefits of an afflicted state: 'Now I have kept Thy word, and so have been recovered from my wanderings.' God often makes use of afflictions as a means to reduce those to Himself who have wandered from Him. The prodigal's distress brought him to Himself first and then to his father."
David didn't seek to desecrate those who dogged him and he also didn't give in to the temptation of envying the wicked's seeming prosperity. He considered them to have a "heart covered with fat." Again I turn to Henry:
"The proud are at ease; they are full of the world, and the wealth and the pleasures of it; and this makes them secure and stupid; they are past feeling. They roll themselves in the pleasures of sense. I would not change conditions with them. I delight in Thy law and build my security upon the promises of God's Word. The children of God, who are acquainted with spiritual pleasures, need not envy the children of this world their carnal pleasures."
Thankful for having learned a little bit about the after,