Psalm 119:32 states, “ I will run in the way of thy commandments, when thou shalt enlarge my heart”. What does it mean for God to enlarge a person’s heart?

Matthew Henry writes : “His dependence upon God for grace to do so: “I shall then abound in thy work, when thou shalt enlarge my heart.” God, by his Spirit, enlarges the hearts of his people when he gives them wisdom (for that is called largeness of heart, 1 Kings iv. 29), when he sheds abroad the love of God in the heart, and puts gladness there. The joy of our Lord should be wheels to our obedience.”

Christ is here praying and confessing vicariously, in behalf of the whole church, for whose sake, He is afflicted. Enlarging the heart refers to being purified for the sincere love of the brethren. See 2Cor. 6:13 and its context. Running in the way of God’s commandments is repeatedly tied up to loving the brethren in 1 John. Hence the sense here appears that Christ’s Spirit in David is prophesying of this love of the brethren / keeping His commandments as a result of His sufferings for the church.

Robert Leighton (quoted in Treasury of David), “It is said of Solomon, that he had “a large heart, (the same word that is used here,) as the sand of the sea shore:” that is a vast, comprehensive spirit, that could fathom much of nature, both its greater and lesser things. Thus, I conceive, the enlargement of the heart comprises the enlightening of the understanding. There arises a clearer light there to discern spiritual things in a more spiritual manner; to see the vast difference betwixt the vain things the world goes after, and the true solid delight that is in the way of God’s commandments; to know the false blush of the pleasures of sin, and what deformity is under that painted mask, and not be allured by it; to have enlarged apprehensions of God, his excellency, and greatness and goodness; how worthy he is to be obeyed and served; this is the great dignity and happiness of the soul; all other pretensions are low and poor in respect of this. Here then is enlargement to see the purity and beauty of his law, how just and reasonable, yea, how pleasant and amiable it is; that his commandments are not grievous, that they are beds of spices; the more we walk in them, still the more of their fragrant smell and sweetness we find.”

Thanks to friends Renat and Paul.


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