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THIS psalm is ascribed to David, in the title, when he fled fron Absalom his son. In the king of Israel in that distressing state, we sec a figure of Messiah passing from Jerusalem to enter on the scene of his sufferings in the garden, when his own subjects cons; ired against him, and sought his life. The church and individual Christians may be in similar situations, and then the contents of this song of Zion may give direction and comfort, which both may apply to their particular case. Not seldom do the Lord's servants find cause to wonder how those who trouble them, and rise up against them without cause, increase in number and in violence. Let them however trust in the Lord, after the example here set them, and he will realize in their experience the hope here expressed, and the promises here recorded. David's enemies, those of MESSIAH, and of his people, are here compared to beasts of prey; but we see froin verse 7th, how completely he will destroy their power, and, we may add, their inclination to injure the godly. In consequence of this, as David blessed his people after he returned to his Capital, even those who had been engaged in the rebellion; just so shall CHRIST in a still nobler sense all his subjects. Let men then curse his people, or induce others to curse them like Balak; yet the Lord's blessing shall rest upon them
10 LORD, how are my foes increas'd!
Against me many rise.
2 Many say of my soul, For him
In GoD no succour lies.
3 Yet thou my shield and glory art,
The LORD me answer made.
his disciples, Ye believe in God, believe also in me; which plainly implies trust in him, a command he would never give, did he know that he was not the true GoD, and so the proper object of religious worship.
Let us then ever beware of two things,-of whatever would rob him of proper deity, and the homage due to him as the true Gop, in common with the Father and the Spirit—and also beware of robbing the King of Glory of any part of his promised inheritance and reward; persuaded that his favour is life, and that his displeasure is worse than death.
5 I laid me down and slept, I wak'd;
6 I will not fear though thousands ten
7 Arise, O LORD; save me, my God;
8 Salvation doth appertain
Unto the LORD alone:
Thy blessing, LORD, for evermore
THIS psalm may refer to the occasion of the former, or to the treatment of David by Saul, or some other powerful enemies. David inscribes it to him that conducted the sacred music in the service of the temple. The term Neginoth is thought to refer to the stringed instruments played on by the hand, to which the composition was adapted.
Verse 1. The term righteousness or justice is here urged in prayer as a plea to the exercise of mercy, which shews that this attribute of Deity, when viewed in a proper light, is not hostile to the case of the miserable. Verse 2. O ye sons of men, &c. As the adherents of Saul and Absalom construed David's royal dignity, which was his glory as a type of MESSIAH, to his reproach: so the enemies of the latter not seldom blaspheme his essential glory. If the former were so severely reproved, in what manner will he animadvert on the conduct of the latter. O ye sons of men, or of Adam, how long will ye turn His Glory into shame, how
The Lord, when I on him do call,
To hear will not refuse.
4 Fear, and sin not; talk with your heart
5 Off'rings present of righteousness,
6 O who will shew us any good?
7 Upon my heart, bestow'd by thee,
More gladness I have found
Than they, ev'n then, when corn and wine
long will ye love vanity, and seek after lies, in your opposition to this highest Loan?
In the three following verses the Psalmist expostulates farther with his enemies, respecting the madness of opposing the purpose of the Almighty, and tenders to them salutary counsel, as it was worse than in vain to attempt to prevent his exaltation whom Gon had annointed to be King, or to rob him of his royal dignity when installed on his throne. Stand in awe, Heb. tremble at the daring attempt, and for fear of that God whom they thus opposed. And will not the crime of opposing MESSIAH, and robbing him of his true glory, prove still more aggravated and fatal?
Verse 6. Many say who will shew us, or make us to enjoy, any good? but alas! how few apply to Him who alone can confer true happiness? The many who so cry are an unbelieving world, or the great multitudes that seek nothing higher than temporal things. Those were the motives that led many to rebel against David openly, and, it is to be feared, that too many of his followers were actuated by the same Spirit. This applies to our Lord's open enemies, and to too many of his professed friends, who would not kindle a fire on his altar for nought,-The latter clause; LORD, lift thou up the light of thy countenance upon us, shews the wise choice of every believing soul.
Verse 7. Here we see the blessed fruit of an answer of peace, a joy inspiring the prophet's heart superior to that of the husbandman in the time of harvest, when he reaped the abundant produce of his soil.
Verse 8. I will both lay me down in peace, &c. David though an exile from his throne and capital, enjoyed this blessing, which he ascribes to
8 I will both lay me down in peace,
THIS also is a psalın of David inscribed to the chief musician, or the prefect of the sacred music in the service of the sanctuary. Nehiloth is thought to intend a wind instrument. His exercise here bespeaks him also in great distress or trouble; under which he gives himself, in his usual manner, to prayer and pious meditation.
1 GIVE ear unto my words, O Lord,
My meditation weigh.
2 Hear my loud cry, my King, my God;
3 LORD, thou shalt early hear my voice:
My pray'r to thee, and looking up
GOD, and not to his own valour, or that of his followers; for thou LORD makest me to dwell in safety, or, to dwell in safety though alone, or deserted by many of his friends. The same was true of Messiah, and is also of his people, in life and death. May it be our privilege thus to sing in the near view of resigning our bodies to their dusty bed!
Ver. 1. Words or supplications which he calls his meditation, Heb. my dove like mournings. Our Lord, his church and people, are compared to doves, as resembling that bird of meekness and innocence, purity and love, the eastern doves far surpassing ours in some respects.
Verse 2. Hearken to the voice &c. That David addressed his prayers to Messiah, as his King, whom he represented, just as he afterwards presented his to the Father, we have the best reason to believe. Our suppli
cations are heard for his sake who, in the days of his flesh, offered up strong cries and tears, and was heard for himself and us. To whom should we cry in our distress but to our King, who hath learned from his own experience to sympathize with his people?
Verse 5. My voice shalt thou hear in the morning, &c. In the morning of life, and of each returning day, it is our duty, our interest, and should be our delight, to call upon God. When we read that our Lord in the morning, rising up a great while before day, he went out and departed into solitary place, and there prayed; what can we think of ourselves in this
respect? Mark i. 55. I will direct my prayer, Heb. dispose, or set myself in order for thee, and will look up. What a man has much at heart, will he timely set about, like a person in earnest. He that prays in faith, will look and wait for an answer of peace; like a man who expects the return of a letter dispatched upon important business.
Ver. 4. For thou art not a God that hath pleasure in wickedness; &c. When we have the testimony of our conscience that it is so also with us, and have reason to believe that our enemies are likewise God's enemies, we may conclude that the Lord will hear our prayers. We know, said the blind man, if any man be a worshipper of God, and doeth his will, him he heareth, John ix. 34. David, our Lord, and indeed, every godly person find it to be so.
Ver. 5, 6. The foolish, Heb. mad, shall not stand in thy sight; &c. Such is their character who stand or minister not as priests in Gon's preşence, nor will they have the honour to dwell before him, for such are workers of iniquity whom he views with abhorrence, Thou shalt destroy them that speak leasing, or falsehood; &c. that make free with truth in the intercourse of life, or vend error under the guise of truth, and under the mask of its messengers. David and our Lord had blood-thirsty and deceitful men for their enemies, and the event manifested that they were abhorred of the LORD. Heb. The mad, the men of bloods and deceit shall not stand before thine eyes. It is an honour to be hated of such.
Verse 7. Though David's enemies prevented his coming for a season to God's house, yet the hope here expressed was in due time realized; for he was admitted there in the multitude of God's mercy, when Saul and his abettors were cut off. Christ also ascended to heaven, when the unbelieving Jews were cut off from his city, Jerusalem, and the visible church. It will be so also with those who can add, and in thy fear will I worship towards thy holy temple; for these shall worship within the veil, when formalists and hypocrites shall weep in cuter darkness. Jesus filled up this character, and procures acceptance for beleivers and their services,