This psalm may be considered as an appendix to the two foregoing. Those represented the providence of God towards his chosen Israelites, who prefigured his gospel church: this, (1.) represents the providences of God to the children of men in general, and calls them to praise him for his kindness and mercy therein: particularly, 1. In directing and gathering travellers, whom he had justly dispersed, ver. 1-7. 2. In delivering prisoners, whom he had justly confined, ver. 8-14. 3. In healing the sick, whom he had justly plagued, ver. 15-22. 4. In relieving mariners, whom he had justly bestormed, ver. 23-30. 5. In changing the condition of territories, persons, and families, at his pleasure, to the comfort of his people, and the restraining of wickedness, ver. 7-42. (2.) It encourageth me to a careful observation of God's providences, ver. 43.
Let me sing this, with a heart deeply affected with the various providences of God towards myself and others, while we have walked by the way; been confined in prisons, or lain on beds of languishing; traversed the surface of the depths, or laboured in our respective employments. Let me be a careful observer of providences, and compare them with the oracles of God, with my behaviour, and my prayers, and also with one another: so shall I understand the loving kindness of the Lord.
1 Praise God, for he is good: for still his mercies lasting be. 2 Let God's redeem'd say so, whom he from th' en'my's hand did free; 3 And gather'd them out of the lands, from north, south, east, and west. 4 They stray'd in desert's pathless way, no city found to rest. 5 For thirst and hunger in them faints 6 their soul. When straits them press, They cry unto the Lord, and he them frees from their distress. 7 Them also in a way to walk that right is he did guide, That they might to a city go, wherein they might abide. 8 O that men to the Lord would give praise for his goodness then, And for his works of wonder done unto the sons of men! 9 For he the soul that longing is doth fully satisfy; With goodness he the hungry soul doth fill abundantly. 10 Such as shut up in darkness deep, and in death's shade abide, Whom strongly hath affliction bound, and irons fast have ty'd: 11 Because against the words of God they wrought rebelliously, And they the counsel did contemn of him that is most High: 12 Their heart he did bring down with grief, they fell, no help could have. 13 In trouble then they cry'd to God, he them from straits did save. 14 He out of darkness did them bring, and from death's shade them take; These bands, wherewith they had been bound, asunder quite he brake. 15 O that men to the Lord would give praise for his goodness then, And for his works of wonder done unto the sons of men! 16 Because the mighty gates of brass in pieces he did tear, By him in sunder also cut the bars of iron were. 17 Fools, for their sin, and their offence, do sore affliction bear; 18 All kind of meat their soul abhors; they to death's gates draw near. 19 In grief they cry to God; he saves them from their miseries. 20 He sends his word, them heals, and them from their destructions frees. 21 O that men to the Lord would give praise for his goodness then, And for his works of wonder done unto the sons of men! 22 And let them sacrifice to him off 'rings of thankfulness; And let them shew abroad his works in songs of joyfulness. 23 Who go to sea in ships, and in great waters trading be, 24 Within the deep these men God's works and his great wonders see. 25 For he commands, and forth in haste the stormy tempest flies, Which makes the sea with rolling waves aloft to swell and rise. 26 They mount to heav'n, then to the depths they do go down again; Their soul doth faint and melt away with trouble and with pain. 27 They reel and stagger like one drunk, at their wit's end they be: 28 Then they to God in trouble cry, who them from straits doth free. 29 The storm is chang'd into a calm at his command and will; So that the waves, which rag'd before, now quiet are and still. 30 Then are they glad, because at rest and quiet now they be: So to the haven he them brings, which they desir'd to see. 31 O that men to the Lord would give praise for his goodness then, And for his works of wonder done unto the sons of men! 32 Among the people gathered let them exalt his name; Among assembled elders spread his most renowned fame. 33 He to dry land turns water-springs, and floods to wilderness; 34 For sins of those that dwell therein, fat land to barrenness. 35 The burnt and parched wilderness to water-pools he brings; The ground that was dry'd up before he turns to water-springs: 36 And there, for dwelling, he a place doth to the hungry give, That they a city may prepare commodiously to live. 37 There sow they fields, and vineyards plant, to yield fruits of increase. 38 His blessing makes them multiply, lets not their beasts decrease. 39 Again they are diminished, and very low brought down, Through sorrow and affliction, and great oppression. 40 He upon princes pours contempt, and causeth them to stray, And wander in a wilderness, wherein there is no way. 41 Yet setteth he the poor on high from all his miseries, And he, much like unto a flock, doth make him families. 42 They that are righteous shall rejoice, when they the same shall see; And, as ashamed, stop her mouth shall all iniquity. 43 Whoso is wise, and will these things observe, and them record, Ev'n they shall understand the love and kindness of the Lord.
A Song or Psalm of David.
The first five verses of this psalm are taken from Psalm 57:7-12; and contain praises and thanksgivings to God. The other eight are taken from Psalm 60:5-12; and contain prayers for, and hopes of promised mercies.
Never scruple, my soul, to think, or to sing, or to pray over, the same subjects of importance; but let there be always a newness of affection, and newness of spiritual vigour.
1 My heart is fix'd, Lord; I will sing, and with my glory praise. 2 Awake up psaltery and harp; myself I'll early raise. 3 I'll praise thee 'mong the people, Lord; 'mong nations sing will I: 4 For above heav'n thy mercy's great, thy truth doth reach the sky. 5 Be thou above the heavens, Lord, exalted gloriously; Thy glory all the earth above be lifted up on high. 6 That those who thy beloved are delivered may be, O do thou save with thy right hand, and answer give to me. 7 God in his holiness hath said, Herein I will take pleasure; Shechem I will divide, and forth will Succoth's valley measure. 8 Gilead I claim as mine by right; Manasseh mine shall be; Ephraim is of my head the strength; Judah gives laws for me; 9 Moab's my washing-pot; my shoe I'll over Edom throw; Over the land of Palestine I will in triumph go. 10 O who is he will bring me to the city fortify'd? O who is he that to the land of Edom will me guide? 11 O God, thou who hadst cast us off, this thing wilt thou not do? And wilt not thou, ev'n thou, O God, forth with our armies go? 12 Do thou from trouble give us help, for helpless is man's aid. 13 Through God we shall do valiantly; our foes he shall down tread.
To the chief Musician,
A Psalm of David.
Probably David penned this psalm with a view to Doeg or Ahithophel, and hence it is much like the 41st, 52nd, 55th, 124th, and 140th. But the Holy Ghost herein hath a mediate respect to Jesus, and to Judas the traitor, Acts 1:20. Observe, (1.) The psalmist's bitter complaints of his enemies, as spiteful, deceitful, false, restless, unjust, ungrateful, ver. 1-5. (2.) His fearful denunciations of divine vengeance against his distinguished foe; that he should be delivered into the hand of Satan; should have his prayers rejected, his life shortened, his substance wasted, and his posterity rendered miserable, ver. 6-20. (3.) His lamentation over his inward trouble, his approaching death, his instability of condition, pining sickness, reproach of enemies; and his prayers for mercy to himself, confusion to his enemies, and glory to his God, ver. 21-29. (4.) His triumph in God, as his supporter and deliverer amidst all his troubles, ver. 30-31.
While I sing, let me be affected with the sufferings of my Redeemer, and with the misery of these Jews and others, who abandon themselves to be his obstinate opposers. Let me implore, and by faith foresee the complete ruin of all my spiritual enemies; and the full redemption of my soul, and of the whole mystical body of Christ, notwithstanding all our sinful poverty and plagues.
1 O thou the God of all my praise, do thou not hold thy peace; 2 For mouths of wicked men to speak against me do not cease: The mouths of vile deceitful men against me open'd be; And with a false and lying tongue they have accused me. 3 They did beset me round about with words of hateful spight: And though to them no cause I gave, against me they did fight. 4 They for my love became my foes, but I me set to pray. 5 Evil for good, hatred for love, to me they did repay. 6 Set thou the wicked over him; and upon his right hand Give thou his greatest enemy, ev'n Satan, leave to stand. 7 And when by thee he shall be judg'd, let him condemned be; And let his pray'r be turn'd to sin, when he shall call on thee. 8 Few be his days, and in his room his charge another take. 9 His children let be fatherless, his wife a widow make. 10 His children let be vagabonds, and beg continually; And from their places desolate seek bread for their supply. 11 Let covetous extortioners catch all he hath away: Of all for which he labour'd hath let strangers make a prey. 12 Let there be none to pity him, let there be none at all That on his children fatherless will let his mercy fall. 13 Let his posterity from earth cut off for ever be, And in the foll'wing age their name be blotted out by thee. 14 Let God his father's wickedness still to remembrance call; And never let his mother's sin be blotted out at all. 15 But let them all before the Lord appear continually, That he may wholly from the earth cut off their memory. 16 Because he mercy minded not, but persecuted still The poor and needy, that he might the broken-hearted kill. 17 As he in cursing pleasure took, so let it to him fall; As he delighted not to bless, so bless him not at all. 18 As cursing he like clothes put on, into his bowels so, Like water, and into his bones, like oil, down let it go. 19 Like to the garment let it be which doth himself array, And for a girdle, wherewith he is girt about alway. 20 From God let this be their reward that en'mies are to me, And their reward that speak against my soul maliciously. 21 But do thou, for thine own name's sake, O God the Lord, for me: Sith good and sweet thy mercy is, from trouble set me free. 22 For I am poor and indigent, afflicted sore am I, My heart within me also is wounded exceedingly. 23 I pass like a declining shade, am like the locust tost: 24 My knees through fasting weaken'd are, my flesh hath fatness lost. 25 I also am a vile reproach unto them made to be; And they that did upon me look did shake their heads at me. 26 O do thou help and succour me, who art my God and Lord: And, for thy tender mercy's sake, safety to me afford: 27 That thereby they may know that this is thy almighty hand; And that thou, Lord, hast done the same, they may well understand. 28 Although they curse with spite, yet, Lord, bless thou with loving voice: Let them asham'd be when they rise; thy servant let rejoice. 29 Let thou mine adversaries all with shame be clothed over; And let their own confusion them, as a mantle, cover. 30 But as for me, I with my mouth will greatly praise the Lord; And I among the multitude his praises will record. 31 For he shall stand at his right hand who is in poverty, To save him from all those that would condemn his soul to die.
A Psalm of David.
This psalm relates wholly to Jesus Christ: and represents him, (1.) In his glorious offices; as a Prophet, gathering the nations by the proclamations of his gospel, the rod of his strength, ver. 2-3; as our great High Priest, ver. 4; and as our exalted, victorious, and governing King, ver. 2-3, 5-6. (2.) In his diversified states of debasement and exaltation, ver. 7 and 1, 5.
While I sing, let mine eyes be fixed, wholly fixed, on my glorious Redeemer. Behold! how, having by himself purged our sins, he sat down on the right hand of the Majesty on high! Behold him, by the word of his grace, subduing multitudes of sinful men to himself! Behold him able to save to the uttermost, because he ever liveth to make intercession for us. And let my mouth be filled with hallelujahs and hosannas in the highest to Him, who, by water and by blood, cometh in the name of the Lord to save me.
1 The Lord did say unto my Lord, Sit thou at my right hand, Until I make thy foes a stool, whereon thy feet may stand. 2 The Lord shall out of Sion send the rod of thy great pow'r: In midst of all thine enemies be thou the governor. 3 A willing people in thy day of pow'r shall come to thee, In holy beauties from morn's womb; thy youth like dew shall be. 4 The Lord himself hath made an oath, and will repent him never, Of th' order of Melchisedec thou art a priest for ever. 5 The glorious and mighty Lord, that sits at thy right hand, Shall, in his day of wrath, strike through kings that do him withstand. 6 He shall among the heathen judge, he shall with bodies dead The places fill: o'er many lands he wound shall ev'ry head. 7 The brook that runneth in the way with drink shall him supply; And, for this cause, in triumph he shall lift his head on high.
In this psalm, every sentence of which begins with a new letter of the Hebrew alphabet, we have, (1.) The praising of God inculcated and exemplified, ver. 1. (2.) The grounds of praise exhibited, viz. that God himself is gracious and full of compassion, and ever mindful of his covenant; and that his works are magnificent, pleasant, righteous, wonderful, perfect, kind, prudent, and durable; and all conformed to his promise and covenant, ver. 2-9. (3.) A recommendation of a holy and reverential obedience to God, as the beginning of wisdom, ver. 10.
While I sing, let my heart be all inflamed with the believing consideration of the marvellous works of redemption, as wrought for and on my soul; and filled with that love, which casteth out slavish fear, but powerfully promotes the filial reverence and awe of God.
1 Praise ye the Lord: with my whole heart I will God's praise declare, Where the assemblies of the just and congregations are. 2 The whole works of the Lord our God are great above all measure, Sought out they are of ev'ry one that doth therein take pleasure. 3 His work most honourable is, most glorious and pure, And his untainted righteousness for ever doth endure. 4 His works most wonderful he hath made to be thought upon: The Lord is gracious, and he is full of compassion. 5 He giveth meat unto all those that truly do him fear; And evermore his covenant he in his mind will bear. 6 He did the power of his works unto his people show, When he the heathen's heritage upon them did bestow. 7 His handy-works are truth and right; all his commands are sure: 8 And, done in truth and uprightness, they evermore endure. 9 He sent redemption to his folk; his covenant for aye He did command: holy his name and rev'rend is alway. 10 Wisdom's beginning is God's fear: good understanding they Have all that his commands fulfill: his praise endures for aye.
This psalm is also alphabetically composed; and contains, (1.) Invitations to praise God, ver. 1. (2.) A delineation of the saints' character and blessedness: that they are well principled, honest, sincere, and kind; and shall be blessed with prosperity, outward and inward, with comfort amidst griefs, wisdom amidst perplexity, and with honour and stability; and shall have their posterity blessed after them, ver. 2-9. (3.) The misery of the wicked, ver. 10.
While I sing this, let me try my character, and rejoice in hope of being blessed in Christ Jesus, with all spiritual, temporal, and everlasting blessings.
1 Praise ye the Lord. The man is bless'd that fears the Lord aright, He who in his commandements doth greatly take delight. 2 His seed and offspring powerful shall be the earth upon: Of upright men blessed shall be the generation. 3 Riches and wealth shall ever be within his house in store; And his unspotted righteousness endures for evermore. 4 Unto the upright light doth rise, though he in darkness be: Compassionate, and merciful, and righteous, is he. 5 A good man doth his favour shew, and doth to others lend: He with discretion his affairs will guide unto the end. 6 Surely there is not any thing that ever shall him move: The righteous man's memorial shall everlasting prove. 7 When he shall evil tidings hear, he shall not be afraid: His heart is fix'd, his confidence upon the Lord is stay'd. 8 His heart is firmly stablished, afraid he shall not be, Until upon his enemies he his desire shall see. 9 He hath dispers'd, giv'n to the poor; his righteousness shall be To ages all; with honour shall his horn be raised high. 10 The wicked shall it see, and fret, his teeth gnash, melt away: What wicked men do most desire shall utterly decay.
This psalm, with the five immediately following, were called the great Hallelujah, and used to be sung at the Passover supper (Matt. 26:30). Here, (1.) We are solemnly called to celebrate the praises of God, ver. 1-3. (2.) We are plentifully furnished with matter of praise, viz. the heights of his glory and greatness, and the depths of his condescension and grace, ver. 4-9.
Think, O my soul, what the Lord hath done for me, and for mine, and for mankind!
1 Praise God: ye servants of the Lord, O praise, the Lord's name praise. 2 Yea, blessed be the name of God from this time forth always. 3 From rising sun to where it sets, God's name is to be prais'd. 4 Above all nations God is high, 'bove heav'ns his glory rais'd. 5 Unto the Lord our God that dwells on high, who can compare? 6 Himself that humbleth things to see in heav'n and earth that are. 7 He from the dust doth raise the poor, that very low doth lie; And from the dunghill lifts the man oppress'd with poverty; 8 That he may highly him advance, and with the princes set; With those that of his people are the chief, ev'n princes great. 9 The barren woman house to keep he maketh, and to be Of sons a mother full of joy. Praise to the Lord give ye.
In this psalm are celebrated, (1.) God's bringing Israel out of their Egyptian slavery, ver. 1. (2.) His setting up his tabernacle among them, and taking them for his peculiar people, ver. 2. (3.) His dividing the Red sea and Jordan before them, ver. 3, 5. (4.) His awful descent on Mount Sinai, to give them his law, ver. 4, 6-7. (5.) His providing them with water from the flinty rock, ver. 8.
While I sing, let my soul be affected with the grace, the glory, the power of my God; and with the mighty things he hath done for men, chiefly in the work of our redemption and be encouraged to trust him in the greatest straits.
1 When Isr'el out of Egypt went, and did his dwelling change, When Jacob's house went out from those that were of language strange, 2 He Judah did his sanctuary, his kingdom Isr'el make: 3 The sea it saw, and quickly fled, Jordan was driven back. 4 Like rams the mountains, and like lambs the hills skipp'd to and fro. 5 O sea, why fledd'st thou? Jordan, back why wast thou driven so? 6 Ye mountains great, wherefore was it that ye did skip like rams? And wherefore was it, little hills, that ye did leap like lambs? 7 O at the presence of the Lord, earth, tremble thou for fear, While as the presence of the God of Jacob doth appear: 8 Who from the hard and stony rock did standing water bring; And by his pow'r did turn the flint into a water-spring.
This psalm instructs us, (1.) To whom glory and praise ought to be ascribed: not to ourselves, but to God's mercy and truth, ver. 1; not to lifeless, senseless idols, but to God, whose throne is in the heavens, and who doeth whatever he pleaseth, ver. 2-8, 15-16. (2.) How we are to glorify God: 1. By trusting in him, crediting his promise and receiving his blessings, ver. 9-15. 2. By blessing him while we live, ver. 17-18.
Learn, my soul, to deny thyself; to take up thy cross and follow Christ; and to keep thyself from idols. But, make Jehovah, as reconciled in Christ, thy portion, thy trust, thy help, thy shield, thy blessedness, thy comfort, thy praise; and consider thine earthly enjoyments as the gracious gifts of thy God, and an earnest of thy far more exceeding and eternal weight of glory.
1 Not unto us, Lord, not to us, but do thou glory take Unto thy name, ev'n for thy truth, and for thy mercy's sake. 2 O wherefore should the heathen say, Where is their God now gone? 3 But our God in the heavens is, what pleas'd him he hath done. 4 Their idols silver are and gold, work of men's hands they be. 5 Mouths have they, but they do not speak; and eyes, but do not see; 6 Ears have they, but they do not hear; noses, but savour not; 7 Hands, feet, but handle not, nor walk; nor speak they through their throat. 8 Like them their makers are, and all on them their trust that build. 9 O Isr'el, trust thou in the Lord, he is their help and shield. 10 O Aaron's house, trust in the Lord, their help and shield is he. 11 Ye that fear God, trust in the Lord, their help and shield he'll be. 12 The Lord of us hath mindful been, and he will bless us still: He will the house of Isr'el bless, bless Aaron's house he will. 13 Both small and great, that fear the Lord, he will them surely bless. 14 The Lord will you, you and your seed, aye more and more increase. 15 O blessed are ye of the Lord, who made the earth and heav'n. 16 The heav'n, ev'n heav'ns, are God's, but he earth to men's sons hath giv'n. 17 The dead, nor who to silence go, God's praise do not record. 18 But henceforth we for ever will bless God. Praise ye the Lord.
This is a psalm of thanksgiving, somewhat similar to the 18th, 30th, 40th, and 103rd; and represents, (1.) The psalmist's great distress and danger, which had almost driven him to despair, ver. 3, 10-11. (2.) The application he made to God by prayer, for relief; and his experience of God's gracious kindness, in granting his requests, in hearing, pitying, and delivering him, ver. 1-2, 4-6, 8. (3.) His sincere and hearty resolutions, to make a grateful acknowledgment of God's kindness; by loving him, ver. 1; continuing to call on him and receive from him, ver. 2, 13, 17; resting in him, ver. 7; walking before him as his devoted servant, ver. 9, 16; public confession of God's tender regard to him, ver. 12, 15; and sincere and public paying of his vows to God, ver. 10-19.
While I sing, let me think, as before God, what of these blessings I have experienced what of these duties I have earnestly practised. If God hath redeemed me from the broken law; from the lowest hell; from the mouth of the infernal lion; and from the power of my corrupt lusts: then let my soul, and all that is within me, be stirred up to bless his holy name; and let me never lose the heart-animating impressions of his benefits.
1 I love the Lord, because my voice and prayers he did hear. 2 I, while I live, will call on him, who bow'd to me his ear. 3 Of death the cords and sorrows did about me compass round; The pains of hell took hold on me, I grief and trouble found. 4 Upon the name of God the Lord then did I call, and say, Deliver thou my soul, O Lord, I do thee humbly pray. 5 God merciful and righteous is, yea, gracious is our Lord. 6 God saves the meek: I was brought low, he did me help afford. 7 O thou my soul, do thou return unto thy quiet rest; For largely, lo, the Lord to thee his bounty hath exprest. 8 For my distressed soul from death deliver'd was by thee: Thou didst my mourning eyes from tears, my feet from falling, free. 9 I in the land of those that live will walk the Lord before. 10 I did believe, therefore I spake: I was afflicted sore. 11 I said, when I was in my haste, that all men liars be. 12 What shall I render to the Lord for all his gifts to me? 13 I'll of salvation take the cup, on God's name will I call: 14 I'll pay my vows now to the Lord before his people all. 15 Dear in God's sight is his saints' death. 16 Thy servant, Lord, am I; Thy servant sure, thine handmaid's son: my bands thou didst untie. 17 Thank-off 'rings I to thee will give, and on God's name will call. 18 I'll pay my vows now to the Lord before his people all; 19 Within the courts of God's own house, within the midst of thee, O city of Jerusalem. Praise to the Lord give ye.
This psalm relates to the gospel church. Here are, (1.) A short, but solemn call, to the redeemed of all nations, to praise their God, ver. 1. (2.) Rich matter of praise suggested, viz. the unbounded mercy and everlasting faithfulness of God; and hence the fulness, kindness, and stability of his covenant promises, and the accomplishment thereof, ver. 2.
If the psalm be short, let me sing in the full assurance of faith, and with a heart all inflamed with the loving kindness, and all enraptured with admiration of the goodness of God, towards men, towards the Gentiles, and towards my soul.
1 O give ye praise unto the Lord, all nations that be; Likewise, ye people all, accord his name to magnify. 2 For great to us-ward ever are his loving-kindnesses: His truth endures for evermore. The Lord O do ye bless.
This psalm was probably composed by David, soon after his advancement to, and settlement on his throne, 2 Sam. 8. And contains, (1.) His earnest exhortations to persons of all ranks, offices, and states, to praise the Lord, for his everlasting mercy and kindness, ver. 1-4. (2.) By a recital of the great and gracious things which God had done for him, he encourageth himself and others to trust in God alone, ver. 5-18. (3.) His thanksgivings for God's advancement of him to the throne, notwithstanding of all opposition as typical of the exaltation of Jesus Christ, ver. 19-23. (4.) His, and the priests' and people's triumph, in the expected prosperity of his reign; and of the flourishing of the kingdom of Christ, ver. 24-29.
While I sing, let my soul soar aloft to Jesus and his sure mercies. Let me behold him, who for the suffering of death was made a little lower than the angels, now crowned with glory and honour; having all his enemies put under his feet, but himself invested with all power in heaven and in earth; and furnished with all gifts for men, yea, for the rebellious also, that God the Lord may dwell among them; and, as the God of their salvation, daily load them with benefits. Let me rejoice in his highness, and have myself, and all my services, bound with cords to his altar. And God forbid I should conclude the notes, without entering into the very marrow of the sense. Thou art My God, I'll thee exalt; My God, I will thee praise.
1 O praise the Lord, for he is good; his mercy lasteth ever. 2 Let those of Israel now say, His mercy faileth never. 3 Now let the house of Aaron say, His mercy lasteth ever. 4 Let those that fear the Lord now say, His mercy faileth never. 5 I in distress call'd on the Lord; the Lord did answer me: He in a large place did me set, from trouble made me free. 6 The mighty Lord is on my side, I will not be afraid; For any thing that man can do I shall not be dismay'd. 7 The Lord doth take my part with them that help to succour me: Therefore on those that do me hate I my desire shall see. 8 Better it is to trust in God than trust in man's defence; 9 Better to trust in God than make princes our confidence. 10 The nations, joining all in one, did compass me about: But in the Lord's most holy name I shall them all root out. 11 They compass'd me about; I say, they compass'd me about: But in the Lord's most holy name I shall them all root out. 12 Like bees they compass'd me about; like unto thorns that flame They quenched are: for them shall I destroy in God's own name. 13 Thou sore hast thrust, that I might fall, but my Lord helped me. 14 God my salvation is become, my strength and song is he. 15 In dwellings of the righteous is heard the melody Of joy and health: the Lord's right hand doth ever valiantly. 16 The right hand of the mighty Lord exalted is on high; The right hand of the mighty Lord doth ever valiantly. 17 I shall not die, but live, and shall the works of God discover. 18 The Lord hath me chastised sore, but not to death giv'n over. 19 O set ye open unto me the gates of righteousness; Then will I enter into them, and I the Lord will bless. 20 This is the gate of God, by it the just shall enter in. 21 Thee will I praise, for thou me heard'st and hast my safety been. 22 That stone is made head corner-stone, which builders did despise: 23 This is the doing of the Lord, and wondrous in our eyes. 24 This is the day God made, in it we'll joy triumphantly. 25 Save now, I pray thee, Lord; I pray, send now prosperity. 26 Blessed is he in God's great name that cometh us to save: We, from the house which to the Lord pertains, you blessed have. 27 God is the Lord, who unto us hath made light to arise: Bind ye unto the altar's horns with cords the sacrifice. 28 Thou art my God, I'll thee exalt; my God, I will thee praise. 29 Give thanks to God, for he is good: his mercy lasts always.
This psalm is a collection of David's precious thoughts, sorrowful complaints, humble petitions, and holy resolutions, which, it seems he had written down as they occurred, and which, in the end of his life, he digested into the form in which they now stand, consisting of as many parts as there are letters in the Hebrew alphabet, the eight verses of each always beginning with the same letter in the original. The general scope of it is to magnify God's word, and make it honourable. To intimate that it informs us of whatever we ought to expect from God in the way of gracious donation, and of whatever he may expect from us in the way of grateful returns of duty, it is represented under ten different characters, one or other of which is to be found in every verse, except the 122nd and 132nd: As God's Law, because framed and published by him as our Sovereign His Commandments, because given with authority, and lodged with us as a trust His Precepts, because peremptorily prescribed, and not left as a thing indifferent His Statutes, because fixed and determined, and of perpetual obligation His Word, because it is the declaration of his mind, and Christ, his essential Word, is all and in all therein His Way, because it represents Christ, the Way, the Truth, and the Life, and is the rule of our faith and obedience His Testimonies, because therein God, upon his word, his oath, and writ, declares to men the truths necessary to be known, in order to his honour and their salvation, as ratified in the death of his Son His Judgments, because it is framed in infinite wisdom, and by it we must both judge and be judged (but in verses 75, 84, 121, judgment denotes righteous conduct) His Righteousness, because it is holy, just, and good, and is the perfect standard of righteousness And his Truth, or Faithfulness, because its leading truths are eternal, and the faithfulness of God is pledged in every point thereof.
While I sing, let me all along enter into the spirit of the psalm. Let my delight be in God's testimonies; my desires after God's presence; and my endeavours to have God honoured. Let God's word be my rule, my food, my armour, my wealth, my comfort; and God himself, as therein revealed and bestowed, be my everlasting and infinite all.
Aleph, The 1st Part.
Here, (1.) David marks out holy men as the only blessed men, ver. 1-3. (2.) Begs that, to his own honour and satisfaction, he may be helped of God to an upright observance of his laws, ver. 4-6. (3.) In the faith of God's direction and assistance, he resolves to praise and obey him, ver. 7-8.
1 Blessed are they that undefil'd, and straight are in the way; Who in the Lord's most holy law do walk, and do not stray. 2 Blessed are they who to observe his statutes are inclin'd; And who do seek the living God with their whole heart and mind. 3 Such in his ways do walk, and they do no iniquity. 4 Thou hast commanded us to keep thy precepts carefully. 5 O that thy statutes to observe thou would'st my ways direct! 6 Then shall I not be sham'd, when I thy precepts all respect. 7 Then with integrity of heart thee will I praise and bless, When I the judgments all have learn'd of thy pure righteousness. 8 That I will keep thy statutes all firmly resolv'd have I: O do not then, most gracious God, forsake me utterly.
He, (1.) Points out the proper method of mortifying lust and attaining true holiness, ver. 9. (2.) Professeth his attachment to God and his word, and supplicates wisdom, direction, and support, ver. 10-12. (3.) Reflects with satisfaction on his former regard to God's truth and ways, ver. 13-14. And, (4.) Resolves to persevere therein, ver. 15-16.
9 By what means shall a young man learn his way to purify? If he according to thy word thereto attentive be. 10 Unfeignedly thee have I sought with all my soul and heart: O let me not from the right path of thy commands depart. 11 Thy word I in my heart have hid, that I offend not thee. 12 O Lord, thou ever blessed art, thy statutes teach thou me. 13 The judgments of thy mouth each one my lips declared have: 14 More joy thy testimonies' way than riches all me gave. 15 I will thy holy precepts make my meditation; And carefully I'll have respect unto thy ways each one. 16 Upon thy statutes my delight shall constantly be set: And, by thy grace, I never will thy holy word forget.
(1.) With eagerness and longings of heart, he supplicates divine favour, and instruction in God's truths, ver. 17-20. (2.) Remarks the just vengeance of God upon such as wander from his ways, ver. 21. (3.) Supplicates preservation from reproach, as he observed, meditated on, delighted in, and consulted God's word in all his conduct, ver. 22-24.
17 With me thy servant, in thy grace, deal bountifully, Lord; That by thy favour I may live, and duly keep thy word. 18 Open mine eyes, that of thy law the wonders I may see. 19 I am a stranger on this earth, hide not thy laws from me. 20 My soul within me breaks, and doth much fainting still endure, Through longing that it hath all times unto thy judgments pure. 21 Thou hast rebuk'd the cursed proud, who from thy precepts swerve. 22 Reproach and shame remove from me, for I thy laws observe. 23 Against me princes spake with spite, while they in council sat: But I thy servant did upon thy statutes meditate. 24 My comfort, and my heart's delight, thy testimonies be; And they, in all my doubts and fears, are counsellors to me.
He, (1.) Represents his distress, and his behaviour under it, ver. 25-26, 28, 30-31. (2.) Supplicates spiritual quickening, instruction, strength, rectitude of sentiment, and honour in the Lord's way, ver. 25, 31. (3.) Resolves under the influences of heaven, to be more active in holiness, ver. 32.
25 My soul to dust cleaves: quicken me, according to thy word. 26 My ways I shew'd, and me thou heard'st: teach me thy statutes, Lord. 27 The way of thy commandements make me aright to know; So all thy works that wondrous are I shall to others show. 28 My soul doth melt, and drop away, for heaviness and grief: To me, according to thy word, give strength, and send relief. 29 From me the wicked way of lies let far removed be; And graciously thy holy law do thou grant unto me. 30 I chosen have the perfect way of truth and verity: Thy judgments that most righteous are before me laid have I. 31 I to thy testimonies cleave; shame do not on me cast. 32 I'll run thy precepts' way, when thou my heart enlarged hast.
He, (1.) Prays for divine instruction, sanctifying influences, quickening grace; for the accomplishment of God's promises to him; and against covetousness, vanity, and reproach, ver. 33-40. (2.) Enforces his requests, from his holy resolutions, his relation to God, his zeal for his honour, and his regard to his excellent declarations, promises, and precepts, ver. 33-34, 38-40.
33 Teach me, O Lord, the perfect way of thy precepts divine, And to observe it to the end I shall my heart incline. 34 Give understanding unto me, so keep thy law shall I; Yea, ev'n with my whole heart I shall observe it carefully. 35 In thy law's path make me to go; for I delight therein. 36 My heart unto thy testimonies, and not to greed, incline. 37 Turn thou away my sight and eyes from viewing vanity; And in thy good and holy way be pleas'd to quicken me. 38 Confirm to me thy gracious word, which I did gladly hear, Ev'n to thy servant, Lord, who is devoted to thy fear. 39 Turn thou away my fear'd reproach; for good thy judgments be. 40 Lo, for thy precepts I have long'd; in thy truth quicken me.
Here are, (1.) The prayers he presented to God, ver. 41, 43. (2.) The graces he exercised upon God and his word faith, hope, love, ver. 42-43, 47-48. (3.) The practice he resolved on, through grace, viz. to keep God's law; to seek and cheerfully practise his precepts; boldly publish his truth to others; and to delight in, meditate on, and zealously reduce them to practice, ver. 44-48.
41 Let thy sweet mercies also come and visit me, O Lord; Ev'n thy benign salvation, according to thy word. 42 So shall I have wherewith I may give him an answer just, Who spitefully reproacheth me; for in thy word I trust. 43 The word of truth out of my mouth take thou not utterly; For on thy judgments righteous my hope doth still rely. 44 So shall I keep for evermore thy law continually. 45 And, sith that I thy precepts seek, I'll walk at liberty. 46 I'll speak thy word to kings, and I with shame shall not be mov'd; 47 And will delight myself always in thy laws, which I lov'd. 48 To thy commandments, which I lov'd, my hands lift up I will; And I will also meditate upon thy statutes still.
Represents, (1.) The comfort he had found in God's word, ver. 49-50, 52, 54. (2.) His desire that God would fulfil his promises, ver. 49; and his care to remember, think on, and practise God's truths, ver. 51-52, 55-56. (3.) The injurious reproach he suffered from the wicked; and his abhorrence of their sin and dread of their punishment, ver. 51, 53.
49 Remember, Lord, thy gracious word thou to thy servant spake, Which, for a ground of my sure hope, thou causedst me to take. 50 This word of thine my comfort is in mine affliction: For in my straits I am reviv'd by this thy word alone. 51 The men whose hearts with pride are stuff'd did greatly me deride; Yet from thy straight commandements I have not turn'd aside. 52 Thy judgments righteous, O Lord, which thou of old forth gave, I did remember, and myself by them comforted have. 53 Horror took hold on me, because ill men thy law forsake. 54 I in my house of pilgrimage thy laws my songs do make. 55 Thy name by night, Lord, I did mind, and I have kept thy law. 56 And this I had, because thy word I kept, and stood in awe.
We have here, (1.) The portion he chose, ver. 57. (2.) The purpose he formed, ver. 57. (3.) The prayers he offered up, for favour, mercy, and instructions, ver. 58, 64. (4.) The penitential care he took to obey God's law, ver. 59-61. (5.) The complaints he uttered, ver. 61. (6.) His fervent thanksgiving, ver. 62. (7.) His choice companions, ver. 63. (8.) His deep sense of God's abundant mercy and grace, ver. 64.
57 Thou my sure portion art alone, which I did chuse, O Lord: I have resolv'd, and said, that I would keep thy holy word. 58 With my whole heart I did entreat thy face and favour free: According to thy gracious word be merciful to me. 59 I thought upon my former ways, and did my life well try; And to thy testimonies pure my feet then turned I. 60 I did not stay, nor linger long, as those that slothful are; But hastily thy laws to keep myself I did prepare. 61 Bands of ill men me robb'd; yet I thy precepts did not slight. 62 I'll rise at midnight thee to praise, ev'n for thy judgments right. 63 I am companion to all those who fear, and thee obey. 64 O Lord, thy mercy fills the earth: teach me thy laws, I pray.
Contains, (1. ) Hearty acknowledgements of God's faithfulness and goodness, and of the excellency and usefulness of his word, ver. 65, 68, 72. (2.) Humble acknowledgements of the advantages he had received from his afflictions, ver. 67, 71. (3.) Complaints of the pride, calumnious reproach, and luxurious stupidity, of wicked men, ver. 69-70. (4.) Supplications for divine instruction, ver. 66, 68. (5.) Declarations of his regard to God's word, and resolutions to persevere in the observance thereof, ver. 66-72.
65 Well hast thou with thy servant dealt, as thou didst promise give. 66 Good judgment me, and knowledge teach, for I thy word believe. 67 Ere I afflicted was I stray'd; but now I keep thy word. 68 Both good thou art, and good thou do'st: teach me thy statutes, Lord. 69 The men that are puff 'd up with pride against me forg'd a lie; Yet thy commandements observe with my whole heart will I. 70 Their hearts, through worldly ease and wealth, as fat as grease they be: But in thy holy law I take delight continually. 71 It hath been very good for me that I afflicted was, That I might well instructed be, and learn thy holy laws. 72 The word that cometh from thy mouth is better unto me Than many thousands and great sums of gold and silver be.
Contains, (1.) Thankful acknowledgements of God's kindness in creating, and of his equity and faithfulness in afflicting, ver. 73, 75. (2.) Earnest supplications for divine instruction, for fresh discoveries of God's mercy; for the confusion of enemies, and the comfortable fellowship of friends; and for an honourable soundness of heart, ver. 73, 76-77, 79-80. (3.) Holy joy in the comfort of fellow saints, and especially in God's mercy and word, ver. 74, 76-77. (4.) An holy resolution to meditate on, and cleave to God's testimonies amidst persecution, ver. 78.
73 Thou mad'st and fashion'dst me: thy laws to know give wisdom, Lord. 74 So who thee fear shall joy to see me trusting in thy word. 75 That very right thy judgments are I know, and do confess; And that thou hast afflicted me in truth and faithfulness. 76 O let thy kindness merciful, I pray thee, comfort me, As to thy servant faithfully was promised by thee. 77 And let thy tender mercies come to me, that I may live; Because thy holy laws to me sweet delectation give. 78 Lord, let the proud ashamed be; for they, without a cause, With me perversely dealt: but I will muse upon thy laws. 79 Let such as fear thee, and have known thy statutes, turn to me. 80 My heart let in thy laws be sound, that sham'd I never be.
Contains, (1.) Bitter complaints of great and long distress, ver. 81-87. (2.) Fervent supplications for speedy comfort, help, and quickening, ver. 82, 86, 88. (3.) Pleas wherewith these supplications are enforced: as, that his distress was become insupportable; that his hope was in God's word, and he clave to it in his profession and practice; that his life was but short, to have so much of it spent in the furnace of affliction; that the malice and pride of his enemies were excessive; and, in fine, that God's loving kindness was infinite, ver. 81-88.
81 My soul for thy salvation faints; yet I thy word believe. 82 Mine eyes fail for thy word: I say, When wilt thou comfort give? 83 For like a bottle I'm become, that in the smoke is set: I'm black, and parch'd with grief; yet I thy statutes not forget. 84 How many are thy servant's days? when wilt thou execute Just judgment on these wicked men that do me persecute? 85 The proud have digged pits for me, which is against thy laws. 86 Thy words all faithful are: help me, pursu'd without a cause. 87 They so consum'd me, that on earth my life they scarce did leave: Thy precepts yet forsook I not, but close to them did cleave. 88 After thy loving-kindness, Lord, me quicken, and preserve: The testimony of thy mouth so shall I still observe.
Represents, (1.) The eternity and unchangeableness of God's word and works, ver. 89-91. (2.) The advantage of delighting in, and cleaving to God's truths, ver. 92-93. (3.) God's interest in men, a reason of his saving the observers of his law, ver. 94. (4.) David's adherence to God's truths amidst furious persecution, ver. 95. (5.) The superlative excellency of God's word above all earthly enjoyments, ver. 96.
89 Thy word for ever is, O Lord, in heaven settled fast; 90 Unto all generations thy faithfulness doth last: The earth thou hast established, and it abides by thee. 91 This day they stand as thou ordain'dst; for all thy servants be. 92 Unless in thy most perfect law my soul delights had found, I should have perished, when as my troubles did abound. 93 Thy precepts I will ne'er forget; they quick'ning to me brought. 94 Lord, I am thine; O save thou me: thy precepts I have sought. 95 For me the wicked have laid wait, me seeking to destroy: But I thy testimonies true consider will with joy. 96 An end of all perfection here have I seen, O God: But as for thy commandement, it is exceeding broad.
Represents the psalmist's ardent affection to God's law, ver. 97; because that, (1.) Thereby he had attained much useful knowledge and wisdom, ver. 98-100. (2.) Thereby he was enabled to refrain from, and hate sin, ver. 101, 104. (3.) Thereby he was preserved steady in the path of his duty, ver. 101-02. (4.) And thereby he obtained much comfort to his soul, ver. 103.
97 O how love I thy law! it is my study all the day: 98 It makes me wiser than my foes; for it doth with me stay. 99 Than all my teachers now I have more understanding far; Because my meditation thy testimonies are. 100 In understanding I excel those that are ancients; For I endeavoured to keep all thy commandements. 101 My feet from each ill way I stay'd, that I may keep thy word. 102 I from thy judgments have not swerv'd; for thou hast taught me, Lord. 103 How sweet unto my taste, O Lord, are all thy words of truth! Yea, I do find them sweeter far than honey to my mouth. 104 I through thy precepts, that are pure, do understanding get; I therefore ev'ry way that's false with all my heart do hate.
Represents, (1.) The remarkable usefulness of God's word, ver. 105. (2.) David's solemn dedication of himself to his service, ver. 106. (3.) His recourse to God by prayer under his afflictions, ver. 107-08. (4.) His faithful adherence to the Lord's way, amidst trouble and persecution, ver. 109-10. (5.) His solemn and deliberate choice of God's word for his portion and rule, ver. 111-12.
105 Thy word is to my feet a lamp, and to my path a light. 106 I sworn have, and I will perform, to keep thy judgments right. 107 I am with sore affliction ev'n overwhelm'd, O Lord: In mercy raise and quicken me, according to thy word. 108 The free-will-off 'rings of my mouth accept, I thee beseech: And unto me thy servant, Lord, thy judgments clearly teach. 109 Though still my soul be in my hand, thy laws I'll not forget. 110 I err'd not from them, though for me the wicked snares did set. 111 I of thy testimonies have above all things made choice, To be my heritage for aye; for they my heart rejoice. 112 I carefully inclined have my heart still to attend; That I thy statutes may perform alway unto the end.
We have here, (1.) David's hatred of sin, and love of God's law, ver. 113. (2.) His profession of dependence upon God, ver. 114. (3.) His debarring of wicked men from his company, ver. 115. (4.) His prayer for support, comfort, and honour, in the Lord's way, ver. 116-17. (5.) His foresight of, and trembling at the ruin of the wicked, ver. 118-20.
113 I hate the thoughts of vanity, but love thy law do I. 114 My shield and hiding-place thou art: I on thy word rely. 115 All ye that evil-doers are from me depart away; For the commandments of my God I purpose to obey. 116 According to thy faithful word uphold and stablish me, That I may live, and of my hope ashamed never be. 117 Hold thou me up, so shall I be in peace and safety still; And to thy statutes have respect continually I will. 118 Thou tread'st down all that love to stray; false their deceit doth prove. 119 Lewd men, like dross, away thou putt'st; therefore thy law I love. 120 For fear of thee my very flesh doth tremble, all dismay'd; And of thy righteous judgments, Lord, my soul is much afraid.
Here David, (1.) Appeals to God for his integrity and equity, ver. 121. (2.) Supplicates that God would protect him against enemies; grant him merciful deliverance, and saving instruction; and arise for the maintenance of his own honour, ver. 121-26. (3.) Enforces his requests with these pleas that he was God's servant; and that he could no longer bear up under trouble, ver. 122-25. (4.) Professeth his superlative regard to God's law, and hatred of all iniquity, ver. 127-28.
121 To all men I have judgment done, performing justice right; Then let me not be left unto my fierce oppressors' might. 122 For good unto thy servant, Lord, thy servant's surety be: From the oppression of the proud do thou deliver me. 123 Mine eyes do fail with looking long for thy salvation, The word of thy pure righteousness while I do wait upon. 124 In mercy with thy servant deal, thy laws me teach and show. 125 I am thy servant, wisdom give, that I thy laws may know. 126 'Tis time thou work, Lord; for they have made void thy law divine. 127 Therefore thy precepts more I love than gold, yea, gold most fine. 128 Concerning all things thy commands all right I judge therefore; And ev'ry false and wicked way I perfectly abhor.
Here David, (1.) Declares his esteem of, and regard to God's word, ver. 129-31; and his deep concern for men's violation thereof, ver. 136. (2.) Supplicates for mercy, direction, preservation, deliverance, spiritual comfort, and instruction, ver. 132-35.
129 Thy statutes, Lord, are wonderful, my soul them keeps with care. 130 The entrance of thy words gives light, makes wise who simple are. 131 My mouth I have wide opened, and panted earnestly, While after thy commandements I long'd exceedingly. 132 Look on me, Lord, and merciful do thou unto me prove, As thou art wont to do to those thy name who truly love. 133 O let my footsteps in thy word aright still order'd be: Let no iniquity obtain dominion over me. 134 From man's oppression save thou me; so keep thy laws I will. 135 Thy face make on thy servant shine; teach me thy statutes still. 136 Rivers of waters from mine eyes did run down, when I saw How wicked men run on in sin, and do not keep thy law.
Contains, (1.) David's celebration of the righteousness of God's nature and work, and of the righteousness, faithfulness, and purity of his word, ver. 137-38, 140, 142, 144. (2.) His avowed remembrance of, zeal for, and delight in God's word, notwithstanding much contempt and trouble, suffered on account of his adherence to it, ver. 139-43. (3.) His fervent prayer for spiritual instruction, ver. 144.
137 O Lord, thou art most righteous; thy judgments are upright. 138 Thy testimonies thou command'st most faithful are and right. 139 My zeal hath ev'n consumed me, because mine enemies Thy holy words forgotten have, and do thy laws despise. 140 Thy word's most pure, therefore on it thy servant's love is set. 141 Small, and despis'd I am, yet I thy precepts not forget. 142 Thy righteousness is righteousness which ever doth endure: Thy holy law, Lord, also is the very truth most pure. 143 Trouble and anguish have me found, and taken hold on me: Yet in my trouble my delight thy just commandments be. 144 Eternal righteousness is in thy testimonies all: Lord, to me understanding give, and ever live I shall.
Contains, (1.) David's importunate supplications for gracious audience, necessary salvation, and quickening influence, ver. 145-47, 149. (2.) His hopes in, and meditations on God's word as perfectly true, and perpetually stable, ver. 147-48, 151-52. (3.) In danger from wicked men, he flees to God for relief, ver. 149-51.
145 With my whole heart I cry'd, Lord, hear; I will thy word obey. 146 I cry'd to thee; save me, and I will keep thy laws alway. 147 I of the morning did prevent the dawning, and did cry: For all mine expectation did on thy word rely. 148 Mine eyes did timeously prevent the watches of the night, That in thy word with careful mind then meditate I might. 149 After thy loving-kindness hear my voice, that calls on thee: According to thy judgment, Lord, revive and quicken me. 150 Who follow mischief they draw nigh; they from thy law are far: 151 But thou art near, Lord; most firm truth all thy commandments are. 152 As for thy testimonies all, of old this have I try'd, That thou hast surely founded them for ever to abide.
Contains, (1.) David's cries to God that he would consider his affliction, plead his cause, deliver him, and quicken his soul, ver. 153-54, 156, 159. (2.) His adherence to, love for, and high esteem of God's word, ver. 153-54, 157, 159-60. (3.) His description of the character and misery of the wicked, ver. 155, 157-58.
153 Consider mine affliction, in safety do me set: Deliver me, O Lord, for I thy law do not forget. 154 After thy word revive thou me: save me, and plead my cause. 155 Salvation is from sinners far; for they seek not thy laws. 156 O Lord, both great and manifold thy tender mercies be: According to thy judgments just, revive and quicken me. 157 My persecutors many are, and foes that do combine; Yet from thy testimonies pure my heart doth not decline. 158 I saw transgressors, and was griev'd; for they keep not thy word. 159 See how I love thy law! as thou art kind, me quicken, Lord. 160 From the beginning all thy word hath been most true and sure: Thy righteous judgments ev'ry one for evermore endure.
Here, (1.) David complains to God of persecution from princes, ver. 161. (2.) Professeth his holy awe of, his delight in, love to, and careful observance of God's testimonies, and his utter detestation of falsehood, ver. 161-68. (3.) Avows his persuasion of the happiness of the godly, and his own hopes of God's salvation, ver. 165-66.
161 Princes have persecuted me, although no cause they saw: But still of thy most holy word my heart doth stand in awe. 162 I at thy word rejoice, as one of spoil that finds great store. 163 Thy law I love; but lying all I hate and do abhor. 164 Sev'n times a-day it is my care to give due praise to thee; Because of all thy judgments, Lord, which righteous ever be. 165 Great peace have they who love thy law; offence they shall have none. 166 I hop'd for thy salvation, Lord, and thy commands have done. 167 My soul thy testimonies pure observed carefully; On them my heart is set, and them I love exceedingly. 168 Thy testimonies and thy laws I kept with special care; For all my works and ways each one before thee open are.
Here, (1.) David's prayers for access to God, and for instruction, deliverance, help, and recovery, from God, ver. 169-70, 173, 175-76. (2.) Hearty professions of his regard to God's word, and to the salvation therein contained, ver. 169-76. (3.) His humble confession of his wandering from God, and desire to be brought back, ver. 176.
169 O let my earnest pray'r and cry come near before thee, Lord: Give understanding unto me, according to thy word. 170 Let my request before thee come: after thy word me free. 171 My lips shall utter praise, when thou hast taught thy laws to me. 172 My tongue of thy most blessed word shall speak, and it confess; Because all thy commandements are perfect righteousness. 173 Let thy strong hand make help to me: thy precepts are my choice. 174 I long'd for thy salvation, Lord, and in thy law rejoice. 175 O let my soul live, and it shall give praises unto thee; And let thy judgments gracious be helpful unto me. 176 I, like a lost sheep, went astray; thy servant seek, and find: For thy commands I suffer'd not to slip out of my mind.
A Song of degrees.
Why this psalm and the fourteen following, are called songs of degrees, we do not certainly know. It is plain, some of them are suited to secret worship, some to the family, and others to the public assembly. This psalm, from its affinity to the 52nd, is supposed to refer to Doeg the Edomite, 1 Sam. 22. We have, (1.) The psalmist's prayer to God for deliverance from the ruinous influence of malicious and false accusations, ver. 1-2. (2.) His denunciation of the just, fearful, and lasting judgments of God against his malicious accusers, ver. 3-4. (3.) His complaints of his quarrelsome and vexatious neighbours, ver. 5-7.
Never dare, my soul, to utter falsehood, or even truth in a malicious manner. Never dare to rush upon the fierce and lasting indignation of the Almighty. Never choose to make this world thy country, where sin and troubles so abound. But, ye blessed abodes of peace and purity, when shall I come to you! When shall I leave my evil neighbours, and come to God, to God my exceeding joy.
1 In my distress to God I cry'd, and he gave ear to me. 2 From lying lips, and guileful tongue, O Lord, my soul set free. 3 What shall be giv'n thee? or what shall be done to thee, false tongue? 4 Ev'n burning coals of juniper, sharp arrows of the strong. 5 Woe's me that I in Mesech am a sojourner so long; That I in tabernacles dwell to Kedar that belong. 6 My soul with him that hateth peace hath long a dweller been. 7 I am for peace; but when I speak, for battle they are keen.
A Song of degrees.
Here, (1.) In the firm faith of being heard, David supplicates divine help and protection, ver. 1-2. (2.) He comforts himself and others with the assurance of God's infallible direction and protection, ver. 3-8.
While I sing, let all my confidence be on the Lord. Let my soul truly wait for him, from whom cometh all my necessary and expected blessings. On him be all my burdens, all my wants, all my cares.
1 I to the hills will lift mine eyes, from whence doth come mine aid. 2 My safety cometh from the Lord, who heav'n and earth hath made. 3 Thy foot he'll not let slide, nor will he slumber that thee keeps. 4 Behold, he that keeps Israel, he slumbers not, nor sleeps. 5 The Lord thee keeps, the Lord thy shade on thy right hand doth stay: 6 The moon by night thee shall not smite, nor yet the sun by day. 7 The Lord shall keep thy soul; he shall preserve thee from all ill. 8 Henceforth thy going out and in God keep for ever will.
A Song of degrees of David.
This psalm appears to have been composed for the use of the Hebrews at their three solemn feasts, Lev. 23. We have in it, (1.) Expressions of great joy in going up to Jerusalem, ver. 1-2. (2.) High commendations of the beauty, order, sanctity, and honour of Jerusalem, ver. 3-5. (3.) The duty and happiness of such as are really concerned for the welfare of Jerusalem, the church of God, ver. 6-9.
While I sing, let me remember the gospel church, bewail her disorders, supplicate for her welfare, and set my heart on the Jerusalem which is above, and into which nothing can enter that defileth or disturbs. O when shall my feet stand there! When shall I see my Jesus, on his great white throne, and sit with him in his glory.
1 I joy'd when to the house of God, Go up, they said to me. 2 Jerusalem, within thy gates our feet shall standing be. 3 Jerus'lem, as a city, is compactly built together: 4 Unto that place the tribes go up, the tribes of God go thither: To Isr'el's testimony, there to God's name thanks to pay. 5 For thrones of judgment, ev'n the thrones of David's house, there stay. 6 Pray that Jerusalem may have peace and felicity: Let them that love thee and thy peace have still prosperity. 7 Therefore I wish that peace may still within thy walls remain, And ever may thy palaces prosperity retain. 8 Now, for my friends' and brethren's sakes, Peace be in thee, I'll say. 9 And for the house of God our Lord, I'll seek thy good alway.
A Song of degrees.
This psalm relates to the distressed situation of the church, and contains, (1.) Earnest longings for, and believing expectations of merciful deliverances from God, ver. 1-2. (2.) An improvement of great distress, as a plea for speedy and remarkable relief, ver. 3-4.
While I sing this, let me, in the full assurance of faith, cry to God, for the mercies which my own soul, my family, and the church and nation wherewith I am connected, so much need. Nor let me accept of a denial of my believing requests.
1 O thou that dwellest in the heav'ns, I lift mine eyes to thee. 2 Behold, as servants' eyes do look their masters' hand to see, As handmaid's eyes her mistress' hand; so do our eyes attend Upon the Lord our God, until to us he mercy send. 3 O Lord, be gracious to us, unto us gracious be; Because replenish'd with contempt exceedingly are we. 4 Our soul is fill'd with scorn of those that at their ease abide, And with the insolent contempt of those that swell in pride.
A Song of degrees of David.
This psalm is highly applicable to every remarkable deliverance which God works for his church, especially to the great redemption wrought for his people by Christ. In it, (1.) David magnifies the danger they were in, ver. 1-5. (2.) Ascribes the glory of their deliverance to God, ver. 1-2, 6-7. (3.) Improves the deliverance as an encouragement to trust in God, ver. 8.
Let me behold Jehovah as a present help in trouble. Let my waiting eyes be towards him, who, notwithstanding all the combined power and policy of hell and earth, is able and ready to pull my feet out of the net.
First Version (C.M.) 1 Had not the Lord been on our side, may Israel now say; 2 Had not the Lord been on our side, when men rose us to slay; 3 They had us swallow'd quick, when as their wrath 'gainst us did flame: 4 Waters had cover'd us, our soul had sunk beneath the stream. 5 Then had the waters, swelling high, over our soul made way. 6 Bless'd be the Lord, who to their teeth us gave not for a prey. 7 Our soul's escaped, as a bird out of the fowler's snare; The snare asunder broken is, and we escaped are. 8 Our sure and all-sufficient help is in Jehovah's name; His name who did the heav'n create, and who the earth did frame. Second Version (10.10.10.10.10.) 1 Now Israel may say, and that truly, If that the Lord had not our cause maintain'd; 2 If that the Lord had not our right sustain'd, When cruel men against us furiously Rose up in wrath, to make of us their prey; 3 Then certainly they had devour'd us all, And swallow'd quick, for ought that we could deem; Such was their rage, as we might well esteem. 4 And as fierce floods before them all things drown, So had they brought our soul to death quite down. 5 The raging streams, with their proud swelling waves, Had then our soul o'erwhelmed in the deep. 6 But bless'd be God, who doth us safely keep, And hath not giv'n us for a living prey Unto their teeth, and bloody cruelty. 7 Ev'n as a bird out of the fowler's snare Escapes away, so is our soul set free: Broke are their nets, and thus escaped we. 8 Therefore our help is in the Lord's great name, Who heav'n and earth by his great pow'r did frame.
A Song of degrees.
Let me, in this psalm, behold, (1.) The happiness of the saints; in the fixedness of their new-covenant state; the safety of their condition: the seasonableness of their deliverances; and the advantage of effectual fervent prayers in their behalf, ver. 1-4. (2.) The misery of the wicked, particularly of the apostates from the ways of God, ver. 5.
Let me then never be of them that draw back, but of them who believe, to the fixing of their heart, and the saving of their soul.
1 They in the Lord that firmly trust shall be like Sion hill, Which at no time can be remov'd, but standeth ever still. 2 As round about Jerusalem the mountains stand alway, The Lord his folk doth compass so, from henceforth and for aye. 3 For ill men's rod upon the lot of just men shall not lie; Lest righteous men stretch forth their hands unto iniquity. 4 Do thou to all those that be good thy goodness, Lord, impart; And do thou good to those that are upright within their heart. 5 But as for such as turn aside after their crooked way, God shall lead forth with wicked men: on Isr'el peace shall stay.
A Song of degrees.
This psalm relates to some remarkable deliverance of the Jewish church, perhaps from Babylon, as typical of those of the gospel church; and, (1.) Represents great admiration of, and thankfulness for the deliverance, ver. 1-3. (2.) Contains prayers for, and encouragement to saints exercised with tribulations, ver. 4-6.
While I sing, let me admire the Lord's kindness to my country, to his gospel church to mankind to my soul. And, in my remaining distress, personal or relative, let me sow in mourning and supplication, that I may through grace reap joyful deliverances, and everlasting consolations.
1 When Sion's bondage God turn'd back, as men that dream'd were we. 2 Then fill'd with laughter was our mouth, our tongue with melody: They 'mong the heathen said, The Lord great things for them hath wrought. 3 The Lord hath done great things for us, whence joy to us is brought. 4 As streams of water in the south, our bondage, Lord, recall. 5 Who sow in tears, a reaping time of joy enjoy they shall. 6 That man who, bearing precious seed, in going forth doth mourn, He doubtless, bringing back his sheaves, rejoicing shall return.
A Song of degrees for Solomon.
This psalm relates to David's orders for building the temple, 1 Chron. 22, 28; or to Solomon's actual building of it, 2 Chron. 2-6. It teacheth us constant dependence on God, in all our concerns; particularly in, (1.) Prospering our undertakings, or rearing our families; and in protecting our residence and country, ver. 1. (2.) In enriching us without excessive care or labour, ver. 2. (3.) In giving us agreeable heirs to possess our substance, ver. 3-5.
In all my undertakings, let me set the Lord always before me! and depend on his blessing, as the source of my success. In all my enjoyments, let my care be to enjoy God himself.
1 Except the Lord do build the house, the builders lose their pain: Except the Lord the city keep, the watchmen watch in vain. 2 'Tis vain for you to rise betimes, or late from rest to keep, To feed on sorrows' bread; so gives he his beloved sleep. 3 Lo, children are God's heritage, the womb's fruit his reward. 4 The sons of youth as arrows are, for strong men's hands prepar'd. 5 O happy is the man that hath his quiver fill'd with those; They unashamed in the gate shall speak unto their foes.
A Song of degrees.
This psalm exhibits, (1.) The comprehensive duty of all, particularly married persons, ver. 1. (2.) The advantage of studying it, viz., success in employments; comfort and honour in relations; joy in the prosperity of God's church, and of their own offspring, ver. 2-6.
While I sing, let me be ashamed, let me be pained on account of my deficiency in holiness, and of the hurt my family and the church of God have thereby sustained. Let me behold the great gain of true godliness, having the promises of this life, and of that which is to come.
1 Bless'd is each one that fears the Lord, and walketh in his ways; 2 For of thy labour thou shalt eat, and happy be always. 3 Thy wife shall as a fruitful vine by thy house' sides be found: Thy children like to olive-plants about thy table round. 4 Behold, the man that fears the Lord, thus blessed shall he be. 5 The Lord shall out of Sion give his blessing unto thee: Thou shalt Jerus'lem's good behold whilst thou on earth dost dwell. 6 Thou shalt thy children's children see, and peace on Israel.
A Song of degrees.
Whether this psalm was penned when David brought up the ark of God to Mount Zion, 2Sam. 6, or relates to the Chaldean captivity, is uncertain. In it, the people of God, (1.) Look back on their often-repeated tribulations, with thankfulness to God for their deliverances from Egypt, and from their oppressors under the Judges, Saul, etc., ver. 1-4. (2.) They look forward, with a believing prayer for, and prospect of the destruction of all their implacable enemies, ver. 5-8.
While I sing, let me not only be affected with what the Lord did for the Jewish, but chiefly with what he hath done for the gospel church: and let me, in faith, cry for, and expect the downfall of Antichrist, and of all other enemies of Christ and his church.
1 Oft did they vex me from my youth, may Isr'el now declare; 2 Oft did they vex me from my youth, yet not victorious were. 3 The plowers plow'd upon my back; they long their furrows drew. 4 The righteous Lord did cut the cords of the ungodly crew. 5 Let Sion's haters all be turn'd back with confusion. 6 As grass on houses' tops be they, which fades ere it be grown: 7 Whereof enough to fill his hand the mower cannot find; Nor can the man his bosom fill, whose work is sheaves to bind. 8 Neither say they who do go by, God's blessing on you rest: We in the name of God the Lord do wish you to be blest.
A Song of degrees.
This psalm contains, (1.) David's earnest cries to God, out of the
depths of corruption, desertion, temptation, or trouble, ver. 1-2.
(2.) His ingenuous repentance, in the faith of God's merciful
forgiveness, ver. 3-4. (3.) His attentive waiting on God for his
favours, ver. 5-6. (4.) His encouraging expectations from God,
While I sing, let my soul go and do likewise. While the unbounded mercy and plenteous redemption of Jehovah remains unexhausted, let my soul cry mightily in every trouble; believe forgiveness under the deepest sense of guilt; and quietly hope and wait for the salvation of God. Let never hopeless despair steel my heart against a God of grace.
1 Lord, from the depths to thee I cry'd. 2 My voice, Lord, do thou hear: Unto my supplication's voice give an attentive ear. 3 Lord, who shall stand, if thou, O Lord, should'st mark iniquity? 4 But yet with thee forgiveness is, that fear'd thou mayest be. 5 I wait for God, my soul doth wait, my hope is in his word. 6 More than they that for morning watch, my soul waits for the Lord; I say, more than they that do watch the morning light to see. 7 Let Israel hope in the Lord, for with him mercies be; And plenteous redemption is ever found with him. 8 And from all his iniquities he Isr'el shall redeem.
A Song of degrees of David.
This psalm contains, (1.) David's candid profession of his contentment with his lot, ver. 1-2. (2.) His warm encouragement of others to a constant dependence on God, ver. 3.
While I sing it, let me be ashamed of my pride, and of meddling with things above my sphere. Let me desire humility, as my great ornament, in every station; and study, like a child of God, weaned from worldly lusts, to set all my hope on God himself.
1 My heart not haughty is, O Lord, mine eyes not lofty be; Nor do I deal in matters great, or things too high for me. 2 I surely have myself behav'd with quiet sp'rit and mild, As child of mother wean'd: my soul is like a weaned child. 3 Upon the Lord let all the hope of Israel rely, Ev'n from the time that present is unto eternity.
A Song of degrees.
Whether this psalm was penned by David when he brought up the ark of God from Kirjath-jearim, 2Sam. 6, or for Solomon's dedication of the temple, 1Kings 8, is uncertain. It contains, (1.) A representation of David's pious and earnest care to provide a proper lodging for God's ark, ver. 1-7. (2.) Earnest prayers for God's presence and blessing to attend his ark, ver. 8-10. (3.) David's care to provide an habitation for God; and God's promises to David relating to the prosperity and establishment of his family, especially in the Messiah, are pleaded as arguments to enforce these requests, ver. 1-5, 10-18.
While I sing, let my soul, with ardour, go out after God, the living God. Let nothing less than his presence in his ordinances satisfy my desires. Let the welfare of his ministers and people be matter of my deep concern. Let me admire the kindness of God, that I have so many exceeding great and precious promises to plead upon. While I sing them, let me grasp, let me believe them, with my whole heart.
1 David, and his afflictions all, Lord, do thou think upon; 2 How unto God he sware, and vow'd to Jacob's mighty One. 3 I will not come within my house, nor rest in bed at all; 4 Nor shall mine eyes take any sleep, nor eyelids slumber shall; 5 Till for the Lord a place I find, where he may make abode; A place of habitation for Jacob's mighty God. 6 Lo, at the place of Ephratah of it we understood; And we did find it in the fields, and city of the wood. 7 We'll go into his tabernacles, and at his footstool bow. 8 Arise, O Lord, into thy rest, th' ark of thy strength, and thou. 9 O let thy priests be clothed, Lord, with truth and righteousness; And let all those that are thy saints shout loud for joyfulness. 10 For thine own servant David's sake, do not deny thy grace; Nor of thine own anointed one turn thou away the face. 11 The Lord in truth to David sware, he will not turn from it, I of thy body's fruit will make upon thy throne to sit. 12 My cov'nant if thy sons will keep, and laws to them made known, Their children then shall also sit for ever on thy throne. 13 For God of Sion hath made choice; there he desires to dwell. 14 This is my rest, here still I'll stay; for I do like it well. 15 Her food I'll greatly bless; her poor with bread will satisfy. 16 Her priests I'll clothe with health; her saints shall shout forth joyfully. 17 And there will I make David's horn to bud forth pleasantly: For him that mine anointed is a lamp ordain'd have I. 18 As with a garment I will clothe with shame his en'mies all: But yet the crown that he doth wear upon him flourish shall.
A Song of degrees of David.
This psalm was perhaps penned when the Hebrew tribes concurred to fix David on his throne, or to restore him to it, 2 Sam. 5 or 19. Here is, (1.) A declaration of the excellency and pleasantness of brotherly affection, ver. 1. (2.) The illustration of this in two similitudes, ver. 2-3. (3.) The great advantage of it, ver. 3.
While I sing, let Jesus' love, shed abroad in my heart, make me exemplify my notes. How happy the churches and families where this prevails! And how blessed above all, the church above, where love, love for ever reigns.
1 Behold, how good a thing it is, and how becoming well, Together such as brethren are in unity to dwell! 2 Like precious ointment on the head, that down the beard did flow, Ev'n Aaron's beard, and to the skirts,* did of his garments go. 3 As Hermon's dew, the dew that doth on Sion' hills descend: For there the blessing God commands, life that shall never end.
* To imagine that the sacred oil ran down upon, and stained the high priest's robe to the skirt, or lower parts thereof, to me seems very inconsistent with the remarkable cleanliness prescribed by the ceremonial institutes; and very inconsistent with the prescribe finery and beauty of this sacred apparel. The Hebrew word phi ought therefore to have been translated not skirt, but collar or neckband (Compare Job 30:18, Exodus 28:32). Perhaps, too, the hills of Zion, in ver. 3, denote not those about Jerusalem (Psalm 125:2), which stood a hundred miles distant from Hermon, but that which is called Sion, Deut. 4:48, on which, without controversy, the famed, the plentiful, the invigorating, the fructifying dews of Hermon descended.
A Song of degrees.
This psalm was perhaps penned when David appointed the orders of the Priests and Levites, 1 Chron. 23, 26. In it we have, (1.) The sacred watchers of the temple stirred up, to employ their time in praising God, ver. 1-2. (2.) A fervent prayer for the blessing of God on them, or on others, ver. 3.
While I am in Christ's church, let me provoke myself and others to love, and to good works.
1 Behold, bless ye the Lord, all ye that his attendants are, Ev'n you that in God's temple be, and praise him nightly there. 2 Your hands within God's holy place lift up, and praise his name. 3 From Sion' hill the Lord thee bless, that heav'n and earth did frame.
This psalm contains, (1.) Earnest exhortations to all concerned, to praise the Lord, ver. 1-3, 19-21. (2.) Rich matter for praise God considered as the God of Israel, ver. 4; as the God of gods, ver. 5; as the God of the whole world, ver. 6-7; as a God terrible to the enemies of Israel, ver. 8-11; but kind to Israel, ver. 12-14; and as the only true and living God, before whom all others are but vanity and falsehood, ver. 15-18.
Come near, my soul, and sing what Jehovah is to, and hath done for his church; and what he is to, and hath done for me.
1 Praise ye the Lord, the Lord's name praise; his servants, praise ye God. 2 Who stand in God's house, in the courts of our God make abode. 3 Praise ye the Lord, for he is good; unto him praises sing: Sing praises to his name, because it is a pleasant thing. 4 For Jacob to himself the Lord did chuse of his good pleasure, And he hath chosen Israel for his peculiar treasure. 5 Because I know assuredly the Lord is very great, And that our Lord above all gods in glory hath his seat. 6 What things soever pleas'd the Lord, that in the heav'n did he, And in the earth, the seas, and all the places deep that be. 7 He from the ends of earth doth make the vapours to ascend; With rain he lightnings makes, and wind doth from his treasures send. 8 Egypt's first-born, from man to beast 9 who smote. Strange tokens he On Phar'oh and his servants sent, Egypt, in midst of thee. 10 He smote great nations, slew great kings: 11 Sihon of Heshbon king, And Og of Bashan, and to nought did Canaan's kingdoms bring: 12 And for a wealthy heritage their pleasant land he gave, An heritage which Israel, his chosen folk, should have. 13 Thy name, O Lord, shall still endure, and thy memorial With honour shall continu'd be to generations all. 14 For why? the righteous God will judge his people righteously; Concerning those that do him serve, himself repent will he. 15 The idols of the nations of silver are and gold, And by the hands of men is made their fashion and mould. 16 Mouths have they, but they do not speak; eyes, but they do not see; 17 Ears have they, but hear not; and in their mouths no breathing be. 18 Their makers are like them; so are all that on them rely. 19 O Isr'el's house, bless God; bless God, O Aaron's family. 20 O bless the Lord, of Levi's house ye who his servants are; And bless the holy name of God, all ye the Lord that fear. 21 And blessed be the Lord our God from Sion's holy hill, Who dwelleth at Jerusalem. The Lord O praise ye still.
This psalm is a continued exhortation to praise the Lord for the perpetual displays of his mercy. The hearty singing of it has been honoured with the most signal appearances of God's kindness, 2 Chron. 5:13 and 20:21-22. We are in it directed to praise God, (1.) As great and good in himself, ver. 1-4. (2.) As the Creator of all things, ver 5-9. (3.) As the God and Saviour of Israel, who brought them out of Egypt, through the Red sea and wilderness, and who cast out the nations, and gave them the possession of Canaan, ver. 10-22. (4.) As our gracious and condescending Redeemer, ver. 23-24. (5.) As the great and sovereign Benefactor of all creatures, ver. 25-26.
While I sing it, let my heart be melted, and all-inflamed, with the loving-kindness and mercy of God in Christ. Let me behold, believe, and admire the unbounded extent, and everlasting duration thereof.
First Version (18.104.22.168.) 1 Give thanks to God, for good is he: for mercy hath he ever. 2 Thanks to the God of gods give ye: for his grace faileth never. 3 Thanks give the Lord of lords unto: for mercy hath he ever. 4 Who only wonders great can do: for his grace faileth never. 5 Who by his wisdom made heav'ns high: for mercy hath he ever. 6 Who stretch'd the earth above the sea: for his grace faileth never. 7 To him that made the great lights shine: for mercy hath he ever. 8 The sun to rule till day decline: for his grace faileth never. 9 The moon and stars to rule by night: for mercy hath he ever. 10 Who Egypt's first-born kill'd outright: for his grace faileth never. 11 And Isr'el brought from Egypt land: for mercy hath he ever. 12 With stretch'd-out arm, and with strong hand: for his grace faileth never. 13 By whom the Red sea parted was: for mercy hath he ever. 14 And through its midst made Isr'el pass: for his grace faileth never. 15 But Phar'oh and his host did drown: for mercy hath he ever. 16 Who through the desert led his own: for his grace faileth never. 17 To him great kings who overthrew: for he hath mercy ever. 18 Yea, famous kings in battle slew: for his grace faileth never. 19 Ev'n Sihon king of Amorites: for he hath mercy ever. 20 And Og the king of Bashanites: for his grace faileth never. 21 Their land in heritage to have: (for mercy hath he ever.) 22 His servant Isr'el right he gave: for his grace faileth never. 23 In our low state who on us thought: for he hath mercy ever. 24 And from our foes our freedom wrought: for his grace faileth never. 25 Who doth all flesh with food relieve: for he hath mercy ever. 26 Thanks to the God of heaven give: for his grace faileth never. Second Version (22.214.171.124.8.8.) 1 Praise God, for he is kind: His mercy lasts for aye. 2 Give thanks with heart and mind To God of gods alway: For certainly His mercies dure Most firm and sure Eternally. 3 The Lord of lords praise ye, Whose mercies still endure. 4 Great wonders only he Doth work by his great pow'r For certainly His mercies dure Most firm and sure Eternally. 5 Which God omnipotent, By might and wisdom high, The heav'n and firmament Did frame, as we may see: For certainly His mercies dure Most firm and sure Eternally. 6 To him who did outstretch This earth so great and wide, Above the waters' reach Making it to abide: For certainly His mercies dure Most firm and sure Eternally. 7 Great lights he made to be; For his grace lasteth aye: 8 Such as the sun we see, To rule the lightsome day: For certainly His mercies dure Most firm and sure Eternally. 9 Also the moon so clear, Which shineth in our sight; The stars that do appear, To guide the darksome night: For certainly His mercies dure Most firm and sure Eternally. 10 To him that Egypt smote, Who did his message scorn; And in his anger hot Did kill all their first-born: For certainly His mercies dure Most firm and sure Eternally. 11 Thence Isr'el out he brought; For his grace lasteth ever. 12 With a strong hand he wrought, And stretch'd-out arm deliver: For certainly His mercies dure Most firm and sure Eternally. 13 The sea he cut in two; For his grace lasteth still. 14 And through its midst to go Made his own Israel: For certainly His mercies dure Most firm and sure Eternally. 15 But overwhelm'd and lost Was proud king Pharaoh, With all his mighty host, And chariots there also: For certainly His mercies dure Most firm and sure Eternally. 16 To him who pow'rfully His chosen people led, Ev'n through the desert dry, And in that place them fed: For certainly His mercies dure Most firm and sure Eternally. 17 To him great kings who smote; For his grace hath no bound. 18 Who slew, and spared not Kings famous and renown'd: For certainly His mercies dure Most firm and sure Eternally. 19 Sihon the Am'rites' king; For his grace lasteth ever: 20 Og also, who did reign The land of Bashan over: For certainly His mercies dure Most firm and sure Eternally. 21 Their land by lot he gave; For his grace faileth never, 22 That Isr'el might it have In heritage for ever: For certainly His mercies dure Most firm and sure Eternally. 23 Who hath remembered Us in our low estate; 24 And us delivered From foes which did us hate: For certainly His mercies dure Most firm and sure Eternally. 25 Who to all flesh gives food; For his grace faileth never. 26 Give thanks to God most good, The God of heav'n, for ever: For certainly His mercies dure Most firm and sure Eternally.
This psalm was probably composed in Chaldea, during the captivity, and contains, (1.) The Jews' grievous bewailing of their distress, contempt, and reproach, ver. 1, 4. (2.) Their tender and affectionate remembrance of, and concern for Jerusalem the church and ordinances of God, ver. 5-6. (3.) Denunciations of destruction to the Edomites, who had promoted, and the Chaldeans, who had affected their distress and captivity, ver. 7-9.
While I sing, let me bless the Lord for what mercy is my lot, above that of many others. Let the welfare of God's church lie near my heart. Let me earnestly desire, and firmly expect the ruin of all her and my spiritual foes.
1 By Babel's streams we sat and wept, when Sion we thought on. 2 In midst thereof we hang'd our harps the willow-trees upon. 3 For there a song required they, who did us captive bring: Our spoilers call'd for mirth, and said, A song of Sion sing. 4 O how the Lord's song shall we sing within a foreign land? 5 If thee, Jerus'lem, I forget, skill part from my right hand. 6 My tongue to my mouth's roof let cleave, if I do thee forget, Jerusalem, and thee above my chief joy do not set. 7 Remember Edom's children, Lord, who in Jerus'lems day, Ev'n unto its foundation, Raze, raze it quite, did say. 8 O daughter thou of Babylon, near to destruction; Bless'd shall he be that thee rewards, as thou to us hast done. 9 Yea, happy surely shall he be thy tender little ones Who shall lay hold upon, and them shall dash against the stones.
A Psalm of David.
This psalm was perhaps composed by David when he was newly advanced to his throne, 2 Sam. 5, 1 Chron. 12. In it, (1.) He looks back with thankfulness upon the experience he had of God's goodness to him, ver. 1-3. (2.) He looks forward with comfort, in hopes that others would go on like him to praise God, ver. 4-5; and that God would continue to do good to him, ver. 6-8.
While I sing these lofty lines, let the sense of the unnumbered mercies I have received from God, and the hopes of his everlasting loving-kindness, tune and animate my heart.
1 Thee will I praise with all my heart, I will sing praise to thee 2 Before the gods: And worship will toward thy sanctuary. I'll praise thy name, ev'n for thy truth, and kindness of thy love; For thou thy word hast magnify'd all thy great name above. 3 Thou didst me answer in the day when I to thee did cry; And thou my fainting soul with strength didst strengthen inwardly. 4 All kings upon the earth that are shall give thee praise, O Lord, When as they from thy mouth shall hear thy true and faithful word. 5 Yea, in the righteous ways of God with gladness they shall sing: For great's the glory of the Lord; who doth for ever reign. 6 Though God be high, yet he respects all those that lowly be; Whereas the proud and lofty ones afar off knoweth he. 7 Though I in midst of trouble walk, I life from thee shall have: 'Gainst my foes' wrath thou'lt stretch thine hand; thy right hand shall me save. 8 Surely that which concerneth me the Lord will perfect make: Lord, still thy mercy lasts; do not thine own hands' works forsake.
To the chief Musician,
A Psalm of David.
This psalm was probably penned by David, while he was loaded with some vile reproaches; and contains, (1.) His celebration of, 1. The omniscience, ver. 1-6; 2. The omnipresence, ver. 7-12; and 3. The creating-kindness of God, ver. 13-16. (2.) His improvement of these in, 1. Devout meditation on God, ver. 17-18; 2. In detestation of wicked men, ver. 19-22; 3. In solemn profession of his uprightness before God, ver. 23-24.
Let me sing, let me pray, let me live, always under the deepest impressions of God's eye upon me; his presence with me; his formation of me; his new-covenant relation to me; and his everlasting redemption of my soul. Let my nights and my days be filled up with precious, with fixed, with pleasant thoughts concerning these, and holy improvements of them. Let me never make the Lord's enemies my intimates. Let a thorough purgation from sin and progress in holiness, be the delight, the earnest desire of my soul.
1 O Lord, thou hast me search'd and known. 2 Thou know'st my sitting down, And rising up; yea, all my thoughts afar to thee are known. 3 My footsteps, and my lying down, thou compassest always; Thou also most entirely art acquaint with all my ways. 4 For in my tongue, before I speak, not any word can be, But altogether, lo, O Lord, it is well known to thee. 5 Behind, before, thou hast beset, and laid on me thine hand. 6 Such knowledge is too strange for me, too high to understand. 7 From thy Sp'rit whither shall I go? or from thy presence fly? 8 Ascend I heav'n, lo, thou art there; there, if in hell I lie. 9 Take I the morning wings, and dwell in utmost parts of sea; 10 Ev'n there, Lord, shall thy hand me lead, thy right hand hold shall me. 11 If I do say that darkness shall me cover from thy sight, Then surely shall the very night about me be as light. 12 Yea, darkness hideth not from thee, but night doth shine as day: To thee the darkness and the light are both alike alway. 13 For thou possessed hast my reins, and thou hast cover'd me, When I within my mother's womb inclosed was by thee. 14 Thee will I praise; for fearfully and strangely made I am; Thy works are marv'llous, and right well my soul doth know the same. 15 My substance was not hid from thee, when as in secret I Was made; and in earth's lowest parts was wrought most curiously. 16 Thine eyes my substance did behold, yet being unperfect; And in the volume of thy book my members all were writ; Which after in continuance were fashion'd ev'ry one, When as they yet all shapeless were, and of them there was none. 17 How precious also are thy thoughts, O gracious God, to me! And in their sum how passing great and numberless they be! 18 If I should count them, than the sand they more in number be: What time soever I awake, I ever am with thee. 19 Thou, Lord, wilt sure the wicked slay: hence from me bloody men. 20 Thy foes against thee loudly speak, and take thy name in vain. 21 Do not I hate all those, O Lord, that hatred bear to thee? With those that up against thee rise can I but grieved be? 22 With perfect hatred them I hate, my foes I them do hold. 23 Search me, O God, and know my heart, try me, my thoughts unfold: 24 And see if any wicked way there be at all in me; And in thine everlasting way to me a leader be.
To the chief Musician,
A Psalm of David.
This psalm was probably penned by David when persecuted by Saul; and perhaps partly relates to Doeg the Edomite, as Psalm 52and 120. In it, (1.) David complains of the malice of his enemies, and supplicates God's preservation from them, ver. 1-5. (2.) He encourageth himself in God, as his God, ver. 6-7. (3.) He prays for, and prophesies the destruction of all his enemies, ver. 8-11. (4.) He assures himself and other saints, that all their troubles shall end happily, ver. 12-13.
Let my troubles stir me up to fervent prayers, and to an earnest believing on God as my God. Thus shall I suck honey out of flinty rocks; and the malice, as well as the ruin of mine enemies, shall work for me an exceeding and eternal weight of glory.
1 Lord, from the ill and froward man give me deliverance, And do thou safe preserve me from the man of violence: 2 Who in their heart mischievous things are meditating ever; And they for war assembled are continually together. 3 Much like unto a serpent's tongue their tongues they sharp do make; And underneath their lips there lies the poison of a snake. 4 Lord, keep me from the wicked's hands, from vi'lent men me save; Who utterly to overthrow my goings purpos'd have. 5 The proud for me a snare have hid, and cords; yea, they a net Have by the way-side for me spread; they gins for me have set. 6 I said unto the Lord, Thou art my God: unto the cry Of all my supplications, Lord, do thine ear apply. 7 O God the Lord, who art the strength of my salvation: A cov'ring in the day of war my head thou hast put on. 8 Unto the wicked man, O Lord, his wishes do not grant; Nor further thou his ill device, lest they themselves should vaunt. 9 As for the head and chief of those about that compass me, Ev'n by the mischief of their lips let thou them cover'd be. 10 Let burning coals upon them fall, them throw in fiery flame, And in deep pits, that they no more may rise out of the same. 11 Let not an evil speaker be on earth established: Mischief shall hunt the vi'lent man, till he be ruined. 12 I know God will th' afflicted's cause maintain, and poor men's right. 13 Surely the just shall praise thy name; th' upright dwell in thy sight.
A Psalm of David.
This psalm was likewise composed under distress and persecution. In it David prays, (1.) For God's kind acceptance of his prayers, ver. 1-2. (2.) For his powerful assistance in keeping his tongue, his heart, and hand, in the way of duty, ver. 3-4. (3.) That others might be helpful to him with their seasonable reproofs; and he to them with his prayers, ver. 5-6. (4.) That when he and his friends were brought to the last extremity, God would graciously appear for their relief, ver. 7-10.
When I am afflicted, let me pray. Let me highly prize and kindly receive Christian reproof, and earnestly improve it to my spiritual advantage. Nor let me ever despair, on account of the great distress of my soul, or of the church. Is any thing too hard for the Lord?
1 O Lord, I unto thee do cry, do thou make haste to me, And give an ear unto my voice, when I cry unto thee. 2 As incense let my prayer be directed in thine eyes; And the uplifting of my hands as th' ev 'ning sacrifice. 3 Set, Lord, a watch before my mouth, keep of my lips the door. 4 My heart incline thou not unto the ills I should abhor, To practise wicked works with men that work iniquity; And with their delicates my taste let me not satisfy. 5 Let him that righteous is me smite, it shall a kindness be; Let him reprove, I shall it count a precious oil to me: Such smiting shall not break my head; for yet the time shall fall, When I in their calamities to God pray for them shall. 6 When as their judges down shall be in stony places cast, Then shall they hear my words; for they shall sweet be to their taste. 7 About the grave's devouring mouth our bones are scatter'd round, As wood which men do cut and cleave lies scatter'd on the ground. 8 But unto thee, O God the Lord, mine eyes uplifted be: My soul do not leave destitute; my trust is set on thee. 9 Lord, keep me safely from the snares which they for me prepare; And from the subtile gins of them that wicked workers are. 10 Let workers of iniquity into their own nets fall, Whilst I do, by thine help, escape the danger of them all.
Maschil of David; A Prayer when he was in the cave.
This psalm was framed by David when obliged by Saul's persecution to hide himself in a cave, 1 Sam. 22:1 or 24:3. It contains, (1.) Bitter complaints of the subtilty, strength, and malice of his enemies, and of the coldness and indifference of his friends, ver. 1-4, 6. (2.) The comfort he took in God's knowing his way, and in recognizing his claim to God as his portion, ver. 3-5. (3.) His pleasant expectations that his God would deliver him, and that his fellow saints would join with him in thanksgiving for his deliverance, ver. 6-7.
If all men forsake me, if all men harass me, let me cast my burdens on the Lord, that he may sustain me. Let me renew my believing claims to him as my Lord, my God, my Refuge, and my Portion. Let me rest firmly on his characters and promises, for his sympathy, help, and deliverance.
1 I with my voice cry'd to the Lord, with it made my request: 2 Pour'd out to him my plaint, to him my trouble I exprest. 3 When in me was o'erwhelm'd my sp'rit, then well thou knew'st my way; Where I did walk a snare for me they privily did lay. 4 I look'd on my right hand, and view'd, but none to know me were; All refuge failed me, no man did for my soul take care. 5 I cry'd to thee; I said, Thou art my refuge, Lord, alone; And in the land of those that live thou art my portion. 6 Because I am brought very low, attend unto my cry: Me from my persecutors save, who stronger are than I. 7 From prison bring my soul, that I thy name may glorify: The just shall compass me, when thou with me deal'st bounteously.
A Psalm of David.
This psalm was probably penned by David during the unnatural rebellion of his son Absalom, as Psalm 3, 42, 43. It contains, (1.) Sad complaints of trouble, and of the sinking of his spirit under it, ver. 3-5, 7. (2.) Fervent supplications that God would hear his prayer; ver. 1, 7; forgive his sins, ver. 2; manifest his favours, ver. 6-8; direct him in the way of duty, ver. 8-10; quicken him in it, ver. 11; deliver him out of trouble, ver.9, 11; and, in fine, punish his persecutors, ver. 12.
What time my heart is overwhelmed, let God lead me to the Rock that is higher than I. Let me study to have my sin removed first, in order that my troubles may remove in due order, and with a rich blessing.
First Version (C.M.) 1 Lord, hear my pray'r, attend my suits; and in thy faithfulness Give thou an answer unto me, and in thy righteousness. 2 Thy servant also bring thou not in judgment to be try'd: Because no living man can be in thy sight justify'd. 3 For th' en'my hath pursu'd my soul, my life to ground down tread: In darkness he hath made me dwell, as who have long been dead. 4 My sp'rit is therefore overwhelm'd in me perplexedly; Within me is my very heart amazed wondrously. 5 I call to mind the days of old, to meditate I use On all thy works; upon the deeds I of thy hands do muse. 6 My hands to thee I stretch; my soul thirsts, as dry land, for thee. 7 Haste, Lord, to hear, my spirit fails: hide not thy face from me; Lest like to them I do become that go down to the dust. 8 At morn let me thy kindness hear; for in thee do I trust. Teach me the way that I should walk: I lift my soul to thee. 9 Lord, free me from my foes; I flee to thee to cover me. 10 Because thou art my God, to do thy will do me instruct: Thy Sp'rit is good, me to the land of uprightness conduct. 11 Revive and quicken me, O Lord, ev'n for thine own name's sake; And do thou, for thy righteousness, my soul from trouble take. 12 And of thy mercy slay my foes; let all destroyed be That do afflict my soul: for I a servant am to thee. Second Version (126.96.36.199.D.) 1 Oh, hear my prayer, Lord, And unto my desire To bow thine ear accord, I humbly thee require; And, in thy faithfulness, Unto me answer make, And, in thy righteousness, Upon me pity take. 2 In judgment enter not With me thy servant poor; For why, this well I wot, No sinner can endure The sight of thee, O God: If thou his deeds shalt try, He dare make none abode Himself to justify. 3 Behold, the cruel foe Me persecutes with spite, My soul to overthrow: Yea, he my life down quite Unto the ground hath smote, And made me dwell full low In darkness, as forgot, Or men dead long ago. 4 Therefore my sp'rit much vex'd, O'erwhelm'd is me within; My heart right sore perplex'd And desolate hath been. 5 Yet I do call to mind What ancient days record, Thy works of ev'ry kind I think upon, O Lord. 6 Lo, I do stretch my hands To thee, my help alone; For thou well understands All my complaint and moan: My thirsting soul desires, And longeth after thee, As thirsty ground requires With rain refresh'd to be. 7 Lord, let my pray'r prevail, To answer it make speed; For, lo, my sp'rit doth fail: Hide not thy face in need; Lest I be like to those That do in darkness sit, Or him that downward goes Into the dreadful pit. 8 Because I trust in thee, O Lord, cause me to hear Thy loving-kindness free, When morning doth appear: Cause me to know the way Wherein my path should be; For why, my soul on high I do lift up to thee. 9 From my fierce enemy In safety do me guide, Because I flee to thee, Lord, that thou may'st me hide. 10 My God alone art thou, Teach me thy righteousness: Thy Sp'rit's good, lead me to The land of uprightness. 11 O Lord, for thy name's sake, Be pleas'd to quicken me; And, for thy truth, forth take My soul from misery. 12 And of thy grace destroy My foes, and put to shame All who my soul annoy; For I thy servant am.
A Psalm of David.
This psalm was probably composed by David upon the occasion of his advancement to the throne, 1 Chron. 12, 2 Sam. 5, as Psalm 138, 75, etc. In it we have, (1.) Thankful acknowledgements of God's relation to him, and condescending kindness towards him, ver. 1-4. (2.) Supplication for divine deliverance from his enemies, who still threatened him, ver. 5-8; and for prosperity to his kingdom, ver. 11-14. (3.) Triumphant joy in God, as his and their deliverer and portion, ver. 9-10, 15.
While I sing, let me admire the relation, the kindness of God to me, who am so mean, so frail, so sinful! Let me rejoice in him, as my all in all; and commit my way to him, that he may bring it to pass. And let every external benefit lead up my heart to God himself.
1 O blessed ever be the Lord, who is my strength and might, Who doth instruct my hands to war, my fingers teach to fight. 2 My goodness, fortress, my high tow'r, deliverer, and shield, In whom I trust: who under me my people makes to yield. 3 Lord, what is man, that thou of him dost so much knowledge take? Or son of man, that thou of him so great account dost make? 4 Man is like vanity; his days, as shadows, pass away. 5 Lord, bow thy heav'ns, come down, touch thou the hills, and smoke shall they. 6 Cast forth thy lightning, scatter them; thine arrows shoot, them rout. 7 Thine hand send from above, me save; from great depths draw me out; And from the hand of children strange, 8 Whose mouth speaks vanity; And their right hand is a right hand that works deceitfully. 9 A new song I to thee will sing, Lord, on a psaltery; I on a ten-string'd instrument will praises sing to thee. 10 Ev'n he it is that unto kings salvation doth send; Who his own servant David doth from hurtful sword defend. 11 O free me from strange children's hand, whose mouth speaks vanity; And their right hand a right hand is that works deceitfully. 12 That, as the plants, our sons may be in youth grown up that are; Our daughters like to corner-stones, carv'd like a palace fair. 13 That to afford all kind of store our garners may be fill'd; That our sheep thousands, in our streets ten thousands they may yield. 14 That strong our oxen be for work, that no in-breaking be, Nor going out; and that our streets may from complaints be free. 15 Those people blessed are who be in such a case as this; Yea, blessed all those people are, whose God Jehovah is.
David's Psalm of praise.
This psalm, like the 25th, 34th, 111th, 112th, and 119th, is composed in an alphabetical form. It, and the five which follow, consist of pure praises to God, without so much as one complaint or petition. Here, (1.) David engageth himself, and encourageth others to praise God, ver. 1-7, 10, 21. (2.) He represents the grounds of praise, viz the greatness and glory, sovereign power, and eternity of God, and the greatness and glory of his works, ver. 3-7, 11-13; his unbounded goodness, mercy, and compassion, ver. 7-9; manifested in pitying the afflicted, providing what is necessary for all creatures; and in his readiness to hear and answer his people's prayers, preserve them from evil, and destroy their enemies, ver. 14-20.
In such high praises of God, may all my prayers issue at last. And the nearer I approach to mine end, let my heart and lips be the more filled with his praise, and honour all the day. While I live on earth, let me publish the heart-engaging wonders of the nature and works of my God.
First Version (C.M.) 1 I'll thee extol, my God, O King; I'll bless thy name always. 2 Thee will I bless each day, and will thy name for ever praise. 3 Great is the Lord, much to be prais'd; his greatness search exceeds. 4 Race unto race shall praise thy works, and shew thy mighty deeds. 5 I of thy glorious majesty the honour will record; I'll speak of all thy mighty works, which wondrous are, O Lord. 6 Men of thine acts the might shall show, thine acts that dreadful are; And I, thy glory to advance, thy greatness will declare. 7 The mem'ry of thy goodness great they largely shall express; With songs of praise they shall extol thy perfect righteousness. 8 The Lord is very gracious, in him compassions flow; In mercy he is very great, and is to anger slow. 9 The Lord Jehovah unto all his goodness doth declare; And over all his other works his tender mercies are. 10 Thee all thy works shall praise, O Lord, and thee thy saints shall bless; 11 They shall thy kingdom's glory show, thy pow'r by speech express: 12 To make the sons of men to know his acts done mightily, And of his kingdom th' excellent and glorious majesty. 13 Thy kingdom shall for ever stand, thy reign through ages all. 14 God raiseth all that are bow'd down, upholdeth all that fall. 15 The eyes of all things wait on thee, the giver of all good; And thou, in time convenient, bestow'st on them their food: 16 Thine hand thou open'st lib'rally, and of thy bounty gives Enough to satisfy the need of ev'ry thing that lives. 17 The Lord is just in all his ways, holy in his works all. 18 God's near to all that call on him, in truth that on him call. 19 He will accomplish the desire of those that do him fear: He also will deliver them, and he their cry will hear. 20 The Lord preserves all who him love, that nought can them annoy: But he all those that wicked are will utterly destroy. 21 My mouth the praises of the Lord to publish cease shall never: Let all flesh bless his holy name for ever and for ever. Second Version (L.M.) 1 O Lord, thou art my God and King; Thee will I magnify and praise: I will thee bless, and gladly sing Unto thy holy name always. 2 Each day I rise I will thee bless, And praise thy name time without end. 3 Much to be prais'd, and great God is; His greatness none can comprehend. 4 Race shall thy works praise unto race, The mighty acts show done by thee. 5 I will speak of the glorious grace, And honour of thy majesty; Thy wondrous works I will record. 6 By men the might shall be extoll'd Of all thy dreadful acts, O Lord: And I thy greatness will unfold. 7 They utter shall abundantly The mem'ry of thy goodness great; And shall sing praises cheerfully, Whilst they thy righteousness relate. 8 The Lord our God is gracious, Compassionate is he also; In mercy he is plenteous, But unto wrath and anger slow. 9 Good unto all men is the Lord: O'er all his works his mercy is. 10 Thy works all praise to thee afford: Thy saints, O Lord, thy name shall bless. 11 The glory of thy kingdom show Shall they, and of thy power tell: 12 That so men's sons his deeds may know, His kingdom's grace that doth excel. 13 Thy kingdom hath none end at all, It doth through ages all remain. 14 The Lord upholdeth all that fall, The cast-down raiseth up again. 15 The eyes of all things, Lord, attend, And on thee wait that here do live, And thou, in season due, dost send Sufficient food them to relieve. 16 Yea, thou thine hand dost open wide, And ev'ry thing dost satisfy That lives, and doth on earth abide, Of thy great liberality. 17 The Lord is just in his ways all, And holy in his works each one. 18 He's near to all that on him call, Who call in truth on him alone. 19 God will the just desire fulfil Of such as do him fear and dread: Their cry regard, and hear he will, And save them in the time of need. 20 The Lord preserves all, more and less, That bear to him a loving heart: But workers all of wickedness Destroy will he, and clean subvert. 21 Therefore my mouth and lips I'll frame To speak the praises of the Lord: To magnify his holy name For ever let all flesh accord.
This psalm contains, (1.) Pleasant engagements and encouragements to the hearty and constant praises of God, ver. 1-2, 10. (2.) Earnest dissuasives from trusting in man, who is so weak and short-lived, ver. 3-4. (3.) Powerful persuasives to trust in God, whose power and goodness appear so remarkable in creation, providence, and redemption, ver. 5-10.
While I sing, be stirred up, my soul, and all that is within me, to bless his holy name; to depend on him alone, who is my Maker, my faithful Friend, my kind and righteous Protector, my bountiful Provider, my almighty Deliverer, my gracious Enlightener, my seasonable Restorer, my perpetual Preserver, and the just punisher of my foes my King, my God, and my all.
1 Praise God. The Lord praise, O my soul. 2 I'll praise God while I live; While I have being to my God in songs I'll praises give. 3 Trust not in princes, nor man's son, in whom there is no stay: 4 His breath departs, to's earth he turns; that day his thoughts decay. 5 O happy is that man and blest, whom Jacob's God doth aid; Whose hope upon the Lord doth rest, and on his God is stay'd: 6 Who made the earth and heavens high, who made the swelling deep, And all that is within the same; who truth doth ever keep: 7 Who righteous judgment executes for those oppress'd that be, Who to the hungry giveth food; God sets the pris'ners free. 8 The Lord doth give the blind their sight, the bowed down doth raise: The Lord doth dearly love all those that walk in upright ways. 9 The stranger's shield, the widow's stay, the orphan's help, is he: But yet by him the wicked's way turn'd upside down shall be. 10 The Lord shall reign for evermore: thy God, O Sion, he Reigns to all generations. Praise to the Lord give ye.
This psalm was probably penned by David, while he repaired and fortified Jerusalem, 2Sam. 5; and contains, (1.) Solemn calls to praise God, ver. 1, 7, 12, 20. (2.) Weighty reasons for praising God, viz. 1. That, as the God of nature, he is infinitely intelligent and great, and the sovereign manager of all creatures, ver. 4-5, 8-9, 15, 18. 2. As the God of grace, he tenderly comforts, and affectionately delights in his people, ver. 3, 6, 10-11. 3. As the God of Israel, Jerusalem, and Zion, he settles their civil and religious state, ver. 2, 13-14, 19-20.
When God manifests himself in so many things, be ashamed, my soul, that I discern him in so few. O to see God's power and glory in every work of his hand, and especially in every word of his mouth! And to be so affected with what he is, and hath done, and will do, as in every thing to give thanks.
1 Praise ye the Lord; for it is good praise to our God to sing: For it is pleasant, and to praise it is a comely thing. 2 God doth build up Jerusalem; and he it is alone That the dispers'd of Israel doth gather into one. 3 Those that are broken in their heart, and grieved in their minds, He healeth, and their painful wounds he tenderly up-binds. 4 He counts the number of the stars; he names them ev'ry one. 5 Great is our Lord, and of great pow'r; his wisdom search can none. 6 The Lord lifts up the meek; and casts the wicked to the ground. 7 Sing to the Lord, and give him thanks; on harp his praises sound; 8 Who covereth the heav'n with clouds, who for the earth below Prepareth rain, who maketh grass upon the mountains grow. 9 He gives the beast his food, he feeds the ravens young that cry. 10 His pleasure not in horses' strength, nor in man's legs, doth lie. 11 But in all those that do him fear the Lord doth pleasure take; In those that to his mercy do by hope themselves betake. 12 The Lord praise, O Jerusalem; Sion, thy God confess: 13 For thy gates' bars he maketh strong; thy sons in thee doth bless. 14 He in thy borders maketh peace; with fine wheat filleth thee. 15 He sends forth his command on earth, his word runs speedily. 16 Hoar-frost, like ashes, scatt'reth he; like wool he snow doth give: 17 Like morsels casteth forth his ice; who in its cold can live? 18 He sendeth forth his mighty word, and melteth them again; His wind he makes to blow, and then the waters flow amain. 19 The doctrine of his holy word to Jacob he doth show; His statutes and his judgments he gives Israel to know. 20 To any nation never he such favour did afford; For they his judgments have not known. O do ye praise the Lord.
Here the psalmist, overwhelmed with enrapturing views of the glory, and a sense of the goodness of the Lord, issues forth a solemn call to all his fellow creatures, to assist him in his songs of praise. (1.) To the celestial creatures above, whether intellectual beings or not, ver. 1-6. (2.) To the terrestrial creatures below, whether irrational, ver. 7-10; or rational, ver. 11-13; but chiefly to his chosen people, ver. 14.
While angels and other rational beings actively trumpet forth his honours, and irrational creatures praise him objectively, in manifesting his excellencies marked on them; let my soul be ravished with his glory, amazed with his grace, and all inflamed with love, in uttering his praise, who, in Christ, is my God, and my exceeding Joy. Cry out, all my powers, My God, who is like unto thee! Is there any work like unto thy work!
First version (C.M.) 1 Praise God. From heavens praise the Lord, in heights praise to him be. 2 All ye his angels, praise ye him; his hosts all, praise him ye. 3 O praise ye him, both sun and moon, praise him, all stars of light. 4 Ye heav'ns of heav'ns him praise, and floods above the heavens' height. 5 Let all the creatures praise the name of our almighty Lord: For he commanded, and they were created by his word. 6 He also, for all times to come, hath them establish'd sure; He hath appointed them a law, which ever shall endure. 7 Praise ye Jehovah from the earth, dragons, and ev'ry deep: 8 Fire, hail, snow, vapour, stormy wind, his word that fully keep. 9 All hills and mountains, fruitful trees, and all ye cedars high: 10 Beasts, and all cattle, creeping things, and all ye birds that fly. 11 Kings of the earth, all nations, princes, earth's judges all: 12 Both young men, yea, and maidens too, old men, and children small. 13 Let them God's name praise; for his name alone is excellent: His glory reacheth far above the earth and firmament. 14 His people's horn, the praise of all his saints, exalteth he; Ev'n Isr'el's seed, a people near to him. The Lord praise ye. Second Version (188.8.131.52.8.8.) 1 The Lord of heav'n confess, On high his glory raise. 2 Him let all angels bless, Him all his armies praise. 3 Him glorify Sun, moon, and stars; 4 Ye higher spheres, And cloudy sky. 5 From God your beings are, Him therefore famous make; You all created were, When he the word but spake. 6 And from that place, Where fix'd you be By his decree, You cannot pass. 7 Praise God from earth below, Ye dragons, and ye deeps: 8 Fire, hail, clouds, wind, and snow. Whom in command he keeps. 9 Praise ye his name, Hills great and small, Trees low and tall; 10 Beasts wild and tame; All things that creep or fly. 11 Ye kings, ye vulgar throng, All princes mean or high; 12 Both men and virgins young, Ev'n young and old, 13 Exalt his name; For much his fame Should be extoll'd. O let God's name be prais'd Above both earth and sky; 14 For he his saints hath rais'd, And set their horn on high; Ev'n those that be Of Isr'el's race, Near to his grace. The Lord praise ye.
This psalm was perhaps penned by David, when he took the strong hold of Zion from the Jebusites; and represents, (1.) Abundant joys to the people of God, in his relation to, delight in, and kindness towards them, ver. 1-5. (2.) Abundance of terror to the proudest of their enemies, in their victory and power over them, ver. 6-9.
While I sing, let mine eyes be fixed on Jesus Christ, going forth in his chariots of salvation, subduing his enemies to himself, by the gospel rod of his strength, in the Apostolic and Millennial periods, Rev. 20:2; and in the chariots of vengeance, destroying his incorrigible opposers, by the iron rod of his wrath, and treading them under the feet of his saints.
1 Praise ye the Lord: unto him sing a new song, and his praise In the assembly of his saints in sweet psalms do ye raise. 2 Let Isr'el in his Maker joy, and to him praises sing: Let all that Sion's children are be joyful in their King. 3 O let them unto his great name give praises in the dance; Let them with timbrel and with harp in songs his praise advance. 4 For God doth pleasure take in those that his own people be; And he with his salvation the meek will beautify. 5 And in his glory excellent let all his saints rejoice: Let them to him upon their beds aloud lift up their voice. 6 Let in their mouth aloft be rais'd the high praise of the Lord, And let them have in their right hand a sharp two-edged sword; 7 To execute the vengeance due upon the heathen all, And make deserved punishment upon the people fall. 8 And ev'n with chains, as pris'ners, bind their kings that them command; Yea, and with iron fetters strong, the nobles of their land. 9 On them the judgment to perform found written in his word: This honour is to all his saints. O do ye praise the Lord.
This psalm contains thirteen calls to praise God. It directs, (1.) Who ought to praise him, ver. 6. (2.) Why they should praise him, viz. that he dwells with men; and for his mighty acts, and his excellent greatness, ver. 1-2. (3.) How he ought to be praised, viz. in a public, earnest, and skilful manner, ver. 2-3, 5.
Dare not, my soul, to finish thy notes, and to conclude the book, without commencing an heartiness in the work. Awake then my inward powers, let me even here, begin my high hallelujahs and hosannas to Him, who loved me, and gave himself for me.
1 Praise ye the Lord. God's praise within his sanctuary raise; And to him in the firmament of his pow'r give ye praise. 2 Because of all his mighty acts, with praise him magnify: O praise him, as he doth excel in glorious majesty. 3 Praise him with trumpet's sound; his praise with psaltery advance: 4 With timbrel, harp, string'd instruments, and organs, in the dance. 5 Praise him on cymbals loud; him praise on cymbals sounding high. 6 Let each thing breathing praise the Lord. Praise to the Lord give ye.
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