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This psalın is in effect the same with the latter part of psalm xl. and seems to
follow here in the same view on which it was made a part of that psalm: for in the foregoing psalm (in the like manner as in psalm xi.) the Mediator is interceding for bis church, pleading his sufferings, and offering his prayers, in the way of remembrance, according to the title here, or that they may ascend as a memorial before God, on her bebalf. And for this reason we have here subjoined in this psalm the same intercession, for the hastening those mercies and that deliverance which she is to obtaiu by his sufferings.
The person speaking in this psalm appears to be our blessed Mediator,
making ipiercession for his church, as for his owu soul, and particalarly in the time of its old age, that it may not be forsaken till le has proclaimed the power of God to men ; tbe blessed man Christ Jesus, speaking and foreshewing a decay of true piety in the old age of his body, the church, and a quickening, reviving, or recovery of bis strength, and a great engagement of his kingdom; for which he promises perpetual praise, and in so doing is calling us to pay it.
VER. 3. 66 Be thon my strong habitation."]-This shows that a believing soul is at times helped to behold and enjoy all things in God, to take up all his dwelling and abode in bis love; for he that dwelleth in love, dwelleth in God, and he is a strong habitation, because all his perfec. tions are engaged to protect them, and his promise and fulness to supply them; and therefore he is called a strong rock, a strong hold, a strong tower, a munition of rocks ; his walls are salvation, and his power is the christian's garrison, where be may resort for safety and eternal security, í Peter i. 5.
Ver. 16. “I will go in the strength of the Lord God.") -Seeing that his power, love, and faithfulness keep me, his promise supplies me, bis perfections guard me, his strength supports me, his presence comforts me.
"I will make mention of thy righteousness, even of thine only,"]-Which shews that the centre of every gra. cious soul's hope for heaven is in the righteousness of Christ, because of the perfection of its nature, and of its glory and dignity: that it is what God has approved of, imputes, and transfers to his people as their justification, and iherefore it is that saints extol it and magnify it, and will
make mention of no other, because it is their security, their peace, and their right to glory; for it is an everlasting righicousness, and hath brought bonour to God, in fulfilling his law, satisfying his justice, and glorifying all his perfections in a way of grace ; for the righteousness of Adam, angels, or saints, haib no value when compared with this. Thy righteousness, saith the christian, looking to Jesus, is my Hope, my stay, my peace, and my all. Hence we see the sincerest christian bas nothing to rejoice at in bimself, but all his rejoicing is in Christ alone.
This psalm, ander the name of Solomon, is inscribed to that blessed Peace.
Maker, who brought the glad tidings of peace and good-will to men. He is emphatically, the king, every where so stiled through this whole book of Psalms ; and also the Son, the king, that is, the Son of God, condescending to become the king of Israel. To bim, therefore, David here beseeches God to commit his judgments; that is, to send him forth, judging and taking the government on his shoulders, ver. 1. Then he foresees and foretels the blessings, the extent, and perpetuity of his kingdom, aud concludes with an act of praise, and a petition that all the earth may be, as at length it will be, filled with his glory,
VER. 6. “ He sball come down like rain upon the mown grass.”]-As this psalm contains a description of the person, glory, reign, and kingdom of the Messiah, these words may intend the condescension of his grace and presence in the hearts of his people, which is seasonable, refreshing, and fruitful, like the rain upon the earth.
Ver. 7. “ In bis days shall the righteous flourish.")Because of the rains, dews, and blessings of grace which descend upon them, and from the love of God, the death of Christ, and the ordinances of his house, and their enjoying the bright smiles of the Sun of righteousness and the dews of the Holy Ghost upon them ; then they flourish in their knowledge, faith, love, and experience.
Ver, 12. “ For he shall deliver the needy when he crieth.”These words shew the delight and complacence that Christ takes in delivering and saving poor needy distressed souls, as it is the fulfilment of his engagement for them, promise and love to tbem.
Ver. 14. " He shall redeem their soul from deccit and violence."]-That is, from the deceitfulness of sin and satan,
Which prome fromerusale
and the deceitfulness of their own bearts, and from the vio. lence of satan's temptations : from these Christ will redeem bis poor distressed people with his own blood and power.
Ver. 15. “ And he shall live.”] –Which some under. stand of the poor and needy soul, tbat be sball live a life of faith, hope, peace, and comfort. Though this is a truth, yet these words are rather to be understood as a prophecy of Christ, that he shall live, namely, in an incarnate state, as God in our nature, and tabernacle among us.
" To him shall be given of the gold of Sbeba.”]Which prophecy was exactly accomplished by the wise men who came from the east, or from Arabia, or Sheba, which lay east of Jerusalem, and presented him with gold, Matt. ii. 11. but spiritually it may denote the believer giving Christ his affections, love, and adoration.
Prayer also shall be made for him continually."] This shews that the old testament saints, in all the types, sacrifices, offerings, and oblations under the law, had their eye to the great Messiah, as the antitype, substance, and glory of them all; for whose coming in the flesh, according to the promises and prophecies of him, they prayed, longing to see him and to adore him, as their king, and their God.
" Daily shall he be praised.”]-For his beauty and perfections, for his grace and kindness; for the believing soul is always at a loss how to exalt him, love him, and adore him, as it would desire for the great salvation it enjoys from him.
Ver. 16." And they of the city shall flourish like grass of the earth."]—This verse is a beautiful description of the rise, spread, and progress of tbe gospel, the plantation of the first churcbes by the apostles, and of the prosperity of those who are planted in Zion, the city of God.
Ver. 17. ^ His name sball endure for ever.”]-By his name here we are to understand Cbrist's person, glory, and perfections, which shall continue for ever in the church militant, and in the church triumphant, to be loved and adored by saints and angels.
“ His name shall be continued as long as the sun."]Some render the words thus, · Before the sun was, his name was the Messiah :' which shews the antiquity of the Mes. siah's glory, Jobn xvii. 5. The bishops' translation has a double reading :'His name shall spread abroad to the world so long as the sun sball shine ;' and his name shall remain under the sun among the posterities that shall be blessed
name her. 17. Panted in a postles, and pel the pain of the
millections, ale to name shen the e
· through bim :' but the spiritual meaning is, his name shall
continue to be loved, adored, trusted, and praised, so long as the sun and moon endure.
"Men shall be blessed in him.”—This shews that men were not blessed in themselves, nor in Adam, but in the Messiah, in whom they are blessed with pardon, peace, life, and eternal glory, as he is their head of life, and their fountain of grace for ever; Eph. i. 3. and this fulfils an ancient promise concerning him, Gen. xxii. 18.
"All nations shall call him blessed.”]-Or, praise and adore him; for be is essentially blessedness in his nature, as the infinite Jeboyah, the great I AM, and is, as Mediator, the object of all praises, blessedness, and exaltation : Rev. y. 10, 11, 12.
Ver. 19. “ And blessed be his glorious name for ever.") -This shews that all the names of Christ are glorious and precious, and like ointment poured forth, for their savour, sweetness, and divine fragrancy: that there are glories upon glories in every name of their divine Immanuel, which so endears bis sacred names to their souls, when they bear of them, meditate upon them, and read of them in the volume of the book, that they are, as it were, at a loss, what to say of tbem, how to praise and exalt them, they are so dear, so great, so glorious to them, Cant. i, 2, 3.
“Let the whole earth be filled with his glory.”]-This shews the ardent desire of the believing soul for the spread of the glory of Christ's name, of his nature, of his person, .of bis perfections, of his promises, and of the honours due to him for bis grace and great salvation.
This psalm, and the ten that next follow it, carry the name of Asaph in the
titles of them: if he was the penman of them, (as many think) we rightly call them psalms of Asaph; if he was only the chief musician, to whom they were delivered, our marginal reading is right, which calls them psalms for Asaph. It is probable he penned them; for we read of the words of David, and of Asaph the seer, which were used in praising God in Hezekiah's time, 2 Chron. xxix. 30. Though the spirit of prophecy by sacred songs descended chiefly on David (who is therefore stiled the sweet psalmist of Israel) yet God pat some of that spirit upon those about him. This is a psalm of great use; it gives us an account of the conflict which the psalmist had with a strong temptation to envy the prosperity of wicked people.
. 'VER. 1. 16 Truly God is good to Israel."]-That is he is essential goodness in his name, nature, word, and promises, though he may, as to his outward dispensations, seem to deal more hard with the humble believers and worshippers of his name, than to the wicked; yet there is forgiving love in all the trials of his spiritual Israel, while there is a curse in all the comforts which the ungodly enjoy.
Ver. 16, 19.“ When I thought to know this. it was too painful for me; until I went into the sanctuary of God.”]The psalmist finding himself not yet satisfied, consulteth the oracle of God, revealed in his scripture, and the ordinances of his house, and so findeth his doubt resolved, and victory over his bitter temptation granted unto him. Whence learn, when a man doth see himself in a mist, and out of the Lord's way, he is not able by bimself to find it again; for the strongest of human testimonies will not settle him and make him quiet. “Wben I thought to know this, it was too painful.” The last refuge of faith is God himself mani. festing his will in his word and ordinances: there is no settling or satisfaction of doubts in divinity but by the scriptures. “ It was too painful for ine until I went into the sanctuary of God;" that is, till I consulted the scriptures, and considered what God had revealed in his church by his ordinances : this satisfied and settled bim. The Lord bath revealed in scripture what shall be the end of men's course who walk not according to his direction, how prosperous soever they may seem to be; and because the felicity of men is not to be known by God's outward dispensation of worldly comforts and crosses, tberefore the man's end must put the difference. " Then understood I their end." Whatsoever alterations and changes the godly man may be subject to in bis temporal condition, bodily or spiritual, yet his felicity is settled to him on the rock: but the felicity of the wicked is built on the sand; the higher they are listed up in that earthly felicity which alone they affect, the nearer are they to a fall and fearful ruin : “ Thou bast set them upon slippery places.” As the wicked do not rise to any greatness or power in the world by themselves, but the Lord is he that setteth them up for his own glory, so they do not fall of their own accord, but the Lord doth cast them down : besides their own weight, they have the throw of the right hand of the Lord, who sheweth his power in overthrow, and driveth them to more deaths than one: • Thou castest them into destruction." The wicked perish