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1. W TE are taught from the solemn and sublime description of
VV him in this psalm, to reverence and adore the Lord Je. hovah in all the awful appearances of nature, especially in thunder and lightning. With what beauty and propriety is the grand name of JEHOVAH repeated in almost every verse, and in some several times ! Every clap of thunder and flash of lightning, call upon us to give glory to the Lord : call upon the greatest and mightiest to reverence him ; for none hath an arm like God ; none can thunder with a voice like him. When we hear the rolling thunder, and see the forked lightning, it should fill us with great, high, and honourable thoughts of God; our souls should be impressed with reverence for his tremendous majesty. How stupid is it not to be affected with that voice that shakes the wilderness, the forests, and the mounlains, and strikes an awe over all nature !
2. The people of God may be composed and serene, amidst all the rage of the elements, and the terrors of nature. How sweetly does this noble composition conclude ! The same God that thunders marvellously with his voice, and speaks terror through all nature, gives strength to his people ; strengthens them against all their temptations and anxious fears, and will bless them with peace. This consideration should lead us to adore him for the gentle voice of his gospel, the terrors of which do not make us afraid, and the grace of which should excite our love, our trust, and our obedience. His people should remember, that thunder, be it ever so loud and dreadful, is the voice of their father ; that it speaks nothing but mercy to them: and at that day, when the earth shall be destroyed by fire, and the elements shall melt with fervent heat, he will be their confidence ; so that they may lift up their heads with joy, and shout, because their redemption draweth nigh.
A Psalm [and] Song, [at] the dedication of the house of David.
This was either when it was first built, or upon his return to it after it
had been defiled by Absalom's wickedness with his father's wives there. It seems probable, from other psalms, that David had a long and sore fit of sickness after the matter of Uriah, of which Absalom took the advantage, and raised a rebellion against him. David was restored to his health and kingdom much about the same time ; and on this occasion the frsalm was most probably composed. 1 I WILL extol thee, O LORD ; for thou hast lifted me up,
1 and hast not made my foes to rejoice over me ; Thou hasi graciously delivered me from my own sickness, and from Absalom's 2 rebellion, O LORD, my God, I cried unto thee, and thou hast Vol. IV.
3 healed me both in mind and body. O LORD, thou hast brought
up my soul from the grave : thou hast kept me alive, that I 4 should not go down to the pit. Sing unto the LORD, O ye saints
of his, and give thanks at the remembrance of his holiness, that
is, his power, wisdom, and truth, in my deliverance and restoration, $ For his anger (endureth but) a moment ; the violent storm soil
be buut short, there is but a moment in his anger ; in his favour [is] life, or, his favour runs through life, in beautiful contrast to momentary anger, weeping may endure for a night, but jos
[cometh] in the morning, will succeed it in due season, as the 6 day does the night. And in my prosperity I said, I shall never
be moved; I thought my constitution was strong, and that when
delivered from Saul I had nothing to fear as 10 the kingdom. 7 LORD, by thy favour thou hast made my mountain to stand
strong ; hasi settled me in the kingdom, notwithstanding all Sau's designs ; thou didst hide thy face, thou didst withdraw thy pro
tection, [and] I was troubled, I was speedily brought into great 8 distress. Then, in my affliction, I cried to thee, O LORD ; and 9 unto the LORD I made supplication. I pleaded, What profit
[is there) in my blood, when I go down to the pit ? Shall the dust praise thee ? shall it declare thy truth ? thy faithfulness is
performing thy promises? Therefore I repeated my supplication ; 10 Hear, O LORD, and have mercy upon me : LORD, be thou my 11 helper. And the happy consequence was, Thou hast turned for
me my mourning into dancing, into great joy : thou hast put off
my sackcloth, which I wore in the time of my humiliation, and 12 girded me with gladness; and all this To the end that (my]
glory, that is my tongue, or my soul, (Psalm lvii. 8.) may sing praise to thee, and not be silent. O LORD, my God, I will give thanks unto thee for ever ; I will praise thee now and for over, and will live to thy glory.
1. TROM the title of the psalm, we are taught to dedicate
I our houses to God. It was customary among the pious Jews to do so; and there is some reference to it in the law. It is proper, when first entering on an habitation, or when restored to it after long absence, to make a serious, solemn acknowledgment of God, lo commit our dwelling to the care of his watchful providence, and all our affairs to his guidance and conduct : entreating his presence and blessing ; and resolving that it shall be an house of prayer, of piety, of justice, and charity ; and that we and our house. hold shall serve the Lord.
2. We are taught what general sentiments we should form of God ; to think of him as the preserver of our lives and comforts ; who maketh our mountain stand strong, and continues our pros. perity ; to reverence him as a good and gracious Being, who docs not deal with us after our sins, nor reward us according to our ini. quitics ; and whose anger bears no proportion to his kindness. We
should also learn to think of him as a holy and faithful God, and should give thanks at the remembrance of his holiness,
3. We here see what particular sentiments to entertain of God. after he hath delivered us from affliction. After the example of David, we should recollect the difficulties and distresses in which we were involved, and the workings of our mind under them; the prayers we offered, and the vows we made. Then own the hand of God in our deliverances ; look beyond means and instruments to Jehovah, who healeth us. We should recollect how short our af. fictions have been, compared witb the months and years of health and peace we have enjoyed. He hath delivered us, that we may praise and serve him. Let us not frustrate his purpose, but call on the saints to join with us in our praises, and to be witnesses to our gratitude and our vows.
4. Observe how apt the wisest and best of men are to forget the uncertainty of human affairs, and to expect continued prosperity. David did not think of a distempered body, or a disturbed govern. ment; he trusted to the strength of his constitution, and thought he had no other enemy when Saul was dead. Thus do most men reason, and especially young men ; they set out in life with high expectations of prosperity, health, and success ; that comorrow shall • be as this day, and more abundant. But all that can be enjoyed here, is uncertain ; the strongest mountains may be removed. How soon can God produce the most melancholy changes ! he has but to hide his face, and we are troubled. May we therefore not set our heart on the continuance of any earthly good ; but expect changes, and prepare for them. Then will they appear less grievous when they come, and will produce the peaceable fruits of righteousness; and those light afflictions which are but for a moment, shall work out for us an eternal weight of glory.
This psalm was composed upon David's escape from Keilah, when Saul
came to besiege him there, see | Sam. xxiii.
TIN thee, O LORD, do I put my trust ; let me never be
1 ashamed : deliver me in thy righteousness : according to 2 thy promise. Bow down thine ear to me ; deliver me speedily :
be thou my strong rock, for an house of defence to save me. 3 For thou (art] my rock and my fortress ; therefore for thy
pame's sake lead me, and guide me ; direct me in my difficulties, 4 that I may do nothing unlawful or imprudent. Pull me out of the
net that they have laid privily for me : for thou (art] my 5 strength. Into thine hand I commit my spirit ; I commit my •
life to thy guardian care, and my soul to thy grace, to be preserved
from sin : thoi hast often redeemed, or delivered me, O Lord
God of truth ; thou art still a God of truth, and therefore I may 6 well trust thee for the future. I have hated them that regard ly.
ing vanities ; that have worshipped idols, and sought to diviners 7 and wizards : but I trust in the LORD alone. I will be glad, and
rejoice in thy mercy : for thou hast considered my trouble ;
thou hast known my soul in adversities ; hast taken notice of me, 8 and supported me hitherto ; And hast not shut me up into the
hand of the enemy : thou hast set my feet in a large room ; 9 hast given me freedom and comfort. Yet Have mercy upon me,
O LORD, for I am in trouble : mine eye is consumed with grief,
[yea,] my soul and my belly ; my sight is impaired with weeping, 10 and my body grown lean with fatigue and anxiety. For my life
is spent with grief, and my years with sighing: my strength faileth because of mine iniquity, or calamity, as the word might
be rendered, and my bones are consumed ; therefore I shall be 11 quite lost if thou dost not help me. I was a reproach among all
mine enemies, but especially among my neighbours, as an object of Saul's displeasure, and a fear to mine acquaintance ; as I was an outlaw, it was dangerous for any to take notice of me ; all my
friends avoided me, and they that did see me without fied from 12 me. I am forgotten as a dead man out of mind : I am like a 13 broken vessel, not worthy of regard. For I have heard the slan.
der of many ; their false and scandalous reports, as if I were a factious person, an enemy to the king, sc. fear (was) on every
side : while they took counsel together against me, they devised 14 to take away my life. But I trusted in thee, O LORD : I said, 15 Thou (art] my God. My times, all the events of my life, (are]
in thy hand : deliver me from the hand of mine enemies, and 16 froin them that persecute me. Make thy face to shine upon 17 thy servant: save me for thy mercy's sake. Let me not be
ashamed, O LORD ; for I have called upon thee, and trusted in
thee : let the wicked be ashamed, [and] let them be silent in 18 the grave. Let the lying lips be put to silence ; which speak
grievous things proudly and contemptuously against the right. 19 cous. [Oh]'how great [is] thy goodness, which thou hast laid
up for them that fear thee ; (which] thou last wrought for them that trust in thee before the sons of men ! Thou hast given them much in this world, notwithstanding their enemies, but infi.
nitely more is laid up for them, of which they shall never be defirived. 20 Thou shalt hide them in the secret of thy presence from the
pride of man ; thou wilt keep them always before thy face, where no enemies shall dare to touch them : thou shalt keep them
secretly in a pavilion from the strife of tongues ; preserve them 21 from public odium and slanderous tongues. Blessed [be] the
LORD ; for he hath showed me his marvellous kindness in a
strong city ; in Keilah, when Saul came to besiege me, and the in. 22 habitants intended to give me up, For I said in my haste, I am
cut off from before thine eyes; I recollect and acknowledge toith shame my hasty and despairing expressions : nevertheless rhoy heardest the voice of my supplications when I cried unto thee ;
thou hast been better to me than my fears ; therefore would I ena 23 courage others to love and trust in thee. O love the LORD, all ye
his saints: (for) the LORD preserveth the faithful, and plentie fully rewardeth the proud doer; or, as it might be rendered, • He rewardeth the proud doers upon the strings,' rewards them
with his arrows made ready on the strings of his bow, which he will 24 shoot into their very souls. Be of good courage, and he shall
strengthen your heart, all ye that hope in the LORD ; let this en, courage you to adhere to God, and never sink amidst the greatest difficulties and the heaviest afflictions,
1. T ET us from hence be encouraged to commit our spirits to
L God our Redeemer ; not merely for the preservation of our lives, but for the safety of our souls and their eternal interests, that they may be taught, sanctified and saved by him. It is necessary to do this in time of health and prosperity, that our spirits be not entangled and corrupted by the world, and in time of affliction, that we be not overwhelmed by it ; and it is peculiarly proper at death, according to the example of Christ. Let us thank God that he allows us to commit our spirits to him, and do it with faith, cheerfulness and submission. Then shall we know in whom we have believed, even him who is our Redeemer, and will keep what we have committed unto him until that great day.
2. Let us learn to be thankful that we are not in such afflictive circumstances as David was when he wrote this psalm. His case was most melancholy ; his eyes were spent with weeping, his flesh consumed with grief, his neighbours, his acquaintance, and friends, all forsook him and fled. See to what straitsa temper naturally stout and cheerful, may be reduced. Let the airy and the gay observe it, and guard against levity and confidence ; for God can soon make them melancholy and solitary, if they will not otherwise learn to be serious. * 3. It is matter for rejoicing, that our times are in God's hands ; our lives and all the events of them are at his disposal. They are not in an enemy's hand, to put an end to our lives ; not in the hands of our friends, to keep us too long from our home ; not in our own hands, lest we should judge and choose ill for ourselves ; but in the Lord's hand; and in better hands they cannot be. May we therefore be easy, and resigned to his will.
4. We are hence taught to be thankful for that goodness which God now bestows upon his people, and for that greater goodness which he hath laid up for them hereafter. O how great is it ! David, with all his rich invention and lively imagination, is quite at a Joss for words to express it. They have much in hand, and more in hope. God doeth great things for them at present ; and here. after will do infinitely above all they can ask or think,