Page:An Exposition of the Old and New Testament (1828) vol 3.djvu/632

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them. Secondly, He is very ready to hear and answer the prayers of his people, v. 18, 19. In this appears the grace of his kingdom, that his subjects lii've not only liberty of petitioning, but all the en- couragement that can be to petition. 1. The grant is very rich, that God will be 7ngfi to all that call %ipon him; he will be always within call of thtir prayers, and they shall always find themselves with- in reach of his help. If a neighbour tliat is near is better than a brother afar off, (Prov. xxvii. 10.) much more a God that is near. Nay, he will not only be 7tigh to them, that they may have the satis- faction of being heard, but he will fulfil their de- sires; they shall have what they ask, and find what they seek. It was said, {v. 16. ) that he satisfies the desire of every living thing; much more ivill he fulfil the desire of them that fear him; for he that reeds his birds will net starve his babes. He ivill hear their call, ajid will save them; that is, hearing them to purpose, as he heard David, that is, saved himfrom the hoiii of the unicorn, xxii. 21. 2. The proviso is very reasonable; he will hear and help us, (1.) If WQ fear him, if we worship and serve him with a holy aAve of him; for, otherwise, how can we expect that he should accept us? (2.) If we call u/ion him in truth; for he desires that in the inward part. We must be faithful to God, and sincere in our professions of dependence on him, and devotedncss to him. In all devotions, inward /mpressions must be answeraljle to the out- ward expressions, else they are not performed in truth. (3.) He takes Mf7?T under his special pro- tection who have a confidence and complacency in him, v. 20. The Lord preserves all them that love hi7n; they lie exposed in this world, but he, by preserving them in their integrity, will effectu- ally secui'e them, that no real evil shall befall them.

3. If any are destroyed, they may thank them- selves; All the wicked he will destroy, but they have, by their wickedness, fitted themselves for destruction. This magnifies his goodness in the protection of the righteous, that with their eyes they shall see the reward of the wicked, (xci. 8.) and God will, by this means, preserve his people, even by destroying the wicked that would do them a mischief.

Lastly, The psalmist concludes, (1.) With a resolution to give glory to God himself; {v. 21.) My mouth shall speak the praise of the Lord. When we have said what we can, in praising God, still there is more to be said, and therefore we must not only begin our thanksgivings with this pui-pose, as he did, {y. 1.) but conclude them witli it, as he does here, because we shall presently have occasion to begin again. As the end of one niercy is the be- ginning of another, so should the end of our thanks- giving be. While I have breath to draw, my mouth shall still speak God's praises. (2.) With a call to others to do so too; Let all flesh, all mankind, bless his holy name for ever and eve7: Some of mankind shall be blessing God for ever; it is pity but that they should be all so engaged.


This, and all the rest of the psalms that follow, bewin and end with Hallelnjjah, a vvord which puts much ol God's praise into a little compass; for in it we praise him by his name Jah, the contraction of Jehovah. In this ex- cellent psalm of praise, I. The psalmist engages himself to praise God, v. 1, 2. II. He engages others to trust in him, which is one necessary and acceptable way of prais- ing him. 1. He shows why we should not trust in men, V. 3, 4. 2. Why we should trust in God, v. 5. Because of his power in the kingdom of nature, (v. 6.) his do- minion in the kingdom of providence, (v. 7.) and his grace in the kingdom of the Messiah, (v. 8, 9.) that ever- lasting kingdom, (v. 10.) to which many of the Jewish writers refer this psalm, and to which therefore we should nave an eye in the singing of it.

l. PRAISE ye the Lord. Praise the Jl Lord, O my soul. 2. While I live will I praise the Lord: I will sing praises unto my God while T have any being. 3. Put not your trust in princes, nor in the son of man, in whom there is no help. 4. His breath goeth forth, he retmneth to his earth , in that very day his thoughts perish.

David is supposed to have penned this psalm ; and he was himself a prince, a mighty prince; as such, it might be thouglit,

1. That he should be exempted trcm the service of praising God, that it was enough for him to see that his priests and peejile did it, but that he needed not to do it liimself in his own person. Michal thought it a disparagement to him to dance before the ark; but he was so far from being of this mind, that he will himself be first and foremost in the work, V. 1, 2. He thinks his dignity is so far from excusing him from it, tliat it rather oblig- ed him to lead in it; and that it was so far from lessening him, that it really magnified him; there fore he stirs up himself to it, and to make a bu- siness of it; Praise the Lord, O my soul; and re- solves to abide by it; "I will praise him with my heart, I will sing praises to hun with my mouth. Herein I will have an eye to him as the Lord, in- finitely blessed and glorious in himself, and as my God, m covenant with me." Then praise is most pleasant, when, in praising God, we have an eye to him as ours, whom we have an interest in, and stand in relation to. "This I will do constantly while I live, every day of my life, and to my life s end; nay, I will do it while I have any being, for when I have no being on earth, I hope to have a being in heaven, a better being, to be doing it bet- ter. That which is the great end of our being, ought to be our great employment and delight while we have any being; "In thee must cur time apd powers be spent."

2. It might be thought that he himself, having been so great a blessing to his country, should be adored, according to the usage of the heathen na tions, who deified their heroes; that they should all come and trust in his shadow, and make him their stay and strong hold. "No," says David, Put not your trust i?i princes, {v. 3.) not in me, nor in any other; do not repose your confidence in them, do not raise your expectations from them. Be not too sure of their sincerity, some have thought they knew better how to reign by knowing how to dis- semble; be not too sure of their constancy and fide- lity, it is possible they may both change their minds and breaK their words." But though we suppose them wise and good as David himself, yet we must not be too sure of their ability and continuance, for they are sons of Adam, weak and mortal. There is indeed a Son of man in whom th(!re is help, in whom there is salvation, and who will not fail those that trust in him. But all other sons of men are like the man they are sprung of, who, being in ho- nour, did not abide.

(1.) We cannot be sure of their ability; evt~n the power of kings may be so straitened, cramped, and weakened, that they may not be in a cj»i)acity to do that for us which we expect. David h mself own- ed, (2 Sam. iii. 39.) / «;« this day wtak, though anointed king. So that in the son of man there ia often no help, no salvation; he is at a loss, at his wit's end, as a man astonished, and then, though a mighty man, he cannot save, Jer. xiv. 9.

(2.) We cannot be sure of their continuance. Suppose he has it in his power to help us while he lives, yet he may be suddenly taken oft" when we