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of them: through the greatness of thy power shall thine enemies submit themselves unto thee; they shall become subjects and 4 tributaries to me thy king. All the earth, or land, shall worship thee, and shall sing unto thee; they shall sing [to] thy name celebrate thy glorious power, which is exemplified in our deliverance. 5 Selah. Come and see the works of God: [he is] terrible (in his] 6 doing toward the children of men. He turned the sea into dry [land,] or divided it, so that they went through the flood, over Jor7 dan, on foot: there did we Israelites rejoice in him. He ruleth by
his power for ever; his power is still the same; his eyes behold the nations, or the heathen let not the rebellious exalt themselves, as the Egyptians and Canaanites did, lest they be destroyed 8 like them. Selah. O bless our God, ye people, and make the 9 voice of his praise to be heard: Which holdeth our soul in life,
supports us under all our afflictions, and suffereth not our feet to be moved; will not suffer our enemies to triumph in our destruction. 10 For thou, O God, hast proved us: thou hast tried us, as silver 11 is tried by the refiner. Thou broughtest us into the net; thou
laidest affliction upon our loins; our enemies have taken us in 12 their snares, and treated us like beasts of burden. Thou hast caused men of the vilest sort to ride over our heads; a proverbial expression for the lowest abasement: we went through fire and through water; through the greatest difficulties: but thou broughtest us out into a wealthy [place ;] into a state of liberty 13 and plenty. I will go into thy house with burnt offerings: I 14 will pay thee my vows, Which my lips have uttered, and my 15 mouth hath spoken, when I was in trouble. I will offer unto
thee burnt sacrifices of fatlings, with the incense of rams; or, the incense that burned while rams were sacrificed; I will offer bullocks with goats; the best and choicest sacrifices. Selah. 16 Come [and] hear, all ye that fear God, and I will declare what he hath done for my soul; how wonderfully he hath delivered me. 17 I cried unto him with my mouth, and he was extolled with my
tongue; I prayed earnestly in my affliction, and would now with 18 equal fervour offer my praises. If I regard iniquity in my heart,
the LORD will not hear [me ;] had I been that wicked man, which my enemies have suggested, God had never brought me to the 19 throne. [But] verily God hath heard [me ;] he hath attended
to the voice of my prayer; a glorious proof of my integrity, as 20 well as of his goodness. Blessed [be] God, which hath not turned away my prayer, nor his mercy from me; it was not for my own righteousness, but from thy divine mercy, that I have had deliverance and success.
ET the majesty of God, as described in this psalm, bow our souls into humble subjection. We should think of the wonders he wrought for Israel, and reflect that his power cannot be obstructed, nor weakened; that with one comprehensive view he
beholds all the nations, and all their affairs. It is in vain therefore that the rebellious exalt themselves, as if they were secure, for he can easily confound them. Instead of rebelling against this omniscient, almighty Sovereign, let us humble ourselves before him, and sanctify the Lord of hosts in our hearts, and make him our fear and our dread.
2. Let his mercies to us awaken our love and praise. When we are engaged in praising him, we should not sing as if we were afraid or ashamed; but be hearty and zealous in the work; lifting up our hearts and voices to God who gave us our being, restored our lives when sinking; who preserves us safe amidst diseases and dangers, often carries us through fire and water, through the greatest extremities; to him then let us offer our thankful homage, and pay our grateful vows.
3. Let the people of God be ready to declare what he has done for their souls; for their lives, in preserving them in threatening dangers; in restoring their comforts, and making them sweeter after a short interruption; but especially what he has done for their souls, in recovering them from ignorance, guilt, and misery, and bringing them into a state of rest and joy; in trying their graces, and improving their virtues, by the corrections of his word or his rod. They should be ready to declare this experience, for the honour of God and the good of others; and be often thinking with what superior transports the saints shall celebrate and declare to one another what God hath done for their souls, when they come to heaven, and anticipate its pleasures, by speaking often one to another on these important topics.
4. We must guard against every iniquity, if we desire God's favourable acceptance of our prayers, v. 18. It is one of the most weighty and important maxims in the whole scripture, that if we regard iniquity in our hearts; if we love it, indulge it secretly, are loth to part with it, palliate and excuse it, God will reject our services, we shall have no part in his promises of hearing prayer, nor any interest in the Mediator. It is not the external behaviour, but the heart that God chiefly regards. May we see to it that our hearts are right with God, that we abhor and avoid every sin; then God will hear our prayers, and not turn away his mercy from us.
To the chief musician on Neginoth, A Psalm [or] Song.
It was probably composed by David, and used when he brought the ark to its place. It is said, 2 Sam. vi. 18. that he blessed the peofle in the name of the Lord' and this psalm seems a kind of paraphrase on the blessing which the priests were to pronounce upon solemn occasions.
OD be merciful unto us, and bless us ; [and] cause his face to shine upon us; may he manifest the tokens of his 2 favour and good pleasure toward us. Selah. That thy way, thy
nature, providence, and religion, may be known upon earth; thy saving health, or salvation, among all nations; that thy mercies to us may draw the eyes of others upon us, that they may know the power of our God, and the truth of his religion, and be led to own, 3 worship, and serve him. Let the people of every nation praise
thee, O God; yea, let all the people praise thee; every indi4vidual, heathens as well as Jews. O let the nations, sensible of the happiness of being under thy righteous government and care, be glad and sing for joy; for thou shalt judge the people righteously, and govern the nations upon earth with equity. Selah. 5 Let the people praise thee, O God; let all the people praise 6 thee. [Then] shall the earth yield her increase; [and] God, 7 [even] our own God, shall bless us.* God shall bless us; and all the ends of the earth shall fear him; as the sum of our wishes for ourselves, may God bless us; and as the greatest favour we can ask for others, let them fear him; let the remotest nations join with us in our acts of praise, being convinced by our prosperity, that it is the most happy thing to have him for their God.
really a and a
E are here shown what blessings are most proper to ask true concern for the happiness of our land, the subject of our requests unto God should be, that he would be merciful unto us, in pardoning our sins; bless us with all prosperity, and especially with a revival of religion, which will be the best token of his favour; that our land may yield its increase, that we may serve God with cheerfulness and gladness of heart, and that all its inhabitants may join to celebrate his praises in our solemn assemblies.
2. We learn hence, to extend our good wishes and prayers for all men. The pious psalmist, though a Jew, had just notions of charity, and was not desirous to monopolize or confine the favour of God to his own nation. The reverse of this was the temper of the Jews in Christ's time; they rejected the gospel because it was preached to, and embraced by the gentiles. How much more does it become us christians, whose religion was intended to be univer sal, to pray earnestly for the heathen, that they may know God, that they may all know him, fear, and praise him. Our blessed Lord teaches us to offer these petitions, in his own prayer, thy kingdom come; and if we have known the pleasure of God's ways, and tasted the comforts of his salvation, we shall earnestly desire that others may share the same blessing with us.
3. Let us entertain an holy joy in God, and in his universal government. There is not a more just foundation of joy than this, that God judgeth the people righteously. Though many of the nations
* I would rather render this verse and the next as a prayer; as if he had said, May the earth, their lands as well as ours, be fruitful. May that God, who is our God by a peculiar covenant, multiply his blessing upon us,
know him not, yet he presideth over their affairs, and will upon the whole execute righteous judgment, though for a while he may suffer iniquity to prevail, and tyrants and oppressors to prosper. The Lord reigneth; let the earth therefore rejoice, and the multitudes of the isles thereof be glad.
To the chief musician, A Psalm [or] Song of David.
This is a most noble and elegant composition; but the expressions are so concise, that they are sometimes difficult to be understood. It was probably composed when the ark was brought up by David to the tabernacle pitched for it on mount Zion; God had given him rest from many enemies, but some adjacent lands were not conquered; and some parts of the psalm are designed to animate his people to the intended attack. He begins with the prayer that was used at the removal of the ark, Numb. x. 35.
ET God arise, let his enemies be scattered: let them also
him: he encourages their hope
that God would be with them as he was with their fathers when the 2 ark went with them. As smoke is driven away, [so] drive [them] away as wax melteth before the fire, [so] let the wicked perish at the presence of God; they shall no more be able to stand before God, than smoke before the wind, or wax before the 3 fire. But let the righteous be glad; let them rejoice before
God: yea, let them exceedingly rejoice, in his presence and pro4 tection. Sing unto God, sing praises to his name: extol him
that rideth upon the heavens by his name JAH, and rejoice be fore him; adore his glorious perfections, his almighty power, his 5 eternity and immutability. A father of the fatherless, and a judge of the widows, [is] God in his holy habitation; his grandeur is tempered with goodness; he supplies the wants of the fatherless, and redresses the wrongs of the widows, who apply to 6 him in his sanctuary upon earth, or his throne in heaven. God setteth the solitary in families; fixes men in comfortable habitaTM tations, and gives them agreeable relatives: he bringeth out those which are bound with chains, releases captives: but the rebellious dwell in a dry [land ;] wicked oppressors shall be reduced to 7 want. O God, when thou wèntest forth before thy people, when 8 thou didst march through the wilderness; Selah. The earth
shook, the heavens also dropped at the presence of God: [even] Sinai itself [was moved] at the presence of God, the God of 9 Israel. Thou, O God, didst send a plentiful rain, whereby thou didst confirm thine inheritance, when it was weary, by cooling the air and laying the dust; or, God showered down manna and re10 freshed his people. Thy congregation hath dwelt comfortably therein, in the wilderness, being thus refreshed, and thou, O God,
hast prepared of thy goodness for the poor; givest tokens of thy goodness to thy poor people, who are just rescued from Egyptian 11 slavery. The LORD gave the word; afforded matter of joy and thanksgiving in those victories he gave us great [was] the com pany of those that published [it ;] many led the song of triumph. 12 Kings of armies did flee apace : and she that tarried at home, 13 the wives and the children, divided the spoil. Though ye have lain among the pots, though oppressed, filthy, or dirty, like the meanest slave, [yet shall ye be as] the wings of a dove covered with silver, and her feathers with yellow gold; like the beautiful 14 variety of colours upon a dove's neck. When the Almighty
scattered kings in it, in Canaan, at the coming of the Israelites thither, it was [white] as snow in Salmon; the land and people of Israel, were in a flourishing and joyful condition; this is oppos ed to the uncomfortable condition they had been in. He then proceeds to celebrate the glory of mount Zion, where the ark was pitch15 ed. The hill of God [is as], the hill of Bashan; an high hill 16 [as] the hill of Bashan. Why leap ye, ye high hills? where
fore do ye contend or exalt yourselves, Salmon and Bashan? [this is] the hill [which] God desireth to dwell in; yea, the LORD will dwell in it for ever; Zion being honoured by the presence and the ark of God, lifts up its head with dignity, and looks down upon 17 them all. The chariots of God [are] twenty thousand, [even] thousands of angels: the LORD [is] among them, [as] in Sinai, in the holy [place ;] though we have no war horses to defend this sacred place, yet God defends it by his angels, who attend and encamp upon mount Zion, as they did upon Sinai when the law was given; and this is a surer defence than all the warlike prepara18 tions of our enemies. Thou, the ark, which is the emblem of thy presence, hast ascended on high, hast taken possession of this hill, thou hast led captivity captive; subdued those who once subdued ris, that is, the Philistines, some of whom might perhaps be led cap tive in this procession: thou hast received gifts for men; yea, [for] the rebellious also, that the Lord God might dwell [among them ;] or, thou hast taken gifts for men, taken them from our enemies, yea, and given them to us, who have been a rebellious peofile; or, as some understand it, The nations we have conquered may receive considerable benefit by the establishment of thy ark and worship, if they learn from what they have seen of thy power 19 to acknowledge the God of Israel. Blessed [be] the LORD, [who]
daily loadeth us [with benefits, even] the God of our salvation. 20 Selah. [He that is] our God [is] the God of salvation; and
unto God the Lord [belong] the issues from death, the deliverances we have had in battle, and the preservation of our lives to 21 the present day. But God shall wound the head of his enemies, [and] the hairy scalp of such an one as goeth on still in his trespasses; he will oppose the enemies of Israel, and destroy them. 22 The LORD said, I will bring again from Bashan, I will bring
[my people] again from the depths of the sea; he will renew the wonders of his power and goodness for Israel, as when he destroyed