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Og the king of Bashan, and led his people through the sea, 23 Numb. xxi. 33. Exod. xiv. 16. 22. That thy foot may be dip
ped in the blood of [thine] enemies, that thou mayest gain a complete victory over them, [and] the tongue of thy dogs in the 24 same. They have seen thy goings, O God; [even] the goings
of my God, my King, in the sanctuary; thou hast led us up to 25 thy sanctuary, and we have followed thy sacred footsteps. The singers went before, the players on instruments [followed] after; among [them were] the damsels playing with timbrels; the Levites and singers went first with vocal and instrumental music, and the women also joined the procession, singing as they 26 went along. Bless ye God in the congregations, [even] the
LORD, from the fountain of Israel; who has been our friend ever since we sprung from Israel our fountain. He then observes how 27 heartily the people joined in this great solemnity. There [is] little Benjamin [with] their ruler, the princes of Judah [and] their council, the two tribes that had been long at variance, between David, being of Judah, and Saul of Benjamin, the princes of Zebulun, [and] the princes of Naphtali; the tribes that lay most 28 remote from Zion came readily on this grand occasion. Thy God,
O Israel, hath commanded thy strength, and brought about this happy union and zeal : strengthen, O God, that which thou hast wrought for us; increase our strength, and finish this good work 29 thou hast begun among us. Because of thy temple at Jerusalem
shall kings bring presents unto thee; yea, we hope that heathen nations shall praise thee, and their kings bring presents in token of their subjection to thee. But we are at present in danger of a for30 midable enemy, (probably referring to the king of Syria,) Rebuke the company of spearmen, or, as in the margin, the beast of the reeds, those who come against us like lions out of the reeds, rebuke the multitude of the bulls, our enemies, that are strong and insolent as bulls, with the calves of the people, the meaner sort, [till every one] submit himself with pieces of silver scatter thou the people [that] delight in war; who make war upon us merely 31 for the sake of extending their conquests. Princes shall come
out of Egypt; Ethiopia shall scon stretch out her hands unto God; by giving us such a victory, other nations will be wrought upon to send ambassadors and presents, and to offer prayers and $2 praises to Jehovah. Sing unto God, ye kingdoms of the earth; 33 O sing praises unto the LORD; Selah. To him that rideth
upon the heaven of heavens, [which were] of old, whose empire is most ancient, powerful, and extensive : lo, he doth send out his voice, [and that] a mighty voice; sufficient to make the proudest sinner tremble, and which could immediately hurl him to the ground. 34 Ascribe ye strength unto God; acknowledge his divine power : his excellency [is] over Israel, and his strength [is] in the clouds; submit to him whose goodness is as visible to his people, as his strength is in thunder and the effects of it. O God, [thou 35 art] terrible out of thy holy places, in thy sanctuary, and from thence shall thy power be issued to destroy our enemies: the God VOL. IV. W w
of Israel [is] he that giveth strength and power unto [his] peo ple. Blessed [be] God for what he hath done, and what we hope and believe he will further do.
HESE noble descriptions of the greatness and power of God should lead us to reverence and adore him. Considering him as dwelling in the heavens, as possessed of almighty power and universal dominion; having thousands of thousands of angels always at his command; and all nature in subjection under him! Who would not fear so glorious and awful a Being? If he but rises up, all his enemies are scattered. Let us ascribe strength and glory to God, and with all humble submission bow before him.
2. Let us view him in his milder characters and attributes; as a father of the fatherless, and a judge of the widow; as taking notice of the solitary, and breaking the chains of the captives. Amidst all his awful splendor he does not overlook individuals; he despiseth not the meanest; but confers his bounty upon them, and exerts his power for them. Let the solitary, the widow, and the fatherle: $, fly to him and trust in him; and may we all rejoice, yea, exceedingly rejoice, in so glorious and compassionate a God!
3. When the interest of the church is at the lowest ebb, we should not despair. We may encourage ourselves, as the psalmist does, in what God did for Israel of old when his cause seems to be losing ground, and one potent enemy after another oppresses and prevails over it, he can restore its strength, credit, and beauty, and scatter the kings that war against it and waste it. Let the thought encourage particular believers, in their darkest and most disconsc late state, to hope in him, who can make a sudden and happy change in their state, cause them to hear joy and gladness, and shine in the ornaments of hope and praise.
4. Let us be thankful for the share we have in God's providential bounty. Observe how emphatically the psalmist expresses his gratitude; and let us adopt his language. God bestows benefits upon us, unworthy as we are; loads us with them; gives us a variety and abundance of them; and this every day; there is no one day in which he is not doing us good. How many escapes from death have we all experienced! and some when we were in imminent danger! To God the Lord belong all our escapes; let him have the praise; and let us rejoice in the prospect of complete salvation, and that final issue from death, which he shall grant to his servants, when his almighty power shall raise them up at the last day.
5. We are taught from the whole psalm, to reflect how much better and milder the glories of God shine under the gospel than under the law. We have now nothing of all that solemn pomp which attended the bringing up of the ark, and the giving of the law, which are here so nobly described. But there was a superior pomp when our Lord ascended on high, led sin, and Satan, and
death captive, received gifts for rebellious men, sent down the Spirit, and appointed pastors and teachers, to which the apostle applies the eighteenth verse of this psalm, in Ephes. iv. 8. He then ascended with a train of thousands of angels to adorn and celebrate his triumph. God is still present in his churches; there the goings of our God and King are seen; his milder glories are displayed; and every pious soul is a richer and nobler temple to his praise, than David's tabernacle, or Solomon's temple in all its glory. This gospel shall at length spread over all the earth; princes shall come out of Egypt, and Ethiopia; all the kingdoms of the earth shall praise him, for they shall become the kingdoms of the Lord, and of his anointed. From what God hath already done, and his many promises, and in the assurance that they shall all be fulfilled in their season, let us say with the psalmist, Blessed be God!
To the chief musician upon Shoshannim, an instrument of six strings, [A Psalm] of David.
Several passages in this psalm are quoted in the New Testament, and expressly applied to Christ. I imagine, with the best commentators, that David has no reference in it to his own case, but that it is throughout a prophecy of Christ. The only objection that can be made to this is the fifth verse, which will be obviated by rendering it, Thou wouldst have known my foolishness,' &c. There is but little in this fisalm that requires explanation. The Messiah begins with representing his afflicted case.
1 AVE me, O God; for the waters are come in unto [my]
mire, where [there is] no standing:
3 am come into deep waters, where the floods overflow me. I am weary of my crying: my throat is dried mine eyes fail while I wait for my God; I am in such deep distress as to be almost 4 overwhelmed; I can scarcely see or speak. They that hate me without a cause are more than the hairs of mine head: they that would destroy me, [being] mine enemies wrongfully, are mighty then I restored [that] which I took not away; I have 5 made satisfaction for offences that I never committed. O God, thou knowest my foolishness; and my sins are not hid from thee; I could never have concealed my sins, had I been guilty of 6 the wickedness they charge me with. Let not them that wait on thee, O Lord GoD of hosts, be ashamed for my sake: let not those that seek thee be confounded for my sake, O God of Israel. As Christ was not finally forsaken or deserted of God, those 7 who trust in him shall not be ashamed or confounded. Because
for thy sake I have borne reproach; shame hath covered my 8 face; I have suffered all for the cause of God. I am become a stranger unto my brethren, and an alien unto my mother's chil
9 dren; they behave to me as if I were a stranger. For the zeal of thine house, zeal for thy honour and worship, hath eaten me up, have consumed my vitals; and the reproaches of them that reproached thee are fallen upon me; every impious word cuts me to the heart, as much as if it had been levelled directly against me. 10 When I wept, [and chastened] my soul with fasting, that was
to my reproach; when I grieved and humbled myself for their impiety, I was upbraided for it, as if it were weakness or hypocrisy. I made sackcloth also my garment; and I became a proverb to 12 them. They that sit in the gate, the rulers and great men, speak
against me, and I [was] the song of the drunkards, of the vilest 13 of the rabble. But as for me, my prayer [is] unto thee, O LORD,
[in] an acceptable time: O God, in the multitude of thy mercy 14 hear me, in the truth of thy salvation. Deliver me out of the
mire, and let me not sink: let me be delivered from them that 15 hate me, and out of the deep waters. Let not the water flood overflow me, neither let the deep swallow me up, and let not the pit shut her mouth upon me; let me not be like a man crossing a rapid stream, who is at first borne down, then overwhelmed, and 16 at last quite sinks, so as to rise no more. Hear me, O LORD; for
thy loving kindness [is] good: turn unto me according to the 17 multitude of thy tender mercies. And hide not thy face from
thy servant; for I am in trouble hear me speedily; however 18 despised, I am thy servant, and therefore I hope for help. Draw
nigh unto my soul, [and] redeem it: deliver me because of mine 19 enemies. Thou hast known my reproach, and my shame, and 20 my dishonour: mine adversaries [are] all before thee. Re
proach hath broken my heart; and I am full of heaviness: and I looked [for some] to take pity, but [there was] none; and for comforters, but I found none; thou knowest all my reproach, how deeply my heart is wounded, and how my friends and disciples all 21 forsake me. They gave me also gall for my meat; and in my thirst they gave me vinegar to drink. This was literally fulfilled when he hung upon the cross, Mat. xxvii. 34, 48, &c. What fol22 lows is a prediction of their punishment, not a wish. Let their table become a snare before them and [that which should have been] for [their] welfare, [let it become] a trap; their prosper23 ity shall become the instrument of their ruin. Let their eyes be darkened, that they see not; and make their loins continually to shake; they shall be filled with the utmost terror and confusion. This is applied by St. Paul to the unbelieving Jews, Rom. xi. 10. 24 Pour out thine indignation upon them, and let thy wrathful anger 25 take hold of them. Let their habitation be desolate; [and] let
none dwell in their tents; their whole families shall be destroyed; those who dwell in palaces, and the meanest people who dwell in 26 tents or cottages. For they persecute [him] whom thou hast
smitten; and they talk to the grief of those whom thou hast wounded; scoff at them, reproach them with, and triumph in 27 their calamities. Add iniquity unto their iniquity; one punishment shall be added to another, for so the word may be ren
dered: and let them not come into thy righteousness; they Let them be blotted 28 shall never partake of thy saving mercy. out of the book of the living; they shall be put to death; and not be written with the righteous; have none of the blessings 29 reserved for the righteous. But I [am] poor and sorrowful,
and consequently despised; but let thy salvation, O God, set me up on high; above their insults and contempt. In the sure prosi 30 pect of this the psalm concludes with joy and praise. I will praise
the name of God with a song, and will magnify him with thanks31 giving. [This] also shall please the LORD better than an ox
[or] bullock that hath horns and hoofs; whose horns and hoofs begin to spread, which was reckoned the most acceptable sacrifice. 32 The humble shall see [this, and] be glad and your heart shall live that seek God; pious, humble souls, shall be encouraged by my 33 deliverance to pray and hope. For the LORD heareth the poor, 34 and despiseth not his prisoners. Let the heaven and earth praise
him, the seas, and every thing that moveth therein; let all na35 ture join with me in his praise. For God will save Zion, and will
build the cities of Judah: that they may dwell there, and have it in possession; God will establish and build up his church, and 36 it shall continue through all generations. The seed also of his
servants shall inherit it: and they that love his name shall dwell therein, and offer continual sacrifices of praise and thankfulness. This may perhaps refer to the final conversion of the Jews.
HE sorrows of our blessed Lord, as here in prophecy described, should be seriously reviewed and lamented. He probably met with many indignities and sufferings that are not any where recorded, and which if we knew them, would throw a light on many passages in this psalm. How melancholy the thought, that the Son of God, when he came to save sinners, should have met with no better a reception! He suffered wrongfully and without cause; but let us remember, he suffered for our sakes, to magnify the law, which we had broken, and atone for our offences.
2. Let us endeavour to imitate our blessed Lord in his devotion and zeal. He kept up continual intercourse with heaven, had a flaming zeal for the honour of God, his house, and worship, and tenderly laid to heart all the reproaches cast on the divine Majesty. Let us cherish the same spirit, though it should turn to our reproach; though the great and the mean should join to persecute and insult He hath left us an example, and we should follow his steps.
3. Let us dread the doom of Christ's enemies. The 22d and following verses are an awful prediction of the judgments that shall come upon them: they have already been fulfilled in a terrible manner on the unbelieving Jews, and will fall heavy on unholy christians, on all who are enemies to the cross of Christ. Those who reject God's salvation shall have his indignation poured out upon them, and be given up, like the Jews, to judicial blindness and terror.