1. Introduction to the Book of Psalms
A. "Psalm" = a poem to be sung accompanied by a stringed instrument.
B. Many of them are lyrics or poems expressing the individual emotion of the poet, and intended for accompaniment by the harp or other stringed instruments. Fifty‑five of the Psalms are addressed to "the chief musician"‑‑the choir leader of the Hebrew worship service.
C. Ever since they were written, the Psalms have played a large part in the life of God's people. The old time Hebrews used them in the temple worship and the Jews of today still use them in the synagogue. The Christians of NT times sang them, as we see from Col. 3:16 and James 5:13.
D. Jesus spoke of the book of Psalms in Luke 20:42 and said that many things in the Psalms referred to Him and put Psalms on the same level as the law of Moses and the prophets. (Luke 24:44)
E. Luke, the human instrument who wrote the Book of Acts by inspiration, referred to the Book of Psalms in Acts 1:20.
F. The Psalms were also sung by the Hebrew pilgrims as they traveled up to Jerusalem three times a year as the law required the males to do. (Deut. 16:16) They were also sung as the remnant of Jews left Babylon and returned to Jerusalem.
2. The writer:
A. The Holy Ghost (II Peter 1:21, II Tim. 3:16) but He used human instruments.
B. David has 73 Psalms ascribed to him and he is called the "sweet Psalmist of Israel" in II Sam. 23:1. David was also a harp player.
C. Twelve are ascribed to Asaph called a recorder and seer in Hezekiah's day. (II Kings 18:18; II Chron. 29:30) His name is usually associated with singing or musical instruments in the Bible.
D. Eleven to the sons of Korah who was a Levite.
E. Two are ascribed to Solomon, David's son.
F. One is ascribed to Moses.
G. One to Ethan who was also associated with musical instruments. (I Chron. 15:19)
H. Fifty are anonymous. We know King Hezekiah wrote some psalms after he was healed and had 15 years added to his life. No doubt some of these were also written by David.
3. The time span of writing the Book of Psalms probably spanned from Moses' day as he wrote one until at least the time of Babylonian captivity as Psa. 137:1‑2 mentions the captivity. This covers about a 900 year period of time.
1. This Psalm has the inscription "A prayer of David."
2. This Psalm could also be labeled Messianic which means it applies to the Lord Jesus Christ. We do not know that our Lord prayed this prayer but He could have in the garden of Gethsemane.
3. David, the sweet Psalmist of Israel, is the author‑‑human instrument‑‑of this Psalm.
4. Also this Psalm is applicable to us. (Rom. 15:4) All scripture is written for me even though it may not be written to me.
5. The theme could be "The vindication of the righteous."
1. He prayed for justice‑‑Hear me. (V. 1‑5)
1. "Hear" = listen to; hear favorably; attend to; the construction implies grant me what I ask; the Psalmist laments his unjust treatment at the hands of his enemies; the cause of the problem is not known, only that he is innocent of the charges brought against him.
2. "The right" = word for righteousness or just; the Lord could definitively say that and David could say that because he was saved and had his sin confessed; the first condition for real prayer is a good conscience and that requires confession of sin (I John 1:9); we cannot hope to get anywhere with God if we come to Him "tongue in cheek" as it were, simply putting on a show; He knows us too well. (Psa. 66:18)
3. "O" = a cry of desperation.
4. "LORD" = Jehovah; the self-existent One who wants to reveal Himself to man.
5. "Attend" = to hearken‑‑translated so in Psa. 5:2; to prick up the ears, as when a dog suddenly turns his ear to listen to a sound that escapes the human ear.
6. "My" = the Psalmist David, the human instrument the Lord used to write this Psalm.
7. "Cry" = the Hebrew word here is a strong term which means shout or outcry‑‑loud cry.
8. "Give ear" = to broaden out the ear with the hand as a near deaf man cups his hand behind his ear to hear better what is being said unto him; David is saying, "put your hand behind your ear so you can hear better what I have to say."
9. "Prayer" = supplication‑‑earnest request; the Psalmist had a habit of praying, so it was not his distress and danger that now first brought him to his duty of praying.
10. "Feigned lips" = counterfeit; to assume a false appearance; negated by "not;" feigned prayers are fruitless.
1. "My" = the Psalmist David.
2. "Thy" = "thine" = the LORD.
3. "Sentence" = to pass on or pronounce the court's judgment.
4. "Come forth from thy presence" = David does not doubt that his sentence will be because right from God's point of view; therefore, the sentence would be in his favor.
5. "Let thine eyes behold" = he asked the Lord to examine the case with His own eyes, or attentively to consider it, and see where justice was.
6. "The things that are equal" = the things that are just and right; he felt assured that his own cause was right so he prays that justice would be done in his case and if it were, he would be delivered from his enemies.
1. "Thou" = the Lord.
2. "Mine" = "me" = "I" = "my" = David.
3. "Prove mine heart" = to test; to examine strictly so as to know whether there is any wickedness in him‑‑not to prove he was innocent toward God but innocent of any wrong towards those who were persecuting him; indicates that after the most searching trial he would be found that he had given his enemies no cause for treating him the way they were.
4. "Thou hast visited me in the night" = for the purpose of inspecting my character or of examining him; even in the secret of night he asserts that God's all knowing eyes have found in him nothing amiss.
5. "Tried" = word is associated with a refiner where the ore is crushed to powder, and put in a furnace where the impurities are separated and skimmed off; some say seven times‑‑at least till the refiner can see his face in the gold or silver. (Rom. 8:28-29)
6. "And shalt find nothing" = the future tense is used to denote that, even if the investigation were continued, God would find nothing in his heart or in his conduct that would give occasion for the conduct of his enemies; this did not mean he was sinless, but that he was sincere and earnest, not a hypocrite.
7. "I am purposed" = determined "that my mouth shall not transgress" = refers to transgress (over step the line drawn) the law of God, or go beyond what is right; refers to his speech‑‑he would utter nothing which is wrong, or which can give occasion for the enemies' harsh and unkind treatment.
1. "Concerning the works of men" = refers to the works or doings of natural man.
2. "By the word of thy lips" = not by his own strength nor by the power which he himself had but by the commands and promises of God by which, "I have kept me from the paths of the destroyer" = David says he had so guarded his conduct that he had not fallen into the sins which are so common among men; the idea is, not that he had been able to save himself from violence at their hands, but that he had been able to avoid their mode of life‑‑from the paths of the destroyer (violent, lawless, wicked men). (Psa. 119:105, 11)
3. "Thy" = the Lord.
4. "I" = "me" = David.
1. "Thy" = the Lord.
2. "My" = David.
3. "Hold up my goings in thy paths" = David calls on God, and asks Him to sustain him and to keep him still in the right paths‑‑God's way and will.
4. "That my footsteps slip not" = he knows it is not in man to direct his steps (Jer. 10:23); thus by the help of God's gracious hand we are kept from stumbling (Jude 24); our footsteps will slip when we cease to lean upon His strength; He is able to keep the feet of His holy ones (I Sam. 2:9); we sing the song "I shall not be moved" which applies here but we need to add "by His grace" which is the only way we will ever continue in the right paths.
2. David prayed for mercy‑‑hide me. (V. 6‑12)
1. "I" = "me" = "my" = David the human instrument used to pen down this Psalm.
2. "Thee" = "thou" = "God" = El‑‑the Almighty.
3. The Psalmist repeats his cry similar to verse 1.
4. "I have called upon thee, for thou wilt hear me, O God" = the meaning of this is, "I have called on thee heretofore and will do it still, because I am certain that thou wilt hear me;" he was encouraged to call upon God by the conviction that He would hear his prayer and would grant his request.
5. "Incline thine ear unto me" = to stretch or spread out; to bend toward; translated "bow down" in Psa. 31:2; this would be synonymous to "give ear" of verse 1.
6. "Hear my speech" = listen to my prayer; hear favorably; the construction implies, "grant me what I ask"‑‑ same as in verse 1; this refers to prayer uttered before God and not mere mental prayer.
1. "Thy" = "thou" = "thee" = refers to the name of God used in verse 6.
2. "Shew thy marvellous lovingkindness" = means distinguish thy favors; the Hebrew word means to separate or to distinguish; David is asking for God to separate His mercies on this occasion, from His ordinary mercies, by the manifestation of greater powers, or by showing him special favor.
3. "O" = a cry of desperation; expresses a strong desire.
4. "That savest by thy right hand" = by thy power; the right hand is that by which we execute our purposes or put forth our power; the Psalmist asks God to put forth his power in defending him.
5. "Them" = "their" = refers to whosoever, not just David, that "put their trust in thee."
6. "Trust" = to flee for protection.
7. "From those that rise up against them" = from their enemies.
8. David prays to God to do this now, on the grounds of what He was accustomed to doing‑‑that He would act according to His character. What He has done for men always, we may ask him to do for us.
1. "Keep" = preserve; defend; guard; to hedge about.
2. "Me" = David, the human instrument who penned down this Psalm.
3. "As the apple of the eye" = this is a proverbial expression for anything particularly precious and liable to be injured unless guarded with scrupulous care (Zech. 2:8); refers to the pupil of the eye through which the rays of light pass to form an image on the retina‑‑in other words that which enables us to see; a person is more protective of the eye than any other part of the body; the pupil of the eye is most tender, easily injured, irreplaceable, and carefully protected; the prayer of the Psalmist here is, that God would guard him, as one guards his sight‑‑an object so dear and valuable to him.
4. "Hide me under the shadow of thy wings" = another phrase denoting the same thing‑‑protection; applied from the care given by fowls in protecting their young; Mat. 23:37‑‑what wings! = all protective, more so than a banty hen who sends the enemy dog 20 times her size to running.
5. What protection we can have if only we would pray like David.
1. "From" = "from" = in italics the second time used, thus supplied by translators; introduces the enemies David needs protection from.
2. "My" = "me" = David, the human instrument used to pen down this Psalm.
3. "The wicked" = morally wrong; a bad person.
4. "Oppress" = to treat as invaders treat an enemy's territory; the idea is that of being wasted, desolated, and destroyed, as a city or country is by the ravages of war; the Psalmist compared himself in his troubles with such a city or country; the effect of the persecutions which he had endured had been like cities and lands laid waste by fire and sword.
5. "Deadly enemies" = the idea here is "enemies against my life;" refers to those who in heart and mind were wholly set against him.
6. "Compass" = to surround on every side as enemies do who besiege a city; when hunted by Saul upon the mountains David was often compassed about with foes. (I Sam. 23:26)
1. "They" = "their" = the wicked; the deadly enemies of verse 9.
2. "They are inclosed in their own fat" = this phrase means that they were prosperous and that they were consequently self‑confident and proud, and did not regard others.
3. "Fat" = greedy and full of pride; self‑indulgence has hardened their feelings and dulled their souls; an organ enclosed in fat cannot work freely, so their feelings cannot work as nature intended through the coarseness and hardness in which they were embedded. (Deut. 32:15)
4. "With their mouth they speak proudly" = haughtily; in an arrogant tone; as a consequence of their prosperity. (Psa. 86:14)
1. "They" = "their" = the wicked; the deadly enemies of verse 9.
2. "Us" = "our" = refers to David and those associated with him, probably those referred to as mighty men (1Sam. 22:1-2; 23;13); this indicates that the wrong was not just done to him, but to others connected with him.
3. "Compassed" = to surround on every side. (I Sam. 23:26)
4. "In our steps" = wherever we go.
5. "They have set their eyes bowing down to the earth" = literally means "they have fixed their eyes to lay me prostrate upon the ground;" this is a simile of the lion (mentioned in verse 12)‑‑before making his spring he fixes his eyes intently upon the prey, not to fascinate it, but to make sure of his distance and with intent, when he springs, he casts the prey down to the earth.
1. "Like as a lion that is greedy of his prey" = the meaning is plain‑‑the enemies were like a lion intent on securing their prey; they watched the object narrowly; they were ready to spring upon it.
2. "Is greedy" = to pine; to long after; to desire greatly.
3. "Of his prey" = the Hebrew word is a verb meaning to pluck, to tear, to rend in pieces.
4. "As it were a young lion" = like as a young lion‑‑a lion in the first burst of youthful vigor.
5. "Lurking" = crouching; the attitude of the lion when he is just preparing to spring.
6. "Lurking in secret places" = the allusion is that of a lion crouching or lying in wait, out of sight, for a favorable opportunity to pounce upon his prey.
7. David prayed for justice‑‑hear me. And also for mercy‑‑hide me. And now:
3. He prayed for deliverance‑‑help me. V. 13‑15
1. "Arise" = to get up; to lift up; to set up; to raise up; militarily speaking it means to engage in battle; the verb designates an intense spirit of prayer‑‑a call generally made when God's forbearance toward his enemies is thought to have been too excessive and His tolerance to great.
2. "O" = a cry of desperation.
3. "LORD" = "thy" = Jehovah; the self existent One who stands alone with no aid from anybody or any other being in this world or out of this world; the self‑existent One who wants to reveal Himself to man.
4. "Disappoint" = to go before; to prevent (precede); this is asking God to cast Himself in the enemies way before they reach him; intercept his spring.
5. "Him" = "the wicked" = the morally wrong; refers to the enemies.
6. "Cast him down" = bow him down to the earth; means make him bend or bow, as one who is conquered bows before a conqueror.
7. "My" = the Psalmist David.
8. "Deliver my soul from the wicked" = save my life; save me from the designs of the wicked.
9. "Which is thy sword" = by thy sword; with thy sword; the Psalmist asked that God would interfere by His own hand and save him from danger.
1. "From men which are thy hand" = from men by the hand; same construction as verse 13.
2. "O LORD" = see notes on verse 13.
3. "Thy" = "LORD" = "thou" = Jehovah.
4. "From men of the world" = from men who are altogether worldly; whose views, aspirations, hopes, and longings are bound by this life.
5. "Which have their portion in this life" = who have here all that they will ever receive and all that they care to receive.
6. "Their" = "they" = the wicked; the deadly enemies.
7. "Whose belly thou fillest with thy hid treasure" = means that which is hoarded, secreted, carefully guarded; refers to the practice of secreting from public view valuable treasures, as silver and gold; they had what they wanted; implies that the Lord was good to them and allowed them to have the good things that He made the earth to produce. (Rom. 2:4, Psa. 73:1‑3; 12‑17)
8. "They are full of children" = "their children are full" = they have enough to satisfy the wants of their children.
9. "And leave the rest of their substance to their babes" = they leave an inheritance to their children after they are dead (Psa. 49:10); ill‑gotten gains handed on by the wicked to their children seldom prosper.
1. "Me" = "I" = David, the human instrument the Lord used to pen down this Psalm.
2. "Thy" = the Lord Jehovah.
3. "As for me" = in strong contrast with the aims, the desires, and the condition of worldly men.
4. "I will behold thy face" = I shall see thee; refers to the future world of a saint of God. (Job 19:25-26)
5. "In righteousness" = being myself righteous; being delivered from the power, the pollution, and the dominion of sin.
6. "I shall be satisfied' = while they are satisfied with this world, I shall be satisfied only "when I awake, with thy likeness" = this language can only be used by one who believed in the resurrection of the dead and one who was accustomed to speak of death as a sleep‑‑a calm rest in the hope of awaking to a new life; this does not suggest soul‑sleep as some try to proclaim.
7. "With thy likeness" = in thy likeness. (Rom. 8:28‑29; I John 3:1‑2)
8. David said, "As for me, I do not envy the wicked man's prosperity, for I in my righteousness (imputed by God, not self‑righteousness) shall behold the face of my Lord, have the light of His countenance shine upon me, and shall be raised to the condition of perfect happiness."
9. David had already referred to death as sleep in Psa. 13:3 and now he refers to be awakened and when he does he will be satisfied with His likeness‑‑wholly satisfied.
1. This Psalm has the inscription (title) which we will break down and try to give an explanation.
A. "To the chief musician" = means this Psalm was intended for the choir leader and was given to him to regulate the manner of performing it; the idea is that the Psalm is to be performed under his direction.
B. "A Psalm" = a poem to be sung to a stringed instrument.
C. "Of David" = means David, the sweet Psalmist of Israel, was the author‑‑human instrument‑‑of this Psalm.
D. "The servant of the LORD" = refers to one who served his master Jehovah to the disregard of his own interest; Paul referred to himself as a servant of the Lord several times and wrote to the Romans saints that after they were saved (believed), they became servants of righteousness who is the Lord Jesus. (Rom. 6:16‑18; I Cor. 1:30)
E. "Who spake unto the LORD the words of this song" = composed as giving feeling toward the Lord.
F. "In the day that the Lord delivered him from the hand of all his enemies, and from the hand of Saul" = this gives the time this Psalm was written; it was probably toward the end of his life in a calm period of his life when he could review the past, and see that God had rescued him from all enemies that had ever threatened his peace; this Psalm is quoted by David in II Sam. 22 although not word for word but similar, thus establishing the time he said these things.
G. "And he said" = what follows is what he said; also stated in II Sam. 22:1 that he spake these basic same words.
2. The theme could be that there is victory ahead for the child of God. (Isa. 54:17)
1. "I" = "my" = David the human instrument the Lord used to pen down the Psalm; this holds true throughout this Psalm.
2. "Thee" = "LORD" = Jehovah; this also holds true throughout this Psalm.
3. "O" = expression of an exclamation.
4. David expresses himself in his relationship to the Lord.
5. "Love" = not the usual word for "love;" it means to yearn over and actually carries the thought of fondling; the word suggest that David yearns to hug the Lord and said "I will;" this yearning is based upon a full realization of what the Lord means to him.
6. "My strength" = help; the source of my strength, or from whom all my strength is derived. (Psa. 28:8; Phil. 4:13)
1. "My rock" = the idea is that David owed his safety entirely to the Lord.
2. "My fortress" = a place of defense so strengthened that the enemy could not approach it; where one would be safe; a fortress was usually built on a hill where those who fled thither would be doubly safe.
3. "My deliverer" = to rescue; save; the One who delivered me from my enemies‑‑Saul, Philistines, Absalom, and all other enemies in his past life.
4. "My God" = Almighty; One in whom I found all that is implied in the idea of God‑‑a Protector, Helper, Friend, Father, and Saviour.
5. "My strength" = different Hebrew word from verse 1; means refuge; hiding place; refers to God as being a refuge or protection as a rock or crag (a steep rugged rock) is to one in danger.
6. "In whom I will trust" = to flee for protection; to confide in; David is saying I have found Him to be such a refuge in the past that I will confide in Him.
7. "I will" = expresses determination.
8. "My buckler" = shield; protector; to hedge around; piece of defensive armor worn on the left arm and was large enough to protect the whole body‑‑about four feet long.
9. "The horn of my salvation" = the horn is to the animals their means of defense; their strength lies in their horns; the word represents that to which David owed his protection and defense in danger--the Lord.
10. "My high tower" = a shelter or protection from danger or distress; denotes an inaccessible place or a place of security where the enemy cannot enter; regarded as safe places mainly because they were inaccessible. (John 10:27‑29)
11. The Psalmist repeatedly voices his thanksgiving and his confidence in God. Thus he says. "I will (determined) to love you‑‑desire to hug you for all you have done in the past." (verse 1) Also "I will trust‑‑flee to you for protection. You were there for me in the past and I know you will be there for me in the future."
1. Now he says, "I will call upon the Lord" = carries the idea of prayer; the Lord invites us to call upon Him in Jer. 33:3; the Hebrew construction refers to him constantly calling on the Lord; in all times of trouble and danger he would go to Him and ask for aid; the experience of the past had been such that he was led to put confidence in Him in the days ahead.
2. "Who is worthy" = in italics, thus supplied by the translators because it is implied in the Hebrew construction; added to give a smooth English reading; means deserving and possessing worth or excellence of qualities.
3. "To be praised" = from the Hebrew word "halal" = reminds us of the word "Hallelujah;" means to make a show; to be clamorously foolish; to rave; to stultify‑‑to make foolish; the idea is that the Lord is worthy of our praise in every way; this praise is based upon a full realization of who God is.
4. "So shall I be saved from mine enemies" = this shows David's confident assurance in the Lord; he was so sure he could say victory ahead because of what he had experienced in the past concerning the deliverance of the Lord.
1. David begins to testify he had a need, speaking of the past.
2. "Compassed" = to surround.
3. "The sorrows of death" = refer to a condition of great danger and alarm, as if death was inevitable; may speak of the sorrow of entering into the darkness of despair; David experienced that in the salvation of his soul by his lostness, conviction, and his struggle he described as being in miry clay (Psa. 40:1‑2), but the Lord brought him through, therefore victory ahead; he also experienced this in the persecutions of Saul, when he was so beset with troubles and difficulties that it seemed to him that he must die.
4. "The floods of ungodly men made me afraid" = could label this the sorrows of men; refers to wicked men as if they were poured forth in streams and torrents, in such multitudes that the psalmist was overwhelmed by them as one would be by the floods of waters; they caused him to fear to the extent he thought he was going to die.
1. The sorrows of hell compassed me about" = the idea is that such suffering encompassed him or seized upon him that he thought he was going down to the under‑world‑‑going down to death; this is a description of one who is overcome with the dread of death.
2. "Hell" = is translated from the Hebrew word "sheol" which had two compartments in OT time--one we know as hell and the other as Abraham's bosom; the burning compartment was not meant here, for David was a saved man, but he thought he was going to be brought down to death.
3. "The snares of death" = refers to the nets which are used in capturing wild beast and then suddenly throwing cords around them and binding them fast.
4. "Prevented me" = to go before; the idea here is that those snares had, as it were, suddenly rushed upon him or seized him; they came before him in his goings and bound him fast.
1. "Distress" = a tight place; affliction; calamity; misery.
2. "I called upon the LORD" = he prayed to the God of heaven; he asked God to help him in his trouble; refers to past experiences in his life.
3. "And cried unto my God" = indicates an earnest cry for help; implies his prayers were sincere; David looked not for human aid; he looked to God alone.
4. "He heard my voice out of his temple" = means to hear with the response of doing what was prayed for; His temple refers to His dwelling place; therefore, He heard from heaven.
5. "And my cry came before Him, even into his ears" = double emphasis; David's prayer was not intercepted on the way; this phrase indicates that the Lord certainly heard his prayer; David knew that.
1. "Then" = indicates the Lord answered his prayer; help came as the Lord answered David's prayer; David describes the Lord answering his prayer by giving evidences (verses 7‑15) of the Lord answering his prayer; the language he uses is taken from the fury of the storm and tempest, when all the elements are in a commotion, when God seems to go forth in the greatness of His majesty and the terror of His power, to prostrate everything before him.
2. "The earth shook and trembled" = indicates an earthquake; we do not have a record of a specific time where this happened in David's life but an earthquake may have occurred for there are references in the scripture to illustrate the majesty, the power, and the glory of God and of the manner in which He intervenes in behalf of His people. (Isa. 29:3‑8)
3. "The foundations also of the hills moved and were shaken" = the mountains seemed to rock on their foundations.
4. "Because" = introduces the reason such action was taken by the Lord.
5. "He was wroth" = angry; God seemed to be angry and therefore, He came forth in this awful manner against David's enemies; the very earth trembled before Him; Nahum 1:3 states that He "Will not at all acquit the wicked" = "acquit" means to discharge from obligation; He will not treat the guilty as innocent but He showers him with goodness giving him a space of repentance (Rom. 2:4); if the sinner will not repent (turn from sin to God) there will come a time He will whet His sword for punishment (Psa. 7:12‑13) and yet Isa. 5:25 states, "his hand is stretched out still."
1. "There went up a smoke out of his nostrils" = emissions of smoke are a common feature of volcanic disturbances, with which earthquakes are closely connected.
2."Out of his nostrils" = the Septuagint, the Greek translation of the OT Hebrew, has "in his anger;" Jesus quoted from this translation in the NT, thus putting His seal of approval upon that translation.
3. "Fire out of his mouth devoured" = fire‑balls are said to have accompanied some earthquakes; in some historical cases it is said these fire‑balls scorched and burnt those around the area where this occurred, thus "coals were kindled by it" = everything seemed to glow and burn.
1. "He bowed the heaven also" = the illusion is still to the tempest, when the clouds run low; when they seem to sweep along the ground. (Psa. 144:5)
2. "And came down" = God Himself seemed to descend in the fury of the storm as He delivers the oppressed, and take vengeance on their oppressors. (Isa. 64:1‑3)
3. "Darkness was under his feet" = a deep darkness commonly accompanies both earthquake and storm; when God descended upon Mount Sinai, it was amid thunders and lightnings, and a thick cloud (Exo. 19:16); the idea here is that of awful majesty and power, as we are nowhere more forcibly impressed with the idea of majesty and power than in the fury of a storm.
4. These verses are well as verses 10‑15 are describing as best as the Psalmist could, the evidence‑‑signs and wonders wrought when the Lord comes down in answer to the agonizing cry of human need. The Lord had done it in David's past and He would continue to deliver in the future. Victory ahead!
1. "Cherub" = the plural is cherubim; a figurative representation of power and majesty in Hebrew theology, which says they are visible symbols of the presence of God; Arthur Pink believes that they are the highest among the angelic order of creatures, and when first mentioned in Gen. 3:24 they are viewed guarding the way to the tree of life with a flaming sword suggesting that they are associated with the administration of God's judicial authority; Eze. 10 describes the cherubims Ezekiel saw and states they had "the spirit of the living creature in them" (Ezek. 10:17) and that "This is the living creature that he saw" in Ezek. 10:20; also Ezek. 28:14 has a prophecy that I believe refers to the devil and he calls him "the anointed cherub;" at least you can be assured that the devil is not an imaginary being, thus I conclude that they are real; they are created beings representing the majesty, the power, and the glory of God.
2. "And he rode upon a cherub" = regarded as if seated on his throne, he was borne along in majesty and power amidst the storm and tempest; this seems to correspond to clouds. (Psa. 104:3)
3. "And did fly" = He seemed to move rapidly on the flying clouds.
4. "Yea, he did fly upon the wings of the wind" = rapidly as the clouds were driven along by the wind.
5. The whole figure here is designed to represent the majesty with which God seemed to be borne along on the tempest.
1. "Secret place" = means properly "a hiding;" then something hidden, private, secret; means a covering; a veil.
2. "He made darkness his secret place" = He hid Himself amid clouds and thick darkness; He made His abode in the gloom of the storm and did not allow Himself to be seen.
3. "Pavilion" = tent; His abode.
4. "Round about him" = the things about Him‑‑His tent (shelter or cover) were "dark waters and thick clouds of the skies" = the allusion is to clouds filled with water charged with rain and to clouds resembling dust.
5. The Psalmist seems to indicate that clouds of all kinds rolled over the firmament, and that these constituted the "pavilion" of God.
1. "The brightness that was before him" = refers to lightnings that seemed to go before Him.
2. "His thick clouds passed" = vanished; the reference here is to the appearance when the vivid flashes of lightning seem to penetrate and dispel the clouds, and the heavens seem to be lighted up with a universal flame.
3. "Hail stones" = refers to hail‑stones that followed or fell, like that which fell upon Egypt before the Exodus. (Exo. 9:24)
4. "Coals of fire" = there seemed to be coals of fire rolling along the ground, or falling from the sky. (II Sam. 22:13)
1. "The LORD also thundered in the heavens" = thunder is often in the Scripture described as the voice of God. (Job 40:9; 37:4‑5)
2. "And the Highest gave his voice" = God, the most exalted Being in the universe, uttered His voice in the thunder, or the thunder was His voice. (Psa. 29:3-9)
3. "Hail stones and coals of fire" = accompany the thunder; a repetition of verse 12 because these accompany the storm and are together the ministers of Divine vengeance.
1. "Yea" = yes; used in Scripture sometimes to denote certainty.
2. "He sent out his arrows" = probably refers to the lightnings of verse 13 and later in this verse; these lightnings seem to be arrows sent forth from the hand of God.
3. "And scattered them" = refers to the enemies of the Psalmist since they were in his eye through out the psalm, for it was the victory achieved over them by Divine intervention that David was celebrating throughout the psalm.
4. "He shot out lightnings" = as arrows or as from a bow.
5. "And discomfited them" = literally to impel, to drive; then, to put in commotion and excessive terror; refers to David's enemies; the allusion is to an army whose order is disturbed and easily conquered.
1. "Then the channels of waters were seen" = the idea is that by driving of storm and tempest, the waters were driven on heaps, leaving the bottom bare.
2. "The foundations of the world were discovered" = the earth is often represented as resting on a foundation (Psa. 102:25); the earthquakes (verse 7) still continuing cause the earth to gap open in places, and the glare of the lightning enabled the eye of man to penetrate deep into the solid earth cracked open so deep that it seemed to reach the foundations.
3. "Discovered" = were laid open; were manifested or revealed.
4. "At thy rebuke, O LORD" = at the expressing of Jehovah's anger or displeasure; it is as if the Lord, in the fury of the tempest, was expressing His indignation and wrath.
5. "At the blast of the breath of thy nostrils" = at the breathing forth, as it were, from his nostrils expressing His anger. (Verse 7: wroth)
1. "He sent from above" = the Lord intervened to save David; all these manifestations of Divine intervention were from above or from heaven‑‑all came from God.
2. "He took me" = He took hold on me; He rescued me.
3. "He drew me out of many waters" = "waters" are often expressive of calamity and trouble; while destruction came upon David's enemies, God's protecting hand was stretched out to save David himself; he was carefully "taken" and tenderly "drawn" forth from among "many waters"‑‑the dangers and difficulties which threatened him.
1. "He delivered me from my strong enemy" = the Lord snatched David out of the hand of his enemy that had more power than he had and would have likely overcome David had it not been for the Lord; the enemy he refers to was probably Saul; God delivered David from the peril of death which hung over him as long as Saul lived.
2. "From them which hated me" = from all who hated and persecuted David throughout his life to the time he wrote this Psalm.
3. "For they were too strong for me" = David was not powerful enough to resist them and when he was about to sink under their opposition and malice, God intervened and rescued him.
4. David, valiant and bold as the warrior he was, was not ashamed, in the review of his life, to admit:
A. That he owed his preservation, not to his own courage and skill in war, but to God.
B. That his enemies were superior to himself in power.
C. That if God had not intervened, he would have been crushed and destroyed.
5. No man dishonors himself by acknowledging that he owes his success in the world to Divine intervention.
6. Our adversary, the devil, is our strong enemy, but a stronger than he has come to seek and to save. (Heb. 2:14‑15; Luke 19:10)
7. Victory ahead!
1. "They" = David's enemies.
2. "Prevented" = to go before; the idea here is that his enemies came before him or intercepted his way‑‑they were in his path, ready to destroy him.
3. "In the day of my calamity" = at the time David's enemies caused great distress upon him.
4. "But" = introduces the contrast.
5. "The LORD" = Jehovah.
6. "Was my stay" = support; prop; indicates the Lord upheld David and kept him from falling; the tense shows that David is thinking back in the past.
1. "He brought me forth also into a large place" = instead of being hemmed in by enemies so that he had no room to move, the Lord brought David into a place where he had ample room, where he could act freely; refers to a place of open ground where he was not encompassed by snares or nets, or enemies in ambush.
2. "He delivered me" = to rescue from his enemies and troubles.
3. "Because" = introduces the reason the Lord delivered him‑‑"he delighted in me" = He saw David's cause was just and He had favor toward him; to be pleased with.
1. "The LORD rewarded me according to my righteousness" = implies that the Lord saw that David did not deserve the treatment which he received from his enemies; therefore, He delivered him from his enemies; "righteousness" refers to honesty of purpose and the sincere endeavor to do right (Heb. 11:6; the Lord never said to any one "seek my face in vain" for He regards and rewards those who diligent seek Him with salvation).
2. "According to the cleanness of my hands" = refers to hands unstained by any wicked action; as far as David's fellow‑men are concerned he had done them no wrong.
3. "He recompensed me" = by rescuing me from the power of his enemies; similar to "rewarded."
1. "For I have kept the ways of the LORD" = David obeyed His laws; indicates he had not so violated the laws which God had given to regulate his conduct with fellow‑men as to deserve to be treated by them as a guilty man.
2. "Wickedly departed" = implies wicked and persistent wickedness; entire alienation from God; negated by "not;" David was not an apostate nor an open violator of His law.
1. "Judgments" = word is commonly used in the Scriptures as referring to that which God has judged or determined to be right; refers to all His statutes, ordinances, and laws.
2. "Were before me" = David acted in view of them or as having them to guide him; means he regulated his conduct in accordance with their requirements.
3. "And I did not put away his statutes from me" = David declares he had kept God's statutes always well before him, had borne them in mind, and given heed to them.
1. "Upright" = honest; just; not deviating from correct moral principles.
2. "I was also upright before him" = means he was upright in the Lord's sight--confessed up and forgiven. (I John 1:9)
3. "Kept" = to hedge about; to guard; to protect.
4. "Mine iniquity" = sin; refers to the sin to which he was prone or inclined to; indicates the sin to which he was especially tempted.
5. "I kept myself from mine iniquity" = this is an acknowledgment that he was prone to sin and that if he had acted out his natural character he would have indulged in sin; but he says here that with this proneness to sin, he had restrained himself and had not been deserving of the treatment which he had received; it was necessary for him to be on guard against this sin or sins, what ever it was; Paul also said something similar to this in I Cor. 9:27. (Heb. 12:1)
1. This verse is almost an exact repetition of verse 20 with the exception of the phrase "in his eyesight" = before His eyes.
2. The idea is that God saw that he was upright.
1. "Merciful" = having or exercising mercy‑‑to show compassion by divine grace by word or deed; word refers to one who is inclined to show kindness or compassion to those who are guilty or to those who injure or wrong.
2. "Upright" = honest and just.
3. In both these phrases the Psalmist is saying that God will deal with man according to his own character. If we are merciful to others, then the Lord shows us mercy. If we are upright, then the Lord will deal with us uprightly‑‑for He is a God who is faithful and just.
4. Our Lord taught us to pray "And forgive us our debts, as we forgive our debtors." (Mat. 6:12) Also this same principle is found in Mat. 6:14.
5. He deals with man according to his character. This principle ought to be eye‑opening. If you want mercy from God, show mercy to others. If you want forgiveness from God, practice forgiveness of others.
1. Again this verse reveals that God will deal with man according to his own character.
2. "Pure" = free from moral defilement; refers to those who are pure in their thoughts, their motives, and their conduct.
3. "Thou will shew thyself pure" = they will find they have to deal with a God who is Himself pure, who loves purity, and will accompany it with appropriate rewards wherever it is found.
4. First "froward" = perverse and so translated in Deut. 32:5; applies to a man who perverts or wrests the words of others from their true meaning, who is deceitful in his conduct, who is not straight forward in his dealings, who takes advantage of circumstances to impose on others, and to promote his own ends.
5. "Thou wilt shew thyself froward" = this is a different Hebrew word from "froward" first used in this verse; in II Sam. 22:27 it is translated "unsavory" = means to twist; to turn; to spin; thus, to wrestle; instead of dealing with them as if they were pure and righteous, and merciful, such men find that the Lord deals with them as they are‑‑as perverse, crooked, and wicked.
1. "For thou wilt save the afflicted people" = refers to the oppressed and down‑trodden, who are assumed to be pious (reverencing and honoring God in heart and in practice of what He requires) and God‑fearing.
2. "But wilt bring down high looks" = indicative of pride and haughtiness. (Psa. 101:5; Pro. 16:18)
3. "Save" = to free or succor (aid).
1. "Candle" = a lamp; in the Scriptures light is an image of prosperity, success, happiness, holiness, as darkness is the image of the opposite.
2. "For thou wilt light my candle" = indicates the Psalmist felt assured that God would give him prosperity, as if his lamp were kept constantly burning in his dwelling.
3. "The LORD my God will enlighten my darkness" = will shed light on my path, which would otherwise be darkness; will impart light to my understanding; will put peace and joy in my heart and crown me with His favor.
1. "Troop" = refers to bands of soldiers or host of enemies.
2. "Run through" = means to run and then, as here, to run or rush upon in a hostile sense; to rush with violence upon one.
3. "For by thee I have run through a troop" = the idea is that he had been enabled to rush with violence upon his armed oppressors and to overcome them and to secure a victory; the illusion is to the wars in which he had been engaged.
4. "By my God" = by the help derived from God.
5. "Have I leaped over a wall" = refers to his successful attacks on the fortified towns of his enemies; the general idea is, that all his victories were to be traced to God.
1. "As for God" = in respect to that Great Being who delivered me.
2. "His way is perfect" = His mode of action is complete, there is nothing wanting, nothing defective, in what He does.
3. "The word of the LORD is tried" = refined; the idea is, that Jehovah's word has been tested as silver or any other metal is‑‑in the fire (Psa. 12:6); the Psalmist had confided in Him, and had found Him faithful to all his promises.
4. "Buckler" = shield; protector; to hedge around.
5. "To all those" = whosoever; anyone who will meet the requirement, "trust in him" = word for NT saving faith being exercised; to flee for protection; to flee for refuge; can mean to have hope; means to turn from your evil ways, confess, and submit to the Lord.
1. "For who is God save the LORD?" = the idea is, that no other being has made evident the power, the wisdom, and the goodness which properly belong to the true God‑‑Jehovah; the things which are implied in the true nature of God are found in no other being, in fact there is no other. (Dan 3:29).
2. "Save" = except.
3. "Who is a rock save our God? = there is no one who can furnish such safety or defense; no one under whose protection we can be secure in danger but God.
4. "Rock" = refuge.
5. As the one and only God, absolute confidence may be placed in Jehovah, who is able to protect and preserve to the uttermost all who come to Him.
1. "It is God that girdeth me with strength" = in Bible days men would gather up (girdeth) their long flowing robes so they would not impede their movement (Example: I Kings 19:46); also in doing that it gave them strength; weight lifters wear belts to protect their body from harm and it gives them extra strength; Paul told the Ephesians to have "your loins girt about with truth." (Eph. 6:14)
2. Jehovah girds us with truth which strengthens us; thus, He delivers us from our enemies just like He did for David.
3. "And maketh my way perfect." = complete; David says, "He gives complete success in my understanding and enables me to carry out His endeavors, that none of them fail; implies that He keeps me in the right way‑‑the way of His commandments."
1. "Hind" = a female deer.
2. "He maketh my feet like hinds' feet" = a female deer is surefooted and can walk and leap in slippery places; they are noted for swiftness.
3. "And setteth me upon my high places" = refers to being able to flee to places of refuge in the rocks and being sure footed.
4. "My high places" = refers to the strong holds that prevailed in David's territory, thus giving him a secure possession of it.
5. God made the deer this way and David said, "He made me alert and active, thus enabling me to pursue a fleeing enemy or to escape from a swift running foe." That amounts to stability.
1. "He teacheth my hands to war" = the skill which David had in the use of the bow, the sword, and the spear, all of which depends on the hands being guided by his mind or wisdom, which he ascribes entirely to the Lord; many mythologies have told how the gods arm their champions but the Psalmist reaches a loftier height than these.
2. "So that a bow of steel is broken by mine arms" = this is mentioned as an instance of extra‑ordinary strength, as if he were able to break a bow made of metal; wood no doubt was first used in constructing the bow, but metals came afterwards with brass being used before the manufacture of steel.
3. The idea is that the Lord gave David the wisdom he needed to fight the battle and have the victory. This had happened in the past and David knows that the Lord will give him victory in the future if the need arises.
4. The battle we are in is not with flesh and blood (Eph. 6:12); therefore, we need wisdom from the Lord to have victory and it is available. (James 1:5)
1. "Thou hast also given me the shield of thy salvation" = David was saying that in battle the Lord extended over him the shield (buckler) of His protection; in ancient warfare it was common for a comrade to hold a shield before another warrior to protect him from the arrows of the enemy, while he was using his offensive weapons, such as a bow; David gave credit to the Lord for doing just that as he was fighting the battle; in essence the Lord hedged him in (Example: Job 1:7‑10); I'm glad the Lord has a hedge about us, even the lost.
2. "And thy right hand hath holden me up" = the right hand is always spoken of as the arm of greatest strength; David is saying that the Lord sustained him when he was in danger of falling, as if He upheld him with His own hand.
3. "And by thy gentleness hath made me great" = the idea is that God had dealt with David in gentleness, kindness, and goodness and for that reason he owed all his prosperity and success in life to Him; it was not by any claim he had on God; it was by no worth of his own.
4. It is the same with us. All forbearance and longsuffering is God's goodness to lead us to repentance or is leading us there. (Rom. 2:4) Therefore, we, like David, can trace all our success in life, physically and spiritually, to the goodness of God.
1. "Thou has enlarged my steps under me" = the idea is that David had been enabled to walk without hindrance or obstruction; he had been before hedged in by his enemies, thus, hindered in his goings, but now all obstacles have been taken out of the way and he could walk freely.
2. "That my feet did not slip" = the Hebrew word translated "feet" here actually means a joint, especially the ankle; refers to David being able to walk firmly; before he had been like one whose ankles were weak or sprained but now he was able to tread firmly.
1. "I have pursued mine enemies, and overtaken them" = David was not only able to break the rank of troops and put them to flight in disorder, but he had strength to pursue them and overcome them.
2. "Neither did I turn again" = David was not driven back nor was he weary and exhausted so that he was compelled to stop his pursuit of his enemies.
3. "Till they were consumed" = till they were all either slain or made captive; none of his enemies were left.
1. "I have wounded them that they were not able to rise" = David weakened his enemies so that they were not able to rally again; the idea is that of successful pursuit and conquest.
2. "They are fallen under my feet" = David's enemies were completely trodden down‑‑a common mode of denoting entire victory.
1. "For thou hast girded me with strength unto the battle" = after two verses (37‑38) of stating his own actions, David falls back upon his habitual acknowledgments‑‑that all he had done had been done wholly through the strength of the Divine arm of Jehovah which had upheld him, sustained him, and gave him the victory.
2. "Thou hast subdued under me those that rose up against me" = the Lord had enabled David to overcome his enemies by causing them to submit to him.
3. David is still acknowledging that victory was from the Lord and that the praise was due to Him, and not to the power of his own arm.
1. "Thou hast also given me the necks of mine enemies" = implies complete subjection, as when the conqueror places his foot on the necks of his foes‑‑this was a common thing to do to those who were overcome in battle. (Josh. 10:20‑25)
2. "That I might destroy them that hate me" = David is not speaking from personal animosity; he is expressing himself as the king of God's people, bound to do his utmost to protect them, and to deliver them from the enemies who "hate" him, only because he was the leader and champion of his countrymen; the idea is that of utterly overcoming them, putting an end to their power, and to their ability to injure him.
3. The neighboring nations in David's time seem to have been bent on the total eradication of the Hebrew people. It is sad to say but the same is true today. All the descendants of Ishmael, even in this day, hold true to his character‑‑wild men. (Gen. 16:11‑12)
1. "They" = "them" = David's enemies.
2. "They cried" = they cried out for help, for mercy, for life; they urgently requested that their lives might be spared.
3. "But there was none to save them" = no help appeared from their own countrymen to deliver them; they found no mercy in David or his followers, and the Lord did not intervene on their behalf to deliver them.
4. "Even unto the LORD" = they cried unto Jehovah probably as a last resort; men appeal to everything and everyone else for help before they will appeal to the Lord.
5. "But he answered them not" = the Lord did not put forth His power to save them alive when they were overcome in battle.
1. "Then did I beat them small as the dust before the wind" = the idea is that the enemies were beaten and scattered so that they seemed driven as dust before the wind.
2. "I did cast them out as the dirt in the streets" = II Sam. 22:43 states, "I did stamp them as the mire of the street, and did spread them abroad;" the idea is that he poured them out ("cast" ) as the mire and dirt in the streets; they were made no account and treated with utter contempt as the clay in the streets.
1. "Thou hast delivered me from the strivings of the people" = refers to the efforts, the strivings, the contentions of his enemies who endeavored to obtain mastery over him and to subdue him‑‑the Lord delivered David from it all.
2. "Thou hast made me the head of the heathen" = refers to the surrounding nations being made subject to him‑‑he had been made to rule over them; God did that.
3. "A people whom I have not known shall serve me" = refers to people that David had not heard of before, they would submit to him; this is a language of confident faith that his kingdom would be still further extended, so as to embrace nations before unknown to him; his past victories and the fact that his kingdom had been so established and was already so extended justified the expectation that it would be still further enlarged; this is not talking about his successors extending the empire, but that other nations would become voluntarily subject to him.
1. "As soon as they hear of me, they shall obey me" = "at hearing of the ear" they will obey; indicates their submission would be prompt and immediate; the fame of his victories would be such as to render resistance hopeless.
2. "Strangers" = foreigners; those of other nations.
3. "Submit" = the Hebrew word means to lie, to speak lies; then to deceive or disappoint; then to feign, to flatter, to play the hypocrite; refers to those who, awed by the terror of his name and power, would come and profess subjection to him as a conqueror; yet the use of this Hebrew word implies that he was aware that, in many cases, this would be only feigned (pretended; to assume a false appearance) obedience‑‑homage inspired by terror, not by love.
1. "Fade away" = to wilt, wither, fall away, as applies to flowers, leaves, or plants. (Psa. 37:2)
2. "The strangers shall fade away" = means that those foreign nations would diminish in number and in power until they would wholly disappear; the idea is, that all his foes would vanish and that he and his kingdom would be left in peace.
3. "Be afraid" = to tremble as those do who are in fear.
4. "Close places" = places that are shut up or enclosed, as fortified cities or fortresses.
5. "And be afraid out of their close places" = the meaning is, that they would find such places to be no security and would tremble out of them in terror and alarm.
6. The general thought is that of complete security for David and his kingdom‑‑entire deliverance from all his enemies.
1. "The LORD liveth" = Jehovah was known to Israel as "the living God" from the time of Moses (Deut. 5:26); He is described as "the living God" in contradistinction to idols who are represented as without life (Psa. 115:3‑7); this is a joyful exclamation in view of all that God had wrought for David.
2, "Blessed" = to exalt in commendation; to praise; magnified.
3. "Blessed be my rock" = David blesses God for His qualities of firmness, steadfastness, and trustworthiness; refers to God who has shown Himself to be a refuge and a protector.
4. "And let the God of my salvation be exalted" = refers to God as the One who delivered him from his enemies‑‑let Him be exalted, be praised, be honored, be adored; let His name be exalted above all idol gods and above all the creatures He has made.
1. "It is God that avengeth me" = the meaning is that God had punished the enemies of David for all the wrongs which they had done to him.
2. "And subdueth the people under me" = the idea is that God had conquered the nations so that they became obedient to David; instead of being rebellious, God had reduced them to obedience and had thus set David over a kingdom where all were subject to law and order.
1. "He delivereth me from mine enemies" = this deliverance was from David's foes who were near by him, for his foreign foes seem never to have brought him into much peril.
2. "Yea, thou liftest me up above those that rise up against me" = the "lifting up" was above the enemies of both kinds‑‑those nearby and those foreign; instead of being subdued by them and trampled under their feet, David was exalted and they were humbled.
3. "Thou hast delivered me from the violent man" = refers to a man of violence, characterized by injustice and wrong, the men who endeavored to overcome and subdue David by force and arms; no doubt David was referring to Saul as his great enemy; he may have had someone else in mind as well, thus, the meaning is that he was delivered from all that class of men.
1. "Therefore" = in view of being delivered from the class of men just mentioned, "will I give thanks unto thee, O LORD" = means to confess, to acknowledge; the idea here is that David would make a public acknowledgment of those blessings which he had received.
2. "Among the heathen" = among the nations; he would cause the remembrance of the blessings he received to be celebrated among the nations; he did this by making a record of them in this song of praise.
3. "And sing praises unto his name" = "name" is often used to denote the person, thus, "unto thee;" the meaning is that David would cause the praises of God to be celebrated among foreign or heathen nations as a result of what God had done for him; thus, this psalm which has been used as a medium of praise to God by millions not yet born in David's time who have made use of this psalm‑‑this includes us.
1. "Deliverance" = the Hebrew is plural; refers not to one act of Divine intervention, but to the many acts in which God had intervened to save David from danger and death; described as "great" = beyond what is usual; large in number.
2. "To his king" = refers to the fact that God had appointed him to reign and to administer the government for Him; David did not reign on his own account, but he reigned for God and with a view to do His will.
3. "Mercy" = kindness and goodness of God; means to bend or stoop in kindness to an inferior; to be gracious; to show compassion.
4. "Sheweth" = show in English; means to bestow, to confer, to exhibit; the tense is continuous action.
5. "His anointed" = refers to David who had been set apart to the kingly office by a solemn act of anointing; it is an illusion to this custom that the Messiah is called the "Anointed" or the Christ.
6. "To David and to his seed" = refers to his descendants or posterity; no doubt this is a reference to the promises made to David in regard to his successors on the throne. (II Sam. 7:12‑13,16)
7. "For evermore" = this expresses the confident expectation of David that the government would remain in his family to the latest of times (Psa. 89:36); the perpetuity of this kingdom is found, in fact, in the reign of the Messiah, a descendant of David, in whose eternal reign these promises will receive an ample fulfilment. (Mat. 1:1)
8. The temporal reign passed away from the descendants of David in the process of time. But, the spiritual reign is perpetual in the Messiah.
9. In summary, in this psalm David is saying. "I have seen the Lord deliver me from my enemies time and time again in the past. Therefore, I can depend on Him to do it again." Victory ahead!
1. This Psalm has the inscription "To the chief Musician, A Psalm of David."
A. "To the chief musician" = means that this Psalm was intended for the choir‑leader and was given to him to regulate the manner of performing it; the idea is that the Psalm is to be performed under his direction.
B. "A Psalm of David" = means David, the sweet Psalmist of Israel, was the author‑‑human instrument‑‑of this Psalm.
2. This Psalm tells us how God has revealed Himself both in the sky and in the Scriptures. God has revealed Himself in what He has wrought and in what He has written.
3. We cannot place this Psalm in a specific period of David's life.
A. It may have been written as a shepherd boy on the Judean hills, lying on his back on a dark night and starring up into the star filled sky.
B. It may have been written when he was a fugitive from Saul.
C. It also may have been written when he fled from Absalom to seek refuge in the mountains.
D. It could have been written when King David was on the roof of his palace during a time of rest and relaxation.
E. As a boy, as a hunted fugitive, or as a powerful king, David wrote this great hymn and handed it to the chief musician for the edification and instruction of the people of God.
I. God's revelation of Himself in the sky. V. 1‑6
1. "The heavens" = in Gen. 1:1 it is singular while it is plural here and in Gen. 2:1; the Hebrew word is used in the Scriptures as plural and also singular; it refers to what God created in the beginning; this Hebrew word designates the entire creation constituting the universe outside of planet earth; the angels, cherubims, and seraphims, I believe, are included in this word:
A. Paul spoke of the third heaven in II Cor. 12:2 where he said he knew a man (himself) that was caught up to the third heaven. The third heaven is the place where God is, His throne is, and Jesus is at His right hand today. If there is a third heaven, then there must be a first and second heaven.
B. The second heaven is where the galaxies, constellations, stars, planets, and etc. are.
C. The first heaven is the atmospheric heaven which reaches about 500 miles high around the earth. This is the present abode of Satan who is called "the prince of the power of the air" in Eph. 2:2.
D. All three heavens are meant here. You may ask "If God already was, why did He create the third heaven?" He needed a place for redeemed fallen man (Isa. 64:4), so He created the heavens.
2. "Declare" = to make known; to manifest or communicate plainly to others.
3. "The glory of God" = the manifestation of that which brings forth praise; means that which constitutes the glory or honor of God‑‑His wisdom, power, skill, faithfulness, benevolence, as seen in the heaven which we can see with our natural eye; this simply means what Paul calls "eternal power and Godhead." (Rom. 1:20)
4. "The firmament" = means properly an expanse‑‑that which is spread out; this applies to the heavens as they appear to be spread out or expanded above us; we see this as the work of God on the second day of creation (Gen. 1:6‑8); this is the great expanse over our heads in which are placed the atmosphere and the clouds, and in which the stars appear to be placed on the fourth day and are really seen; this is possibly a vapor canopy around the earth which God's word calls "heaven" in Gen. 1:8--first placed to hold water for the flood.
5. "Sheweth" = make known; the tense is continuous action‑‑day and night as the next verse brings out.
6. "His handiwork" = refers to the work of God's hands‑‑performed by power and wisdom.
1. "Day unto day" = one day to another; the day that is passing away proclaims the lesson which it had to convey from the movements of the heavens, about God; therefore, the knowledge of God is accumulating as the time moves on.
2. "Uttereth speech" = poureth out speech, as water is poured from a fountain; each day bears its testimony to the next and so the stream goes on in a flow that is never broken.
3. "Night unto night" = a certain superiority seems to be assigned to the night‑‑as though the contemplation of the starry firmament awakened deeper, more spiritual thoughts than the brightness of day; that is true of the dark times in your life, they develop spiritual things more so than the days of prosperity.
4. "Sheweth knowledge" = a clear and certain perception of that which exist; refers to knowledge respecting God; each successive night does this; it is done by the stars in their courses, in their order, their number, their ranks, their change of position, their rising and their setting; that which may be known of God is manifested to man through the creation (Rom. 1:19‑20); even though animals are not mentioned here, Job in answer to his three friends, said in Job 12:7‑8 that creation will teach you.
1. "There is no speech nor language" = the speech, which the heavens utter day and night, is not common speech‑‑it is without sound, without language; no articulate voice is to be heard.
2. "Their voice" = the heavens; gives expression to the majesty and glory of God; yet there is "no speech nor language, where their voice is not heard" = God is making Himself constantly known to all the dwellers on the earth; all men can understand the language of the heavens, though they may not be able to understand the language of each other.
3. I went to Nigeria, Africa in 1980 and 1981, a total of four times. The national language of Nigeria was English but each state had its own native language. Cross‑River state, where I went, spoke Efik which is the language used by most of the older people in that state. I was told that there was a village somewhere in that state that had 240 tribal dialects around it. It would be very hard to speak to the people in that area, in fact, it could not be done without a translator who knew English, Efik, and the dialect of each specific tribe. But there in not a language on the face of the earth to which God cannot speak through His creation.
4. Creation will not bring conviction of sin (men can drown worms--fishing on Sunday and it not bother them), but it will let you know God is--exists and is a rewarder of them that diligently seek Him. (Heb. 11:6)
1. "Their" = "them" = refers to the heavens.
2. "Line" = a cord for measuring; a musical string or accord; could refer to decree‑‑established law, or rule; thus, the "decree" of the heavens are proclaiming the glory of God, and the duty of all men to worship him.
3. "Is gone out through all the earth" = that which the measuring line marks out; there is not a place of the earth where God's voice of day and night speaks; therefore, all mankind has light (John 1:9) which makes him responsible‑‑without excuse.
4. And if man will respond to that light, God will send the human instrument required for man to be saved. (I Cor. 3:5)
5. "And their words to the end of the world" = "words" refer to the lessons or truth which they convey; this phrase is a repetition of the previous phrase; though they have neither speech, nor language, nor any articulate words, yet they have "words" in a certain sense.
6. "In them hath he set a tabernacle for the sun" = God has made the heavens the sun's dwelling place; the sun is mentioned as being the most prominent object among the heavenly bodies, as illustrating a high and lofty manner, the glory of God.
1. "Which is as a bridegroom coming out of his chamber" = this is referring to the sun of verse 4 which is compared to the bridegroom coming out of his chamber; he comes out of the chamber where he slept, in bright apparel to meet his bride; in like manner, every morning, the sun comes out of it's chamber where it spent the night‑‑below the earth; from this the sun bursts forth at morning in its full glory, scattering the darkness and lighting up its splendid "tabernacle"‑‑in the heavens; the image of the bridegroom is used because we associate with the bridegroom the idea of hilarity, cheerfulness, and joy; in like manner the sun rises after a night of repose and goes forth with cheerfulness to the employments of the day.
2. "And rejoiceth as a strong man to run a race" = the sun is represented as a man prepared to run a race; when a man enters a race he is girded for it and is ready to put his strength to the test; in like manner when the sun rises it has a long journey before it; it puts forth all of its vigor to complete its race through the sky from east to west.
3. The language we use of the sun rising and setting is according to man's thinking, when in reality the sun is moving in space but the earth rotating on it's axis gives an appearance of the sun moving from the east to the west.
4. The Psalmist clearly regards the sun as an agent of God in revealing His glory.
1. "His" = refers to the sun.
2. "His going forth" = the psalmist now describes that race the sun has to run, as being over the entire circuit of the heavens, from one end of it to the other‑‑sweeping the whole space across the firmament.
3. "Is from the end of the heaven" = from one end of the heaven‑‑the East where it starts.
4. "And his circuit" = refers to the sweep the sun makes in the heaven from one end of it to the other‑‑traveling over the entire heavens.
5. "Unto the ends of it" = refers to the other side of the heavens; the complete journey was made.
6. "And there is nothing hid from the heat thereof" = the rays of the sun penetrate everywhere; nothing escapes it; many things are hidden from the light of the sun, but nothing from its "heat" which is the vital force from which the whole earth receives life and energy.
7. God reveals Himself in the sky.
II. God's revelation of Himself in the Scriptures. V. 7‑14
1. In verses 7-9 there are seven terms which designate the Word--Scriptures.
1. "The law of the Lord" = usually we think of this as the first five books of Moses; but in the Psalms it refers to all the written word of God even in the NT; refers to all that God has revealed to teach and guide us; it is the rule of life to the Lord's rational creatures; that salvation is not by the Law is not the fault of the Law, but of man, who cannot keep it; the Law itself is holy. (Rom. 7:12)
2. "Perfect" = complete, whole, entire, sound, full, it means it lacks nothing in order to its completeness; nothing is missing from Scripture and nothing can be added and it is without error.
3. "Converting" = to turn back; to resort; to recover; to deliver; sounds like repentance and that is required for conversion--salvation.
4. "Soul" = from a root word which means "to breathe;" it is representative of life itself; one's very innermost being‑‑his mind, will, and emotions.
5. The law or God's word can change everything. You may say the law cannot save. True! It was not given to save but given to bring condemnation and death. It lets us see the seriousness of sin and the need for a deliverer. (Rom. 3:19‑20) It is a schoolmaster (Gal. 3:22‑24) or child leader to bring us to Christ that we might be saved. Law backs us into a corner and shows us we cannot live up to it, so we can see the One who did and is able to deliver us from condemnation and death‑‑Jesus Christ the Lord, the door, and the Deliverer.
6. "Testimony of the Lord" = means properly that which is borne witness to and is applied to revealed truth as that which Jehovah bears witness to; term applies to all that is revealed as being that which He affirms to be true.
7. "Is sure" = to build up or support.
8. "Wise" = having knowledge‑‑having the power of discriminating between what is true and what is false, between what is fit and proper, and what is improper.
9. "The simple" = weak in intellect; refers to those who need spiritual guidance and direction because they have been untaught.
10. This could imply that He is watching you, and His witness or testimony will help you because it will be true and "the truth" will set you free. That means He is watching you. He is the silent guest at the table. He listens in on every conversation even on the telephone. He reads your mail, even your e‑mail, face-book, and etc. He hears everything you whisper behind closed doors. He knows and He is a faithful witness. That ought to make the simple wise. It ought to cause us to live right, walk right, and do right because God is watching, not just Mom and Dad.
1. "The statutes of the Lord" = rules given to any one to guide him; refers to the laws of God considered as appointed or as the result of Divine authority; this word is basically equivalent to the "testimony" of the Lord and the "law" of the Lord in the previous verse.
2. "Are right" = just and proper.
3. "Rejoicing the heart" = making the heart glad as a result of obedience; you may say, "I can't obey them," I know; but you must find that out and be backed in a corner, so you can see the door.
4. The Law is still just, holy, and good‑‑rejoicing when you do right. We ought to praise God for His statutes. We sing "Amazing grace, how sweet the sound" but not amazing law. We appreciate the grace and love of God but seldom mention the law of God. Let me say the effect of the grace of God and the love of God is determined by how we relate to the law of God.
5. "The commandment of the Lord" = means a charge given and expected to be obeyed; an order issued by a leader; although singular in our text it is a term applied to the laws of God; the old Jewish Rabbi said the law contained 613 total commandments; Micah reduced them all to just three requirements‑‑to do justly, and to love mercy, and to walk humbly with thy God (Micah 6:8); and Jesus brought the total down to two‑‑love the Lord and love thy neighbor. (Mat. 22:35‑40)
6. I think David is now calling the whole Bible the "commandment" of the Lord.
7. "Is pure" = free from all stain, and all imperfections, and from all corrupt tendency; empty of any ill‑will; it means the commandment of the Lord is not designed to hurt us but help us by "enlightening the eyes" = verb means to shine, to become daylight, to allow daybreak; gives us light and knowledge by the truth of God's word; means we are made to see what is right and proper and to understand what we should do. Oh, how we need that! (II Cor. 4:3‑4)
1. "The fear of the Lord" = "fear" means terror or dread; here it is used in the sense of revealed truth promoting proper reverence for God or secures a proper regard for His name and worship; refers to the reverential awe of God with a hatred for evil (Pro. 8:13); this is not a fear like a person has of a wild animal.
2. "Is clean" = opposite of filthy or soiled; means there is nothing in it that tends to corrupt the morals of a person or defile the soul.
3. "Enduring for ever" = will stand for all eternity; not temporary; not decaying; not destined to pass away.
4. Pro. 9:10 states "The fear of the Lord is the beginning of wisdom." "Beginning" = comes from a word which means elementary‑‑the beginning stages as far as education is concerned‑‑the ABC's. It does not matter how much you know or how many degrees you have; if you do not fear God, you are not too smart. That's what wrong with our government--they do not fear God. Also, our society, our homes, our schools, and our churches have lost the fear of God; therefore, He has taken away our wisdom.
5. A good and proper attitude toward's God's law will keep you in step. I am not talking about legalism, where motives are wrong and the law is used as a means to an end because it is not.
6. I am talking about liberty‑‑grace, but not using it for a license to sin. (Gal. 5:1, 13)
7. "The judgments of the Lord" = synonymous for the entire law; refers also to the revealed truth of God with the idea of that which has been determined by Him to be right and to be best.
8. "True" = means they are in accordance with what is right.
9. "Righteous" = they are without exception; just; what is right; this gives double emphasis.
10. "Altogether" = wholly; entirely; completely; without exception.
11. All six of these designations have to do with the law of God and center around God's decalogue or 10 commandments. You may say "We are not under law but grace." That is true as far as the age we are living in‑‑ dispensation of last days. (Heb. 1:1‑3) The law is still in effect for the unrighteous. (I Tim. 1:9‑10) Paul said the law is just, holy, and good. (Rom. 7:12)
1. "They" = refers to law which includes all six of the terms used in verses 7‑9.
2. "More to be desired" = to delight in; to consider as precious; this is a very strong word; one lexicon adds that it means literally craving the Word of God.
3. "More" = to a greater degree.
4. "Than" = placed to express comparison between what precedes and what follows.
5. "Gold" = money; a precious metal of a bright yellow color; refers to material wealth.
6. "Yea, than much fine gold" = speaks of the metal after it has been tested and purified in the goldsmith's fire; it is more precious than the raw ore; the object here is to show that to a godly mind the revealed truth of God is esteemed to be the most valuable of all material things.
7. "Sweeter also than honey" = honey, the sweetest of all substance, and regarded as an article of luxury or as most grateful to the taste.
8. "And the honeycomb" = this is a reference to honey that drops from the combs, and therefore the most pure honey; dripping and oozing from its source; super sweet; ready to eat; strength giving; healthy to the body.
9. The Word of God is better than money and better than your favorite food.
1. "Moreover" = beyond what has been said; further.
2. "By them" = "of them" = the Hebrew construction seems to be referring to "judgments" of verse 9.
3. In one sense every word in the Bible is the result of God's of God's "judgment"‑‑God's discernment; God's discretion.
4. "Thy servant" = one who is under the authority of another; David is referring to himself as a servant of the Lord ("thy").
5. "Warned" = to admonish; the idea is to throw light on a subject so as to make the duty plain and the consequences plain; warned of what? of God's judgments on iniquity--sin.
6. "Keeping" = to observe; to give heed; to obey; to guard; to watch over.
7. "There is great reward" = either as the result of keeping them or in the act of keeping them; both these thoughts are true.
A. "Great" = means much or many; more numerous.
B. "Reward" = compensation; in Gen. 15:1 Abraham's reward was the all sufficient Jehovah Himself; this is both now and hereafter; the sense of keeping them will be attended with so much peace and happiness as to constitute of itself an ample reward.
8. In this verse David is referring to his own experience.
1. "Understand" = to separate mentally; to discern or perceive.
2. "His" = in italics, thus not in the original Hebrew but supplied by the translators; refers to one's own errors.
3. Errors" = a moral mistake; derived from a verb which means to wander, to go astray, and then to do wrong, to transgress; refers to the wanderings or departures from the law of God; who can number up the sins of a life? who can number up the words which have been spoken and should not have been spoken? only God can; therefore, the Psalmist cried out for mercy.
3. "Cleanse thou me from secret faults" = faults is in italics, thus not in the original Hebrew but supplied by the translators:
A. "Secret" = means that which is hidden, covered, concealed; the reference is to those errors and faults which have been hidden from the eye of him who had committed them, as well as from the eye of the world.
B. "Thou" = the Lord Jehovah.
C. "Me" = David.
D. "Cleanse" = to purify; to declare clean; to be free from the defilement and guilt of sin.
4. He who is a child of God will pray without ceasing that from these pollutions of the soul he may be made pure.
1. "Keep back" = restrain; do not allow him to commit those sins.
2. "Thy servant" = one who is under the authority of another; David is referring to himself as a servant of the Lord ("thy").
3. "Also" = refers to secret faults (verse 12) as well as presumptuous sins mentioned in this verse.
4. "Presumptuous sins" = "sins" is in italics, thus supplied by the translators, because it is not in the Hebrew, but it is implied by the word "presumptuous" = "them" = means properly that which is boiling, swelling, inflated; then proud, arrogant; with the accessory notion of shameless wickedness or impiety; refers to sins which proceed from self‑confidence; from reliance on one's own strength; the word does not mean open sins or flagrant sins so much as those which spring from self‑reliance or pride.
5. "Let them not have dominion over me" = let them not reign over me; let them not get mastery over me; let me not be a slave of sin‑‑so subject to it that it shall domineer over me.
6. "Then shall I be upright" = complete; whole; entire; means he would lack nothing to be complete; this does not mean he would not sin. (I John 1:8)
7. "And I shall be innocent from the great transgression" = in the original there is no article "the" present; thus, this does not refer to any one offence; this means that he would be free from the transgression which would exist if he were not cleansed from secret faults and if he were not kept back from presumptuous sins; "innocent" has the idea of being eradicated or totally destroyed--covered by the blood.
1. "Let the words of my mouth" = the words that I (David) speak; all the words that I speak.
2. "And the meditation of my heart" = thoughts of my heart.
3. "Be acceptable in thy sight" = be received with pleasure; be such as Jehovah (thy) would approve; be such as will be pleasing to thee; such as will give thee delight or satisfaction; such as will be agreeable to thee.
4. David did not just want his doings to be righteous but he wanted the door of his lips kept so that he would utter no evil word; he wantedthe recesses of his heart be purged, that he would think no evil thoughts.
5. "O" = an expression of an exclamation.
6. "LORD" = Jehovah; David expresses himself in his relationship to the Lord.
7. "My strength" = help; the source of his strength or from whom all my strength is derived. (Psa. 28:8; Phil 4:13)
8. "My redeemer" = one who delivers from sin, danger, and death; David looked to Jehovah as his Redeemer, and believed that Jehovah could rescue him from sin, danger, and death; Job, in all his problems, looked to Jehovah to deliver him. (Job. 19:25‑26)
1. This Psalm has the inscription "To the chief Musician, A Psalm of David."
A. "To the chief musician" = means that this Psalm was intended for the choir‑leader and was given to him to regulate the manner of performing it; the idea is that the Psalm is to be performed under his direction.
B. "A Psalm of David" = means David, the sweet Psalmist of Israel, was the author‑‑human instrument‑‑of this Psalm.
2. This Psalm seems to be written after David had brought the ark from the house of Obed‑edom to the city of David. (II Sam. 6:12‑19) Verse 2 seems to testify to this. It was after the Ammonites got the Syrians to help them to wage war against Israel. (II Sam. 10:17‑19) This Psalm tells how a nation should prepare for war. Man wants peace, but there comes a time in the history of every great nation when faced with the aggression of others, it must say, "That will be enough. One step more and we fight."
3. In the first five verses the people want help from their leader. In the last four verses the prince (leader) wants help from the Lord.
I. The people want help from their leader.
1. "The LORD hear thee in the day of trouble" = the people are praying for their king in a day of trouble.
A. "The LORD" = Jehovah.
B. "Thee" = David.
C. "Hear" = listen to; hear favorably; attend to; implies hear and answer‑‑heed.
D. "Day" = a space of time.
E. "Trouble" = implies that David as king of Israel was beset with difficulties and dangers; he may have been surrounded by foes.
2. The people are praying that Jehovah will hear and answer the king's prayers, which were no doubt being silently offered. The people knew their king and were confident he was praying.
3. "The name" = the word "name" is often put in the Scriptures for the person himself; it is equivalent to saying, "May the God of Jacob defend thee." He was Jacob's God after the experience he had with God at brook Jabbok where he was saved. (Gen. 32)
4. "Defend" = properly means lofty, especially inaccessible; a safe and strong place; the idea is that being set on a high place, a tower, a mountain, a lofty rock, where his enemies could not reach or attack him.
1. "Send thee help" = the idea is such help as David needed‑‑such that would make him safe; the people are still praying for their king in the day of trouble.
2. "From the sanctuary" = refers to the holy place where God resided‑‑really the holy place where the ark was; this indicated David had already retrieved the ark and put it in the tabernacle he built to contain the ark; the temple was not yet constructed.
3. "And strengthen thee" = support thee; the idea is, that God would grant His upholding hand in the day of peril.
4. "Out of Zion " = the place where God was worshiped; the place where the tabernacle David built to house the ark was at this particular time.
1. "Remember" = recall to mind; the prayer of the people here is that God ("thy") would remember and grant the blessing, which he who had offered the offerings had sought to obtain.
2. "Offerings" = oblation; means an offering of any kind or anything that is presented to God, except a bloody sacrifice; anything offered as an expression of thankfulness or with a view to obtain His favor.
3. "Accept" = the Hebrew word properly means to make fat; it conveys the idea also of reducing to ashes; perhaps from the fact that the victim which had been fattened for sacrifice was reduced to ashes.
4. "Burnt sacrifice" = denotes bloody offerings; these offerings were designed especially for the expiation (the act of making satisfaction for an offense, by which guilt is done away) of sin, and for thus securing divine favor; they were an acknowledgment of guilt, and they were offered with a view to secure the pardon of sin and in connection with that, the favor of God.
5. David offered special oblations and sacrifices before he went to war.
6. It is not supposed that David ever sacrificed victims with his own hands or without the intervention of a priest. Yet they were still his sacrifices.
7. "Selah" = marks a pause during which special sacrifices were offered, with a view of entreating God's favor and protection in the coming war.
1. "Grant thee according to thine own heart" = the people are praying that God ("thee," = "thine") would give or bestow whatever His heart desireth‑‑all that He would have it accomplish; in essence "thy will be done."
2. "Fulfill all thy counsel" = "counsel" means advice; the people praying that God ("thy") would accomplish or perform all that He has designed or undertaken in the matter‑‑that is, may He enable David to execute His purpose.
1. "We" = refers to the people who were praying for their leader‑‑king; probably also refers to the king rejoicing as well.
2. "Will rejoice" = to shout for joy; this is in response of the king and those associated with him in going forth to battle; it expresses the joy that they would have in the expected deliverance from danger and their conviction that through His strength they would be able to obtain it.
2. "Thy" = "God" = "the LORD" = Jehovah.
3. "Salvation" = deliverance; in context this refers to deliverance from the anticipated danger‑‑war; the phrase implies that God would interpose to save them and their king.
4. "And in the name of our God" = this indicates a sense of dependence on God, and also that the enterprise undertaken was in order to promote His honor and glory.
5. "We will set up our banners" = we will erect our standards; could be said "we will unfurl our flag;" all people when they go to war, have standards or banners (whether flags or some other ensigns) around which they rally, under which they fight, and which they feel bound to defend; "set up" implies to plant them on the enemy's forts and strongholds.
6. "The Lord fulfill all thy petitions" = this is the response of the people expressing their desire that the king ("thy") might be successful in what he had undertaken, and that the prayers which had been offered for success might be answered.
7. The first part of the psalm here ends, and the people pause for a while.
II. The leader wants help from the Lord. V. 6‑9
1. "Now" = at this time‑‑the time David penned down this psalm.
2. "I" = "him" = David.
3. "Know" = to understand clearly; to have a clear perception of truth that actually exists; what was previously hoped for is now known; expresses his confident assurance.
4. "That the Lord saveth his anointed" = David had heard from the Lord, for his custom was to enquire of the Lord whether to go up to battle or not. (II Sam. 5:19,23-25)
5. "Saveth" = to make safe; the tense of the Hebrew construction seems to be future but David had heard from the Lord; when one hears from the Lord, it is as good as done.
6. "The LORD" = "his" = "he" = Jehovah.
7. "Anointed" = David had been consecrated by being anointed to the office of the king of Israel.
8. "He will hear him from his holy heaven" = from the heaven of Jehovah's holiness; heaven is represented as the dwelling place of God, and it is there that He hears and answers our prayers.
9. "Hear" = the meaning in this passage is that He will favorably hear or regard--answer. (Isa. 65:24)
10. "Holy" = describes "heaven" as being sacred; this would refer to the third heaven‑‑the abode of God.
11. "With the saving strength" = the answer to the prayer will be manifest in the strength or power put forth by Jehovah to save‑‑deliver.
12. "Of his right hand" = the right hand is the instrument by which the majority executes their purposes; and by constant use it becomes more fully developed and is stronger than the left hand; it has not been too many years ago that parents would do all they could to make sure that their children used their right hand instead of their left‑‑there was a certain stigma against being left handed; my mom's mom made her write with her right hand even though she was left handed; this resulted in her having equal ability to write with both the left and the right hand.
1. "Trust" = is in italics, thus supplied by the translators because this verse is about "trust" = to place confidence in; to rely on.
2. "Some in chariots" = David's enemies to the north (one of which was Syria who had joined Ammon to wage war against David) caused others to fear on account of their chariots; refers to war chariots or vehicles for carrying armed men into battle; these furnished great advantages in war; in early ages these constituted a main reliance in determining the result of a battle; someone has said that a war chariot then would be comparable to a tank today in its effect in a war.
3. "And some in horses" = refers to their calvary, commonly a very material reliance in war; it seems that David's own troops consisted entirely of footmen, for Israel had been commanded not to multiply horses. (Deut. 17:16)
4. "But" = reveals the contrast between what others relied upon and what Israel relied upon.
5. "We" = Israel with David as their king.
6. "Will remember" = recall to mind.
7. "The name of the LORD our God" = simply means we will remember God‑‑name was often used to denote that person; the meaning is that we will not forget that our reliance is not on armies, but on God, the living God; no matter what instruments of war we may use, we will remember always that our hope is in God, and that He only can give success to our arms.
1. "They" = those who trust in chariots and horses.
2. "Are brought down" = means to bend; to bow; and then it refers to one who bows down before the enemy‑‑one who is subdued.
3. "Fallen" = degraded, decreased, and ruined.
4. "But we are risen and stand upright" = a sign of victory.
5. David was so confident of the outcome that he writes as if it is already achieved. He sees the enemy bowed down to the earth and fallen, while he sees the host of Israel erect and triumphant.
1. "Save, LORD" = Jehovah save; this is still an earnest prayer; confident as they are of success and triumph, yet they do not forget their dependence on God.
2. "Let the king" = this does not refer to David but to God as the great King.
3. "Hear us when we call" = refers to the people calling on God now, before the battle is raging and we shall call on Him in the day of battle.
4. The whole psalm is an expression of a strong confidence in God. (Jer. 33:3)
1. This Psalm has the inscription "To the chief Musician, A Psalm of David."
A. "To the chief musician" = means that this Psalm was intended for the choir‑leader and was given to him to regulate the manner of performing it; the idea is that the Psalm is to be performed under his direction.
B. "A Psalm of David" = means David, the sweet Psalmist of Israel, was the author‑‑human instrument‑‑of this Psalm.
2. This Psalm seems to be written as a sequel (that which follows) to Psalm 20. Psalm 20 is a prayer before the battle with the Ammonites and the Syrians and this Psalm is praise after the battle for the victory God gave Israel.
3. It consists of three parts:
A. A direct thanksgiving to God, offered by the people on behalf of the king. V. 1‑7
B. An address to the king, predicting for him future successes on the ground of recent victory. V. 8‑12
C. A brief return to direct praise of God in two short phrases. V. 13
I. A direct thanksgiving to God. V. 1‑7
Looking to the past in celebration
1. "The king " = "he" = refers to David himself who had achieved the victory which he had desired and prayed for in Psalm 20; he is writing in the third person referring to himself.
2. "Shall joy" = to brighten up; gleesome; the future is used to give the idea of continuance‑‑the king rejoices and will go on rejoicing.
3. "In thy strength, O LORD" = refers to the strength that Jehovah (LORD; thy) puttest forth to help and protect David; implies that all the success referred to was to be traced to God.
4. All of these blessings referred to in these verses are directly related to the king's utter trust in God.
5. "Thy salvation" = speaks of deliverance from foes which God (thy) had granted, and in all that He does to save His people.
6. "Rejoice" = to be delighted or glad; to spin around under influence of emotion because of victorious deliverance‑‑salvation; God's deliverance had been anticipated (Psalm 20) and has now been experienced; described as "greatly" = in a great degree; not only does he rejoice now but he ever will rejoice.
1. "Thou" = God.
2. "Him" = "his" = refers to David as he writes in the third person.
3. "Thou has given him his heart's desire" = this had been the prayer of the people in Psa. 20:4; now this desire has been granted.
4. "And hast not withholden" = hast not denied or refused.
5. "The request of his lips" = the request or desire which his lips had uttered; the meaning is that his petitions had been fully granted.
6. "Selah" = a pause‑‑which may have been for the presentation of a thank offering.
1. "Thou" = God.
2. "Preventest" = to precede; refers to God giving David blessings before he asks, and more than he asks = "the blessings of goodness" = this is redundant (using more words than necessary) because a blessing cannot be otherwise than good.
3. "Thou settest a crown of pure gold on his head" = this actually happened once in II Sam. 12:29‑30 but this was not that occasion; refers to the victory which he had achieved; he was crowned with triumph; he was now a conqueror and was indeed a king.
1. "He" = "him" = refers to David the writer of this Psalm‑‑human instrument.
2. "Thee" = "thou" = Jehovah.
3. "He asked life of thee" = this is no doubt referring to the exposure of life in going into battle or in going forth to war; he earnestly sought protection as he went forth to the perils of war.
4. "And thou gavest it him" = thou didst hear and answered his prayers; he was saved from danger.
5. "Even length of days for ever and ever" = thou has granted him more than he asked; thou hast not only granted that, but hast granted to him the assurance that he should live in his posterity, to all generations (Psa. 61:5‑6); this promise is Messianic, being fulfilled only in Christ who alone of David's posterity "liveth for ever."
6. It is not an uncommon thing that God gives us more than we ask in our prayers. Sometimes a request is made by a child to a parent for a specific favor. The favor is granted and other favors are bestowed of which the child did not think to ask. Our heavenly father is better to us than our earthly fathers are.
1. "Glory" = splendor; magnificence; grandeur; the manifestation of that which brings forth praise.
2. "His" = "him" = David the king.
3. "Thy" = "thou" = Jehovah.
4. "His glory is great in thy salvation" = the king's splendor and grandeur was not in himself, nor any thing he had done but in what the Lord had done in delivering David victorious in the battle.
5. "Honour" = grandeur.
6. "Majesty" = magnificence; splendor.
7. "Honour and majesty hast thou laid upon him" = the Lord did this to David by making him a king, in victories and triumphs He hast now given him, and in the promised perpetuity of his reign due to his relationship to the coming Messiah.
1. "Thou" = "thy" = Jehovah.
2. "Him" = David the king and writer of this Psalm.
3. "Thou hast made him most blessed for ever" = this is commonly understood to mean that God had made him happy and prosperous; but the idea is, that God had made him a blessing to mankind or to the world and that He had made him to be a source of blessings to others; blessings would abound to others through his own reign; the use of the words "for ever" refers to the eternal blessings which would descend on mankind through the Messiah, the descendent of David.
4. "Thou has made him exceeding glad with thy countenance" = means David had been made very glad or very happy by God lifting the light of His countenance upon him or we would express it this way, "By smiling upon him."
1. "For the king" = "he" = David the writer of the Psalm.
2. "Trusteth" = word for NT saving faith; to flee for protection; to flee for refuge; the tense reveals a continuous habitual lifestyle.
3. "In the LORD" = Jehovah, the self existent One who stands alone with no aid from anybody or any other being in this world or out of this world, God favors David because of his trust, and David trusts in God because of His favors.
4. The result of this is that "through the mercy of the most High he shall not be moved:"
A. "Through" = by means of; by the agency of.
B. "The mercy" = loving kindness; equivalent to the word favor.
C. "The most High" = refers to the Supreme being; Him who is exalted above all; the most exalted Being in the universe.
D. "He shall not be moved" = David would not waver but be firmly established; would never be shaken from his standing in God's favor.
5. Each of the verses in this section contributes to the list of things which God has done for and through the king who gives a direct thanksgiving to God. All of these blessings are directly related to the king's utter trust in God.
II. An address to the king. V. 8‑12
Looking to the future in anticipation.
1. "Thine hand shall find out" = could be stated, "thou wilt find out"‑‑the hand being that by which we execute our purposes.
2. "Thine" = "thy" = "thee" = David the king.
3. "All thine enemies" = each and every one of his adversaries; they may evade the efforts to subdue them and they may attempt to conceal themselves, but they shall all be found out and conquered--all the worshipers of idols, all the enemies of truth, all the rejecters of revelation, all the workers of iniquity, all that are infidels or scoffers.
4. "Thy right hand" = the hand of greater power; refers to that by which God executes His purposes or puts forth His power.
5. "Shall find out those that hate thee" = repetition‑‑all thine enemies shall be found out and conquered.
1. "Thou" = "thine" = "the LORD" = "his" = Jehovah.
2. "Them" = all thine enemies.
3. "Thou shalt make them as a fiery oven in the time of thine anger" = thou shall consume or destroy them, as if they burned in a heated oven; this is a metaphor (a word expressing similitude without the signs of comparison) used in Scripture to compare severe suffering as to being confined in an oven or furnace (Deut. 4:20; I Kings 8:51; Jer. 11:4); simply means they will be consumed. (Heb. 10:12‑13)
4. "The LORD shall swallow them up in his wrath" = the same idea of the utter destruction of the wicked presented under another form‑‑that they would be destroyed as if the earth should open and swallow them up; a possible allusion to the case of Korah, Dathan, and Abiram. (Num. 16:26‑32)
5. "And the fire shall devour them" = the same idea under another form; the wrath of God would utterly destroy them; the wrath is often represented under the image of fire (II Thess. 1:7‑9); fire is the emblem by which the future punishment of the wicked is most frequently denoted.
1. "Their" = refers to all thine enemies.
2. "Their fruit" = their offspring; their children; their posterity; fruit is that which the tree produces; thus, the word comes to be applied to children as the production of the parent.
3. "Thou" = Jehovah.
4. "Shalt thou destroy from the earth" = the Hebrew construction refers to utter destruction; the Word of God states that the consequences of the sins of the parents pass over to their posterity and that they suffer in consequence of those sins; Exo. 20:5 states that God being a jealous God visits the iniquity of the fathers upon the children unto the third and fourth generation of them that hate Him; you say that is law and does not apply to the day of grace; may I remind you that many children today are born deformed due to their mothers taking drugs before they were born‑‑consequence of the parent's sin; while it is true that every accountable person will pay for his own sin and not the sins of the parents, still the influence of the parents have a great effect upon their children to commit the same sins and even in a greater degree (Jer. 31:29‑30); but I thank the Lord that that cursed influence can be broken by a completed work of Holy Ghost reproval and godly sorrow--salvation. (John 16:8‑11; II Cor. 7:10)
5. "And their seed" = their posterity.
6. "From among the children of men" = that is that they will be entirely cut off from the earth.
7. The truth taught here is that the wicked will ultimately be destroyed, and that God will obtain a complete triumph over them, and that the kingdom of righteousness shall be completely established.
1. "For" = introduces the reason for their destruction‑‑"they intended evil against thee" = their destruction is brought upon them by their own selves--reap what they sow.
2. "They" = all thine enemies.
3. "Thee" = Jehovah.
4. "Intended evil" = literally means to stretch out with the idea of stretching out and laying snares, nets, or gins for the purpose of taking wild beasts; it means they formed a plan or purpose to bring evil upon God and His cause; they directed their evil toward the people of God trying to get to God. (Ex. Paul persecuted the church yet Jesus asked him in Acts. 9:4 why he persecuted Him.)
5. "They imagined" = they thought; they purposed.
6. "Mischievous devices" = properly means counsel, purposes; then prudence; then in a bad sense--device, trick. (Pro. 12:2; 14:17; 24:8)
7. "Which they are not able to perform" = literally, "they could not;" that is, they had not power to accomplish it, or to carry out their purpose; the inability is not so much from a deficiency of strength in themselves, as from the opposition offered to their schemes by God; their purpose was plain; their guile was therefore clear; but they were prevented from executing their design; this does not matter--they will still be held accountable; the best laid plans are powerless if God wills to baffle them.
8. If all the devices and the desires of the wicked were accomplished, righteousness would soon cease in the earth, religion and virtue would come to an end, and even God would cease to occupy the throne.
9. What a God! He has a hedge about you, lost or saved, and the Devil or nobody can do anything unless God allows it. (Job. 1:8‑12)
1. "Them" = "their" = all thine enemies.
2. "Thou" = "thine" = "thy" = Jehovah.
3. "Therefore" = in view of the fact of the enemies' actions or what they imagined even though not carried out‑‑they still will be destroyed.
4. "Shalt thou make them turn their back" = means literally their neck (Psa. 18:40); simply means God will put them to flight; this expression is equivalent to saying that they would be defeated or foiled (frustrated) in their plans and purposes.
5. "When thou shalt make ready thine arrows upon thy strings" = refers to the time God should go forth against His enemies, armed as a warrior.
6. "Against the face of them" = Jehovah will meet all the enemies as they seem to be marching on to certain conquest and He would cause them to flee; no doubt the meaning is that the discharge of arrows would produce the hasty flight.
7. Our God is victorious!
III. A brief return to direct praise of God. V. 13
1. "Thou" = "LORD" = "thine" = "thy" = Jehovah.
2. "Be thou exalted" = extolled; magnified; honored with rank; the Psalmist is expressing a desire that God might be exalted over all His foes.
3. "In thine own strength" = David is expressing that Jehovah's own strength might be so manifestly put forth that He would be exalted as He ought to be.
4. "So" = in like manner; noting comparison.
5. "We" = David the king and the people of Israel who had just been delivered from its foes‑‑Ammonites and Syrians.
6. "So will we sing and praise thy power" = refers to an expression of heart‑felt gratitude and united praise; to "sing" means to utter sounds with one's voice; "praise" means to make music accompanied by the voice, thus to celebrate in song and in music; "power" refers to what Jehovah demonstrated that brought victory; David said we will do our part to exalt thee‑‑our tongues shall ever sing of the great deeds thou doest for us.
8. The thought in this psalm is that Jehovah will ultimately triumph over all His foes, and that this triumph will be followed by universal rejoicing and praise. John has already seen and recorded the fulfillment of this in the book of Revelation.
9. What a God!