Exposition - Explanatory Notes and Quaint Sayings
Hints to the Village Preacher - Works Upon This Psalm
TITLE. To the chief Musician, Maschil, for the sons of
Korah. Dedicated to the Master of Music, this Psalm is worthy of his office; he
who can sing best can have nothing better to sing. It is called, Maschil, or an
instructive ode; and full as it is of deep experimental expressions, it is
eminently calculated to instruct those pilgrims whose road to heaven is of the
same trying kind as David's was. It is always edifying to listen to the
experience of a thoroughly gracious and much afflicted saint.
That choice band of singers, the sons of Korah, are bidden to
make this delightful Psalm one of their peculiars. They had been spared when
their father and all his company, and all the children of his associates were
swallowed up alive in their sin. Nu 27:11. They were the spared ones of
sovereign grace. Preserved, we know not why, by the distinguishing favour of
God, it may be surmised that after their remarkable election to mercy, they
became so filled with gratitude that they addicted themselves to sacred music in
order that their spared lives might be consecrated to the glory of God. At any
rate, we who have been rescued as they were from going down into the pit, out of
the mere good pleasure of Jehovah, can heartily join in this Psalm, and indeed
in all the songs which show forth the praises of our God and the pantings of our
hearts after him. Although David is not mentioned as the author, this Psalm must
be the offspring of his pen; it is so Davidic, it smells of the son of Jesse, it
bears the marks of his style and experience in every letter. We could sooner
doubt the authorship of the second part of Pilgrim's Progress than question
David's title to be the composer of this Psalm.
SUBJECT. It is the cry of a man far removed from the
outward ordinances and worship of God, sighing for the long loved house of his
God; and at the same time it is the voice of a spiritual believer, under
depressions, longing for the renewal of the divine presence, struggling with
doubts and fears, but yet holding his ground by faith in the living God. Most of
the Lord's family have sailed on the sea which is here so graphically described.
It is probable that David's flight from Absalom may have been the occasion for
composing this Maschil.
DIVISION. The structure of the song directs us to consider
it in two parts which end with the same refrain; Ps 42:1-5 and then Ps 42:6-11.
Verse 1. As the hart panteth after the water brooks, so panteth
my soul after the, O God. As after a long drought the poor fainting
hind longs for the streams, or rather as the hunted hart instinctively seeks
after the river to lave its smoking flanks and to escape the dogs, even so my
weary, persecuted soul pants after the Lord my God. Debarred from public
worship, David was heartsick. Ease he did not seek, honour he did not covet, but
the enjoyment of communion with God was an urgent need of his soul; he viewed it
not merely as the sweetest of all luxuries, but as an absolute necessity, like
water to a stag. Like the parched traveller in the wilderness, whose skin bottle
is empty, and who finds the wells dry, he must drink or die-- he must have his
God or faint. His soul, his very self, his deepest life, was insatiable
for a sense of the divine presence. As the hart brays so his soul prays. Give
him his God and he is as content as the poor deer which at length slakes its
thirst and is perfectly happy; but deny him his Lord, and his heart heaves, his
bosom palpitates, his whole frame is convulsed, like one who gasps for breath,
or pants with long running. Dear reader, dost thou know what this is, by
personally having felt the same? It is a sweet bitterness. The next best thing
to living in the light of the Lord's love is to be unhappy till we have it, and
to pant hourly after it-- hourly, did I say? thirst is a perpetual appetite, and
not to be forgotten, and even thus continual is the heart's longing after God.
When it is as natural for us to long for God as for an animal to thirst, it is
well with our souls, however painful our feelings. We may learn from this verse
that the eagerness of our desires may be pleaded with God, and the more so,
because there are special promises for the importunate and fervent.
Verse 2. My soul. All my nature, my inmost self.
Thirsteth. Which is more than hungering; hunger you can palliate, but
thirst is awful, insatiable, clamorous, deadly. O to have the most intense
craving after the highest good! this is no questionable mark of grace. For
God. Not merely for the temple and the ordinances, but for fellowship with
God himself. None but spiritual men can sympathise with this thirst. For the
living God. Because he lives, and gives to men the living water; therefore
we, with greater eagerness, desire him. A dead God is a mere mockery; we loathe
such a monstrous deity; but the ever living God, the perennial fountain of life
and light and love, is our soul's desire. What are gold, honour, pleasure, but
dead idols? May we never pant for these. When shall I come and appear
before God? He who loves the Lord loves also the assemblies wherein his
name is adored. Vain are all pretences to religion where the outward means of
grace have no attraction. David was never so much at home as in the house of the
Lord; he was not content with private worship; he did not forsake the place
where saints assemble, as the manner of some is. See how pathetically he
questions as to the prospect of his again uniting in the joyous gathering! How
he repeats and reiterates his desire! After his God, his Elohim (his God to be
worshipped, who had entered into covenant with him), he pined even as the
drooping flowers for the dew, or the moaning turtle for her mate. It were well
if all our resortings to public worship were viewed as appearances before God,
it would then be a sure mark of grace to delight in them. Alas, how many appear
before the minister, or their fellow men, and think that enough! "To see the
face of God" is a nearer translation of the Hebrew; but the two ideas may be
combined --he would see his God and be seen of him: this is worth thirsting
Verse 3. My tears have been my meat day and night. Salt
meats, but healthful to the soul. When a man comes to tears, constant tears,
plenteous tears, tears that fill his cup and trencher, he is in earnest indeed.
As the big tears stand in the stag's eyes in her distress, so did the salt drops
glitter in the eyes of David. His appetite was gone, his tears not only seasoned
his meat, but became his only meat, he had no mind for other diet. Perhaps it
was well for him that the heart could open the safety valves; there is a dry
grief far more terrible than showery sorrows. His tears, since they were shed
because God was blasphemed, were "honourable dew, "drops of holy water, such as
Jehovah putteth into his bottle. While they continually say unto me,
Where is thy God? Cruel taunts come naturally from coward minds. Surely they
might have left the mourner alone; he could weep no more than he did--it was a
supererogation of malice to pump more tears from a heart which already
overflowed. Note how incessant was their jeer, and how artfully they framed it!
It cut the good man to the bone to have the faithfulness of his God impugned.
They had better have thrust needles into his eyes than have darted insinuations
against his God. Shimei may here be alluded to who after this fashion mocked
David as he fled from Absalom. He roundly asserted that David was a bloody man,
and that God was punishing him for supplanting Saul and his house; his wish was
father to his thought. The wicked know that our worst misfortune would be to
lose God's favour, hence their diabolical malice leads them to declare that such
is the case. Glory be to God, they lie in their throats, for our God is in the
heavens, aye, and in the furnace too, succouring his people.
Verse 4. When I remember these things, I pour out my soul in
me. When he harped upon his woes his heart melted into water and was poured
out upon itself. God hidden, and foes raging, a pair of evils enough to bring
down the stoutest heart! Yet why let reflections so gloomy engross us, since the
result is of no value: merely to turn the soul on itself, to empty it from
itself into itself is useless, how much better to pour out the heart before the
Lord! The prisoner's tread wheel might sooner land him in the skies than mere
inward questioning raise us nearer to consolation. For I had gone with
the multitude, I went with them to the house of God. Painful reflections
were awakened by the memory of past joys; he had mingled in the pious throng,
their numbers had helped to give him exhilaration and to awaken holy delight,
their company had been a charm to him as with them he ascended the hill of Zion.
Gently proceeding with holy ease, in comely procession, with frequent strains of
song, he and the people of Jehovah had marched in reverent ranks up to the
shrine of sacrifice, the dear abode of peace and holiness. Far away from such
goodly company the holy man pictures the sacred scene and dwells upon the
details of the pious march. With the voice of joy and praise, with a
multitude that kept holyday. The festive noise is in his ears, and the
solemn dance before his eyes. Perhaps he alludes to the removal of the ark and
to the glorious gatherings of the tribes on that grand national holy day and
holiday. How changed his present place! For Zion, a wilderness; for the priests
in white linen, soldiers in garments of war; for the song, the sneer of
blasphemy; for the festivity, lamentation; for joy in the Lord, a mournful dirge
over his absence.
Verse 5. Why art thou cast down, O my soul? As though he
were two men, the psalmist talks to himself. His faith reasons with his fears,
his hope argues with his sorrows. These present troubles, are they to last
forever? The rejoicings of my foes, are they more than empty talk? My absence
from the solemn feasts, is that a perpetual exile? Why this deep depression,
this faithless fainting, this chicken hearted melancholy? As Trapp says, "David
chides David out of the dumps; "and herein he is an example for all desponding
ones. To search out the cause of our sorrow is often the best surgery for grief.
Self ignorance is not bliss; in this case it is misery. The mist of ignorance
magnifies the causes of our alarm; a clearer view will make monsters dwindle
into trifles. Why art thou disquieted within me? Why is my quiet
gone? If I cannot keep a public Sabbath, yet wherefore do I deny my soul her
indoor Sabbath? Why am I agitated like a troubled sea, and why do my thoughts
make a noise like a tumultuous multitude? The causes are not enough to justify
such utter yielding to despondency. Up, my heart! What aileth thee? Play the
man, and thy castings down shall turn to up liftings, and thy disquietudes to
calm. Hope thou in God. If every evil be let loose from Pandora's box,
yet is there hope at the bottom. This is the grace that swims, though the waves
roar and be troubled. God is unchangeable, and therefore his grace is the ground
for unshaken hope. If everything be dark, yet the day will come, and meanwhile
hope carries stars in her eyes; her lamps are not dependent on oil from without,
her light is fed by secret visitations of God, which sustain the spirit. For
I shall yet praise him. Yet will my sighs give place to songs, my mournful
ditties shall be exchanged for triumphal paeans. A loss of the present sense of
God's love is not a loss of that love itself; the jewel is there, though it
gleams not on our breast; hope knows her title good when she cannot read it
clear; she expects the promised boon though present providence stands before her
with empty hands. For I shall yet praise him for the help of his
countenance. Salvations come from the propitious face of God, and he will
yet lift up his countenance upon us. Note well that the main hope and chief
desire of David rest in the smile of God. His face is what he seeks and hopes to
see, and this will recover his low spirits, this will put to scorn his laughing
enemies, this will restore to him all the joys of those holy and happy days
around which memory lingers. This is grand cheer. This verse, like the singing
of Paul and Silas, looses chains and shakes prison walls. He who can use such
heroic language in his gloomy hours will surely conquer. In the garden of hope
grow the laurels for future victories, the roses of coming joy, the lilies of
Verse 6. O my God, my soul is cast down within me. Here the
song begins again upon the bass. So sweet an ending deserves that for the sake
of a second hopeful close the Psalm should even begin again. Perhaps the
psalmist's dejection continued, the spasm of despondency returned; well, then,
he will down with his harp again, and try again its power upon himself, as in
his younger days, he saw its influence upon Saul when the evil spirit came upon
him. With God the song begins a second time more nearly than at first. The
singer was also a little more tranquil. Outward expression of desire was gone;
there was no visible panting; the sorrow was not all restrained within doors.
Within or upon himself he was cast down; and, verily, it may well be so, while
our thoughts look more within than upward. If self were to furnish comfort, we
should have but poor provender. There is no solid foundation for comfort in such
fickle frames as our heart is subject to. It is well to tell the Lord how we
feel, and the more plain the confession the better: David talks like a sick
child to its mother, and we should learn to imitate him. Therefore will I
remember thee. It is well to fly to our God. Here is terra
firma. Blessed down casting which drives us to so sure a rock of refuge
as thee, O Lord! From the hill Mizar. He recalls his seasons of choice
communion by the river and among the hills, and especially that dearest hour
upon the little hill, where love spake her sweetest language and revealed her
nearest fellowship. It is great wisdom to store up in memory our choice
occasions of converse with heaven; we may want them another day, when the Lord
is slow in bringing back his banished ones, and our soul is aching with fear.
"His love in times past" has been a precious cordial to many a fainting one;
like soft breath it has fanned the smoking flax into a flame, and bound up the
bruised reed. Oh, never to be forgotten valley of Achor, thou art a door of
hope! Fair days, now gone, ye have left a light behind you which cheers our
present gloom. Or does David mean that even where he was he would bethink him of
his God; does he declare that, forgetful of time and place, he would count
Jordan as sacred as Siloa, Hermon as holy as Zion, and even Mizar, that
insignificant rising ground as glorious as the mountains which are round about
Jerusalem! Oh! it is a heavenly heart which can sing
"To me remains nor place nor time;
my country is in every clime;
I can be calm and free from care
On any shore, since God is there."
"Could I be cast where thou art not,
That were indeed a dreadful lot,
But regions none remote I call,
Secure of finding God in all."
Verse 7. Deep calleth unto deep at the noise of thy
waterspouts. Thy severe dealings with me seem to excite all creation to
attack me; heaven, and earth, and hell, call to each other, stirring each other
up in dreadful conspiracy against my peace. As in a waterspout, the deeps above
and below clasp hands, so it seemed to David that heaven and earth united to
create a tempest around him. His woes were incessant and overwhelming. Billow
followed billow, one sea echoed the roaring of another; bodily pain aroused
mental fear, Satanic suggestions chimed in with mistrustful forebodings, outward
tribulation thundered in awful harmony with inward anguish: his soul seemed
drowned as in a universal deluge of trouble, over whose waves the providence of
the Lord moved as a watery pillar, in dreadful majesty inspiring the utmost
terror. As for the afflicted one he was like a lonely bark around which the fury
of a storm is bursting, or a mariner floating on a mast, almost every moment
submerged. All thy waves and thy billows are gone over me. David
thought that every trouble in the world had met in him, but he exaggerated, for
all the breaking waves of Jehovah have passed over none but the Lord
Jesus; there are griefs to which he makes his children strangers for his love's
sake. Sorrow naturally states its case forcibly; the mercy is that the Lord
after all hath not dealt with us according to our fears. Yet what a plight to be
in! Atlantic rollers sweeping in ceaseless succession over one's head,
waterspouts coming nearer and nearer, and all the ocean in uproar around the
weary swimmer; most of the heirs of heaven can realise the description, for they
have experienced the like. This is a deep experience unknown to babes in grace,
but common enough to such as do business on great waters of affliction: to such
it is some comfort to remember that the waves and billows are the Lord's,
"thy waves and thy billows, "says David, they are all sent, and
directed by him, and achieve his designs, and the child of God knowing this, is
the more resigned.
Verse 8. Yet the Lord will command his lovingkindness in the
daytime. Come what may there shall be "a certain secret something" to
sweeten all. Lovingkindness is a noble life belt in a rough sea. The day may
darken into a strange and untimely midnight, but the love of God ordained of old
to be the portion of the elect, shall be by sovereign decree meted out to them.
No day shall ever dawn on an heir of grace and find him altogether forsaken of
his Lord: the Lord reigneth, and as a sovereign he will with authority command
mercy to be reserved for his chosen. And in the night. Both divisions of
the day shall be illuminated with special love, and no stress of trial shall
prevent it. Our God is God of the nights as well as the days; none shall find
his Israel unprotected, be the hour what it may. His song shall be with
me. Songs of praise for blessings received shall cheer the gloom of night.
No music sweeter than this. The belief that we shall yet glorify the Lord for
mercy given in extremity is a delightful stay to the soul. Affliction may put
out our candle, but if it cannot silence our song we will soon light the candle
again. And my prayer unto the God of my life. Prayer is yoked with
praise. He who is the living God, is the God of our life, from him we derive it,
with him in prayer and praise we spend it, to him we devote it, in him we shall
prefect it. To be assured that our sighs and songs shall both have free access
to our glorious Lord is to have reason for hope in the most deplorable
Verse 9. I will say unto God my rock, Why hast thou forgotten
me? Faith is allowed to enquire of her God the causes of his displeasure,
and she is even permitted to expostulate with him and put him in mind of his
promises, and ask why apparently they are not fulfilled. If the Lord be indeed
our refuge, when we find no refuge, it is time to be raising the question, "Why
is this?" Yet we must not let go our hold, the Lord must be my rock
still; we must keep to him as our alone confidence, and never forego our
interest in him. Why go I mourning because of the oppression of the
enemy? He who condescends to be pleaded with by Abraham, his friend, allows
us to put to him the question that we may search out the causes of his severity
towards us. Surely he can have no pleasure in seeing the faces of his servants
stained and squalid with their tears; he can find no content in the harshness
with which their foes assail them. He can never take pleasure in the tyranny
with which Satan vexes them. Why then does he leave them to be mocked by his
enemies and theirs? How can the strong God, who is as firm and abiding as a
rock, be also as hard and unmoved as a rock towards those who trust in him? Such
enquiries humbly pressed often afford relief to the soul. To know the reason for
sorrow is in part to know how to escape it, or at least to endure it. Want of
attentive consideration often makes adversity appear to be more mysterious and
hopeless than it really is. It is a pitiable thing for any man to have a limb
amputated, but when we know that the operation was needful to save life, we are
glad to hear that it has been successfully performed; even thus as trial
unfolds, the design of the Lord sending it becomes far more easy to bear.
Verse 10. As with a sword in my bones, mine enemies reproach
me. Cruel mockeries cut deeper than the flesh, they reach the soul as though
a rapier were introduced between the ribs to prick the heart. If reproaches kill
not, yet they are killing, the pain caused is excruciating. The tongue cuts to
the bone, and its wounds are hard to cure. While they say daily unto me,
Where is thy God? This is the most unkind cut of all, reflecting as it does
both upon the Lord's faithfulness and his servant's character. Such was the
malice of David's foes, that having thought of the cruel question, they
said it, said it daily, repeated it to him, and that for a
length, of time; surely the continual yapping of these curs at his heel was
enough to madden him, and perhaps would have done so had he not resorted to
prayer and made the persecutions of his enemies a plea with his Lord.
Verse 11. Why art thou cast down, O my soul? and why art
thou disquieted within me? In the rehearsal of his sorrow, he finds
after all no sufficient ground for being disquieted. Looked in the face, his
fears were not so overwhelming as they seemed when shrouded in obscurity.
Hope thou in God. Let the anchor still keep its hold. God is faithful,
God is love, therefore there is room and reason for hope. Who is the health
of my countenance, and my God. This is the same hopeful expression as
that contained in verse five, but the addition of and my God shows that
the writer was growing in confidence, and was able defiantly to reply to the
question, "Where is thy God?" Here, even here, he is, ready to deliver me. I am
not ashamed to own him amid your sneers and taunts, for he will rescue me out of
your hands. Thus faith closes the struggle, a victor in fact by anticipation,
and in heart by firm reliance. The saddest countenance shall yet be made to
shine, if there be a taking of God at his word and an expectation of his
"For yet I know I shall him praise
Who graciously to me,
The health is of my countenance,
Yea, mine own God is he."
EXPLANATORY NOTES AND QUAINT SAYINGS
Title. "Sons of Korah." Who were the sons of
Korah? These opinions have more or less prevailed. One is that they sprang
from some one of that name in the days of David. Mudge and others think that the
sons of Korah were a society of musicians, founded or presided over by Korah.
Others think that the sons of Korah were the surviving descendants of that
miserable man who, together with two hundred and fifty of his adherents, who
were princes, perished when "the earth opened her mouth and swallowed them up,
together with Korah." In Nu 26:11 we read: "Notwithstanding the children of
Korah died not." They had taken the warning given, and had departed from the
tents of these wicked men. Nu 16:24,26. It must be admitted that the name
Korah and the patronymic Korahite are found in the Scriptures in a
way that creates considerable doubt respecting the particular man from whom the
Korahites are named. See 1Ch 1:35 2:43 6:22,54 9:19 26:1 2Ch 20:19. Yet the more
common belief is that they descended from him who perished in his gainsaying.
This view is taken by Ainsworth with entire confidence, by Gill, and others.
Korah, who perished, was a Levite. Whatever may have been their origin, it is
clear the sons of Korah were a Levitical family of singers. Nothing,
then, could be more appropriate than the dedication of a sacred song to these
very people. William S. Plumer.
Title. "Sons of Korah." The "Korah" whose
"sons" are here spoken of, is the Levite who headed the insurrection
against Moses and Aaron in the wilderness. Nu 16:1-50. We find his descendants
existing as a powerful Levitical family in the time of David, at least, if they
are to be identified, as is probable, with the Korahites mentioned in 1Ch 12:6,
who, like our own warlike bishops of former times, seem to have known how to
doff the priestly vestment for the soldier's armour, and whose hand could wield
the sword as well as strike the harp. The Korahites were a part of the band who
acknowledged David as their chief, at Ziklag; warriors "whose faces, "it is
said, "were like the faces of lions, and who were (for speed) like gazelles upon
the mountains." According to 1Ch 9:17-19, the Korahites were in David's time,
keepers of the threshold of the tabernacle; and still earlier, in the time of
Moses, watchmen at the entrance of the camp of the Levites. In 1Ch 26:1-19, we
find two branches of this family associated with that of Merari, as guardians of
the doors of the Temple. There is probably an allusion to this their office, in
Ps 84:10. But the Korahites were also celebrated musicians and singers; see 1Ch
6:16-33, where Heman, one of the three famous musicians of the time, is said to
be a Korahite (compare 1Ch 25:1-31). The musical reputation of the family
continued in the time of Jehoshaphat 2Ch 20:19, where we have the peculiar
doubly plural form (Myxrqhynb), "Sons of
the Korahites." J. J. Stewart Perowne.
Title. "Sons of Korah." Medieval writers remark how
here, as so often, it was the will of God to raise up saints where they could
have been least looked for. Who should imagine that from the posterity of him
who said, "Ye take too much upon you, ye sons of Aaron, "should have risen those
whose sweet Psalms would be the heritage of the church of God to the end of
time? J. M. Neale.
Verse 1. The hart panteth after the water brooks. And here
we have started up, and have sent leaping over the plain another of Solomon's
favourites. What elegant creatures these gazelles are, and how gracefully they
bound! ...The sacred writers frequently mention gazelles under the various names
of harts, roes, and hinds...I have seen large flocks of these panting harts
gather round the water brooks in the great deserts of Central Syria, so subdued
by thirst that you could approach quite near them before they fled. W. M.
Verse 1. Little do the drunkards think that take so much
pleasure in frequenting the houses of Bacchus, that the godly take a great deal
more, and have a great deal more joy in frequenting the houses of God. But it is
a thing that God promised long ago by the prophet: "Then will I bring to my holy
mountain, and make them joyful in my house of prayer: their burnt offerings and
their sacrifices shall be accepted upon mine altar; for mine house shall be
called an house of prayer for all people." Isa 56:7. And I think, I hear the
willing people of God's power, merrily calling one to another in the words of
Mic 4:2, "Come, and let us go up to the mountain of the Lord, and to the house
of the God of Jacob; and he will teach us of his ways, and we will walk in his
paths: for the law shall go forth of Zion, and the word of the Lord from
Jerusalem." How is a godly man ravished with "the beauty of holiness, "when he
is at such meetings! How was holy David taken with being in the house of God at
Jerusalem! insomuch, that if he were kept from it but a little while, his soul
panted for it, and longed after it, and fainted for lack of it, as a thirsty
hart would do for lack of water! As the hart panteth after the water
brooks, so panteth my soul after thee, O God. My soul thirsteth for God,
for the living God: when shall I come and appear before God? The poor
disconsolate captives preferred it to the best place in their memory. "If I
forget thee, O Jerusalem, let my right hand forget her cunning." Ps 137:5; nay,
they preferred it to their chiefest joy: "If I do not remember thee, let my
tongue cleave to the roof of my mouth; if I prefer not Jerusalem above my chief
joy, "Ps 42:6. There was no place in the world that David regarded or cared to
be in in comparison of it. "A day in thy courts is better than a thousand. I had
rather be a doorkeeper in the house of my God, than to dwell in the tents of
wickedness" Ps 84:10, insomuch, that he could find it in his heart, nay, and
would choose, if he might have his desire, to spend all his days in that house.
Ps 27:4. Zachary Bogan.
Verse 1. The soul strongly desires acquaintance with God
here in his ordinances. Chrysostom's very rhetorical upon the text, and tells us
how that David, like a lover in absence, must express his affection; as they
have their dainty sighs, and passionate complaints, their loving exclamations,
and sundry discoveries of affection; they can meet with never a tree, but in the
bark of it they must engrave the name of their darling, Denfos d o erws d kittos auton ek paaes anadeoai profaoews; it will twine upon every opportunity, as the
Moralist speaks. And the true lovers of God, they are always thinking upon him,
sighing for him, panting after him, talking of him, and (if it were possible)
would engrave the name of the Lord Jesus upon the breasts of all the men in the
world. Look upon David, now a banished man, and fled from the presence of Saul,
and see how he behaves himself: not like Themistocles or Camillus, or some of
those brave banished worthies. He does not complain of the ungratefulness of his
country, the malice of his adversaries, and his own unhappy success. No, instead
of murmuring, he falls a panting, and that only after his God. He is banished
from the sanctuary, the palace of God's nearest presence, and chiefest
residence; he cannot enjoy the beauty of holiness, and all other places seem to
him but as the tents of Kedar. He is banished from the temple, and he thinks
himself banished from his God, as it is in the following words, When shall I
come and appear before God? The whole stream of expositors run this
way, that it is meant of his strong longing to visit the Temple, and those
amiable courts of his God, with which his soul was so much taken. Nathanael
Culverwel's "Panting Soul," 1652.
Verses 1-3. are an illustration of the frequent use of the
word Elohim in the second book of Psalms. We give Fry's translation of the first
three verses. --
As the hart looketh for the springs of water,
So my soul looketh for thee, O Elohim.
My soul is athirst for Elohim for the living El:
When shall I go and see the face of Elohim?
My tears have been my meat day and night,
While they say to me continually, Where is thy Elohim?
Verse 3. My tears have been my meat day and night. The
psalmist could eat nothing because of his extreme grief. John Gadsby.
Verse 3. They say unto me. It is not only of me, but to me;
they spake it to his very face, as those who were ready to justify it and make
it good, that God had forsaken him. Backbiting argues more baseness, but open
reproach carries more boldness, and shamelessness, and impudence in it; and this
is that which David's enemies were guilty of here in this place. Thomas
Verse 3. Where is thy God? God's children are impatient, as
far as they are men, of reproaches; but so far as they are Christian men, they
are impatient of reproaches in religion; Where is now thy God?
They were not such desperate Atheists as to think there was no God, to call in
question whether there were a God or no, though, indeed, they were little
better; but they rather reproach and upbraid him with his singularity,
where is thy God? You are one of God's darlings; you are one that
thought nobody served God but you; you are one that will go alone--your
God! So this is an ordinary reproach, an ordinary part for wicked men to cast at
the best people, especially when they are in misery. What it become of your
profession now? What is become of your forwardness and strictness now? What is
become of your God that you bragged so of, and thought yourselves so happy in,
as if he had been nobody's God but yours? We may learn hence the disposition of
wicked men. It is a character of a full of poison, cursed disposition to upbraid
a man with his religion. But what is the scope? The scope is worse than the
words Where is thy God? The scope is to shake his faith and his
confidence in God, and this is that which touched him so nearly while
they upbraided him. For the devil knows well enough that as long as God and the
soul join together, it is in vain to trouble any man, therefore he labours to
put jealousies, to accuse God to man, and man to God. He knows there is nothing
in the world can stand against God. As long as we make God our confidence, all
his enterprises are in vain. His scope is, therefore, to shake our affiance in
God. Where is thy God? So he dealt with the head of the church, our
blessed Saviour himself, when he came to tempt him. "If thou be the Son of God,
command these stones to be made bread." Mt 4:3. He comes with an "if, "he
laboured to shake him in his Sonship. The devil, since he was divided from God
himself eternally, is become a spirit of division; he labours to divide even God
the Father from his own Son; "If thou be the Son of God?" So he
labours to sever Christians from their head Christ. Where is thy God?
There was his scope, to breed division if he could, between his heart and God,
that he might call God into jealousy, as if he had not regarded him: thou hast
taken a great deal of pains in serving thy God; thou seest how he regards thee
now; Where is thy God? Richard Sibbes.
Verse 3. How powerfully do the scoffs and reproaches of the
ungodly tend to shake the faith of a mind already dejected! How peculiarly
afflictive to the soul that loves God, is the dishonour cast upon him by his
enemies! Henry March, in "Sabbaths at Home, "1823.
Verse 3. Where is thy God?
"Where is now thy God!" Oh, sorrow!
Hourly thus to hear him say,
Finding thus the longed for morrow,
Mournful as the dark to day.
Yet not thus my soul would languish,
Would not thus be grieved and shamed,
But for that severer anguish,
When I hear the Lord defamed.
"Where is now thy God!" Oh, aid me,
Lord of mercy, to reply--
"He is HERE--though foes invade me,
Know his outstretched arm is nigh."
Help me thus to be victorious,
While the shield of faith I take;
Lord, appear, and make thee glorious:
Help me for thy honour's sake.
Verse 4. When I remember these things, etc. To a person in
misery it is a great increase of misery to have been once happy: it was to David
an occasion of new tears when he remembered his former joys. Time was, says the
poor soul, when I thought of God with comfort, and when I thought of him as my
own God; and to lose a God that I once enjoyed is the loss of all my losses, and
of all my terrors the most terrible. Time was when I could go and pray to him,
and ease myself in prayer; but now I have no boldness, no hope, no success in
prayer. I cannot call him my Father any more. Time was when I could read
the Bible and treasure up the promises, and survey the land of Canaan as my own
inheritance; but now I dare not look into the Word lest I read my own
condemnation there. The Sabbath was formerly to me as one of the days of heaven,
but now it is also, as well as the rest, a sad and mournful day. I formerly
rejoiced in the name of Christ, "I sat under his shadow." So 2:3. I was in his
eyes as one that found favour; but now my soul is like the deserts of Arabia, I
am scorched with burning heat. From how great a height have I fallen! How fair
was I once for heaven and for salvation, and now am like to come short of it! I
once was flourishing in the courts of the Lord, and now all my fruit is blasted
and withered away: "his dew lay all night upon my branches, "but now I am like
the mountains of Gilboa, no rain falls upon me. Had I never heard of heaven I
could not have been so miserable as I now am: had I never known God, the loss of
him had not been so terrible as now it is like to be. Job 29:2-3. Timothy
Verse 4. (first clause). The blessedness of even the
remembrance of divine worship is so great, that it can save the soul from
despair. J. P. Lange's Commentary.
Verse 4. I pour out my soul. The very soul of prayer lies in
the pouring out of the soul before God. Thomas Brooks.
Verse 4. I had gone with the multitude, I went with them to the
house of God, with the voice of joy and praise, with a multitude that
kept holyday. The gracious God is pleased to esteem it his glory to
have many beggars thronging at the beautiful gate of his temple, for spiritual
and corporal alms. What an honour is it to our great Landlord that multitudes of
tenants flock together to his house to pay their rent of thanks and worship for
their all which they hold of him! How loud and lovely is the noise of many
golden trumpets! Good Lord, what an echo do they make in heaven's ears! When
many skilful musicians play in concert with well tuned and prepared instruments
the music cannot but be ravishing to God himself. George Swinnock.
Verse 4. Do but consider David's tears and grief for want
of, and his fervent prayers for the fruition of public ordinances even then,
when he had opportunities for private performances; and surely thou wilt esteem
the ministry of the Word no mean mercy. See his sorrow when he was driven from
God's sanctuary. When I remember these things I pour out my soul in
me: for I had gone with the multitude, I went with them to the house of
God." "My soul is poured out; that is, I am overwhelmed with grief, and ever
ready to die when I compare my present condition with my former happiness in the
fruition of religious assemblies. There is an elegancy in the phrase
poured out; the word is applied to water, or any liquid thing, and
in Scripture signifieth abundance. Joe 2:28. My life is ready to be poured out
as water upon the ground, which cannot be gathered up again, when I remember my
former mercies, and consider my present misery...The loss of his father, mother,
wives, children, lands, liberty--nay, of his very life, would not have gone so
near his heart as the loss of public ordinances. As his sorrow was great for the
want, so was his suit most earnest for the enjoyment of them. How many a prayer
doth he put up for the liberty of the tabernacle! Ps 43:3-4 27:4,8. It is the
one thing, the principal thing which he begs of God. Henry Smith.
Verse 4. The bias of the soul is remarkably shown by the
objects of regretful recollection. Henry March.
Verse 4. With a multitude that kept holy day.
Though private prayer be a brave design
Yet public hath more promises, more love:
And love's a weight to hearts, to eyes a sign.
We all are but cold suitors; let us move
Where it is warmest. Leave thy six and seven;
Pray with the most: for where most pray, is heaven.
Herbert, in "The Temple."
Verse 5. WHY art thou cast down, O my soul?
Athanasius counselled his friend, that when any trouble should fall upon him, he
should fall presently to the reading of this Psalm; for there was a way, he
thought, of curing by the like, as well as by the contrary: for it is
observed indeed that when two instruments are tuned to the same unison, if you
touch the strings of the one, the strings of the other will move too, though
untouched, if placed at a convenient distance. That therefore you may try the
same experiments upon yourselves, do but set your affections for a tune in the
same key in which these words were spoken; if really you feel none,
imagine some affliction laid upon you; when you have done so, that you may be
the more fully moved, place your attention at a convenient distance, look
narrowly on this holy prophet, observe how he retires himself, shuts out the
world, calls his sad soul to as sad a reckoning: Quare tam
tristis? O my soul! thou that wert infused to give me life; nay, says Philo
the Jew, a spark, a beam of the divinity, thou, which shouldest be to this dark
body of mine as the sun is to the earth, enlightening, quickening, cheering up
my spirits; tell me, why art thou clouded? why art thou cast down?
Think of this, ye that feel the heaviness of your soul; think
of it, ye that do not, for ye may feel it. Know there is a sorrow "that worketh
repentance not to be repented of." Know again there is a sorrow "that worketh
death." Remember that there were tears that got sinful Mary heaven; remember
again there were tears that got sinful Esau nothing. For as in martyrdom,
it is not the sword, the boiling lead, or fire, not what we suffer, but
why, that makes us martyrs; so in our sorrows, it is not how deep they
wound, but why, that justifies them. Let every one, therefore, that hath
a troubled heart, ask his soul the "Why:" "Why art thou cast down?" Is it
not for thine own sins, or the sins of others? Take either of them, thine eyes
will have a large field to water. Is it for that thou hast been a child of
wrath, a servant of the devil? Is it for that thou art a candle set in the wind,
blown at by several temptations? or is it for that thou wouldst be freed from
them? "Woe is me, that I sojourn in Mesech, that I dwell in the tents of Kedar!"
Ps 120:5. Art thou troubled as St. Augustine was, when he read that the way to
heaven was narrow, the number small that travelled thither? Or hast thou put on
St. Bernard's resolution, who had made a compact with his soul, never to joy
till he had heard his Saviour call him, "Come ye blessed, "nor never to leave
sorrowing till he had escaped the bitter sentence, "Go, ye cursed?" If any of
these be the Why, the ground of thy sorrows, if such thoughts have
cast thee down; know, that thy Saviour hath already blessed thee,
for "Blessed are they that mourn." The angels are thy servants, they gather thy
tears; God is thy treasurer, he lays them up in his bottle; the Holy Ghost is
thy comforter, he will not leave thee. Fear not, then, to be thus cast down,
fear not to be thus disquieted within thee. Brian Duppa (Bishop),
1588-1662, in a Sermon entitled "The Soule's Soloquie."
Verse 5. Why art thou cast down, O my soul? Why, or what may
be the reason, that this text is three times used in this Psalm and in the next?
whereas you do not find two verses of the same length used in all the Book of
Psalms besides, except in Psalm 107, where is often repeated, "O that men would
praise the Lord, "etc. Now, surely the frequent mention of this text and words
doth argue and note unto us the weightiness of the matter...Wicked men oppressed
David, and the devil tempted him; yet he chides his own heart and nothing else.
David did not chide at Saul, nor chide at Absalom; but he chides and checks his
own heart. "Why art thou cast down, O my soul?" Though the devil and wicked men,
the one do tempt, the other do oppress as instruments of punishment for sin; yet
we with David are to chide our own hearts. Consider, what though in our
translations the words are translated and rendered passively, Why art thou
cast down? yet, in the original, they are rendered actively; we read it,
Why art thou cast down? etc; but in the original it is read,
(yle ymht-hmw yvkn yxxwtvt-hm) "Why bowest (or pressest) thou
down thyself, my soul? and why tumultest thou against me?" As Arias
Montanus, Cur humiliasti te? Cur deprimes te anima mea? So Lorinus, Pr
12:25. And the words so read, they do not intimate thus much, that God's own
people may be cast down too much for the sense of sin, and they are most active
in their own down casting. It is not God nor the devil that cast thee down; but
Why dost thou cast thyself down? to create more trouble on thyself
than either God doth inflict or the devil tempt thee to. Christopher Love, in
"The Dejected Soul's Cure," 1657.
Verse 5. Why art thou cast down, O my soul? Consider but
this, how much there is of God in the affliction. 1. Came it not without
God's privity? Why art thou troubled, then? Thy Father knowing of it
would have stopped its course if it had been best for thee. 2. Came it not
without his command? Why art thou troubled? It is the cup that thy Father
hath given thee, and wilt thou not drink it? 3. Is it thy Father's will that thou shouldest suffer, and
shall it be thy humour to rebel? 4. Hath God done no more than he might
do? Why dost thou murmur, as if he had done thee wrong? 5. Is it a piece of
his wise acting? Why dost thou exalt thy foolish will above his infinite
wisdom? 6. Is his way a way of mercy? Why does thy mutinous spirits
tumble at it, as a rough way? 7. Is the thing good that is befallen thee?
Why dost thou quarrel as if it were evil? 8. Is it less than men suffer,
than his own people, yea, than his own Son hath suffered, and hast thou
cause to complain? 9. Is it but thy merit? and less than that, too; and
shall the living man complain for the punishment of his sin? 10. Is it in
measure, ordered with care? (1) by the physician's hand; and (2) a little
draught, and (3) proportioned to thy strength; (4) measured out according to the
proportion of strength and comfort he intends to measure thee out, to bear it
withal? Why are thou cast down? Why art thou disquieted? Is the end and fruit of
it but to make thee white, and purify thee? to purge thy sin past, and to
prevent it for the time to come? and dost thou find a present fruit in it? Dost
thou find that now thou art turned into a chalk stone; thy groves and
images--those corruptions which did attend thee while thou wert in prosperity,
and which would attend thee if you had those good things which you want, and are
disquieted for; and if those evils which you feel or fear were far from your
sense and fear, would still attend thee--that those do not now stand up? Lift up
thy head, Christian! say to thy soul, Why art thou cast down, O my
soul? and why art thou disquieted in me? Meditate what there is of God in
the cause of thy disquietments. John Collinge (1623-1690) in "A Cordial for a
Fainting Soule," 1652.
Verse 5. Why art thou disquieted? more literally,
tumultuated, a word frequently applied to the roaring and tumult and
tossing of the sea. See Isa 17:12 Jer 5:22 6:23 51:55. Henry March.
Verse 5. Hope thou in God. I shall show what powerful
influence hope hath on the Christian in affliction, and how. First, it
stills and silences him under affliction. It keeps the king's peace in the
heart, which else would soon be in an uproar. A hopeless soul is clamorous: one
while it charges God, another while it reviles his instruments. It cannot long
rest, and no wonder, when hope is not there. Hope hath a rare art in stilling a
froward spirit, when nothing else can; as the mother can make the crying child
quiet by laying it to the breast, when the rod makes it cry worse. This way
David took, and found it effectual; when his soul was unquiet by reason of his
present affliction, he lays it to the breast of the promise: "Why art thy cast
down O my soul? and why art thou disquieted in me? hope thou in God." And here
his soul sweetly sleeps, as the child with the breast in his mouth; and that
this was his usual way, we may think by the frequent instances we find; thrice
we find him taking this course in two Psalms, 42 and 43...Secondly, this hope
fills the afflicted soul with such inward joy and consolation, that it can laugh
while tears are in the eye, sigh and sing all in a breath; it is called "the
rejoicing of hope, "Heb 3:6. And hope never affords more joy than in affliction.
It is on a watery cloud that the sun paints those curious colours in the
rainbow...There are two graces, which Christ useth above any other, to fill the
soul with joy--faith and hope, because these two fetch all their wine of joy
without door. Faith tells the soul what Christ hath done for it; and so comforts
it; hope revives the soul with the news of what Christ will do: both draw at one
tap--Christ and his promise. Condensed from William Gurnall.
Verse 5. Hope thou in God. The word which is here rendered,
hope denotes that expectation which is founded on faith in God,
and which leads the soul to wait upon him. The idea is beautifully
expressed in Ps 39:7. "And now, Lord, what wait I for? my hope is in thee."
Verse 5. I shall yet praise him for the help of his
countenance. When it may be said, "He whom God loveth is sick, "then it may
be said, "This sickness is not unto death; "and though it be to the first death,
yet not to the second. Who would think when Jonah was in the sea Jon 3:1-10,
that he would preach at Nineveh? Who would think when Nebuchadnezzar was in the
forest Da 4:1-37, that he should reign again in Babel? Who would think when
Joseph was banished of his brethren, that his brethren should seek unto him like
his servants? Who would think when Job scraped his sores upon the dunghill, all
his houses were burned, all his cattle stolen, and all his children dead, that
he should be richer than ever he was? These are the acts of mercy which make the
righteous sing, "The Lord hath triumphed valiantly." Exodus 15-21. Henry
Verse 5. I shall yet praise him. David's mind is upon the
duty more than upon the mercy; upon the duty, as it is a
matter of grace, more than upon the mercy, as it is a matter of
sense. And, therefore, by a happy mistake, his tongue slips, as men are
wont to do in such cases, and he puts one for the other; when he should say,
I shall receive mercy from God, he says, I shall give praise to
him. Thomas Horton.
Verse 5. He is the skilful physician, who at the same time
that he evacuates the disease, doth also comfort and strengthen nature; and he
the true Christian, that doth not content himself with a bare laying aside evil
customs and practices, but labours to walk in the exercise of the contrary
graces. Art thou discomposed with impatience, haunted with a discontented spirit
under any affliction? Think it not enough to silence thy heart from quarrelling
with God, but leave not till thou canst bring it sweetly to rely on God. Holy
David drove it thus far, he did not only chide his soul for being disquieted,
but he charges it to trust in God. William Gurnall.
Verse 5. There was one Alice Benden, who, among others, was
imprisoned for religion in Canterbury Castle; but after awhile, by the bishop's
order, she was let down into a deep dungeon, where none of her friends could
come at her. There she was fed with an halfpenny bread, and a farthing beer a
day, neither would they allow her any more for her money. Her lodging was upon a
little straw, between a pair of stocks and a stone wall. This made her
grievously to bewail and lament her estate, reasoning with herself, why her Lord
God did in so heavy a wise afflict her, and suffered her thus to be sequestered
from the sweet society of her loving prison fellows. In this extremity of
misery, and in the midst of these dolorous mournings she continued, till on a
night, repeating that of the psalmist: "Why art thou so heavy, O my
soul? and why art thou so cast down within me? Still trust in God,
"etc.; and, God's right hand can change all this, etc.; she
received comfort in the midst of her sorrows, and so continued joyful to the
time of her release. Samuel Clarke's "Mirror."
Verses 5, 11. In case thou art at any time oppressed with
sorrows, ask thy heart and soul that question which David did in the like case
twice in one Psalm: Why art thou cast down, O my soul? and why art
thou disquieted within me? and certainly the soul would return answer, My
distress of sadness springs from my unbelief. You may know the disease by the
cure, in the very next words, O put thy trust in God; hope thou in
God: for I shall yet praise him, who is the health of my countenance, and
my God. All sorrow of heart springs principally from our unbelief, not from
the greatness of other evils; I mean, destructive sorrow, for godly
sorrow is a friend to godly joy. It is not so much the weight of the burden, as
the soreness of the back, that troubles the poor beast: so it is not so much the
weight of outward evils, as the inward soreness of a galled conscience, not
purified nor healed by faith, that vexes and troubles the poor creature.
Matthew Lawrence, in "The Use and Practice of Faith," 1657.
Verses 5, 11. As afflictions do proceed from ourselves, they
may be called troubles, or perturbations; for the best man doth sometimes cause
this bad liquor to boil out of his own bowels. David, not once, but often, hath
cried out, Why art thou cast down, O my soul? and why art thy
disquieted in me? And show me the man that annoys and troubles not himself
in vain, because with patience he doth not tarry the Lord's leisure? The foolish
bird, who, being in a room whose door is locked, and the casements shut, beateth
herself against the wall and windows, breaking her feathers and bruising her
body, whereas, would she stay till the passages were by the keeper opened, she
might depart, being not at all wounded; even so falleth it out with us: for when
the Lord doth shut us up, and straiten our liberty for a time, we would fain
make way for ourselves, having many devices in our hearts to break through the
walls of his providence; whereas, if we would stay his leisure, depend on his
promise, and submit ourselves to be disposed of by his hand, we might with more
ease endure this prison, and with less hurt at the last be set at liberty. For
God is in one mind, and who can change him? He will bring to pass that thing
that he hath decreed upon us. John Barlow's Sermon, 1618.
Verses 5, 11. If you would get assurance, spend more time in
strengthening your evidences for heaven, than in questioning of them. It is the
great fault of many Christians they will spend much time in questioning, and not
in strengthening their comforts. They will reason themselves into unbelief, and
say, Lord, why should I believe? Why should I take hold of a promise that am so
unholy and so unmortified a creature? And so by this they reason themselves to
such a pass that they dare not lay hold upon Christ, whereas it should be your
work to reason yourselves into Christ as much as you can. Labour to strengthen
your comforts, and reason thus, Why should I not believe in Christ? Thus David
did. Psalm 42. "Why art thou troubled, O my soul, and why art thou
cast down within me?" Is not the mercy of God more than sin in the creature?
Is not there free grace where there is guilt? Are not there pardoning mercies
where condemnation is deserved? You should reason up your comforts rather than
reason them down, and spend more time in strengthening than in questioning of
them. You would count him a very unwise man that hath a lease of so much land,
and he himself shall create scruples and doubts, and shall use no means to make
his title good. And truly many Christians are as unwise for heaven. They have,
as I may say, good bond and seal that God will bring them to heaven, and yet
they will question and cavil themselves into unbelief. Beloved, this should not
be, but you ought rather to strengthen your comforts than question them.
Verse 6. O my God, my soul is cast down within me: therefore
will I remember thee. "Because I am very low in spirit, am deeply
sorrowful, therefore will I remember thee. I will remember how
condescending thou art to thy `poor and afflicted people; 'how ready to receive
them when deserted or cast out by men; how kind and patient to hear their
complaint when they pour out the soul before thee. I will remember thy
lovingkindness to me in seasons past; how thou hast looked on my
distress, hast heard the voice of my supplications, hast delivered me from my
trials, or helped me to bear their burden, strengthening me with strength in my
soul. I will remember all that I have enjoyed of thy presence when waiting on
thee in thy house, or when celebrating thy praises in company with thy `saints,
the excellent of the earth.' I will remember what thou ART; how meet an object
for the trust of a desolate being like myself! For though I am poor, thou art
rich; though I am weak, thou art mighty; though I am miserable, thou art happy.
I will remember that thou art my God. That thou hast manifested thyself
to my soul, that thou hast enabled me to choose thee for my portion, that I have
trusted in thee, and have never been confounded. I will remember that word of
promise on which thou hast caused me to hope, to which thou hast ever been
faithful throughout all the past, and will be, as I truly believe, even
unto the end." Oh, how happy, even in the midst of their unhappiness, are they,
who in their trials, can take shelter in God! Henry March.
Verse 6. "MY God." Astonishing expression! Who shall
dare to say to the Creator of the ends of the earth, the Majesty in the heavens,
"My God"? An exile, a wanderer, an outcast; a man forsaken, despised,
reviled; a soul cast down and disquieted: he shall dare. By what right?
Of covenant. Henry March.
Verse 6. Therefore will I remember thee from the land of Jordan,
and of the Hermonites, from the hill Mizar. It is remarkable what
course the psalmist took to regain comfort; he would remember three experiments
of his goodness--"the land of Jordan, "the land "of the Hermonites,
"and "the hill Mizar." First, will I remember the land Jordan;
that is, I will remember the great goodness of God in drying up the river
Jordan, that so the tribes of Israel might pass over to the promised land: why,
God that hath been good, will be good. Then, I will remember the land of the
Hermonites; in that land were Sihon, king of the Amorites, and Og, king
of Bashan, defeated; that you read of in Jos 12:1-2. "Now these are the kings of
the land, which the children of Israel smote, and possessed their land on the
other side Jordan toward the rising of the sun, from the river Arnon unto Mount
Hermon." Mizar, some think to be a little hill near Mount Sinai, where
the law was given. I will remember God's goodness, in giving a law to his
people. Here David would call to remembrance the goodness of God of old, to
regain to him comfort and quietness in his mind. Christopher Love.
Verse 6. The Hermons, or the peaks or ridges of Hermon, the
plural being used either because of the two peaks of the mountain
(Wilson, "Land of the Bible"), or as I think probably, of the whole range
of its snowy heights. J. J. Stewart Perowne.
Verse 6. The Hermons, i.e., as some suppose, Mount Hermon,
and the other mountains upon that side of the river, just as Baalim means Baal,
and other idols worshipped with him; or more probably Mount Hermon considered
not as a single eminence, but a chain or range, like the Alps, the Alleghenies,
etc. J. A. Alexander.
Verse 6. From the hill. He that has a rich life of past
experience is thereby placed upon an eminence from which he may take a happy
view of the path lying before him. J. P Lange's Commentary.
Verse 7. Deep calleth unto deep at the noise of thy
waterspouts. Here he has conjoined two awful and terrific phenomena of
nature. It is a fact well ascertained by the evidence of travellers, that the
falling of waterspouts is not uncommon on the coast of Judea. It should seem
that they are occasioned by the congregating of great masses of cloud, whose
waters concentrating to a point, pour themselves down in a tremendous column,
accompanied with a roaring noise. Now, the image conceived in the mind of the
psalmist seems to be that of the rushing of this vast waterspout down into the
sea, already agitated, and increasing the turbulence and disorder of its waves.
And awful picture! Especially if there be added to it the ideas of a black
tempestuous sky, and the deafening roar occasioned by the tumult. What would be
the situation of a vessel in the midst of such a tempest, the deluge pouring
down from above, and all around her the furious ocean heaving its tremendous
surges--how ungovernable, how helpless, how next to impossible that she should
escape foundering except by some almost miraculous interference! Yet to such a
situation does David here compare the state of his soul when submersed, as it
were, under a sea of afflictions; "all thy waves and thy billows are gone over
me." How pungent must his sense of grief have been to occasion him to make use
of such a comparison, so strongly expressive of the utmost danger and terror!
Verse 7. Deep calleth unto deep, etc. The abyss above calls
on the abyss below, in the voice of the droppings of thy waterspouts.
Verse 7. Deep calleth unto deep. So let prayer unto prayer,
and faith unto faith, and one grace to the exercise of another. If we cannot
prevail with God it may be the first time, yet we may the second; or if not
then, the third. Thomas Horton.
Verse 7. Deep calleth unto deep. What's that? Why, it is
expressed in the verse before: "O God, "says he, "my soul is cast
down within me." "Down, "that is deep into the jaws of
distrust and fear. And, Lord, my soul in this depth of sorrow, calls for
help to thy depth of mercy. For though I am sinking and going down, yet
not so low but that thy mercy is yet underneath me. Do, of thy compassions, open
those everlasting arms, and catch him that has no help or stay in himself. For
so it is with one that is falling into a well or a dungeon.
Verse 7. Here the psalmist feels the spirit of bondage,
which is wrath and fear; and he prays for the joy of God's salvation, and to be
upheld by God's free spirit, which is the Holy Spirit, the spirit of love and
power. He complains of "deep calling unto deep." A soul in the horrible
pit hears little else but the calls of law and justice for vengeance, which are
always answered again by the accusations of Satan and conscience. The storms of
Sinai, like a waterspout at sea, threaten the earthen vessel with a
deluge of wrath, which would soon drown it in destruction and perdition. These
waves of real, and some imaginary, displeasure (no less terrible than real),
rolling over the poor creature, are ready to send the bark to the bottom. This
is the terrible way in which some fallen and backsliding souls are purged and
reclaimed, and especially such as have brought public scandal upon the gospel,
and church of Christ. William Huntington (1744-1813) in
"Contemplations of the God of Israel."
Verse 7. Thy waterspouts. Dr. Boothroyd translates
(Kyrwnu), "thy cataracts." In
justification of which translation, he observes that the situation of David
suggested this forcible image. He saw the torrents falling from the precipices,
and heard them resounding, and as if calling to one another for assistance; so,
says he, all thy waves, that is, afflictions and troubles, come upon me and
overwhelm me. John Morison.
Verse 7. Waterspouts. Look at those clouds which hang like a
heavy pall of sackcloth over the sea, along the western horizon. From them, on
such windy days as these, are formed waterspouts, and I have already
noticed several incipient "spouts" lengthening downward from their lower edge.
These remarkable phenomena occur most frequently in spring, but I have also seen
them in autumn. They are not accompanied with much rain; and between the dark
stratum above and the sea, the sky is clear and bright. Here and there fragments
of black vapour, shaped like long funnels, are drawn down from the clouds
towards the sea, and are seen to be in violent agitation, whirling around on
themselves as they are driven along by the wind. Directly beneath them, the
surface of the sea is also in commotion by a whirlwind, which travels on in
concert with the spout above. I have often seen the two actually unite in
midair, and rush toward the mountains, writhing, and twisting, and bending, like
a huge serpent, with its head in the clouds and its tail on the deep. They make
a loud noise, of course, and appear very frightful. Deep calleth unto deep
at the noise of thy waterspouts: all thy waves and thy billows are
gone over me, said David, when his soul was cast down within him.
But, though formidable in appearance, they do very little injury. I have never
heard of more than one instance in which they proved destructive even to boats,
though the sailors are extremely afraid of them. As soon as they approach the
shore, they dissolve and disappear. That kind of waterspout which bursts on the
mountains, generally in the dry months of summer, does immense mischief. In a
few minutes the wadies along its track are swollen into furious rivers, which
sweep away grain, olives, raisins, and every other produce of the farmer. I have
frequently known them to carry off and drown flocks of sheep and goats, and even
cows, horses, and their owners alike. W. M. Thomson.
Verse 7. All thy waves and thy billows.
Deep to deep incessant calling,
Tossed by furious tempests' roll,
Endless waves and billows falling,
Overwhelm my fainting soul.
Yet I see a Power presiding
Mid the tumult of the storm,
Ever ruling, ever guiding,
Love's intentions to perform.
Yes, mid sorrows most distressing,
Faith contemplates thy design,
Humbly bowing, and confessing
All the waves and billows THINE.
Verse 7. All thy waves and thy billows are gone over me.
Wide over misfortune's surging tide
Billows succeeding billows spread;
Should one, its fury spent, subside,
Another lifts its boisterous head.
--Agschylus in "The Seven Chief's against Thebes."
Verse 8. Yet the Lord will command his lovingkindness. His
expression is remarkable; he does not say simply that the Lord will bestow, but
command his lovingkindness. As the gift bestowed is grace--free favour to
the unworthy; so the manner of bestowing it is sovereign. It is given by decree;
it is a royal donative. And if he commands the blessing, who shall hinder
its reception? Henry March.
Verse 8. It is all one to a godly man, night or
day. For what night can there be to him who hath God always with
him, who is a sun to comfort him, as well as a shield to protect him Ps
84:11; and the light of whose countenance, if it be but very little, is
more comfortable than all things else whatsoever that the day can bring
with it. He can say, "When I sit in darkness, the Lord shall be a light unto me"
Mic 7:8; and "the Lord my God will enlighten my darkness." Ps 18:28. To tell you
the truth, I think the night is the merriest time that the godly man
hath, and the saddest for the wicked man (who, though he may make use of
darkness to hide his sin, yet is he afraid, because of that very thing in
which his safety consists). For if a man be merry in good company, he must needs
be more merry when he enjoys it better, and there is less to disturb his mirth.
So as it is with a godly man in the night, when the greatest part of his
hindrances are removed, and he can "delight himself in the Almighty" without
disturbance. Job 27:10. David says that the Lord would indeed command his
lovingkindness in the daytime. but, in the night (says he) his
song shall be with me. --"His song, "as I think, not of thanksgiving,
but of joy and exultation, such as God uses to give at that time. Job
35:10. In the daytime the soul is so taken up with base employments, so
distracted with variety of sensible objects, and so busied with work for the
body, that either she hath no leisure at all to do her own work (such as this
joy is as much as anything) or she cannot do it so well as she would, or so well
as she could in the night, when she hath less to do. I doubt not but the
worldly and carnal man, now that I am talking so much of night, and
sleep, will be ready to say that I do but dream, and to answer me as the
fellow did the hunter, when he bade him hear "what heavenly music his dogs
made." For I know he counts the music and songs that we speak of, nothing but a
frenzy, or a fancy at least, such as mad and diseased people have in their
brain, while they imagine it to be in the air. But, as Peter said of those upon
whom the Holy Ghost fell, "These men are not drunk, as ye suppose; "so may I
reply to such men, No such matter, the godly are not mad, as ye suppose, for
their songs are not works of their own fancy, not made of their own head, but
set for them by God himself, "who giveth songs in the night." Job 35:10.
Verse 8. And my prayer unto the God of my life. Here may be
seen that David's religion was a religion of prayer after deliverance, as
well as before. The selfish who cry out in trouble will have done with their
prayers, when the trouble is over. With David it was the very reverse.
Deliverance from trouble would strengthen his confidence in God, embolden his
addresses to him, and furnish him with new arguments...There is great
need of prayer after deliverance; for the time of deliverance is often a
time of temptation; the soul being elated, and thrown off its guard. At such
seasons much of the joy that is felt may be merely natural, as David's would
probably be when rescued from that corroding care which injures the body as well
as distresses the soul. There is danger of mistaking; of supposing it to be all
spiritual, and hence of imagining the soul to be in a higher state of grace than
it really is, and so, of being imperceptibly drawn into a state of false
security. There is then especial need of that prayer. "Hold thou me up, and I
shall be safe." And with some peculiarly, who being of a sanguine constitution
of mind, are in times of enjoyment, soon puffed up and brought into danger.
Verse 8. (last clause). Your song and your prayer
must be directed to God as the God of your life. You do not own him as
God, except you own and adore him as your all sufficient good, and that "fulness
which filleth all in all." You detract from the glory of his Godhead, if you
attribute not this to him; and if, accordingly, as one that cannot live without
him, you do not seek union with him, and join yourself to him, and then rejoice
and solace yourself in that blessed conjunction. John Howe.
Verse 9. God my rock. David was a fugitive, with little
means of defence, and continually pursued by enemies who were powerful and
numerous. The country in which he wandered was mountainous, and he often sought
and found shelter on the tops of precipitous rocks, or in their natural hollows
or excavated caves. Thus the idea of shelter and defence being associated in his
mind with that of a rock, how natural that he should apply the term to God, and
when seeking him as his refuge and helper, should address him by that
appellation... Why hast thou forgotten me? Not that he supposed he was
literally forgotten of God, so as to be given up and abandoned by him; because
he had still sufficient trust in his faithfulness to seek him for a refuge, and
to hope in his mercy. His expression is to be regarded as the language of
feeling, not of judgment. He felt, he seemed, as one forgotten by God. Those
visits of love, those manifestations of favour with which he had formerly been
indulged, and which then seemed to him to be so many tokens of the divine
remembrance, were now withheld, now when, on account of his distress, they
appeared so unspeakably more needful and desirable; whence it was that he felt
as one forgotten. Henry March.
Verse 10. Mine enemies. It is strange that he should
have enemies, that was so harmless a man that when they were sick and
distressed, he prayed for them, and put on sackcloth for them, as it is, Ps
35:1-28. This compassionate sweet natured man, yet, notwithstanding, you see he
had enemies, and enemies that would discover themselves to reproach him, and
that bitterly; in the bitterest manner, they reproach him in his religion. We
may be armed by this observation against the scandal of opposition--that if we
meet with enemies in the world, we should not be much offended at it; grieve we
may, but wonder we need not. Was there ever any that did more good than our
Saviour Christ? "He went about doing good." Ac 10:38. He did never a miracle
that was harmful (but only of the swine that were drowned in the sea, and that
was their own fault), but he went about doing all the good he could; yet,
notwithstanding, we see what malicious opposites he had. That that is true of
the head must be true in the members. Therefore we should rejoice in our
conformity to Christ, if it be in a good cause, that we find enemies and
opposition. The devil is not made a Christian yet, and he will never be made
good, for his is in termino, as we say, he is in his bounds, his nature
is immovable; he is in hell in regard of his estate, though he be loose to do
mischief. Now, until the devil be good, God's children shall never want enemies;
and he will never be good; therefore, though there were good kings and good
governors over all the world, yet good men shall never want enemies as long as
the devil is alive, as long as he hath anything to do in the world. Enemies,
therefore, we must look for, and such enemies as will not conceal their malice
neither; for that were something, if they would suffer their malice to boil and
concoct in their own hearts, but that will not be, but "out of the abundance of
the heart the mouth will speak." Richard Sibbes.
Verse 10. They say daily unto me. Here's their constancy and
perseverance in this their carriage and language, it is daily, or all
the day, (Mwyh-lk) It is not only for
a fit and away, but it is their frequent and continual practice; it's every, and
it's all the day; they begin in the morning, and they hold out still till night
as unquiet persons use to do; and they begin the week with it, and so they
continue till the end; he could never come into their company or near them, but
he had such language from them. Thomas Horton.
Verse 10. Where is thy God? David might rather have said to
them, Where are your eyes? where is your sight? for God is not only in heaven,
but in me. Though David was shut out from the sanctuary, yet David's soul was a
sanctuary for God; for God is not tied to a sanctuary made with hands. God hath
two sanctuaries, he hath two heavens--the heaven of heavens and a broken spirit.
God dwelt in David as in his temple. God was with David and in him; and he was
never more with him, nor never more in him than in his greatest afflictions.
They wanted eyes, he wanted not God. Though sometimes God hide himself, not only
from the world but from his own children, yet he is there; howsoever their
sorrow is such that it dims their sight (as we see in Hagar), so that they
cannot see him for the present, he sometimes looks in their face, as we see in
Mary's case. She could not see Christ distinctly, but thought him to be the
gardener. There is a kind of concealment awhile in heavenly wisdom, yet
notwithstanding, God is with his children always, and they know it by faith
though not by feeling always...Therefore, it was an ignorant question of them to
ask, Where is thy God? It showed that they were ignorant of the passages
of God's dealing with his children, as indeed none are greater atheists than
your scoffers. Where is thy God? as if God had been only a God of
observation, to be observed outwardly in all his passages towards his children;
whereas, as I said, he is a God hiding himself ofttimes; and he shows himself in
contrary conditions most of all, most comfortably. His work is by contraries.
But these carnal men were ignorant of the mysteries of religion, and the
mysteries of divine providence towards God's children. Therefore, their question
savours of their disposition, Where is now thy God? Richard
Verse 10. Where is thy God? It is the deriding question
which persecutors put to the saints in the time of their trials and troubles,
Ubi Deus? "Where is now your God?" But they may return a bold and
confident answer, Hic Deus, "Our God is here, "our God is nigh unto us,
our God is round about us, our God is in the midst of us, our God has given us
his promise "that he will never leave us nor forsake us." Heb 13:5. In every
trouble, in every danger, in every death, the Lord will be sure to keep us
company. God will bear his children company, not only whilst they are in a
delightful paradise, but also when they are in a howling wilderness. Ho 2:14.
When a company of poor Christians were going into banishment, one standing by to
see them pass along said, that it was a very sad condition that those poor
people were in, to be thus hurried from the society of men, and to be made
companions of the beasts of the fields. True, said another, it were a sad
condition indeed, if they were carried to a place where they should not find
their God; but let them be of good cheer, for God goes along with them, and will
exhibit the comforts of his presence whithersoever they go, his presence is
infinite, and filleth all places. The Rabbins put Makom, which signifies
place, among the names of God; Bythner brings them in expounding that
text Es 4:14, thus: "Deliverance shall arise from another place, "that is, from
God. Now, they called God place, because he is in every place, filling
heaven and earth with his presence. Thomas Brooks.
Verse 10. Forest flies, small as they are, drive the noble
war horse mad; therefore David says, As with a sword in my bones, mine
enemies reproach me; while they say daily unto me, Where is thy God?
Frederick William Robertson, 1851.
Verse 11. Imitate here the example of David, instead of
yielding to a vague grief: cite your soul; enquire of it the particular
cause of your sorrow: different remedies will be requisite according to the
different sources of your distress; and be careful that you trifle not with God,
and your comfort, and your salvation, while you enquire of your soul, Why art
thou cast down, O my soul? Be impartial, there is another and more solemn
judgment to succeed: be persevering, like the psalmist, return, again and again
to the investigation: be prayerful; self love, or the delusion of your heart,
may otherwise deceive you. Pray then to God, to "search you, and see if there be
any wicked way in you." Henry Kollock, D.D., in "Sermons," etc. 1822.
Verse 11. Hope. Hope is like the sun, which, as we journey
towards it, casts the shadow of our burden behind us. Samuel Smiles,
Verse 11. God...is the health of my countenance. The health
of David's countenance was not in his countenance, but in his God, and
this makes his faith silence his fears, and so peremptorily resolve upon it,
that there is a time coming (how near so ever he now lies to the grave's mouth)
when he shall yet praise him. The health and life of thy grace lie both
of them, not in thy grace, saith faith, but in God, who is thy
God, therefore I shall yet live and praise him. I do not wonder that the weak
Christian is melancholy and sad, when he sees his sickly face in any other glass
than this. William Gurnall.
Verse 11. The health of my countenance. The countenance is
often a true index to the mind. In the present awakening in religion, nothing is
more remarkable than the sad or joyous looks of those whom God has spiritually
exercised. It is easy who are sad, and who happy. There is nothing new in this;
the psalmist says, "My soul is cast down within me." Therefore had he a dejected
countenance; but said he, "Send thy light and thy truth; let them lead me; then
will I go unto God, my exceeding joy...And he shall be the health of my
countenance." In his sorrow, the face of Jesus was marred more than any
man's, and his visage more than the sons of men. The martyr Stephen was so
filled with the sight of Jesus, that in the midst of his persecutors, with death
in prospect, he had a face which "shone as the face of an angel." My friend, how
is it with thee? Is thy countenance sad? or doth it shine with the joy of the
Lord, telling the true tale of thy life and lot? J. Denham Smith. 1860.
Verse 11. Hast thou seen the sun shine forth in February,
and the sky blue, and the hedgerows bursting into bud, and the primrose peeping
beneath the bank, and the birds singing in the bushes? Thou hast thought that
spring was already come in its beauty and sweet odours. But a few days, and the
clouds returned, and the atmosphere was chilled, and the birds were mute, and
snow was on the ground, and thou hast said that spring would never come. And
thus sometimes the young convert finds his fears removed, and the comforts of
the gospel shed abroad in his heart, and praise and thanksgiving, and a new song
put in his mouth. And he deems unadvisedly that his troubles are past for ever.
But awhile, and his doubts return, and his comforts die away, and his light is
taken from him, and his spirit is overwhelmed, and he is fain to conclude that
salvation and all its blessings are not for him. But the spring, though late,
shall break at last. Why art thou cast down, O my soul? and why art thou
disquieted within me? H. G. Salter's "Book of Illustrations,"
Verse 11. His arguments and motives hereunto are impregnated
with very great sense and strength; and urged upon himself as the just rate
thereof. Hope thou in God. For he is 1. God. 2. Thy
God. 3. The health of thy countenance, and 4. One whom thou
shalt (certainly and for ever) praise as such. And 5. Do it
yet, as lamentable and hopeless as thy case appears at present through
seeming difficulties or unlikelihoods. God and ourselves well understood, deeply
considered, and skilfully urged and improved, give gracious hearts the best
encouragements and supports under the severest accidents of time. And they will
very strangely animate our hopes in God under our sorest troubles and
dejections. David had (1) confidence in God; and (2) reasons for it; and (3)
skill and a heart to urge them. When he reviewed himself, he saw that his soul
was gracious; and so he knew God valued it. It was bent for praising God; and so
he knew that he should have an opportunity and cause to do it, through some
signal favours from him. He had an interest in God; and he would neither lose it
nor neglect it, and he had great experience of God's former mercies, and he
would not forget them. And when he thinks on God, then praises must be thought
on too, and everything relating to it, and all the divine perfections, within
the circumference of his knowledge, must have their fresh remembrances and
powerful sense revived upon his own heart. Matthew Sylvester (1636-1708), in
Verse 11. The soul, when once greatly disturbed, is often
not soon calmed, on account of infirmities and remaining corruptions. Henry
HINTS TO THE VILLAGE PREACHER
Verse 1. The longing heart and the panting hart compared.
Verses 1,2. Those who have enjoyed the presence of God in the
public ordinances of religion will greatly desire, if deprived of them, to be
favoured with them again...Prevention from attending the public ordinances of
God's house may be made the means of great benefit to the soul.
1. By renewing our relish for the provisions of the Lord's
house, which so soon and so often palls.
2. By making us to prize the means of grace more highly. There
is, through human degeneracy, a proneness to value things less, however
excellent in themselves, because of their being common, or plentiful, or of easy
3. By driving us more directly from God. H. March.
Verses 1-3. The home sickness of the soul. What awakens it in
the soul? To what is it directed, or does it point or tend? Wherewith can it be
satisfied? By the bitter, but ofttimes wholesome food of tears. J. P.
Verses 1-2. Those who have enjoyed the presence of God in the
public ordinances of religion will greatly desire, if deprived of them, to be
favoured with them again...Prevention from attending the public ordinances of
God's house may be
1. What thirsts? "my soul."
2. For what? "for God."
3. In what way? "when shall I come."
Or, the cause, incentives, excellences, and privileges of
Verse 2. (last clause). The true view of public
Verse 2. (last clause). Appearance before God here
and hereafter. Isaac Watts, D.D., Two Sermons.
Verses 1-3. The home sickness of the soul. What awakens it in
the soul? To what is it directed, or does it point or tend? Wherewith can it be
satisfied? By the bitter, but ofttimes wholesome food of tears. J. P.
Verse 3. The believer's Lent, and its salt meats.
1. What causes the sorrow?
2. What will remove it?
3. What benefit will come of it?
Verses 3, 10. The carriage of David's enemies.
1. The nature of it, and that was reproach.
2. The expression of it, They say unto me.
3. The constancy of it: daily, or, all the day
4. The specification of it, in a scornful and
opprobrious question: Where is (now) thy God? Thomas Horton.
1. It is common for the mind, in seasons of sorrow, to seek
relief from the present in recollections of the past.
2. In recollections of past enjoyments, those that relate to
social worship will be peculiarly dear to the servant of God.
3. Man is a social being, hence he derives help from united
Verse 4. I pour out my soul in me. The uselessness of
Verse 4. I had gone with the multitude, etc. Company, if it
be that which is good, is a very blessed and comfortable accommodation in sundry
1. It is an exercise of men's faculties, and the powers and
abilities of the mind.
2. It is a fence against danger, and a preservative against
sadness and various temptations.
3. An opportunity of doing more good. Thomas Horton.
Verse 4. I had gone, etc. Sunny memories, their lessons of
gratitude and hope.
Verse 4. (last clause). Not Chaucer's tales of the
Canterbury pilgrims, but David's tales of the Jerusalem pilgrims.
Verse 4. With the voice, etc. Congregational singing
defended, extolled, discriminated, and urged.
Verse 5. Sorrow put to the question, or the Consolatory
Verse 5. The sweetness, safety, and rightness of hope
in God. Good grip for the anchor.
Verse 5. The music of the future, I shall yet praise
Verse 5. The help of his countenance, or the sustaining
power of God's presence.
Verse 5. Why art thou cast down?
1. The mind, even of a holy man, may be unduly cast down and
2. In cases of undue dejection and disquietude, the proper
remedy is to expostulate with the soul, and to direct it to the only true
source of relief.
3. Expostulation with the soul in times of distress, is then
productive of its proper end, when it leads to an immediate application to God.
Verse 5. An emphasis of enquiry or examination; David
calls himself to account for his present passion and trouble of mind. An
emphasis of reproof or objurgation; David chides and rebukes himself for
his present distemper. "Why art thou thus?" Thomas Horton.
Verses 5, 11. or help and health.
Verse 6. Remember thee. The consolation derivable from
thoughts of God.
Verse 6. Therefore will I remember thee. There are two ways
of understanding this; each of them instructive and profitable...
1. It may be considered as an expression of determined
remembrance of God should he ever be found in such places and conditions.
Believers can suppose the worst, and yet hope for the best.
2. The language may be considered as an expression of
encouragement derived from reflection. He had been in these situations
and circumstances, and had experienced in them displays of divine providence and
grace. W. Jay.
Verse 6. Ebenezers, many, varied, remembered, helpful.
Verse 7. Deep calleth unto deep. See Spurgeon's Sermons, No.
Verse 7. Deep calleth unto deep. One evil inviting another.
1. The variety of evils--one evil to another.
2. The conjunction of evils--one evil with another.
3. The connexion of evils, or dependence and mutual
reference --one evil upon another. T. Horton.
Verse 7. The threefold depth which the saints and servants
of God are subject to here in this life.
1. The depth of temptation.
2. The depth of desertion.
3. The depth of affliction and human calamities. T.
Verses 7, 8. In seasons of affliction the servants of God will
be distinguished from others by their ready perception and acknowledgment of the
hand of God in their trials. H. March.
Verse 8. Daily mercy and nightly song; the mercies of
sunshine and shade.
Verse 8. (last clause). The blessed alternation
between praise and prayer.
Verse 8. God of my life. Author, sustainer, comforter,
object, crown, consummation.
Verse 8. The God of my life. There is a threefold life
whereof we partake, and God is the God of each unto us. First, the life of
nature; secondly, the life of grace; thirdly, the life of
glory. T. Horton.
Verse 9. God my rock. Appellations of God, suited to
Verse 9. My rock. See Keach in his metaphors.
1. Why thou?
2. Why I?
3. Why he? It is a why to all three. To God,
Why has thou forgotten me? To David himself, Why do I go mourning?
To David's adversary, whoever he was, Why does the enemy oppress
me? --T. Horton.
Verse 10. The most grievous of taunts.
Verse 11. My God.
1. It's a word of interest--My God, as in covenant
2. A word of compliance--My God, as submitting to
3. A word of affection--My God, as taking delight, and
rejoicing in him. T. Horton.
Verse 11. A catechism, a consolation, a commendation.
1. David's experience of God. He is the health,
or help of my countenance.
2. His relation to God, and interest in him--
And my God. T. Horton.
WORKS UPON THE FORTY-SECOND PSALM
A Practical Exposition of the Forty-second Psalm, in ten
Sermons, in Choice and Practical Expositions on four select Psalms.
Psalms 4, 42, 51, 63. By THOMAS HORTON, D.D. 1675. Folio.
Sabbaths at Home: or, a help to their right improvement;
founded on the Forty-second and Forty-third Psalms. Intended for the
use of pious persons when prevented from attending the public worship of God. By
HENRY MARCH. London: 1823.
On the eleventh verse of this Psalm there are the following
works: --Twelve Sermons, in "A Cordial for a Fainting Soule." By
JOHN COLLINGS. 1652. Part 2, pp. 133-206.
Thirteen Sermons in the works of WILLIAM BRIDGE (1600-1670),
entitled, "A Lifting Up for the Downcast." Volume 2, of the edition of
Comfort and Counsel for Dejected Souls. By JOHN DURANT.
The Soul's Conflict with Itself. By RICHARD SIBBES.
(Numerous old editions). In Sibbes' Works, Nichol's Puritan Series, vol. I.