Exposition - Explanatory Notes and Quaint Sayings
Hints to the Village Preacher - Works Upon This Psalm
TITLE. To the Chief Musician. Who he was matters
not, and who we may be is also of small consequence, so long as the Lord is
glorified. On Neginoth, or upon stringed instruments. This is the fifth
Psalm so entitled, and no doubt like the others was meant to be sung with the
accompaniment of "harpers harping with their harps." No author's name is given,
but he would be a bold man who should attempt to prove that David did not write
it. We will be hard pushed before we will look for any other author upon whom to
father these anonymous odes which lie side by side with those ascribed to David,
and wear a family likeness to them. A Psalm or Song. Solemnity and
vivacity are here united. A Psalm is a song, but all songs are not Psalms: this
is both one and the other.
Verse 1. God be merciful unto us, and bless us; and cause his
face to shine upon us. This is a fit refrain to the benediction of
the High Priest in the name of the Lord, as recorded in Nu 6:24-25. "The Lord
bless thee, and keep thee: the Lord make his face shine upon thee, and be
gracious unto thee." It begins at the beginning with a cry for mercy.
Forgiveness of sin is always the first link in the chain of mercies experienced
by us. Mercy is a foundation attribute in our salvation. The best saints and the
worst sinners may unite in this petition. It is addressed to the God of mercy,
by those who feel their need of mercy, and it implies the death of all legal
hopes or claims of merit. Next, the church begs for a blessing; bless us
--a very comprehensive and far reaching prayer. When we bless God we do but
little, for our blessings are but words, but when God blesses he enriches
us indeed, for his blessings are gifts and deeds. But his blessing alone is not
all his people crave, they desire a personal consciousness of his favour, and
pray for a smile from his face. These three petitions include all that we need
here or hereafter. This verse may be regarded as the prayer of Israel, and
spiritually of the Christian church. The largest charity is shown in this Psalm,
but it begins at home. The whole church, each church, and each little company,
may rightly pray, bless us. It would, however, be very wrong to
let our charity end where it begins, as some do; our love must make long
marches, and our prayers must have a wide sweep, we must embrace the whole world
in our intercessions. Selah. Lift up the heart, lift up the voice. A higher key,
a sweeter note is called for.
Verse 2. That thy way may be known upon earth. As showers
which first fall upon the hills afterwards run down in streams into the valleys,
so the blessing of the Most High comes upon the world through the church. We are
blessed for the sake of others as well as ourselves. God deals in a way of mercy
with his saints, and then they make that way known far and wide, and the Lord's
name is made famous in the earth. Ignorance of God is the great enemy of
mankind, and the testimonies of the saints, experimental and grateful, overcome
this deadly foe. God has set a way and method of dealing out mercy to men, and
it is the duty and privilege of a revived church to make that way to be
everywhere known. Thy saving health among all nations, or, thy
salvation. One likes the old words, "saving health, "yet as they are not the
words of the Spirit but only of our translators, they must be given up: the word
is salvation, and nothing else. This all nations need, but many of them
do not know it, desire it, or seek it; our prayer and labour should be, that the
knowledge of salvation may become as universal as the light of the sun. Despite
the gloomy notions of some, we cling to the belief that the kingdom of Christ
will embrace the whole habitable globe, and that all flesh shall see the
salvation of God: for this glorious consummation we agonize in prayer.
Verse 3. Let the people praise thee, O God. Cause them to
own thy goodness and thank thee with all their hearts; let nations do this, and
do it continually, being instructed in thy gracious way. Let all the people praise thee. May every man bring his
music, every citizen his canticle, every peasant his praise, every prince his
psalm. All are under obligations to thee, to thank thee will benefit all, and
praise from all will greatly glorify thee; therefore, O Lord, give all men the
grace to adore thy grace, the goodness to see thy goodness. What is here
expressed as a prayer in our translation, may be read as a prophecy, if we
follow the original Hebrew.
Verse 4. O let the nations be glad and sing for joy, or,
they shall joy and triumph. When men know God's way and see his salvation, it
brings to their hearts much happiness. Nothing creates gladness so speedily,
surely, and abidingly as the salvation of God. Nations never will be glad till
they follow the leadership of the great Shepherd; they may shift their modes of
government from monarchies to republics, and from republics to communes, but
they will retain their wretchedness till they bow before the Lord of all. What a
sweet word is that to sing for joy! Some sing for form, others for show,
some as a duty, others as an amusement, but to sing from the heart, because
overflowing joy must find a vent, this is to sing indeed. Whole nations will do
this when Jesus reigns over them in the power of his grace. We have heard
hundreds and even thousands sing in chorus, but what will it be to hear whole
nations lifting up their voices, as the noise of many waters and like great
thunders. When shall the age of song begin? When shall groans and murmurs be
exchanged for holy hymns and joyful melodies?
For thou shalt judge the people righteously. Wrong on the
part of governors is a fruitful source of national woe, but where the Lord
rules, rectitude is supreme. He doeth ill to none. His laws are righteousness
itself. He rights all wrongs and releases all who are oppressed. Justice on the
throne is a fit cause for national exultation. And govern the nations upon earth. He will lead them as a
shepherd his flock, and through his grace they shall willingly follow, then will
there be peace, plenty, and prosperity. It is a great condescension on God's
part to become the Shepherd of nations, and to govern them for their good: it is
a fearful crime when a people, who know the salvation of God, apostatize and say
to the Lord, "Depart from us." There is some cause for trembling lest our nation
should fall into this condemnation; may God forbid. Selah. Before repeating the chorus, the note is again
elevated, that full force may be given to the burst of song and the
accompaniment of harps.
"Strings and voices, hands and hearts,
In the concert bear your parts;
All that breathe, your Lord adore,
Praise him, Praise him, evermore!"
Verse 5. These words are no vain repetition, but are a
chorus worthy to be sung again and again. The great theme of the psalm is the
participation of the Gentiles in the worship of Jehovah; the psalmist is full of
it, he hardly knows how to contain or express his joy.
Verse 6. Then shall the earth yield her increase. Sin first
laid a curse on the soil, and grace alone can remove it. Under tyrannical
governments lands become unproductive; even the land which flowed with milk and
honey is almost a wilderness under Turkish rule; but, when the principles of
true religion shall have elevated mankind, and the dominion of Jesus shall be
universally acknowledged, the science of tillage shall be perfected, men shall
be encouraged to labour, industry shall banish penury, and the soil shall be
restored to more than its highest condition of fertility. We read that the Lord
turneth "a fruitful land into barrenness, "for the wickedness of them that dwell
therein, and observation confirms the truth of the divine threatening; but even
under the law it was promised, "The Lord shall make thee plenteous in every work
of thine hand, in the fruit of thy cattle, and in the fruit of thy land for
good." There is certainly an intimate relation between moral and physical evil,
and between spiritual and physical good. Alexander notes that the Hebrew is in
the past tense, and he concludes that it is ungrammatical to render it in the
future; but to us it seems that the prophet bard, hearing the nations praise the
Lord, speaks of the bounteous harvest as already given in consequence. On the
supposition that all the people praise Jehovah, the earth has yielded her
increase. The future in the English appears to be the clearest rendering of the
Hebrew. And God, even our own God, shall bless us. He will make
earth's increase to be a real blessing. Men shall see in his gifts the hand of
that same God whom Israel of old adored, and Israel, especially, shall rejoice
in the blessing, and exult in her own God. We never love God aright till we know
him to be ours, and the more we love him the more we long to be fully assured
that he is ours. What dearer name can we give to him than "mine own God." The
spouse in the song has no sweeter canticle than "my beloved is mine and I am
his." Every believing Jew must feel a holy joy at the thought that the nations
shall be blessed by Abraham's God; but every Gentile believer also rejoices that
the whole world shall yet worship the God and Father of our Lord and Saviour
Jesus Christ, who is our Father and our God.
Verse 7. God shall bless us. The prayer of the first verse
is the song of the last. We have the same phrase twice, and truly the Lord's
blessing is manifold; he blesses and blesses and blesses again. How many are his
beatitudes! How choice his benedictions! They are the peculiar heritage of his
chosen. He is the Saviour of all men, but specially of them that believe. In
this verse we find a song for all future time. God shall bless us is our assured
confidence; he may smite us, or strip us, or even slay us, but he must bless us.
He cannot turn away from doing good to his elect. And all the ends of the earth shall fear him. The far off
shall fear. The ends of the earth shall end their idolatry, and adore their God.
All tribes, without exception, shall feel a sacred awe of the God of Israel.
Ignorance shall be removed, insolence subdued, injustice banished, idolatry
abhorred, and the Lord's love, light, life, and liberty, shall be over all, the
Lord himself being King of kings and Lord of lords. Amen, and Amen.
EXPLANATORY NOTES AND QUAINT SAYINGS
Whole Psalm. How admirably balanced are the parts of this
missionary song! The people of God long to see all the nations participating in
their privileges, "visited with God's salvation, and gladdened with the gladness
of his nation" (Ps 106:5). They long to hear all the nationalities giving thanks
to the Lord, and hallowing his name; to see the face of the whole earth, which
sin has darkened so long, smiling with the brightness of a second Eden. This is
not a vapid sentiment. The desire is so expressed as to connect with it the
thought of duty and responsibility. For how do they expect that the happy times
are to be reached? They trust, in the first instance, to the general diffusion
of the knowledge of God's way, the spreading abroad of the truth regarding the
way of salvation. With a view to that, they cry for a time of quickening from
the presence of the Lord, and take encouragement in this prayer from the terms
of the divinely appointed benediction. As if they had said, "Hast thou not
commanded the sons of Aaron to put thy name upon us, and to say: The Lord bless
thee and keep thee; the Lord cause his face to shine on thee and be gracious to
thee? Remember that sure word of thine. God be gracious unto us and bless us,
and cause his face to shine upon us. Let us be thus blessed, and we shall in our
turn become a blessing. All the families of the earth shall, through us, become
acquainted with thy salvation." Such is the church's expectation. And who shall
say it is unreasonable? If the little company of a hundred and twenty disciples
who met in the upper chamber at Jerusalem, all of them persons of humble
station, and inconspicuous talents, were endued with such power by the baptism
of the Holy Ghost, that within three hundred years the paganism of the empire
was overthrown, one need not fear to affirm that, in order to the evangelisation
of the world, nothing more is required than that the churches of Christendom be
baptised with a fresh effusion of the same Spirit of power. William
Whole Psalm. There are seven stanzas; twice three two line
stanzas, having one of three lines in the middle, which forms the clasp or
spangle of the septiad, a circumstance which is strikingly appropriate to the
fact that the psalm is called "the Old Testament Paternoster" in some of the old
expositors. Franz Delitzsch.
Verse 1. God be merciful unto us, and bless us, etc. God
forgives, then he gives; till he be merciful to pardon our sins through Christ,
he cannot bless or look kindly on us sinners. All our enjoyments are but
blessings in bullion, till gospel grace and pardoning mercy stamp and make them
current. God cannot so much as bear any good will to us, till Christ makes peace
for us; "On earth peace, good will toward men." Lu 2:14. And what joy can a
sinner take, though it were to hear of a kingdom fallen to him, if he may not
have it with God's good will. William Gurnall.
Verse 1. God be merciful unto us. Hugo attributes these
words to penitents; Bless us, to those setting out in the Christian life;
Cause his face to shine upon us, to those who have attained, or the
sanctified. The first seek for pardon, the second for justifying peace, the
third for edification and the grace of contemplation. Lorinus.
Verses 1-2. Connect the last clause of Ps 67:1 with the first
of Ps 67:2, and observe that God made his face to shine upon Moses, and made
known to him his way. "He made known his ways unto Moses, his acts unto the
children of Israel, "as if the common people could only see the deeds of the
Lord, but his way, his plans, his secrets were revealed only to him upon whom
the light of God's face had shone. C. H. S.
Verse 2. That thy way may be known, etc. The psalmist here
supposes that there are certain rules or principles, in accordance with
which God bestows blessings on mankind; and he prays that those rules and
principles may be everywhere made known upon the earth. Albert Barnes.
Verse 2. That thy way may be known, etc. By nature we know
little of God, and nothing of Christ, or the way of salvation by him. The eye of
the creature, therefore, must be opened to see the way of life before he can by
faith get into it. God doth not use to waft souls to heaven like passengers in a
ship, who are shut under the hatches, and see nothing all the way they are
sailing to their port; if so, that prayer might have been spared which the
psalmist, inspired of God, breathes forth in the behalf of the blind Gentiles:
That thy way may be known upon earth, thy saving health among all
nations. As faith is not a naked assent, with affiance and innitency (Act of
leaning on) on Christ; so neither is it a blind assent, without some knowledge.
If, therefore, you continue still in thy brutish ignorance, and knowest not so
much as who Christ is, and what he hath done for the salvation of poor sinners,
and what thou must do to get interest in him, thou art far enough from
believing. If the day be not broke in thy soul, much less is the Sun of
Righteousness arisen by faith in thy soul. William Gurnall.
Verse 2. That thy way may be known. The sinful Jew,
obstinate in his unbelief, shall see and hate. He shall see, and be enraged at
the salvation of the Gentiles; but let us see and know, that is, love.
For to know is often put for to love, as in the passages-- "My
sheep hear my voice, and I know them: I know mine, and am known of mine; "that
is, I love my own sheep, and they love me... There is here a sudden transition
from the third person to the second, that in speaking of God he might not say,
"His way, "or "his salvation, "but Thy way, and
Thy salvation setting forth the vehemence of an ardent suppliant, and the
grace of God as he reveals himself to that suppliant while still pouring forth
his prayers. Gerhohus (1093-1169).
Verse 2. That thy way may be known, etc. As light, so the
participation of God's light is communicative: we must not pray for ourselves
alone, but for all others, that God's way may be known upon earth, and his
saving health among all nations. Thy way; that is, thy will, thy word,
thy works. God's will must be known on earth, that it may be done on earth, as
it is in heaven. Except we know our Master's will, how shall we do it? Ergo,
first pray with David here: Let the nations be glad and sing for joy: for
thou shalt judge the people righteously, and govern the nations upon
earth; and then, Let all the people praise thee. God's will is
revealed in his word, and his word is his way wherein we must walk, turning
neither to the right hand nor to the left. Or, Thy way; that is, thy
works, as David elsewhere (Ps 25:10): "All thy ways of the Lord are mercy and
truth." Or, as others (Augustine; Jerome; Hilary) most fitly: Thy way,
that is, thy Christ; "Thy saving health, "that is, thy
Jesus: for "I am the way, "saith our Saviour (Joh 14:6): "No man cometh
unto the Father, but by me; " wherefore, "Let thy Son be known upon earth;
thy Jesus among all nations." John Boys.
Verse 3. Let the people praise thee. Mark the sweet order of
the blessed Spirit: first, mercy; than, knowledge; last of all, praising of God.
We cannot see his countenance except he be merciful to us; and we cannot praise
him except his way be known upon earth. His mercy breeds knowledge; his
knowledge, praise. John Boys.
Verse 3. Let the people praise thee, O God; let all the
people praise thee. What then? "Then shall the earth yield her
increase; and God, even our own God, shall bless us." We have comforts
increased, the more we praise God for what we have already received. The more
vapours go up, the more showers come down; as the rivers receive, so they pour
out, and all run into the sea again. There is a constant circular course and
recourse from the sea, unto the sea; so there is between God and us; the more we
praise him, the more our blessings come down; and the more his blessings come
down, the more we praise him again; so that we do not so much bless God as bless
ourselves. When the springs lie low, we pour a little water into the pump, not
to enrich the fountain, but to bring up more for ourselves. Thomas
Verse 3. This verse is exceedingly emphatic.
1. First, by an apostrophe to God, in the pronoun, Thee. As if
he said: Let the people praise thee, not strange gods; for thou art the
only true God.
2. Secondly, inasmuch as it is not said, Let us praise
thee, O God; but let the people praise thee, and let all the
people. For here is expressed the longing of the pious heart, and its fond
desire that God should be praised and magnified throughout all lands and by all
people of the round earth.
3. Thirdly, by the iteration, in which the same particle is
repeated in this and the fifth verse no less than four times, as if the duty
could not be sufficiently inculcated. It is not enough to have said it once; it
is delightful to repeat it again. Wolfgang Musculus (1497-1563).
Verse 4. For thou shalt judge the people righteously, etc.
The Psalmist may here seem to contradict himself; for if mercy make men rejoice,
then judgment occasions men to tremble. Answer is made, that all such as have
known the ways of the Lord, and rejoice in the strength of his salvation, all
such as have the pardon of their sins assured and sealed, fear not that dreadful
assize, because they know the judge is their advocate. Or, (as Jerome,)let all
nations rejoice, because God doth judge righteously, being the God of the
Gentiles as well as of the Jews. Ac 10:34. Or, let all nations
rejoice, because God doth govern all nations; that whereas theretofore they
wandered in the fond imaginations of their own hearts, in wry ways, in byways;
now they are directed by the Spirit of truth to walk in God's highway, which
leads unto the celestial Jerusalem; now they shall know Christ, the way, the
truth, and the life. For judging is often used for ruling. 1Sa 7:15 2Co 1:10. So
David doth here expound himself: thou shalt judge. that is, thou shalt
govern the nations. John Boys.
Verse 4. Govern. Lead and guide them as the shepherd his
flock. Benjamin Boothroyd.
Verse 4. And lead(margin) the nations.
God now overrules the nations in their ways, but surely they are
led by another guide. There is a bridle in their jaws causing them to
err. They are held and shaken in the sieve of vanity, until he come to whom the
government pertains. Arthur Pridham.
Verses 5-6. Let the people praise thee, O God; let all the
people praise thee! What then? Then shall the earth yield her
increase; and God, even our own God, shall bless us. Our unthankfulness
is the cause of the earth's unfruitfulness. While man is blessing God for
his mercies, He is blessing man with his mercies. William Secker, in
"The Nonsuch Professor," 1660.
Verse 6. Then shall the earth yield her increase. An
increase of wealth is but the natural result of increased piety and
intelligence. There are certain qualities essential to temporal prosperity.
These are industry, economy, moderation; and such are the qualities begotten of
godliness. . . . Nor is it an unreasonable expectation that our globe should,
under the reign of righteousness, yield all those temporal advantages of which
it is capable. Science, favoured by piety, may greatly add to the earth's
fruitfulness; and mechanical genius may still farther abbreviate human toil, and
increase human comforts. The great inventions and discoveries of science, by
which toil is lessened and comfort enhanced, are all the product of Christian
minds... Can we, then, doubt that in the era to which we look forward, labour
shall cease to be a burden? Can we believe that the life of the labouring
classes is to continue to be all but a ceaseless round of toil and
vexation--every hand stretched out to procure something that is needed, or to
ward off something that is feared? Scripture predicts the mitigation of the
curse; and, in the discoveries of science, and the inventions of mechanics, we
see the means by which the prediction is to be accomplished. This consummation
may still be in the distant future; but if we do not grudge the oak years for
its growth, the glory to be revealed is surely worthy of a process as gradual.
William Reid, in "Things to Come Practically Considered," 1871.
Verse 6. God, even our own God, shall bless us. What a
rapturous expression is that: God, even our own God, shall bless us! and
that, "Thy God, thy glory!" Upon interest in God follows their interest in his
glory and blessedness; which is so much the dearer and more valuable, as it is
theirs; their glory from their God. They shall be blessed by God, their own God;
"drink waters out of their own well." How endearing a thing is propriety!
Another man's son is ingenuous, comely, personable; this may be a matter of
envy; but mine own is so, this is a joy. I read in the life of a devout nobleman
of France, (Monsieur de Renti) that receiving a letter from a friend in which
were inserted these words: "Deus meus et omnia, "my God and my all, he
thus returns back to him: "I know not what your intent was to put into your
letter these words, `Dues meus et omnia, My God and my all:' only you
invite me thereby to return the same to you, and to all creatures. `My God and
my all: my God and my all; my God and my all.' If, perhaps, you take this for
your motto, and use it to express how full your heart is of it, think you it
possible I should be silent upon such an invitation, and not express my sense
thereof? Likewise be it known unto you, therefore, that he is `my God and my
all; 'and, if you doubt of it, I shall speak of it a hundred times over. I shall
add no more, for anything else is superfluous to him that is truly penetrated
with `my God and my all; 'I leave you, therefore, in this happy state of
jubilation, and conjure you to beg for me, of God, the solid sense of these
words." And do we think, "my God and my all." or, "my God and my glory, "will
have lost its emphasis in heaven? or that it will be less significant among
awakened souls? These things concur, then, concerning the object; it is more
excellent, even divine, entire, permanent, and theirs: how can it but
satisfy? John Howe, in "The Blessedness of the Righteous."
Verse 6. Our own God. How inexpressible was the inward
pleasure wherewith we may suppose those words to have been uttered. How
delightful an appropriation! as if it were intended to be said, the blessing
itself were less significant, it could not have that savour with it, if it were
not from our own God. Not only, therefore, allow but urge your spirits thus to
look towards God, that you may both delight in him as being in himself the most
excellent one, and also as being yours; for know, you are not permitted only,
but obliged to eye, accept, and rejoice in him as such. John Howe.
Verses 6-7. The promise refers directly to the visible
fertility of the renewed earth at the time of Israel's recovery, but it includes
a fuller reference to higher things; for the true increase yielded by any of
God's works is the revenue of praise which redounds to his holy name. Such,
then, is the promise I have to bring before you. In its widest sense, the lower
creation is now made subject to vanity, because of man's sin; but in the kingdom
of Christ this curse will be removed, and all God's works will yield their full
increase--a tribute of unmingled honour and praise to his name. Let us consider
(1.) The preparation for this increase. (2.) The increase itself. (3.) The blessing of God, which will crown it.
I. THE PREPARATIONS FOR THIS INCREASE. What are the means? What is the way of its accomplishment? Whence
does it proceed? Our Psalm is full of instruction. Consider--
1. Its fountain: the free mercy of God. The Psalm
begins, God be merciful unto us, and bless us; and cause his face to
shine upon us. Whatever the details and steps of the work of redemption, all
must be traced up to this original fountain, the sovereign grace and mercy of
our God... The eternal, free, unchangeable, inexhaustible mercy of our God
revealed through his dear Son Jesus Christ; this is the fountain head of the
blessed increase here foretold...
2. The order in which this increase is granted may next
be considered. Salvation is given to the Jew first, and then also to the Greek.
The prayer of this Psalm is, Cause his face to shine upon us; that thy
way may be known upon earth, thy saving health among all nations. It
is the divine plan first to choose his people and bless them, and then to make
them a blessing, as we see in Abraham, the father of the faithful. It is through
his church that God blesses the world... The same principle is true in every
revival of pure religion... But all this order of divine mercy has yet to be
more fully seen in what is before us; in the restoration of Israel, and in its
effect upon the world at large...
3. The immediate precursor of this increase is the
return of our Lord from heaven, the coming of Christ to judge the earth and
reign over all nations. The Psalm calls all nations to rejoice in this: O let
the nations be glad and sing for joy: for thou shalt judge the people
righteously, and govern the nations upon earth. ... The world craves, and
will crave more and more for righteous government. The Lord has promised to
supply this natural want of the human heart, though he take vengeance on his
hardened enemies. Even in the coming of the Lord to judgment, goodness will so
finally triumph that the nations are to be glad and sing for joy... It is the
Lord judging the people and governing the nations, and all the people praising
him, that prepares directly and immediately for the promised blessedness.
Then shall the earth yield her increase.
II. THE INCREASE ITSELF. This increase has many aspects. Let us view them in a climax of benefits.
1. Natural fertility. The first sentence of curse and
barrenness, of thorns and thistles, was pronounced on Adam's fall, and renewed
on Cain's murder. It seems to have been specially removed after the deluge...
Even now, two thirds of our world are ocean, incapable of increase; half of the
rest, and perhaps more, is almost desert, and of the remainder the largest part
is very imperfectly tilled. There is room, even in the latter, for a vast
increase, when the whole earth might become like the garden of the Lord.
2. The redemption of art. Its activity, its talent, and
discoveries are now great and wonderful; but it is mainly turned to human self
sufficiency and vanity, and bears little fruit to God's glory and the highest
benefit of man. But in the period predicted in this Psalm, every creature, when
redeemed to man's use, shall be also reclaimed to God's glory...
3. The redemption of science....
4. Society will yield its increase to God.... Men now
live as without God in the world, full though it be of proofs of his wisdom and
love... What a change when every social circle shall be a fellowship of saints,
and all bent to one great purpose, the divine glory and the blessedness of each
5. The soul shall yield its increase. The earth is only
the figure of the human heart, a soil ever fertile for good or evil. Thus the
apostle, in his Epistle to the Hebrews, regards it: "For the earth which
drinketh in the rain that cometh oft upon it, and bringeth forth herbs meet for
them by whom it is dressed, receiveth blessing from God; but that which beareth
thorns and briers is rejected, and is nigh unto cursing; whose end is to be
burned. But, beloved, we are persuaded better things of you, and things that
accompany salvation, though we thus speak." Then the thorns and briers of a
crooked and perverse generation will cease... The fruits of righteousness will
abound from the human race to the glory of God. Much praise, much zeal, much
reverence, much humility, will distinguish his servants. Faith, hope, and love
will all be in the fullest exercise. Christ will be all and in all, and every
power will be consecrated to him. This is the best increase the earth yields to
6. The large number of God's true servants, thus
yielding themselves to him, is another part of this blessedness...
7. The perpetuity of this increase has to be added to
this glory. This is according to the promise made to the Wonderful, Counsellor,
the Mighty God, the Everlasting Father, the Prince of Peace. Condensed from
Edward Bickersteth's Sermon in the "Bloomsbury Lent Lectures," 1848.
Verses 6-7. Double blessings from God--temporal and
spiritual, blessings peculiar to the Jews, and blessings suited to Christians. O
Lord, I refuse not the temporal blessings it pleases thee to send me; I will
receive them with humble gratitude as the gift of thy goodness: but I entreat
from thee especially for spiritual blessings; and that thou wouldest treat me
rather as a Christian than as a Jew. Pasquier Quesnel (1634-1719), in "Les
Psaumes de David avec des Reflexions Morales."
Verse 7. Note, how joy in God, and fear of God, are
combined. By joy the sadness and anxiety of diffidence are excluded, but by fear
contempt and false security are banished. So Psalm 2, "Serve the Lord with fear,
and rejoice with trembling." Wolfgang Musculus.
HINTS TO THE VILLAGE PREACHER
1. Here is mercy in God the Father.
2. Here is blessing as the fruit of that mercy in God the Son.
3. Here is the experience of that blessing in the comfort of the Holy Ghost.
Verse 1. The need of seeking a blessing for ourselves.
Verses 1-2. The prosperity of the church at home, the hope
for missions abroad.
1. The way of God towards the earth.
(a) A way of mercy.
(b) Of blessing.
(c) Of comfort.
2. The knowledge of that way.
(a) By outward means.
(b) By inward teaching.
3. The effect of that knowledge.
Salvation among all nations.
Verse 2. What is the true health of men?
Verse 3. Viewed,
1. As the desire of every renewed heart.
2. As a prayer.
3. As a prophecy.
1. The reign of God in the world: it is not left to itself.
2. The joy of the world on that account: Let the nations, etc.
3. The reason of that joy: He will judge righteously.
(a) As faithful to his law.
(b) Faithful to his promises of mercy.
1. The prayer (Ps 67:5).
2. The promise (Ps 67:6).
(a) Of temporal good.
(b) Of spiritual good.
3. The prediction (Ps 67:7).
Verses 6-7. See "Spurgeon's Sermons, "No. 819: "The
Minstrelsy of Hope."
1. God to man: shall bless us.
2. Man to God: shall fear him.
WORK UPON THE SIXTY-SEVENTH PSALM
In "The Works of JOHN BOYS, "1626, folio, pp. 42-45,
there is an Exposition of this Psalm.