Psalm 145 Bible Commentary

John Gill’s Exposition of the Bible

(Read all of Psalm 145)
David's [Psalm] of praise. This psalm is rendered by Ainsworth "a hymn of David"; and the whole book of Psalms is from hence called "the Book of Hymns"; see Ephesians 5:19; It seems to have been a psalm David took great delight in, and it may be that he often repeated and sung it, as it was made by him with great care and contrivance, in a very curious manner, as well as he was assisted in it by divine inspiration; for it is wrote in an alphabetical order, each verse: beginning with the letter of the alphabet in course, and goes through the whole, excepting one letter; and very probably it was composed in this form that it might be the more easily committed to memory, and retained in it. The Jews have a very high opinion of it; their Rabbins say, that whoever says this psalm thrice every day may be sure of being a child of the world to come. This is mentioned by Arama and Kimchi; and which the latter explains thus, not he that says it any way, but with his mouth, and with his heart, and with his tongue. It seems to have been written by David after the Lord had granted him all his requests put up in the preceding psalms, and had given him rest from all his enemies; and when he turned his prayers into praises; for this psalm is wholly praise from one end to the other; and so are all the five following ones; they begin and end with "hallelujah": nor is there a single petition in them, as I remember; so that it may in some sense be said, "here the prayers of David the son of Jesse are ended." It no doubt, as Cocceius observes, belongs to the Messiah and his kingdom, which is everlasting, Psalm 145:13.

Verse 1. I will extol thee, my God, O King,.... Or "the King" {a}, the King Messiah, who is by way of eminency called "the King," as in Psalm 21:1. This is the foundation of this whole psalm, as Aben Ezra observes; and shows who is intended and who is the subject of it that is spoken of throughout, even the Messiah, who is the King of the world, the King of the kings of it, the King of Zion, of his church and people, the King of saints, of all believers in him, by the appointment of God, by the conquest of his grace, over whom he reigns by his Spirit and grace; for this his kingdom is spiritual, is in righteousness, and everlasting: and this great King is not a creature, but God, the mighty God, David's Lord and God, and the Lord and God of every saint; whom David loved as such, believed in, looked unto for salvation; from whom he received grace and expected glory, and knew and claimed his interest in him, which is the great privilege of believers in him; see John 20:28; and therefore they, as David, will extol him above all created beings, he being God over all; extol him above all men, even the best and greatest, Moses, Joshua, Aaron, Abraham, or any other, who are his creatures, his children, and his subjects; and even as man he is to be extolled above all men; being chosen out from among the people, fairer than the children of men, and the chiefest among ten thousand; and above the angels, having a more excellent name and nature than they; they being his creatures and servants, and he their Creator and the object of their worship: Christ is extolled by his people when they ascribe deity to him, magnify him in his offices, and make use of him in them all; attribute their whole salvation to him, think and speak highly of him, and declare him extolled and exalted at the right hand of God, as he now is, and as the Old Testament saints, as David and others, had a foresight of and rejoiced in, Psalm 110:1; the Septuagint, Syriac, Ethiopic, and Arabic versions, have it, "my King"; see Zechariah 9:9;

and I will bless thy name for ever and ever; by pronouncing him the Son of the Blessed, God over all blessed for ever; and by ascribing blessing, honour, glory, and power, unto him; by adoring and celebrating the perfections of his nature, which are his name, by which he is known; by expressing a high value and esteem for every precious name of his, as Immanuel, God with us; Jesus, a Saviour, &c. and a regard to his everlasting Gospel, which is his name, bore by his ministering servants throughout the world; see Psalm 8:1.

{a} Klmh "rex," Tigurine version, Junius & Tremellius, Piscator.

Verse 2. Every day will I bless thee,.... For new mercies had every morning; for fresh supplies of grace every day, which all come from the fulness of Christ, to whom all grace is given, and from whence it is received, and in whom all spiritual blessings are, and by whom they are bestowed;

and I will praise thy name for ever and ever; as long as he lived in this world, and to all eternity in the world to come. David understood the doctrine of the saints' perseverance, and knew he should not be an apostate and blasphemer of the name of Christ, but a praiser of it as long as he had a being; and that his principal service, and that of all the saints in the other world, will be praise; not praying, nor preaching, nor hearing the word, and attendance on other ordinances, which will be no more, but adoring and magnifying the riches of divine grace, Psalm 104:34.

Verse 3. Great [is] the Lord, and greatly to be praised,.... Christ is the great God as well as our Saviour; great in all the perfections of his nature, of great wisdom, power, faithfulness, holiness, grace, and goodness; great in his person as God-man, God manifest in the flesh; great in all his offices and relations he bears and stands in to his people; and great in all his works of creation, providence, and redemption, in which he is concerned; and upon all which accounts he is to be praised, and greatly to be praised, by his people, even to the utmost of their capacities, here and hereafter; see Psalm 48:1;

and his greatness [is] unsearchable; the greatness of his nature, and the perfections of it, these are past finding out; and so are his ways and works, and the riches of his grace, John 11:7. The Targum is, "and of his greatness there is no end." So the Septuagint, Vulgate Latin, Syriac, and Arabic versions.

Verse 4. One generation shall praise thy works to another,.... The works of providence done in one age shall be told by the father to the son with praise to the great Performer of them, and so be transmitted to the latest posterity; for in every age there are new and strange things done in Providence, the memory of which is not lost, but they are recorded for the glory of God and the use of men; and the works of grace and salvation wrought by Christ should be, have been, and will be told from age to age; and published in every age by his faithful ministering servants, to the glory of his grace, and the praise of his great name; see Psalm 22:30;

and shall declare thy mighty acts; his mighty acts of nature, in creating all things out of nothing, and upholding all things by the word of his power; his mighty acts of grace, in redeeming his people out of the hands of him that is stronger than they; and from all their sins, and from the curse and condemnation of the law, and wrath to come; and the victories which he has obtained over sin, Satan, the world, and death: or thy powers {b}; the powers of the world to come, Hebrews 6:5; the miracles wrought by Christ on earth, and by his disciples in Gospel times, sometimes called mighty works; as the raising of the dead, &c. Matthew 11:5.

{b} Ktwrwbg "potentias tuas," Vatablus; "potentia facta tua," Piscator; "praepotentias tuas," Cocceius.

Verse 5. I will speak of the glorious honour of thy majesty,.... Of the majesty of the divine Person of Christ; of the honour due unto him; of the glory of him as of the only begotten of the Father, as he is the brightness of his glory, and the express image of his person; of his glory as Mediator, and the honour that belongs to him as such, with which he is now crowned at the right hand of the Majesty on high, angels, authorities, and powers, being subject unto him as the Lord and King of glory;

and of thy wondrous works; in becoming incarnate, in dying for the sins of his people, in rising from the dead the third day, in ascending to heaven and receiving gifts for men; in pouring down the spirit on them, in governing his church throughout all ages of the world, and judging the world at last.

Verse 6. And [men] shall speak of the might of thy terrible acts,.... The terrible things of Christ, which his right hand has taught him, and his mighty power has performed; such as the destruction of a disobedient and ungodly world by a flood, to whom he preached by his Spirit in the days of Noah; the burning of Sodom and Gomorrah by raining on them fire and brimstone from the Lord out of heaven; and the dreadful things he did in Egypt and at the Red sea by the hands of Moses; these, men or saints of the former dispensation, in, before, and after the times of David, could speak of: there are others done by him on the cross, as the bruising the serpent's head, destroying his works, and him himself with his principalities and powers; and at the time of his sufferings, when the sun was darkened at noon day, the earth quaked, the rocks were split, the vail of the temple rent in twain, and graves opened, which threw the centurion and his soldiers into a panic that watched Jesus on the cross; and at his resurrection, when was a great earthquake also, and angels appeared, which made the keepers shake and tremble; and in a few years followed the terrible destruction of the Jewish nation, city, and temple, for the rejection of the Messiah; as also of Rome Pagan in a few ages after that; which are things besides the others that men under the Gospel dispensation can speak of: and there are others yet to be done, terrible to the kings of the earth, as the destruction of antichrist and all the antichristian states, the burning of Rome, the fall of the tenth part of the great city, or Romish jurisdiction, and also of the cities of the nations by an earthquake, and the downfall of all kingdoms and states, to make way for the everlasting kingdom of Christ. Now the power of Christ, as the mighty God, is seen in all these things, which show his eternal power and Godhead, and that with him is terrible majesty; and these are to be spoken of by good men to the terror of the wicked, and to command a proper awe and reverence of Christ in the minds of others;

and I will declare thy greatness; the greatness of his person, offices, and grace, as well as he could, being unsearchable, See Gill on "Ps 145:3."

Verse 7. They shall abundantly utter the memory of thy great goodness,.... Not only his essential goodness, or the perfections of his nature; nor his providential goodness only; but his special grace and goodness to his own people in becoming their surety, in assuming their nature, in laying down his life for them, in working out their salvation, in paying their debts, and providing for them food and raiment, and all things pertaining to life and godliness: which goodness is "great," inexpressibly great, and passing knowledge; if we consider the spring of it, his good will and free favour, and not the works and merits of men; the multitude of persons it reaches to, all the elect of God, a number which no man can number, out of every people and nation; and the many benefits bestowed on them through it, all the blessings of goodness he himself is prevented with, even all spiritual blessings that are in him. Now this will be remembered by the saints, and not forgotten; in "the memory" of which they are assisted by the Spirit of God, who brings this goodness to their remembrance; and under the Gospel dispensation an ordinance is appointed to refresh the memory of the saints with it; and with such helps they are enabled at times "abundantly" to "utter" it, or to speak of it in a very free and flowing manner; it comes from them like water from a flowing fountain, as the word {c} signifies; out of the abundance of their hearts, and the great sense they have of his goodness, their mouth speaketh;

and shall sing of thy righteousness; his essential righteousness as God, the same with his divine Father's; his righteousness as Mediator, or his righteous and faithful performance of his office, as such; and his justifying righteousness, which he undertook to work out and bring in: and those that know it, and have an interest in it, have great reason to sing, because it is commensurate to the demands of law and justice; and so large a robe of righteousness as to enwrap and cover all their persons, and justify them from all things; and because it is so beautiful, rich, and glorious, and makes them appear so; and because it is so well-pleasing to God, and so comfortable and beneficial to them; securing them from wrath, and entitling them to eternal life. Aben Ezra adds the word "saying," as if what follows was, the subject matter of the song.

{c} weyby "eructabunt," Montanus, Piscator; "scaturient," Cocceius.

Verse 8. The Lord [is] gracious,.... These are the epithets of our Lord Jesus Christ, and may be truly and with great propriety said of him; he is "gracious," kind, and good, in the instances before mentioned; he is full of grace, and readily distributes it; his words are words of grace; his Gospel, and the doctrines of it, are doctrines of grace; his works are works of grace, all flowing from his wondrous grace and mercy:

and full of compassion: or "merciful" {d}, in the most tender manner; hence he came into the world to save sinners, and in his pity redeemed them; and when on earth showed his compassion both to the bodies and souls of men, by healing the one and instructing the other; and particularly had compassion on the ignorant, and them that were out of the way; pitying those that were as sheep without a shepherd, as the blind Jews under their blind guides were; and is very compassionate to his people under all their temptations, afflictions, trials, and exercises; see Hebrews 2:17;

slow to anger; to the wicked Jews, though often provoked by their calumnies and reproaches, and by their ill behaviour to him in various instances; yet we never read but once of his being angry, and that was through grief at the hardness of their hearts, Mark 3:5; and likewise to his own disciples, who were often froward and perverse, and of bad spirits, very troublesome and afflictive to him, yet he patiently bore with them:

and of great mercy; a merciful High Priest, typified by the mercy seat, where we may find grace and mercy at all times; through whom God is merciful to sinners, and to whose mercy we are to look for eternal life.

{d} Mwxr "misericors," V. L. Tigurine version, Musculus, Piscator, Cocceius, Michaelis.

Verse 9. The Lord [is] good to all,.... Which is to be understood not of the general and providential goodness of God to all men, to all his creatures, and the works of his hands; but of the special goodness of Christ before mentioned, Psalm 145:7; which extends to all the chosen people of God; who are all loved by Christ, redeemed by him, justified and glorified by him; and to Gentiles as well as Jews; for whom he tasted death, laid down his life a ransom for them, and became the propitiation for their sins. Hence his Gospel has been sent to both; and some of each have been effectually called by his grace, and more will. This shows this psalm belongs to Gospel times, in which the grace of Christ appears more large and extensive:

and his tender mercies [are] over all his works; meaning not all the creatures his hands have made; though he has a tender regard to them, and is kind and merciful to them all; but such as are made new creatures in him and by him, who are eminently called his workmanship, the work of his hands; these, all of them, share in his special mercy and goodness; see Ephesians 2:10.

Verse 10. All thy works shall praise thee, O Lord,.... Not all his works or creatures in general; though these do objectively praise him, or are the cause rather of others praising him on their account: but those who are in a special manner the works of his hands, of his powerful and efficacious grace; when he has formed for himself, that they may show forth his praise; such as are a chosen generation, a royal priesthood, an holy nation, a peculiar people: these in an eminent sense, in the best way and manner, praise their blessed Saviour and Redeemer; see Isaiah 43:21;

and thy saints shall bless thee: which are mentioned last, not as distinct from the former; but as explanative of them, as well as of their work: these are they that are set apart by the Lord, on whom his favours are bestowed; to whom Christ is made sanctification, and who are sanctified by his blood, and also by his Spirit; and, being sensible of the blessings of grace they receive from him, rise up and call him blessed, and ascribe blessing, honour, glory, and praise to him, for ever and ever.

Verse 11. They shall speak of the glory of thy kingdom,.... That is, the saints who are his special workmanship, in the celebration of his praise; and, while they are blessing him, will take particular notice, and make particular mention of his kingdom, and the glory of it; not only his kingdom of nature and providence, which ruleth over all, angels and men, good and bad; which deserves the notice of the saints, and is matter of great joy unto them, that their King reigns in the world, but also, and rather, his kingdom of grace, in which he rules by his Spirit and grace in the hearts of his people; which is not worldly, but spiritual; is not with outward observation, but lies within the heart, and makes the Lord's people all glorious within; consisting of peace, righteousness, and joy in the Holy Ghost, and is what can never be removed. The church is Christ's kingdom, in which he reigns; and all the subjects of it are kings and priests unto God: here proper laws are made and observed, and officers appointed to explain them, and see them put in execution; glorious ordinances are administered, in which Christ the King is seen in his beauty; and the glorious Gospel, which is his sceptre, is held forth, and by which he rules in the midst of his enemies. More especially this may regard the glorious kingdom of Christ in the latter day; both in his spiritual reign, in which there will be a great display of glory; as a large effusion of the Spirit; much spiritual light and knowledge; great holiness of heart and life; an abundance of peace, temporal and spiritual; great purity of Gospel doctrine, worship, and ordinances: and also in his personal reign; when he will appear glorious, and reign before his ancients gloriously, and his saints will appear with him in glory; the New Jerusalem will have the glory of God upon her; a glory there will be then both upon the bodies and souls of the saints Christ will have with him in that state:

and talk of thy power; not only as exerted in creation and providence; but of his power in working out the salvation of men; and in conquering and subduing all the spiritual enemies of his people, sin, Satan, the world, and death; in raising himself from the dead, as he will all his saints by the same power at the last day; in going forth into the Gentile world in the ministry of the word, conquering and to conquer, making it powerful and effectual to the conversion of thousands: and also of his power in heaven and in earth, given him as Mediator; and which he has exercised and does exercise on the behalf of his church, and for its protection and welfare: and especially of the more open display of it in the latter day, when he shall take to himself his great power and reign; then will his saints talk of it with great pleasure and thankfulness; see Revelation 11:15.

Verse 12. To make known to the sons of men his mighty acts,.... As in Psalm 145:4; the acts of his power in providence and grace; in the salvation of his people, and the destruction of their enemies; which, with others, are made known in the ministry of the word, to those who were strangers to them, to those without the church, who wait at Wisdom's gates, and at the posts of her door; Aben Ezra interprets it of little ones, or children that knew them not, whose parents would make them known to them: rather it designs the common people, instructed by the word and the ministers of it:

and the glorious majesty of his kingdom; the majesty of him as King, and the glory of his kingdom, Psalm 145:5; and the perpetuity of it, as follows.

Verse 13. Thy kingdom [is] an everlasting kingdom,.... So it is opposed to all other kingdoms and monarchies, which have had or will have an end; as the Babylonian, Persian, Grecian, and Roman; with all other states which will be on the spot when this kingdom is set up in its glory, and will continue for ever, Daniel 2:44; and the King of it is opposed to all other kings, who die, and their kingdoms are no more to them; but he never dies, he lives for evermore; he is the living God, and so an everlasting King: nor will his kingdom cease at the end of the thousand years, nor when delivered to the Father; only it shall be in a different place and form, and shall remain for ever; for his saints will reign for ever and ever, and he with them. Or it may be rendered, "a kingdom of all worlds" {e}, or "ages"; Christ's kingdom reaching to all worlds; heaven, earth, and hell: or which, according to Arama, takes in the world above, below, and middle; and regards all times past, present, and to come:

and thy dominion [endureth] throughout all generations: in this world, and that to come; there is no end of it, Isaiah 9:7. This psalm is written alphabetically, as is observed on the title of it; but the letter "nun" is here wanting, the reason of which Kimchi professes his ignorance of: but Jarchi gives a reason for it, such an one as it is, which he has from the Talmud {f}; because David, by a spirit of prophecy, foresaw the grievous fall of the people of Israel, the prophecy of which begins with this letter, Amos 5:2. Nor is the order always strictly observed in alphabetical psalms; in the thirty-seventh psalm the letter "ain" is wanting, and three in the twenty-fifth psalm. The Septuagint, Vulgate Latin, Syriac, Arabic, and Ethiopic versions, supply this defect here, by inserting these words, "the Lord is faithful in all his words, and holy in all his works," as if they were begun with the word Nman, but they seem to be taken from Psalm 145:17, with a little alteration.

{e} Mymle lk twklm "reguum omnium seculorum," V. L. Pagninus, Montanus, Vatablus, Musculus, Junius & Tremellius, Piscator, Cocceius. {f} T. Bab. Beracot, fol. 4. 2.

Verse 14. The Lord upholdeth all that fall,.... Not all that fell in Adam, as all mankind did; nor all that fall into sin, as every man does; and therefore not those that fall into hell: but this is to be understood of the subjects of Christ's kingdom, of which the psalmist is speaking; who does that which no mortal king can do, as Aben Ezra observes: another king raises up one, and depresses another; supports one, and lets another fall: but the Lord upholds all his people and subjects with the right hand of his righteousness; though they are liable to fall into sin, and in many instances do fall, and into various temptations and afflictions; yet he sustains and upholds them, that they shall not fall finally and totally by sin, nor be overwhelmed and crushed by their heavy afflictions. Or, "all that are falling" {g}; he either upholds and keeps them that they shall not fall, at least so as to perish; or he holds them by his right hand when they are fallen, and raises them up again; and bears them up under all their exercises, so that they are not utterly cast down and destroyed, Psalm 37:24;

and raiseth up all [those that be] bowed down: with a body of sin, under which they groan, being burdened, and which presses them sore; with Satan's temptations, like the woman in the Gospel, bound together by him; and with various troubles and afflictions; but the Lord raises and bears them up under all, and comforts and refreshes them.

{g} Mylpnh lkl "emnes cadentes," Pagninus, Montanus, Junius & Tremellius, Piscator, &c.

Verse 15. The eyes of all wait upon thee,.... Not of all creatures, the beasts of the field, the fishes of the sea, and fowls of the air, as in Psalm 104:27; but of all the Lord's people, who are subject to fall and be depressed: these, as they look unto him for deliverance and salvation, and wait upon him for it, and expect it from him; so their eyes are directed to him for their spiritual food, as well as for their temporal bread, and ask it of him, and wait to have it from him:

and thou givest them their meat in due season; the meat which endures to everlasting life; the flesh of Christ, which is meat indeed; the doctrines of the Gospel, which, as some of them are milk for babes, others are meat for strong men, or strong meat for experienced believers: and these are given forth under Christ's direction, by his ministering servants, who are his wise and faithful stewards, that give to everyone of the family their portion of meat in due season, which is the word fitly spoken; and, when it is so, how good it is! Luke 12:42. This is food convenient for them, given out "in his time" {h}, as in the original; either in the Lord's time, which he sees best; or in their time, as the Syriac version, when they most need it, and it will do them most good.

{h} wteb "suo tempore," Pagninus, Montanus, Musculus, Junius & Tremellius, Piscator, Cocceius, Michaelis.

Verse 16. Thou openest thine hand,.... Not of providence, but of grace, in which all things are, and from whence they come; and which the Lord opens liberally and bountifully, and gives out all things richly to enjoy; all things pertaining to life and godliness; grace here, with all the supplies of it, and glory hereafter:

and satisfiest the desire of every living thing; not of every savage creature; every lion, bear, wolf, &c. for then there would be no living in some parts of the world: nor of every carnal, lustful, worldly, and covetous man; who never say they have enough, or are ever satisfied: but of everyone that is made spiritually alive, quickened by the Spirit and grace of God; these desire spiritual things, spiritual food, more grace and more communion with God, and conformity to Christ; and these desires are before the Lord; and sooner or later they are satisfied, they have what they desire; especially this will be their case, when they awake in the divine likeness. The words may be rendered, "and satisfies every living one with that which is acceptable [with] favour" {i}; with good will; with lovingkindness; which is better than life: so Naphtali is said to be "satisfied with favour," Deuteronomy 33:23; as all living saints are or will be.

{i} Nwur "re acceptabili," Gussetius, p. 803. "benedictione," V. L. "beneplacito," Piscator, Gejerus; "benevolentia," Cocceius.

Verse 17. The Lord [is] righteous in all his ways,.... Christ is righteous in all the ways of providence, in which he is jointly concerned with his Father: there are some of the ways of providence, which are now intricate and perplexed, are unsearchable and past finding out, and cannot be easily reconciled to the justice and faithfulness of God, respecting the prosperity of the wicked and the afflictions of the righteous; but these will before long be made manifest, and they will appear to be just and true. And so in all his ways of grace, in all his decrees; in the choice of some to everlasting life, and the leaving of others; with respect to either of these, there is no unrighteousness in him: nor in the redemption of men, for which an adequate price is given; and in which mercy and truth, righteousness and peace, meet together; nor in the justification of a sinner, which is not done without a righteousness, but in such manner that God is just while he is the justifier of him that believes in Jesus; nor in the pardon of sin, which is upon the foot of a satisfaction made to the justice of God, by the blood and sacrifice of Christ; nor in eternal life, the gift of God through Christ, which none inherit but righteous ones. Christ is righteous in all his suretyship engagements, which he has punctually performed, and in the execution of all his offices; in doing which, righteousness and faithfulness are the girdle of his loins and reins: and so likewise he is and will appear righteous in his judgments on his and his people's enemies, in the destruction of antichrist and his followers. And, moreover, he is righteous in all the ways he prescribes for his people to walk in, in all his commandments and ordinances; which are all holy, just, and good;

and holy in all his works; in all his works of providence; doing no evil, though he suffers it for wise ends, and overrules it for good: and in all his works of grace; in election, which is through holiness and to it; in the redemption of his people, which is from a vain conversation, and that they might be a peculiar people, zealous of good works; in the calling of them with an holy calling, and to holiness; in bringing them to glory, which is through regeneration and sanctification. It may be rendered, is "merciful" or "bountiful in all his works" {k}; all he does flowing from his grace, mercy, and goodness.

{k} dyox "misericors," Pagninus, Montanus, so Ainsworth; "benignus," Tigurine version, Musculus, Junius & Tremellius, Piscator, Gejerus.

Verse 18. The Lord [is] nigh unto all them that call upon him,.... He is not only nigh unto them in relation, being their near kinsman, brother, father, husband, and head, but with respect to place and presence; not in a general way, as he is the omnipresent God, and so nigh to all, and from whose presence there is no fleeing; but in a special way, he is so nigh to them as he is not unto others, Deuteronomy 4:7. He is in their hearts, and dwells there by faith, and they dwell in him; his blood is sprinkled in their consciences, and his righteousness is unto them and upon them; his salvation is brought near to them, to their very hearts, and they are nearer that than when they first believed; he is nigh to them that call upon him, for Christ is equally called upon as the Father; see 1 Corinthians 1:2; so as to give them what they ask of him, and to help them in all their times of need;

to all that call upon him in truth; in faith and with fervency, constantly and importunely, and in the sincerity and uprightness of their hearts; with true hearts, cordially and affectionately; their hearts and mouths agreeing together, as Kimchi observes.

Verse 19. He will fulfil the desire of them that fear him,.... That have the true fear of God put into their hearts; that fear him not with a servile, but godly fear; that fear the Lord and his goodness, and are true worshippers of him in a spiritual and evangelic manner; for the fear of God includes the whole worship of him, private and public: and the Lord grants to such whatever they desire of him, in his fear, under the direction of his spirit, according to his will, and in submission to it. Do they desire good things of him, temporal or spiritual? there is no want of any good thing to them that fear him; how should there, when such great goodness is laid up for them? Do they desire his presence, and the discoveries of his love? the sun of righteousness arises on them that fear his name, and his secrets are with them, and his mercy is upon them from everlasting to everlasting. Do they desire his protection from enemies? the Angel of the Lord encamps round about them, and the Lord himself is their, help and their shield;

he also will hear their cry, and will save them; that is, he will hear and answer their prayer, which they put up to him in their distress: they cry to him either mentally or vocally, in their troubles, and his ears are open to their cries, and they enter into them; and he regards them, and saves them out of them; out of their temporal and out of their spiritual troubles; he saves them with a temporal and with an eternal salvation.

Verse 20. The Lord preserveth all them that love him,.... All do not love Christ, none but those that are born again, and believe in him: love to Christ is a fruit of the Spirit, and accompanies faith in him; it flows from the love of Christ shed into the heart, and from a view of his loveliness, and a sense of his benefits; and, where it is true and genuine, it is superlative and sincere, and shows itself by a regard to its truths and ordinances, to his people, ways, and worship: and such the Lord preserves often in times of public calamity; and from the evil of sin, the dominion of it; from Satan's temptations, from being devoured and destroyed by him; and from a final and total falling away; he preserves them to his kingdom and glory, which is promised to them that love him;

but all the wicked will he destroy; he will consume them from off the earth, so that the wicked shall be no more; he will destroy the man of sin, and all his adherents; all the enemies of Christ, those that do not love him, but oppose him, his Gospel, kingdom, and interest; the beast and false prophet, with all that attend them, shall be cut off; the day of the Lord, like an oven, shall burn up all that do wickedly, and shall leave them neither root nor branch: this will especially be true at the day of judgment, when the wicked shall be ordered to everlasting fire; and they shall go into eternal punishment, when they shall be turned into hell; and all the nations that forget God. Kimchi interprets this of future time, when there shall not be a wicked man left in the world, and compares it with Malachi 4:1.

Verse 21. My mouth shall speak the praise of the Lord,.... Always, at all times, as long as he lived; and particularly when all the Lord's people shall be brought safe to glory, and the wicked destroyed; when, as Kimchi observes, he should live again with the dead that shall be raised;

and let all flesh bless his holy name for ever and ever; not every animal, or irrational creature; not carnal men, but spiritual men; such as are praying ones, that come to a God hearing prayer: these should be praising ones; such who have hearts of flesh given them, and are sensible of divine favours, as well as of their sinfulness and unworthiness; Jews and Gentiles, all sorts of men called by grace, all flesh on whom the Spirit of God is poured; these are all excited to praise and bless the holy name of the Redeemer, with the words and by the example of the psalmist. And thus the psalm ends as it begun, with praise and blessing.