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Edited by Glenn Pease
I quote many authors in this commentary. Some of them are old, but some are contemporary, and it any do not wish their wisdom to be shared in this way, they can let me know, and I will remove their contribution. My e-mail is firstname.lastname@example.org
1. Spurgeon, “PSALM 28 OVERVIEW Title and Subject. Again, the title "A Psalm of David," is too general to give us any clue to the occasion on which it was written. Its position, as following the twenty-seventh, seems to have been designed, for it is a most suitable pendant and sequel to it. It is another of those "songs in the night" of which the pen of David was so prolific. The thorn at the breast of the nightingale was said by the old naturalists to make it sing: David's griefs made him eloquent in holy psalmody. The main pleading of this Psalm is that the suppliant may not be confounded with the workers of iniquity for whom he expresses the utmost abhorrence; it may suit any slandered saint, who being misunderstood by men, and treated by them as an unworthy character, is anxious to stand aright before the bar of God. The Lord Jesus may be seen here pleading as the representative of his people. Division. The first and second verses earnestly entreat audience of the Lord in a time of dire emergency. From Psalms 28:2-5, the portion of the wicked is described and deprecated. In Psalms 28:6-8, praise is given for the Lord's mercy in hearing prayer, and the Psalm concludes with a general petition for the whole host of militant believers. 2. Expositor's Bible, “THE unquestionable resemblances to Psalm xxvi. scarcely require that this should be considered its companion. The differences are as obvious as the likenesses. While the prayer " Draw me not away with the wicked " and the characterisation of these are alike in both, the further emphatic prayer for retribution here and the closing half of this psalm have nothing corresponding to them in the other. This psalm is built on the familiar plan of groups of two verses each, with the exception that the prayer, which is its centre, runs over into three. The course of thought is as familiar as the structure. Invocation is followed by petition, and that by exultant anticipation of the answer as already given ; and all closes with wider petitions for the whole people.
1 To you, LORD, I call; you are my Rock, do not turn a deaf ear to me. For if you remain silent, I will be like those who go down to the pit.
1. Barnes, “Unto thee will I cry - That is, under the consciousness of the danger to which I am exposed - the danger of being drawn away into the society of the wicked. In such circumstances his reliance was not on his own strength; or on his own resolutions; on his own heart; or on his fellowmen. He felt that he was safe only in God, and he appeals to Him, therefore, in this earnest manner, to save him. O Lord my rock - See the notes at Psa_18:2. Be not silent to me - Margin, “from me.” So the Hebrew. The idea is that of one who will not speak to us, or who will not attend to us. We pray, and we look for an “answer” to our prayers, or, as it were, we expect God to “speak” to us; to utter words of kindness; to assure us of His favor; to declare our sins forgiven. Lest, if thou be silent to me - If thou dost not answer my supplications. I become like unto them that go down into the pit - Like those who die; or, lest I be crushed by anxiety and distress, and die. The word “pit” here refers to the grave. So it is used in Psa_30:3; Psa_88:4; Isa_38:18; Isa_14:15, Isa_14:19. The meaning is, that if he did not obtain help from God he despaired of life. His troubles would overwhelm and crush him. He could not bear up under them. 1B. Gordon Churchyard, “"Rock" is a name for God. You will find it in Psalm 18:2 and in other psalms. It means that God is a place where people can hide and be safe. Twice David says "from me". He felt that God was looking away from him. This makes us think of Psalm 22:1, "My God, why have you left me by myself? Why is my help far away?" David thinks that he will go down into the pit. The pit is where the Jews believed that very bad people went when they died. 2. Clarke, “O Lord my rock - צוריtsuri not only means my rock, but my fountain, and the origin of all the good I possess. If thou be silent - If thou do not answer in such a way as to leave no doubt that thou hast heard me, I shall be as a dead man. It is a modern refinement in theology which teaches that no man can know when God hears and answers his prayers, but by an induction of particulars, and by an inference from his promises. And, on this ground, how can any man fairly presume that he is heard or answered at all? May not his inductions be no other than the common occurrences of providence? And may not providence be no more than the necessary occurrence of events? And is
it not possible, on this skeptic ground, that there is no God to hear or answer? True religion knows nothing of these abominations; it teaches its votaries to pray to God, to expect an answer from him, and to look for the Holy Spirit to bear witness with their spirits that they are the sons and daughters of God. 2B. “What David seems to be saying is not that he will be killed or die bu that spiritually speaking he will be as good as dead unless God speaks to him. If God refuses to answer his prayers, how will David differ from the dying godless who have no relationship with God whatever?” — James Montgomery Boice, Psalms, 3 vols. (Grand Rapids, Mich.: Baker Books, 1994), 1:247. 3. Gill, “Unto thee will I cry,.... This denotes the distress the psalmist was in, fervency and ardour in prayer, resolution to continue in it, and singularity with respect to the object of it; determining to cry to the Lord only; to which he was encouraged by what follows; O Lord my rock; he being a strong tower and place of defence to him, in whom were all his safety, and his trust and confidence, and in whom he had an interest; be not silent to me; or "deaf" (q); persons that do not hear are silent, and make no answer; as the Lord seems to be, when he returns no answer to the cries of his people; when he does not arise and help them; when he seems not to take any notice of his and their enemies, but stands at a distance from them, and as if he had forsaken them; see Psa_39:12; the words may be considered, as they are by some, as an address to Christ his rock, his advocate and intercessor; that he would not be silent, but speak for him, and present his supplications to God, with the much incense of his mediation; see 1Sa_7:8; lest, if thou be silent to me, I become like them that go down into the pit; either like such that fall into a ditch, and cannot help themselves out, and they cry, and there is none to take them out from thence; or like such that die in battle, and are cast into a pit, and there buried in common with others; which David might fear would be his case, through Saul's violent pursuit after him; or lest he should be like the dead, who are not regarded, and are remembered no more; or lest he should really die by the hands of his enemies, and so be laid in the grave, the pit of corruption; or be in such distress and despair as even the damned in hell be, the pit out of which there is no deliverance. 4. Henry, “He prays that God would graciously hear and answer him, now that, in his distress, he called upon him, Psa_28:1, Psa_28:2. Observe his faith in prayer: O Lord, my rock, denoting his belief of God's power (he is a rock) and his dependence upon that power - “He is my rock, on whom I build my hope.” Observe his fervency in prayer: “To thee will I cry, as one in earnest, being ready to sink, unless thou come in with seasonable succour.” And observe how solicitous he is to obtain an answer: “Be not silent to me, as one angry at my prayers, Psa_80:4. Lord, speak to me, answer me with good words and comfortable words (Zec_1:13); though the thing I pray for has not been given me, yet let God speak to me joy and gladness, and make me to hear them. Lord, speak for me, in answer to my prayers, plead my cause, command deliverances for me, and thus hear and answer the voice of my supplications.” Two things he pleads: - 1. The sad despair he should be in if God slighted him: “If thou be silent to me, and I have not the tokens of thy favour,
I am like those that go down into the pit (that is, I am a dead man, lost and undone); if God be not my friend, appear not to me and appear not for me, my hope and my help will have perished.” othing can be so cutting, so killing, to a gracious soul, as the want of God's favour and the sense of his displeasure. I shall be like those that go down to hell (so some understand it); for what is the misery of the damned but this, that God is ever silent to them and deaf to their cry? Those are in some measure qualified for God's favour, and may expect it, who are thus possessed with a dread of his wrath, and to whom his frowns are worse than death 5. Jamison, “Psa_28:1-9. An earnest cry for divine aid against his enemies, as being also those of God, is followed by the Psalmist’s praise in assurance of a favorable answer, and a prayer for all God’s people. my rock — (Psa_18:2, Psa_18:31). be not silent to me — literally, “from me,” deaf or inattentive. become like them, etc. — share their fate. go down into the pit — or, “grave” (Psa_30:3).
6. K&D, “This first half of the Psalm (Psa_28:1) is supplicatory. The preposition מןin connection ִ with the verbs ,חָרשׁto be deaf, dumb, and ,חָשָׁ הto keep silence, is a pregnant form of expression ַ denoting an aversion or turning away which does not deign to give the suppliant an answer. Jahve is his ,צוּרhis ground of confidence; but if He continues thus to keep silence, then he who confides in Him will become like those who are going down (Psa_22:30), or are gone down (Isa_14:19) to the pit. The participle of the past answers better to the situation of one already on the brink of the abyss. 7. Calvin, “Unto thee, O Jehovah! will I cry. The Psalmist begins by declaring that he would betake himself to the help of God alone, which shows both his faith and his sincerity. Although men labor every where under a multitude of troubles, yet scarcely one in a hundred ever has recourse to God. Almost all having their consciences burdened with guilt, and having never experienced the power of divine grace which might lead them to betake themselves to it, either proudly gnaw the bit or fill the air with unavailing complaints, or, giving way to desperation, faint under their afflictions. By calling God his strength, David more fully shows that he confided in God’s assistance, not only when he was in the shade and in peace, but also when he was exposed to the severest temptations. In comparing himself to the dead, too, he intimates how great his straits were, although his object was not merely to point out the magnitude of his danger, but also to show that when he needed succor, he looked not here and there for it, but relied on God alone, without whose favor there remained no hope for him. It is, therefore, as if he had said, I am nothing if thou leavest me; if thou succourest me not, I perish. It is not enough for one who is in such a state of affliction to be sensible of his misery, unless, convinced of his inability to help himself, and renouncing all help from the world, he betake himself to God alone. And as the Scriptures inform us that God answers true believers when he shows by his operations that he regards their supplications, so the word silent is set in opposition to the sensible and present experience of his aid, when he appears, as it were, not to hear their prayers. 8. Spurgeon, “Verse 1. Unto thee will I cry, O Lord, my rock. A cry is the natural expression of sorrow, and is a suitable utterance when all other modes of appeal fail us; but the cry must be alone directed to the Lord, for to cry to man is to waste our entreaties upon the air. When we consider the readiness of the Lord to hear, and his ability to aid, we shall see good reason for
directing all our appeals at once to the God of our salvation, and shall use language of firm resolve like that in the text, "I will cry." The immutable Jehovah is our rock, the immovable foundation of all our hopes and our refuge in time of trouble: we are fixed in our determination to flee to him as our stronghold in every hour of danger. It will be in vain to call to the rocks in the day of judgment, but our rock attends to our cries. Be not silent to me. Mere formalists may be content without answers to their prayers, but genuine suppliants cannot; they are not satisfied with the results of prayer itself in calming the mind and subduing the will -- they must go further and obtain actual replies from heaven, or they cannot rest; and those replies they long to receive at once, if possible; they dread even a little of God's silence. God's voice is often so terrible that it shakes the wilderness; but his silence is equally full of awe to an eager suppliant. When God seems to close his ear, we must not therefore close our mouths, but rather cry with more earnestness; for when our note grows shrill with eagerness and grief, he will not long deny us a hearing. What a dreadful case should we be in if the Lord should become for ever silent to our prayers! This thought suggested itself to David, and he turned it into a plea, thus teaching us to argue and reason with God in our prayers. Lest, if thou be silent to me, I become like them that go down into the pit. Deprived of the God who answers prayer, we should be in a more pitiable plight than the dead in the grave, and should soon sink to the same level as the lost in hell. We must have answers to prayer: ours is an urgent case of dire necessity; surely the Lord will speak peace to our agitated minds, for he never can find it in his heart to permit his own elect to perish. I HAVE no doubt that the first and most natural meaning of these words is this, that David passed through such mental distress, such accumulated grief, that unless his prayer should bring him consolation from heaven, he felt that he must despair, and so become like those who sink into everlasting despair, going down into the pit of hell. I think it is a cry against his misery, which vexed him; an earnest petition that he might not have to suffer so long as to drive into that same despair which is the eternal inheritance of lost souls. But in reading the other day Masillon’s Reflections of the Psalms, I noticed that that eminent French preacher gives quite another turn to the passage, and he seems to regard this as being the prayer of David when he was exposed to the association of the ungodly, fearful lest he should become in character like those that go down into the pit, and even if that should not be the first meaning of the text, it seems to me to be a natural inference from it, and if not, still the thought itself is one which contains so much of holy caution about it, that I desire to commend it to all my brethren and sisters in Christ Jesus to-night, and especially to such as are usually exposed to danger from ill-society. A cry is the natural expression of sorrow, and a suitable utterance when all other modes of appeal fail us; but the cry must be alone directed to the Lord, for to cry to man is to waste our entreaties upon the air. When we consider the readiness of the Lord to hear, and his ability to aid, we shall see good reason for directing all our appeals at once to the God of our salvation. It will be in vain to call to the rocks in the day of judgment, but our Rock attends to our cries. “Be not silent to me.” Mere formalists may be content without answers to their prayers, but genuine suppliants cannot; they are not satisfied with the results of prayer itself in calming the mind and subduing the will—they must go further, and obtain actual replies from heaven, or they cannot rest; and those replies they long to receive at once, they dread even a little of God’s silence. God’s voice is often so terrible that it shakes the wilderness; but his silence is equally full of awe to an eager suppliant. When God seems to close his ear, we must not therefore close our mouths, but rather cry with more earnestness; for when our note grows shrill with eagerness and grief, he will not long deny us a hearing. What a dreadful case should we be in if the Lord should become for ever silent to our prayers? “Lest, if thou be silent to me, I become like them that go
down into the pit.” Deprived of the God who answers prayer, we should be in a more pitiable plight than the dead in the grave, and should soon sink to the same level as the lost in hell. We must have answers to prayer: ours is an urgent case of dire necessity; surely the Lord will speak peace to our agitated minds, for he never can find it in his heart to permit his own elect to perish. 9. Expositor's Bible, “Vv. I, 2, are a prelude to the prayer proper, be speaking the Divine acceptance of it, on the double ground of the psalmist s helplessness apart from God s help and of his outstretched hands appealing to God enthroned above the mercy-seat. He is in such straits that, unless his prayer brings an answer in act, he must sink into the pit of Sheol, and be made like those that lie huddled there in its darkness. On the edge of the slippery slope, he stretches out his hands toward the innermost sanctuary (for so the word rendered, by a mistaken etymology, " oracle " means). He beseeches God to hear, and blends the two figures of deafness and silence as both meaning the withholding of help. Jehovah seems deaf when prayer is unanswered, and is silent when He does not speak in deliverance. This prelude of invocation throbs with earnestness, and sets the pattern for suppliants, teaching them how to quicken their own desires as well as how to appeal to God by breathing to Him their consciousness that only His hand can keep them from sliding down into death. 10. Treasury of David, “Verse 1. Unto thee do I cry. It is of the utmost importance that we should have a definite object on which to fix our thoughts. Man, at the best of times, has but little power for realising abstractions; but least of all in his time of sorrow. Then he is helpless; then he needs every possible aid; and if his mind wander in vacancy, it will soon weary, and sink down exhausted. God has graciously taken care that this need not be done. He has so manifested himself to man in his word, that the afflicted one can fix his mind's eye on him, as the definite object of his faith, and hope, and prayer. "Call unto me, and I will answer thee, and shew thee great and mighty things, which thou knowest not." Jeremiah 33:3. This was what the psalmist did; and the definiteness of God, as the object of his trust in prayer, is very clearly marked. And specially great is the privilege of the Christian in this matter. He can fix his eye on Jesus; he, without any very great stretch of the imagination, can picture that Holy One looking down upon him; listening to him; feeling for him; preparing to answer him. Dear reader, in the time of your trouble, do not roam; do not send out your sighs into vacancy; do not let your thoughts wander, as though they were looking for some one on whom to fix; for some one to whom you could tell the story of your heart's need and desolation. Fix your heart as the psalmist did, and say, "Unto thee will I cry." ... Oh! happy is that man, who feels and knows that when trouble comes, he cannot be bewildered and confused by the stroke, no matter how heavy it may be. Sorrow stricken he will be, but he has his resource, and he knows it, and will avail himself of it. His is no vague theory of the general sympathy of God for man; his is a knowledge of God, as a personal and feeling God; he says with the psalmist, "Unto thee will I cry." Philip Bennett Power. Verse 1. My rock. One day a female friend called on the Rev. William Evans, a pious minister in England, and asked how he felt himself. "I am weakness itself," he replied; "but I am on the Rock. I do not experience those transports which some have expressed in the view of death; but my dependence is on the mercy of God in Christ. Here my religion began, and here it must end." Verse 1. My rock. The Rev, John Rees, of Crownstreet, Soho, London, was visited on his deathbed by the Rev. John Leifchild, who very seriously asked him to describe the state of his mind. This appeal to the honour of his religion roused him, and so freshened his dying lamp, that raising himself up in his bed, he looked his friend in the face, and with great deliberation, energy, and dignity, uttered the following words: -- "Christ in his person, Christ in the love of his heart, and
Christ in the power of his arm, is the Rock on which I rest; and now (reclining his head gently on the pillow), Death, strike!" K. Arvine. Verse 1. Be not silent to me. Let us next observe what the heart desires from God. It is that he would speak. Be not silent to me. Under these circumstances, when we make our prayer, we desire that God would let us know that he hears us, and that he would appear for us, and that he would say, he is our Father. And what do we desire God to say? We want him to let us know that he hears us; we want to hear him speak as distinctly to us, as we feel that we have spoken to him. We want to know, not only by faith that we have been heard, but by God's having spoken to us on the very subject whereupon we have spoken to him. When we feel thus assured that God has heard us, we can with the deepest confidence leave the whole matter about which we have been praying, in his hands. Perhaps an answer cannot come for a long time; perhaps things, meanwhile, seem working in a contrary way; it may be, that there is no direct appearance at all of God upon the scene; still faith will hold up and be strong; and there will be comfort in the heart, from the felt consciousness that God has heard our cry about the matter, and that he has told us so. We shall say to ourselves, "God knows all about it; God has in point of fact told me so; therefore I am in peace." And let it be enough for us that God tells us this, when he will perhaps tell us no more; let us not want to try and induce him to speak much, when it is his will to speak but little: the best answer we can have at certain times is simply the statement that "he hears;" by this answer to our prayer he at once encourages and exercises our faith. "It is said," saith Rutherford, speaking of the Saviour's delay in responding to the request of the Syrophenician woman, "he answered not a word," but it is not said, he heard not a word. These two differ much. Christ often heareth when he doth not answer -- his not answering is an answer, and speaks thus -- "pray on, go on and cry, for the Lord holdeth his door fast bolted, not to keep you out, but that you may knock, and knock, and it shall be opened." Philip Bennett Power. Verse 1. Lest ... I become like them that go down into the pit. Thou seest, great God, my sad situation. othing to me is great or desirable upon this earth but the felicity of serving thee, and yet the misery of my destiny, and the duties of my state, bring me into connection with men who regard all godliness as a thing to be censured and derided. With secret horror I daily hear them blaspheming the ineffable gifts of thy grace, and ridiculing the faith and fervour of the godly as mere imbecility of mind. Exposed to such impiety, all my consolation, O my God, is to make my cries of distress ascend to the foot of thy throne. Although for the present, these sacrilegious blasphemies only awaken in my soul emotions of horror and pity, yet I fear that at last they may enfeeble me and seduce me into a crooked course of policy, unworthy of thy glory, and of the gratitude which I owe to thee. I fear that insensibly I may become such a coward as to blush at thy name, such a sinner as to resist the impulses of thy grace, such a traitor as to withhold my testimony against sin, such a self deceiver as to disguise my criminal timidity by the name of prudence. Already I feel that this poison is insinuating itself into my heart, for while I would not have my conduct resemble that of the wicked who surround me, yet I am too much biased by the fear of giving them offence. I dare not imitate them, but I am almost as much afraid of irritating them. I know that it is impossible both to please a corrupt world and a holy God, and yet I so far lose sight of this truth, that instead of sustaining me in decision, it only serves to render my vacillation the more inexcusable. What remains for me but to implore thy help! Strengthen me, O Lord, against these declensions so injurious to thy glory, so fatal to the fidelity which is due to thee. Cause me to hear thy strengthening and encouraging voice. If the voice of thy grace be not lifted up in my spirit, reanimating my feeble faith, I feel that there is but a step between me and despair. I am on the brink of the precipice, I am ready to fall into a criminal complicity with those who would fain drag me down with them into the pit. Jean Baptiste Massillon, 1663-1742, freely translated by C.H.S.
11. K. B. apier, “Even when filled with fear David knows Who is his help. Of this he has no doubt. This is seen in his very clear statement: “Unto thee will I cry, O LORD my rock”! David does not have trust in others, or even in himself, but only in God. This is because God is God, Lord of lords, Creator and sustainer of life. God is his ‘rock’, where he can stand firmly without doubt. Because God is his rock, and because God has made promises to him and to his forefathers, David can confidently call upon God to help him. “Be not silent to me.”, chashah. That is, do not be inactive or still, but respond to me. He makes a valid point – if God will not respond to him, then he will be just like any other person who is without God, who will enter the grave (and, by implication, hell). Without God we have nothing; no-one can help us. From this we may deduce, by reversal, that those who are unsaved have no help from God and their prayers will be unanswered. It also tells us that believers can expect God to answer their genuine pleas. So, David says: hear my pleas when I cry to you. He says he lifts up his “hands toward thy holy oracle”. This is reference to the Holy of Holies, the most holy room in the Temple in which the high priest offers up his sacrifice and prayers to God. God spoke from the Ark in the room, so dabar is an apt word, meaning to speak, e.g. an oracle. The picture is of David alone with God, seeking God’s face and help with sincere and deeply-felt words. This is akin to the command of Christ, for us to pray to God alone in our closet or room. (There is no command to pray corporately, except in rare circumstances of one-mind, one-heart and oneaim. See my article). It means we need not be in a Temple or church, but must be sincere in an holy way. Then God hears us. 12. Todd Bishop, “I am not sure about all of you, but I know that there have been some times in my life where I have cried out to God … asking Him for some kind of answer … and OTHI G! O response! O answer! Just absolutely OTHI G! SILE CE!!! I have, at times, felt so let down … so hurt that I have prayed similar prayers to what David prayed in the verses we read! I have cried, “God, where are you?” I remember one night about 2 months after I accepted Jesus Christ into my heart … I got a call at about midnight from a high school friend of mine … she was in tears on the other end of the phone … she said these dreaded words, “There was an accident … they are all dead except Bill and he may not make it through the night.” I was in shock … you see, 2 weeks early I tried to witness to my good friend Bill Daly … he did not take me seriously … he honestly thought I was ‘tripping on something’ (his exact words) … That night I cried out to God … “Please, God, spare Bill … don’t let him die until he gives his life to you.” Do you know what I heard? othing … except at about 6 am I received a phone call … “Bill just died.”
I was crushed … my faith was shaken … that was the 1st time I felt the SILE CE OF GOD!!! I heard the deafening sound of THE SILE CE OF GOD for the second time … about 7 months after the 1st time … I just finished my first semester at Central Bible College … I was coming home for Christmas … about a week had passed and I received a call from the same friend of mine … I was really believing that she became the ‘angel of death’ … but she had told me that Brian Riniolo had committed suicide … he was a star quarterback in W Y … had a baseball scholarship to Canesius College … you see, about 5 months before this happened … Brian, Matt, and I used to jam together at Brian’s house in the bedroom where Brian took his own life … the last time we played together … Matt and I began to talk to Brian about the Lord … he said, “That’s awesome … I am going to really think about it.” When I heard the voice on the other end of the phone tell me that Brian killed himself I WAS CRUSHED FOR THE SECO D TIME! I asked God, “WHY?” And do you know what I heard … “SILE CE.” DID ALL THE PRAYERS OF THE GODLY ME I THE BIBLE GET A SWERED? Moses begged God to let him lead his people into the Promised Land. Moses died on ebo’s peak, his request refused. Paul prayed three times for the removal of that "thorn in the flesh." Instead, he was compelled to make the best of it for the rest of his life … God did not answer! Even Jesus himself in the garden cried out for release from the cross. Instead he had to suffer the pain of it. David was a man after the heart of God, but he even felt the SILE CE OF GOD! But it did not mean that David had abandoned the Lord … it did not mean that David failed God! Young person, when you feel the SILE CE OF GOD … do not beat yourself up … do not let the enemy lie to you and say that you are a wicked person … “You are God’s chosen person … He loves you!” … but most often God responds to us through His Word! John 1 teaches us that “The Word became human, and lived here on earth among us” (1:14). That means … that I Jesus are the answers! And where is Jesus revealed? I The Word! When is seems as though you are faced with THE SILE CE OF GOD … read the Word and you may just discover THE A SWER! Hebrews 1:1-2 reads, “Long ago God spoke many times and in many ways to our ancestors through the prophets. But now in these final days, he has spoken to us through his Son …” God’s Son is The Word (John 1:1) … and if this is true, then God speaks to us through The Word!
2 Hear my cry for mercy as I call to you for help, as I lift up my hands toward your Most Holy Place.
1. Barnes, “Hear the voice of my supplications - It was not mental prayer which he offered; it was a petition uttered audibly. When I lift up my hands - To lift up the hands denotes supplication, as this was a common attitude in prayer. See the notes at 1Ti_2:8. Toward thy holy oracle - Margin, as in Hebrew, “toward the oracle of thy holiness.” The word “oracle” as used here denotes the place where the answer to prayer is given. The Hebrew word דבירdebı̂ yr - means properly the inner sanctuary of the tabernacle or the temple, the place where God was supposed to reside, and where He gave responses to the prayers of His people: the same place which is elsewhere called the holy of holies. See the notes at Heb_9:3-14. The Hebrew word is found only here and in 1Ki_6:5, 1Ki_6:16, 1Ki_6:19-23, 1Ki_6:31; 1Ki_7:49; 1Ki_8:6, 1Ki_8:8; 2Ch_3:16; 2Ch_4:20; 2Ch_5:7, 2Ch_5:9. The idea here is that he who prayed stretched out his hands toward that sacred place where God was supposed to dwell. So we stretch out our hands toward heaven - the sacred dwelling-place of God. Compare the notes at Psa_5:7. The Hebrew word is probably derived from the verb to “speak;” and, according to this derivation, the idea is that God spoke to His people; that he “communed” with them; that He answered their prayers from that sacred recess - His special dwelling-place. See Exo_25:22; um_7:89.
2. Clarke, “Toward thy holy oracle - דביר קדשךdebir kodshecha; debir properly means that place in the holy of holies from which God gave oracular answers to the high priest. This is a presumptive proof that there was a temple now standing; and the custom of stretching out the hands in prayer towards the temple, when the Jews were at a distance from it, is here referred to.
3. Gill, “ Hear the voice of my supplications,.... Which proceed from the Spirit of grace and of supplication, and are put up in an humble manner, under a sense of wants and unworthiness, and on the foot of grace and mercy, and not merit; when I cry unto thee; as he now did, and determined he would, and continue so doing, until he was heard; when I lift up my hands toward thy holy oracle: the holy of holies, in the tabernacle and in the temple, which was sometimes so called, 1Ki_6:23; compared with 2Ch_3:10; where were the ark, the mercy seat, and cherubim, between which the Lord dwelt, and gave responses to his people;
or heaven itself, which the holy of holies was a figure of; where is the throne of God, and from whence he hears the prayers of his people directed to him; or else Christ himself, who is the most Holy, and the "Debir", or Oracle, who speaks to the Lord for his people; and by whom the Lord speaks to them again, and communes with them. The oracle had its name, "debir", from speaking. Lifting up of the hands is a prayer gesture, and here designs the performance of that duty to God in heaven, through Christ; see Lam_3:41; it was frequently used, even by the Heathens, as a prayer gesture (r); see Psa_141:2. 4. Henry, “The good hopes he had that God would favour him: I lift up my hands towards thy holy oracle, which denotes, not only an earnest desire, but an earnest expectation, thence to receive an answer of peace. The most holy place within the veil is here, as elsewhere, called the oracle; there the ark and the mercy-seat were, there God was said to dwell between the cherubim, and thence he spoke to his people, um_7:89. That was a type of Christ, and it is to him that we must lift up our eyes and hands, for through him all good comes from God to us. It was also a figure of heaven (Heb_9:24); and from God as our Father in heaven we are taught to expect an answer to our prayers. The scriptures are called the oracles of God, and to them we must have an eye in our prayers and expectations. There is the word on which God hath caused and encouraged us to hope. 5. Jamison, “lift up my hands — a gesture of prayer (Psa_63:4; Psa_141:2). oracle — place of speaking (Exo_25:22; um_7:89), where God answered His people (compare Psa_5:7).
6. Calvin, “Hear the voice of my prayers when I cry to thee. This repetition is a sign of a heart in anguish. David’s ardor and vehemence in prayer are also intimated by the noun signifying voice, and the verb signifying to cry. He means that he was so stricken with anxiety and fear, that he prayed not coldly, but with burning, vehement desire, like those who, under the pressure of grief, vehemently cry out. In the second clause of the verse, by synecdoche, the thing signified is indicated by the sign. It has been a common practice in all ages for men to lift up their hands in prayer. ature has extorted this gesture even from heathen idolaters, to show by a visible sign that their minds were directed to God alone. The greater part, it is true, contented with this ceremony, busy themselves to no effect with their own inventions; but the very lifting up of the hands, when there is no hypocrisy and deceit, is a help to devout and zealous prayer. David, however, does not say here that he lifted his hands to heaven, but to the sanctuary, that, aided by its help, he might ascend the more easily to heaven. He was not so gross, or so superstitiously tied to the outward sanctuary, as not to know that God must be sought spiritually, and that men then only approach to him when, leaving the world, they penetrate by faith to celestial glory. But remembering that he was a man, he would not neglect this aid afforded to his infirmity. As the sanctuary was the pledge or token of the covenant of God, David beheld the presence of God’s promised grace there, as if it had been represented in a mirror; just as the faithful now, if they wish to have a sense of God’s nearness to them, should immediately direct their faith to Christ, who came down to us in his incarnation, that he might lift us up to the Father. Let us understand, then, that David clung to the sanctuary with no other view than that by the help of God’s promise he might rise above the elements of the world, which he used, however, according to the appointment of the Law. The Hebrew word ,דבירdebir, which we have rendered sanctuary, ,דביר debir, is derived from ,דברdabar, to speak. signifies the inner-room of the tabernacle or temple, or the most holy place, where the ark of the covenant was contained, and it is so called from the
answers or oracles which God gave forth from thence, to testify to his people the presence of his favor among them. 7. Spurgeon, “Verse 2. This is much to the same effect as the first verse, only that it refers to future as well as present pleadings. Hear me! Hear me! Hear the voice of my supplications! This is the burden of both verses. We cannot be put off with a refusal when we are in the spirit of prayer; we labour, use importunity, and agonize in supplications until a hearing is granted us. The word "supplications," in the plural, shows the number, continuance, and variety of a good man's prayers, while the expression "hear the voice," seems to hint that there is an inner meaning, or heart voice, about which spiritual men are far more concerned than for their outward and audible utterances. A silent prayer may have a louder voice than the cries of those priests who sought to awaken Baal with their shouts. When I lift up my hands toward thy holy oracle: which holy place was the type of our Lord Jesus; and if we would gain acceptance, we must turn ourselves evermore to the blood besprinkled mercy seat of his atonement. Uplifted hands have ever been a form of devout posture, and are intended to signify a reaching upward towards God, a readiness, an eagerness to receive the blessing sought after. We stretch out empty hands, for we are beggars; we lift them up, for we seek heavenly supplies; we lift them towards the mercy seat of Jesus, for there our expectation dwells. O that whenever we use devout gestures, we may possess contrite hearts, and so speed well with God 8. Treasury of David, “Verse 2. I lift up my hands toward thy holy oracle. Called (rybd), debhir, because there hence God spake and gave answer. Toward this (a type of Christ, the Word essential), David lifteth up his hands, that it might be as a ladder, whereby his prayer might get up to heaven. John Trapp. 9. Warren Wiersbe, “When I was in grade school, each day the teacher would walk up and down the aisles and make us hold out our hands: first, with the palms up to make sure our hands were clean and then with the palms down to make sure our fingernails were clean. Of course, none of us liked this, because little kids would much rather have dirty hands. Psalm 28 talks a great deal about hands. The psalmist lifted up his hands. The enemies were doing evil work with their hands. But God had His hand at work as well. "Give to them [the enemies] according to their deeds, and according to the wickedness of their endeavors; give to them according to the work of their hands" (v. 4). There are wicked people in this world, and they have dirty hands. Some people defile everything they touch. This grieves us, especially when they want to touch our lives and defile us. What did David do? He saw his enemies' evil hands, and he lifted up his hands. "Hear the voice of my supplications when I cry to You, when I lift up my hands toward Your holy sanctuary" (v. 2). When an Old Testament Jew prayed, he didn't fold his hands. He lifted them up to God in praise and in expectancy that He was going to do something. When you see the evil hands of Satan's crowd doing their defiling work, don't put your hands on their hands. You'll be defiled. Instead, lift your holy hands to the Lord and trust Him to work. "Because they [the enemies] do not regard the works of the Lord, nor the operation of His hands, He shall destroy them and not build them up" (v. 5). God's hand is at work today, and the result of this is praise (v. 7). Do you need help today? Lift up your hands to the Lord in supplication and in expectation, and soon you will lift up your hands in jubilation and celebration. Unfortunately, many people fail to keep their hands clean. Their evil hands sometimes do dirty
work that hurts you. When that happens, you can trust God to take care of evil hands. Keep your hands clean. Look to God, lift your hands to Him and let His hand work for you.
3 Do not drag me away with the wicked, with those who do evil, who speak cordially with their neighbors but harbor malice in their hearts.
1. Barnes, “Draw me not away with the wicked - See the notes at Psa_26:9. The prayer here, as well as the prayer in Psa_26:9, expresses a strong desire not to be united with wicked people in feeling or in destiny - in life or in death - on earth or in the future world. The reason of the prayer seems to have been that the psalmist, being at this time under a strong temptation to associate with wicked persons, and feeling the force of the temptation, was apprehensive that he should be left to “yield” to it, and to become associated with them. Deeply conscious of this danger, he earnestly prays that he may not be left to yield to the power of the temptation, and fall into sin. So the Saviour Mat_6:13 has taught us to pray, “And lead us not into temptation.” one who desire to serve God can be insensible to the propriety of this prayer. The temptations of the world are so strong; the amusements in which the world indulges are so brilliant and fascinating; they who invite us to partake of their pleasures are often so elevated in their social position, so refined in their manners, and so cultivated by education; the propensities of our hearts for such indulgences are so strong by nature; habits formed before our conversion are still so powerful; and the prospect of worldly advantages from compliance with the customs of those around us are often so great - that we cannot but feel that it is proper for us to go to the throne of grace, and to plead earnestly with God that he will keep us and not suffer us to fall into the snare. Especially is this true of those who before they were converted had indulged in habits of intemperance, or in sensual pleasures of any kind, and who are invited by their old companions in sin again to unite with them in their pursuits. Here all the power of the former habit returns; here often there is a most fierce struggle between conscience and the old habit for victory; here especially those who are thus tempted need the grace of God to keep them; here there is special appropriateness in the prayer, “Draw me not away with the wicked.” And with the workers of iniquity - In any form. With those who do evil. Which speak peace to their neighbours - Who speak words of friendliness. Who “seem” to be persuading you to do that which is for your good. Who put on plausible pretexts. They appear to be your friends; they profess to be so. They use flattering words while they tempt you to go astray. But mischief is in their hearts - They are secretly plotting your ruin. They wish to lead you into such courses of life in order that you may fall into sin; that you may dishonor religion; that you may disgrace your profession; or that they may in some way profit by your compliance with their counsels. So the wicked, under plausible pretences, would allure the good; so the corrupt would
seduce the innocent; so the enemies of God would entice his friends, that they may bring shame and reproach upon the cause of religion.
2. Clarke, “Draw file not away - Let me not be involved in the punishment of the wicked.
3. Gill, “ Draw me not away with the wicked,.... That is, with those who are notoriously wicked; who are inwardly and outwardly wicked; whose inward part is very wickedness, and who sell themselves and give up themselves to work wickedness: the sense is, that God would not suffer him to be drawn away, or drawn aside by wicked men, but that he would deliver him from temptation; or that he would not give him up into their hands, to be at their mercy; who he knew would not spare him, if they had him in their power; or that he might not die the death of the wicked, and perish with them; see Psa_26:9; and with the workers of iniquity; who make it the trade and business of their lives to commit sin; and which may be applied, not only to profane sinners, but to professors of religion, Mat_7:23; since it follows, which speak peace to their neighbours, but mischief is in their hearts; hypocrites, double minded men, who have a form of godliness, but deny the power of it; pretend to religion, and have none; and speak fair to the face, but design mischief and ruin; as Saul and his servants did to David, 1Sa_18:17. 4. Henry, “He deprecates the doom of wicked people, as before (Psa_26:9, “Gather not my soul with sinners): Lord, I attend thy holy oracle, draw me not away from that with the wicked, and with the workers of iniquity,” Psa_28:3. 1. “Save me from being entangled in the snares they have laid for me. They flatter and cajole me, and speak peace to me; but they have a design upon me, for mischief is in their heart; they aim to disturb me, nay, to destroy me. Lord, suffer me not to be drawn away and ruined by their cursed plots; for they have, can have, no power, no success, against me, except it be given them from above.” 2. “Save me from being infected with their sins and from doing as they do. Let me not be drawn away by their fallacious arguments, or their allurements, from the holy oracle (where I desire to dwell all the days of my life), to practise any wicked works;” see Psa_141:4. “Lord, never leave me to myself, to use such arts of deceit and treachery for my safety as they use to my ruin. Let no event of Providence be an invincible temptation to me, to draw me either into the imitation or into the interest of wicked people.” Good men dread the way of sinners; the best are sensible of the danger they are in of being drawn aside into it; and therefore we should all pray earnestly to God for his grace to keep us in our integrity. 3. “Save me from being involved in their doom; let me not be led forth with the workers of iniquity, for I am not one of those that speak peace while war is in their hearts.” ote, Those that are careful not to partake with sinners in their sins have reason to hope that they shall not partake with them in their plagues, Rev_18:4. 5. Jamison, “Draw me not away — implies punishment as well as death (compare Psa_26:9). Hypocrisy is the special wickedness mentioned.
6. Calvin, “Draw me not away with wicked men. The meaning is, that in circumstances so
dissimilar, God should not mingle the righteous with the wicked in the same indiscriminate destruction.The verb ,משךmashak, here rendered draw, “signifies,” as Hammond observes, “both to draw and apprehend,” and may “be best rendered here, Seize not on me, as he that seizeth on any to carry or drag him to execution. The Septuagint, after having literally rendered the Hebrew by Μὴ συνελκύσὟς την ψυχήν µου, draw not my soul together with, etc., adds Κίαν µὴ συναπολέσὟς µε etc., and destroy me not together with, etc. Calvin here evidently takes the same view; though he does not express it in the form of criticism. Undoubtedly, too, in speaking of his enemies, he indirectly asserts his own integrity. But he did not pray in this manner, because he thought that God was indiscriminately and unreasonably angry with men; he reasons rather from the nature of God, that he ought to cherish good hope, because it was God’s prerogative to distinguish between the righteous and the wicked, and to give every one his due reward. By the workers of iniquity, he means man wholly addicted to wickedness. The children of God sometimes fall, commit errors, and act amiss in one way or other, but they take no pleasure in their evil doings; the fear of God, on the contrary, stirs them up to repentance. David afterwards defines and enlarges upon the wickedness of those whom he describes; for, under pretense of friendship they perfidiously deceived good men, professing one thing with their tongue, while they entertained a very different thing in their hearts. Open depravity is easier to be borne with than this craftiness of the fox, when persons put on fair appearances in order to find opportunity of doing mischief. This truth, accordingly, admonishes us that those are most detestable in God’s sight, who attack the simple and unwary with fair speeches as with poison. 7. Spurgeon, “Verse 3. Draw me not away with the wicked. They shall be dragged off to hell like felons of old drawn on a hurdle to Tyburn, like logs drawn to the fire, like fagots to the oven. David fears lest he should be bound up in their bundle, drawn to their doom; and the fear is an appropriate one for every godly man. The best of the wicked are dangerous company in time, and would make terrible companions for eternity; we must avoid them in their pleasures, if we would not be confounded with them in their miseries. And with the workers of iniquity. These are overtly sinful, and their judgment will be sure; Lord, do not make us to drink of their cup. Activity is found with the wicked even if it be lacking to the righteous. Oh! to be "workers" for the Lord. Which speak peace to their neighbours, but mischief is in their hearts. They have learned the manners of the place to which they are going: the doom of liars is their portion for ever, and lying is their conversation on the road. Soft words, oily with pretended love, are the deceitful meshes of the infernal net in which Satan catches the precious life; many of his children are learned in his abominable craft, and fish with their father's nets, almost as cunningly as he himself could do it. It is a sure sign of baseness when the tongue and the heart do not ring to the same note. Deceitful men are more to be dreaded than wild beasts: it were better to be shut up in a pit with serpents than to be compelled to live with liars. He who cries "peace" too loudly, means to sell it if he can get his price. "Good wine need no bush:" if he were so very peaceful he would not need to say so; he means mischief, make sure of that. 8. Treasury of David, “Verse 3. Draw me not away with the wicked ... which speak peace to their neighbours, but mischief is in their hearts. The godly man abhors dissimulation towards men; his heart goes along with his tongue, he cannot flatter and hate, commend and censure. "Let love be without dissimulation." Romans 12:9. Dissembled love is worse than hatred; counterfeiting of friendship is no better than a lie Psalms 78:36, for there is a pretence of that which is not. Many are like Joab: "He took Amasa by the beard to kiss him, and smote him with his sword in the fifth rib, that he died." There is a river in Spain, where the fish seem to be of a golden colour, but take them out of the water, and they are like other fish. All is not gold that glitters; there are some pretend much kindness, but they are like great veins which have little blood; if you lean upon
them they are as a leg out of joint. For my part, I much question his truth towards God, that will flatter and lie to his friend. "He that hideth hatred with lying lips, and he that uttereth a slander is a fool." Proverbs 10:18. Thomas Watson. Verse 3. Draw me not out with. An allusion, I conceive, to a shepherd selecting out a certain portion of his flock. "Reckon me not among." Professor Lee. Verse 3. Draw me not away. (ynkfmtÄla) from ($fm); that signifies, both to draw and apprehend, will be best rendered here, seize not on me, as he that seizes on any to carry or drag him to execution. Henry Hammond. 9. Expositor's Bible, “The prayer itself (vv. 3-5) touches lightly on the petition that the psalmist may be delivered from the fate of the wicked, and then launches out into indignant description of their practices and solemn invocation of retribution upon them. " Drag away " is parallel with, but stronger than, " Gather not " in xxvi. 9. Commentators quote Job xxiv. 22, where the word is used of God s dragging the mighty out of life by His power, as a struggling criminal is haled to the scaffold. The shuddering recoil from the fate of the wicked is accompanied with vehement loathing of their practices. A man who keeps his heart in touch with God cannot but shrink, as from a pestilence, from complicity with evil, and the depth of his hearty hatred of it is the measure of his right to ask that he may not share in the ruin it must bring, since God is righteous. One type of evil-doers is the object of the psalmist s special abhorrence : false friends with smooth tongues and daggers in their sleeves, the " dissemblers " of Psalm xxvi.; but he passes to the more general characterisation of the class, in his terrible prayer for retribution, in vv. 4, 5The sin of sins, from which all specific acts of evil flow, is blindness to God s " deeds " and to " the work of His hands," His acts both of mercy and of judgment. Practical atheism, the indifference which looks upon nature, history, and self, and sees no signs of a mighty hand tender, pure, and strong, ever active in them all, will surely lead the purblind " Agnostics " to do " works of their hands " which, for lack of reference to Him, fail to conform to the highest ideal and draw down righteous judgment. But the blindness to God s work here meant is that of an averted will rather than that of mistaken understanding, and from the stem of such a thorn the grapes of holy living cannot be gathered. Therefore the psalmist is but putting into words the necessary result of such lives when from suppliant he becomes prophet, and declares that " He shall cast them down, and not build them up." The stern tone of this prayer marks it as belonging to the older type of religion, and its dissimilarity to the ew Testament teaching is not to be slurred over. o doubt the element of personal enmity is all but absent, but it is not the prayer which those who have heard " Father, forgive them," are to copy. Yet, on the other hand, the wholesome abhorrence of evil, the solemn certitude that sin is death, the desire that it may cease from the world, and the lowly petition that it may not drag us into fatal associations are all to be preserved in Christian feeling, while softened by the light that falls from Calvary.
4 Repay them for their deeds and for their evil work; repay them for what their hands have done and bring back on them what they deserve.
1. Barnes, “Give them according to their deeds - Deal righteously with them. Recompense them as they deserve. And according to the wickedness of their endeavours - Their designs; their works; their plans. Give them after the work of their hands - Reward them according to what they do. Render to them their desert - A just recompense. This whole verse is a prayer that God would deal “justly” with them. There is no evidence that there is anything of vindictiveness or malice in the prayer. In itself considered, there is no impropriety in praying that “justice” may be done to the violators of law. See the general introduction, section 6.
2. Clarke, “Give them - Is the same as thou wilt give them; a prophetic declaration of what their lot will be.
3. Gill, “Give them according to their deeds,.... According to the demerit of them, which is death, even death eternal; and according to the wickedness of their endeavours; for though wicked men do not always succeed; yet their want of success does not excuse their wickedness; give them after the work of their hands; see 2Ti_4:14; render to them their desert; what their iniquities, in thought, word, and deed, deserve: such petitions are not contrary to that Christian charity which the Gospel recommends; nor do they savour of a spirit of revenge, which is condemned by the word of God; for it should be observed, that these things are said with respect to men given up to a reprobate mind; and that the psalmist does not seek to avenge himself, nor to gratify his own mind; but he sought the glory of God, and moreover spoke by a prophetic spirit, knowing what was the will of God in this case; see Psa_28:5; and therefore these petitions of his are not to be drawn into an example in common and ordinary cases. 4. Henry, “He imprecates the just judgments of God upon the workers of iniquity (Psa_28:4): Give them according to their deeds. This is not the language of passion or revenge, nor is it inconsistent with the duty of praying for our enemies. But, 1. Thus he would show how far he was from complying with the workers of iniquity, and with what good reason he had begged not to be drawn away with them, because he was convinced that they could not be made more miserable then to be dealt with according to their deeds. 2. Thus he would express his zeal for the honour of God's justice in the governing world. “Lord, they think all well that they do, and justify themselves in their wicked practices. Lord, give them after the work of their hands, and so undeceive those about them, who think there is no harm in what they do because it goes unpunished,” Psa_94:1, Psa_94:2. 3. This prayer is a prophecy that God will, sooner or later, render to all impenitent sinners according to their deserts. If what has been done amiss be not undone by repentance, there will certainly come a reckoning day, when God will render to every man who persists in his evil deeds according to them. It is a prophecy particularly of the destruction of destroyers: “They speak peace to their neighbours, but mischief is in their hearts; Lord, give them according to their deeds, let the spoilers be spoiled, and let those be treacherously
dealt with who have thus dealt treacherously;” see Isa_33:1; Rev_18:6; Rev_13:10. Observe, He foretels that God will reward them, not only according to their deed, but according to the wickedness of their endeavours; for sinners shall be reckoned with, not only for the mischief they have done, but for the mischief they would have done, which they designed, and did what they could to effect. And, if God go by this rule in dealing with the wicked, surely he will do so in dealing with the righteous, and will reward them, not only for the good they have done, but for the good they have endeavoured to do, though they could not accomplish it. 5. Jamison, “The imprecation is justified in Psa_28:5. The force of the passage is greatly enhanced by the accumulation of terms describing their sin. endeavours — points out their deliberate sinfulness.
6. Calvin, “Give them according to their works. Having thus requested God to have a regard to his innocence, the Psalmist thunders forth a curse against his enemies. And the accumulation of words shows that he had groaned long and grievously under the burden before he broke forth to desire such vengeance. He intimates that the wicked of whom he speaks had transgressed not once, nor for a short time, nor in one way, but that they had proceeded so far in their constant evil doings, that their audacity was no longer to be endured. We know how troublesome and grievous a temptation it is to see the ungodly proceeding without measure or end, as if God connived at their wickedness. David, therefore, wearied as it were with continual forbearing, and fainting under the burden, implores God, at length, to restrain the wantonness of his enemies, who of late ceased not to heap wickedness upon wickedness. Thus we perceive that there is nothing superfluous in this verse, when to works he adds the wickedness of their doings, and the work of their hands, and thrice petitions that they may receive the reward which they have deserved. Add to this, that he at the same time bears testimony to his own faith, to which boasting hypocrites often compel the children of God, while by their deceit and cavils, they impose upon the judgments of the world. We see how men who are distinguished for wickedness, not content with impunity themselves, cannot abstain from oppressing the innocent by false accusations, just as the wolf, desirous of making a prey 597597 “Voulant devorer les agneaux.” — Fr. of the lambs, according to the common proverb, accused them of troubling the water. David is therefore compelled by this exigency to call upon God for protection. Here again occurs the difficult question about praying for vengeance, which, however, I shall despatch in few words, as I have discussed it elsewhere. In the first place, then, it is unquestionable, that if the flesh move us to seek revenge, the desire is wicked in the Sight of God. He not only forbids us to imprecate evil upon our enemies in revenge for private injuries, but it cannot be otherwise than that all those desires which spring from hatred must be disordered. David’s example, therefore, must not be alleged by those who are driven by their own intemperate passion to seek vengeance. The holy prophet is not inflamed here by his own private sorrow to devote his enemies to destruction; but laying aside the desire of the flesh, he gives judgment concerning the matter itself. Before a man can, therefore, denounce vengeance against the wicked, he must first shake himself free from all improper feelings in his own mind. In the second place, prudence must be exercised, that the heinousness of the evils which offend us drive us not to intemperate zeal, which happened even to Christ’s disciples, when they desired that fire might be brought from heaven to consume those who refused to entertain their Master, (Luke 9:54.) They pretended, it is true, to act according to the example of Elias; but Christ severely rebuked them, and told them that they knew not by what spirit they were actuated. In particular, we must observe this general rule, that we cordially desire and labor for the welfare of the whole human race. Thus it will come to pass, that we shall
not only give way to the exercise of God’s mercy, but shall also wish the conversion of those who seem obstinately to rush upon their own destruction. In short, David, being free from every evil passion, and likewise endued with the spirit of discretion and judgment, pleads here not so much his own cause as the cause of God. And by this prayer, he farther reminds both himself and the faithful, that although the wicked may give themselves loose reins in the commission of every species of vice with impunity for a time, they must at length stand before the judgment-seat of God. 7. Spurgeon, “Verse 4. When we view the wicked simply as such, and not as our fellow men, our indignation against sin leads us entirely to coincide with the acts of divine justice which punish evil, and to wish that justice might use her power to restrain by her terrors the cruel and unjust; but still the desires of the present verse, as our version renders it, are not readily made consistent with the spirit of the Christian dispensation, which seeks rather the reformation than the punishment of sinners. If we view the words before us as prophetic, or as in the future tense, declaring a fact, we are probably nearer to the true meaning than that given in our version. Ungodly reader, what will be your lot when the Lord deals with you according to your desert, and weighs out to you his wrath, not only in proportion to what you have actually done, but according to what you would have done if you could. Our endeavours are taken as facts; God takes the will for the deed, and punishes or rewards accordingly. ot in this life, but certainly in the next, God will repay his enemies to their faces, and give them the wages of their sins. ot according to their fawning words, but after the measure of their mischievous deeds, will the Lord mete out vengeance to them that know him not. 8. Treasury of David, “Verse 4. Give them according to their deeds, etc. Here, again, occurs the difficult question about praying for vengeance, which, however, I shall despatch in a few words. In the first place, then, it is unquestionable, that if the flesh move us to seek revenge, the desire is wicked in the sight of God. He not only forbids us to imprecate evil upon our enemies in revenge for private injuries, but it cannot be otherwise than that all those desires which spring from hatred must be disordered. David's example, therefore, must not be alleged by those who are driven by their own intemperate passion to seek vengeance. The holy prophet is not inflamed here by his own private sorrow to devote his enemies to destruction; but laying aside the desire of the flesh, he give judgment concerning the matter itself. Before a man can, therefore, denounce vengeance against the wicked, he must first shake himself free from all improper feelings in his own mind. In the second place, prudence must be exercised, that the heinousness of the evils which offend us drive us not to intemperate zeal, which happened even to Christ's disciples, when they desired that fire might be brought from heaven to consume those who refused to entertain their Master. Luke 9:54. They pretended, it is true, to act according to the example of Elias, but Christ severely rebuked them, and told them that they knew not by what spirit they were actuated. In particular, we must observe this general rule, that we cordially desire and labour for the welfare of the whole human race. Thus it will come to pass, that we shall not only give way to the exercise of God's mercy, but shall also wish the conversion of those who seem obstinately to rush upon their own destruction. In short, David, being free from every evil passion, and likewise endued with the spirit of discretion and judgment, pleads here not so much his own cause as the cause of God. And by this prayer, he further reminds both himself and the faithful, that although the wicked may give themselves loose reins in the commission of every species of vice with impunity for a time, they must at length stand before the judgment seat of God. John Calvin. Verse 4. Give them according to their deeds, and according to the wickedness of their endeavours. Yes, great God, since thou hast from the beginning been only occupied in saving men, thou wilt surely strike with an eternal malediction these children of iniquity who appear to have been born
only to be lost themselves, and to destroy others. The very benevolence towards mankind solicits thy thunders against these corrupters of society. The more thou hast done for our race, the more surely will the severity of thy justice reveal itself in destroying the wretches whose only study is to counteract thy goodness towards mankind. They labour incessantly to put men far away from thee, O my God, and in return thou wilt put them far away from thee for ever. They count it great gain to make their fellows thine enemies, and they shall have the desperate consolation of being such themselves to all eternity. What more fitting punishment for the wretches who desire to make all hearts rebel against thine adorable Majesty, than to lie through the baseness of their nature, under the eternal and frightful necessity of hating thee for ever. Jean Baptiste Massillon, rendered very freely by C. H. S. Verse 4. Give them according to their deeds. The Egyptians killed the Hebrew male children, and God smote the firstborn of Egypt. Sisera, who thought to destroy Israel with his iron chariots, was himself killed with an iron nail, stuck through his temples. Adonibezek, Judges 1:5-7. Gideon slew forty elders of Succoth, and his sons were murdered by Abimelech. Abimelech slew seventy sons of Gideon upon one stone, and his own head was broken by a piece of millstone thrown by a woman. Samson fell by the "lust of the eye," and before death the Philistines put out his eyes. Agag, 1 Samuel 20:33. Saul slew the Gibeonites, and seven of his sons were hung up before the Lord. 2 Samuel 21:1-9. Ahab, after coveting aboth's vineyard, 1 Kings 21:19, fulfilled 2 Kings 9:24-26. Jeroboam, the same hand that was stretched forth against the altar was withered, 1 Kings 13:1-6. Joab having killed Abner, Amasa, and Absalom, was put to death by Solomon. Daniel's accusers thrown into the lion's den meant for Daniel. Haman hung upon the gallows designed for Mordecai. Judas purchased the field of blood, and then went and hanged himself. So in the history of later days, Bajazet was carried about by Tamerlane in an iron cage, as he intended to have carried Tamerlane. Mazentius built a bridge to entrap Constantine, and was overthrown himself of that very spot. Alexander 1. was poisoned by the wine he had prepared for another. Charles 2. made the streets of Paris to stream with Protestant blood, and soon after blood streamed from all parts of his body in a bloody sweat. Cardinal Beaton condemned George Wishart to death, and presently died a violent death himself. He was murdered in bed, and his body was laid out in the same window from which he had looked upon Wishart's execution. G. S. Bowes, in "Illustrative Gatherings." Verse 4. Render to them their desert. Meditate on God's righteousness, that it is not only his will, but his nature to punish sin; sin must damn thee without Christ, there is not only a possibility or probability that sin may ruin, but without an interest in Christ it must do so; whet much upon thy heart that must; God cannot but hate sin, because he is holy; and he cannot but punish sin, because he is righteous. God must not forego his own nature to gratify our humours. Christopher Fowler, in "Morning Exercises," 1676. Verse 4. He prayeth against his enemies, not out of any private revenge, but being led by the infallible spirit of prophecy, looking through these men to the enemies of Christ, and of his people in all ages. David Dickson. Verse 4-5. In these verses, as indeed in most of the imprecatory passages, the imperative and the future are used promiscuously: Give them -- render them -- he shall destroy them. If therefore, the verbs, in all such passages, were uniformly rendered in the "future," every objection against the Scripture imprecations would vanish at once, and they would appear clearly to be what they are, namely, prophecies of the divine judgments, which have been since executed against the Jews, and which will be executed against all the enemies of Jehovah, and his Christ; whom neither the "works" of creation, nor those of redemption, can lead to repentance. George Horne.
9. Douglas James Wilson, “The fourth verse of this psalm provides us with a good example of an Old Testament sentiment that tends to rub our ew Testament fur the wrong way. Some of this is the result of our sentimentalism—but not all of it. There really is a tension here that needs resolution. How are we to reconcile this with the ew Testament teaching to “honor all men,” and to “love our enemies,” for just two examples. Remember first that the Psalms are preeminently the songbook of the Christ. To the extent that we sing and pray these psalms ourselves, we may only do so in Him. This means that the psalter may never be used as a voodoo doll for you to settle scores with your personal enemies. Second, God has established a glorious way for His enemies to be destroyed. He destroys them in the death of Jesus so that He might raise them to life again. This is what He has done for us, and this is what we desire in the first place for those who oppose themselves to the gospel. Third, if in the plan of God it is not His purpose to do this, then we want to pray in line with His will. This is not an “Old Testament thing.” Hell is strict justice, and our gospel declares that God will judge all men according to their works (Rom. 2:3-10). Some men have received the grace of performing their works in Christ (by grace through faith), but others are outside Christ. This is the plan of God, and as we labor for His kingdom to come, His will to be done, it includes this. It therefore follows that praying the psalms of imprecation under the new covenant is not contrary to the spirit of the gospel. The apostle requires us to sing psalms (Eph. 5:19), and that includes this one. When Saul was ravaging the churches, it was fully appropriate for the Christians to pray this way concerning him. But when God destroyed that persecutor on the Damascus road, the response of the Christians to this would identify them as a Jonah or as a Stephen.
5 Because they have no regard for the deeds of the LORD and what his hands have done, he will tear them down and never build them up again.
1. Barnes, “Because they regard not the works of the Lord - What the Lord does in creation; in his providence; through His commands and laws; and by His Spirit. They do not find pleasure in His works; they do not give heed to the intimations of His will in His providential dealings; they do not listen to His commands; they do not yield to the influences of His Spirit. “ or the operation of his hands.” What He is now doing. The sense is essentially the same as in the former member of the sentence. He shall destroy them - He will pull them down, instead of building them up. They expose themselves to His displeasure, and He will bring deserved punishment upon them. And not build them up - He will not favor them; He will not give them prosperity. Health, happiness, salvation are to be found only in conformity with the laws which God has ordained. either can be found in violating those laws, or in any other method than that which He has
ordained. Sooner or later the violation of law, in regard to these things, and in regard to everything, must lead to calamity and ruin. 1B. Gordon Churchyard, “Here we read of "the work of his hands". This means the good things that God did. The word "God" is not in Psalm 28. David uses the word "LORD". That is the word that the people of God use for him. It means that they are his servants. And they love him and they obey him. It also means that they have begun to understand God. The godless do not understand God. It means that they do not love him or obey him. In the end God will destroy what they do ("the works of their hands"). 2. Clarke, “They regard not the works of the Lord - They have no knowledge of the true God, either as to his nature, or as to his works. He shall destroy them, and not build them up - This is a remarkable prophecy, and was literally fulfilled: the Babylonian empire was destroyed by Cyrus, and never built up again; for he founded the Persian empire on its ruins. haven the place where Babylon stood is now no longer known.
3. Gill, “ Because they regard not the works of the Lord,.... either the work of creation, as if there was no first cause of all things; nor the work of Providence, taking no notice either of the judgments or of the mercies of God; as though they believed that God had forsaken the earth, and would do neither good nor evil; and still less the work of redemption, which in covenant, promise, and prophecy, was appointed for the Messiah to work out; and as for the work of the Spirit of God upon the soul, they had no notion of that, of the nature and necessity of it; the things of the Spirit of God being foolishness to them, and undiscernible by them; see Isa_5:12. Perhaps the psalmist may have some regard to his being anointed by Samuel, according to the will of God, and to the victory which he obtained over Goliath, and over others, which justly gained him great esteem among some, and created envy in others; and also the wonderful protection of him from time to time; the Chaldee paraphrase is, "because they do not understand the law of the Lord". It follows, nor the operation of his hands; in which his hand was so very apparent, that nothing less could be said than that this was the finger of God; wherefore, he shall destroy them, and not build them up; that is, they shall be irrecoverably lost; they shall be punished with everlasting destruction; there will be no help or remedy for them: some (s) understand this as a prayer, that God would destroy them in such a manner, and render it, "let him destroy them", &c. (t). 4. Henry, “He foretels their destruction for their contempt of God and his hand (Psa_28:5): “Because they regard not the works of the Lord and the operations of his hands, by which he manifests himself and speaks to the children of men, he will destroy them in this world and in the other, and not build them up.” ote, A stupid regardlessness of the works of God is the cause of their ruin. Why do men question the being or attributes of God, but because they do not duly regard his handiworks, which declare his glory, and in which the invisible things of him are clearly seen? Why do men forget God, and live without him, nay, affront God, and live in
rebellion against him, but because they consider not the instances of that wrath of his which is revealed from heaven against all ungodliness and unrighteousness of men? Why do the enemies of God's people hate and persecute them, and devise mischief against them, but because they regard not the works God has wrought for his church, by which he has made it appear how dear it is to him? See Isa_5:12. In singing this we must arm ourselves against all temptations to join with the workers of iniquity, and animate ourselves against all the troubles we may be threatened with by the workers of iniquity.
5. Jamison, “Disregard of God’s judgments brings a righteous punishment. destroy ... build ... up — The positive strengthened by the negative form.
6. K&D, “In Psa_28:5, the prominent thought in David's mind is, that they shamefully fail to recognise how gloriously and graciously God has again and again acknowledged him as His anointed one. He has (2 Sam 7) received the promise, that God would build him a house, i.e., grant perpetual continuance to his kingship. The Absolomites are in the act of rebellion against this divine appointment. Hence they shall experience the very reverse of the divine promise given to David: Jahve will pull them down and not build them up, He will destroy, at its very commencement, this dynasty set up in opposition to God.
7. Calvin, “Because they regard not the doings of Jehovah. In this verse he lays open the root of impiety, declaring that the ungodly are so bold to do mischief, because, while they are thus indulging their hatred, and perpetrating every species of wickedness, they think that they have nothing to do with God. And when conscience stings them, they soothe themselves with false hopes, and at last stubbornly harden themselves into insensibility. First, being intoxicated with prosperity, they flatter themselves that God is their friend, while he has no regard for those good men who are overwhelmed with so many afflictions; and, next, they persuade themselves that the world is governed by chance, thus blinding themselves in the midst of the clear light of day. In this manner, David’s adversaries, willingly ignorant that God had appointed him to be king, emboldened themselves to persecute him. He therefore complains of their gross ignorance of this, just as Isaiah (Isaiah 5:20) brings the same complaint, in general terms, against all the ungodly of his days. This doctrine, then, has a twofold use. First, it is no small consolation to the children of God to be persuaded, while they are unrighteously vexed, that by the providence of God they are thus profitably exercised to patience; and that while the affairs of this world are all in a state of disturbance and confusion, God nevertheless sits supreme in heaven conducting and governing all things. 598598 “Conduisant et gouvernant toutes choses.” — Fr. In the second place, this is a very proper curb to subdue the passions of our flesh, that we may not, like the Andabates, 599599 “C’estoyent certains peuples ou escrimeurs qui souloyent ainsi comme etre. Voyez les Chiliades d’Erasme.” — ote, Fr. marg. “These were certain people or fencers, who were wont to fight in this manner. See the Chiliades of Erasmus.” contend in the dark, and with shut eyes, as if God saw not and cared not about what is done here below. Let us, therefore, learn carefully to consider that the judgments which God executes are just so many proofs of his righteousness in governing mankind, and that although all things should be huddled together in confusion, the eye of faith should be directed to heaven, to consider God’s secret judgments. And as God never
ceases, even in the midst of the greatest darkness, to give some tokens of his providence, it is inexcusable indolence not to attend to them. This perverseness the prophet aggravates, by repeating again, the works of God’s hands He thus intimates, that the ungodly, by recklessly pursuing their course, trample under foot whatever of God’s works they may meet with to check their madness. Let him destroy them, and not build them up. Some are of opinion that the first part of this verse is the nominative in the room of a substantive to the verbs in the last clause; as if David had said, This brutal madness shall destroy them; but the name of God should rather be supplied, and then the context will run excellently. As the verbs, however, in the Hebrew are in the future tense “He will destroy them, and not build them up.” the sentence may be explained as meaning that David now assures himself of the destruction of the reprobates for which he had lately prayed. I do not reject this interpretation; but, in my opinion, the words are just a continuance of his petitions. In this way, he prays that the wicked may be overthrown, so as not to rise again, or recover their former state. The expression, Let him destroy them, and not build them up, is a common figure of speech among the Hebrews, according to what Malachi says concerning Edom, “Thus saith the Lord of Hosts, They shall build, but I shall throw down,” (Malachi 1:4.) Lest we should be struck, therefore, with an incurable plague, let us learn to awake our minds to the consideration of God’s works, that we may be taught to fear him, to persevere in patience, and to advance in godliness. 8. Spurgeon, “Verse 5. Because they regard not the works of the Lord, nor the operation of his hands. God works in creation -- nature teems with proofs of his wisdom and goodness, yet purblind atheists refuse to see him: he works in providence, ruling and overruling, and his hand is very manifest in human history, yet the infidel will not discern him: he works in grace -remarkable conversions are still met with on all hands, yet the ungodly refuse to see the operations of the Lord. Where angels wonder, carnal men despise. God condescends to teach, and man refuses to learn. He shall destroy them: he will make them "behold, and wonder, and perish." If they would not see the hand of judgment upon others, they shall feel it upon themselves. Both soul and body shall be overwhelmed with utter destruction for ever and ever. And not build them up. God's cure is positive and negative; his sword has two edges, and cuts right and left. Their heritage of evil shall prevent the ungodly receiving any good; the ephah shall be too full of wrath to contain a grain of hope. They have become like old, rotten, decayed houses of timber, useless to the owner, and harbouring all manner of evil, and, therefore, the Great Builder will demolish them utterly. Incorrigible offenders may expect speedy destruction: they who will not mend, shall be thrown away as worthless. Let us be very attentive to all the lessons of God's word and work, lest being found disobedient to the divine will, we be made to suffer the divine wrath. 9. Treasury of David, “Verse 4-5. See Psalms on "Psalms 28:4" for further information. In these verses, as indeed in most of the imprecatory passages, the imperative and the future are used promiscuously: Give them -- render them -- he shall destroy them. If therefore, the verbs, in all such passages, were uniformly rendered in the "future," every objection against the Scripture imprecations would vanish at once, and they would appear clearly to be what they are, namely, prophecies of the divine judgments, which have been since executed against the Jews, and which will be executed against all the enemies of Jehovah, and his Christ; whom neither the "works" of creation, nor those of redemption, can lead to repentance. George Horne.
6 Praise be to the LORD, for he has heard my cry for mercy.
1. Barnes, “Blessed be the Lord, because he hath heard the voice of my supplications - This is one of those passages which frequently occur in the Psalms, when there has been an earnest and anxious prayer offered to God, and when the answer to the prayer seems to be immediate. The mind of the anxious and troubled pleader becomes calm; the promises of God are brought directly to the soul; the peace which was sought is obtained; and he who began the psalm with deep anxiety and trouble of mind, rejoices at the close of it in the evidences of the divine favor and love. What thus happened to the psalmist frequently occurs now. The answer to prayer, so far as giving calmness and assurance to the mind is concerned, is often immediate. The troubled spirit becomes calm; and whatever may be the result in other respects, the heart is made peaceful and confiding, and feels the assurance that all will be well. It is sufficient for us to feel that God hears us, for if this is so, we have the assurance that all is right. In this sense, certainly, it is right to look for an immediate answer to our prayers. See Isa_65:24, note; Dan_9:21, note. 1B. Expositor's Bible, “As in many psalms, the faith which prays passes at once into the faith which possesses. This man, when he " stood praying, believed that he had what he asked," and, so believing, had it. There was no change in circumstances, but he was changed. There is no fear of going down into the pit now, and the rabble of evil-doers have disappeared. This is the blessing which every true suppliant may bear away from the throne, the peace which passeth understanding, the sure pledge of the Divine act which answers prayer. It is the first gentle ripple of the incoming tide ; high water is sure to come at the due hour. So the psalmist is exuberant and happily tautological in telling how his trusting heart has become a leaping heart, and help has been flashed back from heaven as swiftly as his prayer had traveled thither.
2. Gill, “Blessed be the Lord,.... Which must be understood, not as invoking nor as conferring a blessing on him, neither of which can be done by a creature; nor does he stand in need of any, he being Elshaddai, God all sufficient, God over all, blessed for ever; but as ascribing all blessedness to him, congratulating his greatness and happiness, and giving him praise and glory for mercies received; and particularly for the following: because he hath heard the voice of my supplications; what he had prayed for, Psa_28:2; an answer was quickly returned, even while he was speaking, Isa_65:24; though this may be an expression of faith, being fully persuaded and assured that he was heard, and would be answered, and may be said by a prophetic spirit; knowing that what he had humbly asked for would be granted; so Aben Ezra and Kimchi understand it in a way of prophecy. 4. Henry, “ David gives God thanks for the audience of his prayers as affectionately as a few
verses before he had begged it: Blessed be the Lord, Psa_28:6. How soon are the saints' sorrows turned into songs and their prayers into praises! It was in faith that David prayed (Psa_28:2), Hear the voice of my supplications; and by the same faith he gives thanks (Psa_28:6) that God has heard the voice of his supplications. ote, 1. Those that pray in faith may rejoice in hope. “He hath heard me (graciously accepted me) and I am as sure of a real answer as if I had it already.” 2. What we win by prayer we must wear by praise. Has God heard our supplications? Let us then bless his name. 5. K&D, “The first half of the Psalm prayed for deliverance and for judgment; this second half gives thanks for both. If the poet wrote the Psalm at one sitting then at this point the certainty of being answered dawns upon him. But it is even possible that he added this second part later on, as a memorial of the answer he experienced to his prayer (Hitzig, Ewald). It sounds, at all events, like the record of something that has actually taken place. Jahve is his defence and shield. 6. Calvin, “Blessed be Jehovah, who hath heard. This is the second part of the psalm in which the prophet begins to give thanks to God. We have already seen how he employed himself in prayer in the midst of his dangers; and now by this thanksgiving he teaches us that his prayers were not in vain. Thus he confirms by his own example, that God is ready to bring help to his people whenever they seek him in truth and sincerity. He declares the same truth more fully in the next verse, calling God his strength and his shield; for he was persuaded that God had heard him from this, that he had been wonderfully preserved. He adds, that he had been helped in respect of his confidence and hope; for it often comes to pass, that those who call upon God, notwithstanding come short of his grace through their own unbelief. Thirdly, he says that he will add to his joy a testimony of his gratitude. Wicked men and hypocrites flee to God when they are overwhelmed with difficulties, but as soon as they escape from them, forgetting their deliverer, they rejoice with frantic mirth. In short, David trusted not in vain, since he truly found by experience that God possesses ever present power to preserve his servants; and that this was matter of true and solid joy to him, that he found God ever favorable to him. On this account, likewise, he promises that he would be mindful of God, and grateful to him. And undoubtedly, when God spreads cheerfulness through our hearts, it is to open our mouths to sing his praises. 7. Spurgeon, “Verse 6. Blessed be the Lord. Saints are full of benedictions; they are a blessed people, and a blessing people; but they give their best blessings, the fat of their sacrifices, to their glorious Lord. Our Psalm was prayer up to this point, and now it turns to praise. They who pray well, will soon praise well: prayer and praise are the two lips of the soul; two bells to ring out sweet and acceptable music in the ears of God; two angels to climb Jacob's ladder: two altars smoking with incense; two of Solomon's lilies dropping sweet smelling myrrh; they are two young roes that are twins, feeding upon the mountain of myrrh and the hill of frankincense. Because he hath heard the voice of my supplications. Real praise is established upon sufficient and constraining reasons; it is not irrational emotion, but rises, like a pure spring, from the deeps of experience. Answered prayers should be acknowledged. Do we not often fail in this duty? Would it not greatly encourage others, and strengthen ourselves, if we faithfully recorded divine goodness, and made a point of extolling it with our tongue? God's mercy is not such an inconsiderable thing that we may safely venture to receive it without so much as thanks. We should shun ingratitude, and live daily in the heavenly atmosphere of thankful love. 8. Treasury of David, “Verse 6. He hath heard. Prayer is the best remedy in a calamity. This is indeed a true catholicum, a general remedy for every malady. ot like the empiric's catholicum,
which sometimes may work, but for the most part fails: but that which upon assured evidence and constant experience hath its probatum est; being that which the most wise, learned, honest, and skilful Physician that ever was, or can be, hath prescribed -- even he that teacheth us how to bear what is to be borne, or how to heal and help what hath been borne. William Gouge.
7 The LORD is my strength and my shield; my heart trusts in him, and he helps me. My heart leaps for joy, and with my song I praise him.
1. Barnes, “The Lord is my strength - See the notes at Psa_18:1. And my shield - See the notes at Psa_3:3. Compare Psa_33:20; Psa_59:11; Psa_84:9; Psa_89:18; Gen_15:1. My heart trusted in him - I trusted or confided in him. See Psa_13:5. And I am helped - I have found the assistance which I desired. Therefore my heart greatly rejoiceth - I greatly rejoice. I am happy. He had found the assurance of the divine favor which he desired, and his heart was glad. And with my song will I praise him - I will sing praises to Him. Compare Psa_22:25.
2. Clarke, “The Lord is my strength - I have the fullest persuasion that he hears, will answer, and will save me.
3. Gill, “The Lord is my strength,.... That is, the author both of natural and spiritual strength; that gave him strength of body, and fortitude of mind, to bear up under all the exercises he was tried with; the strength of his life, spiritual and temporal, and of his salvation; the strength of his heart under present distresses, and who he knew would be so in the hour of death, when his heart and strength would fail; and my shield; to protect and defend him; as were the love, power, and faithfulness of God, and the Lord Jesus Christ, his power and fulness, his blood, righteousness, and salvation; my heart trusted in him; in the Lord as his strength and shield; not in any creature, nor in his own strength and righteousness; but in the Lord God, in whom are righteousness and strength: and it is plain he did not trust in his own heart, since his heart trusted in the Lord; and which shows that his trust was an hearty one, his faith was a faith unfeigned, he believed with the heart unto righteousness;
and I am helped: this was the fruit of his trust, even a gracious experience of divine assistance: saints are helpless in themselves, and are also as to the help of man; God is the only helper of them; he helps them out of all their troubles; in whatsoever he calls them unto, and to what they want; and the help he affords is sometimes quick, and always seasonable; and sometimes by means, and sometimes without them; therefore my heart greatly rejoiceth; that is, in the Lord, the ground of which was the help he had from him; and this joy was very great, a joy unspeakable, and full of glory; it was not carnal, but spiritual, a heart joy, joy in the Holy Ghost; and with my song will I praise him; praise is due to God, what glorifies him, and is acceptable to him; it becomes the saints, is comely for them, and it is pleasant work to them, when grace is in exercise; see Psa_69:30; this may be understood of one of his songs, and one of the best of them, and of one better than this, as a Jewish writer (u) observes. 4. Henry, “He encourages himself to hope in God for the perfecting of every thing that concerned him. Having given to God the glory of his grace (Psa_28:6), he is humbly bold to take the comfort of it, Psa_28:7. This is the method of attaining peace: let us begin with praise that is attainable. Let us first bless God and then bless ourselves. Observe, 1. His dependence upon God: “The Lord is my strength, to support me, and carry me on, through all my services and sufferings. He is my shield, to protect me from all the malicious designs of my enemies against me. I have chosen him to be so, I have always found him so, and I expect he will still be so.” 2. His experience of the benefits of that dependence: “My heart trusted in him, and in his power and promise; and it has not been in vain to do so, for I am helped, I have been often helped; not only God has given to me, in his due time, the help I trusted to him for, but my very trusting in him has helped me, in the mean time, and kept me from fainting.” Psa_27:13. The very actings of faith are present aids to a dropping spirit, and often help it at a dead lift. 3. His improvement of this experience. (1.) He had the pleasure of it: Therefore my heart greatly rejoices. The joy of a believer is seated in the heart, while, in the laughter of the fool, the heart is sorrowful. It is great joy, joy unspeakable and full of glory. The heart that truly believes shall in due time greatly rejoice; it is joy and peace in believing that we are to expect. (2.) God shall have the praise of it: when my heart greatly rejoices, with my song will I praise him. This must we express our gratitude; it is the least we can do; and others will hereby be invited and encouraged to trust in him too. 5. Calvin, “Verse 7. Here is David's declaration and confession of faith, coupled with a testimony from his experience. The Lord is my strength. The Lord employs his power on our behalf, and moreover, infuses strength into us in our weakness. The psalmist, by an act of appropriating faith, takes the omnipotence of Jehovah to be his own. Dependence upon the invisible God gives great independence of spirit, inspiring us with confidence more than human. And my shield. Thus David found both sword and shield in his God. The Lord preserves his people from unnumbered ills; and the Christian warrior, sheltered behind his God, is far more safe than the hero when covered with his shield of brass or triple steel. My heart trusted in him, and I am helped. Heart work is sure work; heart trust is never disappointed. Faith must come before help, but help will never be long behindhand. Every day the believer may say, "I am helped," for the divine assistance is vouchsafed us every moment, or we should go back unto perdition; when more manifest help is needed, we have but to put faith into exercise, and it will be given us. Therefore my heart greatly rejoiceth; and with my song will I praise him. The heart is mentioned twice to
show the truth of his faith and his joy. Observe the adverb "greatly," we need not be afraid of being too full of rejoicing at the remembrance of grace received. We serve a great God, let us greatly rejoice in him. A song is the soul's fittest method of giving vent to its happiness, it were well if we were more like the singing lark, and less like the croaking raven. When the heart is glowing, the lips should not be silent. When God blesses us, we should bless him with all our heart.
6. Spurgeon, “Verse 7. Here is David's declaration and confession of faith, coupled with a testimony from his experience. The Lord is my strength. The Lord employs his power on our behalf, and moreover, infuses strength into us in our weakness. The psalmist, by an act of appropriating faith, takes the omnipotence of Jehovah to be his own. Dependence upon the invisible God gives great independence of spirit, inspiring us with confidence more than human. And my shield. Thus David found both sword and shield in his God. The Lord preserves his people from unnumbered ills; and the Christian warrior, sheltered behind his God, is far more safe than the hero when covered with his shield of brass or triple steel. My heart trusted in him, and I am helped. Heart work is sure work; heart trust is never disappointed. Faith must come before help, but help will never be long behindhand. Every day the believer may say, "I am helped," for the divine assistance is vouchsafed us every moment, or we should go back unto perdition; when more manifest help is needed, we have but to put faith into exercise, and it will be given us. Therefore my heart greatly rejoiceth; and with my song will I praise him. The heart is mentioned twice to show the truth of his faith and his joy. Observe the adverb "greatly," we need not be afraid of being too full of rejoicing at the remembrance of grace received. We serve a great God, let us greatly rejoice in him. A song is the soul's fittest method of giving vent to its happiness, it were well if we were more like the singing lark, and less like the croaking raven. When the heart is glowing, the lips should not be silent. When God blesses us, we should bless him with all our heart. 7. Treasury of David, “Verse 7. The Lord is my strength. Oh, sweet consolation! If a man have a burden upon him, yet if he have strength added to him, if the burden be doubled, yet if his strength be trebled, the burden will not be heavier, but lighter than it was before to his natural strength; so if our afflictions be heavy, and we cry out, Oh, we cannot bear them! yet if we cannot bear them with our own strength, why may we not bear them with the strength of Jesus Christ? Do we think that Christ could not bear them? or if we dare not think but that Christ could bear them, why may not we come to bear them? Some may question, can we have the strength of Christ? Yes; that very strength is made over to us by faith, for so the Scripture saith frequently, The Lord is our strength; God is our strength; The Lord Jehovah is our strength; Christ is our strength Psalms 28:7 43:2 Psalms 118:14 Isaiah 12:2 Hab 3:19 Colossians 1:11; and, therefore, is Christ's strength ours, made over unto us, that we may be able to bear whatsoever lies upon us. Isaac Ambrose. Verse 7. The Lord is my strength inwardly, and my shield outwardly. Faith finds both these in Jehovah, and the one not without the other, for what is a shield without strength, or strength without a shield? My heart trusted in him, and I am helped: the idea of the former sentence is here carried out, that outward help was granted to inward confidence. W. Wilson, D.D. Verse 7. My heart trusted in him, and I am helped. Faith substantiates things not yet seen; it altereth the tense, saith one, and putteth the future into the present tense as here. John Trapp. 8. Spurgeon, “THIS passage has, to my mind, a peculiar charm. I do not know whether it breaks on your ears with like pathos and power. To me it seems charged with softness and sweetness, like some gentle strain of tender music. Let us read it again. “The Lord is my strength and my shield; my heart trusted in Him, and I am helped, therefore my heart greatly rejoices and with my song will I praise Him.” I think I see a battle raging furiously, yet he whom it most concerns, after having displayed his prowess and fought valiantly, steps aside and, sitting down in a quiet place, bomb-proof and almost out of sound of the
cannons’ roar, thus talks with his heart. He forgets the raging strife—he is expecting a joyful victory! He knows his weaknesses, but he has caught a glimpse of the Divine strength which is guaranteed to him. He is trembling, perhaps, from the toil of the fight, and yet he rests as one insensibly subdued to settled calm and mild composure—he rests in God. In like manner, I want you, dear Friends, to get out of the crowd a while, this evening, and take shelter in a quiet place. Forget, just now, the various troubles of business. The domestic cares which often harass you and the inward conflicts which vex your souls. Whatever there may be to disturb, distress, or distract you, let it alone! ow, for a while, revel in that sweet peace which God, alone, can give, the peace of God which passes all understanding—and say unto your soul—“The Lord is my strength and my shield; my heart trusted in Him, and I am helped, therefore my heart greatly rejoices and with my song will I praise Him.”
8 The LORD is the strength of his people, a fortress of salvation for his anointed one.
1. Barnes, “The Lord is their strength - Margin, “his strength.” The Hebrew is, “their strength,” or “strength to them.” The allusion is to the people of God. The course of thought seems to be, that the psalmist, having derived in his own case assistance from God, or having found God a strength to him, his mind turns from this fact to the general idea that God was the strength of “all” who were in similar circumstancaes; or that all His people might confide in Him as he had done. And he is the saving strength - Margin, as in Hebrew, “strength of salvations.” That is, In Him is found the strength which produces salvation. See the notes at Psa_27:1. Of his anointed - See Psa_2:2, note; Psa_20:6, note. The primary reference here is doubtless to the psalmist himself, as one who had been annointed or set apaart to the kingly office; but the connection shows that he intended to include all the people of God, as those whom He had consecrated or set apart to His service. See 1Pe_2:5, 1Pe_2:9.
2. Clarke, “The Lord is their strength - Instead of למוlamo, to them, eight MSS. of Kennicott and De Rossi have לעמוleammo to his people; and this reading is confirmed by the Septuagint, Syriac, Vulgate, Ethiopic, Arabic, and Anglo-Saxon. This makes the passage more precise and intelligible; and of the truth of the reading there can be no reasonable doubt. “The Lord is the strength of his People, and the saving strength of his anointed.” Both king and people are protected, upheld, and saved by him.
3. Gill, “The Lord is their strength,.... The strength of his people, mentioned in Psa_28:9; not only the strength of David in particular, but of all his people in general; see Psa_37:39; and he is the saving strength of his anointed; meaning either himself, as before, who was anointed by Samuel king of Israel, and therefore had not invaded and thrust himself into an office he had
no call and right unto; or the Messiah, the Lord's Anointed, whom he heard, helped, and strengthened in the day of salvation, and delivered him from the power of death and the grave, and raised him from thence, and gave him glory; see Psa_20:6. 4. Henry, “He pleases himself with the interest which all good people, through Christ, have in God (Psa_28:8): “The Lord is their strength; not mine only, but the strength of every believer.” ote, The saints rejoice in their friends' comforts as well as their own; for, as we have not the less benefit from the light of the sun, so neither from the light of Gods' countenance, for others' sharing therein; for we are sure there is enough for all and enough for each. This is our communion with all saints, that God is their strength and ours, Christ their Lord and ours, 1Co_1:2. He is their strength, the strength of all Israel, because he is the saving strength of his anointed, that is, 1. Of David in the type. God, in strengthening him that was their king and fought their battles, strengthened the whole kingdom. He calls himself God's anointed because it was the unction he had received that exposed him to the envy of his enemies, and therefore entitled him to the divine protection. 2. Of Christ, his anointed, his Messiah, in the anti-type. God was his saving strength, qualified him for his undertaking and carried him through it; see Psa_89:21; Isa_49:5; Isa_50:7, Isa_50:9. And so he becomes their strength, the strength of all the saints; he strengthened him that is the church's head, and from him diffuses strength to all the members, has commanded his strength, and so strengthens what he has wrought for us; Psa_68:28; Psa_80:17, Psa_80:18. 5. Jamison, “The distinction made between the people. their strength — and the anointed — may indicate Absalom’s rebellion as the occasion.
6. K&D, “The αὐτοί, who are intended by לָמ ֹוin Psa_28:8, are those of Israel, as in Psa_12:8; Isa_33:2 (Hitzig). The lxx (κραταίωµα τοῦ λαοῦ αὐτοῦ) reads ,לעַמּ ֹוas in Psa_29:11, which is ְ approved by Böttcher, Olshausen and Hupfeld; but למוyields a similar sense. First of all David thinks of the people, then of himself; for his private character retreats behind his official, by virtue of which he is the head of Israel. For this very reason his deliverance is the deliverance of Israel, to whom, so far as they have become unfaithful to His anointed, Jahve has not requited this faithlessness, and to whom, so far as they have remained true to him, He has rewarded this fidelity. Jahve is a ע ֹזa si evhaJ to them, inasmuch as He preserves them by His might from the destruction into which they would have precipitated themselves, or into which others would have precipitated them; and He is the מע ֹוז יְשׁוּעותof His anointed inasmuch as He surrounds him as an ָ inaccessible place of refuge which secures to him salvation in all its fulness instead of the destruction anticipated. Israel's salvation and blessing were at stake; but Israel is in fact God's people and God's inheritance - may He, then, work salvation for them in every future need and bless them. Apostatised from David, it was a flock in the hands of the hireling - may He ever take the place of shepherd to them and carry them in His arms through the destruction. The נַשְּׂ אֵ ם coupled with ( וּֽרעֵםthus it is to be pointed according to Ben-Asher) calls to mind Deu_1:31, ֲ “Jahve carried Israel as a man doth carry his son,” and Exo_19:4; Deu_32:11, “as on eagles' wings.” The Piel, as in Isa_63:9, is used of carrying the weak, whom one lifts up and thus removes out of its helplessness and danger. Psa_3:1-8 closes just in the same way with an intercession; and the close of Psa_29:1-11 is similar, but promissory, and consequently it is placed next to Psa_28:19.
7. Calvin, “Jehovah is their strength. By way of explanation, he repeats what he had said before, that God had been his strength; namely, because he had blessed his armies. David had indeed employed the hand and labor of men, but to God alone he ascribes the victory. As he knew that whatever help he had obtained from men proceeded from God, and that his prosperous success flowed likewise from his gratuitous favor, he discerned his hand in these means, as palpably as if it had been stretched forth from heaven. And surely it is passing shameful, that human means, which are only the instruments of God’s power, should obscure his glory; although there is no sin more common. It is a manner of speaking which has great weight, when, speaking of his soldiers, he uses only the pronoun their, as if he pointed to them with the finger. The second clause assigns the reason of the other. He declares that himself and his whole army were endued with victorious valor from heaven, because he fought under the standard of God. This is the meaning of the word anointed; for, had not God appointed him king, and freely adopted him, he would not have favored him any more than he did Saul. By this means, in extolling solely the power of God which advanced him to the kingdom, he attributes nothing to his own policy or power. In the meantime, we may learn, that when one is satisfied of the lawfulness of his calling, this doctrine encourages him to entertain good hope with respect to the prosperous issue of his affairs. In particular, it is to be observed, as we have briefly noticed in another place, that the fountain whence all the blessings God bestows upon us flows is, that he hath chosen us in Christ. David employs salvations or deliverances in the plural number, because he had been often and in various ways preserved. The meaning, therefore, is, that from the time when God had anointed him by the hand of Samuel, he never ceased to help him, but delivered him in innumerable ways, until he had accomplished the work of his grace in him. 8. Spurgeon, “Verse 8. The Lord is their strength. The heavenly experience of one believer is a pattern of the life of all. To all the militant church, without exception, Jehovah is the same as he was to his servant David, "the least of them shall be as David." They need the same aid and they shall have it, for they are loved with the same love, written in the same book of life, and one with the same anointed Head. And he is the saving strength of his anointed. Here behold king David as the type of our Lord Jesus, our covenant Head, our anointed Prince, through whom all blessings come to us. He has achieved full salvation for us, and we desire saving strength from him, and as we share in the unction which is so largely shed upon him, we expect to partake of his salvation. Glory be unto the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, who has magnified the power of his grace in his only begotten Son, whom he has anointed to be a Prince and a Saviour unto his people. 9. Treasury of David, “Verse 8. The Lord is their strength: not mine only, but the strength of every believer. ote -- the saints rejoice in their friends' comforts as well as their own; for as we have not the less benefit by the light of the sun, so neither by the light of God's countenance, for others sharing therein; for we are sure there is enough for all, and enough for each. This is our communion with all saints, that God is their strength and ours; Christ their Lord and ours. 1 Corinthians 1:2. He is their strength, the strength of all Israel, because he is the saving strength of his anointed, i.e., 1. Of David in the type: God in strengthening him that was their king and fought their battles, strengthened the whole kingdom. He calls himself God's anointed, because it was the unction he had received that exposed him to the envy of his enemies, and therefore entitled him to the divine protection. 2. Of Christ, his Anointed, his Messiah, in the antitype. God was his saving strength, qualified him for his undertaking, and carried him through it. Matthew Henry.
9 Save your people and bless your inheritance; be their shepherd and carry them forever.
1. Barnes, “Save thy people - All thy people. The psalm appropriately closes with a prayer for all the people of God. The prayer is offered in view of the deliverance which the psalmist had himself experienced, and he prays that all the people of God might experience similar deliverance and mercy. And bless thine inheritance - Thy heritage; Thy people. The Hebrew word properly means “taking possession of anything; occupation.” Then it comes to mean “possession; domain; estate:” um, Psa_18:21. Thus it is used as applied to the territory assigned to each tribe in the promised land: Jos_13:23. Thus also it is applied to the people of Israel - the Jewish nation - as the “possession” or “property” of Yahweh; as a people whom he regarded as His own, and whom, as such, He protected: Deu_4:20; Deu_9:26, Deu_9:29. In this place the people of God are thus spoken of as His special possession or property on earth; as that which He regards as of most value to Him; as that which belongs to Him, or to which He has a claim; as that which cannot without injustice to Him be alienated from Him. Feed them also - Margin, “rule.” The Hebrew word refers to the care which a shepherd extends over his flock. See Psa_23:1, where the same word, under another form - “shepherd” - is used. The prayer is, that God would take the same care of His people that a shepherd takes of his flock. And lift them up for ever - The word used here may mean “sustain” them, or “support” them; but it more properly means “bear,” and would be best expressed by a reference to the fact that the shepherd carries the feeble, the young, and the sickly of his flock in his arms, or that he lifts them up when unable themselves to rise. See Isa_40:11, note; Isa_63:9, note. The word “forever” here means simply “always” - in all circumstances; at all times. In other words, the psalmist prays that God would “always” manifest Himself as the Friend and Helper of His people, as He had done to him. It may be added here, that what the psalmist thus prays for God’s “will” to be done. God “will” save His people; He will bless His heritage; He will be to them a kind and faithful shepherd; He will sustain, comfort, uphold, and cherish them always - in affliction; in temptation; in death, forever. They have only to trust in Him, and they will find Him to be more kind and faithful than the most tender shepherd ever was to his flock.
2. Clarke, “Save thy people - Continue to preserve them from all their enemies; from idolatry, and from sin of every kind. Bless thine inheritance - They have taken thee for their God; thou hast taken them for thy people. Feed them - רעהraah signifies both to feed and to govern. Feed them, as a shepherd does his flock; rule them, as a father does his children. Lift them up for ever - Maintain thy true Church; let no enemy prevail against it. Preserve and magnify them for ever. Lift them up: as hell is the bottomless pit in which damned spirits sink down for ever; or, as Chaucer says downe all downe; so heaven is an endless height of glory, in
which there is an eternal rising or exaltation. Down, all down; up, all up; for ever and ever.
3. Gill, “Save thy people,.... The psalmist begins the psalm with petitions for himself, and closes it with prayers for the people of God; whom God has chosen for his people, taken into covenant to be his people, and given them to his son as such; these he has resolved to save, and has appointed Christ, and sent him into the world, to be the Saviour of them; and to them he makes known and applies the great salvation by his Spirit: so that this prayer was a prayer of faith, as are also the following petitions; and bless thine inheritance; the people whom the Lord has chosen for his inheritance, and has given to Christ as his portion, and are his peculiar possession; and these he blesses with all spiritual blessings, with grace here, and glory hereafter, as is requested; feed them also; as the shepherd does his flock, by leading them into green pastures, by giving them the bread of life, by nourishing them with the word and ordinances, by the means or his ministering servants, who are under-shepherds appointed to feed the saints with knowledge and understanding; and lift them up for ever; above their enemies, and out of the reach of them; bear and carry them now, as the shepherd does his lambs, in his arms and bosom; and raise them out of their graves, and give them the dominion in the morning of the resurrection, and cause them to reign as kings and priests with Christ, as they ever will. 4. Henry, “He concludes with a short but comprehensive prayer for the church of God, Psa_28:9. He prays for Israel, not as his people (“save my people, and bless my inheritance”), though they were so, but, “thine.” God's interest in them lay nearer his heart than his own. We are thy people is a good plea, Isa_64:9; Isa_63:19. I am thine, save me. God's people are his inheritance, dear to him, and precious in his eyes; what little glory he has from this world he has from them. The Lord's portion is his people. That which he begs of God for them is, 1. That he would save them from their enemies and the dangers they were exposed to. 2. That he would bless them with all good, flowing from his favour, in performance of his promise, and amounting to a happiness for them. 3. That he would feed them, bless them with plenty, and especially the plenty of his ordinances, which are food to the soul. Rule them; so the margin. “Direct their counsels and actions aright, and overrule their affairs for good. Feed them, and rule them; sets pastors, set rulers, over them, that shall do their office with wisdom and understanding.” 4. That he would lift them up for ever, lift them up out of their troubles and distresses, and do this, not only for those of that age, but for his people in every age to come, even to the end. “Lift them up into thy glorious kingdom, lift them up as high as heaven.” There, and there only, will the saints be lifted up for ever, never more to sink or be depressed. Observe, Those, and those only, whom God feeds and rules, who are willing to be taught, and guided, and governed, by him, shall be saved, and blessed, and lifted up for ever.
5. Calvin, “In this verse he shows that it was not so much his own welfare as the welfare of the whole Church which was the object of his concern, and that he neither lived nor reigned for himself, but for the common good of the people. He well knew that he was appointed king for no other end. In this he declares himself to be a type of the Son of God, of whom, when Zechariah
(Zechariah 9:9) predicts that he would come “having salvation,” there is no doubt that he promises nothing to him apart from his members, but that the effects of this salvation would diffuse themselves throughout his whole body. By this example, accordingly, he prescribes a rule to earthly kings, that, devoting themselves to the public good, they should only desire to be preserved for the sake of their people. “That all the prosperity they desire should be for the sake of the people.” How very far otherwise it is, it is needless to say. Blinded with pride and presumption they despise the rest of the world, just as if their pomp and dignity raised them altogether above the common state of man. or is it to be wondered at, that mankind are so haughtily and contumeliously trampled under foot of kings, since the greatest part cast off and disdain to bear the cross of Christ. Let us therefore remember that David is like a mirror, in which God sets before us the continual course of his grace. Only we must be careful, that the obedience of our faith may correspond to his fatherly love, that he may acknowledge us for his people and inheritance. The Scriptures often designate David by the name of a shepherd; but he himself assigns that office to God, thus confessing that he is altogether unfit for it,“That he is not worthy of it.” save only in as far as he is God’s minister. 6. Spurgeon, “Verse 9. This is a prayer for the church militant, written in short words, but full of weighty meaning. We must pray for the whole church, and not for ourselves alone. Save thy people. Deliver them from their enemies, preserve them from their sins, succour them under their troubles, rescue them from their temptations, and ward off from them every ill. There is a plea hidden in the expression, "thy people:" for it may be safely concluded that God's interest in the church, as his own portion, will lead him to guard it from destruction. Bless thine inheritance. Grant positive blessings, peace, plenty, prosperity, happiness; make all thy dearly purchased and precious heritage to be comforted by thy Spirit. Revive, refresh, enlarge, and sanctify thy church. Feed them also. Be a shepherd to thy flock, let their bodily and spiritual wants be plentifully supplied. By thy word, and ordinances, direct, rule, sustain, and satisfy those who are the sheep of thy hand. And lift them up for ever. Carry them in thine arms on earth, and then lift them into thy bosom in heaven. Elevate their minds and thoughts, spiritualise their affections, make them heavenly, Christlike, and full of God. O Lord, answer this our petition, for Jesus' sake. God’s people need lifting up. They are very heavy by nature. They have no wings, or, if they have, they are like the dove of old which lay among the pots; and they need divine grace to make them mount on wings covered with silver, and with feathers of yellow gold. By nature sparks fly upward, but the sinful souls of men fall downward. O Lord, “lift them up for ever!” David himself said, “Unto thee, O God, do I lift up my soul,” and he here feels the necessity that other men’s souls should be lifted up as well as his own. When you ask this blessing for yourself, forget not to seek it for others also. There are three ways in which God’s people require to be lifted up. They require to be elevated in character. Lift them up, O Lord; do not suffer thy people to be like the world’s people! The world lieth in the wicked one; lift them out of it! The world’s people are looking after silver and gold, seeking their own pleasures, and the gratification of their lusts; but, Lord, lift thy people up above all this; keep them from being “muck-rakers,” as John Bunyan calls the man who was always scraping after gold! Set thou their hearts upon their risen Lord and the heavenly heritage! Moreover, believers need to be prospered in conflict. In the battle, if they seem to fall, O Lord, be pleased to give them the victory. If the foot of the foe be upon their necks for a moment, help them to grasp the sword of the Spirit, and eventually to win the battle. Lord, lift up thy children’s spirits in the day of conflict; let them not sit in the dust, mourning for ever. Suffer not the adversary to vex them sore, and make them fret; but if they have been, like Hannah, persecuted, let them sing of the mercy of a delivering God.
We may also ask our Lord to lift them up at the last! Lift them up by taking them home, lift their bodies from the tomb, and raise their souls to thine eternal kingdom in glory. 7. Treasury of David, “Verse 9. Lift them up. The word here used may mean sustain them, or support them; but it more properly means bear, and would be best expressed by a reference to the fact, that the shepherd carries the feeble, the young, and the sickly of his flock in his arms, or that he lifts them up when unable themselves to rise. Albert Barnes. 8. 1 O Lord, to Thee I cry; Thou art my Rock and Trust; O be not silent, lest I die And slumber in the dust. 2 O hear me when in prayer Thy favor I entreat; Hear, while I lift imploring hands Before Thy mercy seat. 3 O draw me not away With those of evil will; With them who speak of peace indeed, But still are plotting ill. 4 Requite them for their wrong, Their evil deeds, O Lord; O give them then their just desert, And to their deeds reward. 5 Thy deeds they disregard, Thy handiwork despise; And therefore Thou wilt cast them down And never let them rise. 6 But blessèd be the Lord Who hearkens when I cry; The Lord, my Strength, my Help, my Shield, On Him will I rely. 7 His help makes glad my heart, And songs of praise I sing; Jehovah is His people’s Strength, The Stronghold of their king. 8 Bless Thine inheritance,
Our Savior be, I pray; Supply Thou all Thy people’s need, And be their constant Stay. Author unknown