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Prayer for the
33 Nevertheless my loving-kindness will I not utterly take from him, nor suffer my faithfulness to fail.
34 My covenant will I not break, nor alter the thing that is gone out of my lips.
35 Once have I sworn by my holiness that I will not lie unto David.
36 His seed shall endure for ever, and his throne as the sun before me.
37 It shall be established for ever as the moon, and as a faithful witness in heaven. Selah.
38 But thou hast cast off and abhorred, thou hast been wroth with thine anointed.
EXPOSITION-Psalm tirely reduced and impoverished him, that he seems only to have retained the kingdom by the clemency, and perhaps coutempt, of his haughty conqueror." Supposing Ethan to have lived to this period, which is very possible, and to have witnessed the declension of Solomon and the degradation of Rehoboam, it may seem to account sufficiently for all the circumstances here referred to.
The two first verses professing strong confidence in God, with a determination to record his faithfulness to future generations, the verses following, Bishop Horne remarks" assign the ground of such faith; namely, the covenant which God is here introduced as declaring that he had made with David, and which he did make with him by the prophet Nathan; (2 Sam. vii. 12, &c.) The covenant relates to David's seed,' and to the establishment of his throne' in that seed: literally, in Solomon for a time-spiritually, in Christ for ever: When thy days shall be fufilled, and thou shalt sleep with thy fathers, I will set up thy seed after thee, which shall proceed out of thy bowels; and I will establish his kingdom. He shall build an house for my name, and I will establish the throne of his kingdom for ever. I will be his father, and he shall be my son.' These last words are cited by the apostle, (Heb. i. 5.) as spoken of Christ, to evince his superiority over the angels. Yet that the whole passage does, in the letter, relate to Solomon, can admit of no doubt, he being the seed' and immediate suc
[church in distress.
39 Thou hast made void the covenant of thy servant: thou hast profaned his crown by casting it to the ground.
40 Thou hast broken down all his hedges; thou hast brought his strong holds to ruin.
41 All that pass by the way spoil him he is a reproach to his neighbours.
42 Thou hast set up the right hand of his adversaries; thou hast made all his enemies to rejoice.
43 Thou hast also turned the edge of his sword, and hast not made him to stand in the battle.
44 Thou hast made his glory to
cessor of David, and the person appointed to build an house for God's name.' Here, then, we have an incontestable proof that the covenant with David had Messiah for its object; that Solomon was a figure of him, and that the scripture hath sometimes a double sense. It is, moreover, to be observed, that the covenants made with Abraham, David, &c. all had their original in the covenant made with the Messiah, who was the true Father of the Faithful, the Beloved and Choseu of God, the great Prophet, Priest, and King; the only person qualified to be a sponsor (or surety,) and to engage in a covenant with the Father for maukind. His sufferings were the price of our redemption; and because he suffered in the flesh as the Son of David,' therefore is he established for ever, and his throne built up to all generations." Remarkable are the words of the angel to Mary: The Lord God shall give unto him the throne of his father David: aud he shall reign over the house of Jacob for ever; and of his kingdom there shall be no end.'" (Luke i. 32.)
Most beautiful is the allusion to the divine attributes, (verses 13 to 15.) His arm is arrayed in strength and raised on high, to cut down his enemies. Justice and judgment are in waiting to support the establishment of his throne; Mercy and Truth are the heralds, which go before to proclaim his goodness with the trumpets of the jubilee; and "blessed are the people who know the joyful sound" of his sal vation!
NOTES-Psalm LXXXIX. Con. Ver. 33. Not utterly take Heb. Not make Void."
Ver. 35. Will not lie-Heb. "If I lie," the most solemn form of negative in that language. Ver. 45. Remember, how short my time is-Aino
worth, "How transitory I am." All men in rain Ainsworth, Unto what vanity thou hast made all the sons of Adam." Vor. 30. Of thine anointed--Beb, “ Messiah”
A prayer] cease, and cast his throne down to the ground.
45 The days of his youth hast thou shortened: thou hast covered him with shame. Selah.
46 How long, LORD? wilt thou hide thyself for ever? shall thy wrath burn like fire?
47 Remember how short my time is: wherefore hast thou made all men in vain?
48 What man is he that liveth, and shall not see death? shall he deliver his soul from the hand of the grave? Selah.
49 LORD, where are thy former loving-kindnesses, which thou swarest unto David in thy truth?
50 Remember, LORD, the reproach
(R) Ver. 33-52. God's faithfulness justified. As it respects the covenant of peculiarity above referred to, Bishop Horne remarks "The posterity of David were to enjoy God's favour or be deprived of it, as they proved obedient or disobedient to his law; as they executed or perverted its civil judgments;' as they observed or neglected its ceremonial' statutes, or religious institutions;' as they kept or broke its commandments' or moral, precepts. When they became rebellious, idolatrous, and profligate, the rod was lifted up, and due chastisement inflicted; sometimes by the immediate hand of heaven, sometimes by the instrumentality of their heathen adversaries. Famine and pestilence, war and captivity, were at different times employed to reclaim backsliding Israel. But still the covenant' of God in Christ stood sure; the Jewish nation was preserved through all changes and revolutions, until the seed came to whom the promise was made;' nor was Jerusalem destroyed before the new and spiritual kingdom of Messiah was set up in the earth. Christian communities and the individuals that compose them, are, in like manner, corrected and punished for their offences. Nevertheless, God's loving-kindness will he not utterly take from us, nor suffer his faithfulness to fail. His covenant will he not break, nor alter the thing that is
gone out of his lips.' So I am with you always, (says the Redeemer,) even to the end of the world: and the gates of hell shall not prevail against my church."" (Matt. xxviii. 20; xvi. 18.)
When we charge God foolishly with the want of fidelity to his word, it is either, 1. Because we misconstrue its meaning; or, 2. From want of considering that we can have no claim upon God for the fulfilment of his promises, while we neglect his precepts.
In the conclusion of this psalm, we find what was the "reproach of Christ" which Moses suffered. (Heb. xi. 26.) The promise of a Messiah was given to Adam immediately after the fall, and renewed to all the succeeding patriarchs. Moses repeated it to the Israelites, to encourage their hope of deliverance; but they retorted upon him in the language of infidels of later times "Where is the promise of his coming?" (2 Peter iii. 3, 4.) slow were the footsteps of his anointed, that is, of Messiah, and this was "the reproach of his footsteps," in which Moses gloried. But "He that shall come, will come;" and, when the appointed time arrives, he will not tarry." "Even so, Come, Lord Jesus."
"That glorious hour, that dreadful day,
Awake, our souls, and bless the Lord." Watts.
PSALM XC. Ver. 1. In all generations-Heb. "Ia generation and generation."
Ver. 3. And savest return.-See Gen. iii. 19. Ver.6. They are as a sleep: in the morning.
Dr. Durell, "They are like sleep in the morning;" changing the punctuation.Like the grass which groweth up-Marg. "Which is changed;" i, e. sud denly.
and sayest, Return, ye children of men. 4 For a thousand years in thy sight are but as yesterday when it is past, and as a watch in the night.
5 Thou carriest them away as with a flood; they are as a sleep: in the morning they are like grass which groweth up.
6 In the morning it flourisheth, and groweth up; in the evening it is cut down, and withereth.
7 For we are consumed by thine anger, and by thy wrath are we troubled.
8 Thou hast set our iniquities before thee, our secret sins in the light of thy countenance.
9 For all our days are passed away in thy wrath: we spend our years as a tale that is told.
10 The days of our years are threescore years and ten; and if by reason of strength they be fourscore years, yet is their strength labour and sorrow; for it is soon cut off, and we fly away.
[and man mortal.
(S) A contemplation on the transitory nature of human life. This psalm is entitled,A Prayer of Moses, the man of God;" and was probably written by him, about the time that God shortened the days of Israel in the wilderness. (See Num. xii.) It is, however, a psalm of no private interpretation; but of general use to all who are involved in the like sentence. For this reason it is incorporated in the funeral service of the Church of England, where its effect is peculiarly solemu.
It opens with an address to the eternal Being, who has been, in all ages, the refuge of all that trust in him whose being is not regulated by any of the motions of the heavenly bodies; to whom "a thousand years are but as one day, and one day as a thousand years;" (2 Pet. iii. 8.) and that day not as rolling slowly over us; but as "a day when it is past," its business and its cares forgotten; or, as a watch in the night "passed, of which we know nothing, but that it is gone.
The writer has elsewhere thus remarked on the beauty of the sentiments expressed in the succeeding verses (7 to 9.) Observe, that God not only seeth those actions which are also exposed to the world, but our most secret iniquities; the word that yet is upon our tongue; yea, the thought that is within our heart; he not only seeth these, but placeth them in the most conspicuous view before him in the light of his countenance;' he beams his glory directly upon them: sets them in contrast to his own purity. Thus seeth he the whole of our most secret impurities, and seeth them all in their deformity. But the fulness of the text is not yet exhausted. When our secret sins are placed in the light of God's countenance, then we behold them too, and in a very different manner from what we were used to do. In his light we see light.' Motes are visible in
: so those sins which appear trivial to us, or rather, which do not appear, at other times, now strike us as enormities. His glory discovers our vileness, his holi
Happiness of ]
HE that dwelleth in the secret place of the Most High shall abide under the shadow of the Almighty.
2 I will say of the LORD, He is my refuge and my fortress: my God; in him will I trust.
3 Surely he shall deliver thee from the snare of the fowler, and from the noisome pestilence.
4 He shall cover thee with his feathers, and under his wings shalt thou trust: his truth shall be thy shield and buckler.
5 Thou shalt not be afraid for the terror by night; nor for the arrow that flieth by day ;
6 Nor for the pestilence that walketh in darkness; nor for the destruction that wasteth at noonday.
7 A thousand shall fall at thy side, and ten thousand at thy right hand; but it shall not come nigh thee.
8 Only with thine eyes shalt thou behold and see the reward of the wicked.
9 Because thou hast made the LORD which is my refuge, even the Most High, thy habitation;
10 There shall no evil befall thee, neither shall any plague come nigh thy dwelling.
11 For he shall give his angels charge over thee, to keep thee in all thy ways.
12 They shall bear thee up in their hands, lest thou dash thy foot against a stone.
13 Thou shalt tread upon the lion and adder: the young lion and the dragon shalt thou trample under feet.
ness displays our impurity. Job long justified himself, and skilfully parried the charges of his friends; ، this was false, and that was aggravated;' but when he saw the divine glory beaming around him, then he cried, in a mixture of astonishment and confusion, Behold, I am vile! I abhor myself in dust and ashes.' (Job xl. 4.-xlii. 6.) See Hist. Def. of Exper. Relig. N. Ed. p. 89, 90.
According to thy fear, so is thy wrath;" that is, thy wrath is to be dreaded in proportion to thine awful majesty. And most excellent and important is the moral instruction to be derived from these premises, which is here summed up into a prayer: "So teach us to number"-estimate and calculate our days, that we may apply our hearts unto wisdom!" Moral truth is never properly applied till it is wrought into humble and earnest prayer.
O satisfy us early with thy goodness!" On these words Bp. Horne remarks
"The church prayeth for the dawning of that glorious morning, when every cloud shall vanish at the rising of the Sun of righteousness, and night and darkness shall be no more. Then only shall we be satished (or saturated) with the mercy of Jehovah; then only shall we rejoice and The time of our be glad all our days.' pilgrimage upon earth is a time of sorrow;
we grieve for our departed friends; and our surviving friends must soon grieve for us: these are ، the days wherein God afflicteth us; these the years wherein we see evil: but he will hereafter make us glad according to them; in proportion to our sufferings (if rightly we bear those sufferings) will be our reward: nay,' these light afflictions which are but for a moment, work out for us a far more exceeding and eternal weight of glory.' Then shall our joy be increased, and receive an additional relish from the remembrance of our former sorrow: then shall we bless the days and the years which exercised our faith, and perfected our patience; and then shall we bless God, who chastised us for a season, that he might save us for ever."
This psalm concludes with another petition, no less excellent and important: "Let the beauty of the Lord our God be upon us," &c. When God impresses any part of his own beauty or glory upon his creatures, it is by impressing upon them a portion of his own image; just as the sun communicates its splendour to terrestrial objects, by shining on them,
PSALM XCI. Ver. 1. Abide-Heb. "Lodge." Ver.9. Thy habitation-See Exposition of ver. 1, and compare Ps. Ixi. 2.
"What image does my spirit bear?
Ver. 13. Adder-Marg. " Asp." See Ps. lviii. 5. Ver. 14. Because, &c.-Here is a change of perbat Darid. or Messiah, is still meant.
14 Because he hath set his love upon me, therefore will I deliver him: I will set him on high, because he hath known my name.
15 He shall call upon me, and I will answer him: I will be with him in trouble; I will deliver him, and honour him.
16 With long life will I satisfy him, and shew him my salvation. (T)
A Psalm or Song for the sabbath day.
IT T is a good thing to give thanks unto the LORD, and to sing praises unto thy name, O Most High:
2 To shew forth thy loving-kindness in the morning, and thy faithfulness every night,
3 Upon an instrument of ten strings, and upon the psaltery; upon the harp with a solemn sound.
4 For thou, LORD, hast made me glad through thy work: I will triumph in the works of thy hand.
5 O LORD, how great are thy works! and thy thoughts are very deep. 6 A brutish man knoweth not; neither doth a fool understand this.
7 When the wicked spring as the grass, and when all the workers of iniquity do flourish; it is that they shall be destroyed for ever:
(T) The happiness of living under the divine protection.-No name is prefixed to this psalm; but we think, from its style and character, there is great probability in the suggestion of the learned Mr. Peters, that this psalm was composed by Moses as well as the preceding, and perhaps on the same occasion. Others, however, as Dr. Boothroyd, on the authority of some of the ancient versions, ascribe it to the patriarch David; and some have thought it addressed by him to Solomon. But these questions are of small importance: the style is eminently sublime and beautiful; and the doctrine highly instructive and consolitary.
The Hebrews frequently compared Jehovah to a rock; and to abide in the cleft of such a rock, with them conveyed the ideas both of security and shade. In the third verse, the imagery is changed, and the believing Israelite is compared to the young eagle, under the wings of the royal parent bird, whose nest no fowler dare approach. (Comp. Obad. i. 3, 4.)
"In these verses, as they now stand, (says Bp. Horne) there is much obscurity and confusion. Bp. Lowth (in his xxvith Lecture) seemeth to have given their true construction: "He who dwelleth in the secret place of the Most High; who abideth under the shadow of the Almighty; who saith of the Lord, He is my refuge and my fortress, my God, in whom I will trust:' leaving the sentence thus imperfect, the psalmist makes a beautiful apostrophe to that person whom he has been describing.
Surely he shall deliver THEE from the snare of the fowler, and from the noisome pestilence." The description is eminently applicable to the man Christ Jesus, but
it is also applicable to all who place their trust in God, through him.
Supposing this psalm, as well as the preceding, to have reference to the affairs of Israel in the wilderness, (as Mr. Peters thinks) the promises here added, of protection from the evils brought on that murmuring generation for their unbelief, may refer to exemption from the plagues and judgments, the serpents and wild beasts, the pestilence and tempest, by which those were not annoyed who put their trust in God, and relied on his protection.
It is remarkable, that one of these promises is quoted by the tempter, to induce our Lord to run into circumstances of danger, to which he had no call in provi dence; namely, "He shall give his angels charge over thee, to keep thee in all thy ways" (ver. 11.) And the manner in which that temptation was repelled, shows that we should be very cautious in applying promises, in any way contrary to their original design, which is, to lead us to confide in God, only while we remain within the path of duty. (See Matt. iv. 5.)
If the promise of long life, in the close of this psalm, be applied to our Saviour, it must be in reference to the future state, as in Ps. xxi. 4. " He asked life of thee, and thou gavest it him, even length of days for ever and ever." Jesus, indeed, speaking of him as a man, was cut off in the midst of his days; for he scarcely attained half the usual limit of human life. But the reign of death was short; and on the very commencement of the third day, he arose from the grave, and asked in triumph, "O death, where is thy sting? and O grave, where is thy victory?" (1 Cor. xv. 55.)