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and the staff” of his Divine Shepherd are with him; and, through all the unknown periods of this and of future exis. tence, commits himself to his guidance, with secure and triumphant hope : Surely goodness and mercy shall follow me all the days of my life ; and I will dwell in the house of the Lord for ever."-What a purified, sentimental enjoyment of prosperity, is here exhibited! How different from that gross relish of worldly pleasures, which belongs to those who behold only the terrestrial side of things; who raise their views to no higher objects than the succession of human contingencies, and the weak efforts of human ability; who have no protector or patron in the heavens, to enliven their
prosperity, or to warm their hearts with gratitude and trust!"
This Psalm contains a declaration of trust and confi
dence in Jehovah, amidst the dangers and tumults of war; a longing desire of restoration to the city and house of God; a triumphant assurance of final victory and exaltation; earnest prayer for support and protection; a profession of faith, and its mighty power and comfort in affliction; an exhortation to patience.
1. The LORD is my light and my salvation; whom shall I fear? The LORD is the strength of my life; of whom shall I be afraid?
God is our light, as he shows us the state we are in, and the enemies we have to encounter; he is our strength, as he enables us, by his grace, to cope with and overcome them; and he is our salvation, as the author and finisher of our deliverance from sin, death, and Satan. All this he was to the blessed person whom David represented; and all this he will be to his faithful servants. “ If God," therefore, “ be for us, who can be against us?”
2. When the wicked, even mine enemies and my foes came upon me, to eat up my flesh, they stumbled and fell.
The past time is often used, in the prophetical language, to intimate the certainty of the future. Faith sees the foe already vanquished, and the prey snatched from the jaws of the devouring lion.
3. Though a host should encamp against me, my heart shall not feur: though war should rise against me, in this will I be confident.
What avails it, that the host of darkness is in arms, and the world taking the field against us, when the LORD is our light, and heaven our ally?
4. One thing have I desired of the LORD, that will I seek after; that I may dwell in the house of the LORD all the days of my life, to behold the beauty of the LORD, and to inquire in his temple.
The victories of David ended in his restoration to Jerusalem, and the service of God; the victories of Christ terminated in his triumphant return to a better Jerusalem; and this ought to be the one thing desired by the Christian, that, after his conquest over the body of sin, he may pass the unnumbered days of eternity in the courts of heaven, contemplating the beauty and glory of his Redeemer.
5. For in the time of trouble he shall hide me in his pavilion: in the secret of his tabernacle shall he hide me; he shall set me upon a rock.
The protection and consolation experienced by believers of the church militant, give them a taste of the loving kindness of the Lord, and make them impatiently desirous of quenching their thirst at the fountain of divine pleasures, after they shall have been
exalted upon the ROCK of ages, from whence that fountain flows.
6. And now shall mine head be lifted up above mine enemies round about me: therefore will I offer in his tabernacle sacrifices of joy; I will sing, yea, I will sing praises unto the LORD.
These words, as they are supposed to be spoken by David, by Christ, or by the church, express their respective assurances, through faith, of final victory over their several enemies, with their determined resolution of singing hallelujahs to Jehovah for the
7. Hear, O LORD, when I cry with my voice : have mercy also upon me, and answer me.
From the assurances of faith it is always good to descend to the humiliation of prayer to God; who alone can grant unto us that one thing which we desire, and long after, while in the land of our captivity, and house of our pilgrimage.
8. When thou saidst, Seek ye my face ; my heart said unto thee, Thy face, LORD, will I seek.
The voice of God, throughout the Scriptures, exhorts the believer to turn away from the delusive appearances of the creature, and to seek after Him who is “ altogether lovely," until he behold “the glory of God in the face of Jesus Christ." To this voice the believer answers, like a well-tuned instrument to the master's touch, declaring his resolution so to do.
9. Hide not thy face far from me ; put not thy servant away in anger : thou hast been my help; leave me not, neither forsake me, O God of my salvation !
The suppliant, having determined to seek the face of God, here prays, that he would permit himself to be found, and to be seen; and that he would not, by hiding his face, cause the light of knowledge to become darkness, and the fire of charity to go out. The church dreads nothing so much as an eclipse of the « Sun of righteousness.”
10. When my father and my mother forsake me, then the LORD will take me up.
A time will come, when the dearest earthly friends and relations can no longer be of any assistance to us. The case of the church and of the soul is oftentimes compared to that of a poor, helpless, exposed orphan. Where worldly comforts end, heavenly ones begin.
ll. Teach me thy way, O LORD, and lead me in a plain path, because of mine enemies.
The child of God, learning to walk in the law of his lieavenly Father, prays to be directed and strengthened from above, that the enemy may.
neither pervert his steps, nor triumph in his fall.
12. Deliver me not over unto the will of mine enemies : for false witnesses are risen up against me, and such as breathe out cruelty.
David had his enemies, and false accusers ; Christ also had his; and every child of God has need to petition for deliverance from the great enemy salvation, the grand accuser of the brethren, who is ever breathing out malice and cruelty against the body and members of Christ.
13. I had fainted, unless I had believed to see the goodness of the LORD in the land of the living