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Bible Commentaries

Henry's Complete Commentary on the Bible

Psalms 108



This psalm begins with praise and concludes with prayer, and faith is at work in both. I. David here gives thanks to God for mercies to himself, Psalms 108:1-5. II. He prays to God for mercies for the land, pleading the promises of God and putting them in suit, Psalms 108:6-13. The former part it taken out of Psalms 57:7-11; Psalms 108:1-5, c., the latter out of Psalms 60:5-12; Psalms 108:6-13, &c., and both with very little variation, to teach us that we may in prayer use the same words that we have formerly used, provided it be with new affections. It intimates likewise that it is not only allowable, but sometimes convenient, to gather some verses out of one psalm and some out of another, and to put them together, to be sung to the glory of God. In singing this psalm we must give glory to God and take comfort to ourselves.

Verses 1-5

Directions for Praising God.

Verses 6-13

Directions for Praising God.

6 That thy beloved may be delivered: save with thy right hand, and answer me. 7 God hath spoken in his holiness; I will rejoice, I will divide Shechem, and mete out the valley of Succoth. 8 Gilead is mine; Manasseh is mine; Ephraim also is the strength of mine head; Judah is my lawgiver; 9 Moab is my washpot; over Edom will I cast out my shoe; over Philistia will I triumph. 10 Who will bring me into the strong city? who will lead me into Edom? 11 Wilt not thou, O God, who hast cast us off? and wilt not thou, O God, go forth with our hosts? 12 Give us help from trouble: for vain is the help of man. 13 Through God we shall do valiantly: for he it is that shall tread down our enemies.

We may here learn how to pray as well as praise. 1. We must be public-spirited in prayer, and bear upon our hearts, at the throne of grace, the concerns of the church of God, Psalms 108:6; Psalms 108:6. It is God's beloved, and therefore must be ours; and therefore we must pray for its deliverance, and reckon that we are answered if God grant what we ask for his church, though he delay to give us what we ask for ourselves. "Save thy church, and thou answerest me; I have what I would have." Let the earth be filled with God's glory, and the prayers of David are ended (Psalms 72:19; Psalms 72:20); he desires no more. 2. We must, in prayer, act faith upon the power and promise of God--upon his power (Save with thy right hand, which is mighty to save), and upon his promise: God has spoken in his holiness, in his holy word, to which he has sworn by his holiness, and therefore I will rejoice,Psalms 108:7; Psalms 108:7. What he has promised he will perform, for it is the word both of his truth and of his power. An active faith can rejoice in what God has said, though it be not yet done; for with him saying and doing are not two things, whatever they are with us. 3. We must, in prayer, take the comfort of what God has secured to us and settled upon us, though we are not yet put in possession of it. God had promised David to give him, (1.) The hearts of his subjects; and therefore he surveys the several parts of the country as his own already: "Shechem and Succoth, Gilead and Manasseh, Ephraim and Judah, are all my own," Psalms 108:8; Psalms 108:8. With such assurance as this we may speak of the performance of what God has promised to the Son of David; he will, without fail, give him the heathen for his inheritance and the utmost parts of the earth for his possession, for so has he spoken in his holiness; nay, of all the particular persons that were given him he will lose none; he also, as David, shall have the hearts of his subjects, John 6:37. And, (2.) The necks of his enemies. These are promised, and therefore David looks upon Moab, and Edom, and Philistia, as his own already (Psalms 108:9; Psalms 108:9): Over Philistia will I triumph, which explains Psalms 60:8, Philistia, triumph thou because of me, which some think should be read, O my soul! triumph thou over Philistia. Thus the exalted Redeemer is set down at God's right hand, in a full assurance that all his enemies shall in due time be made his footstool, though all things are not yet put under him,Hebrews 2:8. 4. We must take encouragement from the beginnings of mercy to pray and hope for the perfecting of it (Psalms 108:10; Psalms 108:11): "Who will bring me into the strong cities that are yet unconquered? Who will make me master of the country of Edom, which is yet unsubdued?" The question was probably to be debated in his privy council, or a council of war, what methods they should take to subdue the Edomites and to reduce that country; but he brings it into his prayers, and leaves it in God's hands: Wilt not thou, O God? Certainly thou wilt. It is probable that he spoke with the more assurance concerning the conquest of Edom because of the ancient oracle concerning Jacob and Esau, that the elder should serve the younger, and the blessing of Jacob, by which he was made Esau's lord, Genesis 27:37. 5. We must not be discouraged in prayer, nor beaten off from our hold of God, though Providence has in some instances frowned upon us: "Though thou hast cast us off, yet thou wilt now go forth with our hosts,Psalms 108:11; Psalms 108:11. Thou wilt comfort us again after the time that thou hast afflicted us." Adverse events are sometimes intended for the trial of the constancy of our faith and prayer, which we ought to persevere in whatever difficulties we meet with, and not to faint. 6. We must seek help from God, renouncing all confidence in the creature (Psalms 108:12; Psalms 108:12): "Lord, give us help from trouble, prosper our designs, and defeat the designs of our enemies against us." It is not unseasonable to talk of trouble at the same time that we talk of triumphs, especially when it is to quicken prayer for help from heaven; and it is a good plea, Vain is the help of man. "It is really so, and therefore we are undone if thou do not help us; we apprehend it to be so, and therefore depend upon thee for help and have the more reason to expect it." 7. We must depend entirely upon the favour and grace of God, both for strength and success in our work and warfare, Psalms 108:13; Psalms 108:13. (1.) We must do our part, but we can do nothing of ourselves; it is only through God that we shall do valiantly. Blessed Paul will own that even he can do nothing, nothing to purpose, but through Christ strengthening him,Philippians 4:13. (2.) When we have acquitted ourselves ever so well, yet we cannot speed by any merit or might of our own; it is God himself that treads down our enemies, else we with all our valour cannot do it. Whatever we do, whatever we gain, God must have all the glory.

Copyright Statement
These files are public domain and are a derivative of an electronic edition that is available on the Christian Classics Ethereal Library Website.
Bibliographical Information
Henry, Matthew. "Complete Commentary on Psalms 108". "Henry's Complete Commentary on the Whole Bible". https://studylight.org/commentaries/eng/mhm/psalms-108.html. 1706.