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The Psalmist is here at prayer: the cry is for defense against his enemies, while complaining of their injustice. He closeth in praise.
To the chief musician, Altaschith, Michtam of David; When Saul sent, and they watched the house to kill him.
Let the Reader keep in remembrance that this Psalm, like the three former is a Michtam, a golden; precious Psalm; and that it is addressed to the chief Musician. See the observations on this title in the fourth Psalm. And if read with an eye to Christ, it is indeed a Michtam of David. if the Reader wishes to see its utmost application to the person of David, he will find the part of his history to which, it refers, 1 Samuel 19:11 . But who that reads the sorrows of Christ, in the persecutions of the Sauls of his day that arose against him, can leave the gospel to look for the explanation of this Psalm elsewhere?
Observe, Reader, how determined the point is here to the immaculate holiness of the Lord Jesus! None but Christ could thus plead a faultless conduct.
All these expressions, if considered as referring to Christ, carry a correspondence with his complaints in other scriptures. Bulls of Bashan, and dogs from the assembly, beset him around. Psalms 22:11-21 .
Here was the grand resource of the Mediator: and here, he hath therefore taught, is to be the security of all his redeemed. Reader, it is blessed, yea, it is doubly blessed, so to do. Isaiah 26:3 .
What a very sweet verse is this, considered in any, and in every point of view. The God of my mercy shall prevent me! Preventing mercies, or such mercies as go before hand, and before they are asked for or even thought of, or known to be needed, are sweet mercies indeed. Some read the words, hath prevented me, meaning, that the Lord was always in the blessing before the blessing was sought, and surprised the soul in coming even before the soul was prepared to look for it. Others translate the words doth prevent me, which is as if a soul was to say, I shall not be anxious for the event of this trial, for the carrying me through it is my God's concern, not mine; be hath promised all I need, and therefore he will do all that is needful.
The perilous state of the wicked, and the safety of the righteous, is finely contrasted in the view of the ruin of the one, and the everlasting security of the other. But let not the Reader overlook the cause of the righteous man's security, namely, in the covenant faithfulness of Jacob's God. Weil might the sacred writer put a Selah, particularly, here.
What strong figures are chosen in these verses to point out the restless, wretched, unsatisfying state of the wicked, whose mind is like the troubled sea! Isaiah 57:20-21 .
How delightfully the Psalm ends in this resolution of the soul. God's power, God's mercy, both come in for a part in the hymn of praise: indeed all the attributes of Jehovah, become so many subjects of adoration, love, and praise; inasmuch as in Christ Jesus, and the salvation by him, they have all taken part, and have been richly displayed. And observe, to whom the song is directed: it is to Jehovah, Father, Son, and Holy Ghost, because all the sacred persons become the united object of praise, as all the persons were concerned and did cooperate in the redemption of sinners. And the Mediator, as Mediator, leads the souls of his people in this hymn, because the church are all blessed in him; and for him, and by him, that church, as well as all things, must consist.
SEE, my soul, how Jesus, in the days of his flesh, was exercised! Behold the Lamb of God worried by the dogs of slaughter, when the mighty gathered against him, and when, though not for his transgression, neither for his sin, did the enemy find advantage against him. Precious Lord! if thine enemies belched out their slanderous words, with swords in their lips, against thee, thou holy, harmless, undefiled one: if they called the Master of the house Beelzebub, well may they be expected to rail against the household.
But wilt thou not be the God of my mercy, dearest Lord, and prevent me! Surely, Lord, thou hast done it! All thy quickening grace, thy renewing grace, thy regenerating grace, converting grace; all, all are among the preventing mercies of thy love. It was thy preventing mercy that called me, when I thought nothing of thee: it was thy preventing mercy that saved me to the day of my calling: and it hath been thy preventing mercy that hath ever since kept me from falling. In all these, and a thousand unknown, unnoticed mercies, thou hast been the God of my mercy, my Jesus, my Holy One, my Redeemer; and thou wilt be so still. Oh! then for grace to trust thee, to stay upon thee, and to live unto thee, and to thy glory, that he that is the God of my mercy, my life, and my salvation here, may be my everlasting portion, and happiness, and glory, to all eternity. Hail then, thou gracious, blessed Lord God! I will sing of thy power, yea, I will sing aloud of thy mercy: a God in Christ is my song, and my loudest notes are too soft and too faint to speak thy praise.
Precious Jesus! let no affliction, no trial, no one event, stop my song, or cause me to hang my harp upon the willow, for nothing can be sufficient so to do, or ought so to do, when once thy redeemed have learnt the song of Moses and the Lamb. Yea, Lord, help me to go on rejoicing in singing of Jesus and his love, of Jesus and his redeeming grace, his blood and salvation. In these sublime hymns of praise would my soul every day, and all the day be employed, and even in death the last note should not cease until the first note had begun in glory amidst that throng, where I shall find myself in the midst, surrounding the throne in forever singing praises to God and the Lamb, Worthy is the Lamb that was slain to receive power, and riches, and wisdom, and strength, and honour, and glory, and blessing; for thou wast slain and hast redeemed us to God by thy blood.
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Hawker, Robert, D.D. "Commentary on Psalms 59". "Hawker's Poor Man's Commentary". https://studylight.org/
the Week of Proper 7 / Ordinary 12