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Bible Commentaries

Coke's Commentary on the Holy Bible

Psalms 28

Verse 1

Psalms 28:0.

David prayeth [or prophesieth] earnestly against his enemies: he blesseth God; he prayeth for the people.

A Psalm of David.

Title. לדוד ledavid. This Psalm, as well as the foregoing, is supposed to have been written by David towards the latter end of his reign; at a time when, his wars being almost finished, some of his own subjects, probably those of Sheba's party, mentioned 2 Samuel 20:0 took an opportunity to give him some disturbance. This Psalm, says Mudge, has several states. In the first five verses the author prays for support against his enemies, who seem to have acted treacherously: in the 6th and 7th he has gained the victory, and returns triumphant with songs: the 8th is a chorus of people, or priests, echoing back the words of the preceding verse: the last verse seems to be a prayer of the king for the people, in return to their acclamations for him.

Psalms 28:1. Be not silent to me Do not keep off from me. Mudge. Compare Psalms 35:22.

Verse 4

Psalms 28:4. Render to them their desert Their own rendering; as they have rendered to others. This verse would be translated better in the future: Thou wilt give them, &c. See the next verse.

Verse 8

Psalms 28:8. The Lord is their strength The Lord is his guard; even he himself is the triumphant guard of his anointed. So Mudge; who observes, that the words are evidently spoken by the people, or priests, returning the words which the king had just before used. Houbigant renders it, The Lord is the strength of his people; and indeed our translation, as it now stands, plainly refers to the people in the next verse.

Verse 9

Psalms 28:9. Lift them up for ever Support them for ever. "Feed them, as a shepherd does his flock, and support them for ever by thy goodness and mercy." See Psalms 23:0 and Fenwick.

REFLECTIONS.—1st, Whither shall the miserable fly, but to the Father of mercies, and the God of all consolation? To this rock, with fervour and importunity, the Psalmist has recourse, and cries for help and refuge.

1. He pleads his certain and impending ruin, if God did not hear and succour him; his enemies would then bring him to the dust of death; in God's absence, his soul would taste the pains of hell; and if utterly forsaken by him, the dreadful pit would yawn to receive him; but he trusted God would hear when he lifted up his hands, which, with ceaseless importunity, he continued to do, towards his holy oracle; before the most holy place; where the Shechinah rested, and whence God's oracles were given; or towards heaven, of which the Holy of Holies was the figure. Note; (1.) Deep distress should awaken strong cries, and there is one who hears, that can be touched with the feeling of our infirmities. (2.) Christ is the true oracle, in whom dwelt all the fulness of the Godhead bodily, and through him our humble prayers are sure to succeed.

2. He intreats to be saved from the ways and end of the workers of iniquity. They sought to intice him with fair words, but mischief was in their hearts; he knew the evil of their ways, and hated them; he knew the ruin of their end, and would fain avoid it: yet, knowing his own weakness, and proneness to evil, he looks out of himself for power, even to him who is mighty to save. Note; (1.) In the eyes of a child of God, sin is regarded as the greatest of evils. (2.) Seducing spirits are ever bury to deceive in every age. The Lord preserve us from error! (3.) They who would avoid the sinner's ruin, must shun his ways.

3. He foretels the miserable end of the wicked, from whom he prayed to be delivered. Give them, or thou wilt give them, not as making it the matter of his prayer out of revenge or ill-will, but as foreseeing this would be the case, and praying that God might be glorified in his judgments, according to their deeds, and according to the wickedness of their endeavours; for not only outward acts of sin, but the inward purpose of it, is minuted in God's book; not a thought of wickedness passes unnoticed by him: as their deserts require, they will receive at God's hands; and because they pay no regard to his word, or the admonitions of his providence, destruction to the uttermost will overtake them. Note; (1.) In a judgment-day, when the sinner's heart is laid open, a scene of wickedness will be discovered, such as the sun never beheld. (2.) Inattention to God's works, word, and warnings, is one chief cause of the sinner's ruin.

2nd, Who ever trusted in God and was confounded, or called upon his name in vain? The Psalmist's praises ever succeed his prayers.
1. He blesses God for the answer of peace that he had given him: either he had received his request, or faith so realized the promises, that he reckoned that as already bestowed which he was assured God would grant. Note; The mercies that faith assures us of receiving, are matter of praise, as well as those which we already enjoy.

2. He professes his firm dependance upon God, and thankful acknowledgment to him. The Lord is my strength, by whose everlasting arms I am upheld; my shield, constantly spread over me to protect me from every danger: my heart trusted in him, when surrounded with enemies; and I am helped, experience his promise fulfilled; therefore my heart greatly rejoiceth; a joy unspeakable and glorious warmed his inmost soul, and songs of melody and love spoke aloud the praise that he owed to his deliverer. Note; The end of worldly joy is heaviness; but the more a soul rejoiceth in God, the more heavenly his spirit grows.

3. As interested in the prosperity of God's people, he rejoices that they have the same Almighty Saviour. The Lord is their strength, to support them in every time of need, and he is the saving strength of his anointed; of David, his king; of Messiah, the people's hope, on whom their help is laid; and of every believer who receives an unction from the Holy One, and is consecrated unto God a king and priest. Note; God's people rejoice in each other's happiness as their own, for they are members of the same body.

4. He prays for the prosperity and salvation of all God's Israel; that no enemy might prevail against them; that all the blessings of providence and grace might descend upon them; that he would feed them as the dear flock of his pasture, or rule them with his gentle sway, and make them a willing people; and not only lift them up above all their foes on earth, but eternally exalt them to a throne of glory, where all that hate them should be for ever put under their feet. Note; (1.) They who love the people of God, will daily make an affectionate remembrance of them in their prayers. (2.) They who are saved by grace, fed by God's ordinances, and governed by God's Spirit, shall surely reign with him in glory, and none beside.

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Bibliographical Information
Coke, Thomas. "Commentary on Psalms 28". Coke's Commentary on the Holy Bible. 1801-1803.