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Bible Commentaries

Hamilton Smith's Writings

Psalms 63

Verses 1-11

PSALM 63

The confidence of a godly soul that longs after God in a dry and thirsty land - a scene where there is nothing to minister to the soul.

Psalm 61 is the cry of an overwhelmed soul; Psalm 62 , the cry of a waiting soul: Psalm 63 , the cry of the longing soul.

(vv. 1-2) The psalm opens by expressing the longing of the heart for God, by a god-fearing Jew, cast out of the land, and far from the sanctuary. Both soul and body - the whole man - longs for God, while yet in a desert scene where there is no water - nothing to refresh the soul.

The longing of the soul is according to the knowledge of God formed in the sanctuary. There, in God's own dwelling, God is displayed in His power and glory.

(vv. 3-7) The psalmist proceeds to give a two-fold reason for his delight in God. First, because he has found that God's loving-kindness is better than life. Joy in God is better than the joys of this earthly life; therefore, says the psalmist, “will I bless thee while I live.” Rejoicing in God, he finds his soul satisfied as with marrow and fatness, and his lips filled with praise; even though he is as yet in a dry and thirsty land, where no water is. Moreover, in the silent watches of the night, when all nature excitement is hushed and the soul is alone, he will meditate upon God.

The psalmist gives as a second reason for his delight in God the help that he has found in God in all his sorrows, leading him to rejoice in the protection of God.

(vv. 8-10) The practical result of this delight in God is then described. The soul follows hard after God, and is upheld by His mighty power. If God is thus for him, who can be against him? Therefore he can with confidence say of his enemies that they will fall under the sword of judgment, and be left on the battlefield as a prey to jackals.

(v. 11) The destruction of his enemies will lead to the display of the King in His victory, rejoicing in God. All that trust in the King shall glory; while those who have sought to prevail by lies will be confounded.

This God-fearing man longs to see the display of God's power on the earth (v. 2). In verses 8 to 10 he anticipates the power of God in supporting His own, and in dealing with all who oppose His people; in verse 11, he anticipates the glory, when the judgment of the wicked will be followed by the reign of Christ as King.

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Bibliographical Information
Smith, Hamilton. "Commentary on Psalms 63". "Hamilton Smith's Writings". https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/eng/hsw/psalms-63.html. 1832.