Bible Commentaries
Psalms 60

Hawker's Poor Man's CommentaryPoor Man's Commentary

Verse 1


In this Psalm the sacred writer is led out to a devout acknowledgment of God's hand, both in prosperity and adversity. He takes refuge in God's promises, and in them acts faith with full confidence of victory over all his enemies.

To the chief musician upon Shushan-edith, Michtam of David, to teach; when he strove with Aram-naharaim, and with Aram-zobah, when Joab returned and smote of Edom in the valley of Salt twelve thousand.

The title of this Psalm will find great light thrown upon it by a reference to that part of the scripture history, where the events to which the Psalmist alludes are recorded. See 2 Samuel 5:0 ; 2 Samuel 8:0 and the parallel history, 1 Chronicles 18:0 . But what I more particularly request the Reader to remark in this title, and above all, is that this Psalm is among the Michtams, the golden memorandums, the precious jewels of David. And, Reader, you will find it among your Michtams also, if so be the Holy Ghost graciously leads out your soul to eye your David in all his conflicts, and in all his triumphs for you and your salvation!

Verses 1-3

How blessed is it to eye Christ in such like expressions as these, when we behold him as standing forth the Surety and Sponsor of his church and people? Jesus, as the head of his people personating his spouse, and for her sustaining all the indignation of God his Father's broken law, may well be supposed to speak for himself and church in such terms as these. And as he is called by the Father the Repairer of the breach, the Restorer of paths to dwell in; Isaiah 58:12 and God the Father had promised to hold his hand in all the accomplishment of these mighty deeds; the prayer of Jesus to the Father for his strength makes this application yet more beautiful and striking. The displeasure of God at sin, the deadly breaches thereby made in the original friendship between God and man, the wine of astonishment in the cup of trembling, the Redeemer is said to have drunk even to, the dregs; are all very forcible figures to manifest the greatness of the work the Son of God wrought in going forth for the salvation of his people. Compare Isaiah 51:17 with Isaiah 53:6 and John 18:11 . Reader, doth not such views as those scriptures afford, sweetly direct your soul to behold Christ as your Surety, drinking this cup of astonishment to the last drop, when he was made a curse and sin for you, that you might drink the cup of salvation, and be made the righteousness of God in him? 2 Corinthians 5:21 ; Mark 14:33-34 .

Verse 4

Reader, do not hastily pass over this blessed verse. Surely there is to be discerned much of the mind of the Holy Ghost in it. Is not Jesus the banner and ensign which God hath set up to his people? Isaiah 11:10 . And doth not the church rejoice when Jesus brings her into his banqueting house, and sets his banner of love over her? Song of Solomon 2:4 . Yes! almighty God and Father! thou hast indeed given a banner in Christ to all his people. Oh! for grace so to fear thee, so to love thee, so to live to thee in Jesus, that under his banner I may be safe, and, like Moses, look unto Jesus as my altar, and call him Jehovah-nissi, the Lord is my banner. Exodus 17:15 .

Verse 5

Jesus is the beloved of the Father, full of grace and truth. But it should seem that Christ had an eye in this prayer to the church which is his beloved, and in him also the beloved of the Father. Reader, if you take the verse in this sense, and then connect with it what the Lord Jesus Christ said in the days of his flesh, John 17:23 . I do not know a thought which can be awakened in the mind more blessed, more delightful, and full of glory! Cherish it, I pray you, forever, and carry it about with you wherever you go, to help your mind on to the unceasing love and praise of all the persons of the Godhead. Doth God the Father indeed love the church of the Lord Jesus, even as he loveth him?

Verses 6-8

If the Reader will consult 2 Samuel 3:18 , he will find somewhat like a prediction concerning the very event to which David looks forward now with such confidence of success; and, considering the victory as good as already obtained, because God had promised it, he talks of the division of the spoils. And as David honoured God by faith, so God honoured his servant by the accomplishment of his promises. Moab and Edom and Philistia were all brought under David's victories. But, Reader, while you and I thus behold God's grace and favour manifested to his servants in temporal deliverances, let us not overlook, but yet have our minds led forth in contemplating, the still higher subjects of praise in spiritual victories by David's Lord. It is God the Father who hath spoken once in his holiness, and even sworn once by his holiness, as if to pledge this glorious perfection for the sure salvation of his redeemed in and by his dear Son, the David of his people, our Lord Jesus Christ. Hence, therefore, in the full assurance of victory, which Christ hath already attained, and whereby his people are made more than conquerors in him and through him, every true believer may cry out, I am my beloved's, and my beloved is mine. Indeed all things are mine. God my Father, with all his promises, is mine; Christ, with all his fulness, is mine; the Holy Ghost, with all his influences, is mine. All are yours, saith the apostle, whether life, or death, or things present, or things to come; all are yours, and ye are Christ's, and Christ is God's. 1 Corinthians 3:22-23 .

Verses 9-12

How beautiful are all these things, if seen and read with reference to Christ! The prophet beheld in a vision the Lord Jesus coming up from Edom after his victory, when travelling in the greatness of his strength; Isaiah 63:1 .

Verse 12


BLESSED Jesus! Wheresoever I turn mine eyes, throughout the whole volume of thy sacred word, how precious is it to my longing soul to behold thee set forth by the Holy Ghost, and glorified to my view. Lord, I pray thee, let this sweet Psalm be among the Michtams of my heart.

I will look to thee, O Lord, in all my afflictions. It is right, it is but just, that my God and Father should take displeasure at my wanderings. The land indeed may well tremble for the breaches sin hath made in our poor fallen nature. But look, Lord, I pray thee, to the Man at thy right hand, even to the Son of Man, whom thou hast made so strong for thine own self: look unto Jesus, who for his redeemed hath drunk the wine of astonishment, even until his precious soul cried out in the bitterness of it, My soul is exceeding sorrowful even unto death. Holy Father! was not thine Holy One thus exercised, and made sin for his people, that they might be made the righteousness of God in him? Oh! for grace to believe this, and everlastingly to live in the enjoyment of it.

Precious Jesus! thou hast gotten thyself the victory, and thine own arm hath brought salvation. Bring me then, Lord, under thy banner; bring me into thy banqueting house. Help me by precious faith to rejoice now, in the blessed prospect of that glory that shall be revealed. Yea, blessed Lord, let me see myself sitting by faith in heavenly places, in and with thyself. And enable me to exult, as thy servant did of his Gilead, and his Manasseh, and his Ephraim, of my Lord Jesus, and his kingdom, and his power, and his glory. Surely if I am Christ's, then am I Abraham's seed, and an heir according to the promise. Oh! let me hear thy voice day by day with this assurance, until thou shalt take me home to the everlasting enjoyment of my God and Christ forever.

Bibliographical Information
Hawker, Robert, D.D. "Commentary on Psalms 60". "Hawker's Poor Man's Commentary". 1828.