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David, praying to be restored to the temple, promises to serve God joyfully: he encourageth his soul to trust in God.
Title.— The subject of this Psalm is so much the same with that of the preceding, that one is strongly tempted to believe it to be a continuation of it, particularly as there is no title to interrupt. Mudge. There seems however this difference, that the former was written when the affairs of the Psalmist were at the worst; but this, when they began to amend; when he had greater hopes of repossessing his kingdom, and recovering the command of his beloved Zion, where the tabernacle of God resided.
Psalms 43:1. An ungodly nation— חסיד לא la chasid. Chasid generally signifies passively a person or nation favoured of God. Under which notion it is applied to the Jewish nation in general, and some favoured persons in particular; but sometimes it signifies actively generous, beneficent, or the like; therefore, if David here speaks of the people in rebellion against him, חסיד לא lo chasid must signify an ungenerous, unkind, and ungrateful nation. Achitophel will well answer the character of a deceitful and crooked man.
Psalms 43:2. Why go I mourning— See Psa 42:9 of the preceding Psalm. David left Jerusalem mourning.
Psalms 43:4. My exceeding joy— Or, as it is literally translated in the Margin of our Bibles, The gladness of my joy; i.e. The great author of all the joy that I have.
REFLECTIONS.—We have here,
1. David's appeal and prayer to God. Though in God's sight he would cry, Enter not into judgment; yet, with respect to his enemies, he desired nothing more than to be tried at the bar of God; where his innocence would certainly engage him for his advocate against the ungodly nation of Israel, and his unnatural son.
2. Under the most discouraging circumstances, he professes his fixed dependance on divine support: his foolish reason could hardly be reconciled to his oppressed situation, and his unbelieving fears were ready to prevail; but he cleaves to God, as the God of his strength; and if so, Omnipotence was his guard.
3. He prays for God's guidance and direction, his light of divine teaching, and his truth in the revealed word, to lead him safe through all his difficulties and dark providences, and once more to bring him back to that happy hill and blest abode, where God's honour dwelled.
4. He promises hereupon to compass God's altar; and his voice, like his harp in tune, should utter grateful sacrifices of praise to him; my God, he says, my covenant God, whom I have ever found gracious, good, and true, and my exceeding joy; joy too big for utterance, and which time is too short to tell. Note; (1.) We have an altar that it becomes us ever to approach with joy, remembering the sacrifice which Jesus hath offered, and the inestimable blessings we receive thereby. (2.) When we can say, my God, we shall be able ever to add, my joy, my exceeding joy; since, compared with him and his love, we shall rejoice in other things as though we rejoiced not.
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Coke, Thomas. "Commentary on Psalms 43". Coke's Commentary on the Holy Bible. https://www.studylight.org/
the Week of Proper 14 / Ordinary 19