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David, professing his confidence in God, discourageth his enemies. In the same confidence he encourageth the godly. No trust is to be put in worldly things. Power and mercy belong to God.
To the chief musician, to Jeduthun; A Psalm of David.
Title. ידותון על למנצח lamnatseach al ieduthun.] It is not said, upon what occasion this psalm was written. Bishop Patrick apprehends that David composed it when he had overcome all the fears into which the rebellion of Absalom at first threw him, though he was not yet fully restored to his kingdom. It is evidently a psalm of praise for some deliverance which the author attributes wholly to God, on whom alone therefore he advises all people to place their dependance.
Psalms 62:1. Truly my soul waiteth— Even to God is my soul silent; see Psalms 62:5.
Psalms 62:3. How along will ye imagine mischief? &c.— How long will ye push against a single man? Ye shall all of you be slain, and fall on a sudden, like a bending wall, or a tottering fence. See Green and Mudge. The word fence, or hedge, does not come up to the original; which means such a sort of partition, or wall, as, when it is decayed, is liable to fall and crush a man to death. In this view the similitude is, not that they should be in a ruinous condition, like a decayed wall, but that they should threaten destruction to all who came near them, as a falling wall does to all those who come within the reach of it; and, as the prophet expresses it, Like a breach ready to fall, swelling out into a high wall, whose breaking cometh suddenly in an instant. Isaiah 30:13.
Psalms 62:9. A lie— That is, deceitful; because unable to perform what they seem by their outward appearance to promise: or a lie may signify a mere nothing; for a lie has no reality.
Psalms 62:10-12. Trust not in oppression, &c.— Trust not in oppression and rapine; become not vain: If riches, &c. Psalms 62:11. One thing God hath pronounced; there are two which I have heard; Psa 62:12 that power belongeth unto God, and that to thee, Lord, belongeth favour; for thou wilt render to every man according to his work. These three verses are directed to oppressors, probably those from whom he had been in danger; not to be too eager after ill-gotten power or riches, nor to trust too much upon them; since there are two things confessedly against them, the power and the goodness of God, by which he was able and willing to do justice to all mankind, to protect his friends, and defeat their enemies. The phrase, God hath spoken, &c. is only used to shew the certainty of the thing. Archbishop Tillotson compares it to those of the Latins, Semel atque iterum—felices ter et amplius, &c. And, indeed, it is common with writers of all languages, to use a certain number for an uncertain one. See his Sermon on this text.
REFLECTIONS.—1st, David here,
1. Professes his confidence in God for protection and safety: as he made him alone his rock and defence, he waited, or was silent; without impatience or distrust expected to see the salvation of God. Numerous and mischievous as his foes were, he knew that he should not be greatly moved; tempted he might be in difficulties and dangers, but still safe under the defence of the Almighty. Note; Patient and submissive resignation of our souls to God, is the certain way to a happy issue out of all our afflictions.
2. He foresees the ruin of his enemies, whose character he describes. They were mischievous; plotted how to deprive him of his crown and dignity, delighted to propagate lies to injure him; and with perfidious treachery, while they professed outward kindness, their hearts within rankled with malice. But vain were their designs to thrust him down whom God had promised to exalt. Note; (1.) A lying tongue will be the curse of its owner. (2.) Traitors will find an avenging God. (3.) They who trust in God, may defy all their enemies to hurt them.
3. He encourages his soul to wait only upon God, and strengthens his faith in him by a variety of epithets. My rock; who can move me? my salvation, who can destroy me? my defence, who can hurt me? my glory, in whom I will make my boast; my strength, to make me more than conqueror; my refuge, under whose wings I shall be safe. Note; (1.) They are truly blessed and happy who can say, This God is my God. (2.) The expectation of the faithful cometh only from God, he is to them all and in all. (3.) The believer's rejoicing is never in himself, but in his exalted Head; he will ever say, My God is my glory.
2nd, His own experience of the blessedness of dependance upon God, urges him to invite all to come and taste the same felicity. Trust in him at all times; ye people, ye people of Israel, and all the Israel of God, wherever dispersed, or however distressed, at all times make God your trust, to guide, protect, preserve, and strengthen you; pour out your heart before him, in earnest and importunate prayer, and tell him of all your troubles with freedom: for God is a refuge for us; for me, and for you, and all who fly to him as their rock and hope alone, renouncing every other ground of confidence, which would be utterly insufficient to support their souls. He cautions them therefore,
1. Not to trust in men, neither of high nor low degree, whose multitude, or greatness, or wisdom, can afford us no safety; they are deceitful helps, and in the day of trial will prove lighter than vanity. Note; The more we cease from man, and entirely cleave to God, the more secure shall we be from disappointment.
2. Not to trust in riches, however obtained, whether by oppression or extortion, by open violence or robbery; or by the most lawful means, honest labour or inheritance. Note; Gain is often a great foe to godliness, and gold too often made the rival of God in the heart: a state of prosperity is exceedingly dangerous, and they who are in it, have as much need to pray in all time of their wealth as of their tribulation, Good Lord, deliver us!
3. He exhorts them to trust in God as their never-failing refuge; and this because of his faithfulness, power, mercy, and justice. He hath spoken once, yea, twice, confirming the souls of his faithful people. His omnipotence none dare encounter; his mercy is infinite, and we may therefore always hope in it; and his justice impartial, therefore shall the enemies of his name and people be destroyed, and those who were oppressed with wrong be vindicated. Good reason then there is, that at all times he should be alone exalted as our only hope and help. Note; The more we consider God's perfections and promises, as manifested to us in a covenant of grace, the more cause we shall see to depend on him as our Almighty strength, to trust him as infinite in goodness, and abundant in mercy, and to expect from him present protection and eternal glory.
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Coke, Thomas. "Commentary on Psalms 62". Coke's Commentary on the Holy Bible. https://www.studylight.org/
the Week of Proper 22 / Ordinary 27