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Bible Commentaries
Psalms 28

Scott's Explanatory Notes, Practical Observations on the book PsalmsScott on the Psalms

Verses 1-9

Psalms 28:1-9

V. 1. It is not agreed, whether this psalm was written during David’s persecutions from Saul, or at a later period of his life. " Be not silent to me." ’ Treat not my humble requests with silent neglect.’ The word (112) rendered " the pit " generally means the grave, when used in this manner: yet when the death of the wicked is thus expressed, it seems also to denote the place

of future punishment ; for all men go down into the grave, but the wicked into the pit of destruction. If God did not shew, by some visible interposition, that he heard and answered David’s prayers; he must soon be cut off and laid in the grave, never more to glorify God on earth ; and it would appear, as if he died under the divine wrath, as the wicked do. (Marg. Ref. d.)

Had Christ continued in the grave, it might have been concluded, that he had been justly put GO death : but he was justified and proved to be the Son of God by his resurrection.

(Notes, Romans 1:14; Romans 4:23-25. 1 Corinthians 15:12-18.

V. 2. Holy oracle.’] " The oracle of thy sanctuary." (Marg.) The place of the ark of the covenant, and the mercy-seat. (Notes, 1 Kings 6:15-22; 1 Kings 8:28-30. Daniel 6:10-11.)

V. 3. " Draw me not away," as criminals are violently carried to the place of execution. David deprecated the doom which awaited his deceitful persecutors, or that of Saul in particular.

(Notes, Psalms 26:9-11. Psalms 36:3-4. Psalms 52:1-5. Proverbs 26:23-27.)

V. 4, 5. The first of these verses is the language of prayer ; the latter, that of prediction. In the one the Psalmist calls on God to " deliver" him, and plead the cause of true religion, by executing deserved punishment on his implacable enemies : in the other he assigns the reason, why he used this language; namely, because he foresaw this doom coming on them, and because their con-

duct shewed them to be given up to final hardness of heart. In general we may and ought to pray, for the just punishment of all impenitent enemies of the church : but with particular application to individuals, such prayers can only be proper for inspired persons. To be dealt with according to their deservings, must be most tremendous to every sinner. (Note, James 2:8-13.) (5) Marg. Ref. n. Notes, Psalms 92:4-7 - Romans 1:18-20.

V. 6, 7- This sudden transition from earnest prayers and the language of distress, to exulting joy and praise, accords so much to the method of those psalms, which are evidently prophetical of Christ, that some expositors interpret this of him ; and suppose these verses to be spoken as an anticipation of the triumphs and glory, which followed his deep humiliation and sufferings. (Notes, Psalms 22:22-31.) David himself, however, seems frequently to have anticipated the answer of his prayers in a similar manner: or perhaps after his deliverances, while leading the praises of his people, he contrasted the joyful scene with the dangers and sorrows, the prayers and tears, which preceded it.

V. 8. Some render this, " The LORD is Strength to " them : " (that is, to his people :) " and his Messiah, * the strength of salvations is He." It is not clear, that the original can bear this construction : but no doubt David had reference to Christ, whom he typified both in his conflicts and victories; and to the blessings of God conferred on his people through him.

V. 9. David’s prayer for Israel was in some respects typical of Christ’s intercession for his church. The authority of a good prince resembles the care of a tender shepherd over his flock. The word rendered feed, therefore, means also rule: and is applied to JEHOVAH, to the Messiah, and to David, and others.

(Marg. Ref. Notes, 2 Samuel 5:1-2. Is. 40: 9-11. Jeremiah 23:3-4. Micah 5:3-4; Micah 7:4-17.)


While others are troubling their fellow creatures with unavailing complaints ; believers should, under distresses, cry the more earnestly to " the Rock of their salvation : " and they should not rest, till they have received some satisfactory token that their prayers are heard ; for if the Lord could refuse to answer them, their case would resemble that of those, who have perished in their sins, to whose agonizing cries no gracious answer will be made for ever. But this can never befall those, who come to the mercy-seat of a reconciled God, in " the holy place not made " with hands," through the intercession of our great High Priest; sincerely desiring and humbly hoping for those blessings, which he purchased by his meritorious sacrifice, and is now exalted to bestow. They will not however, merely deprecate the punishment which awaits the wicked, and the effects of their persecuting malice ; but they will likewise earnestly pray, that they may not be drawn away by their enticements, to adopt their errors and imitate their sins; for the ungodly are more to be dreaded, when they " speak peace to their neighbours," than when they avow the mischief which is in their hearts. We may without hesitation predict, that impenitent sinners will ere long be recompensed according to their endeavours to do evil ; and we cannot desire that the obstinate enemies of Christ should escape condign punishment. Indeed, if men duly regarded the works of the Lord, the displays of his power and majesty would intimidate them from rebellion, and " his goodness would lead them to repentance : " but alienation of heart from God causes men to neglect all his operations, and to despise even his redeeming love. He will however surely destroy such sinners, and not build them up, though for a time they prosper. The servant of God is often encouraged to anticipate the answers of his prayers, while he is yet asking. When praising him for his goodness, and " rejoicing with joy unspeakable and " full of glory ; " it is very profitable to recollect and record our earnest cries in the time of our distress : and whilst our hearts rejoice in the Lord, our Strength and Shield, we should not forget our " brethren in tribulation," but pray fervently for them also. In the exaltation of our anointed King, who was once crucified for us, we have the earnest and exemplar of all our deliverances. In his name we may present our supplications, in full assurance of hope, that our God will " save his people, " and bless his inheritance ;" that he will protect, provide (for, and comfort them on earth, and at length lift them up for ever in heaven. But what are all those sudden transitions from deep distress to joyful praises, which take place in the believer’s experience here ; compared with that, which every one of them successively finds, when in a moment, he exchanges the groans and agonies of death, for heavenly joys and uninterrupted hallelujahs!

Bibliographical Information
Scott, Thomas. "Commentary on Psalms 28". Scott's Explanatory Notes, Practical Observations on the book Psalms. https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/eng/tsp/psalms-28.html. 1804.
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