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V. 1. This is evidently a continuation of the preceding psalm, and was written before David had obtained deliverance. Every day brought him fresh intelligence concerning the ungodly, ungrateful, and unmerciful conduct of Israel in general ; the bulk of the nation having joined the conspirators, and being ready to proceed to all lengths against the life of their aged king, which the deceit and iniquity of Absalom or Ahithophel could suggest against him. But these reports, instead of dismaying him, seem to have raised his hope ; as they confirmed his confidence in the justice of his cause, and warranted his appeal to the Judge of the world, to decide between him and iiis most injurious fees. (Notes, Psalms 7:8-11. Psalms 26:1. Psalms 35:13. Psalms 143:1-2.)
V. 2, 3. Note, Psalms 42:9-10. Thy light. (3) Thy favour, ’ which appeareth by the performance of thy promises.
Perhaps the Psalmist also meant, the light of heavenly wisdom, teaching him how to act in such trying circumstances, so as to wait in the path of duty for the performances of God’s promises; and especially till restored to the ordinances of the sanctuary, which were far nearer to his heart, than the re-establishment of his outward prosperity, and the confirmation of his authority. (Note, Psalms 27:1-6.)
Tabernacles.] There were at this time two tabernacles; or, sacred tents that erected by Moses was at Gibeon and the ark of the covenant was stationed on mount Zion, in a tent which David had prepared for it. (Note, 1 Chronicles 16:37-43.)
V. 4. My exceeding joy.] Or, " The gladness of my "joy." (Marg.) The fervent language used by the Psalmist, while anticipating his sacrifices of thanksgiving at the altar, is widely different from the frigid, unimpassioned religion of nominal Christians in general, and shames the lukewarmness of most of us. (Notes, Psalms 107:17-22
V. 5. Notes, Psalms 42:4
Under the returns of distress and disconsolation, we should, again and again, have recourse to the effectual and only remedy of faith and prayer. As Israel treated David after all his successes in faithfully promoting their interests, and notwithstanding his wisdom and piety, with the blackest ingratitude, treachery, and injustice ; and as even his beloved Absalom, and his professed friend and counsellor Ahithophel, joined and headed the base conspiracy ; and as the Son of God met with far baser treatment from the same favoured, yet ungodly and merciless, nation : so no eminence or usefulness can exempt any pious man from the contempt or injuries of the wicked; whether he have to do with collective bodies, or individuals. But we should commit our cause to God, and he will plead it, and deliver us from every unrighteous and treacherous assault. And though inward temptations often concur with outward afflictions, yet God will never cast off those who trust in him as their Protector and Strength, according to his merciful and faithful promises. We should therefore discard such dishonourable fears ; and pray the more earnestly, that the Lord would send forth the truth of his word and the light of his Spirit, to guide us into the ways of holiness, peace, and salvation : and by means of his ordinances on earth, bring us to his holy habitation in heaven. Through Christ, our Altar and Sacrifice, we may here find joy in God, for which we should bless and praise his name : but under every suspension of comfort, and every trouble, we should look forward to the season, when " God, our exceeding Joy," will end our sorrows and complete our felicity. Let us then silence our complaints, and repeatedly enquire, " Why art thou cast " down, O my soul ? and why art thou so disquieted within me ? " And resolve still to hope in God ; for we shall yet eternally praise him, who is the Health of our countenance and our God."
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Scott, Thomas. "Commentary on Psalms 43". Scott's Explanatory Notes, Practical Observations on the book Psalms. https://www.studylight.org/
the Third Week after Epiphany