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V. 1-3. It is probable that David composed this psalm ; perhaps on the same occasion as the foregoing. It may be considered either as a prayer, or as a prophecy : but the whole, being in the future tense, is more naturally interpreted as a prediction, than as a supplication. Most versions indeed render it as a prayer, and in this sense it is exceedingly animated : yet it may be questioned, whether the method of explaining the language of direct prophecy, as longing and praying for the event, have not darkened the evidence from prophecy for the divine inspiration of scripture ; and damped the expectations, exertions, and prayers of pious persons for the enlargement of the church. Prophecy may easily be converted into prayer for its accomplishment : but the prayers even of inspired persons must not be considered as prophecies. The believing remnant of the old-testament church here predicts that God would continue and complete his mercies to them, and bless them, shining on them as the enlightening, cheering, fertilizing sun, and smiling on them as a loving Father.
(Notes, Psalms 4:6-8. Numbers 6:24-26.)
The effect of this would be, a general prevalence of truth and righteousness, of love, peace, joy, and all the fruits of the Spirit : and when the visible church became thus pure, united, and happy, it would powerfully conduce to its enlargement ; till " the way of the LORD " would be known on earth, and that salvation, which heals the distempered souls of men, would reach all nations ; and all the " gen" tiles would glorify God for his mercy. The people " shall praise thee, O God ; the people shall praise thee," all of them." (Notes, 117: Romans 15:8-13.) This psalm is adopted into the liturgy of our church ; and when it is read and attended to with understanding and affection, the prophecy is in part fulfilled. The substance also of these verses, as a petition, is inserted in the excellent prayer ’ for all sorts and conditions of men : though the order being reversed, the connexion between the purity and peace of the church, and its enlargement into all lands, is not so clearly maintained. The coming of Christ, " the Sun of Righteousness, who arose " on the land of Israel, " with healing in his wings;" the success of the gospel in the primitive ages, and the future conversion of the nations to Christ ; seem to have been predicted in the most unequivocal manner : nor can the prophecy be considered ns fulfilled, while any part of the world remains in
pagan, Mohammedan, or Jewish darkness ; or while any part of the church continues in bondage to antichristian tyranny and superstition, or corrupted with heresy, and miserably divided, as, atos ! it is at present. Thy saving health. (2) Literally, " Thy salvation." (Notes, Isaiah 49:5-6. Luke 2:25-32
V. 4. This is literally, " The nations shall be glad and " sing for joy, &c." By the knowledge of God through the gospel, all peoples, nations, and languages shall certainly at length rejoice in his righteous government, and in the prospect of his righteous judgment. And the establishment of his kingdom throughout the earth, will fill the world with righteousness, and terminate all iniquity, oppression, fraud, licentiousness, and impiety. (Notes, Isaiah 2:2-5. Psalms 11:6-7. Revelation 20:4-6.)
V. 6, 7 These verses are translated as a prediction, the rest as a prayer ; yet the original is uniformly the future tense, and the language of express prediction. (Notes, 1- 4.) The increase is that which God gives, while his faithful servants plant and water ; (Note, 1 Corinthians 3:4-9 ; for our God blesses us, when he thus prospers the work of his ministers : and we are assured, that he will do this more and more, till the remotest regions, till China, Japan, Peru, with every region of unexplored Africa, and every island of the earth, shall remember themselves, fear the Lord, and become his worshippers.
The church on earth still greatly needs the mercy of God, and further blessings from him in performance of his promises. When he shines upon his people, and fills them with light, purity, and consolation, it exceedingly tends to spread the knowledge of his salvation. (Note, Acts 9:31.) None, except narrow-minded zealots for a party, would wish to confine the blessings of the gospel within any other limits, than the whole extent of the earth. Those who have experienced the salutary efficacy of this invaluable medicine, would have all their fellow-sinners to share their felicity : and they, who delight in praising God, would have all people to rejoice in him, and praise him with them; for his precepts are as equitable, as his mercies are abundant. Thus the examples, prayers, and endeavours of zealous Christians make known the ways of God on earth. When the expected Redeemer came, the gospel was preached to the Gentiles, and the earth at large began to give her increase. But alas ! only a small part of mankind have hitherto embraced Christianity ; but few real Christians comparatively are found even in the purest Christian countries ; and lamentable divisions and offences prevail even among that remnant. We have therefore still need to pray, that ’ our own God would fulfill his giacious promises, and enlarged predictions ; and be merciful to his church, and bless it with increasing knowledge, purity, and love ; that, every thing being removed, which tarnishes the beauty of the Christian religion, or weakens the endeavours of Christians to spread the gospel, his salvation may be diffused through all nations ; that our Redeemer may establish his righteous kingdom over all mankind ; that they may yield a revenue of praise and glory to his name ; and that all the ends of the earth may worship him in spirit and truth, in reverence and godly fear,’ Amen.
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Scott, Thomas. "Commentary on Psalms 67". Scott's Explanatory Notes, Practical Observations on the book Psalms. https://www.studylight.org/
the Third Week after Epiphany