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V. 1, 2. It is probable that David wrote this psalm, though his name is not prefixed to it. ’ The ’ author of this Psalm is not known, but the occasion ’ seems to have been some great pestilence, in which the ’ Psalmist commends a humble confidence in God and an ’ ardent love to him, as the best security, both in that and ’in all other dangers.. ..The Talmudists call it, A Song ’ of evil spirits.’ Bp. Patrick. " The secret place of the " most High," may be an allusion to the ark of the covenant, fixed in the most holy place, as in a secret pavilion ; and may denote the security and tranquility arising from confidence in God, and communion with him, at his mercy-seat. (Notes, Psalms 27:4-6. Psalms 31:19-20.) By faith and prayer, believers put themselves under the protection of God, relying on his power, wisdom, truth, and love ; and thus they dwell in an invisible fortress, and are secured by an almighty Friend, in a w:iy kept secret from the unbelieving world around them. (Note, Colossians 3:1-4.) While the Psalmist recommended this Refuge and Rest to others, he avows his purpose to avail himself of it, and to place his entire confidence in the Lord. (Notes, 14- 16. Psalms 84:11-12. Psalms 90:1-2. Genesis 15:1
V. 3- 8. Under a variety of expressions, in the most beautiful style of eastern poetry, the Psalmist represents the manifold dangers to which believers are exposed, from the wickedness of men, and from pestilences and diseases in all their multiplied forms; and the protection which they find under the mercy, faithfulness, and power of the Almighty.
(Marg. Ref. Notes, Psalms 36:5-9. Ruth 2:11-12. Job 5:18-27. Matthew 23:37-39.) Yet these are only a shadow of the perils by which their souls are threatened, from the subtlety and power of Satan, the plausible delusions of false teachers, the terrors of persecutors, the allurements of flattery and prosperity, the infectious wickedness of the world, and the depravity and deceitfulness of their own hearts. Yet from all these formidable perils and enemies, they " are kept by the power of God through " faith unto salvation." (Note, 1 Peter 1:3-5.) The Septuagint render the clause, " the destruction that wasteth at " noon-day," (6) ’ the noon-day demon.’ ’ Avarice and ambition are abroad in the day ; while concupiscence like a pestilence walketh in darkness. In ad’ versity the soul is disturbed by terrors ; in prosperity, ’ still more endangered by pleasures. But Jesus Christ has overcome the world, to prevent us from being overcome by it." Bp. Home. (Note, John 16:31-33.) Yet, as thousands and ten thousands fall, during a fatal pestilence, while others witnessing the desolations are preserved ; so immense multitudes are swept into destruction by delusions and temptations, while a few escape to mourn over them. ’ The godly shall have some experience of God’s ’ judgments against the wicked even in this life ; but fully ’ they shall see it at that day when all things shall be re’ vealed.’
(Notes, Psalms 92:11. Matthew 25:31-46. Romans 2:4-6. 2 Thessalonians 1:5-10. Revelation 20:11-15.)
V. 9, 10. These verses are thus rendered in the old version. " For thou hast said, the LORD is mine Hope, thou " hast set the most High for thy Refuge. There shall " none evil come unto thee, &c." ’ Because this is thy avowed and real confidence, therefore thou art and shalt be safe and happy, and thy family shall for thy sake share the blessing.’ (Notes, Psalms 121:5-8. Psalms 125:1.)
V. 11, 12. The Lord is pleased to employ the ministration of his holy angels, for the protection of his people from outward harm, " in all their ways " while in the path of duty: but if they desert their post and path, they are not warranted to depend on that protection : and not angels, but the Holy Spirit must inwardly guide them in his ways, or bring them back when they wander. (Notes, Genesis 24:2-9. Hebrews 1:13-14.) The mutilated and sophistical quotation which Satan made of this text, in tempting our Saviour, seems to imply, that the Messiah was supposed to be principally, though not exclusively meant. This might be, and probably was the case ; but the subtle enemy that misquoted, could also misapply the sacred scripture : and his testimony contains no proof. (Note, Matthew 4:5-7.)
V. 13. By these figurative expressions taken from the fiercest of beasts, and most poisonous of serpents, Satan and his progeny of wicked men are figuratively described, who persecute the people of God, or attempt to terrify or seduce them from their duty ; but over whom they shall at length triumph as their Captain has already triumphed.
(Marg. Ref. Notes, Genesis 3:14-15. Mark 16:17-18. Luke 10:17-20. Romans 8:32-39
V. 14- 16. ’ To assure the faithful of God’s protection, he bringeth in God himself to confirm the same.’ So that JEHOVAH himself is here introduced as the Speaker ; and the persons intended are characterized. They have known the name of the Lord, and set their love on him, delighting themselves in him, cleaving to him in reverent and holy love, expecting all their happiness from
him, and seeking help from him, by the persevering prayer of faith, and fervently thirsting for him, and for his favour, and the light of his countenance. Persons of this character he will deliver, honour, exalt, and satisfy with long life ; if not here, yet in heaven, where he will shew them his complete salvation.
(Marg. Ref. Notes, Psalms 9:7 Psalms 21:1-7 - Psalms 34:15-20. 1 Chronicles 28:9. Luke 2:25-32. John 17:13. Romans 8:28-31. 2 Timothy 1:11-12.) Even the most encouraging promises of Scripture imply, that " in this world " the best Christians " must have " tribulation ; " by engaging that the Lord will afford them his gracious presence under all their troubles and trials.
The following view of this beautiful Psalm, with an in terchange of speakers, which has been transmitted to me, seems worthy of consideration. ’ Imagine the Psalmist to have been addressing himself to some person hope fully disposed towards religion, in sentiments and language of which the first verse affords a specimen : this ’ person being much affected and confirmed in his religious ’ purpose by the discourse, comes to the resolution of the ’ second verse, " I will say, &c." El .courage and excited by this success, the Psalmist resumes the conversation, and in yet more animated strains sets forth the security and blessedness of the man " whose hope the ’ " LORD is : " " Surely," (if you do so), " he will deliver, &c." The Almighty himself at the fourteenth ’ verse, assumes the part of the Speaker, and confirms ’ all that his servant had urged, and thus the Psalm concludes.’
The divine protection and consolation, which believers enjoy, are deemed visionary by ungodly men : but they really do abide and repose under " the shadow of the Almighty," which the scorching sun of temptation and tribulation cannot penetrate, and in a fortress which no power of the enemy can force. (Notes, Is. Psalms 32:1-2. Psalms 33:15-16. Matthew 23:37-39.) Let then sinners
come to him upon his mercy-seat, through the Redeemer’s name : and let those who have experienced his salvation, boldly avow their confidence in him, and encourage others also to trust in him. Every man must perceive, that in this world we are exposed to innumerable evils and perils, from which no prudence, courage, or strength of our own can secure us : and it must be allowed desirable in the highest degree, to have an almighty, omnipresent, and omniscient Protector, who is likewise infinite in goodness, mercy, and truth : One, that can preserve our lives from famine, pestilence, and sudden death ; from the desolations of war, the open assaults of robbers and murderers; from the dark designs of false accusers and perjurers ; and from innumerable evils to which we are exposed by day and by night. But those, who violate the commands and neglect the salvation of the Lord, cannot possibly have any well grounded confidence in his protection : and should he bear with their provocations, and continue their lives for many years ; yet except they repent they must at length perish in their sins. He therefore, who is aware of his real situation, discovers far more formidable evils to which he is exposed, than those which have been above mentioned. He wants a refuge from the deserved wrath of God, and from the miseries of the eternal world. He needs an effectual and permanent deliverance from Satan, who takes men captive at his will, as the fowler ensnares the unsuspecting bird ; (Note, 2 Timothy 2:23-26:) who appears as a roaring lion when he excites persecution against the church, or as a subtle serpent and a destructive dragon, when he opposes the faith with seducing lies, vain reasonings, fascinating flatteries, or proffered secular advantages ; or when he transforms himself into an angel of light to deceive men with false religion. (Note, 2 Corinthians 11:1-6
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Scott, Thomas. "Commentary on Psalms 91". Thomas Scott: Explanatory Notes, Practical Observations on the book Psalms. https://www.studylight.org/
the Week of Proper 13 / Ordinary 18