Psalm 92:1-15. Title. The writer of this psalm is not mentioned, and the Jews have many absurd traditions respecting it : but in all probability, David composed it, about the time that the ark was conveyed to mount Zion, to be used in the worship at the sanctuary on the Sabbath days. (Notes, 1 Chronicles 15:16; 1 Chronicles 16:7) Indeed the sabbath was originally intended to give men leisure and opportunity for contemplating the works of God, and rendering him worship and praise. (Notes, Genesis 2:2-3. Exodus 20:8-10. Isaiah 5813, 14. Mark 2:27-28. Hebrews 4:3-11.)
V:1, 2. " It is no less delightful, than it is profitable, to sing hymns in the praise of the divine perfections, which infinitely transcend all that can be said or thought of them. ... This is the sweetest employment in the morning; and no entertainment can equal it at night." Bp. Patrick. The majesty and greatness of God, with his loving-kindness in promising a Saviour and salvation, and his faithfulness in performing his promises, are especially noticed. (Marg. Ref. Notes, Psalm 33:1; Psalm 89:1-4. Psalm 145:1-2.)
V:3. Harp, &c.] Or, " With a meditation," or Song of Solomon, " on the harp." Perhaps the tune is meant. (Marg. Notes, Psalm 9:15-16. Psalm 33:2-3. Psalm 150:3-6. 1 Chronicles 16:4-6.)
V:4, 5. The Wisdom of Solomon, power, and goodness of God, displayed in the works of creation and providence, are worthy of all admiration and gratitude : and the Psalmist had experienced much of the tender care of the Lord towards him, and perceived many deep counsels and purposes of his Wisdom of Solomon, in all the events of his past life. Yet it is probable that he was led by the Holy Spirit to look forward to the great work of redemption, by the promised Messiah, as the ground of his hope, the source of his triumph and joy, and the chief subject of his praise, " All " are too little, O LORD, to express the joy I have in the " acts of thy providence, by whom as the world was " made, so it is still governed. It ravishes my spirit, and " makes me shout for joy, to think how excellently thou or" direst and disposes! all things. . . . Whose administration, though I cannot fully comprehend, yet I admire . . . " the astonishing greatness of thy works, and reverence " the unsearchable depths of thy counsels and designs. Bp. Patrick. " A prospect of creation, in the vernal season, fallen as it Isaiah, inspires the mind with a joy, which no words can express. But how doth the generate soul " exult and triumph at beholding that " work " of God"s " " hands," whereby he hath created all things anew in Christ Jesus ! If we can be pleased with such a world as this, where sin and death have fixed their habitation, " shall we not much rather admire those other heavens and that other earth, wherein dwell righteousness and life ? Bp. Home.
(Notes, Psalm 19:1-11. Psalm 40:1-5; Psalm 71:17-24; Psalm 86:6-8. Psalm 139:14. Romans 11:33-36.)
V:6, 7 " The natural man receiveth not the things " of the Spirit of God : for they are foolishness unto him : " neither can he know them, because they are spiritually " discerned." (Note, 1 Corinthians 2:14-16.) So that, while the sensualist, who, like the brutes, seeks his happiness in animal indulgence, takes no pleasure in contemplating the works of creation and providence, and is incapable of perceiving or admiring the glory of God displayed in them; all other unregenerate men (the persons denominated fools in scripture,) are incapable of discerning or delighting in the works of God, especially in the glorious and harmonious display of the divine perfections, in the work of man"s redemption and salvation. And not only the sensualist, but all worldly men in general, not excepting the most renowned for Wisdom of Solomon, sagacity, and learning, being destitute of faith and spiritual discernment, are blind to the tendency and eternal consequences of ungodly prosperity and pleasure. (Marg. Re)". Notes, Psalm 37:35-38; Psalm 73:18-22; 1 Samuel 25:36-38. Luke 12:15-21; Luke 16:19-25.)
V:8, 9. Marg. Ref. Notes, Psalm 21:8-12; Psalm 68:13. Isaiah 41:10-16; 2 Thessalonians 1:5-10.
V:10. Fresh oil.] Perhaps David might refer, by this expression, to his being Revelation -anointed king upon his accession to the throne. This, however, was only an emblem of the fresh accessions of Wisdom of Solomon, strength, and grace, which believers derive continually from the renewed unction of the Holy Spirit.
(Notes, Psalm 23:5-6. Psalm 45:6-7 - Isaiah 40:27-31. 2 Corinthians 1:21-22. )
V:11. There is nothing, for my desire, repeatedly inserted in this verse, in the Hebrew; nor is any thing inserted in several versions ancient and modern : and the passage might better be read without them; " Mine eye shall " look upon mine enemies, and mine ears shall hear of the " wicked that rise up against me." (Notes, Psalm 37:34. Psalm 54:7. Psalm 59:10. Psalm 91:3-8.)
The Psalmist indeed foresaw their dreadful doom, but it does not follow that he desired it.
V:12. The palm-tree spreads its branches very wide, and grows to a very large size; and affords a refreshing shade to travellers. It also bears dates, a most grateful fruit in those countries where it grows, and it is in every way a most beautiful tree, and an invaluable treasure to the inhabitants. The cedar grows immensely large, and flourishes for ages, and, when cut down, its valuable timber is exceedingly durable. These trees, compared with the gaudy, withering grass, mark and illustrate, very forcibly indeed, the difference, in character and condition, between the prosperous wicked man and the righteous, between the unbeliever and the believer. (Notes, 6, 7- Psalm 104:16. Hosea 14:4-8.)
V:13- 15. All holiness and spiritual consolation are derived from the fulness of Christ, through the ordinances of his appointment. The grace which teaches sinners to love and frequent those ordinances, in order to obtain these spiritual blessings, " plants " them, as " trees " of righteousness," in the courts of the Lord. (Note, Isaiah 61:1-3.) Others, who attend, are only withering branches : but these take root, and derive nourishment from Christ; they grow, and flourish, and bear fruit, and are often most eminent in grace and usefulness to others, even amidst the infirmities of old age. (Notes, Psalm 1:1-3; Psalm 71:17-18. Jeremiah 17:5-8. John 15:1-8. Ephesians 3:14-19.) " Happy the Prayer of Manasseh, whose goodness is always progressive, and whose virtues increase with his years; who loscth not, in the multiplicity of worldly cares or plea* sures, the holy fervours of his first love, but goeth on " burning and shining more and more, to the end of his " days." Bp. Home. Tins is ordered on purpose to shew that the Lord does indeed fulfil his covenant-engagements to all, who truly make him the Foundation of their hope, and the Rock of their salvation, as the Psalmist did : and it is an earnest, that he will also perform to them his promise of giving them eternal life. For " there is no un" righteousness" or fraud, in him : and though his promises were all made of mere grace and mercy; yet being made, it would not consist with the perfection of his righteousness, in any measure to fail in the performance of them. (Marg. Ref. f. h.)
To praise the Lord most High, and give thanks unto his name, is not only our bounden duty and reasonable service; but it is a most profitable, delightful, and honourable employment, by-vhich we emulate the work of angels, and anticipate the joys of heaven. Yet, while we live upon his bounty, and daily experience his loving-kindness and faithfulness, how backward are we in rendering this reasonable and pleasant tribute ! We should then stir up ourselves, and all around us, to join in his praises : and as his truth and mercies are renewed to us by day and by night, we should at least every morning and evening adore his condescension and goodness, and give him thanks for all his benefits; employing every means of rendering the service as solemn and affecting as we can. But on his own day, which we should " remember to keep holy," how ought we to abound in praise, in secret, in our families, with our friends, and in the great congregation ! For, however glorious the works of God in creation and providence are in themselves, or however liberally we are supplied with temporal benefits; none of his operations could give us sinners cause of joy and triumph in him, if it were not for that great work, on this day especially commemorated by Christians; when Hebrews, who "died for our sins, " was raised again for our justification." And if distant views of this great Deliverer so animated the praises of ancient believers; how should we abound in these expressions of exulting gratitude, who enjoy the meridian light of this " Sun of Righteousness," which kings, prophets, and righteous men so long desired to see ! (Notes, Matthew 13:16-17. Luke 10:23-24.) Well may we say, on contemplating the mysteries of redemption, " O LORD, how " great are thy works ! and thy thoughts are very deep." For in them angels and arch-angels behold and adore the manifold wisdom and love of God.
(Notes, Ephesians 3:9-12. 1 Peter 1:10-12.) But how many, who are called Christians, in the arrogant folly of infidelity, or in the brutish stupidity of a licentious and worldly life, despise and disregard, and therefore know nothing of, the glorious displays which God has made of himself to us ! Nor indeed do men, under the clear light of the gospel, generally understand, that God grants prosperity to wicked men in awful displeasure; and that their momentary flourishing is in order to their being " destroyed forever." Yet as " the LORD is most High for evermore," it certainly follows that " all his enemies shall perish, and that all the " workers of iniquity shall be scattered." Let us not then envy their prosperity, but pity their misery, and pray for their conversion, whilst we seek for ourselves the salvation and the grace of the gospel; that, being daily anointed with the renewed unction of the Holy Spirit, we may at length be exalted to behold and share our Redeemer"s glory, and to witness the ruin of all impenitent sinners, and of those especially who have been our enemies because of our relation to Christ. For the flourishing of the righteous is of a permanent nature : amidst tribulations and temptations, they grow in strength of faith and depth of experience, obtain increasing influence, and become fruitful and useful. Such Christians are real blessings to many while they live, and even after they are departed; (Notes, John 15:12-16. 2 Peter 1:12-15;) and they themselves shall be most " blessed for evermore." Let us then seek to be planted by faith, and rooted by love, " in the courts " of the LORD : " that we may flourish, not merely in the leaves and blossoms of knowledge, profession, and discourse, but in the substantial fruits of a holy, useful life; and this more and more, as we advance towards the close of our pilgrimage. Let us learn to detest the sentiment of many, who profess much zeal for the peculiar doctrines of the gospel, yet would persuade us, that believers generally grow less zealous as they grow older. (Note, Revelation 2:2-5.) It is true, that rash, indiscreet, and ostentatious earnestness will gradually be laid aside, to make way for more simple, humble, prudent zeal and diligence : but a real, evident, and permanent decrease in the substantial fruits of piety and charity, is enough to bring any man"s former integrity into question, whatever his profession may have been. Nay indeed, the uprightness and faithfulness of the Lord himself are concerned : the branches of the true Vine, which are fruitful, shall be purged, and made more fruitful. ( John 15:2.) But if we have made him " the Rock of our salvation," he will make it appear, that " there is no unrighteousness in him," by enabling us to go on, with increasing delight and fruitfulness, even under the decays of nature; until he transplant us to his courts above, there to grow and flourish, and be fruitful for evermore.
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Scott, Thomas. "Commentary on Psalms 92". Thomas Scott: Explanatory Notes, Practical Observations on the book Psalms. https://www.studylight.org/
the Third Week after Epiphany