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Bible Commentaries

Arno Gaebelein's Annotated Bible
Psalms 143

 

 

Verses 1-21

Psalm 143-145

In Psalms 143:1-12 the enemy is mentioned again, the enemy who pursued David. “For the enemy has persecuted my soul; he has smitten my life down to the ground; he has made me to dwell in darkness, as those that have long been dead.” How this again reminds us of the death experience of the pious remnant when the man of sin, the Antichrist will rule in Israel’s land. Prayer for deliverance follows. Hear me speedily--Hide not Thy face from me--Cause me to hear Thy lovingkindness--Deliver me, O LORD, from mine enemies, I flee unto Thee to hide me!

The next Psalm riseth higher. Faith lays hold on God. Israel, as David did, will look in faith to Him who has the power to deliver His trusting ones. “My Goodness, and my Fortress; my high tower and my deliverer; my shield and He in whom I trust; who subdueth the peoples under me” (literal translation). They acknowledge before Him their nothingness, days like shadows passing away. We see how this prayer too brings the final days of the age and the coming deliverance by the intervention from above before us. “Bow Thy heavens, O LORD, and come down; touch the mountains and they shall smoke. Cast forth lightning, and scatter them. Shoot out Thine arrows, and destroy them. Send Thine hand from above; rid me and deliver me out of the great waters (the great tribulation) from the hands of the strangers (the Gentiles). Whose mouth speaketh vanity, and their right hand is a right hand of falsehood” (Psalms 144:5-8). Then bursts forth the new song which anticipates the answer for this great prayer, the answer which the coming Lord brings to His suffering people, by His manifestation in power and in glory. Psalms 144:12-15 anticipate the days of earthly blessings when the King has returned and rules in righteousness.

Psalms 145:1-21 is a magnificent outburst of praise. While it is David’s praise, it is also the praise of Him who is the leader of all the praises of His people, the Son of David, our Lord. He is singing praises in the great congregation (Psalms 22:25) composed of His redeemed people Israel and the nations of the earth. It is an alphabetical Psalm, all letters of the Hebrew alphabet are given except one, the letter “nun.” The Numerical Bible gives the following helpful suggestion: “I cannot but conclude that the gap is meant to remind us that in fact the fullness of praise is not complete without other voices which are not found here; and that those missing voices are those of the Church and the heavenly saints.” In the book of Revelation we have the record of this full praise. See Chapter 5 and the fourfold Hallelujah in the beginning of Chapter 19. In this Psalm we find the celebration of the power of God displayed in judgments and in the deliverance of His people. Here we read likewise of His great lovingkindness in “The LORD is gracious and full of compassion; slow to anger and of great mercy.” See Exodus 34:6-7. He has come to dwell in the midst of His people. The kingdom has come and His saints speak now of the glory of that kingdom. They will talk of His Power. “Thy kingdom is an everlasting kingdom, and Thy dominion endureth throughout all generations.” The mercies of the Lord displayed in that coming kingdom are the subject of the praise in Psalms 145:14-21. We learn now why this great praise Psalm was preceded by Psalms of distress and prayer. It is in remembrance of the sufferings of His trusting people in the last days, and to magnify the Lord, who alone will save them and that unto the praise of His Name.

 


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Bibliography Information
Gaebelein, Arno Clemens. "Commentary on Psalms 143:4". "Gaebelein's Annotated Bible". https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/gab/psalms-143.html. 1913-1922.

Lectionary Calendar
Sunday, December 15th, 2019
the Third Week of Advent
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