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Bible Commentaries

The Popular Commentary by Paul E. Kretzmann
Psalms 144

 

 

Verses 1-15

Thanksgiving and Prayer for Deliverance.

A psalm of David, in which he praises God for help experienced in the past and confidently implores His assistance against the enemies of the nation, as well as His blessing for continued prosperity.

v. 1. Blessed be the Lord, my Strength, his Rock or Refuge, with whom he is safe, which teacheth my hands to war and my fingers to fight, giving the king instruction and assistance in waging a just war;

v. 2. my Goodness, rather, my Mercy, since it was the Lord's unmerited favor which sustained David, and my Fortress, his mountain Stronghold, where he is beyond the reach of his enemies; my high Tower, and my Deliverer, who was able to snatch him out of the midst of troubles; my Shield, to protect him from attacks, and He in whom I trust, in whose care he knew himself to be definitely out of harm's way; who subdueth my people under me, making Israel realize that David's authority was his by divine investment. It is the feeling of, his own unworthiness which moves David to cry out, in view of God's mercy upon him:

v. 3. Lord, what is man that Thou takest knowledge of him, by conferring such wonderful favors, or the son of man, an ordinary, frail human being, that Thou makest account of him! The very fact that God pays any attention to him at all fills David with a sense of his own insignificance, since it contrasts his own nothingness, and that of mankind generally, with the greatness of such a gracious God.

v. 4. Man is like to vanity, like a breath which is gone before it is noticed; his days are as a shadow that passeth away, Psa_102:11. All the firmer, then, must be the believer's trust in God.

v. 5. Bow Thy heavens, O Lord, bringing them nearer, as it were, for speedy help, and come down, manifesting His almighty power; touch the mountains, with the hand of His majesty extended from the heights of heaven, and they shall smoke, the volcanoes revealing His omnipotent power.

v. 6. Cast forth lightning, in a mighty thunderstorm, and scatter them; shoot out Thine arrows, for the lightnings were considered the arrows of the majestic God, and destroy them.

v. 7. Send Thine hand from above, extending it in His almighty power; rid me, saving him from drowning, and deliver me out of great waters from the hand of strange children, the heathen enemies, the barbarians,

v. 8. whose mouth speaketh vanity, making statements without the foundation of truth, and their right hand is a right hand of falsehood, since it is raised in swearing falsely. The entire picture is that of the powers of the world, the enemies of the Lord and of His people, assembled to work harm to the Church, but overthrown by the manifestation of God's almighty power. Relying upon this fact, the psalmist lifts up his voice in a song of praise.

v. 9. I will sing a new song unto Thee, one composed for this special occasion, O God; upon a psaltery, a sort of harp or lute, and an instrument of ten strings, a lyre then in common use, will I sing praises unto Thee.

v. 10. It is He that giveth salvation unto kings, granting them deliverance from great dangers; who delivereth David, His servant, from the hurtful sword, that which had caused him evil and misfortune.

v. 11. Rid me, snatching him away from the danger, and deliver me from the hand of strange children, whose mouth speaketh vanity, and their right hand is a right hand of falsehood, this repetition of the appeal just made serving to emphasize the great need of the Lord's interference,

v. 12. that our sons may be as plants grown up in their youth, thriving in the strength of their youth; that our daughters may be as corner-stones, polished after the similitude of a palace, graceful as the architectural ornaments, glistening with gold and brilliant colors, which were found in the reception-halls of Oriental houses, the figure stressing both the strength and the charm of the young women;

v. 13. that our garners may be full, affording all manner of store, grain of every kind; that our sheep may bring forth thousands and ten thousands in our streets, out in the open meadows;

v. 14. that our oxen may be strong to labor, prolific, bringing forth strong calves; that there be no breaking in nor going out, no enemy making a breach in the city walls, no city forced to surrender; that there be no complaining in our streets, no lamenting on account of indignities inflicted by cruel conquerors. It is a fine description of happiness and prosperity under the blessing of God.

v. 15. Happy is that people that is in such a case, whose condition is such as here described; yea, happy is that people whose God is the Lord; for that, after all, is the greatest blessing, the highest distinction, surpassing all mere earthly blessings, if a people has the right to call Jehovah their God, their heavenly Father, chosen by Him as His children and blessed with all spiritual blessings in heavenly places in Christ.

 


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Bibliography Information
Kretzmann, Paul E. Ph. D., D. D. "Commentary on Psalms 144:4". "Kretzmann's Popular Commentary". https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/kpc/psalms-144.html. 1921-23.

Lectionary Calendar
Wednesday, December 11th, 2019
the Second Week of Advent
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