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Bible Commentaries

Spurgeon's Verse Expositions of the Bible
Psalms 144

 

 

Verses 1-15

A Psalm of David. No doubt written after some great victory, and also before another severe struggle. The Christian man seldom escapes from one difficulty without falling into another. Thanks be unto God, he that is with us in six troubles will not forsake us in the seventh!

Psalms 144:1. Blessed be the LORD my strength, which teacheth my hand to war, and my fingers to fight:

David does not ascribe any honour to himself. Human strength is from within, from the nerves, and sinews, and muscles, but the believer’s strength is from without: “Blessed be Jehovah my strength.” Now, if Jehovah be our strength, then nothing can be too difficult for us, for he whose strength is the omnipotence of God can do all things. “Which teacheth my hands to war:” just as the young soldier was, as it were, bound apprentice to the old warrior, went out to learn the drill, and afterwards was taken by him into the battle, so does the Lord by providence and by experience train his people’s hands to war, and their fingers to fight.

Psalms 144:2. My goodness, and my fortress; my high tower, and my deliverer; my shield, and he in whom I trust;

Here are six names, or rather, five titles of God, and then an inference from them: “He in whom I trust.” Oh! I know, ye people of God, you can say of Jehovah, “He is the One in whom I trust.” Rely upon anyone else, and your hopes are doomed to disappointment, as a bowing wall shall he be, and as a tottering fence. Happy is he that hath the God of Jacob for his refuge! Mind that ye stand to this, and never depart from it.

Psalms 144:2. Who subdueth my people under me.

Probably this Psalm was written after the crushing out of the great revolt under Absalom, and well might David ascribe to the divine hand his deliverance from that trial. It seemed as if the kingdom had gone from him; his ungrateful son had stolen the people’s hearts, and yet God was pleased to give him back his kingdom, and to set him upon his throne yet more firmly than before: “Who subdueth my people under me.” Christian, say that it is God who subdues your troubles, God who conquers your sins, God who enlightens your darkness, God who doeth all things for you; give him all the praise for every deliverance.

Psalms 144:3. LORD, what is man, that thou takest knowledge of him! or the son of man, that thou makest account of him!

Have you not often felt like this? You have said, “Lord, how couldst thou have bestowed such favors upon me, so utterly unworthy, so insignificant, so unknown, so worthless? “What is man, that thou takest knowledge of him!”

Psalms 144:4. Man is like to vanity: his days are as a shadow that passeth away.

You know that a shadow is nothing; it is rather the absence of something than anything in itself. Shadow is the absence of light; and what is man but, as it were, the absence of light, the absence of anything that is substantial? He is but the fleeting shadow of some earthly object, which soon passes away. Having thus magnified God for the past, and marvelled at his loving-kindness, the psalmist now turns to prayer: —

Psalms 144:5. Bow thy heavens, O LORD, and come down: touch the mountains, and they shall smoke.

God did but set one foot upon Mount Sinai, and it became altogether on a smoke. “The hills melted like wax at the presence of the Lord.” Well, believer, you have many mountains; but you can ask God to “touch the mountains, and they shall smoke.” No matter what the mountains may be; high as the heavens your troubles may ascend, till they even seem to block up your pathway to the skies, yet one touch of the divine finger shall make them melt away, like wax before the fire, and you shall march on triumphantly to your God.

Psalms 144:6-7. 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 great waters, from the hand of strange children;

Moses, you know, was called “one drawn out of the water”, so are all Gods people, they are drawn out of floods of tribulation. They are surrounded by those floods as though deserted, and left there to perish; but keen is the eye that watches over them, strong is the hand that preserves them, and sure is the arm that delivers them.

Psalms 144:8. Whose mouth speaketh vanity, and their right hand is a right hand of falsehood.

They swear, but they perjure themselves; they lift up the right hand, but they lie all the while. Rid me, O God, from such men; for, of all enemies, those that can lie are the worst, for you never know where you are with such people. Snakes in the grass are the most dangerous reptiles and enemies who will do any evil thing in order to ruin you, and who will tell any lie in the world in order to injure you, are just the hardest to overthrow.

Psalms 144:9-11. I will sing a new song unto thee, O God: upon a psaltery and an instrument of ten strings will I sing praises unto thee. It is he that giveth salvation unto kings: who delivereth David his servant from the hurtful sword. Rid me, and deliver me from the hand of strange children, whose mouth speaketh vanity, and their right hand is a right hand of falsehood:

You see, good men sometimes repeat their prayers; they present the same petition over again, and they thus follow the example of Christ, who prayed three times, “saying the same words.”

Psalms 144:12. That our sons may be as plants grown up in their youth; that our daughters may be as corner stones, polished after the similitude of a palace:

Or, rather, “of a temple.” This should be the prayer of every parent, that his sons may be bringing forth fruit unto God, that his daughters may be fixed as polished stones in the Church of God, to form a part of the great spiritual temple.

Psalms 144:13. That our garners may be full, affording all manner of store:

When this is the case spiritually, when there is milk for babes, meat for strong men, and not a little of each, but more than enough for all, then are we very happy. Spiritual fertility is a blessed thing, when each Christian, each of the Lord’s sheep, becomes prolific in increasing Christ’s flock.

Psalms 144:14. That our oxen may be strong to labour;

That the ministers of God may be mighty; that Sabbath-school teachers, and all earnest labourers, may have strength given to them.

Psalms 144:14. That there be no breaking in, nor going out;

That there be no wolves to destroy by breaking in; and that there be no sheep to suffer injury by going astray.

Psalms 144:14-15. That there be no complaining in our street. Happy is that people, that is in such a case: yea, happy is that people, whose God is the LORD.

May this be our case! And if it is our case, then the Lord is our God even at this day.

Psalms 144:13. That our sheep may bring forth thousands and ten thousands in our streets:

Spiritual fertility is a blessed thing, when each Christian, each of the Lord’s sheep, becomes prolific in increasing Christ’s flock.

Psalms 144:14. That our oxen may be strong to labour:

That the ministers of God may be mighty; that Sabbath-school teachers, and all earnest labourers, may have strength given to them.

Psalms 144:14. That there be no breaking in, nor going out;

That there be no wolves to destroy by breaking in; and that there be no sheep to suffer injury by going astray.

Psalms 144:14-15. That there be no complaining in our streets. Happy is that people, that is in such a case: yea, happy is that people, whose God is the LORD.

May this be our case! And if that is our case, then the Lord is our God even at this day. Now let us read about two interesting incidents in David’s warrior life.

This exposition consisted of readings from Psalms 144, And 2 Samuel 5:17-25.

 


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Bibliography Information
Spurgeon, Charle Haddon. "Commentary on Psalms 144:4". "Spurgeon's Verse Expositions of the Bible". https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/spe/psalms-144.html. 2011.

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