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Bible Commentaries

Thomas Scott: Explanatory Notes, Practical Observations on the book Psalms
Psalms 115

 

 

Verses 1-18

Psalm 115:1-18.

V:1 , 2. " Because he promised to de" liver them, not for their sakes, but for his name; they " ground their prayer upon this promise." The verses are evidently a prayer for deliverance, though often quoted as a thanksgiving for benefits received; and they may properly be thus applied. God was intreated to help his people; not because they deserved it, or that they might be Hosea -

noured; but that his name might be glorified, and the blasphemies of his enemies silenced, by the performance of his faithful and merciful engagements to his worshippers.

(Notes, Psalm 74:10-11; Psalm 74:21-22; Psalm 79:8-13. Deuteronomy 32:26-27. 2 Kings 19:14-19. Joel 2:15-17)

Perhaps the psalm was written during Sennacherib"s invasion of Judah.

V:3-7. (Notes, Psalm 2:4-6. Isaiah 46: 10 , 11. Daniel 4:34-37. Matthew 6:9. Ephesians 1:9-12.) "A beautiful contrast " is formed between the God of Israel, and the heathen " idols. He made every thing; they are themselves made " by men : he doeth whatsoever he pleaseth; they can do " nothing : he seeth the distresses, heareth the prayers, " accepteth the offerings, cometh to the assistance, and " effected! the salvation of his servants; they are blind, " deaf, and dumb, senseless, motionless, and impotent." Bp. Home. (Marg. Ref.)

V:8. The makers and worshippers of idols renounce their reason and understanding, and willingly become as stupid as the very objects of their worship : " having eyes " they see not, having ears they hear not," &c. " They "are spiritually blind, deaf, dumb, lame, impotent; and " when their idols are destroyed, they will perish in like manner." Bp. Home.

(Notes, Isaiah 44: 9- 20; 45: 20- 22; 46: 5-9. Jeremiah 10:3-16. Habakkuk 2:18-20.)

V:9 -13. The Israelites in general, and the priests in particular, (who were required to teach the people by example, as well as precept,) were exhorted to trust in the Lord; they were reminded how he had, in ail ages, shewn himself " the Help and Shield," the Upholder and Defender, of such as thus relied on him; and assured that he would bless without exception, every one of-those who feared him. (Marg. Ref. Notes, Psalm 118:1-4. Psalm 135:15-21.) The proselytes also, from other nations, seem intended by those " who fear the LORD."

V:14- 18. The increase of the church, by the conversion of the Gentiles, as well as the still greater prosperity of Israel, is here predicted. (Marg. Ref.) There is a peculiar animation in the concluding part of the Psalm , when considered not so much as praise for benefits, received, as the language of faith and hope in urgent difficulties.

(Notes, Psalm 6:5. Psalm 30:9-10. Psalm 146:5-6. Isaiah 38: 17-20.)

PRACTICAL OBSERVATIONS.

We have so entirely forfeited all claim to the favour of God, and so evidently deserved his wrath; that, if blessings be conferred on us, the whole honour of them must be rendered to him, who has glorified all his perfections, and especially his " mercy and truth," in the salvation of his people; in pardoning, sanctifying, upholding, and comforting them from day to day; and in supplying all their wants both temporal and spiritual. In like manner, when conscious unworthiness is ready to extinguish our hopes, we have a never-failing plea, in the same important truths;

and we may intreat the Lord to save and bless us, for the glory of his mercy and truth, in Jesus Christ, when all our other arguments are silenced. For it can never consist with his honour, that his avowed enemies should finally triumph over those, who profess his truth and call upon his name; and thus be emboldened in impiety and infidelity. Our God is upon his glorious throne, and " doeth " according to his will in the army of heaven, and among " the inhabitants of the earth : " and the temporary success of his enemies, and troubles of his people, will assuredly end in the greater good of the latter, and the deeper confusion of the former. While we reflect upon the stupidity of idolaters with indignation and contempt, let us humbly recollect, that we are the same by nature, and remember to give God the whole glory of making us o differ. Those who reject the gospel, to rdy for salvation on themselves; and those who idolize worldly advantages, which cannot profit them in the hour of death, or in the day of judgment; are as fatally deceived as even the worshippers of idols. But we are called Christians, and some of us sustain the office of ministers, being the spiritual Israel, and the house of Aaron : let us then remember to act consistently with our character and profession : let us not " lean to our own understanding," depend on our own righteousness and strength, trust in our own hearts, or rely on uncertain riches and the friendship of the world : but let us trust in the Lord alone, for acceptance, assistance, sustenance, protection, comfort, usefulness, and everlasting happiness. " He hath ever been " mindful of his servants, and will bless them; even every " one of them, who fear him, both small and great." He will increase the number of his true ministers and people, and prosper them and their children; for they are indeed Cl the blessed of the LORD, who made heaven and earth." The heaven, which belongs to him, he reserves as the peculiar inheritance of his children; the earth he has given indiscriminately to the children of men : and wretched will they be, who have no better portion; for indeed they are but stewards, who will shortly be called to give an account of their stewardship. (Notes, Luke 16:1-8; Luke 16:19-31 .) But grace is our own, and will never be taken from us. As to the rest, a little will bear the expenses of our pilgrimage : let us then be content, and thankful for our allowance, and moderate in the use of it. Let us communicate of our little to those that have less : and, if any have much entrusted to them, let them prove their interest in the true riches, by faithfully improving " the mammon of unrighteousness." (Note, Luke 16:9-13.) As death will terminate our opportunities of praising God on earth; let us now redeem the time, that we may glorify him with our lips and in our lives. Then we shall shortly join the company before the throne, and assist them in blessing our God; and our bodies will be raised from the silent grave, to join in this delightful work to all eternity : while successive generations shall be raised up on earth, increasing multitudes of whom will be zealously employed, in celebrating the praises of our God, till time shall be no more " Hallelujah, Praise the Lord."

 


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Bibliography Information
Scott, Thomas. "Commentary on Psalms 115:4". Thomas Scott: Explanatory Notes, Practical Observations on the book Psalms. https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/tsp/psalms-115.html. 1804.

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Thursday, December 5th, 2019
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