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Bible Commentaries

Thomas Scott: Explanatory Notes, Practical Observations on the book Psalms
Psalms 62

 

 

Verses 1-12

Psalm 62:1-12. Title. Jeduthun was first chosen to be one of the chief musicians, when the ark was removed to mount Zion : (Note?, 1 Chronicles 16:37-43; 1 Chronicles 25:1-6 :) and, as this psalm is inscribed to him, some have thought, that it relates to Absalom"s rebellion, and not to the persecution which David endured from Saul. But, as several otter Psalm , which certainly were composed before David came to the throne, are inscribed to " the chief Musician; " we must suppose, that when the Psalmody at the sanctuary was appointed, David delivered to the chief musicians the psalms which he had previously written, as well as those which he afterwards from time to time composed. Internal evidence does not clearly shew to which season of distress the Psalmist referred; as his language seems equally suited to either of them. There are no " petitions at all in this Psalm , nor any thanksgivings: but " only expressions of David"s faith and confidence in God.Bp. Patrick.

It may be added," joined with exhortations and encouragements to others, to trust in God, and pour out prayer before him."

V:1 ,2. The word rendered "waiteth" signifies silent. (Marg.) " Yet my soul keepeth silence unto God." Though Satan tempted him to murmur against " God, yet he bridled his affections, and, resting upon " God"s promise, he beareth his cross patiently." " The " prophet abode manifold temptations, but resting on " God, he overcame them all." David-was conscious, that, in calm submission and well-grounded confidence he sought and expected protection and deliverance from God. He therefore steadily adhered to the line of duty; believing it " good both to hope, and quietly wait for the salvation of the LORD." (Note, Lamentations 3:26-30.)

And he rested assured, that though his enemies might for a while give him disturbance, and in some degree prevail, yet he should not be " greatly moved," or materially injured, either in his temporal or spiritual concerns.

(Marg. Ref. Notes, 5- 7. Psalm 37:23-24. 2 Corinthians 4:8-12.)

V:3 , 4. The Psalmist, having avowed his confidence in God, expostulates with his enemies, warns them of their danger, and exposes their wickedness. Saul and his party, envious of David"s reputation, incessantly plotted against his life; and aimed to exclude him from the royal dignity, to which God had appointed him; and they greatly desired to see him disgraced by some evident misconduct. They " delighted in lies," both when they falsely accused him, and when they deceitfully spoke as friends to him : but by this they would only provoke God to cut them off by a violent death; and they would be overturned, like a wall, which first bulges out and totters, and then falls down at once. (Notes, Isaiah 30:12-14. Ezekiel 13:10-16.) In like manner, Absalom, Ahithophel, and the other conspirators, artfully formed their measures for driving, with disgrace, their aged monarch from that honourable station to which God had raised him; (Note, Psalm 55:20-21;) and they covered their treachery and malice with fair pretences : hut they also brought on themselves swift and dreadful destruction. The opposition of the Jews, and other enemies, to Christ and his cause, springs from similar motives, is conducted in the same manner, and has had, or will have, the same event. (Marg. Ref.)

V:5-7. The Septuagint render the fifth verse, " Nevertheless, my soul, submit to God; for my patience is from " him : " and no doubt quiet submission to God, as well as expectation of deliverance, happiness, and honour from him alone, in his own time and manner, was meant. The repetitions, with some variation, of these verses are peculiarly animated : and the Psalmist, by thus dwelling on the ground of his encouragement, baffled his temptations, and found his faith and hope invigorated. (Note, 1 , 2.) He says before, " I shall not be greatly moved " (2); now, " I shall not be moved."

V:8- 10. The Psalmist, having risen above the disquietude and fear to which he had been tempted, next gives counsel and caution to the people in general, as he had before awfully warned his persecutors. He exhorts them to " trust in God at all times," whatever their outward circumstances or inward conflicts might be; and by fervent prayer to pour out their hearts before him, (Marg. Ref. y,) and they would find him a secure Refuge in every danger. But as for men, no confidence could be reasonably placed, either on the fickle multitude, who might be induced to murder, one day, the very person whom they almost idolized the day before; or on the great, who generally made promises which they never performed, and raised expectations which they never intended to answer : so that even vanity itself seemed heavier in the balance than all of them together. Yet to trust in oppression, or injustice and robbery, would be still more foolish and wicked. " Be not so vain as to trust to ill-gotten goods : " for if your riches increase by honest means, they are not " things wherein to place either your confidence and hope, " or your love and joy." Bp. Patrick. (Note, Job 31:24-28.) " He who is made vain and covetous by money, " however honestly gotten, renders that a curse to one, which was designed a blessing to many; and drowns himself in the spring, which should have watered all " around him." Bp. Home.

The old translation of this last verse seems more literal than the present version. Trust not in oppression, nor in robbery : be not vain : if riches increase, set not your heart thereon." According to the construction of the pointed copies of the Hebrew- Bible, the verse seems more properly divided thus : " Trust " not in oppression nor in robbery; be not vain in riches, " when they increase; set not your heart upon them."

(Marg.Ref. Notes, Psalm 39:5-11; Psalm 52:6-7 - Psalm 146:3-6. Jeremiah 9:23-24; Jeremiah 17:5-8. 1 Timothy 6:6-10; 1 Timothy 6:17-19.)

Men of low degree, &c. (9) . Note, Psalm 49:1-4, Psalm 5:2.

V:11 , 12. God had solemnly declared, as it were, once for all, and the Psalmist had repeatedly heard it; (Note, Job 33:14-18;) or he had " heard these two tilings; that power and mercy belong to God. So that the wicked" shall feel thy power, and the godly thy mercy. The Lord can punish and destroy, he can save and bless, as he pleases: all created power is from him, and limited by him; and no creature can do more harm or good, than he is pleased to appoint, or permit. (Note, Matthew 6:13.) Mercy also belongs to him : and his recompensing the Deuteronomy -filed and imperfect services of believers, and blotting out all their transgressions for the Redeemer"s sake, and so punishing none but the unbelieving and impenitent, is a full proof of his abundant mercy, and an encouragement to trust in him. (Marg. Ref. Notes, Exodus 34:5-7 - Revelation 22:10-12.)

PRACTICAL OBSERVATIONS

The lively believer, conscious of sincerity, can without hesitation avow, " Truly my soul waiteth upon God." From the Lord, " his Defence and Salvation," he expects present safety and eternal felicity; he considers all creatures as instruments in his hands; and he waits for promised blessings in the path of duty, and in the use of appointed or allowed means. (Notes, Matthew 4:3-7 Yet, however blamelessly he may conduct himself, he must expect a measure of the same enmity, with which the world treated his Saviour; when every device was framed, every deceit used, and every slander propagated, to " cast him " down from his excellency." But the doom of David"s persecutors, and of the crucifiers of Christ, may be expected by all, who endeavour to tempt his people to sin, or to vilify their characters : and none will be punished more severely, than those who deceive men with " good "words and fair speeches;" (Note, Romans 16:17-20;)

who " delight in lies," who no bless with their mouth, but curse inwardly." Let us however, having fairly warned and expostulated with such infatuated persons, wait only upon God, and expect all our happiness from him : then shall we not " greatly be moved," either to anger, to pride, or to despondency, by the malice or flattery of the ungodly : nay, when our faith grows strong, we shall be confident of not being moved at all to our real hurt : and meditation and prayer are blessed means of invigorating faith and hope. (Notes, Acts 20:22-24.) When we are rendered joyful and bold, in reliance on God under peculiar trials, we have an important advantage in exhorting our brethren to similar confidence. We may and ought to " trust in him at all times," in persecution, temptation, affliction, and at the approach of death : for this is our privilege, and honourable to God, and it will lead us to " pour out our hearts before him; " laying open all our fears, sorrows, and wants, as to our bosom Friend; (Note, 1 Samuel 1:12-17.v15;) and making him our Refuge from every danger and foe : and we shall renounce other confidences, that we may singly depend on him. Those who refuse to do this, will find at length, that their dependence on men, whether on the many or the great, will terminate in disappointment and shame : and woe be to those who trust in iniquity and oppression; who accumulate wealth by evading good laws, or oppressing under the colour of bad ones, or setting all law and justice at defiance; while the miseries of multitudes ripen individuals for the vengeance of heaven. Indeed reliance on increasing riches, however obtained, is idolatry, and totally inconsistent with the life of faith. Yet the idea of increased wealth is associated with that of augmented felicity, in almost every human heart : and it is extremely difficult to possess riches without trusting in them and setting the heart upon them. (Note, Matthew 19:23-26. P. O23- 30.) The true and consistent believer, however, receives all from God; and uses it to his glory, as a steward who must render an account. (Notes and P. O. Luke 16:1-13.) These things God has spoken, and we have heard: may we then never forget that power belongeth only to him : may we trust in his mercy and grace; and abound in his work, expecting a gracious recompense from him. alone !

 


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Bibliography Information
Scott, Thomas. "Commentary on Psalms 62:4". Thomas Scott: Explanatory Notes, Practical Observations on the book Psalms. https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/tsp/psalms-62.html. 1804.

Lectionary Calendar
Wednesday, September 18th, 2019
the Week of Proper 19 / Ordinary 24
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