Chapter 101 Chapter 106 Chapter 111 Chapter 116 Chapter 121
Chapter 102 Chapter 107 Chapter 112 Chapter 117 Chapter 122
Chapter 103 Chapter 108 Chapter 113 Chapter 118 Chapter 123
Chapter 104 Chapter 109 Chapter 114 Chapter 119 Chapter 124
Chapter 105 Chapter 110 Chapter 115 Chapter 120 Chapter 125

Chapter 101

(Verses 1 through 3) I will sing of mercy and judgment: unto Thee, O LORD, will I sing. I will behave myself wisely in a perfect way. O when wilt Thou come unto me? I will walk within my house with a perfect heart. I will set no wicked thing before mine eyes: I hate the work of them that turn aside; it shall not cleave unto me.


We do not know at what time of the year David wrote this, but since we are now in the last days of a year, and also of a century, we might think of it as a “New Year’s Resolution.” First he declares, “I will sing of mercy and judgment: unto the LORD will I sing.” This is surely a good resolution for all, who love the LORD. Let us sing, not of some love affair that has gone wrong, nor of some childhood memory, and not even of the exploits of some great man; but of mercy and judgment. And while we sing of these, let us be careful to sing unto the LORD, because mercy and judgment belong to Him. His next resolution is, “I will behave myself wisely in a perfect way.” Since “the fear of the LORD is the beginning of wisdom,” to fulfill this resolution, we must behave ourselves in the fear of the LORD: and since His way is the only “perfect way,” we must walk in His way. When we do this, we will have such a longing to be “absent from the body, and to be present with the Lord,” that we too will be saying, with David, “O when wilt Thou come unto me?” Then will we also resolve, as he did, “I will walk within my house with a perfect heart. I will set no wicked thing before mine eyes.” David knew from experience the result of walking in his house with a heart that was not perfect, that is, a heart that was not satisfied with the blessings God had given him. Although he had wives, when he saw Bathsheba, the wife of another man, he wanted her; and we all know the result of that wicked act. Now he says, “I will set no wicked thing before mine eyes: I hate the work of them that turn aside; it shall not cleave to me.” He knew that, the wicked thing he had set before his eyes had led him on to commit both adultery and murder. Perhaps, we have never committed either of these sins, but we undoubtedly can find in our experience some wicked thing (thought or purpose) which we set before our eyes, and it led us on to do something we have many times regretted. Whatever it may have been, let us also, with him resolve, “I will set no wicked thing before my eyes: I hate the work of them that turn aside; it shall not cleave to me.” The only way we can make sure that they will not cleave to us is to cut them off every time they rise up before us. If we ever let them get set before our eyes, they will cleave to us, and lead us into trouble.


(Verses 4 and 5) A froward heart shall depart from me: I will not know a wicked person. Whoso privily slandereth his neighbor, him will I cut off: him that hath an high look and a proud heart I will not suffer.


A froward heart is one that is rebellious or disobedient, and this David will drive away from himself; it “shall depart from me.” Someone will surely say, “But no one can change his own heart: only the LORD can change it.” That is true, so far as changing the nature of the heart is concerned: but David’s heart has already had that change; he has already declared that he “hates the work of them that turn aside.” Yet it will take effort on his part to rid himself of those rebellious and disobedient impulses that Satan is continually attempting to inject into it. He recognizes that one very effective way of doing this is to have nothing to do with a wicked person. Anyone who would in secret slander his neighbor is to be cut off. His statement, “Him that hath an high look and a proud heart will not I suffer,” simply means “I will not tolerate one who has a haughty look and a proud heart.”


(Verses 6 through 8) Mine eyes shall be upon the faithful of the land, that they may dwell with me: he that walketh in a perfect way, he shall serve me. He that worketh deceit shall not dwell within my house: he that telleth lies shall not tarry in my sight. I will early destroy all the wicked of the land; that I may cut off all wicked doers from the city of the LORD.


While everything from the beginning of this psalm through verse 4 is obviously David’s personal resolution. And verse 5 can reasonably well be so considered, the remainder seems to be either his declaration of his official policy as king of Israel , or the LORD’S declaration of what He will do. In either case, the message is the same, and it clearly agrees with what the LORD has said in other places. He will watch over the faithful of the land, that they may dwell with Him: and those who walk in a perfect way, (which is His way,) shall serve Him. Those who work deceit and tell lies shall neither dwell within His house, nor tarry in His sight. He will soon destroy the wicked of the land, and cut off the evildoers from the city of the LORD.

Chapter 102

(Verses 1 through 3) Hear my prayer, O LORD, and let my cry come unto Thee. Hide not Thy face from me in the day when I am in trouble; incline Thine ear unto me: in the day when I call answer me speedily. For my days are consumed like smoke, and my bones are burned as an hearth.


We are told that this psalm is “a prayer of the afflicted when he is overwhelmed, and pours out his complaint before the LORD.” Surely then, we could be justified in considering it as our own prayer, when we are heavily troubled. The first two verses are simply a prayer that the LORD will give a favorable hearing to our cries, and answer us quickly. Verse 3 sets forth our suffering as our reason for calling upon the LORD, and our desire for a quick answer. Our days pass by with no more to show for them than is left when smoke is driven away by the breeze. Our troubles are so overwhelming that it seems even our bones are burned by them.


(Verses 4 through 7) My heart is smitten, and withered like grass; so that I forget to eat my bread. By reason of the voice of my groaning my bones cleave to my skin. I am like a pelican of the wilderness: I am like an owl of the desert. I watch, and am as a sparrow alone upon the housetop.


Sometimes indeed our sorrows come upon us so that we will say, “I just don’t have the heart to do anything.” We feel to be almost as lifeless as grass that has been cut down, and left to wither; we may even lose interest in eating. When we consider “a pelican of the wilderness,” it seems to be a contradiction of terms. In the land of Israel the wilderness is mostly desert, while the pelican is a bird of the swamps, and marshes. So “a pelican of the wilderness” seems to indicate something completely out of place; and that is exactly how we feel when in deep sorrow. We just don’t feel to “fit in” with whatever activity may be going on around us. The “owl of the desert” is a very solitary creature; and so are we when extremely heavy sorrow comes upon us. We all know that the sparrow is a very gregarious bird; so “a sparrow alone upon the house top” is a very lonely picture. Yet it aptly describes us when in the grip of great sorrow.


(Verses 8 through 10) Mine enemies reproach me all the day; and they that are mad against me are sworn against me. For I have eaten ashes like bread, and mingled my drink with weeping, because of Thine indignation and Thy wrath: for Thou hast lifted me up and cast me down.


As we have often said, so we remind you again, our enemies are not always wicked people who are trying to destroy us, but very often they are the temptations, doubts , fears, etc., that Satan is constantly directing against us; and these will certainly increase when we are brought low by sorrow, and especially when that sorrow is repentance for our disobedience. Apparently that is what is under consideration in this text. It is because of the LORD’S indignation and anger against our sin that we are brought low. He has lifted us up by His grace that we might know His mercy; but we have disobeyed His word; and He has cast us down with His chastisement.


(Verses 11 and 12) My days are like a shadow that declineth; and I am withered like grass. But Thou, O LORD, shalt endure for ever: and Thy remembrance unto all generations.


Sometimes it takes such sorrow to bring us to a true realization of the contrast between us and God. When we honestly consider our lives, we find that our whole life span is like a shadow that fades away. Its duration is little more than that of the grass that withers away, and is forgotten. In the history of mankind there have been many, who in their day were considered great; and, although some have been blessed to accomplish things that are still beneficial to men, if we should ask the average man on the street, “Do you remember what Mr. _ _ _ is noted for? His answer would probably be, “Who was he?” This is how important our lives are: but “God shall endure for ever: and His remembrance unto all generations.”


(Verses 13 through 17) Thou shalt arise and have mercy on Zion : for the time to favor her, yea, the set time, is come. For Thy servants take pleasure in her stones, and favor the dust thereof. So the heathen shall fear the name of the LORD, and all the kings of the earth Thy glory. When the LORD shall build up Zion , He shall appear in His glory. He will regard the prayer of the destitute, and not despise their prayer


As we consider this text it becomes apparent that it looks forward to a day that is yet to come: that day when, according to His promise, the LORD shall “build up Zion ,” that is, restore Israel . This He has promised, and regardless of all protestations of those who would try to take His promises from Israel , and give them to the gospel church, He will perform them to Israel , not to the church. If He did not fulfill that promise to Israel , no one could have any grounds upon which to depend upon any of His promises. It will not be done at a time of our choosing, but at “the time to favor her, yea, the set time.” If one will but open his eyes, he can see the signs of the approach of that time even today, although none can pin point it on the calendar. His servants even now are taking pleasure in her stones, and favoring her dust. When He does this, “the heathen shall fear the name of the LORD, and all the kings of the earth Thy glory.” Then “He will regard the prayer of the destitute,” those who have so long been cast off, and  scattered over the world: and He will “not despise their prayer.” The Apostle Paul likens this to the grafting in again of the branches that were broken off the good olive tree.


(Verses 18 through 22) This shall be written for the generation to come: and the people which shall be created shall praise the LORD. For He hath looked down from the height of His sanctuary; from heaven did the LORD behold the earth; to hear the groaning of the prisoner; to loose those that are appointed to death: to declare the name of the LORD in Zion, and His praise in Jerusalem; when the people are gathered together, and the kingdoms, to serve the LORD.


Notice carefully the wording of verse 18: “This shall be written for the generation to come: and the people which shall be created shall praise the LORD.” This is not for the people of the time of the writer, nor, for that matter, is it for us today, except to assure us that, at “the set time” it will come to pass. It is for the generation to come, not even the generation immediately following that of the writer, but the one that shall come at the LORD’S “set time.” When it does come, “the people that shall be created shall praise the LORD.” All of this is because He has looked down from heaven, His sanctuary, and has beheld the earth; for the purpose of hearing, and of course, answering “the groaning of the prisoner; to loose those that are appointed to death.” He does not mean those whom God has appointed to death, but those so appointed by men. If one has but kept up with current events for the past fifty years, he can readily see that these appointed to death are the Jews. The declared aim of every Arab nation has all that time been to “drive the Israelis into the sea, and destroy even the name of Israel .” However, the LORD has promised that, instead of suffering Israel to be destroyed, as the Arabs and their sympathizers desire, He will, at His set time restore her. His purpose in this is “To declare the name of the LORD in Zion , and His praise in Jerusalem ; when the people are gathered together, and the kingdoms, to serve the LORD.” Notice that “kingdoms” is plural, and includes all the kingdoms of the world.


(Verses 23 and 24) He weakened my strength in the way; He shortened my days. I said, O my God, take me not away in the midst of my days: Thy years are throughout all generations.


The psalmist says that the LORD has weakened his strength in the way, and has shortened his days. That which is done “in the way,” is done during the journey on which one is traveling. So, during the course of his travel through life, the LORD has weakened his strength, as is common to all humanity. As we grow older, we speak of our days being shortened; that is, our path ahead becomes shorter as that behind us grows longer. As the psalmist realized this, he prayed, “O my God, take me not away in the midst of my days.” Then he declares, “Thy years are throughout all generations.” We indeed have only a short span of life in this world; but our God is eternal.


(Verses 25 through 28) Of old hast Thou laid the foundation of the earth: and the heavens are the work of Thy hands. They shall perish. They shall perish, but Thou shalt endure: yea, all of them shall wax old like a garment; as a vesture shalt Thou change them, and they shall be changed. But Thou art the same, and Thy years shall have no end. The children of Thy servants shall continue, and their seed shall be established before Thee.


We usually consider the heavens and the earth as being permanent. As compared to man, they are; and men often think of them as lasting forever. Yet, when compared to God, they are but temporary. They are not so old as God: for they are the work of His hands. Also they shall perish, but He is eternal, and will endure forever. For God to lay aside the earth and the heavens is compared to a man’s laying aside a garment he has worn. The garment has become old, and, possibly, threadbare, but the man’s strength and vigor is as great as it has been. So also does the LORD continue to be God after the world is destroyed. He is forever the same, and His years shall have no end. He has also provided that “The children of Thy servants shall continue, and their seed shall be established before Thee.” We are not of ourselves eternal, but the LORD has ordained that we shall continue, and be established before Him.


Chapter 103

(Verses 1 through 5) Bless the LORD, O my soul: and all that is within me, bless His holy name. Bless the LORD, O my soul, and forget not all His benefits: Who forgiveth all thine iniquities; Who healeth all thy diseases; Who redeemeth thy life from destruction; Who crowneth thee with loving kindness and tender mercies; Who satisfieth thy mouth with good things; so that thy youth is renewed like the eagle’s.


Of course, we understand that “bless,” when used as in this text, is not to be understood as conferring a blessing, but as rendering praise to the great God of heaven and earth. This we can do, while the former we can not: because in that respect the less is always blessed of the greater. So David calls upon his soul, and, literally, his entire being, to praise the LORD and His holy name. He also cautions himself, and us, to “forget not all His benefits.” Although he lists only a few of these benefits, it is easy to see that their scope covers every worthwhile thing we ever have had, have now, or ever will have, from the forgiveness of our iniquities to the renewing of our strength after we have been brought low, by whatever means. We neither have, nor can find, any good that derives from any other source. So let us praise and adore Him and His wonderful name.


(Verses 6 through 9) The LORD  executeth righteousness and judgment for all that are oppressed. He made known His ways unto Moses, His acts unto the children of Israel . The LORD is merciful and gracious, slow to anger, and plenteous in mercy. He will not always chide; neither will He keep His anger forever.


This wonderful LORD our God, Who has given us so many precious blessings, also executes righteousness and judgment for all that are oppressed. In this we see both a promise and a warning. The promise is that, if we, or anyone else, is oppressed, He will avenge the oppression; and the warning is that, if we practice oppression against others, He will also execute His righteous judgment against us, and set the oppressed free. He revealed His ways unto Moses, and His acts unto the children of Israel . It was a common manner of speaking among the Jews to say, “Moses has said,” when, in reality, they were referring to something set forth in the law; but it was really what God had said to Moses, and Moses had only repeated to them. Thus God showed Moses His ways, by giving to him commandments for the children of Israel . He also showed His acts, or works, to the children of Israel , beginning with the plagues He sent upon Pharaoh and his people, and extending through all their journeys. Of course, He has continued His miracles even to this day, but perhaps, not quite with the frequency shown in that era. If we had nothing but the wilderness experience upon which to base our judgment, we would have to come to the same conclusion David expresses in verses 8 and 9. “The LORD is merciful and gracious, slow to anger, and plenteous in mercy. He will not always chide: neither will He keep His anger forever.” But does not our own experience teach us the same thing? How often He has, in mercy, forgiven our iniquities, turned away His wrath, and returned His smile upon us, undeserving though we are! Yet there is a warning for us. “He will not always chide: neither will He keep His anger forever.” We cannot expect to continue in our evil ways, and escape chastisement. He is merciful, but He will not let us go on disregarding Him and His commandments without showing us His anger, and bringing upon us proper chastisement.


(Verses 10 through 12) He hath not dealt with us after our sins; nor rewarded us according to our iniquities. For as the heaven is high above the earth, so great is His mercy toward them that fear Him. As far as the east is from the west, so far hath He removed our transgressions from us.


This is something of which we are all aware. “He hath not dealt with us after our sins; nor rewarded us according to our iniquities.” Had He so dealt with us we all would long ago have been completely destroyed. Instead His mercy toward us is so great that, could we imagine such a thing as its being piled up in a heap, the top would reach beyond the heavens. Thus He deals with those who fear Him. And He has removed our sins from us as far as the east is from the west: and these are completely opposite directions that can never be brought together.


(Verses 13 through 16) Like as a father pitieth his children, so the LORD pitieth them that fear Him. For He knoweth our frame; He remembereth that we are dust. As for man, his days are as grass: as a flower of the field, so he flourisheth. For the wind passeth over it, and it is gone; and the place thereof shall know it no more.


Certainly a father’s pity for his children is accompanied by, and indeed, brought on by his love for them. So it is with the LORD in His dealings with those who fear Him. He also knows how frail and temporary we are. Therefore He knows that we cannot measure up to His perfection. Here David gives us a picture of man’s frailty. “As for man, his days are as grass: as the flower of the field, so he flourisheth. For the wind passeth over it, and it is gone; and the place thereof shall know it no more.” It is to be kept in mind that this description of man is as he is contrasted to the LORD. Surely, some men live, even today, a hundred years, or more. But what is that to be compared with the eternity of God? It is no more than the time it takes for a blade of grass to grow up, and die down again, or for a flower to bloom and fade. The finality of man’s passing is set forth in verse 16. “For the wind passeth over it, and it is gone; and the place thereof shall know it no more.” Although, at the appointed time there shall be a resurrection of the dead, they will never come back to the place they occupied before death took them away.


(Verses 17 and 18) But the mercy of the LORD is from everlasting to everlasting upon them that fear Him, and His righteousness unto children’s children; to such as keep His covenant, and to those that remember His commandments to do them.


In contrast to man’s short stay on earth, the LORD is eternal, His mercy is forever, and His righteousness extends through all generations, “unto children’s children.” But this mercy is to those who fear His name, keep His covenant, and do His commandments.


(Verses 19 through 22) The LORD hath prepared His throne in the heavens; and His kingdom ruleth over all. Bless the LORD, ye His angels, that excel in strength, that do His commandments, hearkening unto the voice of His word. Bless ye the LORD, all ye His hosts; ye ministers of His, that do His pleasure. Bless the LORD, all His works in all places of His dominion: bless the LORD, O my soul.


Having called upon men to praise the LORD, and having shown the great contrast between them and GOD, David declares that the LORD has established His throne in the heavens, and from there rules over all, that is, over all places, all things, and all men. Then he calls upon all the angels, all the hosts of the LORD, all His ministers, (servants,) and all His works to praise the LORD. This ought to cause us to be aware of  how much greater God is than we are, or can ever imagine. Then he calls again upon his own soul to praise the LORD. We also need to constantly remind ourselves to praise Him: for He is the One Who keeps us, and provides for us under all circumstances. There is none else.


Chapter 104

(Verses 1 through 5) Bless the LORD, O my soul. O LORD my God, Thou art very great; Thou art clothed with honor and majesty. Who coverest Thyself with light as with a garment: Who stretchest out the heavens like a curtain: Who layeth the beams of His chambers in the waters: Who maketh the clouds His chariot: Who walketh upon the wings of the wind: Who maketh His angels spirits; His ministers a flaming fire: Who laid the foundations of the earth, that it should not be removed forever.


This really seems to be a continuation of the previous psalm, as the writer again calls upon his soul to praise the LORD. Then he continues speaking of God’s wonderful works and glory. Although it was necessary only that the Lord speak, and that which he spoke was done, the writer speaks of His works after the manner of a man, as he constructs a building. This is to show that in God’s planning of His works all things that one might imagine could affect them were taken into consideration before the project was ever begun. God even clothed Himself with light as a man clothes himself with a garment. He uses the clouds as a chariot, and walks “upon the wings of the wind.” He makes His angels spirits. Certainly they are endowed with the ability of assuming human form, but they can also move as spirits without being seen of men. He makes His ministers (His angels, or servants) “a flaming fire.” Nothing can stand before them, any more than it can before a consuming fire. He “laid the foundations of the earth, that it should not be removed forever.” Surely He can, and at His appointed time, shall, remove the earth, as He has promised: but there is no other power that can do so.


(Verses 6 through 9) Thou coveredst it with the deep as with a garment: the waters stood above the mountains. At Thy rebuke they fled: at the voice of Thy thunder they hasted away. They go up by the mountains; they go down by the valleys unto the place, which Thou hast founded for them. Thou hast set a bound that they may not pass over; that they turn not again to cover the earth.


Usually in scripture “the deep” is considered as “the abyss,” and is what we now call “outer space.” In Genesis 1:6-9 it is called “a firmament,” and in Genesis 1:9, God called it “Heaven.” He placed it “above,” or around the earth for a covering. Also He caused the water to cover the earth until He gave the command that the waters be gathered in one place, and that the dry land appear. The psalmist may also be referring to the flood in the days of Noah; for then they were fifteen cubits above the highest mountains. Nevertheless at the rebuke of the LORD they “fled” and “hasted away.” Then the LORD set a boundary for them that they shall never again flood the whole earth.


(Verses 10 through 12) He sendeth the springs into the valleys, which run among the hills. They give drink to every beast of the field: By them the wild asses quench their thirst. By them shall the fowls of the heaven have their habitation, which sing among the branches.


Although God set a boundary beyond which the waves of the sea cannot go, He did not leave the earth without sufficient water to sustain the life of the creatures He had purposed to inhabit it. Evolutionists claim that the reason different types of animals inhabit different kinds of terrain is that through eons of time, by trial and error, they have developed the necessary equipment and bodily functions to adapt to their surroundings. Does it not seem far more reasonable that God prepared both the creature and the terrain that they might work together in harmony? He prepared the springs to provide water for the creatures He caused to live there, whether beasts of the field, or fowls of the air.


(Verses 13 through 15) He watereth the hills from His chambers: the earth is satisfied with the fruit of Thy works. He causeth the grass to grow for the cattle, and herb for the service of man: that he may bring forth food out of the earth; and wine that maketh glad the heart of man, and oil to make his face to shine, and bread which strengtheneth man’s heart.


Just as the LORD provides the springs in the valleys of the earth, He waters the hills from His chamber, the clouds of the heavens: and by this the earth is satisfied, or plentifully supplied. He causes the grass to grow for the cattle. not the cattle to evolve into grass eating animals because the grass was there. This they were made in the beginning. He also causes the herb to grow for the use of man; that, from the earth, man may bring forth food. After man’s disobedience to God, “the LORD God sent him forth from the garden of Eden, to till the ground from which he was taken.” (Genesis 3:23) So, in tilling the ground, man takes food from the earth. Yet one thing must be remembered. The LORD is He, Who causes the food to grow. Since both the vine and the olive tree grow from the ground, they are both made to grow by the power of God, just as are all other herbs, and as the wheat from which man gets bread. Therefore we must keep in mind that all good things are of the LORD, and of Him alone.


(Verses 16 through 18) The trees of the LORD are full of sap; the cedars of Lebanon, which He hath planted; where the birds make their nests; as for the stork, the fir trees are her house. The high hills are a refuge for the wild goats; and the rocks for the conies.


The trees God has provided in various places are “full of sap.” Since the sap of a tree is its life blood, this no doubt means that they are vigorous, and grow up to fulfill the purpose for which He made them. The forests of Lebanon were famous for the building materials they provided, especially the cedars of Lebanon. The stork likes to build her nest on the top of a house, or in the top of a tall tree, such as the fir, while trees that are not so tall, are used by other birds. All are provided by the LORD to fit the use He purposed. The high hills, though they might pose a danger for man, or even for some animals, are a place of safety, a refuge, for the wild goats, as are the rocks for the conies or rabbits. The LORD has appointed all things for their proper use.


(Verses 19 through 23) He appointed the moon for seasons: the sun knoweth his going down. Thou makest darkness, and it is night: wherein all the beasts of the forest do creep forth. The young lions roar after their prey, and seek their meat from God. The sun ariseth, they gather themselves together, and lay them down in their dens. Man goeth forth unto his work and to his labor until the evening.


This surely needs little, if any, explanation, but one can hardly escape being awed by the exactness of God’s appointments. He has ordained that the moon be for indicating the seasons. And, although it passes through four different phases, they are so exactly established that even man, as foolish as he is, has, by the LORD been taught the timing of their occurrence so that he can predict exactly when the next one will occur. “The sun knoweth his going down.” With all the countless times the sun has arisen, and set, it has never missed its appointed place. The LORD has so ordered that when it does set, darkness creeps over the world, and predatory creatures, “the beasts of the forest,” come forth and seek their food from God. Indeed a few of them will come forth in the light of day, but most of them, at night. God is the One, Who provides their food, but they do not wait for Him to bring it to them. They go forth and look for it. When the sun comes up in the morning, they seek the privacy of their dens; and man comes forth to his work. Thus the confrontation between man and beast is reduced, as long as both follow the course God has ordained.


(Verses 24 through 29) O LORD, how manifold are Thy works! In wisdom hast Thou made them all: the earth is full of Thy riches. So is this great and wide sea, wherein are things creeping innumerable, both small and great beasts. There go the ships: there is that leviathan, whom Thou hast made to play therein. These wait all upon Thee; that Thou mayest give them their meat in due season. That Thou givest them they gather: Thou openest Thine hand, they are filled with good. Thou hidest Thy face, they are troubled: Thou takest away their breath, they die, and return to their dust.


Both the earth and the sea are filled with the great and wonderful works of God. The sea is so filled with all creatures small and great, from plankton to whales, that it makes a wonderful textbook from which to study the works of God. Man sends forth his ships upon the sea, while in its waters are all these innumerable creatures, all of which must depend upon the LORD, not only for their food, which He supplies, but even for breath, and life itself.


(Verses 30 through 32) Thou sendest forth Thy Spirit, they are created: and Thou renewest the face of the earth. The glory of the LORD shall endure forever: the LORD shall rejoice in His works. He looketh on the earth, and it trembleth: He toucheth the hills, and they smoke.


Just as when the LORD takes away the breath of all creatures they die, so when He sends forth His Spirit new ones are brought forth, and the face of the earth is renewed. Although these things are temporary, His glory is eternal, and the LORD shall rejoice in His works. He can, by looking at the earth, cause it to tremble, and by touching the hills cause them to smoke.


(Verses 33 through 35) I will sing unto the LORD as long as I live: I will sing praise to my God while I have my being. My meditation of Him shall be sweet: I will be glad in the LORD. Let the sinners be consumed out of the earth, and let the wicked be no more. Bless thou the LORD, O my soul. Praise ye the LORD.


This is the determination that behooves all of us: to sing His praise as long as we live, and meditate sweetly on Him and His wonderful works, and be glad in Him. This should occupy all our time and energy. The psalmist prays that the wicked be consumed out of the earth, and be no more: and this too shall be done at God’s appointed time. Therefore we ought to praise the LORD.


Chapter 105

(Verses 1 through 6) O give thanks unto the LORD; call upon His name: make known His deeds among the people. Sing unto Him, sing psalms unto Him: talk ye of all His wondrous works. Glory ye in His holy name: let the hearts of them rejoice that seek the LORD. Seek the LORD and His strength: seek His face evermore. Remember His marvelous works that He hath done; His wonders, and the judgments of His mouth; O ye seed of Abraham His servant, ye children of Jacob His chosen.


We have to go down to verse 6 to identify those to whom this psalm is addressed. There we find them to be the “seed of Abraham,” and the “children of Jacob;” both of which are the same persons: and in the light of what the Apostle Paul has told us in the Roman Epistle, we can say that it embraces all who are of the same faith as Abraham, whether fleshly descendants of him or not. The instruction of these verses is that we give thanks to the LORD, make known His deeds among the people, sing praise unto Him, and talk of all His wondrous works. We are to glory in His holy name, seek the LORD, and rejoice in Him, while also remembering the wonders and marvelous works He has done, as well as the judgments He has spoken. Thus our time will be taken up with things that are beneficial to ourselves and those around us, while at the same time it will be the most pleasant occupation we can have.


(Verses 7 through 12) He is the LORD our God; His judgments are in all the earth. He hath remembered His covenant forever, the word which He has commanded to a thousand generations. Which covenant He made with Abraham, and His oath unto Isaac; and confirmed the same unto Jacob for a law, and to Israel for an everlasting covenant: saying, Unto thee will I give the land of Canaan , the lot of your inheritance: when they were but few in number; yea, very few, and strangers in it.


He Whom we have been instructed to seek, and to praise, is the LORD our God, Whose judgments are in all the earth, and Who made a covenant with Abraham and Isaac, and has confirmed it by a law to Jacob. This covenant is made to last forever; and by it the land of Canaan was given to Abraham and his seed in perpetuity. This covenant was made when they were only a few men in number, not even a nation, but were wandering from place to place, and from one kingdom to another. Yet it is so confirmed that it can not be broken.


(Verses 13 through 19) When they went from one nation to another, from one kingdom to another people; He suffered no man to do them wrong: yea, He reproved kings for their sakes; saying, Touch not Mine anointed, and do My prophets no harm. Moreover He called for a famine upon the land: He brake the whole staff of bread. He sent a man before them, even Joseph, who was sold for a servant: whose feet they hurt with fetters: he was laid in irons: until the time that His word came: the word of the LORD tried him.


The psalmist here gives what may be called a thumbnail sketch of the history of Israel from the calling of Abraham to Joseph’s being sold into Egypt , declaring it all to be the work of the LORD. Verses 18 and 19 show very clearly that even unpleasant things are sometimes brought upon the servants of God, not for their faults, but to bring about some purpose of the LORD. Thus it was with Joseph. “Until the time His word came; the word of the LORD tried him.”


(Verses 20 through 22) The king sent and loosed him; even the ruler of the people, and let him go free. He made him lord of his house, and ruler of all his substance: to bind his princes at his pleasure; and teach his senators wisdom.


This is given in much more detail in Genesis 41:1-44. Joseph was in prison, but Pharaoh, the ruler of Egypt , sent and set him free. Then, because of the wisdom God had given Joseph, Pharaoh made Him the highest official in Egypt except himself. All others had to bow before him.


(Verses 23 through 27) Israel also came into Egypt ; and Jacob sojourned in the land of Ham . And He increased His people greatly; and made them stronger than their enemies. He turned their heart to hate His people, to deal subtilly with His servants. He sent Moses His servant; and Aaron whom He had chosen. They shewed His signs among them, and wonders in the land of Ham .


This is a very quick and abbreviated look at the time of Israel ’s four hundred year sojourn in Egypt . This is also given in much more detail in Genesis 47:1 through Exodus 7:13. After all that Joseph had done for Pharaoh and the Egyptian people, after his death there arose other rulers, who did not know him and his works. They made slaves of the Israelites, and very badly oppressed them until God sent Moses and Aaron to set His people free. They showed wonderful miracles of God before Pharaoh and the people to make them let Israel go.


(Verses 28 through 36) He sent darkness, and made it dark; and they rebelled not against His word. He turned their waters into blood, and slew their fish. Their land brought frogs in abundance, in the chambers of their kings. He spake, and there came divers sorts of flies, and lice in all their coasts. He gave them hail for rain, and flaming fire in their land. He smote their vines also and their fig trees, and brake the trees of their coasts. He spake, and the locusts came, and the caterpillars, and that without number, and did eat up all the herbs of the land, and devoured the fruit of their ground. He smote also all the firstborn of their land, the chief of all their strength.


In verse 28, when he says, “and they rebelled not against His word, apparently the reference is to Moses and Aaron, whom God sent to work His wonders among the Egyptians. All other references of “they,” “them,” and “their” are to the Egyptians, upon whom the LORD sent all these plagues. This is only a brief listing of these plagues. For more information see Exodus 5:1 through Exodus 13:22. A careful reading of that selection will give some idea of God’s protection over His people.


(Verses 37 through 42) He brought them forth also with silver and gold: and there was not one feeble person among their tribes. Egypt was glad when they departed: for the fear of them fell upon them. He spread a cloud for covering; and a fire to give light in the night. The people asked, and He brought quails, and satisfied them with the bread of heaven. He opened the rock, and the waters gushed out; they ran in the dry places like a river. For He remembered His holy promise, and Abraham His servant.


The psalmist is only giving us a quick reminder of the wonders that God worked for Israel as He brought them out of Egypt , and led them through the wilderness. See the books of Exodus and Numbers for greater detail. As we see from the present text, He did this, not for the sake of those He led, but because “He remembered His holy promise, and Abraham His servant.” So it is also with us. He delivers us, not for our sakes, but because of His holy covenant, and His holy Son Christ Jesus our Lord.


(Verses 43 through 45) And He brought forth His people with joy, and His chosen with gladness: He gave them the lands of the heathen: and they inherited the labor of the people; that they might observe His statutes, and keep His laws. Praise the LORD.


Through and by all these wonderful works, the LORD did indeed bring Israel out of bondage, and establish them in the land of Canaan , “That they might observe His statutes, and keep His laws.” And the psalmist calls upon them to Praise the LORD. Surely, if He has brought us forth from death in sin to life in Christ the Son of God, we too ought to praise Him.


Chapter 106

(Verses 1 through 3) Praise ye the LORD. O give thanks unto the LORD; for He is good: for His mercy endureth forever. Who can utter the mighty acts of the LORD? Who can shew forth all His praise? Blessed are they that keep judgment, and he that doeth righteousness at all times.


This psalm is a song of praise to the LORD. The first thing it contains is a commandment for us to praise Him. We are to do this because He is good, His mercy endures forever, and none can declare all His mighty works or show forth all His praise. Such a task is beyond human ability to accomplish. Then the psalmist declares that they who keep the judgment of God, and do righteousness at all times are blessed characters.


(Verses 4 and 5) Remember me, O LORD, with the favor that Thou bearest unto Thy people: O visit me with Thy salvation; that I may see the good of Thy chosen, that I may rejoice in the gladness of Thy nation, that I may glory with Thine inheritance.


Now the psalmist sets forth a prayer. He makes two requests: that the LORD remember him with the favor He bears to His people; and that He visit him with His salvation. The result of this would be: “That I may rejoice in the gladness of Thy nation, that I may glory with Thine inheritance.” Moses says, (Deuteronomy 32:9) “For the LORD’S portion is His people; Jacob is the lot of His inheritance.” So the psalmist’s desire is that he may be made to rejoice with Jacob (or Israel ). For this to take place, Israel must also be made to rejoice. Otherwise he could not rejoice with Israel .


(Verses 6 through 8) We have sinned with our fathers, we have committed iniquity, we have done wickedly. Our fathers understood not the wonders in Egypt ; they remembered not the multitude of Thy mercies; but provoked Him at the sea, even the Red Sea . Nevertheless He saved them for His name’s sake, that He might make His mighty power known.


Notice the difference between what the psalmist says in verse 6 and what our Lord said to the scribes and Pharisees, (Matthew 23:29-33) “Woe unto you, scribes and Pharisees, hypocrites! Because ye build the tombs of the prophets, and garnish the sepulchres of the righteous, and say, ‘If we had been in the days of our fathers, we would not have been partakers with them in the blood of the prophets.’ Wherefore ye be witnesses unto yourselves that ye are the children of them which killed the prophets. Fill ye up then the measure of your fathers. Ye serpents, ye generation of vipers, how can ye escape the damnation of hell?” The psalmist has here confessed that, although it was our fathers who sinned in the wilderness, we also have sinned with them, because, as the writer of the Hebrew Epistle says, we were “in the loins of our fathers” when they committed the sin. Therefore we also are guilty. This is a doctrine. which was commonly accepted among the Jews; and it is also sanctioned by the word of God, inasmuch as it declares us to be sinners by nature, by reason of our descent from Adam. Yet those hypocrites our Lord addressed claimed they would not have been partakers with their fathers in the blood of the prophets, if they had been there, in spite of the fact that they were there, in the loins of their fathers, and were just as guilty as they. Had they confessed their sins, it would have indicated their repentance. John tells us, (I John 1:7) “If we confess our sins, He is faithful and just to forgive us our sins, and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness.” A confessed sin is a forgiven sin. The psalmist is confessing his part in the sins of the fathers, which shows that the LORD has given him repentance. Our fathers neither understood the wonders of God, nor remembered His mercies; but provoked Him at the Red Sea . We, as their children, are guilty with them, and must have God’s forgiveness, or perish. In spite of their sins, He saved them “for His name’s sake, that He might make His mighty power to be known.”


(Verses 9 through 12) He rebuked the Red Sea also, and it dried up: so He led them through the depths, as through the wilderness. And He saved them from the hand of him that hated them, and redeemed them from the hand of the enemy. And the waters covered their enemies: there was not one of them left. Then believed they His words; they sang His praise.


The fourteenth and fifteenth chapters of Exodus will give the details of this wonderful work. Finally, after the LORD delivered them through the Red Sea , they believed His word and His power, and sang the great song of deliverance. But, Oh how short their memory, and ours!


(Verses 13 through 15) They soon forgat His works; they waited not for His counsel: but lusted exceedingly in the wilderness, and tempted God in the desert. And He gave them their request, but sent leanness into their soul.


How sad it is that, after God has done something for us that is beyond our wildest imagination, we, because of the weakness of the flesh, forget that work! That is exactly what Israel did. So in all these centuries people have not changed. We still act in the same manner. They still lusted after things of the flesh; and God even gave them exactly what they asked for. Nevertheless, because of their lusts and their sins, He brought destruction upon many of them.


(Verses 16 through 18) They envied Moses also in the camp, and Aaron the saint of the LORD. The earth opened up and swallowed Dathan, and covered the company of Abiram. And a fire was kindled in their company; the flame burned up the wicked.


The incident mentioned here is the uprising of the rebels under Dathan and Abiram, when they purposed to take for themselves the leadership of Israel , which God had placed upon Moses and Aaron. A review of Numbers 16 will be beneficial at this point.


(Verses 19 through 22) They made a calf in Horeb, and worshipped their molten image. Thus they changed their glory into the similitude of an ox that eateth grass. They forgot God their Savior, Which had done great things in Egypt ; wondrous works in the land of Ham , and terrible things by the Red Sea .


This is, of course, a reference to the golden calf they had Aaron make for them, while Moses was on Mt, Sinai with the LORD, to receive the law for Israel . They, thinking Moses had been gone too long, became fearful that he would not return to them. So they had Aaron make the molten calf, and declare it their god.


(Verses 23 through 27) Therefore He said that He would destroy them, had not Moses His chosen stood before Him in the breach, to turn away His wrath, lest He should destroy them. Yea, they despised the pleasant land, they believed not His word: they murmured in their tents, and hearkened not unto the voice of the LORD. Therefore He lifted up His hand against them, to overthrow them in the wilderness; to overthrow their seed also among the nations, and to scatter them in the lands.


The making of the golden calf, their worshipping it, God’s threat to completely destroy them, and Moses’ intercession for them, are all fully documented in Exodus 32. In this instance, Moses is a special type of our Lord Christ Jesus, as He makes intercession for us. He it is, Who stands in the breach for us, and turns away the wrath of God. Otherwise, we must long ago have been destroyed.


(Verses 28 through 31) They joined themselves unto Baal-peor, and ate the sacrifices of the dead. Thus they provoked Him to anger with their inventions: and the plague brake in upon them. Then stood up Phinehas, and executed judgment: and so the plague was stayed. And that was counted unto him for righteousness unto all generations for evermore.


The Baal-peor incident is recorded in detail in Numbers 25. The first two verses of that chapter tell what were the sins of Israel in the matter, and it takes the remaining fifteen verses to give the results of their action. This is only one of the many instances of Israel ’s turning aside from God. As a lesson, it ought to teach us that even if God does forgive our sins, there may still be consequences to pay for disobedience.


(Verses 32 and 33) They angered Him also at the waters of strife, so that it went ill with Moses for their sakes: because they provoked his spirit, so that he spake unadvisedly with His lips.


This is the incident that cost Moses entrance into the Promised Land. He was permitted to view it from the top of Mt Pisgah, and God buried him in a valley in the land of Moab : but he was not permitted to enter Canaan .


(Verses 34 through 39) They did not destroy the nations, concerning whom the LORD commanded them: but were mingled among the heathen, and learned their works. And they served their idols: which were a snare unto them. yea, they sacrificed their sons and their daughters unto devils, and shed innocent blood, even the blood of their sons and their daughters, whom they sacrificed unto the idols of  Canaan : and the land was polluted with blood. Thus were they defiled with their own works, and went a-whoring with their own inventions.


Human nature never learns. We would like to say that we would not follow the pattern of the Israelites. We want to think that we are better than they: but the facts will not support such a claim. After God had done so many wonderful works for them, had chastised them for disobedience, forgave their iniquities, delivered them from the Egyptian bondage, and led them all the way to the land of Canaan, “the land that flows with milk and honey,” as He had promised, they still turned aside, and followed idols to their own sorrow. We, just as they, have that same weakness of the flesh.


(Verses 40 through 46) Therefore was the wrath of the LORD kindled against His people, insomuch that He abhorred His own inheritance, and He gave them into the hand of the heathen; and they that hated them ruled over them. Their enemies also oppressed them, and they were brought into subjection under their hand. Many times did He deliver them; but they provoked Him with their counsel, and were brought low for their iniquity. Nevertheless He regarded their affliction when He heard their cry: and He remembered for them His covenant, and repented according to the multitude of His mercies. He made them also to be pitied by all those that carried them captives.


This is the history of Israel . Many times have they been turned over to their enemies as chastisement for their disobedience to the LORD. When they cried to Him, He heard them, and delivered them. Then, for a time, they would walk in His ways: but, alas, they soon would turn aside again, and bring on another round of chastisement. It would be difficult to count up all these cycles that have occurred in their history. At present, they are in the low side of the longest one they have ever had. However, the LORD has not suffered, nor will He suffer, them to be utterly destroyed: He has promised to restore the kingdom to Israel at His set time.


(Verses 47 and 48) Save us, O LORD our God, and gather us from among the heathen, to give thanks unto Thy holy name, and to triumph in Thy praise. Blessed be the LORD God of Israel from everlasting to everlasting: and let all the people say, Amen. Praise ye the LORD.


This is a most fitting prayer for Israel today. God has promised to answer it. “For I will take you from among the heathen, and gather you out of all countries, and will bring you into your own land. Then shall I sprinkle clean water upon you, and ye shall be clean: from all your filthiness, and from all your idols, will I cleanse you. A new heart also will I give you, and a new spirit will I put within you: and I will take away the stony heart out of your flesh, and I will give you a heart of flesh. And I will put My Spirit within you, and cause you to walk in My statutes, and ye shall keep My judgments, and do them. And ye shall dwell in the land that I gave to your fathers; and ye shall be My people, and I will be your God.” (Ezekiel 37:24-28.) This promise He will keep.


Chapter 107

(Verses 1 through 3) O give thanks unto the LORD, for He is good: for His mercy endureth forever. Let the redeemed of the LORD say so, whom He hath redeemed from the hand of their enemy: and gathered them out of the lands, from the east, and from the west, from the north, and from the south.


The LORD is always good, and His mercy endures forever. This all can witness, who have experienced His love and care. Because of this we all ought to give thanks to Him. The psalmist then calls upon the redeemed of the LORD to give this testimony. All whom He has redeemed ought to render this praise. Nevertheless the redemption mentioned here is a special redemption; not the redemption of our souls from sin by the sacrifice of our Lord on Calvary , but the bringing these back from the captivity of the enemy in all the “lands, from the east, and from the west, from the north, and from the south. “This without controversy looks forward to the re-gathering of Israel from the Diaspora. This is being done, even today, but it is not finished. When it is finished, they will thank the LORD for His goodness, and for His mercy, which endures forever.


(Verses 4 Through 7) They wandered in the wilderness  in a solitary way; they found no city to dwell in. Hungry and thirsty, their soul fainted in them. Then they cried unto the LORD in their trouble, and He delivered them out of their distresses. And He led them forth by the right way, that they might go to a city of habitation


Some will, no doubt, say that this is a description of Israel , as they wandered for forty years in the wilderness, while others will make other applications of it. But it appears to very adequately describe the wanderings of the Jews since the destruction of Jerusalem and the temple in 70 A. D. In all their wanderings, they have been persecuted in nation after nation, finding “no city to dwell in.” But God has promised to bring them back to Jerusalem , “a city of habitation.” And bring them He will, whether we believe it or not. The psalmist speaks prophetically of it as already done, because the LORD has given His word, and it cannot fail.


(Verses 8 and 9) Oh that men would praise the LORD for His goodness, and His wonderful works to the children of men! For He satisfieth the longing soul, and filleth the hungry soul with goodness.


It appears that the psalmist was up against the same thing that we face today: men are too busy praising the works of man, to have any time for praising the LORD. So he laments, “Oh that men would praise the LORD for His goodness, and for His wonderful works to the children of men!” But among men few have time for this. All are too busy trying to gain more of the things of this world, and forgetting that, “He satisfieth the longing soul, and filleth the hungry soul with goodness.”


(Verses 10 through 12) Such as sit in darkness and in the shadow of death, being bound in affliction and iron; because they rebelled against the words of God, and contemned the counsel of the most High: therefore He brought down their heart with labor; they fell down, and there was none to help.


This identifies those whom, in verse 9, he calls “the longing soul,” and the “hungry soul.” Notice the description he gives of them, as well as the reason he gives for their being in such a condition. They seem to be hopelessly entangled because of their own sin: but no situation is hopeless to those who are brought to repentance, as he shows in the next verse.


(Verses 13 and 14) Then they cried unto the LORD in their trouble, and He saved them out of their distresses. He brought them out of darkness and the shadow of death, and brake their bands asunder.


No matter how dark and hopeless a situation may seem, even if one seems to be in the very shadow of death and bound with unbreakable chains, it is still not beyond the reach and power of the LORD. Those who cry to Him in their trouble will find their longing soul satisfied, and their hungry soul filled with good. He will also deliver them out of their distresses, out of the darkness of the shadow of death, and will break their bands asunder. 

(Verses 15 and 16) Oh that men would praise the LORD for His goodness, and for His wonderful works to the children of men! For He hath broken the gates of brass, and cut the bars of iron asunder.


The only difference between this text and verses 8 and 9 is that, instead of speaking of how the LORD has satisfied the longing soul, and filled the hungry soul, he tells us that the LORD has set the prisoners free. He has broken the gates of brass and cut the bars of iron that held them in prison.


(Verses 17 and 18) Fools because of their transgressions, and because of their iniquities, are afflicted. Their soul abhorreth all manner of meat; they draw near unto the gates of death.


“Fools,” in this text, probably does not have the same connotation as it does in some of David’s references. He has said, “The fool saith in his heart, ‘There is no God.’” Here, however, in the light of verses 19 and 20, it seems only to mean those of little understanding. And because of their lack of understanding, they are disobedient, and bring trouble upon themselves. When this occurs, they are brought down in such sorrow that they don’t even want to eat; and they feel that they are almost ready to die. “They draw near unto the gates of death.”


(Verses 19 and 20) Then they cry unto the LORD in their trouble, and He saveth them out of all their distresses. He sent His word, and healed them, and delivered them from their destructions.


So even when they are, by their own iniquities, brought down so that they feel they are about to be destroyed, He is still merciful to them. He sends His word, and saves them from their distresses, and delivers them out of all their troubles. In this, we too can find comfort; for we also are often in trouble by reason of our lack of understanding.


(Verses 21 and 22) Oh that men would praise the LORD for His goodness, and for His wonderful works to the children of men! And let them sacrifice the sacrifices of thanksgiving, and declare His works with rejoicing.


Again the psalmist voices his lament that men do not praise the LORD as they ought. He instructs us how to worship Him. “And let them sacrifice the sacrifices of thanksgiving, and declare His works with rejoicing.” In the law provision was made for “Thank offerings.” They were sacrifices brought to the altar, and offered in thanksgiving to God. Since Jesus has fulfilled the law of sacrifices and burnt offerings, as ordered by the law, we are now to offer to Him continual praise and thanksgiving. The writer of the Hebrew Epistle says, in Hebrews 13:15-16, “By Him therefore let us offer the sacrifice of praise to God continually, that is, the fruit of our lips giving thanks to His name. But to do good and communicate forget not: for with such sacrifices God is well pleased.” So our sacrifices of thanksgiving are that we continually praise and thank Him; and help those who are in need. This is what the writer means by, “to do good and communicate.” And this we are to do with rejoicing.


(Verses 23 through 27) They that go down to the sea in ships, that do business in great waters; these see the works of the LORD, and His wonders in the deep. For He commandeth, and raiseth the stormy wind, which lifteth up the waves thereof. They mount up to the heaven, they go down again to the depths: their soul is melted because of trouble. They reel to and fro, and stagger like a drunken man, and are at their wit’s end.


This hardly needs any explanation. He starts out by saying that, those who go down to the sea in ships “see the works of the LORD and His wonders in the deep.” Then he describes the experience of a sailor in a terrible storm at sea. Those who have been in such storms, even in the great ships of today, know something of this experience; but even they can only imagine what it must have been in the day of this writing, with the small ships of the times. One must also remember that they had no early warning systems to help them avoid the storms, as we do now. When the sailor comes to his wit’s end, there is nothing left to do but call upon the LORD, for no man can help him.


(Verses 28 through 30) Then they cry unto the LORD in their trouble, and He bringeth them out of their distresses. He maketh the storm a calm, so that the waves thereof are still. Then are they glad because they are quiet; so He bringeth them unto their desired haven.


Whether or not we have ever been in a storm at sea, we have experiences in life that seemed just as threatening. When we were brought to realize that nothing we could do, would make any difference in the situation, we could only call upon the LORD, and He calmed our storm. There may have been a single incident, or it may have been a series of them, such that, before we recovered from one, the next one struck us. When they come thus, it is like the waves of the sea: but God is still able to calm our storm, and deliver us. Then will our experience be like that of the sailors, who have weathered the storm, and are now faced by a calm sea. “Then are they glad because they (the waves) be quiet; so He bringeth them unto their desired haven.”


(Verses 31 through 35) Oh that men would praise the LORD for His goodness, and for His wonderful works to the children of men! Let them exalt Him also in the congregation of the people, and praise Him in the assembly of the elders. He turneth rivers into a wilderness, and the watersprings into dry ground; a fruitful land into barrenness, for the wickedness of them that dwell therein. He turneth the wilderness into standing water, and dry ground into watersprings.


Again the Psalmist wishes that men would praise the LORD for His goodness and His wonderful works for men. They ought to exalt Him, both among the common people, and among the rulers, or elders. He is so great that He can change the whole face of nature, by turning the springs of water into dry ground, and making rivers into desert, or, by reversing the process, He can turn the desert into a swamp, or the dry ground to springs of water. And He can, and will, because of the wickedness of its inhabitants, turn a fruitful land into a barren place. Why would anyone not want to praise such a great and wonderful God?


(Verses 36 through 38) And there He maketh the hungry to dwell, that they may prepare a city for habitation; and sow fields, and plant vineyards, which may yield fruits of increase. He blesseth them also, so that they are multiplied greatly; and suffereth not their cattle to decrease.


Not only does the LORD turn the desert into a place of standing water, and the dry land into water springs, but He takes a starving people, and makes a place for them to dwell in this refreshed land. There He causes them to prepare a place for habitation, and sow fields and plant vineyards, which He blesses to bring forth abundantly. He blesses them, and all they own. This picture is being fulfilled today in Israel .


(Verses 39 through 41) Again they are minished and brought low, through oppression, affliction, and sorrow. He poureth contempt upon princes, and causeth them to wander in the wilderness, where there is no way. Yet setteth He the poor on high from affliction, and maketh him families like a flock.


Verse 39 seems to be, not so much a sequel to verses 36 through 38, as a conclusion to the whole matter from verse 17 on. When he says, “Again,” it seems that his meaning is that he will repeat very briefly what he has already said. People are brought down through oppression, affliction, and sorrow; and even princes, or rulers, are not exempt from such. God is able to make even them wander in the desert, where there is no road, and contempt is heaped upon them. At the same time, He sets the poor, the one who is under oppression and affliction, “on high from affliction.” He is delivered from that: and though his friends may have been few, as they usually are for the poor, “He maketh him families like a flock.” Thus he will have many friends.


(Verses 42 and 43) The righteous shall see it and rejoice: and all iniquity shall stop her mouth. Whoso is wise, and will observe these things, even they shall understand the loving kindness of the LORD.


God’s power in bringing down the proud, (“the princes”) and raising up the poor, shall be seen by the righteous, and will be a cause of rejoicing to them. All who are wise, and shall observe what is here set forth, shall understand the loving kindness of the LORD. What a gracious promise!


Chapter 108

(Verses 1 through 4) O God, my heart is fixed: I will sing and give praise, even with my glory. Awake, psaltery and harp: I myself will awake early. I will praise Thee, O LORD, among the people: and I will sing praises unto Thee among the nations. For Thy mercy is great above the heavens: and Thy truth reacheth unto the clouds.


David declares that his heart is fixed, that is, he has an unmovable determination to sing and give praise to God. So he calls for both psaltery and harp to accompany him, as he sings. This is not just something he will do when he has time, as we so often do. Instead, he will awake early in order to get started with it. Not only will he praise the LORD “among  the people,” the people of Israel , but even among the nations, or the heathen. This is called for by reason of the fact that the mercy of God is so great that it reaches even to the clouds and to the heavens.


(Verses 5 and 6) Be Thou exalted, O God, above the heavens: and Thy glory above all the earth; that Thy beloved may be delivered: save with Thy right hand, and answer me.


He declares that God is to be exalted, or praised, even to the heavens, and His glory above all the earth. He then prays that God will save with His right hand, and answer his prayers; that the LORD’S beloved may be delivered. Certainly, in this reference, the “LORD’S beloved” are His people. Some might consider this as a reference to the Christ; but if it is, it is a very short one, and totally isolated. So it seems better to consider it as His people.


(Verses 7 through 9) God hath spoken in His holiness; I will rejoice, I will divide Shechem, and mete out the valley of Succoth . Gilead is Mine; Manasseh is Mine; Ephraim also is the strength of Mine head; Judah is My lawgiver; Moab is My washpot: over Edom will I cast out My shoe; over Philistia will I triumph.


This text, together with the remainder of this psalm, is almost identical with verses 6 through 13 of Psalm 60. God has spoken, and the message He gives is that all these places here mentioned belong to Him, and He will divide and measure them as He sees fit. Although the land of Moab is a large place in the eyes of men, to God it is no more than a wash pot. Another large place is Edom ; but when set before God, it is so small that, should He shake the sand out of His shoe, the fall out would cover the entire area. Philistia, from time to time, gave Israel much trouble, but He declares that He will triumph over it. Judah is His lawgiver, not that Moses was of the tribe of Judah , for he was of Levi; but David was the king God chose for Israel , and of his lineage, according to the flesh, came our Lord the Christ.


(Verses 10 and 11) Who will bring me into the strong city? Who will lead me into Edom ? Wilt not Thou, O God, Who hast cast us off? And wilt not Thou. O God, go forth with our hosts.


David knows that the LORD has “cast off” Israel temporarily: but he also knows that it is because of their iniquities. So he prays that the same great God, Who has cast them off, will go forth with their army, and lead them against the strong city, and against Edom . He knows that only thus can they overcome their enemies.


(Verses 12 and 13) Give us help from troubles: for vain is the help of man. Through God we shall do valiantly: for He it is that shall tread down our enemies.


He prays for help from God because he knows that the help of man is worthless. Only through God can we overcome our enemies: for the LORD will destroy them.


Chapter 109

(Verses 1 and 2) Hold not Thy peace, O God of my praise; for the mouth of the wicked and the mouth of the deceitful are opened against me: they have spoken against me with a lying tongue.


While this Psalm may be a description of some experiences and desires of David himself, much of it seems to be prophetic of the sufferings of the Christ, as He endured the mock trials before the chief priests, and Pilate, and Herod. It also gives His sentence against the evil ones engaged in bringing about His crucifixion. We must remember that, although all things were done exactly according to the purpose of God, that in no wise reduced the responsibility of those wicked ones who did that evil deed. In this text, He prays that God the Father will not hold His peace, as wicked and false witnesses speak against Him with their lying tongues.


(Verses 3 through 5) They compassed Me about also with words of hatred, and fought against Me without a cause. For My love they are My adversaries: but I give Myself unto prayer. And they have rewarded Me evil for good, and hatred for My love.


This very closely describes the situation as it is recorded in the gospel records, The entire ministry of Jesus was spent in teaching the truth, and working miracles for the benefit of the people. He showed His love for them in everything He did. He did indeed give Himself to prayer. Even as He was being put on the cross, He prayed, “Father, forgive them; for they know not what they do” Yet for that love they returned hatred and lying accusations.


(Verses 6 through 10) Set Thou a wicked man over him: let Satan stand at his right hand. When he shall be judged, let him be condemned: and let his prayer become sin. Let his days be few; and let another take his office. Let his children be fatherless, and his wife a widow. Let his children be continually vagabonds, and beg: let them seek their bread also out of their desolate places.


Inasmuch as this changes from the plural to the singular, it seems that it could well be the Lord’s declaration of judgment against the traitor Judas. Since Satan is the one who led him into this wicked act, let Satan therefore stand at his right hand, that both may be condemned together in the judgment. Since the condemned is often permitted to make a statement before receiving his sentence, may “his prayer,” (whatever he may say) be counted as sin, and add to his sentence. He is to be put to death, (“cut off”) and his office given to another. See Acts 1:20 . The judgment is to be passed on to his wife and his children. His wife is to be a widow. Of course, the wife of any man who dies, or is put to death is a widow. But this seems to signify that she shall always remain a widow. His children shall be fatherless, and vagabonds, begging even for their bread, and inhabiting desolate places.


(Verses 11 through 14) Let the extortioner catch all that he hath; and let the stranger spoil his labor. Let there be none to extend mercy unto him: neither let there be any to favor his fatherless children. Let his posterity be cut off; and in the generation following let their name be blotted out. Let the iniquity of his fathers be remembered with the LORD; and let not the sin of his mother be blotted out.


As can readily be seen, this is a continuation of the judgment, which was begun in verse 6; and it will continue through verse 20. We have so many people in our modern society, who declare the death penalty cruel and unusual, and too barbaric to be continued as a punishment for crime, even in the most heinous cases, that one wonders what they think of the LORD’S own declaration of judgment here. It embraces the man who committed the crime, his wife and children, who had no part in it, and his father and mother, who, so far as we know had no responsibility in the matter. Certainly, we understand that God knows all things, and never makes a mistake. Therefore although we do not know the reason for such a wide scope of this judgment, we must acknowledge it just and right.


(Verses 15 through 20) Let them be before the LORD continually, that He may cut off the memory of them from the earth. Because that he remembered not to shew mercy, but persecuted the poor and needy man, that he might even slay the broken in heart. As he loved cursing, so let it come unto him: as he delighted not in blessing, so let it be far from him. As he clothed himself with cursing like as with a garment, so let it come into his bowels like water, and like oil into his bones. Let it be unto him as the garment which covereth him, and for a girdle wherewith he is girded continually. Let this be the reward of Mine adversaries from the LORD, and of them that speak evil of My soul.


In verse 15, he tells us that the reason for remembering “the iniquity of his fathers” and not blotting out “the sin of his mother” is that they may be before the LORD continually, so that He will cut off their memory from the earth. All of this is because this man did not remember to show mercy, “but persecuted the poor and needy man, that he might slay the broken in heart.” In verses 17 and 18, we find “cursing” used twice. In both places it is in reference, not to using profanity, and, probably, not even for pronouncing curses upon anyone, but for engaging in the wicked acts that bring undeserved troubles upon others. Since this is what this man loved, and wore like a garment, so may these troubles envelop him in the same way. Verse 19 includes all the adversaries; and upon them may the LORD lay this judgment as well. Let it be the reward the LORD gives to all “them that speak evil against My soul.”


(Verses 21 through 25) But do Thou for Me, O God the LORD, for Thy name’s sake; because Thy mercy is good, deliver Thou Me. For I am poor and needy, and My heart is wounded within Me. I am gone like the shadow when it declineth: I am tossed up and down like the locust. My knees are weak through My fasting; and My flesh faileth of fatness. I became also a reproach unto them: when they looked upon Me they shaked their heads.


This seems to be very fitting as our Lord’s prayer to the Father while hanging on the cross. He was at that time poor and needy, forsaken by His disciples and friends, and momentarily, even by the Father Himself. He was weakened down from fasting and loss of blood, and fast approaching death itself. So it is no wonder He cried, “But do Thou for Me, O God the LORD, for Thy holy name’s sake: because Thy mercy is good, deliver Thou Me.” Those who passed by shook their heads, or hurled some insult at Him.


(Verses 26 through 29) Help Me, O LORD My God: O save Me according to Thy mercy: that they may know that this is Thy hand; that Thou, LORD, hast done it. Let them curse, but bless Thou: when they arise, let them be ashamed: but let Thy servant rejoice. Let Mine adversaries be clothed with shame, and let them cover themselves with their own confusion, as with a mantle.


This is surely our Lord’s prayer for deliverance; and the Father answered it. The Father raised Him up from the grave in a manner to make these evil men know that it was done by His hand. He raised Jesus up to His own right hand in heaven, so that He could rejoice even while these evil ones continued to curse. But they were put to shame, because in spite of all their efforts they could not keep the Lord in the tomb. They failed completely in what they tried to do. So they were clothed in shame.


(Verses 30 and 31) I will greatly praise the LORD with my mouth; yea, I will praise Him among the multitude. For He shall stand at the right hand of the poor, to save him from those that condemn his soul.


David returns to a declaration of his own intention. He is determined to praise the LORD “with his mouth,” that is, he will sing and shout praises to God, and that not just in private, but before the multitude. He has ample reason for so doing: and, for that matter, so do we. “For He shall stand at the right hand of the poor, to save him from those that condemn his soul.” Since our Lord Jesus is exalted to the right hand of the Father in heaven, He is no longer poor. Therefore “the poor” of this text must be those of whom He said, “Blessed are the poor in spirit: for theirs is the kingdom of heaven.” He will stand at their right hand, and save them.


Chapter 110

(Verses 1 through 3) The LORD said unto my Lord, Sit Thou at My right hand, until I make Thine enemies Thy footstool. The LORD shall send the rod of Thy strength out of Zion : rule Thou in the midst of Thine enemies. Thy people shall be willing in the day of Thy power, in the beauties of holiness from the womb of the morning: Thou hast the dew of Thy youth.


We are under no necessity of proving who is the subject of this text. Our Lord Jesus has declared this to be a prophecy of the Christ. See Matthew 22:41-45. So instead of wondering of whom David speaks, we can turn our attention to what He says. The first thing to catch our attention is the same thing our Lord asked in the above referenced quotation: “Whose Son is He?” The Jews considered Him as only the son of David, which, according to the flesh, He was. But David called Him, “Lord,” saying, “The LORD said unto my Lord.” Therefore we know that David considered Him greater than himself, because he called Him “Lord.” We know from the gospel records, as well as from numerous prophecies in the Old Testament, that He is the Son of God, and is therefore greater than David or any other man. The message the LORD spoke to Him is contained in the remainder of the psalm. First of all the LORD commands Him, “Sit Thou at My right hand, until I make Thine enemies Thy footstool.” This, of course, immediately follows His resurrection from the dead. The work of salvation having been accomplished, He is commanded to sit, or rest, until all His enemies shall have been overcome, and brought down at His feet. Then it is declared, “The LORD shall send the rod of Thy strength out of Zion .” Because of this, He is again commanded, “Rule Thou in the midst of Thine enemies.” As Zechariah informs us in chapter fourteen of his prophecy, when He returns, and stands on the mount of Olives, He will begin His rule from Zion , and it will be in the midst of His enemies. His power, “the rod of His strength,” the LORD shall indeed send forth from Zion , as Zechariah confirms. Many of our brethren today seem to fear that, if they consider such scriptures as this to concern national Israel , they won’t have anything left upon which to stand as promises to the gospel church; whereas, actually, the opposite is true. Every promise to the church, or His promise to the individual Christian, has to stand upon His faithfulness to the promises He has made to Israel . If He could fail in one, none would be secure. Then the LORD declares, “Thy people shall be willing in the day of Thy power.” The record of Israel , from the time of His leading them out of Egypt to the present, shows them always to have been a rebellious people, never willing to do His commandments until He brings great chastisement upon them. But in the day when “the LORD shall send the rod of His strength out of Zion ,” His people shall be willing to do His commandments. “In the beauties of holiness from the womb of the morning: Thou hast the dew of Thy youth.” His holiness shall, in that day, shine forth with the beauty and freshness of the early morning, and He has the strength and vigor of youth. Kings of the earth may start their reigns in the days of their youth: and for a while they are strong and vigorous; but as age creeps up on them that vigor fades. It is not so with our Lord. He will never grow old. This will also be true when He restores the kingdom to Israel . This in no wise denies that “the kingdom of heaven,” as Jesus preached it during His earthly ministry, and as His disciples have preached it since His resurrection, is eternal. Neither does it set up another king besides Him. Jesus the Christ is the only begotten Son of the living God; and He is presently seated at the right hand of the Father on high. He will return to gather His saints, both living and dead. He also will restore the kingdom to Israel , and bring judgment upon this world.


(Verse 4) The LORD hath sworn, and will not repent, Thou art a priest for ever after the order of Melchizedek.


The writer of The Epistle to The Hebrews makes it abundantly clear that this is spoken of our Lord Jesus. It, by the oath of God, makes Him the High Priest of The New Covenant, which is greater and better than The Old, or Law Covenant. As noted, it is after the order of Melchizedek, and not after the order of Aaron. There are two major differences between the two covenants. The priesthood after the order of Melchizedek was made by the oath of God, and is eternal, while there was no oath concerning that of Aaron, and it was only temporal.


(Verses 5 through 7) The Lord at Thy right hand shall strike through kings in the day of His wrath. He shall judge among the heathen, He shall fill the places with dead bodies; He shall wound the heads over many countries. He shall drink of the brook in the way: therefore shall He lift up the head.


Apparently, this is addressed to God the Father, since it declares that the Lord at Thy right hand shall do these things. Further, when, in The Psalms, God the Father is meant, most often “LORD” is used, while here it is “Lord.” The Lord Jesus is at the right hand of the Father, and He will “strike through,” or destroy kings in the day of His wrath; and He “shall judge among the heathen.” Many other scriptures affirm this, as they also do the fact that He shall leave many of the slain on the field of battle, and destroy the rulers of many countries. Since none will be able to resist His power, there will be no necessity for Him to hurry. Therefore He will have plenty of time to “drink of the brook in the way,” that is, refresh Himself. So His head will not droop from weariness after the battle. “He shall lift up the head.”


Chapter 111

(Verses 1 through 3) Praise ye the LORD. I will praise the LORD with my whole heart, in the assembly of the upright, and in the congregation. The works of the LORD are great, sought out of all them that have pleasure therein. His work is honorable and glorious: and His righteousness endureth for ever.


Since, as the psalmist does not give a specific address to his call, we must conclude that he is calling upon all, who hear him, to praise the LORD. The fact that some will not heed the call has no effect upon its address. Then he declares that he will with all his heart praise the LORD, both in the assembly of the upright, and in the congregation, without identifying what the congregation has gathered together for. So his meaning must be that he will praise the LORD wherever he may be. The works of the LORD are great, although the only ones who seek them are those, who take delight in them. Everything He does is honorable and worthy of praise: and His righteousness is eternal.


(Verses 4 through 6) He hath made His wonderful works to be remembered: the LORD is gracious and full of compassion. He hath given meat unto them that fear Him: He will ever be mindful of His covenant. He hath shewed His people the power of His works, that He may give them the heritage of the heathen.


Although all the LORD’S works are great, some have been so astounding to men that though they were wrought thousands of years ago, they are still remembered among men. He is always gracious and merciful to those who trust in Him: and He it is, Who has given food to them that fear Him. Not only so, but He is, and forever will be, mindful of His covenant. There are several covenants of God mentioned in the scriptures, but, in the light of the next verse, one would think that he means the one God made to Abraham, that He would give the land of Canaan to Abraham and to his seed after him in perpetuity. So, “He hath shewed His people the power of His works, that He may give them the heritage of the heathen.” There were about seven different “nations,” or tribes that inhabited the land of Canaan when the LORD led Israel into it. They are the heathen, whose heritage it was; but the LORD gave it to Israel : and His promise was not that it should be given to them for a while, and then be given to others. It was given in perpetuity: “For all this land which thou seest, to thee will I give it, and to thy seed forever.” (Genesis 13:15)


(Verses 7 and 8) The works of His hands are verity and judgment; all His commandments are sure. They stand fast for ever and ever, and are done in truth and uprightness.


This needs no explanation, but it is the foundation of everything God has done, is doing, or will ever do. It is also the foundation and support of every promise He has made. They all “stand fast forever and ever, and are done in truth and uprightness.” Nothing can cause them to fail.


(Verses 9 and 10) He sent redemption unto His people: He hath commanded His covenant for ever: holy and reverend is His name. The fear of the LORD is the beginning of wisdom: a good understanding have all they that do His commandments: His praise endureth for ever.


When the psalmist says, “He sent redemption unto His people,” it is evident that his reference is to His delivering them from Egypt , and establishing them in Canaan . Yet it will also, prophetically, apply to the coming of the Christ into the world and paying the redemption price for all the elect of God: and it will further apply to His redeeming, or gathering back, Israel to their land in the restoration of the kingdom to them. He has also commanded His covenant forever. This is true of His covenant to Abraham, both of the gift of the land to Abraham and his seed, and of the blessing in the seed of Abraham to all nations of the earth. None of His words can ever fail. “Holy and reverend is His name.” Certainly His name is holy: it is also “worthy of respect,” which is the meaning of the word, “reverend.” Because this is the only place in scripture where “reverend” occurs, much controversy has been generated among men about whether, or not, it should ever be applied to men, as some use it to designate their ministers. While I am firmly convinced that no title greater than “Brother” ought ever to be applied to any gospel minister, it remains that if he is not counted “worthy of respect,” he ought not be considered as a minister of the gospel of the Son of God. Since the fear of the LORD is the beginning of wisdom, it will certainly follow that, they who do His commandments have a good understanding. This can be viewed from two perspectives; and it will prove true from both. First, their doing the commandments of God shows that they have a good understanding: and their doing His commandments will improve their understanding also. There can be no controversy, “His praise endureth forever.”


Chapter 112

(Verses 1 through 3) Praise ye the LORD. Blessed is the man that feareth the LORD, that delighteth greatly in His commandments. His seed shall be mighty upon the earth: the generation of the upright shall be blessed. Wealth and riches shall be in his house: and his righteousness endureth for ever.


We are called upon to praise the LORD. Inasmuch as all things, including all people, were created for the glory of God, we who know the LORD ought to spend our days praising Him. The man who fears the LORD, and takes great  delight in His commandments is blessed. It is the blessing of the LORD that causes him to fear the Lord and take great delight in His commandments; and  as he does this, more blessings are added to him. The seed of those who keep His commandments shall also be mighty upon the earth. Let us not forget that, just as the Apostle Paul says concerning the seed of Abraham, the seed of the righteous are not they who are only descendants by the flesh, but they who walk in righteousness as did their fathers. Those who have the faith of Abraham are the “seed of Abraham,” and those who walk in the commandments of the Lord are the seed of him that fears the LORD and delights greatly in His commandments. “The generation of the upright shall be blessed.” Since, in the scriptures we are many times told that while in this world the LORD’S people often are, and will be, poor and afflicted, we can be fully assured that the statement, “Wealth and riches shall be in his house,” does not mean that all who serve the LORD shall be rich in worldly, or material things. However, our Lord has told us, “Seek ye first the kingdom of God , and His righteousness; and all these things shall be added unto you.” (Matthew 6:33) In the context in which that occurs, it obviously means that those who faithfully serve Him, shall be provided with food and clothing, but not necessarily, with the wealth of this world. Yet in the home of the righteous there will be such a wealth of the love of God that, contentment shall reign there more than in the homes of those who are rich in material things. The righteous are always rich in the love of God: and their righteousness continues because it is upheld by the LORD Whose righteousness endures forever.


(Verses 4 through 6) Unto the upright there arises light in darkness: he is gracious, and full of compassion, and righteous. A good man sheweth favor and lendeth: he will guide his affairs with discretion. Surely he shall not be moved for ever: the righteous shall be in everlasting remembrance.


The psalmist continues to show the blessings of the LORD to those who fear Him, and take great delight in His commandments: for these are the upright, or the righteous. Unto them light arises even in darkness. Surely he is not here considering the physical darkness of night, but times when it seems we have come to the end of our ability, and cannot see any way out of our trouble. In such times, as we pray to God, He causes the light to shine forth and lead us through the darkness of the time. Since He is gracious, full of compassion, and righteous, He gives these same qualities to those, who fear Him, and take delight in His commandments. Therefore we can depend upon Him to lead us, and under His guidance, we can guide our affairs with discretion. Because of Him we shall not be moved forever, but shall be in everlasting remembrance.


(Verses 7 and 8) He shall not be afraid of evil tidings: his heart is fixed, trusting in the LORD. His heart is established, he shall not be afraid, until he see his desire upon his enemies.


Since the righteous is always leaning upon the LORD, he has no cause to be afraid of evil tidings, or bad news. In this modern age we are constantly bombarded with evil tidings, all the way from petty theft up to. and including genocide. Our newspapers, radio broadcasts, television news reports, etc., are filled with such. Yet those who trust in the LORD need not be afraid of them. The Lord long ago told us they would come: and He is able to take care of us in spite of them all. The heart of the righteous is fixed, fastened firmly in a secure place, trusting in the LORD. His heart is established, and he has no need to be afraid, “until he see his desire upon his enemies.” By the pen of the Apostle Paul, the LORD has told us that we shall witness this great work when it comes to pass, but that we shall rest with His saints while it is being done. See II Thessalonians 1:7-10.


(Verses 9 and 10) He hath dispersed, he hath given to the poor; his righteousness endureth for ever; his horn shall be exalted with honor. The wicked shall see it, and be grieved: he shall gnash with his teeth, and melt away: the desire of the wicked shall perish.


This is, of course, a contrast between the righteous man and the wicked. Verse 9 sets forth the righteous, showing both his manner of living and the blessings that will follow him; while verse 10 gives the description of the wicked. The righteous has dispersed, or contributed to others that which he has, and has given of his substance to the poor, those who have less than he. In addition to this, he continues on in his righteousness. It is not just a cloak, which he can put on, or take off at will. It is constantly with him. His “horn,” or power shall be exalted with honor. When the wicked sees this it grieves him, or makes him angry, so that he gnashes on the righteous with his teeth, which is always the sign of the greatest of anger. Yet it does him little good, for he shall melt away, and even the desire or the purpose of the wicked shall fail. It shall never be brought to fruition.


Chapter 113

(Verses 1 through 3) Praise ye the LORD. Praise, O ye servants of the LORD. Blessed be the name of the LORD from this time forth and for evermore. From the rising of the sun to the going down of the same the LORD’S name is to be praised.


This also is a song of praise to the LORD. It calls upon all the servants of the LORD to praise Him. The word “blessed,” when used as in verse 2, is considered to mean “praised,” inasmuch as we, being so far inferior to the LORD are not able to confer upon Him a blessing, in the strict sense of the word. Nevertheless we can praise Him: and that is what we are here called upon to do. Let it begin now; and continue for evermore. Not only so, but let it come forth from all the world, because “from the rising of the sun to the going down of the same the LORD’S name is to be praised.”


(Verses 4 through 6) The LORD is high above all nations, and His glory above the heavens. Who is like unto the LORD our God, Who dwelleth on high, Who humbleth Himself to behold the things that are in heaven and on the earth.


Our LORD God is so high above all nations, and even heaven itself that He has to condescend, or “humble Himself,” to even look at the things that are in heaven or on earth. He is totally beyond comparison with anyone or anything. He is the Creator, while all else are only the works of His hands.


(Verses 7 through 9) He raiseth up the poor out of the dust, and lifteth the needy out of the dunghill; that He may set him with princes, even with the princes of His people. He maketh the barren woman to keep house, and to be a joyful mother of children. Praise ye the LORD.


The LORD is not concerned with conventionalities, protocol, and all the other things that are so dear to the worldly mind. He can, and does at His will, raise up the poor from the dust, and the needy from the dunghill, where they have been downtrodden by the oppressors, and set them with princes; and not just the princes of this world, but even the “princes of His people.” Among people of the psalmist’s day, it was considered a reproach, and even a disgrace for a woman to be barren, but the LORD makes such “to keep house, and to be a joyful mother of children.” See I Samuel 1:1-28 and Luke !:5-64. Since our God is so wonderful, it is no wonder the Psalmist closes this with, “Praise ye the LORD”



Chapter 114

(Verses 1 and 2) When Israel went out of Egypt , the house of Jacob from a people of strange language: Judah was His sanctuary, and Israel His dominion.


In reading the account of the Exodus, we might overlook the fact that is here declared. “ Judah was His sanctuary.” Through that account, it might appear that we should say, “Levi was His sanctuary,” since God made choice of Aaron and his descendants as His priests, and the other descendants of Levi as the custodians of the tabernacle. However, in looking back to Genesis 49:10, as Jacob gave his final blessing to His sons, he said, “The sceptre shall not depart from Judah, nor a lawgiver from between his feet, until Shiloh come; and unto him shall the gathering of the people be.” Since this antedates the law by four hundred plus years, the giving of the law could not change it. So even at the going out of Israel from Egypt , Judah was His sanctuary,” and, as Moses has told us, “The LORD’S portion is His people, and Israel is the lot of His inheritance.” So Israel was His dominion.


(Verses 3 and 4) The sea saw it, and fled: Jordan was driven back. The mountains skipped like rams, and the little hills like lambs.


Verse 3 refers to the crossing of both the Red Sea and the Jordan River . In both cases the LORD turned back the waters and made a dry path for Israel to cross. The skipping of the mountains and the little hills is the psalmist’s way of expressing the joy of the earth itself at the demonstration of the power of God.


(Verses 5 and 6) What ailed thee, O thou sea, that thou fleddest? Thou Jordan, that thou wast driven back? Ye mountains that ye skipped like rams; and ye little hills like lambs?


Perhaps, we are not qualified to give the final answer to these questions, but to the best of our understanding, it seems that one answer will cover them all. That answer seems to be that they were all moved by the presence and power of the LORD.


(Verses 7 and 8) Tremble, thou earth, at the presence of the LORD, at the presence of the God of Jacob; Which turned the rock into a standing water, and the flint into a fountain of waters.


The whole earth is called upon to tremble at the presence of the wonderful LORD, Who even in the desert brought forth from the rock sufficient water to supply not only the people of Israel , but even their cattle also.



Chapter 115

(Verses 1 through 3) Not unto us, O LORD, not unto us, but unto Thy name give glory, for Thy mercy, and for Thy truth’s sake. Wherefore should the heathen say, Where is now their God? But our God is in the heavens: He hath done whatsoever He hath pleased. 


The psalmist declares a principle, which we too ought always to keep in mind. It is, that no glory is due unto us for anything. All glory is to be given to the LORD, and to Him only, for His wonderful mercy and truth. Then he asks a question, “Wherefore (or why) should the heathen say, ‘Where is now their God?’” We tell of the wonderful works He has wrought through the ages, as well as what He has done for us; and since they do not see a constant repetition of these things, and have not been given faith in Him, they ask where is He now, hinting that since they can’t see Him, He must not be here now. But we, who have been given faith, realize that He is still in the heavens, and that He has done, and is doing now, whatsoever He pleases. So He will continue.


(Verses 4 through 8) Their idols are silver and gold, the work of men’s hands. They have mouths, but they speak not: eyes have they, but they see not: they have ears, but they hear not: noses have they, but they smell not: they have hands, but they handle not: feet have they, but they walk not: neither speak they through their throat. They that make them are like unto them; so is everyone that trusteth in them.


This text very clearly covers the idols, the gods of the heathen. Although it has been a long time since the LORD wrought such miracles as creating the world, dividing the Red Sea for His people to go over dry shod, and some of the other great miracles of old, we are sure that He did do them. And today we, who believe in Him, continue to see miracles wrought by Him. So we know that He is still on His throne in the heavens, and does according to His will, while these idols can do nothing. Even those made of precious materials, such as silver and gold are still only the work of men’s hands. Although they have all the outward members for doing whatever men can do, they still have not the power to do any of these things. They can not see, hear, speak, smell, walk, or use their hands. So they are completely helpless in every way. And that there be no mistake concerning his meaning, the psalmist says, “They that make them are like unto them; so is every one that trusteth in them.”


(Verses 9 through 11) O Israel, trust thou in the LORD: He is their help and their shield. O house of Aaron, trust in the LORD: He is their help and their shield. Ye that fear the LORD, trust in the LORD: He is their help and their shield.


He has given the contrast between the LORD and the idols, and has told us that those who make idols and those that trust in idols are no better than the idols themselves. So surely there is no reason for us to trust in them. Though he separates them, let us join the house of Israel , the house of Aaron, and those that fear the LORD, for to all of these he gives the same instruction. That is: “Trust in the LORD.” He is the help and the shield for the house of Israel , the house of Aaron, and those that fear the LORD. Therefore it is He, Whom we are to trust.


(Verses 12 through 15) The LORD hath been mindful of us: He will bless us; He will bless the house of Israel ; He will bless the house of Aaron. He will bless them that fear the LORD, both small and great. The LORD shall increase you more and more, you and your children. Ye are blessed of the LORD, Which made heaven and earth.


He reminds us that the LORD has already been merciful to all of us, the house of Israel , the house of Aaron, and all who fear the LORD, both small and great. We should therefore be fully assured that He will bless us, and that more and more, even extending the blessing to our children, or descendants. This blessing is not of idols, but “Ye are blessed of the LORD Which hath made heaven and earth.”


(Verses 16 through 18) The heaven, even the heavens are the LORD’S: but the earth hath He given unto the children of men. The dead praise not the LORD, neither any that go down into silence. But we will bless the LORD from this time forth and for evermore. Praise the LORD.


Since “the heavens are the LORD’S, it is utterly useless for man to entertain any idea of working anything in the heavens according to his will. God has condescended to place the earth under man’s rule. This does not mean that God has abdicated His authority over it, but that He has placed it jn man’s care, and under his oversight, within limitations. God still retains the power to permit the efforts of man to prosper, or to hinder or even completely veto them. When the psalmist says, “The dead praise not the LORD, neither any that go down into silence,” he is not denying that there shall be a resurrection of the dead, but simply that the dead are entirely through with their worldly activities. “But we will bless (praise) the LORD from this time and for evermore. Praise the LORD.”


Chapter 116

(Verses 1 and 2) I love the LORD because He hath heard my voice and my supplications. Because He hath inclined His ear unto me, therefore will I call upon Him as long as I live.


We have many reasons why we ought to love the LORD. Here the psalmist lists two of his reasons for so doing. Actually they blend into one, though he speaks of them as two. They are, “because He hath heard my voice and my supplications. Because He hath inclined His ear unto me.” The LORD listened favorably to his supplications, and evidently answered his requests. This would, of itself, be sufficient reason for us to make the same vow that he did, “Therefore will I call upon Him as long as I live.”


(Verses 3 through 6) The sorrows of death compassed me, and the pains of hell gat hold upon me: I found trouble and sorrow. Then called I upon the name of the LORD; O LORD, I beseech Thee deliver my soul. Gracious is the LORD, and righteous; yea, our God is merciful. The LORD preserveth the simple. I was brought low, and He helped me.


Here we find what the prayer of the psalmist was all about. He was compassed about by the sorrows of death, and the pains of hell. He had been brought so low that he felt sure that he was facing death, and, what is much worse, the torments of hell itself: and certainly we are able to find a kinship with him. For this is also the experience of each one, who has by the grace of God been made to see his condition in nature. He was made to see himself, under not only the sentence of death, but also of eternal judgment. In this condition he prayed to the LORD to deliver his soul: and the LORD graciously delivered him. Is not this also our own experience? “The LORD preserveth the simple: I was brought low, and He helped me.” It is popular today to say, “We don’t have to be rocket scientists to do this or that.” So it is for the LORD to preserve us. He preserves the simple, those who do not have much wisdom. The psalmist says, “I was brought low, and He helped me.” This, as it follows the declaration, “The LORD preserveth the simple,” seems to mean, “I know this is so, because I was brought down, and He helped me. That proves that He preserves the simple.”


(Verses 7 through 9) Return unto thy rest, O my soul; for the LORD hath dealt bountifully with thee. For Thou hast delivered my soul from death, mine eyes from tears, and my feet from falling. I will walk before the LORD in the land of the living.


In verse 7, he addresses his own soul, declaring that God has dealt so bountifully with it that it can now rest in the assurance of God’s grace. Then he addresses God, saying, “For Thou hast delivered my soul from death, mine eyes from tears, and my feet from falling.” What wonderful deliverance the LORD has wrought! Because of this it is the psalmist’s determination to “walk before the LORD in the land of the living,” that is, to serve the LORD as long as he lives in this world.


(Verses 10 and 11) I believed, therefore have I spoken: I was afflicted: I said in my haste, All men are liars.


The fact that he believed caused the psalmist to speak. No doubt he believed in God before he called upon Him: for the Apostle Paul asks this question: “How shall they call upon Him in Whom they have not believed?” But it seems that God’s delivering his soul from death, his eyes from tears, and his feet from falling, caused him to believe so strongly that he could not refrain from speaking. Usually, when one speaks of having done something in haste, we are prone to think it to be something he now regrets doing. However the context does not bear that out in this case. Therefore a little change of the wording might make it clearer. “I believed, therefore have I spoken: I was afflicted: I quickly said, ‘All men are liars.’” His suffering made him to know that men could not help him: all their promises were false. The LORD delivered him, and he quickly realized that, when compared to the LORD, all men are liars. He alone is true.


(Verses 12 through 14) What shall I render unto the LORD for all His benefits toward me? I will take the cup of salvation, and call upon the name of the LORD. I will pay my vows unto the LORD now in the presence of His people.


Realizing how great God’s mercy has been to him, the psalmist is faced with a serious question: “What shall I render unto the LORD for all His benefits toward me?” Certainly he is not wondering, as some seem to do, what he can do to repay the LORD. He knows, as do we, that such is impossible. He is so overwhelmed by the mercy of the LORD that, he wonders how he can show his thankfulness for such wonderful blessings. Just as men will often “take the cup,” or drink a toast, to someone who has done a great deed for them, the psalmist says, “I will take the cup of salvation, and call upon the name of the LORD;” signifying that the LORD is He Who has wrought this great salvation: and He is the One I will praise for it. But he does not stop at that. He further declares, “I will pay my vows unto the LORD now in the presence of His people.” Some may make vows of what they will do in the service of God, but when the time for doing that which has been vowed comes, they have forgotten what they promised. Not so with him. He says that he will pay these vows now; and he will pay them in the presence of the people of the LORD. They shall be his witnesses.


(Verse 15) Precious in the sight of the LORD is the death of His saints.


That which is precious to one is that which he holds most dear, even to the point of being willing to give his life for it. Since our Lord has given His life for His saints, there can be no denying that they are precious in His sight. Their death is also precious in His sight, because, until He returns to raise His sleeping saints and change the living, it is the door through which all must pass to go from this world into His eternal Presence.


(Verses 16 through 19) O LORD, truly I am Thy servant, and the son of Thine handmaid: Thou hast loosed my bands. I will offer to Thee the sacrifice of thanksgiving, I will call upon the name of the LORD. I will pay my vows unto the LORD now in the presence of all His people, in the courts of the LORD’S house, in the midst of thee, O Jerusalem. Praise ye the LORD.


From the beginning of this psalm, it has been a song of praise to the LORD for the wonderful blessings He has given to the psalmist. As the result of all these blessings he is fully assured that he is truly the servant of the LORD, because the LORD has loosed His bonds. Looking again at verses 3 through 6, we see that the LORD has delivered him from terrible sorrow and fear. He has indeed loosed his bonds. This is surely evidence that he is His servant. Do not we have this same assurance? Has He not also set us free? If so, our determination ought to be the same as his: “I will offer to Thee the sacrifice of thanksgiving, and will call upon the name of the LORD.” As has been many times pointed out, since we no longer offer burnt sacrifices, our sacrifices are to be our praise and thanksgiving to Him continually for His blessings to us. The very act of our calling upon Him when in trouble is counted as praise to Him, for it acknowledges Him as the One, Who is able to help us. Not only does he declare that he will offer the sacrifice of thanksgiving, and call upon the name of the LORD. But he also repeats His declaration of verse 14: “I will pay my vows unto the LORD now in the presence of all His people, in the courts of the LORD’S house, in the midst of thee, O Jerusalem.” Just as in that day the courts of the temple, “the LORD’S house” was the place for the people of the LORD to gather to worship, the church of our Lord is the place of our gathering for the same purpose. We might therefore be well advised to remember to meet there as often as possible to render our sacrifices of thanksgiving, and to pay our vows in the presence of the LORD’S people. We sometimes hear someone say, “I can worship the LORD just as well without going to church, as I can by going.” One thing you cannot do is what the psalmist says: “I will pay my vows unto the LORD now in the presence of all His people, in the courts of the LORD’S house.” The only place this can be done is in the LORD’S house, the meeting place and the assembly of the LORD’S people; not in a solitary wilderness. His final exhortation is, “Praise ye the LORD.” Surely that needs no explanation.


Chapter 117

This is the shortest of the psalms, and indeed the shortest chapter in the Bible. It is a call for all nations and all people of the world to praise the LORD.


(Verses 1 and 2) O praise the LORD, all ye nations: praise Him, all ye people. For His merciful kindness is great toward us: and the truth of the LORD endureth for ever. Praise ye the LORD.


As already noted, this is a call to all nations and all people to praise the LORD. The fact that some may not do so does not alter the call, nor remove their responsibility. Of course, the day will come in which all will be forced to honor Him; but now some will not. Yet His merciful kindness is great toward all of us. In this particular instance, “all of us” includes all that dwell upon the earth. (Luke 6:35-36) “But love your enemies, and do good, and lend, hoping for nothing again; and your reward shall be great, and ye shall be called the children of the Highest: for He is kind unto the unthankful and to the evil. Be ye therefore merciful, as your Father also is merciful.” So the LORD is merciful to all, even to the wicked. Were He not, they would long ago have been destroyed. So the call for all nations and all people to praise the LORD is proper, whether or not, they obey it. “And the truth of the LORD endureth for ever.” Sometimes, as we view the evil and deception that seem to rule over all men today, we might get discouraged, but let us keep one thing in mind: Judgment and truth are the foundation of the throne of God; and therefore “the truth of the LORD endureth for ever.” This ought to be reason enough for us to praise the LORD.




Chapter 118

(Verses 1 through 4) O give thanks unto the LORD, for He is good: because His mercy endureth for ever. Let Israel now say, that His mercy endureth for ever. Let the house of Aaron now say, that His mercy endureth for ever. Let them now that fear the LORD say, that His mercy endureth for ever.


This is a call for the house of Israel , the house of Aaron, and all that fear the LORD to join in praising Him, for His goodness, and declaring that His mercy is eternal, it endures forever.


(Verses 5 through 7) I called upon the LORD in distress: the LORD answered Me, and set Me in a large place. The LORD is on My side; I will not fear: what can man do unto Me? The LORD taketh My part with them that help Me: therefore shall I see My desire upon them that hate Me.


Perhaps, the psalmist is relating his own experience, with no prophecy intended in this psalm. Yet there are some passages in it that are recognized by the New Testament writers as prophecies of the Christ. To me it seems that some that are not even so witnessed bear such a strong resemblance to some of the experiences of our Lord that I feel they must have Him in view. This is one of those. When He was in the great distress of suffering, from the garden of Gethsemane through His declaration, “It is finished,” He no doubt called upon the Father, although we do not have a record of all His prayers. Even we, through the testimony of His word, and the revelation of His Spirit, are witnesses that The LORD answered Him, and set Him in a large place, even at His own right hand in heaven. The LORD was on His side all the way, even in the darkest gloom of His suffering, even when He cried out, “My God, My God, why hast Thou forsaken Me?” His cry was not for fear of what man could do to Him, but for being momentarily forsaken of the Father. Certainly we know that, insofar as accomplishing the work of salvation is concerned, there was among men none that could help. However, there were those, who prepared His body for the tomb, and placed it therein. Also there were those, who came to the tomb early on the third day, and His disciples to whom He revealed Himself, and with whom He spent forty days after His resurrection. These might, in the scope of verse 7, be considered as “them that help Me.” The LORD did take His part with them, and we see the fruit of their work even now. Since the LORD did take His side, He shall see His desire upon them that hate Him.


(Verses 8 and 9) It is better to trust in the LORD than to put confidence in man. It is better to trust in the LORD than to put confidence in princes.


In Psalm 41:9, David, speaking of the traitor, Judas, said, “Yea, Mine own familiar friend, in whom I trusted, which did eat of My bread, hath lifted up his heel against Me;” and in Psalm 16:11 , the psalmist said, “All men are liars.” Therefore, surely it is better to trust in the LORD, than to have confidence in men, even though they may be princes, or leaders of the people. Since princes are only men, and “all men are liars,” it is of no avail to trust in them: but both the truth and mercy of the LORD endure forever. Therefore they who trust in Him shall not be disappointed.


(Verses 10 through 13) All nations compassed Me about: but in the name of the LORD will I destroy them. They compassed Me about like bees; they are quenched as the fire of thorns: for in the name of the LORD will I destroy them. Thou hast thrust sore at Me that I might fall: but the LORD helped Me.


Inasmuch as at the time of our Lord’s crucifixion Rome ruled what was called, “the civilized world,” or “the known world,” it is proper to say that “all nations” did indeed compass Him about, since it was the representative of Rome , who gave the order for His execution. Where now, so far as an empire is concerned, is Rome ? Did He not in the name of the LORD destroy them? Although they were in a great stir, as a swarm of bees, they came to their end as a fire among thorns burns itself out, and is found no more. He then addresses those who stood against Him: “Thou hast thrust at Me sore that I might fall: but the LORD helped Me.” They had put forth every effort they could to destroy Him: but PRAISE THE LORD! He helped Him: and none can stand against the LORD.


(Verses 14 through 17) The LORD is My strength and song, and is become My salvation. The voice of rejoicing and salvation is in the tabernacles of the righteous; the right hand of the LORD doeth valiantly. The right hand of the LORD is exalted: the right hand of the LORD doeth valiantly. I shall not die, but live, and declare the works of the LORD.


Surely the LORD was His strength throughout that great work, is His strength as He sits at the right hand of the Father, and will be His strength for evermore. The LORD is therefore His salvation. The voice of rejoicing and salvation is indeed in the tabernacles, or places of worship of the righteous. The “right hand’ of the LORD, Which is His Christ, is exalted, and has done valiantly. Instead of dying as His enemies had hoped, He will live, and declare the works of the LORD. Hear Him as He declares, “I am He that liveth, and was dead; and, behold, I am alive for evermore, Amen; and have the keys of hell and of death.” (Revelation 1:18)


(Verses 18 through 21) The LORD hath chastened Me sore: but He hath not given Me over unto death. Open to Me the gates of righteousness: I will go into them, and I will praise the LORD: this gate of the LORD into which the righteous shall enter. I will praise Thee: for Thou hast heard Me, and art become My salvation.


When he says, “The LORD hath chastened Me sore,” it is not to be thought that He has done anything wrong, and for that has had to be chastened. He had no sin; but He took our sin upon Himself, and made it His own; and for this sin He suffered. Yet a better choice of words at this place might be, “The LORD hath afflicted Me sore.” Certainly He did bear all the penalty for our sin, that we might go free. Nevertheless, though Jesus did suffer death for us, He was not given over unto death. Instead the Father brought Him forth, and now He is alive forever. Having been delivered from death and raised up, He now calls for the gates of righteousness to be opened unto Him, and He declares, “I will go into them, and praise the LORD.” He will do this because the LORD has heard Him, and has become His salvation. That is, He has delivered Him. Since He has entered into the “gates of righteousness,” or into heaven, the righteous shall also enter therein: for He has promised, “Where I am, there shall also My servant be.”


(Verses 22 and 23) The stone which the builders refused is become the head of the corner. This is the LORD’S doing; it is marvelous in our eyes.


There can be no doubt that Jesus is this stone that was refused by the builders. That is witnessed by the Apostle Peter in at least two different places in the New Testament, Acts 4:11 and I Peter 2:8. Even though He was rejected by the builders, His is the highest place of all. He is “the head stone of the corner.” This is the LORD’S work. It is not subject to the plans, laws, purposes, or approval of man. Though men did reject it, because it did not fit their ideas, it still stands forever.


(Verses 24 through 26) This is the day, which the LORD hath made; we will rejoice and be glad in it. Save now, I beseech Thee, O LORD, send now prosperity. Blessed be He that cometh in the name of the LORD: we have blessed you out of the house of the LORD.


Although the LORD is the Maker of each and every day that comes to pass, the language here seems to indicate that the day mentioned here is a special day, and, in fact, the day to which all other days lead. This day in which our Lord shall be revealed to all the world as “the head of the corner,” is the day when not only shall He have entered into the gates of righteousness, but so shall all the righteous. Then shall we behold Him as He is, and be like Him. In it “we will rejoice and be glad.” That joy and gladness that we shall have in this day is so great that, nothing we have ever known can be compared to it. Therefore it is no wonder the psalmist says, “Save now, I beseech Thee, O LORD: O LORD, I beseech Thee, send prosperity.” This is the same as praying that the LORD might hasten that day, and bring it now. It is the same as the prayer of the Apostle John, “Amen, even so, Come Lord Jesus.” (Revelation 22:20) It is not a prayer for material prosperity, but for the ushering in of that day when none of the LORD’S people will ever again be poor and needy. As in so many places in the Psalms, the translators used the words “bless” or “blessed,” where in our modern usage of the language, “praise” or “praised” would better fit our understanding. The psalmist says, “Praised be He that cometh in the name of the LORD: we have praised Thee out of the house of the LORD.” The tabernacle, or the temple, in its day, and the church in our day are often called “the house of the LORD.” And it is there that His people have met to praise Him. Since, however, our Lord declared that,  Jerusalem will see Him no more until they shall say, “Blessed (or Praised) is He that cometh in the name of the LORD,  and that day is still in the future, it is the same day mentioned above, wherein we shall rejoice and be glad. It is the day for which all who trust in Him are constantly looking. In that day, we will no more praise Him out of the house of the LORD, but face to face


(Verse 27) God is the LORD, Which hath shewed us light: bind the sacrifice with cords, even unto the horns of the altar.


“God is the LORD, Which hath shown us light.” He has already, by that light, revealed that this great day awaits us. Therefore let us “bind the sacrifice with cords, even unto the horns of the altar.” That is, let us make sure they do not fall, and be defiled. Since our sacrifice consists of thanksgiving and praise to the LORD, let us make sure that they do not fail, but let us constantly offer them.


(Verses 28 and 29) Thou art my God, and I will praise Thee: Thou art my God, I will exalt Thee. O give thanks unto the LORD; for He is good: for His mercy endureth for ever.


Surely we too should be glad to embrace the LORD as our God, and praise, exalt, and give thanks to Him; for He is not only good to us now, but His mercy endures forever.


Chapter 119

This is the longest of the psalms, and many excerpts from it may appear to be repetition of preceding portions of it. It is divided into twenty-two sections of eight verses each. Each section is headed by a letter of the Hebrew alphabet. Since no meaning is given in scripture for the significance of these Hebrew letters, we will omit them altogether for lack of ability to explain them and their application.


(Verses 1 through 3) Blessed are the undefiled in the way, who walk in the law of the LORD. Blessed are they that keep His testimonies, and that seek Him with a whole heart. They also do no iniquity: they walk in His ways.


The psalmist tells us here that “the undefiled in the way,” or the righteous, that is, they who walk in the law of the LORD, are blessed, as are also those who keep His testimonies, and seek Him with a whole heart. Sometimes when “blessed” is used in the scriptures, we are inclined to consider it as “happy,” which it sometimes is. Yet in this case, it seems better to retain “blessed.” Also it can be considered from two different perspectives. Those who are thus, have been blessed of God, and that is what causes them to walk in His law, keep His testimonies, and seek Him with a whole heart. Also as they do these things additional blessings are added to them. As they do these things, they refrain from doing iniquity, because they are walking in His ways.


(Verses 4 through 6) Thou hast commanded us to keep Thy precepts diligently. O that my ways were directed to keep Thy statutes! Then shall I not be ashamed, when I have respect unto all Thy commandments.


The psalmist acknowledges that God has commanded us to diligently keep all His precepts. Then, as realizing that because of the weakness of the flesh, we all fall short, he exclaims, “O that my ways were directed to keep Thy statutes!” Surely we have this same feeling, as we view our shortcomings. If we could only attain to this level, we would have no need to be ashamed as we “have respect to,” or contemplate all the LORD’S commandments. How wonderful it would be to be able to feel that we had not failed in any point.


(Verses 7 and 8) I will praise Thee with uprightness of heart, when I shall have learned Thy righteous judgments. I will keep Thy statutes: O forsake me not utterly.


If the LORD will only condescend to teach us His righteous judgments, not in word only, but by instilling their principles in our hearts, we will praise Him with uprightness of heart, and keep his statutes. So he prays, “O forsake me not utterly.” No doubt He realized, as do we, that if we received strict justice, we would be utterly forsaken, but trusting in His mercy, we pray that He will not so deal with us.


(Verses 9 through 12) Wherewithal shall a young man cleanse his way? By taking heed thereto according to Thy word. With my whole heart have I sought Thee: O let me not wander from Thy commandments. Thy word have I hid in mine heart, that I might not sin against Thee. Blest art Thou, O LORD: teach me Thy statutes.


There is no doubt that the LORD has blessed some of our young people of today to be as fine as any in any generation of the world. However, we know that those who fill our news reports are not so blessed. In the face of these two facts, our leaders, from community leaders to kings and presidents of the nations of the world are asking  the same question the psalmist has here asked. “Wherewithal shall a young man (or woman) cleanse his ways?” Then they are investing untold hours of work and uncounted dollars in organizing and carrying out “programs” to do this, while completely ignoring the only plan that ever has worked, or ever will work. The psalmist has given it to us free of charge. “By taking heed thereto according to Thy word.” When we all quit trying to lay the responsibility for everything upon someone else, and realize that each of us is responsible for his own actions, we will have reached the point at which we can start this program. And we must remember that it will work for old as well as young. It is a very simple concept, though it often seems hard to execute. If each of us, both old and young, will take heed to his ways according to the commandments of God, that is bring his way into conformity to the word of God, the problem will already be solved. The psalmist’s prayer is our next consideration. “With my whole heart have I sought Thee: O let me not wander from Thy commandments.” He had been seeking the LORD with his whole heart, yet he also knew that he was subject to failure if left to himself. So he prayed that God would not let him wander, or stray from His commandments. It has been his purpose to maintain the LORD’S word in his heart, so that he would not sin against the LORD. He declares that God is to be praised, and he asks the LORD to teach him His statutes.


(Verses 13 through 16) With my lips have I declared all the judgments of Thy mouth. I have rejoiced in the way of Thy testimonies, as much as in all riches. I will meditate in Thy precepts, and have respect unto Thy ways. I will delight myself in Thy statutes: I will not forget Thy word.


The psalmist declares that He has spoken forth all the judgments the LORD has declared, and has rejoiced in the way of His testimonies, as other men do in their worldly wealth. Not only so, but he will continue to meditate upon the LORD’S precepts, and consider His ways. Also he will take delight in the statutes of God, and will not forget His word.


(Verses 17 through 20) Deal bountifully with Thy servant, that I may live, and keep Thy word. Open mine eyes that I may behold wonderful things out of Thy law. I am a stranger in the earth: hide not Thy commandments from me. My soul breaketh for the longing that it hath for Thy judgments at all times.


Having declared his intention to meditate upon and consider the precepts and ways of the LORD, and his determination not to forget His word, the psalmist now prays for two very important things. One is that the LORD will extend his life that he may keep the word of the LORD, and the other is that the LORD will, by opening his eyes to such matters, let him see wondrous things out of the law of God. Then He declares, “I am a stranger in the earth.” This may seem a little obscure, until we consider that, every day, in fact, every moment, we all face strange, or unknown experiences. If one is in a territory through which he has never before gone, he is a stranger there; and none of us has ever gone through this life before. We know nothing of what our next moment will bring, or whether we will have a next moment. Surely we are strangers in the earth. The LORD knows all about this earth; so, if He will “hide not” his commandments from us, we will, as it were, have a road map to follow as we travel here. He declares that his longing for the LORD’S judgments at all times is “breaking his soul.” We often speak of things breaking our hearts, but for the same meaning, the psalmist says, “my soul breaketh.” Both expressions carry the same idea, that of great sorrow.


(Verses 21 through 24) Thou hast rebuked the proud that are cursed, which do err from Thy commandments. Remove from me reproach and contempt; for I have kept Thy testimonies. Princes also did sit and speak against me: but Thy servant did meditate in Thy statutes. Thy testimonies also are my delight and my counselors.


He is well aware that the LORD has rebuked, or punished, those who, in their pride err from, or disregard, His commandments. So he prays that God will remove from him all such pride, reproach, and contempt. He has kept the LORD’S testimonies, and he does not want to be led away from them by that pride that has caused others to err, and receive the LORD’S rebuke. Even princes have sat and spoken against him, but still his meditation was in the statutes of God. The LORD’S testimonies are his delight and counselors, or advisers.


(Verses 25 through 28) My soul cleaveth unto the dust: quicken Thou me according to Thy word. I have declared my ways, and Thou heardest me: teach me Thy statutes. Make me to understand the way of Thy precepts: so shall I talk of Thy wondrous works. My soul melteth for heaviness: strengthen Thou me according to Thy word.


Here we find the psalmist almost in a faint. “My soul cleaveth unto the dust.” He is as one who has become so weary that he has fallen down in the dust of the road. His prayer is, “Quicken Thou me according to Thy word.” That is, “Refresh me by causing me to meditate on Thy word.” This is indeed the greatest refreshment to a soul tired of the constant battle with the ways of the world. He says, “I have declared (or confessed) my ways, and Thou heardest me.” Not only has he confessed his ways to the LORD, but the LORD has also given favorable reception to that confession. Therefore he prays, “Teach me Thy statutes. Make me to understand the way of Thy precepts: so shall I talk of Thy wondrous works.” The only way he, or we, can talk sensibly, or truthfully of the wonderful works of God is that He teach us, and make us understand His laws, and the way of His precepts. We do not, of ourselves, have sufficient wisdom to study out their meanings for ourselves. “My soul melteth for heaviness: strengthen Thou me according to Thy word.” Again he declares that his strength is gone, and he prays that God will by His word strengthen him. When almost knocked out by life and its battles, nothing will strengthen us like our LORD’S opening up His word to our understanding, and causing us to meditate therein.


(Verses 29 through 32) Remove from me the way of lying: and grant me Thy law graciously. I have chosen the way of truth: thy judgments have I laid before me. I have stuck unto Thy testimonies: O LORD, put me not to shame. I will run the way of Thy commandments, when Thou shalt enlarge my heart.


Verse 29 is a prayer that ought to be our constant desire. “Remove from me the way of lying: and grant me Thy law graciously.” Human nature is still under the curse of sin. Its first reaction to anything is to lie about it, perhaps, not even deliberately, but still a false impression. This is clearly shown by something used in our modern sports broadcasts, the instant replay. Even our eyes lie to us. We can be watching closely a play on the screen as it takes place: and we would declare, “I saw _ _ _,” whatever it was that we thought the situation to be, Examination of the replay will show that what we thought we saw did not take place. Is our eyesight failing us? No, our mind was influenced by what we expected to see. Thus it often is concerning other things. We can have a preconceived idea about some scriptural subject, and it will even twist the scriptures in our mind so that we will think they support our idea, when actually they do not. This very bias of nature is what the psalmist wants removed. And so ought we. So we need to pray that the LORD will remove from us the way of lying, especially when we are trying to study His word. May He remove this way of lying from us, and give us a true understanding of His word. We may, indeed, have chosen the way of truth, and laid His judgments before us, but unless He removes from us this “way of lying” all our efforts will be in vain. Verse 31 contains an expression that is very common in our everyday use of language in this modern age, but rare in scripture: “I have stuck unto Thy testimonies: O LORD, put me not to shame.” When one has spent a great deal of time on any task, it is not unusual for someone to say, “He has stuck with that.” Here this expression has exactly that same meaning. Yet with all his sticking to the study of the LORD’S testimonies, the psalmist knows that only the LORD can prevent his being put to shame. “I shall run the way of Thy commandments, when Thou shalt enlarge my heart.” As is evident from preceding verses, the enlargement of heart desired by the psalmist is the clear understanding of the testimonies of the LORD, undefiled by “the way of lying” that is common to man. When the LORD thus enlarges his heart, he will be able to run the way of His commandments.


(Verses 33 through 36) Teach me, O LORD, the way of Thy statutes; and I shall keep it unto the end. Give me understanding, and I shall keep Thy law; yea, I shall observe it with my whole heart. Make me to go in the path of Thy commandments; for therein do I delight. Incline my heart unto Thy testimonies, and not to covetousness.


Certainly nothing in this text is difficult to be understood. It is a prayer for understanding, and being taught of God. Men who are blessed of God may indeed teach us the laws and precepts of God, so far as the wording of them is concerned; but they cannot make our hearts understand them. Only God can do this. A good example of this is what people often call “The Lord’s Prayer.” Our Lord’s disciples asked Him to teach them to pray; and He taught them. Before our government bowed to the pagans, and outlawed the practice, it was common to have a devotional exercise in our public schools. Sometimes one might be called upon to “lead in prayer” at such an exercise; and, if he did not feel able to pray, he would repeat “The Lord’s Prayer.” Although Luke quotes our Lord as saying, “When ye pray, say, ‘Our Father Which _ _ _,” which signifies repeat these words; we know that it takes more than just a recital of these words to constitute prayer: for prayer is the sincere desire of the heart. Unless the Holy Ghost leads us in our prayers, all they amount to are idle words and vain repetition; and Jesus Himself has told us they will not be heard. So it is with His testimonies and commandments. On the other hand, if He will give us this understanding, we can, and will, keep His law and observe it with our whole heart. Only the LORD can make us to go in the path of His commandments, however much we may delight in them. The Apostle Paul makes this clear in Romans 7: 14-25. Therefore we also must pray that He will incline our hearts unto His testimonies, and not unto covetousness.


(Verses 37 through 40) Turn away mine eyes from beholding vanity; and quicken Thou me in Thy way. Stablish Thy word unto Thy servant, who is devoted to Thy fear. Turn away my reproach which I fear: for Thy judgments are good. Behold, I have longed after Thy precepts: quicken me in Thy righteousness.


As long as we look upon the works of men, we are beholding vanity. So let us pray that the LORD will turn us away from watching, or beholding, such, and set firmly His word before us, and center our attention upon it. We ought to be as the psalmist, “devoted to,” or constantly concerned with, the “fear of the LORD.” The reproach the psalmist feared was, evidently, that of falling short in his understanding and keeping of the judgments of God: for he has several times asked that that not be permitted to overtake him. The judgments of God are always good; and we ought always to long for them. May the LORD truly make us alive in His righteousness.


(Verses 41 through 44) Let Thy mercies come also unto me, O LORD, even Thy salvation, according to Thy word. So shall I have wherewith to answer him that reproacheth me: for I trust in Thy word. And take not the word of truth utterly out of my mouth; for I have hoped in Thy judgments. So shall I keep Thy law continually for ever and ever.


“Salvation” is a word used in scripture to signify many different things. Its basic meaning is “deliverance,” which, depending upon the context, can mean anything from eternal salvation to, as in this case, being delivered from the shame of not being able to give proper answer to those who would cast reproach upon us. If the LORD will let His mercies come unto us, according to His word, or by a true understanding of His word, we will have wherewith to answer those who reproach us. His word is the object of our trust; by it we hope to be delivered from their reproaches. The psalmist prays, “And take not the word of truth utterly out of my mouth,” that is, that he not be left, as we often say, “speechless,” and therefore at the mercy of those who would bring reproach. His hope has been in the judgments of God, and he prays that they not be permitted to desert him. With the granting of this prayer, he can continue to keep the law of the LORD “for ever and ever.” That is, he can never fail as long as the LORD continues to answer this prayer.


(Verses 45 through 48) And I will walk at liberty: for I seek Thy precepts. I will speak of Thy testimonies also before kings, and will not be ashamed. And I will delight myself in Thy commandments, which I have loved. My hands also will I lift up unto Thy commandments, which I have loved; and I will meditate in Thy statutes.


All of this is predicated upon the preceding text. If the LORD will favorably answer the prayers of that text, we can walk in liberty, since His precepts are what we seek. We shall also be able to speak of His testimonies, even before kings, and not be ashamed. The position of men to whom we speak will have no effect upon us, if only we are blessed with the true understanding and a ready memory of the word of the LORD. His commandments will be a delight to us, inasmuch as we have loved them. Perhaps, the lifting up of the hands unto the commandments of God may more indicate the doing of them than worshipping them, as is usually signified by “lifting up” of the hands. Though we love them, we worship Him Who gave then, instead of worshipping them per se. Thus can we meditate in His statutes.


(Verses 49 through 52) Remember the word unto Thy servant, upon which Thou hast caused Me to hope. This is My comfort in My affliction: for Thy word hath quickened Me. The proud have had Me greatly in derision: yet have I not declined from Thy law. I remembered Thy judgments of old, O LORD; and have comforted Myself.


From the beginning of this psalm there have been short passages that seem to apply more to our Lord Jesus in the time of His suffering than to any other. This is another of those. As we read, “Remember the word unto Thy servant, upon which Thou hast caused Me to hope.” Our mind goes back to Psalm 2:7-9, “I will declare the decree: the LORD hath said unto me, ‘Thou art My Son; this day have I begotten Thee. Ask of Me, and I shall give Thee the heathen for Thine inheritance, and the uttermost parts of the earth for Thy possession. Thou shalt break them with a rod of iron; Thou shalt dash them in pieces like a potter’s vessel,’” and Psalms 110:1-4, “The LORD said unto my Lord, ‘Sit Thou at My right hand, until I make Thine enemies Thy footstool. The LORD shall send the rod of Thy strength out of Zion : rule Thou in the midst of Thine enemies. Thy people shall be willing in the day of Thy power, in the beauties of holiness from the womb of the morning: Thou hast the dew of Thy youth. The LORD hath sworn, and will not repent, “Thou art a priest forever after the order of Melchizedek.”’” Although many other quotations can be found that apply to the word of the LORD to the Christ, these seem sufficient to establish the fact that the hope, or confidence, of our Lord Jesus was based upon the word of the LORD. And by that word He was quickened, or empowered to act. The proud, who may not be limited to, but certainly includes, the chief priests, the Pharisees, Herod, Pilate, and many others, had Him greatly in derision. They even ridiculed and insulted Him while He was on the cross. In the face of all this, He never, even once, turned aside from the law of the Father. Even in death, He comforted Himself with the judgments of God, which is evidenced by His final words, “Father, into Thy hands I commit My Spirit.”


(Verses 53 through 56) Horror hath taken hold upon Me because of the wicked that forsake Thy law. Thy statutes have been My songs in the house of My pilgrimage. I have remembered Thy name, O LORD, in the night, and have kept Thy law. This I had, because I kept Thy precepts.


Surely horror did take hold of Him, “because of the wicked that forsake Thy law.” It was because of the wickedness of man, into which even His own had fallen, that He came into the world. Shortly before He was arrested, He said, ”Now is My soul troubled; and what shall I say? ‘Father save me from this hour:’ but for this cause came I unto this hour.” In the very face of the knowledge that His path led to suffering and death, the commandments of the Father were His delight,  His “songs in the house of His pilgrimage.” That is, from start to finish of His mission, He kept always in mind both the name and the will of His Father, even in the darkness of night; and He always kept the law of the Father. This He had ( or “held,” and, probably, should be rendered, “upheld,”) because He kept, or fulfilled, the precepts of the LORD.


(Verses 57 through 60) Thou art My portion, O LORD: I have said that I would keep Thy words. I entreated Thy favor with My whole heart: be merciful unto Me according to Thy word. I thought on My ways, and turned My feet unto Thy testimonies. I made haste, and delayed not to keep Thy commandments.


Our Lord’s covenant with the Father was that He would do the will of God. (John 6:38-40) “For I came down from heaven, not to do Mine own will, but the will of Him That sent Me. And this is the Father’s will Which hath sent Me, that of all which He hath given Me I should lose nothing, but should raise it up again at the last day. And this is the will of Him That sent Me, that every one that seeth the Son, and believeth on Him may have everlasting life; and I will raise him up at the last day.” So He kept the Father’s words, did the Father’s will, and, in the position of a servant, begged the Father for mercy according to the Father’s word, or promise. He gave serious consideration to His ways, and always directed His feet according to the testimonies of the LORD. Always, and without any delay, He fulfilled the Father’s commandments.


(Verses 61 through 64) The bands of the wicked have robbed Me: but I have not forgotten Thy law. At midnight I will rise to give thanks unto Thee because of Thy righteous judgments. I am a companion of all them that fear Thee, and of them that keep Thy precepts. The earth, O LORD, is full of Thy mercy: teach Me Thy precepts.


Although He had power to lay down His life that He might take it up again, our Lord’s enemies had every intention of taking it from Him by their wicked act of crucifying Him. So, as far as their guilt is concerned, they did rob Him, even of His life. Yet He never forgot nor deviated from the law of the Father. “At midnight I will I rise to give thanks unto Thee because of Thy righteous judgments.” Although it may, or may not, have been at the midnight hour that our Lord arose from the tomb, it was during the hours of darkness, and none can say exactly when. Therefore it could well be called “ midnight .” His resurrection is indeed thanksgiving to the Father for His righteous judgments. Our Lord is also the companion of all that fear the LORD, and that keep His precepts. In John 15:14-15, Jesus said, “Ye are My friends, if ye do whatsoever I command you. Henceforth I call you not servants; for a servant knoweth not what his lord doeth: but I have called you friends; for all things that I have heard of My Father I have made known unto you.” Surely a friend is a companion. He then declares, “The earth, O LORD, is full of Thy mercy,” and prays, “Teach Me Thy statutes.” Some may say that, this can not be the prayer of our Lord, because He asks for instruction, and He is all wise. Let us remember that Hebrews 5:8 says, “Though He were a Son, yet learned He obedience by the things which He suffered.” Can we not see the similarity?


(Verses 65 through 68) Thou hast dealt well with Thy servant, O LORD, according unto Thy word. Teach me good judgment and knowledge: for I have believed Thy commandments. Before I was afflicted I went astray: but now have I kept Thy word. Thou art good, and doeth good; teach me Thy statutes.


In verses 65 and 66, there might be some continuation of the theme of the preceding text, but obviously verses 67 and 68 are a return to the psalmist’s own experience. Since verses 65 and 66 could also apply to him as well, we shall consider the whole text as being of his own experience. He recognizes that God has kept His word in all things, and has dealt well with him. So he prays that the LORD will teach him good judgment and knowledge. Knowledge is a necessary asset for anyone to accomplish anything; but without good judgment, it is often dangerous. So He wants both good judgment and knowledge. His faith in the commandments of God is the cause of this prayer. If we believe His commandments, and He will give us good judgment and understanding, we will be far less likely to stray from His ways. “Before I was afflicted I went astray: but now have I kept Thy word.” There is no denying that we do all go astray, but when the LORD brings affliction upon us, and lets us know that it is chastisement for our straying, we will be more careful to keep His word. This seems to have been the experience of the psalmist also. Now he declares, “Thou art good, and doest good. He has even acknowledged that the chastisement which the LORD brings upon us is good, and he prays, “teach me Thy statutes”. No doubt this teaching for which he prays, is not only that he may be taught the words of these statutes, but that they also be fixed in his consciousness that he may follow them.


(Verses 69 through 72) The proud have forged a lie against me: but I will keep Thy precepts with my whole heart. Their heart is as fat as grease; but I delight in Thy law. It is good for me that I have been afflicted; that I might learn Thy statutes. The law of Thy mouth is better unto me than thousands of gold and silver.


Here the psalmist contrasts “the proud,” which is another expression often used in the Psalms to mean “the wicked,” against himself. “Their heart is as fat as grease,” simply means that they have everything, in the way of earthly wealth and advantage that they could want, while all he has in which to take delight is the law of the LORD. They have forged a lie against him, while all he can do is to wholeheartedly maintain the precepts of God. He says, “It is good that I have been afflicted; that I might learn Thy statutes.” This surely reminds one of what the Apostle Paul said, (Romans 5:3-5) “And we glory in tribulations also: knowing that tribulation worketh patience; and patience, experience; and experience hope: and hope maketh not ashamed; because the love of God is shed abroad in our hearts by the Holy Ghost Which is given unto us.” The palmist and the Apostle were, as is often said today, “on the same wavelength.” Through the centuries men have measured wealth in what they considered its equivalent in gold or silver. The psalmist, after having set forth his contrast between the proud and himself, not only declares that his affliction was a blessing to him, but, further, “The law of Thy mouth is better to me than thousands of gold and silver.” The fact that he does not tell us exactly what measure of gold and silver he is using, whether shekels, talents, or whatever, seems to indicate that no matter how much there might be of them to consider, the word of God, “the law of Thy mouth,” is to him of greater value than all.


(Verses 73 through 76) Thy hands have made Me and fashioned Me: give Me understanding that I may learn Thy commandments. They that fear Thee will be glad when they see Me; because I have hoped in Thy word. I know, O LORD, that Thy judgments are right, and that Thou in faithfulness hast afflicted Me. Let, I pray Thee, Thy merciful kindness be for My comfort according to Thy word unto Thy servant.


It seems that the theme of this psalm has again turned to the Christ. As He was here in His earthly ministry, He declared that He did not come of His own volition, but the Father sent Him. Here He says, “Thy hands have made Me, and fashioned Me.” As we look back at the gospel record, we see that He did not come by natural generation, but by the power of God, and is therefore the Son of God. Certainly, as God, He knew all things, but as man in the capacity of a servant, He prayed the Father to teach Him His commandments. He declared they who fear the LORD will be glad when they see Him, “because I have hoped in Thy word.” That is, He had full confidence in the word of the Father. He knew that the judgments of God are always right, and that even the affliction He suffered on the cross was according to the faithfulness of the Father to His own covenant. Then He prays, “Let, I pray Thee, Thy merciful kindness be for my comfort, according to Thy word to Thy servant.” This is that same word of which He spoke in verses 49 and 50.


(Verses 77 through 80) Let Thy tender mercies come unto Me, that I may live: for Thy law is My delight. Let the proud be ashamed; for they dealt perversely with Me without a cause: but I will meditate in Thy precepts. Let them that fear Thee turn unto Me, and those that have known Thy testimonies. Let My heart be sound in Thy statutes; that I be not ashamed.


The tender mercies of the Father did let Him live, even for evermore, because He delighted in the law of the LORD. The proud were put to shame by the failure of their efforts to destroy Him. Now He, as the righteous Judge that He is, meditates in the precepts of the Father. Although, as the Son of man all judgment is committed unto Him, He has declared that He is not alone in His judgment. The Father is with Him. Even as the Father said, “This is My beloved Son in Whom I am well pleased; hear ye Him,” so those who fear the Father, and love His testimonies, come to the Son. He prays, “Let My heart be sound in Thy statutes; that I be not ashamed:” and so it is. He will never be ashamed, and neither will those who trust in Him.


(Verses 81 through 84) My soul fainteth for Thy salvation: but I hope in Thy word. Mine eyes fail for Thy word, saying, When wilt Thou comfort Me? For I am become like a bottle in the smoke; yet do not I forget Thy statutes. How many are the days of Thy servant? When wilt Thou execute judgment on them that persecute Me?


He declares that His longing for deliverance is so great that He is about to faint because of it. Often in scripture “faint” does not mean exactly what we commonly associate with this word. Instead, it often signifies being about to give up and quit the fight. This seems to be its usage in this case. But, when faced with this temptation, His confidence is still in the word of the LORD; and therefore He cannot give up. “Mine eyes fail for Thy word, saying ‘When wilt Thou comfort Me?’” As He views His suffering, His eyes seem to fail while looking for the fulfilling of the word of the Father, and He questions, “When wilt Thou comfort Me?” That is, How much longer must this suffering continue?” Remember that His suffering reached the point that made Him cry, “My God, My God, why hast Thou forsaken Me?” He continues, For I am like a bottle in the smoke; yet do I not forget Thy statutes.” The significance of this simile might be lost on us until we remember that, “bottle” did not mean the same thing to people in that day that it does to us. Now we think of it as being a glass or plastic container for liquids. In that day it was a container for liquid, usually wine; but it was not made of either glass or plastic. Instead, it, most often, was a goat hide, taken off the animal without splitting it open. Then it was cured, cleaned, filled with wine, and all the openings were tied up. Then it often was hung up from the apex of the tent until its contents were used up. In the center of the tent is where a fire was built if needed. Of course, the smoke would rise, and much of it would be trapped at the top of the tent. As the bottle hung up there in the smoke, it would gradually dry out, and, possibly, even crack so badly as to lose its contents, if left there too long. In this simile, He likens Himself to a bottle thus dried out so that it is almost useless. Yet He did not forget the statutes of the LORD, but maintained them throughout the ordeal. Then He asks, “How many are the days of Thy servant? When wilt Thou execute judgment on those that persecute Me?” Remember that while in His earthly mission, Jesus told His disciples that no one, not even the Son, but the Father only, knew the day and the hour of His return. Now, having finished that portion of His work, He asks, “How many are the days of Thy servant? When wilt Thou execute judgment on them that persecute Me?” It is now His right to know these things, since He must reign until this is finished.


(Verses 85 through 88) The proud have digged pits for Me, which are not after Thy law. All Thy commandments are faithful: they persecute Me wrongfully; help Thou me. They had almost consumed Me upon the earth; but I forsook not Thy precepts. Quicken Me after Thy loving kindness; so shall I keep the testimony of Thy mouth.


When one has come upon evil times so that he has lost all his possessions and, perhaps, has even been plunged into bankruptcy, someone may say of him, “He is really in the hole,” meaning not that he is actually in a hole dug in the earth, but that he has lost everything he had. This is the meaning to be associated with the digging of this “pit.” It was for the purpose of destroying our Lord. His enemies, “the proud,” have dug this pit, not according to the law of God, but after their own evil desire. He says, “They had almost consumed Me upon earth, but I forsook not Thy precepts.” In spite of everything they did, He maintained His course, by remembering the precepts of the LORD at all times. They had almost consumed Him; but almost was as close as they could come, because the Father kept Him. Since all the commandments of God are faithful, He, as is said in Psalms 76:10, restrained the remainder of wrath so that it only accomplished that which He had purposed from eternity. In the face of all this persecution and suffering, our Lord never wavered. So the Father did help Him, and after, or according to, His loving kindness, He quickened Him so that forever He keeps the testimony of the mouth of the Father.


(Verses 89 through 92) For ever, O LORD, Thy word is settled in heaven. Thy faithfulness is unto all generations: Thou hast established the earth and it abideth. They continue this day according to Thine ordinances: for all are Thy servants. Unless Thy law had been My delights, I should have perished in Mine affliction.


Surely the LORD’S word is forever “settled in heaven.” When Jesus taught His disciples to pray, He told them to pray, “Thy will be done in earth as it is in heaven.,” signifying that, in heaven it is so established that it is to be the model for the new earth also. His faithfulness has remained the same from the beginning, and it will forever, “to all generations.” The LORD established the earth, and it still remains as He set it up. It is by His ordinances that both heaven and earth continue even today. They themselves are His servants. Inasmuch as the Father’s law was the delight of Jesus the Son, He was sustained by it through all His affliction. With anything else, He would have perished. It alone sustained Him.


(Verses 93 through 96) I shall never forget Thy precepts: for with them Thou hast quickened Me. I am Thine, save Me; for I have sought Thy precepts. The wicked have waited for Me to destroy Me: but I will consider Thy testimonies. I have seen an end of all perfection: but Thy commandment is exceeding broad.


This is a continued declaration of the exceeding greatness of the precepts of the Father. The Son declares that He will never forget them, because it is by them that the Father has quickened Him, or raised Him from the dead. Then He says, “”I am Thine, save Me; for I have sought Thy precepts.” Often in scriptural usage, “save” simply means “keep.” Since the Son of God was never lost, and therefore never in need of being “saved,” as we so often use the word, it seems that the better word choice here is “keep.” It is by the power of the Father that He was kept, resurrected, and seated at the Father’s right hand on high, and is now kept until His enemies are made His footstool. He is thus kept because He sought always the precepts of the Father. The wicked laid wait for Him to destroy Him: but He held steadfast to the testimonies of the Father, enduring and overcoming all their efforts; but because He considered the Father’s commandments, He has the victory. To see “the end” of anything does not always mean that, that thing has been finished, and laid aside. Sometimes “the end” of anything is the final purpose of it, or the extent of it. In this case, it seems that the extent of it is under consideration. So, to use that meaning we have, “I have seen the extent of all perfection: but Thy commandment is exceeding broad.” He has seen just how far reaching perfection can be; but the commandment of God is broad enough to cover it all. Therefore perfection, however far it may extend, is still according to the commandment of God.


(Verses 97 through 100) O how I love Thy law! It is my meditation all the day. Thou through Thy commandments hast made me wiser than Mine enemies: for they are ever with me. I have more understanding than all my teachers: for Thy testimonies are my meditation. I understand more than the ancients, because I keep Thy precepts.


This entire psalm, extols the law, precepts, testimonies, and word, of the LORD. There are in it some passages that seem to apply to our Lord Christ Jesus, while others seem to apply to the psalmist himself. Yet in all of them it appears that there is a lesson for us as well. If indeed verse 97 applies to us, surely it will also make us wiser than our enemies. In this we are to consider our enemies as anyone, or anything, that would try to turn us away from the LORD, not just as someone who is set to destroy us physically. If we indeed love the Law of the LORD as is expressed in verse 97, He will enlighten us so that we are enough wiser than those enemies that we will turn to Him for help, and He will give us the victory over them. It may seem strange to claim that it will make us to have more understanding than our teachers, but we are to remember that this is only according to the degree to which we love  the law of the LORD, and focus our meditations upon it at all times. The greatest reason why we do not have more understanding of His law is that we apply our minds too much to other things, and too little to His law. This greater wisdom and understanding comes only by more meditation upon the testimonies of the LORD. The ancients, of whom he spoke were before the giving of the law of God, and they therefore did not have His precepts to guide them in their search for wisdom. But those who have His law have a great advantage.


(Verses 101 through 104) I have refrained my feet from every evil way, that I might keep Thy word. I have not departed from Thy judgments: for Thou hast taught me. How sweet are Thy words unto my taste! Yea, sweeter than honey to my mouth! Through Thy precepts I get understanding: therefore I hate every false way.


To one who loves the law of the LORD as declared in verse 97, His words are indeed sweet. And one who thus loves His law will do all he can to hold back his feet from every evil way, in order that he may keep the word, or the commandment, of God. His reason for not departing from the judgment of the LORD is that he has been taught of God. Having thus been taught of Him, he knows that all his understanding comes through the precepts of the LORD. Therefore he hates every false way, and whatever may tend to lead him away from the way of God.


(Verses 105 through 108) Thy word is a lamp unto my feet, and a light unto my path. I have sworn, and will perform it, that I will keep Thy righteous judgments. I am afflicted very much: quicken me, O LORD, according unto Thy word. Accept, I beseech Thee, the freewill offerings of my mouth, O LORD, and teach me Thy judgments


Until one tries to walk through a rough path in an extremely dark place, he might not appreciate the thought of verse 105. But, just as in such a situation, a lamp to shine around our feet and light up the rough objects in the way, can help us to get through the area without stumbling, so does the word of the LORD show us the things that lie in wait for us along the pathway of life. Thus it helps us to avoid stumbling. Therefore let us not only vow to keep His righteous judgments, but let us make every effort to keep that vow, in the face of whatever affliction we may have. Then may the LORD quicken, or refresh, us according to His word, even as He has promised. As He does this, we can offer praises and thanksgiving to Him, with the assurance that He will accept our offerings. Then too He will answer our prayer that He teach us His judgments.


(Verses 109 through 112) My soul is continually in My hand: yet do not I forget Thy law. The wicked have laid a snare for Me: yet have I erred not from Thy precepts. Thy testimonies have I taken for an heritage for ever: for they are the rejoicing of My heart. I have inclined Mine heart to perform Thy statutes always, even unto the end.


It is doubtful that anyone other than our Lord Jesus could truthfully make such a claim as this. Yet it seems clearly, though briefly, to describe His ministry. He was always kept by the Father. So, since, as He several times declared, He and the Father are One, His soul was continually in His hand. Even so, He never deviated from the law of His Father. The wicked were continually laying snares for Him, but He did not wander from the precepts of the LORD. He took the testimonies of God as His eternal heritage, because in them His heart rejoiced. Not only so, but His heart is set on performing the statutes of the LORD forever, even unto the end.


(Verses 113 through 116) I hate vain thoughts: but Thy law do I love. Thou art my hiding place and my shield: I hope in Thy word. Depart from me, ye evildoers: for I will keep the commandments of my God. Uphold me according unto Thy word, that I may live: and let me not be ashamed of my hope.


Verses 113 and 114 are a declaration of love for, and confidence in, the LORD. All who love Him do hate vain thoughts. This is not to say that we never have vain thoughts, but when they come into our minds, we do not welcome them. Instead we love the law of the LORD. At such times, the only secure hiding place we have is the LORD: and as we flee to the safety of the shadow of His wings, He is our shield. He protects us from those vain thoughts and all other evils. Our hope, or confidence, can be based on but one thing, His unfailing word. Realizing this, and having such confidence in God’s word, the psalmist turns to the wicked who constantly tempt and trouble him. To them he says, “Depart from me, ye evildoers: for I will keep the commandments of my God.” We ought to strive always to maintain this determination in our lives, and as we do, let us pray to the LORD as he did, “Uphold me according unto Thy word, that I may live: and be not ashamed of my hope”. He has promised that He will help those who call upon Him in time of trouble. He will not let us be put to shame, or be ashamed of that hope which He has Himself given us.


(Verses 117 through 120) Hold Thou me up and I shall be safe: and I will have respect unto Thy statutes continually. Thou hast trodden down all them that err from Thy statutes: for their deceit is falsehood. Thou puttest away all the wicked of the earth like dross: therefore I love Thy testimonies. My flesh trembleth for fear of Thee; and I am afraid of Thy judgments.


May we also keep always in mind that safety for us can be found only in the keeping of the LORD, as He upholds us. Remember that in Psalm 4:8, David said, “I will both lay me down in peace, and sleep: for Thou, LORD, only maketh me to dwell in safety.” There is no safety anywhere else. As He keeps us safe, we will be able to have respect to, or carefully consider, His statutes continually. We are prone to think of “err” as only meaning “wander away.” But in scriptural usage, it often carries the idea of deliberately turning away from the teaching of God, and deceiving others to lead them away also. So those who err from the statutes of God are the ones He has trodden down because their deceit is falsehood. They are the same as “the wicked, whom He puts away like dross,” or waste. This is another reason for loving His testimonies. The psalmist confesses that as he considers such a mighty God, “My flesh trembleth for fear of Thee: and I am afraid of Thy judgments.” In this modern age, everyone seems to want to “water down” the fear of God, so that they think of it as only “reverential respect.” While surely it includes that, this declaration shows that far more than that is intended.


(Verses 121 through 124) I have done judgment and justice: leave me not to mine oppressors. Be surety for Thy servant for good: let not the proud oppress me. Mine eyes fail for Thy salvation, and for the word of Thy righteousness. Deal with Thy servant according unto Thy mercy, and teach me Thy statutes.


There are some elements of this, which might be interpreted to apply to our Lord Jesus, and indeed they could. However they might also apply to the psalmist, or even to us. Some might argue that his statement, “I have done judgment and justice, “ would be a little boastful for anyone except our Lord, but that is not necessarily the case. Remember that the Apostle Paul stood forth in the midst of the storm, and declared, “For there stood by me this night the angel of God, Whose I am, and Whom I serve.” (Acts 27:23) If he could declare, “Whose I am, and Whom I serve,” any faithful servant of the LORD can say, “I have done judgment and justice.” Then the psalmist’s prayer is, “Leave me not to mine oppressors. Deal surety for Thy servant for good: let not the proud oppress me.” Surely we also desire the same. He declares that his longing for deliverance and for the word of righteousness, that is, the fulfilling of that “word of righteousness,” the promise of God, is so great that he feels his eyes failing him as he looks for it. Then he prays, “Deal with Thy servant according unto Thy mercy, and teach me Thy statutes.” No servant of the LORD has reached a high enough level of service that he can pray for Him to deal with him in any other manner than according to His mercy. Whatever one has done, he is still in need of the mercy of God. No matter how long, or how faithfully he may have served, he is still in need of more teaching of God in His statutes.


(Verses 125 through 128) I am Thy servant; give me understanding, that I may know Thy testimonies. It is time for the LORD to work: for they have made void Thy law. Therefore I love Thy commandments above gold; yea, above fine gold. Therefore I esteem all Thy precepts concerning all things to be right; and I hate every false way.


We may have been trying to serve the LORD only a little while, or we may have spent what men would consider many years serving Him; and our service may have been somewhat erratic, or it may have been faithful: but in either case we are still in need of more understanding, that we may know His testimonies. We will never in this life get to such a height of knowledge and understanding that we know all we need to know about them. Since men have made void the law of God, it is time for Him to work. This is not intended to give the impression that God does not know until we tell Him, when He ought to start work on anything; but that since men have made void the law of God, there is no more that we can do. He is the only One, Who is able to accomplish anything. “They have made void Thy law” does not mean that they have either the authority or the ability to repeal His law, but that they have completely disregarded it. The only way they can be made to respect it is that the LORD rise up and bring judgment upon those who do not regard His law. So, knowing the judgments of God against such, the psalmist declares, “Therefore I love Thy commandments above gold, yea, above fine gold. Therefore I esteem all Thy precepts concerning all things to be right: and I hate every false way.” “Since I know what Your judgments are against those who disregard Your law, I prize all your commandments and precepts above riches. And I hate every way that opposes truth.”


(Verses 129 through 132) Thy testimonies are wonderful: therefore doth my soul keep them. The entrance of Thy words giveth light; it giveth understanding unto the simple. I opened my mouth and panted: for I longed for Thy commandments. Look Thou upon me, and be merciful unto me, as Thou usest to do unto those that love Thy name.


In verses 129 and 130 he continues the praise of the words and testimony of God. They are wonderful, and he loves them so that his soul pants for them even as one who has too long been without water may pant for it. When they come unto us, they bring light and cause even the simple to have understanding. He now prays that the LORD will have mercy upon him, even as He is accustomed to do to those who love His name.


(Verses 133 through 136) Order my steps in Thy word: and let not any iniquity have dominion over me. Deliver me from the oppression of man: so will I keep Thy precepts. Make Thy face to shine upon Thy servant; and teach me Thy statutes. Rivers of waters run down mine eyes, because they keep not Thy law.


Notice the prayer in verses 133 through 135. First he says, “Order my steps in Thy word.” He had been given the same understanding as had Jeremiah, who said, “O LORD, I know that the way of man is not in himself: it is not in man that walketh to direct his steps.” (Jeremiah 10:23) So he prays that the LORD will “order my steps in Thy word.” May He also do so for us, and deliver us from the oppression of man. Then, and then only, can we keep His precepts. Next he prays, “Make Thy face to shine upon Thy servant; and teach me Thy ways.” That is, Show me Your favor, and let me feel Your approval: and teach me Your commandments. Again we see the need of continuous teaching, as we try to follow the LORD. We are so weak that if He did not continue teaching us daily, we would forget His laws, even as others. Verse 136 sets forth a concept which most of us seem to have forgotten today. If anyone mentions the terrible plight and prospect of those who care nothing about His laws, someone is likely to say, in a somewhat indifferent tone of voice, “The Lord is going to save His saints, and bring judgment upon the wicked. Then everything will be all right,” thus showing no concern at all for them. If anyone tries to call their attention to their lack of concern, they are likely to say, “Well, there is nothing I can do about it. That is the LORD’S business.” This may, in a manner, be the truth; but it is not in harmony with our Lord’s commandment, His action, or the action of the psalmist. In Matthew 5:43-44, Jesus said, Ye have heard that it hath been said, ‘Thou shalt love thy neighbor, and hate thine enemy.’ But I say unto you, ‘Love your enemies, bless them that curse you, do good to them that hate you, and pray for them that despitefully use you, and persecute you.’” How can such a callous lack of concern, in any way, agree with “Love your enemies?” Read Luke19:41-44. Verse 41 says, “And when He was come near, He beheld the city, and wept over it.” Certainly we know that He was both God and man. Yet it is almost universally conceded, by those who know the scriptures, that, Divinity does not weep. Therefore it must be that as man He wept over Jerusalem . What caused Him to weep? It was sorrow because they (the inhabitants of Jerusalem ) had not kept the laws of God, and were now about to suffer His wrath. Now consider what the Psalmist says, “Rivers of waters run down mine eyes, because they keep not Thy law,” Where then are our tears for the wicked, “they who keep not Thy law,” or those whom our Lord called our “enemies?” Have we elevated ourselves to a higher plane than the psalmist, or our Lord, that we have no tears for the enemy? While we remain in this world we will never climb high enough to look down upon the wicked. The only reason we are not now among them is, “But God, Who is rich in mercy, for the great love wherewith He loved us, even when we were dead in sins, hath quickened us together with Christ, (by grace are ye saved;) and hath raised us up together, and made us sit together in heavenly places in Christ Jesus.” (Ephesians 2:4-6) We need always to pray for them, that if He will, God may open their eyes and hearts, and save them by His grace. Someone will immediately say, “We don’t need to pray for their salvation. The Lord will save only those whom He has predestinated to be conformed to the image of His Son, Christ Jesus our Lord.” That is certainly true; but neither you nor I know who they are: therefore it behooves us to pray for all, and leave the selection in His hand.


(Verses 137 through 140) Righteous art Thou, O LORD, and upright are Thy judgments. Thy testimonies that Thou hast commanded are righteous and very faithful. My zeal hath consumed me, because mine enemies have forgotten Thy words. Thy word is very pure: therefore Thy servant loveth it.


The psalmist continues praising the LORD and His judgments and testimonies. As we saw in verse 136, he was greatly moved because of those who did not keep the law of the LORD. Now he says that his zeal has consumed him; that is, it has taken away his strength, all because his enemies have forgotten the words of the LORD. He declares that the purity of the word of the LORD is one cause of his love for it.


(Verses 141 through 144) I am small and despised: yet do not I forget Thy precepts. Thy righteousness is an everlasting righteousness, and Thy law is truth. Trouble and anguish have taken hold of me: yet Thy commandments are my delights. The righteousness of Thy testimonies is everlasting: give me understanding, and I shall live.


The psalmist claims no greatness: instead, he says, “I am small and despised.” Just as we, he could not ask for recognition on the foundation of his importance, but only on the mercy of God. Yet, as insignificant as he was, he does not forget the precepts of the LORD. The LORD’S righteousness is not something that continues for a time, and then fails. It is everlasting, and therefore it cannot fail: and the law of God is truth. The psalmist has fallen on hard times: trouble and anguish have come upon him; but they cannot stop him from taking delight in the commandments of the LORD. He again declares the righteousness of the testimonies of the LORD to be everlasting. As long as the LORD will give us understanding of His commandments and precepts, we indeed can live. This seems to carry more meaning that just to continue breathing. It seems to carry the idea of being revived and refreshed so that we can continue maintaining the laws of God, inasmuch as he earlier said, “My zeal hath consumed me, because mine enemies have forgotten Thy words.” With the gift of more understanding, he will be able to carry on as before.


(Verses 145 through 148) I cried with my whole heart: hear me, O LORD: I will keep Thy statutes. I cried unto Thee; save me, and I shall keep Thy testimonies. I prevented the dawning of the morning, and cried: I hoped in Thy word. Mine eyes prevent the night watches, that I might meditate in Thy word.


His prayer is not superficial, but comes from the heart itself, as he prays to the LORD to deliver him from the trouble and anguish that have come upon Him. He declares that if the LORD will grant deliverance, he will keep His statutes and His testimonies. When he says, “I prevented the dawning of the morning,” he does not mean that he kept the morning from dawning, but that he was up before it dawned, and even was calling upon the LORD. His confidence in the word of God is still strong. Also the night was not broken into watches for him, but he stayed awake, meditating upon the word of the LORD.


(Verses 149 through 152) Hear my voice according unto Thy loving kindness: O LORD, quicken me according to Thy judgment. They draw nigh that follow after mischief: they are far from Thy law. Thou art near, O LORD; and all Thy commandments are truth. Concerning Thy testimonies, I have known of old that Thou hast founded them forever.


The psalmist here appears to be in great fear of his enemies, “They that follow after mischief.” They have approached too close for comfort; and he prays for the loving kindness of the LORD to deliver him. He asks the LORD to quicken, or strengthen him against them. They are far from the law of God; that is, they make no effort to walk according to it. If they did, there would be no need to fear them, because all His commandments are truth; and so far as His testimonies are concerned, the psalmist has known for a long time that the LORD has established them forever. They can never fail.


(Verses 153 through 156) Consider mine afflictions, and deliver me: for I do not forget Thy law. Plead my cause, and deliver me: quicken me according to Thy word. Salvation is far from the wicked: for they seek not Thy statutes. Great are Thy tender mercies, O LORD: quicken me according to Thy judgments.


He continues to pray that the LORD will consider his afflictions, plead his cause, deliver him, and strengthen him according to His word, or promise: for he does not forget the law of God. So far as the wicked are concerned, they are making no effort to follow the statutes of the LORD, so their works indicate that salvation is far from them. On the other hand, the tender mercies of the LORD are great. He prays that God will strengthen him according to His judgment.


(Verses 157 through 160) Many are my persecutors and mine enemies; yet do I not decline from Thy testimonies. I beheld the transgressors, and was grieved; because they kept not Thy word. Consider how I love Thy precepts: quicken me, O LORD, according to Thy loving kindness. Thy word is true from the beginning: and every one of Thy righteous judgments endureth forever.


Although many persecutors and enemies surround him, he does not deviate from the testimonies of God. As he viewed the transgressors, he was grieved because they did not keep the word, or law, of the LORD. Then he prays that the LORD will consider his love for His precepts, and strengthen him according to His loving kindness. He declares that the word of God has never changed, but is true all the way from the beginning, and all His judgments, being righteous, will endure forever.


(Verses 161 through 165) Princes have persecuted me without a cause: but my heart standeth in awe of Thy word. I rejoice at Thy word, as one that findeth great spoil. I hate and abhor lying: but Thy law do I love. Seven times a day do I praise Thee because of Thy righteous judgments. Great peace have they which love Thy law: and nothing shall offend them.


Here he declares that not only the common people, but even princes have persecuted him without cause, but even this does not drive him from the law of the LORD. In his heart he still holds extremely high regard for the word of God. It makes him rejoice as if he had overcome an enemy, and taken much spoil from him. He has an extreme hatred for lying, but a great love for the law of the LORD. Inasmuch as seven is a number much used in scripture to mean the whole of anything, rather than just the limited number seven, it seems that it would thus apply here. So he spends the whole day praising the LORD because of His righteous judgments. Those who love the law of the LORD have great peace, and “nothing shall offend them,” that is, nothing shall cause them to stumble, be offended, or lose faith.


(Verses 166 through 168) LORD, I have hoped for Thy salvation, and done Thy commandments. My soul hath kept Thy testimonies; and I love them exceedingly. I have kept Thy precepts and Thy testimonies: for all my ways are before Thee.


This certainly needs little explanation. The psalmist declares that he confidently expected the LORD’S salvation to take care of him: his soul has kept the testimonies of the LORD, and he has followed His commandments because of the great love he has for them. All His precepts and testimonies are kept before him, and he has kept, or followed them.


(Verses 169 through 172) Let my cry come near before Thee, O LORD: give me understanding according to Thy word. Let my supplication come before Thee: deliver me according to Thy word. My lips shall utter praise when Thou hast taught me Thy statutes. My tongue shall speak of Thy word: for all Thy commandments are righteousness.


Here the psalmist prays that God will hear, and favorably receive his cry and supplication, and bless him with understanding and deliverance according to His word, or promise. When this is done, he will be able to praise the LORD and speak of  the word of God. He declares that all the LORD’S commandments are righteous.


(Verses 173 through 176) Let Thine hand help me; for I have chosen Thy precepts. I have longed for Thy salvation, O LORD; and Thy law is my delight. Let my soul live, and it shall praise Thee; and let Thy judgments help me. I have gone astray like a lost sheep; seek Thy servant; for I do not forget Thy commandment.


This is a prayer which fits all of us, who have chosen to follow the precepts of the LORD. The psalmist declares that he has so chosen; and if we are trying to walk in the precepts of God, it is because we have chosen the same thing. Immediately someone will try to raise an argument, and declare that we did not choose the LORD, but He chose us. That subject is not even hinted at in this text. Why we made the choice can be discussed at another time, and with a different text. Those who are trying to serve Him have chosen to do so. Therefore we pray, as did the psalmist, “Let Thine hand help me.” He continues, “I have longed for Thy salvation, O LORD; and Thy law is my delight.” If this were not true, we would not have chosen the precepts of the LORD. Then he prays, “Let my soul live, and it shall praise Thee; and let Thy judgments help me.” Surely we need His help, and as He lets our souls live, we shall praise Him. Finally he says, “I have gone astray like a lost sheep; seek Thy servant; for I do not forget Thy commandments.” Isaiah declares, (Isaiah 53:6) “All we like sheep have gone astray.” The psalmist is well enough acquainted with sheep to know that when a sheep goes astray, and becomes lost, he cannot find his way back home. The shepherd must go, find him, and bring him home. Therefore he prays, “Seek Thy servant; for I do not forget Thy commandments.” We do not forget His commandments, but just as a lost sheep, we are so bewildered that we cannot find our way home by ourselves: He must come and take us back to the fold.


Chapter 120


(Verses 1 through 4) In my distress I cried unto the LORD, and He heard me. Deliver my soul, O LORD, from lying lips, and from a deceitful tongue. What shall be given unto thee? Or what shall be done unto thee, thou false tongue? Sharp arrows of the mighty, with coals of juniper.


The psalmist declares that he, being in great distress because of a lying and deceitful tongue, (that of his enemies who spread false reports concerning him,) called upon the LORD, and He delivered his soul from that distress. Then he addresses the “false tongue.” He seems frustrated and at a loss for a way to stop the false tongue. From both experience and observation I am sure that there is little we can do to stop one. Once a false report is circulated about one, even after it is proven to be false, those who have circulated it neither make any apology for, nor repent of, having spread the false accusation. A false, or deceitful tongue is indeed “sharp arrows of the mighty, with coals of juniper.” Just as sharp arrows shot forth by a mighty man will wound deeply, and coals of juniper will be blown on the breeze, and spread the fire everywhere, so the deceitful tongue will destroy the reputation of a righteous man, and will spread dissension through a whole community, or farther.


(Verses 5 through 7) Woe is me that I sojourn in Mesech, that I dwell in the tents of Kedar! My soul hath long dwelt with him that hateth peace. I am for peace: but when I speak, they are for war.


Mesech is the ancient name for Moscow , which is in Russia . Kedar is somewhat difficult to find on most maps. However since Kedar is the name of the second son of Ishmael, one would think that, likely, he gave his name to a city in the dominion of Ishmael. Thus these two places are very far apart, which would indicate that they are here used, not to indicate the place of residence of the psalmist, but to show, by their being so far apart, that wherever he might be the situation would be the same. The whole human race is, and always has been, more ready to stir up confrontation than to make peace. A little review of the history of humanity will show that about the only thing that will cause men to be ready for peace is that the force of their adversary is great enough that they fear to make war on him. So wherever one might dwell, it has always been that he is among those, or “with him that hateth peace.” Personally, he might be for peace; but those around him are for war, and it shows just as soon as he speaks. Once, when discussing with a very well loved and respected minister a situation that existed among churches in the area, I suggested that, since so many mistakes had been made on both sides of the dissension, the best course would be for all to meet together, agree to forgive and forget, and drop the matter. His answer was, “Yes, that would be best; but I just can’t be that charitable.” So, even today, though we might be for peace, when we speak, they are for war.


Chapter 121

(Verses 1 through 4) I will lift up mine eyes unto the hills, from whence cometh my help. My help cometh from the LORD, Which made heaven and earth. He will not suffer thy foot to be moved: He that keepeth thee will not slumber. Behold, He that keepeth Israel shall neither slumber nor sleep.


I do not know whether or not others have had the same experience as I. But many times I have been in a position where I could look in all directions, and see what appeared to be a ring of hilltops around me, although they may have been at varying distances from me. To look thus upon them has always given me a feeling of serenity, comfort, and safety. Perhaps, this is also what the psalmist had in mind as he wrote this first verse. Then, lest anyone think he was worshipping the hills themselves, he says, “My help cometh from the LORD, Which made heaven and earth.” His lifting up his eyes unto the hills caused him to be looking above the things of the world, and toward heaven the throne of God, and he worshipped the LORD, Who made the heaven and the earth. The next two verses are in praise to the LORD, as ought always to be our endeavor. “He will not suffer thy foot to be moved: He that keepeth thee will not slumber.” It is obvious from this wording that he is speaking to those who trust in the LORD, they who are in His keeping. He will never be asleep when they need Him, and neither will He suffer one who trusts in Him to lose his footing in the pathway of life. “Behold He that keepeth Israel will neither slumber nor sleep.” He will always be alert to take care of Israel in all situations.


(Verses 5 through 8) The LORD is thy keeper: the LORD is thy shade upon thy right hand. The sun shall not smite thee by day, nor the moon by night. The LORD shall preserve thee from all evil: He shall preserve thy soul. The LORD shall preserve thy going out and thy coming in from this time forth and even for evermore.


Verse 4 fixed the focus of this psalm. Since the LORD is the One, Who “keepeth Israel ,” it is obvious that Israel is the primary addressee. He declares to Israel , “The LORD is thy keeper.” This we know to be true, for the LORD has Himself promised that even when they transgress His laws, and He brings chastisement upon them, He will not utterly take away His loving kindness from them. Since He is their keeper, He will also be their shade. “The sun shall not smite thee by day, nor the moon by night.” Certainly everyone can understand the danger of the sun’s smiting him by day, inasmuch as a great portion of the territory of Israel is arid and hot. Some, however might not see the significance of, “nor the moon by night.” We have gotten away from, and, perhaps, have forgotten an idea that in ancient times was almost universally held. That idea is that insanity, in most of its forms, resulted from too much exposure to the moon. We still retain in our modern vocabulary such words as “moonstruck” and “lunatic,” as well as some others that are derived from this idea. The Latin word for moon is “luna,” and from that comes “lunatic,” which meant “one affected by the moon.” Of course, “moonstruck” means the same thing. So the LORD, Who was their keeper protected them from both the sun and the moon. Not only will He protect them from the sun and the moon, but He will also preserve them from all evil: “He shall preserve thy soul.” His protection is over them both in their going out and their coming in: and this protection is forever. Some try to argue that He has completely set aside Israel , and replaced them with the gospel church. Such a doctrine will not agree with the word of God. Jeremiah 31:36-37 says, “Thus saith the LORD, Which giveth the sun for a light by day, and the ordinances of the moon and the stars for a light by night, Which divideth the sea when the waves thereof roar. The LORD of hosts is His name: ‘If those ordinances depart from before Me,’ saith the LORD, ‘then the seed of Israel shall cease from being a nation before Me for ever.’ Thus saith the LORD; ‘If heaven above can be measured, and the foundations of the earth be searched out beneath, I will also cast off all the seed of Israel for all that they have done,’ saith the LORD.” There is no scriptural evidence that this does not apply to national Israel Some try to claim that The New Covenant set forth in Jeremiah 31:31-34, was made to the Gospel Church , and not to national Israel . The writer of the Hebrew Epistle sets it forth as including all for whom Christ Jesus is the High Priest; but that letter was written to Jewish Christians. And God specifically said that He would make this covenant “with the house of Israel and the house of Judah ;” and He further identifies them as the ones whose fathers were the recipients of the old covenant, but broke it instead of keeping it. This can only apply to Israel , not to the Gentiles. The Apostle Paul makes it clear that the Gentiles, in the gospel church, are recipients of the blessings of Israel . And when the fullness of the Gentiles has come in, the Jews will be again grafted into their own olive tree. The fact that God will fulfill all His promises to Israel is the only foundation we have for looking for the fulfilling of any of His promises to the gospel church, or to us as individuals.


Chapter 122

(Verses 1 through 5) I was glad when they said unto me, Let us go into the house of the LORD. Our feet shall stand within thy gates, O Jerusalem. Jerusalem is builded as a city that is compact together: whither the tribes go up, the tribes of the LORD, unto the testimony of Israel to give thanks unto the name of the LORD. For there are set thrones of judgment, the thrones of the house of David.


Jerusalem is the city in which Solomon built the temple of the LORD, and even before that, the ark of the covenant had for several years been kept there. So, to the Jew it was, and is, the greatest city on earth, the place he most longs to be. From the wording of this psalm, it would seem that there has, for a long time been no access to the temple of the LORD. So it was a great source of gladness to the psalmist that he could again go through the gates into Jerusalem , and there stand. He was glad when someone said to him, “Let us go into the house of the LORD.” This privilege seems to have been denied him for some time. Since David is the one writing this, it may refer to his return to Jerusalem after Absalom’s revolt; or it could be prophetic of the re-gathering of Israel in the last days. He declares that Jerusalem was built as a place where all the tribes of the LORD, the twelve tribes of Israel , could go up to give thanks to the name of the LORD. There are the thrones, or seats, of judgment, “the thrones of the house of David”. Thus to him it was a very comforting place.


(Verses 6 through 9) Pray for the peace of Jerusalem : they shall prosper that love thee. Peace be within thy walls, and prosperity within thy palaces. For my brethren and companions’ sakes, I will now say, Peace be within thee. Because of the house of the LORD our God I will seek thy good.


There certainly ought not be any difficulty in understanding this. It was spoken concerning the city of Jerusalem and the temple of God . Yet it is also a prayer that should be in the heart of each of us today concerning “the house of God, which is the church of the living God, the pillar and ground of the truth.” With all the sniping, backbiting, and warfare, going on in the churches today, we especially need to pray for peace and prosperity within her walls and palaces. Let us, for the sakes of our brethren and companions, not only say, “Peace be within thee,” but work to bring it about, and determine, as did David, “Because of the house of the LORD our God I will seek thy good.”


Chapter 123

(Verses 1 through 4) Unto Thee lift I up mine eyes, O Thou that dwellest in the heavens. Behold, as the eyes of servants look unto the hand of their masters, and the eyes of a maiden unto the hand of her mistress; so our eyes wait upon the LORD our God, until that He have mercy upon us: for we are exceedingly filled with the scorning of those that are at ease, and with the contempt of the proud.


This is a very short, simple, and easily understood psalm. As the psalmist looks up to heaven, the throne of God, he recognizes that his relationship with God is that of a servant with his master, or a maid with her mistress. It is not for the servant, whether male, or female, to set the policy of the house, nor even to make judgments concerning other servants. There have always been servants in any great house, as there are employees on any job today that are “at ease.” That is, they are not concerned with doing the best they can at their tasks, but only with how they can get by with the least effort; and such are usually somewhat scornful of those who try to serve to the best of their abilities. In many instances such will ridicule the faithful servants. So the psalmist prays for mercy that he may be delivered from such.


Chapter 124

(Verses 1 through 5) If it had not been the LORD Who was on our side, now may Israel say; if it had not been the LORD Who was on our side, when men rose up against us: then they had swallowed us up quick, when their wrath was kindled against us: then the waters had overwhelmed us. The stream had gone over our soul: then the proud waters had gone over our soul.


This text contains quite a bit of repetition, as is common in poetry; but its meaning comes through very clearly. David declares that Israel can say, and the inference is that, because it is true, they ought to say that, if the LORD had not been on their side, their enemies would have destroyed them completely. He uses the expression, “Then had they swallowed us up quick,” which is the equivalent to one we often hear today, “They would have eaten us alive,” not actually meaning that they were cannibals; but that they would have overcome them completely. So the victory belongs not to Israel , but to the LORD; and so it is with us when the enemies come against us. As he often does, he likens the onslaught of the enemies to the waters of a suddenly flooded stream, as they cover, and sweep away, all that is in their way. It is only by the mercy of the LORD that Israel was, or that we are, delivered from such destruction.


(Verses 6 through 8) Blessed be the LORD, Who hath not given us as a prey to their teeth. Our soul is escaped as a bird out of the snare of the fowlers: the snare is broken, and we are escaped. Our help is in the name of the LORD, Who made heaven and earth.


Thus he ascribes praise to the LORD, Who has saved us from being overrun and destroyed by the enemy. We have escaped, but only as a bird, when someone breaks the snare of the fowler; and He, Who broke that snare is the LORD Himself. Otherwise we would still be in the trap. He declares, “Our help is in the name of the LORD, Who made heaven and earth.” That was true for Israel ; and it is true for us.


Chapter 125

(Verses 1 through 3) They that trust in the LORD shall be as mount Zion , which cannot be removed, but abideth for ever. As the mountains are round about Jerusalem , so the LORD is round about His people from henceforth even for ever. For the rod of the wicked shall not rest upon the lot of the righteous; lest the righteous put forth their hands unto iniquity.


Those who trust in the LORD have His promise that He will never leave them nor forsake them. So they shall in His care abide forever, just as does mount Zion , the place God chose for His temple, and where His name is to abide. His constant care and protection for His people encircles them forever just as the mountains encircle Jerusalem . “The rod” is sometimes used to mean power, as when the Father said to the Son, “and Thou shalt rule them with a rod of iron.” It also is sometimes a measuring instrument, as in Revelation 11:1, “And there was given me a reed like unto a rod: and the angel said unto me, ‘Rise and measure the temple of God .’” It has long been a custom that when a piece of land is purchased, the purchaser has it surveyed, or measured, and the boundaries established, as evidence that it belongs to him. This, the wicked will never be permitted to do to the lot, or inheritance of the righteous. This is also why that, with all the worldwide controversy over Israel ’s “giving land for peace” project, it can never succeed. The land was given by the LORD to Israel in perpetuity, and nothing can change that. The rod of the wicked shall not rest upon the lot of the righteous. If it did, that might cause even the righteous to put forth their hands unto iniquity.


(Verses 4 and 5) Do good, O LORD, unto them that be good, and to them that are upright in their hearts. As for such as turn aside unto their crooked ways, the LORD shall lead them forth with the workers of iniquity: but peace shall be upon Israel .


The psalmist prays that God will bless those who are good, and are of an upright heart. The “good,” and “them that are upright in their hearts,” obviously refer to Israel , so far as the psalmist is concerned. Since Israel are the LORD’S people, not by their choice, but by His, this can be extended to all whom He has chosen and called in every age. Therefore we too can pray this same prayer. Certainly none is good, in the sense of being perfect in all things, but if He has chosen and called us, in Him we are made good, and of an upright heart. He has promised also to hear us when we pray. But those who turn aside to their crooked ways will be dealt with in the same manner as other workers of iniquity. “But peace shall be upon Israel .”


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