By Henry Law
This Psalm is bright in praises for the countless mercies of our God, especially for faithfulness to His covenants. Prayer is added. May we with joyful hearts adopt this tone!
1-2. "I will sing of the mercies of the Lord forever; with my mouth will I make known Your faithfulness to all generations. For I have said, Mercy shall be built up forever; You shall establish Your faithfulness in the very heavens."
Mercy is a theme for everlasting praise. Faithfulness cannot be adequately commended. Mercy and truth go hand in hand to consummate salvation. Mercy and truth shall ever be the song of the redeemed. May they be our song now!
3-4. "I have made a covenant with my chosen, I have sworn to David my servant. Your seed will I establish forever, and build up your throne to all generations."
We have here the glad announcement that a covenant is established by God with Jesus, the Son of David. This covenant secures the perpetuity of the chosen seed. It stands forever.
5-6. "And the heavens shall praise Your wonders, O Lord; Your faithfulness also in the congregation of the saints. For who in the heaven can be compared to the Lord? who among the sons of the mighty can be likened unto the Lord?"
Due praise awaits the Lord for these His wonders. It shall commence on earth. It shall be lengthened throughout the days of heaven. These wonders are great beyond all thought. They spring from the unchanging heart of Him, who is the great I AM.
7-10. "God is greatly to be feared in the assembly of the saints, and to be held in reverence of all those who are about Him. O Lord God of hosts, who is a strong Lord like You? or to Your faithfulness round about You? You rule the raging of the sea; when its waves arise, You still them. You have broken Rahab in pieces, as one that is slain; You have scattered Your enemies with Your strong arm."
Should not filial fear, and holy reverence encircle the throne of God? Mark His might. Is the earth full of commotion? If He speaks, stillness reigns. If He displays His power, His enemies vanish, as smoke before the wind.
11-14. "The heavens are Yours, the earth, also is Yours; as for the world and its fullness, You have founded them. The north and the south You have created them; Tabor and Hermon shall rejoice in Your name. You have a mighty arm; strong is Your hand, and high is Your right hand. Justice and judgment are the habitation of Your throne; mercy and truth shall go before Your face."
Survey the universe. It is the work of His hands. From north to south creation recognizes Him as sovereign Lord. Thus great is His power. Great, also, are all His attributes. Justice and judgment are His abode. Mercy and truth precede His steps.
15-18. "Blessed are the people who know the joyful sound; they shall walk, O Lord, in the light of Your countenance. In Your name shall they rejoice all the day and in Your righteousness shall they be exalted. For You are the glory of their strength; and in Your favor our horn shall be exalted. For the Lord is our defense; and the Holy One of Israel is our King."
Blessed indeed are they whose ears receive the gospel's joyful sound. Their walk is bright, for God shines on them. In His Name and in His righteousness they are exalted. He is the glory of their strength. In Him security surrounds them.
19-23. "Then You spoke in vision to your Holy One, and said, I have laid help upon one that is mighty; I have exalted one chosen out of the people. I have found David My servant; with My holy oil have I anointed him. With whom My hand shall be established; My arm also shall strengthen him. The enemy shall not exact upon him; nor the son of wickedness afflict him. And I will beat down his foes before his face, and plague those who hate him."
Here Jesus is most gloriously revealed. He is called of God to be our uttermost salvation. He is anointed as our Prophet, Priest, and King. No enemy shall prevail against Him. May we receive Him in all His offices, and powers, and work, and thus be seated on the pinnacle of safety.
24-29. "But My faithfulness and My mercy shall be with him; and in My Name shall his horn be exalted. I will set his hand also in the sea, and his right hand in the rivers. He shall cry to Me, You are my Father, my God, and the Rock of my salvation. Also I will make him my firstborn, higher than the kings of the earth. My mercy will I keep for him forevermore, and My covenant shall stand fast with him. His seed also will I make to endure forever, and his throne as the days of heaven."
It is the delight of faith to contemplate Jesus thus exalted by Jehovah's power to the throne of salvation. The Father proclaims Him, 'You are My Son, this day have I begotten You.' His voice responds, 'You are My Father, My God, and the Rock of My salvation.' The promise goes forth, 'I will make His seed to endure forever.' Eternal glory shall be the sure property of all who believe in Him. Shall we not laud Him with all the faculties that we possess; and trust Him at every moment of our time!
30-37. "If his children forsake My law, and walk not in My judgments; If they break My statutes, and keep not My commandments; Then will I visit their transgression with the rod, and their iniquity with stripes. Nevertheless my lovingkindness will I not utterly take from him, nor permit My faithfulness to fail. My covenant will I not break, nor alter the thing that has gone out of My lips. Once have I sworn by My holiness, that I will not lie to David. His seed shall endure forever, and his throne as the sun before Me. It shall be established forever as the moon, and as a faithful witness in heaven."
It is sadly foreseen, that His children will ofttimes be transgressors, and stray from gospel-paths. God will mark their iniquities, and due chastisement shall recall them to His ways. But still their rejection shall not be final. Lovingkindness will not expire. The covenant shall abide secure. Jehovah's oath shall not be broken. Not one of Christ's seed shall perish. His throne shall never totter. It shall abide, as the moon in the firmament. It shall appear as the rainbow, the pledge that no deluge shall return.
38-45. "But You have cast off and abhorred, You have been angry with Your anointed. You have made void the covenant of Your servant; You have profaned his crown by casting it to the ground. You have broken down all his hedges; You have brought his strongholds to ruin. All those who pass by the way plunder him; he is a reproach to his neighbors. You have set up the right hand of his adversaries; You have made all his enemies to rejoice. You have also turned the edge of his sword, and have not made him to stand in the battle. You have made his glory to cease, and cast his throne down to the ground. The days of his youth have You shortened; You have covered him with shame."
The scene is here changed. To all appearance David's kingdom is brought very low. His enemies are allowed to triumph. His days are shortened, and shame covers the land. All things indicate desertion. Such is the case in the spiritual kingdom. But though sins may bring dark days, the sun still rules in heaven. The covenant may not screen from temporal distress, but it secures eternal life.
46-52. "How long, Lord? will You hide Yourself forever? shall Your wrath burn like fire? Remember how short my time is; why have You made all men in vain? What man is he who lives, and shall not see death? shall he deliver his soul from the hand of the grave? Lord, where are Your former loving kindnesses, which You swore to David in Your truth? Remember, Lord, the reproach of Your servants; how I bear in my bosom the reproach of all the mighty people; With which Your enemies have reproached, O Lord; with which they have reproached the footsteps of Your anointed. Blessed be the Lord forevermore. Amen, and Amen."
Faith has undying root in the believer's heart. Cast down, it is not cast off. It can still send forth the voice of prayer. It can still call God to look down graciously. It can implore that sufferings may be pitied, and cruelty rebuked. Deliverance thus sought will be given. The mercies of the covenant stand as a rock, and the rejoicing spirit will soon shout, 'Blessed be the Lord forevermore! Amen and Amen.'