By Henry Law
The Psalmist professes immovable resolve to make praise his incessant joy. He prays for support against all opponents, and avows his confidence in full reply.
1-2. "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."
By nature the heart is fickle, roving, inconstant. What it seeks today, it shuns tomorrow. But grace brings a blessed change. All the affections are then firmly fixed on God. We love Him because He has first loved us. Love in the heart cannot but be praise on the lips. The tongue, which is man's glory, as his distinction from the brute creation, will be consecrated to Him. It is our glory when it gives glory to the Lord. Not the tongue only, but all means within our reach will be pressed into this service. From the earliest dawn praise will be heard. Returning consciousness shall resume the work.
3-4. "I will praise You, O Lord, among the people and I will sing praises to You among the nations. For Your mercy is great above the heavens, and Your truth reaches to the clouds."
Praise will not be limited to the retirement of the closet. It will sound aloud when pious congregations meet. From the lips of missionaries it will traverse distant lands. The theme is ever grand. Never can it weary. It tells of mercy which is higher than the heights above, and of truth which is as unassailable as the pinnacles of heaven.
5-6. "Be exalted, O God, above the heavens; and Your glory above all the earth; that Your beloved may be delivered; save with Your right hand, and answer me."
No efforts can sufficiently exalt our God. When we have striven to our utmost power we have scarcely reached the borders of our theme. Let prayer, also, be intermingled. We should supplicate deliverance from every foe, and answers to our every cry.
7-10. "God has 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 my head; Judah is my lawgiver; Moab is my wash-pot; over Edom will I cast out my shoe; over Philistia will I triumph. Who will bring me into the strong city? who will lead me into Edom?"
Faith remembers that a holy God has dealt out holy promises. These give abundance of unwavering assurance. The Psalmist looks around and sees what conquests he has obtained over surrounding cities and peoples. Thus he fears not though strong cities may yet remain in open defiance. He will reign in triumph over mightiest potentates.
11-13. "Will not You, O God, who have cast us off? and will not You, O God, go forth with our hosts? Give us help from trouble; for vain is the help of man. Through God we shall do valiantly; for He it is that shall tread down our enemies."
No fears should weaken. Faith is assured that God, who has given help, will help to the end. For a little time the enemy may seem to succeed. Brief is the appearance. Final victory is sure. But let there be no trust in an arm of flesh. Human policy and resolves are slender props. Man in his best estate is the shadow of a shade. But if God upholds, strong and valiant will be the arm, and triumphs will be near. Shall we not praise, and pray, and trust, knowing that the Lord of hosts is with us, and that omnipotence is our sword? Let faith go forth and behold the servants of the Lord doing valiant exploits in the Christian warfare, and marching over the necks of their enemies to the triumphant throne of glory.