By Henry Law
Blessings are ascribed to God for great success and victories. Continuance of such mercies is implored. The happiness of God's people is depicted in glowing colors.
1-2. "Blessed be the Lord my strength, who teaches my hands to war, and my fingers to fight. My goodness, and my fortress; my high tower, and my deliverer; my shield, and He in whom I trust; who subdues my people under me."
The royal Psalmist sat undisturbed on the throne. He looked back and surveyed the many conflicts and the hard-won triumphs. He knew that God was the author of all his success. To Him he ascribes the praise and glory. Pictures are largely selected from scenes of war. They vividly describe the help and might of God. Whenever we prevail over sin and Satan and temptation, let us remember God, who is all our strength and deliverance. Let us magnify His holy name, with all the energies of our hearts.
3-4. "Lord, what is man, that You take knowledge of him, or the son of man, that You make account of him? Man is like vanity; his days are as a shadow that passes away."
Wondrous is God's condescending love. While we ponder let us adore. Though we are nothing, and less than nothing, the very vanity of vanities, the shadow of a shade, yet from the high throne of His glory His eye of compassion ever tenderly rests on us.
5-8. "Bow Your heavens, O Lord, and come down; touch the mountains, and they shall smoke. Cast forth lightning, and scatter them; shoot out Your arrows, and destroy them. Send Your hand from above; rid me, and deliver me out of great waters, from the hand of strange children; whose mouth speaks vanity; and their right hand is a right hand of falsehood."
To realize God's wondrous goodness is a great encouragement in prayer. Let us take courage and flee to Him in every strait, and seek His aid against all our foes.
9-11. "I will sing a new song to You, O God upon a psaltery, and an instrument of ten strings, will I sing praises unto You. It is He who gives salvation unto kings; who delivers David His servant from the hurtful sword. Rid me, and deliver me from the hand of strange children, whose mouth speaks vanity, and their right hand is a right hand of falsehood."
The mercies so freely and so largely given should awaken fervent praise. It was so with David; let it be so with us. While he acknowledged that God was all his strength and salvation, he continues to wrestle in entreaties. The more we receive the more we should desire. Let us never cease to encircle the mercy-seat with cries from our adoring souls.
12-15. "That our sons may be as plants grown up in their youth; that our daughters may be as cornerstones, polished after the similitude of a palace; that our garners may be full, affording all manner of store; that our sheep may bring forth thousands and ten thousands in our streets; that our oxen may be strong to labor; that there be no breaking in, nor going out; that there be no complaining in our streets. Happy is that people that is in such a case; yes, happy is that people whose God is the Lord."
Prayer will obtain floods upon floods of blessings. The prayerful monarch will reign over a happy, prosperous, glorious people. The subjects will shine in the beauties of holiness, and plenty will super-abound in their garners. Let us have confidence that our prayers will call down blessings, and that many will rejoice because we frequent the throne of grace. If there be happiness on earth, it is the happiness of those who live in the service of the God of their salvation.