Psalm 84:11
For the LORD God is a sun and shield: the LORD will give grace and glory: no good thing will he withhold from them that walk uprightly.
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EXPOSITORY (ENGLISH BIBLE)
Psalm 84:11. The Lord God is a sun — To enlighten, quicken, direct, and comfort all his people; whereas they that live without God in the world walk in darkness and know not whither they go, as is said John 12:35; and shield — To defend them from all their enemies, and from those dreadful and destructive miseries which attend all other men. The Lord will give grace — His favour and friendship, which are better than life. Psalm 63:3. And all the blessed fruits of it, especially the influences, gifts, and graces of his Spirit; and glory — Not the vain glory and splendour of this world, of which David would not have spoken so magnificently, because, upon all occasions, he expresses a great contempt of these things; but the honour which comes from God here, and that eternal and ineffable glory laid up for God’s people in the future world. No good thing will he withhold — Nothing that is truly good in itself, and which would be good for them. This should be well observed, because sometimes afflictions, which are evil in themselves, are good, and necessary, and highly advantageous to good men; while the good things of this world, as they are called, would be very hurtful to them, as is verified by frequent experiments. From them that walk uprightly — That worship and serve God sincerely, and order their conversation aright. Which clause David seems to add designedly, to prevent or remove an objection against what he had now advanced, which might be taken from his own case, whereby it appeared that God was no such sun or shield to him, but exposed him to great and sore calamities. Of which, as being certain and evident, David here assigns the true reason, which was, not any defect in God’s goodness and all-sufficiency, but only his own gross misconduct, whereby he had clouded this sun, and cast away this shield, and forfeited these privileges by departing from his integrity.84:8-12 In all our addresses to God, we must desire that he would look on Christ, his Anointed One, and accept us for his sake: we must look to Him with faith, and then God will with favour look upon the face of the Anointed: we, without him, dare not show our faces. The psalmist pleads love to God's ordinances. Let us account one day in God's courts better than a thousand spent elsewhere; and deem the meanest place in his service preferable to the highest earthly preferment. We are here in darkness, but if God be our God, he will be to us a Sun, to enlighten and enliven us, to guide and direct us. We are here in danger, but he will be to us a Shield, to secure us from the fiery darts that fly thick about us. Through he has not promised to give riches and dignities, he has promised to give grace and glory to all that seek them in his appointed way. And what is grace, but heaven begun below, in the knowledge, love, and service of God? What is glory, but the completion of this happiness, in being made like to him, and in fully enjoying him for ever? Let it be our care to walk uprightly, and then let us trust God to give us every thing that is good for us. If we cannot go to the house of the Lord, we may go by faith to the Lord of the house; in him we shall be happy, and may be easy. That man is really happy, whatever his outward circumstances may be, who trusts in the Lord of hosts, the God of Jacob.For the Lord God is a sun - The Septuagint and the Latin Vulgate render this, "For the Lord loveth mercy and truth." Our translation, however, is the correct one. The sun gives light, warmth, beauty, to the creation; so God is the source of light, joy, happiness, to the soul. Compare Isaiah 60:19; Revelation 21:23; Revelation 22:5.

And shield - See Psalm 84:9.

The Lord will give grace and glory - Grace, or favor, here; glory, or honor, in the world to come. He will bestow all needful favor on his people in this life; he will admit them to glory in the world to come. Grace and glory are connected. The bestowment of the one will be followed by the other. Romans 8:29-30. He that partakes of the grace of God on earth will partake of glory in heaven. Grace comes before glory; glory always follows where grace is given.

No good thing will he withhold ... - Nothing really good; nothing that man really needs; nothing pertaining to this life, nothing necessary to prepare for the life to come. Compare 1 Timothy 4:8; Philippians 4:19.

11, 12. As a sun God enlightens (Ps 27:1); as a shield He protects.

grace—God's favor, its fruit—

glory—the honor He bestows.

uprightly—(Ps 15:2; 18:23).

A sun, to enlighten, and quicken, and direct, and comfort all his people; whereas they that live without God in the world walk in darkness, and know not whither they go, as is said, John 12:35.

Shield, to save his people from all their enemies, and from those dreadful and deadly miseries which attend all other men.

Grace; his favour and friendship, which is better than life, Psalm 63:3, and all the blessed fruits of it.

Glory; not the vain-glory and splendour of this world, of which David would not have spoken so magnificently, because upon all occasions he expresseth a great contempt of those things; but the honour which comes from God here, and that eternal and ineffable glory laid up for God’s people in the future world.

No good thing; nothing that is truly good in itself, and which is good for them; for sometimes afflictions, which are evil in themselves, are good and necessary, and highly advantageous to good men; and the good things of this world would do them much hurt; which is verified by frequent experiments.

Them that walk uprightly; that worship God sincerely, and order their conversations aright; which clause David seems to me to add designedly to prevent or remove an objection against what he had now said, which might be taken from his own case, whereby it appeared that God was no such sun or shield to him, but exposed him to great and sore calamities; which being certain and evident, David here assigns the true reason of it, which was not from any defect in God’s goodness and sufficiency, but only from his own gross miscarriages, whereby he had clouded this sun, and cast away this shield, and forfeited these privileges by departing from his integrity. For the Lord God is a sun and shield,.... Christ is "the sun of righteousness", and it is in the house of God that he arises upon his people with healing in his wings, Malachi 4:2 he is like the sun, the great light, the fountain of light, the light of the world, that dispels darkness, makes day, and gives light to all the celestial bodies, moon and stars, church and ministers; he is a "sun" to enlighten his people with the light of grace, to warm them with the beams of his love, to cheer and refresh their souls with the light of his countenance, and to make them fruitful and flourishing and he is a "shield" to protect them from all their enemies; he is the shield of faith, or which faith makes use of, against the temptations of Satan; he is the shield of salvation, and his salvation is a shield which shelters from divine justice, and secures from wrath to come:

the Lord will give grace and glory: he gives converting grace, the first grace, and all future supplies of it; he gives sanctifying grace, all sorts of it, faith, hope, love, and every other; he gives justifying, pardoning, adopting, and persevering grace, and all freely; he gives honour and glory among men, fellow creatures, and fellow Christians; and he gives eternal glory, the glory his Father gave him, the crown of glory, life, and righteousness: this is the gift of God through Christ; Christ gives a right unto it, meetness for it, and the thing itself; and in his house and ordinances, as he gives more grace to the humble that wait upon him, so he encourages and increases their hope of glory; and he that gives the one will certainly give the other; for these two are inseparably connected together, so that he that has the one shall enjoy the other:

no good thing will he withhold from them that walk uprightly; that walk by faith, and on in Christ, as they have received him; who have their conversation according to the Gospel of Christ, and walk in the uprightness and sincerity of their hearts; from such the Lord will not withhold any good thing he has purposed for them, promised to them, or laid up for them in covenant; no spiritual good thing appertaining to life and godliness, and no temporal blessing that is good for them; he will deny them no good thing they ask of him, not anything that is good for them; and he will not draw back any good things he has bestowed on them, his gifts are without repentance.

For the LORD God is a sun and shield: the LORD will give grace and glory: no {i} good thing will he withhold from them that walk uprightly.

(i) But will from time to time increase his blessings toward his more and more.

EXEGETICAL (ORIGINAL LANGUAGES)
11. a sun and shield] R.V., A sun and a shield. Nowhere else in the O.T. is Jehovah directly called a sun, though the ideas conveyed by the metaphor are frequent. Cp. Psalm 27:1; Isaiah 10:17; Isaiah 60:19-20; Malachi 4:2. Perhaps the prevalence of sun-worship in the East led to the avoidance of so natural and significant a metaphor. Even here the oldest Versions either had a different reading or shrank from a literal rendering. The LXX and Theodotion have: For the Lord God loveth mercy and truth. The Targ. paraphrases, For the Lord God is like a high wall and a strong shield, reading shemesh (= sun), but taking it in the sense of battlement (R.V. pinnacles) which it has in Isaiah 54:12. The Syr. gives, our sustainer and our helper. Only the later Greek Versions and Jerome render the Massoretic text literally.

the Lord &c.] Favour (Genesis 39:21), honour (Psalm 85:9; 1 Kings 3:13) and prosperity (Psalm 85:12) are the reward of the upright. Cp. the parallel in Proverbs 3:33-35, which speaks of God’s blessing on the habitation of the righteous, of His bestowal of favour on the lowly, and of the honour which is the inheritance of the wise. Grace and glory suggest to us ideas which were hardly in the Psalmist’s mind, though his words include all divine blessings, and he would not have drawn the sharp distinction between temporal and spiritual things which we are accustomed to do. But the temporal blessings of the Old Covenant are the types of the spiritual blessings of the New; and the promise, like so many sayings in the Psalter, receives a larger sense and a spiritual meaning in the light of the Gospel. See Romans 5:2; 1 Peter 5:10.

them that walk uprightly] Making sincere devotion to God and perfect integrity in their dealings with men the rule of their lives. Cp. Psalm 15:2, note; Psalm 101:2; Psalm 101:6.Verse 11. - For the Lord God is a Sun and Shield; i.e. not only a "Shield" or protection, as he has been already called (ver. 9), but also a "Sun," the source of life and light, of joy and happiness (comp. Isaiah 60:19, 20; Malachi 4:2). The Lord will give grace and glory. Inward grace, outward splendour and glory (Revelation 21:11-24). No good thing will he withhold from them that walk uprightly (see 1 Corinthians 2:9; 1 Timothy 4:8; and Psalm 34:10). This second half takes up the "blessed" of the distichic epode (epoodo's) of the first, and consequently joins member to member chain-like on to it. Many hindrances must be cleared away if the poet is to get back to Zion, his true home; but his longing carries the surety within itself of its fulfilment: blessed, yea in himself blessed, is the man, who has his strength (עוז only here plene) in God, so that, consequently, the strength of Him to whom all things are possible is mighty in his weakness. What is said in Psalm 84:6 is less adapted to be the object of the being called blessed than the result of that blessed relationship to God. What follows shows that the "high-roads" are not to be understood according to Isaiah 40:3., or any other passage, as an ethical, notional figure (Venema, Hengstenberg, Hitzig, and others), but according to Isaiah 33:8 (cf. Jeremiah 31:21), with Aben-Ezra, Vatablus, and the majority of expositors, of the roads leading towards Zion; not, however, as referring to the return from the Exile, but to the going up to a festival: the pilgrim-high-roads with their separate halting-places (stations) were constantly present to the mind of such persons. And though they may be driven never so far away from them, they will nevertheless reach the goal of their longing. The most gloomy present becomes bright to them: passing through even a terrible wilderness, they turn it (ישׁיתהו) into a place of springs, their joyous hope and the infinite beauty of the goal, which is worth any amount of toil and trouble, afford them enlivening comfort, refreshing strengthening in the midst of the arid steppe. עמק הבּכא does not signify the "Valley of weeping," as Hupfeld at last renders it (lxx κοιλάδα τοῦ κλαυθμῶνος), although Burckhardt found a [Arab.] wâdı̂ 'l-bk' (Valley of weeping) in the neighbourhood of Sinai. In Hebrew "weeping" is בּכי, בּכה, בּכוּת, not בּכא, Rnan, in the fourth chapter of his Vie de Jsus, understands the expression to mean the last station of those who journey from northern Palestine on this side of the Jordan towards Jerusalem, viz., Ain el-Haramı̂je, in a narrow and gloomy valley where a black stream of water flows out of the rocks in which graves are dug, so that consequently עמק הככא signifies Valley of tears or of trickling waters. But such trickling out of the rock is also called בּכי, Job 28:11, and not בּכא. This latter is the singular to בּכאים in 2 Samuel 5:24 (cf. נכאים, צבאים, Psalm 103:21), the name of a tree, and, according to the old Jewish lexicographers, of the mulberry-tree (Talmudic תּוּת, Arab. tût); but according to the designation, of a tree from which some kind of fluid flows, and such a tree is the Arab. baka'un, resembling the balsam-tree, which is very common in the arid valley of Mecca, and therefore might also have given its name to some arid valley of the Holy Land (vid., Winer's Realwrterbuch, s.v. Bacha), and, according to 2 Samuel 5:22-25, to one belonging, as it would appear, to the line of valley which leads from the coasts of the Philistines to Jerusalem. What is spoken of in passages like Isaiah 35:7; Isaiah 41:18, as being wrought by the omnipotence of God, who brings His people home to Zion, appears here as the result of the power of faith in those who, keeping the same end of their journeyings in view, pass through the unfruitful sterile valley. That other side, however, also does not remain unexpressed. Not only does their faith bring forth water out of the sand and rock of the desert, but God also on His part lovingly anticipates their love, and rewardingly anticipates their faithfulness: a gentle rain, like that which refreshes the sown fields in the autumn, descends from above and enwraps it (viz., the Valley of Baca) in a fulness of blessing (יעטּה, Hiphil with two accusatives, of which one is to be supplied: cf. on the figure, Psalm 65:14). The arid steppe becomes resplendent with a flowery festive garment (Isaiah 35:1.), not to outward appearance, but to them spiritually, in a manner none the less true and real. And whereas under ordinary circumstances the strength of the traveller diminishes in proportion as he has traversed more and more of his toilsome road, with them it is the very reverse; they go from strength to strength (cf. on the expression, Jeremiah 9:2; Jeremiah 12:2), i.e., they receive strength for strength (cf. on the subject-matter, Isaiah 40:31; John 1:16), and that an ever increasing strength, the nearer they come to the desired goal, which also they cannot fail to reach. The pilgrim-band (this is the subject to יראה), going on from strength to (אל) strength, at last reaches, attains to (אל instead of the אל־פּני used in other instances) Elohim in Zion. Having reached this final goal, the pilgrim-band pours forth its heart in the language of prayer such as we have in Psalm 84:9, and the music here strikes up and blends its sympathetic tones with this converse of the church with its God.

The poet, however, who in spirit accompanies them on their pilgrimage, is now all the more painfully conscious of being at the present time far removed from this goal, and in the next strophe prays for relief. He calls God מגנּנוּ (as in Psalm 59:12), for without His protection David's cause is lost. May He then behold (ראה, used just as absolutely as in 2 Chronicles 24:22, cf. Lamentations 3:50), and look upon the face of His anointed, which looks up to Him out of the depth of its reproach. The position of the words shows that מגנּנוּ is not to be regarded as the object to ראה, according to Psalm 89:19 (cf. Psalm 47:10) and in opposition to the accentuation, for why should it not then have been אלהים ראה מגננו? The confirmation (Psalm 84:11) puts the fact that we have before us a Psalm belonging to the time of David's persecution by Absalom beyond all doubt. Manifestly, when his king prevails, the poet will at the same time (cf. David's language, 2 Samuel 15:25) be restored to the sanctuary. A single day of his life in the courts of God is accounted by him as better than a thousand other days (מאלף with Olewejored and preceded by Rebia parvum). He would rather lie down on the threshold (concerning the significance of this הסתּופף in the mouth of a Korahite, vid., supra, p. 311) in the house of his God than dwell within in the tents of ungodliness (not "palaces," as one might have expected, if the house of God had at that time been a palace). For how worthless is the pleasure and concealment to be had there, when compared with the salvation and protection which Jahve Elohim affords to His saints! This is the only instance in which God is directly called a sun (שׁמשׁ) in the sacred writings (cf. Sir. 42:16). He is called a shield as protecting those who flee to Him and rendering them inaccessible to their foes, and a sun as the Being who dwells in an unapproachable light, which, going forth from Him in love towards men, is particularized as חן and כבוד, as the gentle and overpowering light of the grace and glory (χάρις and δόξα) of the Father of Lights. The highest good is self-communicative (communicativum sui). The God of salvation does not refuse any good thing to those who walk בּתמים (בּדרך תמים, Psalm 101:6; cf. on Psalm 15:2). Upon all receptive ones, i.e., all those who are desirous and capable of receiving His blessings, He freely bestows them out of the abundance of His good things. Strophe and anti-strophe are doubled in this second half of the song. The epode closely resembles that which follows the first half. And this closing ashrê is not followed by any Sela. The music is hushed. The song dies away with an iambic cadence into a waiting expectant stillness.

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