|Matthew Henry's Concise Commentary|
102:12-22 We are dying creatures, but God is an everlasting God, the protector of his church; we may be confident that it will not be neglected. When we consider our own vileness, our darkness and deadness, and the manifold defects in our prayers, we have cause to fear that they will not be received in heaven; but we are here assured of the contrary, for we have an Advocate with the Father, and are under grace, not under the law. Redemption is the subject of praise in the Christian church; and that great work is described by the temporal deliverance and restoration of Israel. Look down upon us, Lord Jesus; and bring us into the glorious liberty of thy children, that we may bless and praise thy name.
Verse 16. - When the Lord shall build up Zion; rather, because the Lord hath built up Zion. The psalmist, in prophetic ecstasy, sees the future as past. The verbs in this and the next verse are all preterite. He shall appear in his glory; rather, hath appeared in his glory (see Isaiah 40:5).
Gill's Exposition of the Entire Bible
When the Lord shall build up Zion,.... The church of God, fallen down, and in a ruinous condition, as it may be said to be when the doctrines of the Gospel are departed from; the ordinances of it are corrupted and altered, or not attended to; the worship and discipline of the Lord's house are neglected; great declensions in faith, love, and zeal, among the professors of religion, and but few instances of conversion: and it may be said to be built up again, as it will be in the latter day, when the doctrines of grace will be revived; the ordinances will be administered in their primitive purity; great spirituality, holiness, and brotherly love, among the saints, and large numbers converted and brought into it: and this will be the work of Christ, the great master builder; the materials of this building are the saints, those lively stones which will now be laid with fair colours; the ministers of the word will be the instruments that Christ will make use of in rebuilding his church; it is his Spirit, power, and grace, which will make all effectual; and he will have the glory, as follows: the Targum is,
"for the city of Zion is built by the Word of the Lord:''
he shall appear in his glory; or "shall be seen in his glory" (b), which will be upon his church and people, and on which there will be a defence, so that it shall continue; and this will lie chiefly in the purity of Gospel truths, ordinances, and worship; in the number of converts; in the gifts and graces of the Spirit of God upon them; in their peace, prosperity, unity, and spirituality; and in the presence of Christ with them, who will be seen in all the glory and majesty of his kingly office; he will now reign before his ancients gloriously.
(b) "videbitur", V. L. Pagninus, Montanus.
Jamieson-Fausset-Brown Bible Commentary
16. When the Lord shall build—or better, "Because the Lord hath built," &c., as a reason for the effect on others; for in thus acting and hearing the humble, He is most glorious.
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