|Matthew Henry's Concise Commentary|
105:8-23 Let us remember the Redeemer's marvellous works, his wonders, and the judgments of his mouth. Though true Christians are few number, strangers and pilgrims upon earth, yet a far better inheritance than Canaan is made sure to them by the covenant of God; and if we have the anointing of the Holy Spirit, none can do us any harm. Afflictions are among our mercies. They prove our faith and love, they humble our pride, they wean us from the world, and quicken our prayers. Bread is the staff which supports life; when that staff is broken, the body fails and sinks to the earth. The word of God is the staff of spiritual life, the food and support of the soul: the sorest judgment is a famine of hearing the word of the Lord. Such a famine was sore in all lands when Christ appeared in the flesh; whose coming, and the blessed effect of it, are shadowed forth in the history of Joseph. At the appointed time Christ was exalted as Mediator; all the treasures of grace and salvation are at his disposal, perishing sinners come to him, and are relieved by him.
Verse 8. - He hath remembered his covenant forever. Thirdly, the psalmist praises God's faithfulness. God entered into a covenant with Israel, and that covenant still holds good. He has not forgotten it, and will never forget it. It is the word which he commanded to a thousand generations (comp. Deuteronomy 7:9). Professor Cheyne concludes, from this passage, that the psalm was not written during the Captivity. But surely a captive in Babylon might have had faith enough to believe that God had not abolished, but only suspended, his covenant.
Gill's Exposition of the Entire Bible
He hath remembered his covenant for ever,.... Another argument of praise taken from the covenant of grace, in which he is our God, and of which he is ever mindful; he remembers his covenant ones, whom he perfectly knows, and never forgets them; he remembers his covenant promises to them, and allows them to put him in remembrance of them; he has respect unto his covenant, and the blessings of it, and bestows them on his people; gives them the sure mercies of David; and he remembers his love, which is the source and spring of all.
The word which he commanded to a thousand generations; that which is properly a covenant with Christ our head on our account, is a word of promise to us; a promise of grace and glory; a free promise, absolute and unconditional: and this he has "commanded", or ordered, decreed, and determined that it shall stand good, and be punctually performed, "to a thousand generations"; that is, for ever; for all his promises are yea and amen in Christ.
The Treasury of David
8 He hath remembered His covenant for ever, the word which he commanded to a thousand generations.
9 Which covenant he made with Abraham, and his oath unto Isaac;
10 And confirmed the same unto Jacob for a law, and to Israel for an everlasting covenant:
11 Saying, Unto thee will I give the land of Canaan, the lot of your inheritance:
12 When they were but a few men in number; yea, very few, and strangers in it.
13 When they went from one nation to another, from one kingdom to another people;
14 He suffered no man to do them wrong; yea, he reproved kings for their sakes;
15 Saying, Touch not mine anointed, and do my prophets no harm.
"He hath remembered his covenant for ever." Here is the basis of all his dealings with his people; he had entered into covenant with them in their father Abraham, and to this covenant he remained faithful. The exhortation to remember (in Psalm 105:5) receives great force from the fact that God has remembered. If the Lord has his promise in memory, surely we ought not to forget the wonderful manner in which he keeps it. To us it should be matter for deepest joy that never in any instance has the Lord been unmindful of his covenant engagements, nor will he be so world without end. O that we were as mindful of them as he is. "The word which he commanded to a thousand generations." This is only an amplification of the former statement, and serves to set before us the immutable fidelity of the Lord during the changing generations of men. His judgments are threatened upon the third and fourth generations of them that hate him, but its love runs on for ever, even to "a thousand generations." His promise is here said to be commanded, or vested with all the authority of a law. It is proclamation from a sovereign, the firman of an Emperor, whose laws shall stand fast in every jot and tittle though heaven and earth shall pass away. Therefore let us give thanks unto the Lord and talk of all his wondrous works, so wonderful for their faithfulness and truth.
"Which covenant he made with Abraham." When the victims were divided and the burning lamp passed between the pieces (Genesis 15.) then the Lord made, or ratified, the covenant with the patriarch. This was a solemn deed, performed not without blood, and the cutting in pieces of the sacrifice: it points us to the greater covenant which in Christ Jesus is signed, sealed, and ratified, that it may stand fast for ever and ever. "And his oath unto Isaac." Isaac did not in vision see the solemn making of the covenant, but the Lord renewed unto him his oath (Genesis 26:2-5). This was enough for him, and must have established his faith in the Most High. We have the privilege of seeing in our Lord Jesus both the sacrificial seal, and the eternal oath of God, by which every promise of the covenant is made yea and amen to all the chosen seed.
"And confirmed the same unto Jacob for a law." Jacob in his wondrous dream (Genesis 28:10-15) received a pledge that the Lord's mode of procedure with him would be in accordance with covenant relations; for said Jehovah, "I will not leave thee till I have done that which I have spoken to thee of." Thus, if we may so speak with all reverence, the covenant became a law unto the Lord himself by which he bound himself to act. O matchless condescension, that the most free and sovereign Lord should put himself under covenant bonds to his chosen, and make a law for himself, though he is above all law. "And to Israel for an everlasting covenant." When he changed Jacob's name he did not change his covenant, but it is written, "he blessed him there" (Genesis 32:29), and it was with the old blessing, according to the unchangeable word of abiding grace.
Jamieson-Fausset-Brown Bible Commentary
8-11. The covenant was often ratified.
word—answering to "covenant" [Ps 105:9] in the parallel clause, namely, the word of promise, which, according to Ps 105:10, He set forth for an inviolable law.
commanded—or, "ordained" (Ps 68:28).
to a thousand generations—perpetually. A verbal allusion to De 7:9 (compare Ex 20:6).
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