|Matthew Henry's Concise Commentary|
106:1-5 None of our sins or sufferings should prevent our ascribing glory and praise to the Lord. The more unworthy we are, the more is his kindness to be admired. And those who depend on the Redeemer's righteousness will endeavour to copy his example, and by word and deed to show forth his praise. God's people have reason to be cheerful people; and need not envy the children of men their pleasure or pride.
Verse 1. - Praise ye the Lord (comp. Psalm 104:35; Psalm 105:45). O give thanks unto the Lord (so in Psalm 105:1). Even in their greatest afflictions, the Israelites were bound to give God thanks. His mercies always exceeded his punishments. For he is good (see the comment on Psalm 100:5). For his mercy eudureth forever. According to Chronicles, this phrase was used at the dedication of David's tabernacle (1 Chronicles 16:34, 41), and again at the dedication of the temple (2 Chronicles 5:13). It here first occurs in the Psalms.
Gill's Exposition of the Entire Bible
Praise ye the Lord,.... Or "hallelujah"; which, according to the Arabic version, is the title of the psalm; and so it stands in the Septuagint, Vulgate Latin, and Ethiopic versions. Several psalms following begin in like manner; it begins as the former ended, and ends as it begins; praise being due to God at all times, and on all occasions.
O give thanks unto the Lord: always, for all things, temporal and spiritual, since not worthy of any: or, confess unto the Lord (h); his great goodness, and your unworthiness; and all your sins and transgressions committed against him, who only can pardon.
For he is good; essentially, solely and originally; is communicative and diffusive of his goodness; is the author of all good, and of no evil; and is gracious and merciful, and ready to forgive.
For his mercy endureth for ever; notwithstanding the sins of his people; though he may sometimes hide his face from them, and rebuke them in his providence; and though he causes grief by so doing, he still has compassion upon them, his mercy continues towards them; yea, his mercies are new every morning, as to temporal things; and spiritual mercies, the sure mercies of David, redemption, remission of sins, and sanctification, issue in eternal life; the mercy of God is from eternity to eternity: these are reasons why he should be praised, and thanks be given, to him.
(h) "confitemini Domino", V. L. Pagninus, Montanus, &c.
The Treasury of David
1 Praise ye the Lord. O give thanks unto the Lord; for he is good: for his mercy endureth for ever.
2 Who can utter the mighty acts of the Lord? who can shew forth all his praise. -
3 Blessed are they that keep judgment, and he that doeth righteousness at all times.
4 Remember me, O Lord, with the favour that thou bearest unto thy people; O visit me with thy salvation;
5 That I may see the good of thy chosen, that I may rejoice in the gladness of thy nation, that I may glory with thine inheritance.
"Praise ye the Lord." Hallelujah. Praise ye Jah. This song is for the assembled people, and they are all exhorted to join in praise to Jehovah. It is not meet for a few to praise and the rest to be silent; but all should join. If David were present in churches where quartettes and choirs carry on all the singing, he would turn to the congregation and say, "Praise ye the Lord." Our meditation dwells upon human sin; but on all occasions and in all occupations it is seasonable and profitable to praise the Lord. "O give thanks unto the Lord; for he is good." To us needy creatures the goodness of God is the first attribute which excites praise, and that praise takes the form of gratitude. We praise the Lord truly when we give him thanks for what we have received from his goodness. Let us never be slow to return unto the Lord our praise; to thank him is the least we can do - let us not neglect it. For "his mercy endureth for ever." Goodness towards sinners assumes the form of mercy, mercy should therefore be a leading note in our song. Since man ceases not to be sinful, it is a great blessing that Jehovah ceases not to be merciful. From age to age the Lord deals graciously with his church, and to every individual in it he is constant and faithful in his grace, even for evermore. In a short space we have here two arguments for praise, "for he is good" for "his mercy endureth for ever;" and these two arguments are themselves praises. The very best language of adoration is that which adoringly in the plainest words sets forth the simple truth with regard to our great Lord. No rhetorical flourishes or poetical hyperboles are needed, the bare facts are sublime poetry, and the narration of them with reverence is the essence of adoration. Psalm 106:1 is the text of all that which follows; we are now to see how from generation to generation the mercy of God endured to his chosen people.
"Who can utter the mighty acts of the Lord?" What tongue of men or angels can duly describe the great displays of divine power? They are unutterable. Even those who saw them could not fully tell them. "Who can shew forth all his praise?" To declare his works is the same thing as to praise him, for his own doings are his best commendation. We cannot say one tenth so much for him as his own character and acts have already done? Those who praise the Lord have an infinite subject, a subject which will not be exhausted throughout eternity by the most enlarged intellects, nay, nor by the whole multitude of the redeemed, though no man can number them. The questions of this verse never can be answered; their challenge can never be accepted, except in that humble measure which can be reached by a holy life and a grateful heart.
Since the Lord is so good and so worthy to be praised, it must be for our happiness to obey him. "Blessed are they that keep judgment, and he that doeth righteousness at all times." Multiplied are the blessednesses which must descend upon the whole company of the keepers of the way of justice, and especially upon that one rare man who at all times follows that which is right. Holiness is happiness. The way of right is the way of peace. Yet men leave this road, and prefer the paths of the destroyer. Hence the story which follows is in sad contrast with the happiness here depicted, because the way of Israel was not that of judgment and righteousness, but that of folly and iniquity. The Psalmist, while contemplating the perfections of God, was impressed with the feeling that the servants of such a being must be happy, and when he looked around and saw how the tribes of old prospered when they obeyed, and suffered when they sinned, he was still more fully assured of the-truth of his conclusion. O could we but be free of sin we should be rid of sorrow! We would not only be just, but "keep judgment"; we would not be content with occasionally acting rightly, but would "do justice at all times."
"Remember me, O Lord, with the favour which thou bearest unto thy people." Insignificant as I am, do not forget me. Think of me with kindness, even as thou thinkest of thine own elect. I cannot ask more, nor would I seek less. Treat me as the least of thy saints are treated and I am content. It should be enough for us if we fare as the rest of the family. If even Balaam desired no more than to die the death of the righteous, we may be well content both to live as they live, and die as they die. This feeling would prevent our wishing to escape trial, persecution, and chastisement; these have fallen to the lot of saints, and why should we escape them?
"Must I be carried to the skies
Jamieson-Fausset-Brown Bible Commentary
Ps 106:1-48. This Psalm gives a detailed confession of the sins of Israel in all periods of their history, with special reference to the terms of the covenant as intimated (Ps 105:45). It is introduced by praise to God for the wonders of His mercy, and concluded by a supplication for His favor to His afflicted people, and a doxology.
1. Praise, &c.—(See on Ps 104:35), begins and ends the Psalm, intimating the obligations of praise, however we sin and suffer 1Ch 16:34-36 is the source from which the beginning and end of this Psalm are derived.
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