|Matthew Henry's Concise Commentary|
115:9-18 It is folly to trust in dead images, but it is wisdom to trust in the living God, for he is a help and a shield to those that trust in him. Wherever there is right fear of God, there may be cheerful faith in him; those who reverence his word, may rely upon it. He is ever found faithful. The greatest need his blessing, and it shall not be denied to the meanest that fear him. God's blessing gives an increase, especially in spiritual blessings. And the Lord is to be praised: his goodness is large, for he has given the earth to the children of men for their use. The souls of the faithful, after they are delivered from the burdens of the flesh, are still praising him; but the dead body cannot praise God: death puts an end to our glorifying him in this world of trial and conflict. Others are dead, and an end is thereby put to their service, therefore we will seek to do the more for God. We will not only do it ourselves, but will engage others to do it; to praise him when we are gone. Lord, thou art the only object for faith and love. Help us to praise thee while living and when dying, that thy name may be the first and last upon our lips: and let the sweet savour of thy name refresh our souls for ever.
Verse 11. - Ye that fear the Lord, trust in the Lord. Professor Cheyne explains this of proselytes, the σεβόμενοι of the Acts; but surely the order followed is one of climax - first, ordinary Israelites; next, those officially holy, the priests; finally, those actually holy, the truly faithful Israelites. He is their Help and their Shield. It would have been better in every case to have kept the Hebrew order of the words - "Their Help and their Shield is he."
Gill's Exposition of the Entire Bible
Ye that fear the Lord, trust in the Lord,.... Which is said not to distinguish true saints from hypocrites, in Israel or in Aaron's house; rather to describe such who belonged to neither: but, as Aben Ezra interprets it, who feared the Lord, of every people and nation; or proselytes, as Jarchi explains it: the distinction between the people of the Jews, and the proselytes among them, under the character of those that feared the Lord, may be observed in Acts 13:26. It takes in all true worshippers of the Lord; and who are exhorted to trust in him, for faith and fear are consistent; and where there is the one, there is the other; where there is the true fear of God, not a slavish nor an hypocritical fear, but a holy reverence and a godly fear, there will be faith and confidence in him. Job was a man that feared the Lord, and yet trusted in him; these characters meet in the same persons, see Psalm 31:19.
He is their help and their shield; the help and shield of all those that fear the Lord, their protector and defender, and therefore should trust in him. The word "ezer", translated help, in this and the two preceding verses, is applied to God, and often in this book of Psalms, as a title and epithet belonging to him; and it may be observed that "Aesar", in the Etruscan language, signifies God (z).
(z) Sueton. in Angust. c. 97.
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