|Matthew Henry's Concise Commentary|
116:1-9 We have many reasons for loving the Lord, but are most affected by his loving-kindness when relieved out of deep distress. When a poor sinner is awakened to a sense of his state, and fears that he must soon sink under the just wrath of God, then he finds trouble and sorrow. But let all such call upon the Lord to deliver their souls, and they will find him gracious and true to his promise. Neither ignorance nor guilt will hinder their salvation, when they put their trust in the Lord. Let us all speak of God as we have found him; and have we ever found him otherwise than just and good? It is of his mercies that we are not consumed. Let those who labour and are heavy laden come to him, that they may find rest to their souls; and if at all drawn from their rest, let them haste to return, remembering how bountifully the Lord has dealt with them. We should deem ourselves bound to walk as in his presence. It is a great mercy to be kept from being swallowed up with over-much sorrow. It is a great mercy for God to hold us by the right hand, so that we are not overcome and overthrown by a temptation. But when we enter the heavenly rest, deliverance from sin and sorrow will be complete; we shall behold the glory of the Lord, and walk in his presence with delight we cannot now conceive.
Verse 9. - I will walk before the Lord in the land of the living; rather, lands of the living; i.e. my deliverance will enable me to walk at leisure, unhurried and free from care, in the broad regions of earth inhabited by the living.
Gill's Exposition of the Entire Bible
I will walk before the Lord in the land of the living. As in the sight of the omniscient God, according to his word and will, and in such manner as to please him. So Enoch's walking with God is by the apostle explained of pleasing him; compare Genesis 5:22, and so the Septuagint, Vulgate Latin, and Arabic versions render it, "I will please the Lord"; or, as the Syriac and Ethiopic versions; "that I may please the Lord"; be grateful to him; or walk gratefully and acceptably before him, sensible of the obligations I am under to him: and this, in the strength of grace, he determined to do "in the land of the living"; in this world, where men live, and as long as he lived in it; or in the church of God, among the living in Jerusalem, with whom he resolved to walk in all the commandments and ordinances of the Lord. The land of Canaan is thought by Jarchi and Kimchi to be meant; and this being a type of heaven, the meaning may be, that he should walk and dwell where living and glorified saints are to all eternity; and so it is an expression of his faith of future glory and happiness, agreeably to what follows.
The Treasury of David
9 I will walk before the Lord in the land of the living.
10 I believed, therefore have I:spoken: I was greatly afflicted:
11 I said in my haste, All men are liars.
12 What shall I render unto the Lord for all his benefits toward me?
13 I will take the cup of salvation, and call upon the name of the Lord.
"I will walk before the Lord in the land of the living." This is the Psalmist's second resolution, to live as in the sight of God in the midst of the sons of men. By a man's walk is understood his way of life: some men live only as in the sight of their fellow men, having regard to human judgment and opinion; but the truly gracious man considers the presence of God, and acts under the influence of his all-observing eye. "Thou God seest me" is a far better influence than "My master sees me." The life of faith, hope, holy fear, and true holiness is produced by a sense of living and walking before the Lord, and he who has been favoured with divine deliverances in answer to prayer finds his own experience the best reason for a holy life, and the best assistance to his endeavours. We know that God in a special manner is nigh unto his people: what manner of persons ought we to be In all holy conversation and godliness?
"I believed, therefore have I spoken." I could not have spoken thus if it had not been for my faith: I should never have spoken unto God in prayer, nor have been able now to speak to my fellow men in testimony if it had not been that faith kept me alive, and brought me a deliverance, whereof I have good reason to boast. Concerning the things of God no man should speak unless he believes; the speech of the waverer is mischievous, but the tongue of the believer is profitable; the most powerful speech which has ever been uttered by the lip of man has emanated from a heart fully persuaded of the truth of God. Not only the Psalmist, but such men as Luther, and Calvin, and other great witnesses for the faith, could each one most heartily say, "I believed, therefore have I spoken." "I was greatly afflicted." There was no mistake about that; the affliction was as bitter and as terrible as it well could be, and since I have been delivered from it, I am sure that the deliverance is no fanatical delusion, but a self-evident fact; therefore am I the more resolved to speak to the honour of God. Though greatly afflicted, the Psalmist had not ceased to believe. his faith was tried but not destroyed.
"I said in my haste, All men are liars." In a modified sense the expression will bear justification, even though hastily uttered, for all men will prove to be liars if we unduly trust in them; some from want of truthfulness, and others from want of power. But from the expression, "I said in my haste," it is clear that the Psalmist did not justify his own language, but considered it as the ebullition of a hasty temper. In the sense in which he spoke his language was unjustifiable. He had no right to distrust all men, for many of them are honest, truthful, and conscientious; there are faithful friends and loyal adherents yet alive; and if sometimes they disappoint us, we ought not to call them liars for failing when the failure arises entirely from want of power, and not from lack of will. Under great affliction our temptation will be to form hasty judgments of our fellow men, and knowing this to be the case we ought carefully to watch our spirit, and to keep the door of our lips. The Psalmist had believed, and therefore he spoke; he had doubted, and therefore he spoke in haste. He believed, and therefore he rightly prayed to God; he disbelieved, and therefore he wrongfully accused mankind. Speaking is as ill in some cases as it is good in others. Speaking in haste is generally followed by bitter repentance. It is much better to be quiet when our spirit is disturbed and hasty, for it is so much easier to say than to unsay; we may repent of our words, but we cannot so recall them as to undo the mischief they have done. If even David had to eat his own words, when he spoke in a hurry, none of us can trust our tongue without a bridle.
"What shall I render unto the Lord for all his benefits toward me?" He wisely leaves off fretting about man's falsehood and his own ill humour, and directs himself to his God. It is of little use to be harping on the string of man's imperfection and deceitfulness; it is infinitely better to praise the perfection and faithfulness of God. The question of the verse is a very proper one: the Lord has rendered so much mercy to us that we ought to look about us, and look within us, and see what can be done by us to manifest our gratitude. We ought not only to do what is plainly before us, but also with holy ingenuity to search out various ways by which we may render fresh praises unto our God. His benefits are so many that we cannot number them, and our ways of acknowledging his bestowments ought to be varied and numerous in proportion. Each person should have his own peculiar mode of expressing gratitude. The Lord sends each one a special benefit, let each one enquire, "What shall I render? What form of service would be most becoming in me?"
Psalm 116:9 Parallel Commentaries
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