|Matthew Henry's Concise Commentary|
118:1-18 The account the psalmist here gives of his troubles is very applicable to Christ: many hated him without a cause; nay, the Lord himself chastened him sorely, bruised him, and put him to grief, that by his stripes we might be healed. God is sometimes the strength of his people, when he is not their song; they have spiritual supports, though they want spiritual delights. Whether the believer traces back his comfort to the everlasting goodness and mercy of God, or whether he looks forward to the blessing secured to him, he will find abundant cause for joy and praise. Every answer to our prayers is an evidence that the Lord is on our side; and then we need not fear what man can do unto us; we should conscientiously do our duty to all, and trust in him alone to accept and bless us. Let us seek to live to declare the works of God, and to encourage others to serve him and trust in him. Such were the triumphs of the Son of David, in the assurance that the good pleasure of the Lord should prosper in his hand.
Verse 5. - I called upon the Lord in distress; literally, from the strait place; i.e. from the straits in which I was. It is generally agreed that the Babylonian captivity is intended. The nation had called to God in its distress by the mouth of Daniel (Daniel 9:4-19) and of other holy men. The Lord answered me, and set me in a large place; literally, the Lord answered me on the open plain. The idea is, "The Lord gave me enlargement" - took me out of my straits - "set my feet in a large room" (Psalm 31:8).
Gill's Exposition of the Entire Bible
I called upon the Lord in distress,.... Or "out of that strait" (q); when David was encompassed by Saul and his men, or when at the court of Achish, or when his own people talked of stoning him. As this may respect the Messiah, it may design his distresses in the garden, when surrounded with sorrow, and being in an agony prayed the more earnestly, and his sweat was as it were great drops of blood; and may be applied to his members, as it often is their case to be in distress, straits and difficulties, through outward afflictions and pressures, inward corruptions, temptations, and desertions, and through the low exercise of grace; when they are as it were imprisoned, and so straitened they cannot come forth in the free exercise of it; at all which seasons prayer is necessary; and nothing is more proper than to call upon the Lord, which is both duty and privilege, and often attended with success, as follows;
the Lord answered me, and set me in a large place; as he did David, when he delivered him from all his troubles, placed him on the throne of Israel, and gave him rest from all his enemies round about; see Psalm 31:8. And so he did the Messiah, when he raised him from the dead, received him to heaven, where he sits at the right of God in human nature: this is a large place indeed, large enough for the innumerable company of angels, and for all the saints, for whom everlasting habitations and mansions of bliss are preparing by him; and which is the glories liberty of the children of God; see Psalm 18:19; and these also, upon calling on the Lord in distress, are heard and answered, and brought into large places, where they walk at liberty; so at first conversion, when distressed about their souls, and cry for help, they are answered and brought out of the pit, and have their feet set upon a rock and their goings established; and when at other times their grace is drawn forth into exercise, their souls are enlarged in duty, are favoured with large views of the love of God, with an increase of spiritual light, knowledge, peace, and joy; and are delivered from their troubles, and out of the hands of their enemies. Or it may be rendered, "the Lord answered me largely" (r); as he did Solomon, when he gave him more than he asked for; and as he does his people, when he gives them a sufficiency, and an abundance of his grace, and even not only above their deserts, but above their thoughts and expectations; see Ephesians 3:20.
(q) "ex ipso angore", Junius & Tremellius; "ex illa angustia", Michaelis. (r) "in latitudine", V. L. Pagninus, Montanus, Munster, Musculus, Cocceius, Michaelis.
The Treasury of David
5 I called upon the Lord in distress: the Lord answered me, and set me in a large place.
6 The Lord is on my side; I will not fear: what can man do unto me?
7 The Lord taketh my part with them that help me: therefore shall I see my desire upon them that hate me.
8 It is better to trust in the Lord than to put confidence in man.
9 It is better to trust in the Lord than to put confidence in princes.
10 All nations compassed me about: but in the name of the Lord will I destroy them.
11 They compassed me about; yea, they compassed me about: but in the name of the Lord I will destroy them.
12 They compassed me about like bees; they are quenched as the fire of thorns: for in the name of the Lord I will destroy them.
13 Thou hast thrust sore at me that I might fall: but the Lord helped me.
14 The Lord is my strength and song, and is become my salvation.
15 The voice of rejoicing and salvation is in the tabernacles of the righteous: the right hand of the Lord doeth valiantly.
16 The right hand of the Lord is exalted: the right hand of the Lord doeth valiantly.
17 I shall not die, but live, and declare the works of the Lord.
18 The Lord hath chastened me sore: but he hath not given me over unto death.
Jamieson-Fausset-Brown Bible Commentary
5. distress—literally, "straits," to which "large place" corresponds, as in Ps 4:1; 31:8.
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