|Matthew Henry's Concise Commentary|
132:1-10 David bound himself to find a place for the Lord, for the ark, the token of God's presence. When work is to be done for the Lord, it is good to tie ourselves to a time. It is good in the morning to fix upon work for the day, with submission to Providence, for we know not what a day may bring forth. And we should first, and without delay, seek to have our own hearts made a habitation of God through the Spirit. He prays that God would take up his dwelling in the habitation he had built; that he would give grace to the ministers of the sanctuary to do their duty. David pleads that he was the anointed of the Lord, and this he pleads as a type of Christ, the great Anointed. We have no merit of our own to plead; but, for His sake, in whom there is a fulness of merit, let us find favour. And every true believer in Christ, is an anointed one, and has received from the Holy One the oil of true grace. The request is, that God would not turn away, but hear and answer their petitions for his Son's sake.
Verses 1-5. - David's abasement and vow to God. The historical books give no account of this vow, which, however, may have been recorded in one or other of the lost compositions spoken of so frequently in Chronicles (1 Chronicles 29:29; 2 Chronicles 9:29; 2 Chronicles 16:11, etc.). Verse 1. - Lord, remember David, and all his afflictions; rather, remember to David all his affliction; i.e. reckon it to him, and reward him for it. The "affliction" intended is the distress that David felt at the thought that, while he dwelt in a house of cedar, the ark of God was only lodged within curtains (2 Samuel 7:2).
Gill's Exposition of the Entire Bible
Lord, remember David, and all his afflictions. Which prayer might be put up by David on his own account, as Nehemiah does, Nehemiah 13:22; and be considered as a petition to the Lord that he would remember his mercy and lovingkindness to him, and him with the favour he bears to his own people, as he elsewhere prays; that he would remember his covenant with him, and his promise to him, on which he had caused him to hope; and sympathize with him, and support him under all his trials and exercises, in his kingdom and family. Or, if it is considered as Solomon's, it may be a request that the Lord would remember the promise he had made to David, that his son should build a house for him, which he desired he might be enabled to do; that he would remember the covenant of royalty he had made with him, that he should not lack a son to sit upon his throne; and particularly that he would remember the promise of the Messiah, that should be of his seed. Also "his afflictions", his toil and labour of mind, his great anxiety about building a house for God; the pains he took in finding out a place for it, in drawing the pattern of it, in making preparations for it, and in the charges he gave his son concerning it: the Septuagint and other versions render it "his humility" (q); which agrees with the subject of the preceding psalm, and may particularly respect what he expressed to Nathan when this affair of building the temple was much upon his mind, 2 Samuel 7:2. Moreover, respect in all this may be had by the authors of this psalm, or those herein represented, to the Messiah, who is the antitype of David; in his name, which signifies "beloved"; in his birth, parentage, and circumstances of it; in the comeliness of his person, and in his characters and offices, and who is often called David, Psalm 89:3; see Jeremiah 30:9, Hosea 3:5; and so is a petition that God would remember the covenant of grace made with him; the promise of his coming into the world; his offering and sacrifice, as typified by the legal ones; and also remember them and their offerings for his sake; see Psalm 20:3. Likewise "all his afflictions" and sufferings he was to endure from men and devils, and from the Lord himself, both in soul and body; and so as to accept of them in the room and stead of his people, as a satisfaction to his justice. Or, "his humility" in the assumption of human nature, in his carriage and behaviour to all sorts of men, in his ministrations to his disciples, in seeking not his own glory, but his Father's, and in his sufferings and death, which was foretold of him, Zechariah 9:9.
(q) , Sept. "mansuetudinis ejus", V. L. so Syr. Arab. Ethiop.
The Treasury of David
1 Lord, remember David, and all his afflictions:
2 How he sware unto the Lord, and vowed unto the mighty God of Jacob;
3 Surely I will not come into the tabernacle of my house, nor go up into my bed;
4 I will not give sleep to mine eyes, or slumber to mine eyelids,
5 Until I find out a place for the Lord, an habitation for the mighty God of Jacob.
6 Lo, we heard of it at Ephratah; we found it in the fields of the wood.
7 We will go into his tabernacles; we will worship at his footstool.
"Lord, remember David, and all his afflictions." With David the covenant was made, and therefore his name is pleaded on behalf of his descendants, and the people who would be blessed by his dynasty. Jehovah, who changes not, will never forget one of his servants, or fail to keep his covenant; yet for this thing he is to be entreated. That which we are assured the Lord will do must, nevertheless, be made a matter of prayer. The request is that the Lord would remember, and this is a word full of meaning. We know that the Lord remembered Noah, and assuaged the flood; he remembered Abraham, and sent Lot out of Sodom; he remembered Rachel, and Hannah, and gave them children; he remembered his mercy to the house of Israel, and delivered his people. That is a choice song wherein we sing, "He remembered us in our low estate - for his mercy endureth for ever"; and that is a notable prayer, "Lord, remember me." The plea is urged with God that he would bless the family of David for the sake of their progenitor; how much stronger is our master-argument in prayer that God would deal well with us for Jesus' sake! David had no personal merit; the plea is based upon the covenant graciously made with him: but Jesus has deserts which are his own, and of boundless merit - these we may urge without hesitation. When the Lord was angry with the reigning prince, the people cried, "Lord, remember David"; and when they needed any special blessing, again they sang, "Lord, remember David." This was good pleading, but it was not so good as ours, which runs on this wise, "Lord, remember Jesus, and all his afflictions."
The afflictions of David here meant were those which came upon him as a godly man in his endeavours to maintain the worship of Jehovah, and to provide for its decent and suitable celebration. There was always an ungodly party in the nation, and these persons were never slow to slander, hinder, and molest the servant of the Lord. Whatever were David's faults, he kept true to the one, only, living, and true God; and for this he was a speckled bird among monarchs. Since he zealously delighted in the worship of Jehovah, his God, he was despised and ridiculed by those who could not understand his enthusiasm. God will never forget what his people suffer for his sake. No doubt innumerable blessings descend upon families and nations through the godly lives and patient sufferings of the saints. We cannot be saved by the merits of others, but beyond all question we are benefited by their virtues. Paul saith, "God is not unrighteous to forget your work and labour of love, which ye have showed toward his name." Under the New Testament dispensation, as well as under the Old, there is a full reward for the righteous. That reward frequently comes upon their descendants rather than upon themselves: they sow, and their successors reap. We may at this day pray - Lord, remember the martyrs and confessors of our race, who suffered for thy name's sake, and bless our people and nation with gospel grace for our fathers' sakes.
"How he sware unto the Lord, and vowed unto the mighty God of Jacob." Moved by intense devotion, David expressed his resolve in the form of a solemn vow, which was sealed with an oath. The fewer of such vows the better under a dispensation whose great Representative has said, "swear not at all." Perhaps even in this case it had been wiser to have left the pious resolve in the hands of God in the form of a prayer; for the vow was not actually fulfilled as intended, since the Lord forbade David to build him a temple. We had better not swear to do anything before we know the Lord's mind about it, and then we shall not need to swear. The instance of David's vow shows that vows are allowable, but it does not prove that they are desirable. Probably David went too far in his words, and it is Well that the Lord did not hold him to the letter of his bond, but accepted the will for the deed, and the meaning of his promise instead of the literal sense of it. David imitated Jacob, that great maker of vows at Bethel, and upon him rested the blessing pronounced on Jacob by Isaac, "God Almighty bless thee" (Genesis 28:3), which was remembered by the patriarch on his death-bed, when he spoke of "the mighty God of Jacob." God is mighty to hear us, and to help us in performing our vow. We should be full of awe at the idea of making any promise to the Mighty God: to dare to trifle with him would be grievous indeed. It is observable that affliction led both David and Jacob into covenant dealings with the Lord, many vows are made in anguish of soul. We may also remark that if the votive obligations of David are to be remembered of the Lord, much more are the suretiship engagements of the Lord Jesus before the mind of the great Lord, to whom our soul turns in the hour of our distress.
Note, upon this verse, that Jehovah was the God of Jacob, the same God evermore; that he had this for his attribute, that he is mighty - mighty to succour his Jacobs who put their trust in him, though their afflictions be many. He is, moreover, specially the Mighty One of his people; he is the God of Jacob in a sense in which he is not the God of unbelievers. So here we have three points concerning our God: - name, Jehovah; attribute, mighty; special relationship, "mighty God of Jacob." He it is who is asked to remember David and his trials, and there is a plea for that blessing in each one of the three points.
Jamieson-Fausset-Brown Bible Commentary
Ps 132:1-18. The writer, perhaps Solomon (compare Ps 132:8, 9), after relating David's pious zeal for God's service, pleads for the fulfilment of the promise (2Sa 7:16), which, providing for a perpetuation of David's kingdom, involved that of God's right worship and the establishment of the greater and spiritual kingdom of David's greater Son. Of Him and His kingdom both the temple and its worship, and the kings and kingdom of Judah, were types. The congruity of such a topic with the tenor of this series of Psalms is obvious.
1-5. This vow is not elsewhere recorded. It expresses, in strong language, David's intense desire to see the establishment of God's worship as well as of His kingdom.
remember David—literally, "remember for David," that is, all his troubles and anxieties on the matter.
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