|Matthew Henry's Concise Commentary|
143:1-6 We have no righteousness of our own to plead, therefore must plead God's righteousness, and the word of promise which he has freely given us, and caused us to hope in. David, before he prays for the removal of his trouble, prays for the pardon of his sin, and depends upon mercy alone for it. He bemoans the weight upon his mind from outward troubles. But he looks back, and remembers God's former appearance for his afflicted people, and for him in particular. He looks round, and notices the works of God. The more we consider the power of God, the less we shall fear the face or force of man. He looks up with earnest desires towards God and his favour. This is the best course we can take, when our spirits are overwhelmed. The believer will not forget, that in his best actions he is a sinner. Meditation and prayer will recover us from distresses; and then the mourning soul strives to return to the Lord as the infant stretches out its hands to the indulgent mother, and thirsts for his consolations as the parched ground for refreshing rain.
Verse 5. - I remember the days of old. Still, in the midst of all my troubles, I do not despair - "I remember the days of old" - the great things which God has done for me in the past (comp. Psalm 77:5, 10, 11). I meditate on all thy works; or, "on all thy doings." I muse on the work of thy hands (comp. Psalm 77:12).
Gill's Exposition of the Entire Bible
I remember the days of old,.... Former times he had read and heard of, in which the Lord appeared for his people that trusted in him; or the former part of his own life, his younger days, when the Lord delivered him from the lion and bear, and from the uncircumcised Philistine, whom he slew; and made him victorious in battles, and preserved him from the rage and malice of Saul. If this was written on account of Absalom, those times of deliverance he called to mind, in order to encourage his faith and hope, and cheer his drooping spirits;
I meditate on all thy works; I muse on the work of thy hands; the works of creation and providence, in order to observe the instances of divine power, wisdom, and goodness in them; and from thence fetch arguments, to engage his trust and confidence in the Lord: he both thought of these things within himself, and he "talked" (w) of them to his friends that were with him, as the last of these words used may signify; and all this he did to cheer his own spirit, and the spirits of the men that were with him, in the time of distress and danger.
(w) "loquor", Piscator; "sermocinatus sum", Cocceius; "aut colloquor", Gejerus, Michaelis.
Jamieson-Fausset-Brown Bible Commentary
5, 6. The distress is aggravated by the contrast of former comfort (Ps 22:3-5), for whose return he longs.
a thirsty land—which needs rain, as did his spirit God's gracious visits (Ps 28:1; 89:17).
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