|Matthew Henry's Concise Commentary|
147:1-11 Praising God is work that is its own wages. It is comely; it becomes us as reasonable creatures, much more as people in covenant with God. He gathers outcast sinners by his grace, and will bring them into his holy habitation. To those whom God heals with the consolations of his Spirit, he speaks peace, assures them their sins are pardoned. And for this, let others praise him also. Man's knowledge is soon ended; but God's knowledge is a dept that can never be fathomed. And while he telleth the number of the stars, he condescends to hear the broken-hearted sinner. While he feeds the young ravens, he will not leave his praying people destitute. Clouds look dull and melancholy, yet without them we could have no rain, therefore no fruit. Thus afflictions look black and unpleasant; but from clouds of affliction come showers that make the soul to yield the peaceable fruits of righteousness. The psalmist delights not in things wherein sinners trust and glory; but a serious and suitable regard to God is, in his sight, of very great price. We are not to be in doubt between hope and fear, but to act under the gracious influences of hope and fear united.
Verse 11. - The Lord taketh pleasure in them that fear him (comp. Psalm 149:4). The "fear" intended is, of course, that which includes trust and love (see the next clause). In those that hope in his mercy; or, "that wait for his loving-kindness."
Gill's Exposition of the Entire Bible
The Lord taketh pleasure in them that fear him,.... With a filial and godly fear; that serve and worship him, privately and publicly, with reverence and love: as, appears by the goodness he lays up for them; the good things he communicates to them; the discoveries of his love, covenant, and grace, they have from him; the guard he sets about them; his eye of providence and grace over them; and his heart full of love, pity, and compassion to them; see Psalm 33:18;
in those that hope in his mercy; not general, but special; not in the absolute mercy of God, but as displayed in Christ; and great encouragement there is to hope in it, from the plenty of it in his heart, from the instances of it among men, and from the blessings of grace and salvation that spring from it: and in such the Lord takes pleasure; hope is his own grace, and mercy is his delight; and he is pleased with those that exercise hope upon it: not that the graces of fear and hope, and the exercise of them, are the cause and motives of God's delight in his people, which, as they were considered in Christ, was before the world was, or those graces were in them; but these describe and point out the persons who are openly and manifestly the objects of his delight and pleasure. Plutarch (r), an, Heathen writer, seems to have been acquainted with this and Psalm 147:10, and to refer to them, when he says,
"it is somewhere said, that God is not a lover of horses, nor of birds, but of men, and desires to dwell with those that are eminently good; nor does he refuse nor despise the familiar converse of a man divine and wise.''
(r) In Vita Numae, vol. 1. p. 62.
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