|Matthew Henry's Concise Commentary|
17:1-7 This psalm is a prayer. Feigned prayers are fruitless; but if our hearts lead our prayers, God will meet them with his favour. The psalmist had been used to pray, so that it was not his distress and danger that now first brought him to his duty. And he was encouraged by his faith to expect God would notice his prayers. Constant resolution and watchfulness against sins of the tongue, will be a good evidence of our integrity. Aware of man's propensity to wicked works, and of his own peculiar temptations, David had made God's word his preservative from the paths of Satan, which lead to destruction. If we carefully avoid the paths of sin, it will be very lead to destruction. If we carefully avoid the paths of sin, it will be very comfortable in the reflection, when we are in trouble. Those that are, through grace, going in God's paths, should pray that their goings may be held up in those paths. David prays, Lord, still hold me up. Those who would proceed and persevere in the ways of God, must, by faith prayer, get daily fresh supplies of grace and strength from him. Show thy marvellous loving-kindness, distinguishing favours, not common mercies, but be gracious to me; do as thou usest to do to those who love thy name.
Verse 7. - Show thy marvellous loving kindness, O thou that savest by thy right hand them which put their trust in thee from those that rise up against them. It is uncertain to which clause of the sentence the word בִּימִיגָך belongs. Its position seems to attach it rather to those who resist God than to those who trust in him. See the marginal version, which has, O thou that savest them which trust in thee from those that rise up against thy right hand. But the rendering in the text of the Authorized Version is preferred by most writers.
Gill's Exposition of the Entire Bible
Show thy marvellous loving kindness,.... Such is the lovingkindness of God to his people in Christ; which is sovereign, free, special, distinguishing, everlasting, and unchangeable; it is better than life, and passes knowledge; and which is set upon men and not angels, some and not all, and these many of them the worst and vilest of men, and all of them by nature children of wrath as others; and which has appeared in choosing them in Christ, putting them into his hand, and making a covenant with him for them; in sending him into the world to suffer and die for them; in regenerating, adopting, justifying, pardoning, and saving them with an everlasting salvation; all which is marvellous in their eyes, and will be the wonder of men and angels to all eternity: this sometimes is hidden from the objects of it, as it might be from the psalmist, and therefore he desires a manifestation of it to him; or else his sense is, that God would show to others in what a marvellous manner he loved him, by the help, deliverance, and salvation he would give him. Such a petition will agree with Christ; see Psalm 40:10. Some render the words (b), "separate thy lovingkindness", or cause it to pass "from them that rise up on" or "against thy right hand"; but these were never the objects of it; and there is no separation of them from it, nor of that from them who are interested in it, Romans 8:38; much better may it be rendered, "separate" or "distinguish thy lovingkindness" (c); that is, let it appear that I have special interest in thy lovingkindness, distinct from others; distinguish me by thy lovingkindness, remember me with that which thou bearest to a peculiar people, Psalm 106:4;
O thou that savest by thy right hand; either by his power, or by the man of his right hand, his own son;
them which put their trust in thee; not in men, not in an arm of flesh, not in themselves, in their own power, wisdom, riches, and righteousness; but in the Lord their God, who is the Saviour of all men, but especially of them that believe, 1 Timothy 4:10; for these he saves both in a temporal and in a spiritual manner;
from those that rise up against them; from all their spiritual enemies, sin and Satan; and from all outward ones, from the men of the world, oppressors and violent persecutors, who are afterwards described: the phrase, "by thy right hand", is by some, as Aben Ezra, connected with the word trust, and rendered, "them which trust in thy right hand" (d); either in the grace, mercy, and favour of God, dispensed by his right hand; or in his strength, and the mighty power of his arm; and by others it is joined to the last clause, and so it stands in the original text, and rendered, "from those that rise up against thy right hand" (e); and so the words describe such persons who in a bold and presumptuous manner set themselves against God, and strengthen themselves against the Almighty; who resist his counsel and will, oppose themselves to the Lord and his Anointed, the man of his right hand, made strong for himself; and to his saints, who are as dear to him as his right hand, and who are preserved by him in the hollow of his hand.
(b) Kimchi & Ben Melech. (c) "separa", Junius & Tremellius; "segrega", Montanus; so some in Vatablus; see Ainsworth. (d) "eos qui fidunt in dextera tua", so some in Vatablus, Castalio, Ainsworth; "recipentes se ad dexteram suam", Junius & Tremellius. (e) "ob insurgentes in dexteram tuam", Pagninus, Montanus, Cocceius; so Michaelis, Gejerus, Musculus.
The Treasury of David
7 Shew thy marvellous lovingkindness, O thou that savest by thy right hand them which put their trust in thee from those that rise up against them.
8 Keep me as the apple of the eye, hide me under the shadow of thy wings.
9 From the wicked that oppress me from my deadly enemies, who compass me about.
10 They are inclosed in their own fat: with their mouth they speak proudly.
11 They have now compassed us in our steps: they have set their eyes bowing down to the earth;
12 Like as a lion that is greedy of his prey, and as it were a young lion lurking in secret places.
"Shew thy marvellous lovingkindness." Marvellous in its antiquity, its distinguishing character, its faithfulness, its immutability, and above all, marvellous in the wonders which it works. That marvellous grace which has redeemed us with the precious blood of God's only begotten, is here invoked to come to the rescue. That grace is sometimes hidden; the text says, "Shew it." Present enjoyments of divine love are matchless cordials to support fainting hearts. Believer, what a prayer is this! Consider it well. O Lord, shew thy marvellous lovingkindness; shew it to my intellect, and remove my ignorance; shew it to my heart, and revive my gratitude; shew it to my faith, and renew my confidence; shew it to my experience, and deliver me from all my fears. The original word here used is the same which in Psalm 4:3 is rendered set apart, and it has the force of, Distinguish thy mercies, set them out, and set apart the choicest to be bestowed upon me in this hour of my severest affliction. "O thou that savest by thy right hand them which put their trust in thee from those that rise up against them." The title here given to our gracious God is eminently consolatory. He is the God of salvation; it is his present and perpetual habit to save believers; he puts forth his best and most glorious strength, using his right hand of wisdom and might, to save all those, of whatsoever rank or class, who trust themselves with him. Happy faith thus to secure the omnipotent protection of heaven! Blessed God, to be thus gracious to unworthy mortals, when they have but grace to rely upon thee! The right hand of God is interposed between the saints and all harm; God is never at a loss for means; his own bare hand is enough. He works without tools as well as with them.
"Keep me as the apple of the eye." No part of the body more precious, more tender, and more carefully guarded than the eye; and of the eye, no portion more peculiarly to be protected than the central apple, the pupil, or, as the Hebrew calls it, "the daughter of the eye." The all-wise Creator has placed the eye in a well-protected position; it stand surrounded by projecting bones like Jerusalem encircled by mountains. Moreover, its great Author has surrounded it with many tunics of inward covering, besides the hedge of the eyebrows, the curtain of the eyelids, and the fence of the eyelashes; and, in addition to this, he has given to every man so high a value for his eyes, and so quick an apprehension of danger, that no member of the body is more faithfully cared for than the organ of sight. Thus, Lord, keep thou me, for I trust I am one with Jesus, and so a member of his mystical body. "Hide me under the shadow of thy wings." Even as the parent bird completely shields her brood from evil, and meanwhile cherishes them with the warmth of her own heart, by covering them with her wings, so do thou with me, most condescending God, for I am thine offspring, and thou hast a parent's love in perfection. This last clause is in the Hebrew in the future tense, as if to show that what the writer had asked for but a moment before he was now sure would be granted to him. Confident expectation should keep pace with earnest supplication.
"From the wicked that oppress me, from my deadly enemies, who compass me about." The foes from whom David sought to be rescued were wicked men. It is hopeful for us when our enemies are God's enemies. They were deadly enemies, whom nothing but his death would satisfy. The foes of a believer's soul are mortal foes most emphatically, for they who war against our faith aim at the very life of our life. Deadly sins are deadly enemies, and what sin is there which hath not death in its bowels? These foes oppressed David, they laid his spirit waste, as invading armies ravage a country, or as wild beasts desolate a land. He likens himself to a besieged city, and complains that his foes compass him about. It may well quicken our business upward, when all around us, every road, is blockaded by deadly foes. This is our daily position, for all around us dangers and sins are lurking. O God, do thou protect us from them all.
"They are inclosed in their own fat." Luxury and gluttony beget vainglorious fatness of heart, which shuts up its gates against all compassionate emotions and reasonable judgments. The old proverb says that full bellies make empty skulls, and it is yet more true that they frequently make empty hearts. The rankest weeds grow out of the fattest soil. Riches and self-indulgence are the fuel upon which some sins feed their flames. Pride and fulness of bread were Sodom's twin sins. (Ezekiel 16:49.) Fed hawks forget their masters; and the moon at its fullest is furthest from the sun. Eglon was a notable instance that a well-fed corporation is no security to life, when a sharp message comes from God, addressed to the inward vitals of the body. "With their mouth they speak proudly." He who adores himself will have no heart to adore the Lord. Full of selfish pleasure within his heart, the wicked man fills his mouth with boastful and arrogant expressions. Prosperity and vanity often lodge together. Woe to the fed ox when it bellows at its owner, the pole axe is not far off.
Jamieson-Fausset-Brown Bible Commentary
7. Show—set apart as special and eminent (Ex 8:18; Ps 4:3).
thy right hand—for Thy power.
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