|Matthew Henry's Concise Commentary|
20:1-9 This psalm is a prayer for the kings of Israel, but with relation to Christ. - Even the greatest of men may be much in trouble. Neither the crown on the king's head, nor the grace in his heart, would make him free from trouble. Even the greatest of men must be much in prayer. Let none expect benefit by the prayers of the church, or their friends, who are capable of praying for themselves, yet neglect it. Pray that God would protect his person, and preserve his life. That God would enable him to go on in his undertakings for the public good. We may know that God accepts our spiritual sacrifices, if by his Spirit he kindles in our souls a holy fire of piety and love to God. Also, that the Lord would crown his enterprises with success. Our first step to victory in spiritual warfare is to trust only in the mercy and grace of God; all who trust in themselves will soon be cast down. Believers triumph in God, and his revelation of himself to them, by which they distinguish themselves from those that live without God in the world. Those who make God and his name their praise, may make God and his name their trust. This was the case when the pride and power of Jewish unbelief, and pagan idolatry, fell before the sermons and lives of the humble believers in Jesus. This is the case in every conflict with our spiritual enemies, when we engage them in the name, the spirit, and the power of Christ; and this will be the case at the last day, when the world, with the prince of it, shall be brought down and fall; but believers, risen-from the dead, through the resurrection of the Lord, shall stand, and sing his praises in heaven. In Christ's salvation let us rejoice; and set up our banners in the name of the Lord our God, assured that by the saving strength of his right hand we shall be conquerors over every enemy.
Verse 8. - They are brought down and fallen; but we are risen, and stand upright. Confident of the result, the speaker represents it as already achieved. He sees the enemy bowed down to the earth, and fallen; he sees the host of Israel erect and triumphant. All stands out clearly before his vision, as though he were an actual spectator of the fight.
Gill's Exposition of the Entire Bible
They are brought down and fallen,.... These are they that rode in chariots and on horses, and trusted in them; who are brought down from their places of honour and safety; and fall, not into the hands of their enemies, and into a low and mean estate, but to the ground by death; as also such who, being like Capernaum, lifted up to heaven with their own outward attainments, and think to get thither by them, are brought down to hell, and fall into the pit of corruption;
but we are risen, and stand upright; who remember the name of the Lord, and trust in him; the church is sometimes in a very low and depressed condition; it consists of a poor and an afflicted people, and who are persecuted by men; so the church has been under the Heathen Roman emperors, and under the Papacy, and will be as long as she is in the wilderness, and the witnesses prophesy in sackcloth; and especially when they will be slain, and their bodies lie on the earth unburied; but these shall rise and stand upright, and ascend to heaven; there will be a glorious state of the church; there will be a reviving of the interest of Christ, through the bringing in the fulness and forces of the Gentiles, and the conversion of the Jews; the dry bones will live again, and stand upon their feet, an exceeding great army; in those days the righteous will flourish and have abundance of peace and prosperity. This may also include the first resurrection, which the saints will have a part in; the dead in Christ will rise first, and will stand before the Lord with confidence, and not be ashamed; when the ungodly shall not stand in judgment, nor sinners in, the congregation of the righteous; for though these words are expressed in the present tense, because of the certainty of them, they belong to future times; hence the following petitions.
The Treasury of David
8 They are brought down and fallen: but we are risen, and stand upright.
9 Save, Lord: let the king hear us when we call.
How different the end of those whose trusts are different: The enemies of God are uppermost at first, but they ere long are brought down by force, or else fall of their own accord. Their foundation is rotten, and therefore when the time comes it gives way under them; their chariots are burned in the fire, and their horses die of pestilence, and where is their boasted strength? As for those who rest on Jehovah, they are often cast down at the first onset, but an Almighty arm uplifts them, and they joyfully stand upright. The victory of Jesus is the inheritance of his people. The world, death, Satan and sin, shall all be trampled beneath the feet of the champions of faith; while those who rely upon an arm of flesh shall be ashamed and confounded for ever.
The Psalm is here recapitulated. That Jesus might himself be delivered, and might then, as our King, hear us, is the two-fold desire of the Psalm. The first request is granted, and the second is sure to all the seed; and therefore we may close the Psalm with the hearty shout "God save the King." "God save King Jesus, and may he soon come to reign."
Jamieson-Fausset-Brown Bible Commentary
8. They—that is, who trust in horses, &c.
stand upright—literally, "we have straightened ourselves up from our distress and fears."
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