|Matthew Henry's Concise Commentary|
36:5-12 Men may shut up their compassion, yet, with God we shall find mercy. This is great comfort to all believers, plainly to be seen, and not to be taken away. God does all wisely and well; but what he does we know not now, it is time enough to know hereafter. God's loving-kindness is precious to the saints. They put themselves under his protection, and then are safe and easy. Gracious souls, though still desiring more of God, never desire more than God. The gifts of Providence so far satisfy them, that they are content with such things as they have. The benefit of holy ordinances is sweet to a sanctified soul, and strengthening to the spiritual and Divine life. But full satisfaction is reserved for the future state. Their joys shall be constant. God not only works in them a gracious desire for these pleasures, but by his Spirit fills their souls with joy and peace in believing. He quickens whom he will; and whoever will, may come, and take from him of the waters of life freely. May we know, and love, and uprightly serve the Lord; then no proud enemy, on earth or from hell, shall separate us from his love. Faith calleth things that are not, as though they were. It carries us forward to the end of time; it shows us the Lord, on his throne of judgment; the empire of sin fallen to rise no more.
Verse 7. - How excellent is thy loving-kindness, O God! The psalmist, having made mention of the "loving-kindness of God" as his most characteristic quality (ver. 5), and again brought it into notice as causing him to provide so carefully for all his creatures (ver. 6), cannot refrain from glorifying the quality whereto he has called attention. "How excellent" - or, how precious (Kay, Alexander, Cheyne, Revised Version) - " is thy loving-kindness!" How does it exceed all that we could have anticipated! How far does it go beyond all that we deserve! Therefore the children of men put their trust (or, shall put their trust, or shall take refuge) under the shadow of thy wings (comp. Psalm 17:8; Psalm 57:1; Psalm 63:7, etc.). Encouraged by the consideration of thy goodness, the beney Adam, the children of weak, frail, sinful man, shall take heart, and lay abide their natural timidity, and turn to thee, and put their trust in thee, gathering themselves under the shadow of thy protecting wings, and looking to thee, and thee only, for safety and defence (see Ruth 2:12).
Gill's Exposition of the Entire Bible
How excellent is thy lovingkindness, O God,.... Which has appeared to men and not angels, to some and not others; to the chief of sinners, who are by nature children of wrath as others; in choosing, redeeming, and calling them, taking them into his family, and making them heirs of eternal glory; and all this of his sovereign good will and pleasure, there being nothing in them that could move him to it; which lovingkindness was in his heart from everlasting, and will never change in him, nor depart from them; and hence it must be most excellent and precious:
therefore the children of men put their trust under the shadow of thy wings; not all men; for all have not faith, only some, to whom it is given to believe, and who know the Lord and his lovingkindness; by which they are induced and encouraged to trust in him, to betake themselves to him for mercy and protection, which they find in him: the allusion is either to the hen that gathers her chickens under her wings, and protects them in time of danger, and so it expresses both the paternal affection of God to his people, and the protection of them; or else to the wings of the cherubim over the mercy seat, between which the Lord sat and communed with his people, and showed mercy and favour to them, which encouraged them to trust in him.
Jamieson-Fausset-Brown Bible Commentary
7. shadow of thy wings—(Compare De 32:11; Ps 91:1).
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