|Matthew Henry's Concise Commentary|
62:1-7 We are in the way both of duty and comfort, when our souls wait upon God; when we cheerfully give up ourselves, and all our affairs, to his will and wisdom; when we leave ourselves to all the ways of his providence, and patiently expect the event, with full satisfaction in his goodness. See the ground and reason of this dependence. By his grace he has supported me, and by his providence delivered me. He only can be my Rock and my salvation; creatures are nothing without him, therefore I will look above them to him. Trusting in God, the heart is fixed. If God be for us, we need not fear what man can do against us. David having put his confidence in God, foresees the overthrow of his enemies. We have found it good to wait upon the Lord, and should charge our souls to have such constant dependence upon him, as may make us always easy. If God will save my soul, I may well leave every thing else to his disposal, knowing all shall turn to my salvation. And as David's faith in God advances to an unshaken stedfastness, so his joy in God improves into a holy triumph. Meditation and prayer are blessed means of strengthening faith and hope.
Verse 1. - Truly my soul waiteth upon God; rather, my soul waiteth only upon God (Revised Version). The initial word, ak (אַך), which occurs six times in this psalm (vers. 1, 2, 4, 5, 6, 9), is best translated "only" in every instance. It always intensifies the word or phrase to which it is attached - "only upon God" - "only he" - "only from his excellency" - "only vanity." From him cometh my salvation (comp. Psalm 35:3; Psalm 37:39; Psalm 65:5, etc.).
Gill's Exposition of the Entire Bible
Truly my soul waiteth upon God,.... In the use of means, for answers of prayer, for performance of promises, and for deliverance from enemies, and out of every trouble: or "is silent" (e), as the Targum; not as to prayer, but as to murmuring; patiently and quietly waiting for salvation until the Lord's time come to give it; being "subject" to him, as the Septuagint, Vulgate Latin, Arabic, and Ethiopic versions; resigned to his will, and patient under his afflicting hand: it denotes a quiet, patient, waiting on the Lord, and not merely bodily exercise in outward ordinances; but an inward frame of spirit, a soul waiting on the Lord, and that in truth and reality, in opposition to mere form and show; and with constancy "waiteth", and "only" (f) on him, as the same particle is rendered in Psalm 62:2; and so Aben Ezra here;
from him cometh my salvation; both temporal, spiritual, and eternal, and not from any creature; the consideration of which makes the mind quiet and easy under afflictive provide uses: the contrivance of everlasting salvation is from the Father, the impetration of it from the Son, and the application of it from the Spirit.
(e) "silet", Pagninus, Munster, Cocceius; "silens", Montanus, Tigurine version; so the Targum. (f) "tantum", Pagninus, Montanus, Musculus; "tantummodo", Junius & Tremellius, Schmidt.
The Treasury of David
1 Truly my soul waiteth upon God; from him cometh, my salvation.
2 He only is my rock and my salvation; he is my defence; I shall not be greatly moved.
3 How long will ye imagine mischief against a man? ye shall be slain all of you: as a bowing wall shall ye be, and as a tottering fence.
4 They only consult to cast him down from his excellency: they delight in lies: they bless with their mouth, but they curse inwardly. Selah.
"Truly," or verily, or only. The last is probably the most prominent sense here. That faith alone is true which rests on God alone, that confidence which relies but partly on the Lord is vain confidence. If we Englished the word by our word "verily," as some do, we should have here a striking reminder of our blessed Lord's frequent use of that adverb. "My soul waiteth upon God." My inmost self draws near in reverent obedience to God. I am no hypocrite or mere posture maker. To wait upon God, and for God, is the habitual position of faith; to wait on him truly is sincerity; to wait on him only is spiritual chastity. The original is, "only to God is my soul silence." The presence of God alone could awe his heart into quietude, submission, rest, and acquiescence; but when that was felt, not a rebellious word or thought broke the peaceful silence. The proverb that speech is silver but silence is gold, is more than true in this ease. No eloquence in the world is half so full of meaning as the patient silence of a child of God. It is an eminent work of grace to bring down the will and subdue the affections to such a degree, that the whole mind lies before the Lord like the sea beneath the wind, ready to be moved by every breath of his mouth, but free from all inward and self-caused emotion, as also from all power to be moved by anything other than the divine will. We should be wax to the Lord, but adamant to every other force. "From him cometh my salvation." The good man will, therefore, in patience possess his soul till deliverance comes: faith can hear the footsteps of coming salvation because she has learned to be silent. Our salvation in no measure or degree comes to us from any inferior source; let us, therefore, look alone to the true fountain, and avoid the detestable crime of ascribing to the creature what belongs alone to the Creator. If to wait on God be worship, to wait on the creature is idolatry; if to wait on God alone be true faith, to associate an arm of flesh with him is audacious unbelief.
"He only is my rock and my salvation." Sometimes a metaphor may be more full of meaning and more suggestive than literal speech; hence the use of the figure of a rock, the very mention of which would awaken grateful memories in the Psalmist's mind. David had often lain concealed in rocky caverns, and here he compares his God to such a secure refuge; and, indeed, declares him to be his only real protection, all-sufficient in himself and never failing. At the same time, as if to show us that what he wrote was not mere poetic sentiment, but blessed reality, the literal word "salvation" follows the figurative expression: that our God is our refuge is no fiction, nothing in the word is more a matter of fact. "He is my defence," my height, my lofty rampart, my high-fort. Here we have another and bolder image; the tried believer not only abides in God as in a cavernous rock; but dwells in him ass Warrior in some bravely defiant tower or lordly castle. "I shall not be greatly moved." His personal weakness might cause him to be somewhat moved; but his faith would come in to prevent any very great disturbance: not much would he be tossed about. "Moved," as one says, "but not removed." Moved like a ship at anchor which swings with the tide, but is not swept away by the tempest. When a man knows assuredly that the Lord is his salvation, he cannot be very much cast down: it would need more than all the devils in hell greatly to alarm a heart which knows God to be its salvation.
"How long will ye imagine mischief against a man?" It is always best to begin with God, and then may we confront our enemies. Make all sure with heaven, then may you grapple with earth and hell. David expostulates with his insensate foes; he marvels at their dogged perseverance in malice, after so many failures and with certain defeat before them. He tells them that their design was an imaginary one, which they never could accomplish however deeply they might plot. It is a marvel that men will readily enough continue in vain and sinful courses, and yet to persevere in grace is so great a difficulty as to be an impossibility, were it not for divine assistance. The persistency of those who oppose the people of God is so strange that we may well expostulate with them and say, "How long will ye thus display your malice?" A hint is given in the text as to the cowardliness of so many pressing upon one man; but none are less likely to act a fair and manly part than those who are opposed to God's people for righteousness' sake. Satan could not enter into combat with Job in fair duel, but must needs call in the Sabeans and Chaldeans, and even then must borrow the lightning and the wind before his first attack was complete. If there were any shame in him, or in his children, they would be ashamed of the dastardly manner in which they have waged war against the seed of the woman. Ten thousand to one has not seemed to them too mean an advantage; there is not a drop of chivalrous blood in all their veins. "Ye shall be slain all of you." Your edged tools will cut your own fingers. These who take the sword shall perish with the sword. However many or fierce the bands of the wicked may be, they shall not escape the just retribution of heaven; rigorously shall the great Lawgiver exact blood from men of blood, and award death to those who seek the death of others. "As a bowing wall shall ye be, and as a tottering fence." Boastful persecutors bulge and swell with pride, but they are only as a bulging wall ready to fall in a heap; they lean forward to seize their prey, but it is only as a tottering fence inclines to the earth upon which it will soon lie at length. They expect men to bow to them, and quake for fear in their presence; but men made bold by faith see nothing in them to honour, and very, very much to despise. It is never well on our part to think highly of ungodly persons; whatever their position, they are near their destruction, they totter to their fall; it will be our wisdom to keep our distance, for no one is advantaged by being near a falling wall; if it does not crush with its weight, it may stifle with its dust.
The passage is thought to be more correctly rendered as follows: - "How long will ye press on one man, that ye may crush him in a body, like a toppling wall, a sinking fence?" We have, however, kept to our own version as yielding a good and profitable meaning. Both senses may blend in our meditations; for if David's enemies battered him as though they could throw him down like a bulging wall, he, on the other hand, foresaw that they themselves would by retributive justice be overthrown like an old, crumbling, leaning, yielding fence.
"They only consult to cast him down from his excellency." The excellencies of the righteous are obnoxious to the wicked, and the main object of their fury. The elevation which God gives to the godly in Providence, or in repute, is also the envy of the baser sort, and they labour to pull them down to their own level. Observe the concentration of malice upon one point only, as here set in contrast with the sole reliance of the gracious one upon his Lord. If the wicked could but ruin the work of grace in us, they would be content; to crush our character, to overturn our influence, is the object of their consultation. "They delight in lies;" hence they hate the truth and the truthful, and by falsehood endeavor to compass their overthrow. To lie is bad enough, but to delight in it is one of the blackest marks of infamy. "They bless with their mouth, but they curse inwardly." Flattery has ever been a favourite weapon with the enemies of good men; they can curse bitterly enough when it serves their turn; meanwhile, since it answers their purpose, they mask their wrath, and with smooth words pretend to bless those whom they would willingly tear in pieces. It was fortunate for David that he was well practised in silence, for to cozening deceivers there is no other safe reply. "Selah." Here pause, and consider with astonishment the futile rancour of unholy men, and the perfect security of such as rest themselves upon the Lord.
Jamieson-Fausset-Brown Bible Commentary
Ps 62:1-12. To Jeduthun—(See on Ps 39:1, title). The general tone of this Psalm is expressive of confidence in God. Occasion is taken to remind the wicked of their sin, their ruin, and their meanness.
1. waiteth—literally, "is silent," trusts submissively and confidently as a servant.
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