|Matthew Henry's Concise Commentary|
73:21-28 God would not suffer his people to be tempted, if his grace were not sufficient, not only to save them from harm, but to make them gainers by it. This temptation, the working of envy and discontent, is very painful. In reflecting upon it, the psalmist owns it was his folly and ignorance thus to vex himself. If good men, at any time, through the surprise and strength of temptation, think, or speak, or act amiss, they will reflect upon it with sorrow and shame. We must ascribe our safety in temptation, and our victory, not to our own wisdom, but to the gracious presence of God with us, and Christ's intercession for us. All who commit themselves to God, shall be guided with the counsel both of his word and of his Spirit, the best counsellors here, and shall be received to his glory in another world; the believing hopes and prospects of which will reconcile us to all dark providences. And the psalmist was hereby quickened to cleave the closer to God. Heaven itself could not make us happy without the presence and love of our God. The world and all its glory vanishes. The body will fail by sickness, age, and death; when the flesh fails, the conduct, courage, and comfort fail. But Christ Jesus, our Lord, offers to be all in all to every poor sinner, who renounces all other portions and confidences. By sin we are all far from God. And a profession Christ, if we go on in sin, will increase our condemnation. May we draw near, and keep near, to our God, by faith and prayer, and find it good to do so. Those that with an upright heart put their trust in God, shall never want matter for thanksgiving to him. Blessed Lord, who hast so graciously promised to become our portion in the next world, prevent us from choosing any other in this.
Verse 26. - My flesh and my heart faileth. The meaning is, "Though my flesh and my heart fail utterly, though my whole corporeal and animal nature fade away and come to nothing, yet something in the nature of a heart - the true 'I,' consciousness, will remain, and will be upheld by God." God is the Strength of my heart, and my Portion forever. "A strong assertion of personal immortality" (Cook). "This is the mysticism of faith; we are on the verge of St. Paul's conception of the πνεῦμα, the organ of life in God" (Cheyne).
Gill's Exposition of the Entire Bible
My flesh and my heart faileth,.... Either through vehement desires of communion with God deferred, see Psalm 84:2 or through afflictive dispensations of Providence, being smitten and chastened continually, Psalm 73:14, or through inward trials and exercises, by reason of indwelling sin, temptations, and desertions: or rather the words are expressive of the body being emaciated by sickness and diseases; and the heart fainting through fear of death, or rather failing at it, being at the point of death; the heart being, as philosophers say, the first that lives, and the last that dies:
but God is the strength of my heart, or "the rock of my heart" (h); when overwhelmed with distress through outward trouble, or in the lowest condition with respect to spiritual things; when grace is weak, corruptions strong, temptations prevail, and afflictions are many; then does the Lord support and sustain his people, and strengthens them with strength in their souls; and in the moment of death, by showing them that its sting is taken away, and its curse removed; that their souls are going to their Lord, and about to enter into his joy; and that their bodies will rise again glorious and incorruptible:
and my portion for ever; both in life and at death, and to all eternity; this is a very large portion indeed; such who have it inherit all things; yea, it is immense and inconceivable; it is a soul satisfying one, and is safe and secure; it can never be taken away, nor can it be spent; it will last always; see Psalm 142:5.
(h) "rupes cordis mei", Montanus, Musculus, Piscator, Cocceius, "petra cordis mei", Tigurine version, Gejerus, Michaelis; so Ainsworth.
Jamieson-Fausset-Brown Bible Commentary
26. strength—literally, "rock" (Ps 18:2).
portion—(Ps 16:5; La 3:24).
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